Feb. 2002: President Bush Executive Order authorizes JTF-170 GTMO Intelligence Corps. Guantanamo Bay Detention Center opens (Jan. 2002) and is almost immediately transformed into a “Battle Lab” – the term used to describe the intelligence operation by Commander MG Dunlavey and later MG Miller – where prisoners are subjected to experiments testing torture techniques. (Senate Armed Services Committee Report, 2009, p. 43) The president’s Executive Order, JTF -170 GTMO authorizes the intelligence corps at GTMO with responsibility “for the worldwide management of interrogations…”
March 2002: Paul Wolfowitz directive waived the right to informed consent
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz issued a directive that waived the right to informed consent and lifted the prohibition against the use of prisoners of war as human guinea pigs in medical experiments. Wolfowitz justified his waiver by stating: “We are dealing with a special breed of person here.” His use of the term “breed” is particularly chilling; as this directive was a clear and explicit violation of the Nuremberg Code, the Geneva Conventions and U.S. law. The waiver was issued to provide legal cover for “Special Access” a top-secret experimental interrogations program at Guantanamo Bay prison where a variety of experimental torture techniques aimed at detecting deception were to be tested.
The duplicitous document titled, “Protection of Human Subjects and Adherence to Ethical Standards in DoD-Supported Research,” asserts that DoD is in compliance with federal regulations under “the Common Rule.” In fact, the Pentagon sought legal clearance from the DoJ, ethical clearance from a professional medical association, and clearance from legislators. Pentagon officials briefed top Senate lawmakers about research involving detainee interrogations that sought to discover ways to glean information from unwilling subjects and to achieve “deception detection.” (Coalition for an Ethical Psychology Timeline)
When questioned about the directive, Pentagon spokeswoman Wendy Snyder insisted:
“There is no detainee policy, directive or instruction – or exceptions to such – that would permit performing human research testing on DoD detainees. Moreover, none of the numerous investigations into allegations of misconduct by interrogators or the guard force found any evidence of such activities.”