Search Form
Now choose a category »

Public Statements

Hearing of the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee - From the Department of Justice to Guantanamo Bay: Administration Lawyers and Administration Interrogation Rules, Part III


Location: Washington, DC


Mr. Addington, there are press reports that state that in September of 2002, you and other administration lawyers visited Guantanamo Bay. A JAG attorney in Guantanamo Diane Beaver is quoted in a Vanity Fair article as saying that the message from you and the other visitors was "do whatever needed to be done." And just weeks after that visit, interrogators at Guantanamo Bay began developing a far harsher interrogation program than they had ever used before.

Did you visit Guantanamo Bay in September of 2002 as it has been reported?

MR. ADDINGTON: I don't remember the exact date, but I went there a number of times.

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, do you recall going to Guantanamo Bay around that time?

MR. ADDINGTON: I really don't remember the dates, ma'am. But I remember going in the --

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: How many times did you go to Guantanamo Bay during that period?

MR. ADDINGTON: During that -- well, I'm not sure what period you're describing. I'd say I've probably been to Guantanamo I guess maybe five times. The first time would have been years ago, which is irrelevant to this, when I worked at the Department of Defense. Then I would guess three or four --

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: On one of those trips, did you meet with JAG attorneys?

MR. ADDINGTON: I didn't recall. And I remember when Colonel Beaver, who was referenced, I think, in Mr. Sands Vanity Fair article, I did not remember meeting her there. The only time I remember meeting her is over at the Office of General Counsel at the Department of Defense many years later.

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: What generally prompted your trips to Guantanamo Bay when you made them?

MR. ADDINGTON: Invited by the Department of Defense to go and accepted. I thought it would be good to go and see what they were doing to implement the decisions made in January and February at the White House to how detainees held there by the Department of Defense.

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Did you have any discussions on those trips about interrogation methods?

MR. ADDINGTON: I don't know about methods. I would say we probably did only in the sense I can remember -- you know, I'm not sure it's this particular trip, at least on some of the trips and it have have --

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: On any of the trips.

MR. ADDINGTON: Yes, that they would show us the interrogation room with no one in it so you could see what the room looked like. And the separately look through -- I assume, and I don't know, that the person being interrogated and the interrogator couldn't see us. In other words, like a one-way mirror kind of set up where you could see into that. So having done that, I'm sure they must have discussed --

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: On any of the trips, did you discuss interrogation methods that were directly referenced in the memo that we've been discussing here at this hearing, a specific type of?

MR. ADDINGTON: I'm not so sure I remember this memo having methods discussed in it, frankly.

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Did you discuss specific types of interrogation methods that interrogators should use while at Guantanamo Bay on the detainees?

MR. ADDINGTON: I don't recall doing that now.

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: That means you didn't, or you don't recall doing it?

MR. ADDINGTON: It means I don't recall doing it, as I said.

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, it's hard to fathom that you would not have a recollection on specific conversations about types of interrogation methods as opposed to just generally talking about interrogation.

MR. ADDINGTON: Is there a question pending, ma'am?

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: The question is I don't believe that you don't recall whether you discussed specific interrogation methods, so I'll ask you again. Did you discuss specific interrogation methods on any of your trips to Guantanamo Bay with people who would be administering the interrogations?

MR. ADDINGTON: And as I said to you, I don't recall. Let me be clear to you that there are two different things that may be helpful to you in asking your questions. The Department of Defense interrogation and the CIA program.

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I really don't -- (inaudible) -- my questions.

MR. ADDINGTON: Well, the CIA program -- and you'll find when you question me, the participation with respect to the CIA program is more extensive than the DOD program. And you wouldn't find it so unusual that I don't recall the details you want me to recall.

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Okay, except that interrogations -- there is an accusation that interrogation methods went far beyond and up to and past torture following your visits to Guantanamo Bay. So I'm trying to get a sense of whether you actually went there, encouraged those specific interrogation methods and whether they crossed the line.

MR. ADDINGTON: Yes, I did not.

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: So I'm pretty clear on why I'm asking you the questions and which one I'm asking you. On one of the trips that you took, it was weeks after the August 1st, 2002 interrogation memo was issued by the Office of Legal Counsel. Did you have any discussions on that trip about recent Department of Justice legal advice on interrogations? Did you ever discuss the memo which offered legal advice on interrogations with anyone at Guantanamo Bay on any of your trips there?

MR. ADDINGTON: I'm fairly certain -- I won't be absolute but fairly certain -- that I did not.

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: That you did not ever --

MR. ADDINGTON: Discuss this August 1st 2002 legal opinion to the counsel to the president from the Department of Justice.

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: So you deny the suggestion that in the Vanity Fair report that you encouraged Guantanamo Bay interrogators to do whatever needed to be done?

MR. ADDINGTON: Yes, I do deny that.

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: You do deny that.

MR. ADDINGTON: Yes, that quote is wrong.

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Okay. Did you observe an interrogation during the trip, as has been reported?

MR. ADDINGTON: I think we probably did, as I described earlier.

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: And why did you observe an interrogation?

MR. ADDINGTON: The Department of Defense took us around to show us the camp and what was going on, they showed us that. Now, I emphasize I'm not sure it's the particular September 2002 trip you're describing. But on at least several those trips --

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: What did you observe?

MR. ADDINGTON: I observed a detainee in, I believe, an orange jumpsuit sitting in a chair.

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: What kind of interrogation was it?

MR. ADDINGTON: They were talking to him in the brief time that we were there.

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Simply just conversation, no other method --

MR. ADDINGTON: During the brief times we were there, yes. And I don't recall we could actually hear what was being said. You could look and see mouths moving. I infer that there was communication going on.

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: But you saw no physical contact with the interrogators?

MR. ADDINGTON: Correct, but it was a very brief look, yes.

REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I yield back the balance of my time.


Skip to top
Back to top