According to the Senate Armed Services Committee Report (2009), several witnesses expressed concerns about using the term “Battle Lab” to describe Guantanamo prison (GTMO). The Commander of the Criminal Investigative Task Force (CITF), Col. Britt Mallow testified: “While [“Battle Lab”] was logical in terms of learning lessons, I personally objected to the implied philosophy that interrogators should experiment with untested methods…” CITF Deputy Commander, Mark Fallon indicated that CITF
“did not advocate the application of unproven techniques on individuals who were awaiting trials. There were many risks associated with this concept…and the perception that detainees were used for some ‘experimentation’ of new unproven techniques has negative connotations.” (p. 43)
The detainees at GTMO were indeed used as involuntary human guinea pigs – in violation of moral principles, medical ethics and universal legal constraints. They were used as human subjects to test the effects of various, especially brutal torture techniques; the findings of those experiments were incorporated into the JTF GTMO ‘SERE’ Interrogation Standard Operating Procedure (Dec. 2002).
“When the detainees in GTMO were subject to psychological and physical experimentation, most notably the EITs, the conclusions drawn from these interrogations were not obtained in a vacuum. The techniques, their effects on the detainees, and conclusions drawn were meant to serve as information to be distributed to bases across the globe…Therefore, not only was GTMO operating as America’s Battle Lab, but was also transmitting information of the interrogation experimentation across the world.” (Seton Hall, p. 32)
“GTMO truly served as the think tank and center for experimentation in exploring interrogation techniques and training other military officials in facilities across the globe. In this sense, America’s Battle Lab served as the heart of worldwide interrogation testing and training…Upon arrival, detainees were routinely given psychosis-inducing drugs and were held in isolation for up to 30 days without access to human contact, including the International Committee of the Red Cross. Once in GTMO, non-compliant detainees could also be subject to isolation techniques, which triggered denial of access to both doctors and Red Cross representatives.” (Seton Hall Law Center for Policy & Research, America’s Battle Lab, 2015)