The Iraqi prisoner had valuable intelligence, U.S. special forces believed, and they desperately wanted it. They demanded that expert American military trainers teach them the same types of abusive interrogation techniques that North Korea and Vietnamese forces once used against U.S. prisoners of war.
The trainers resisted, according to testimony prepared for a Senate hearing Thursday; the methods were intended to elicit confessions for propaganda use, rather than gather intelligence. They were overruled and ordered to demonstrate on the prisoner in September 2003, early in the war.
The interrogation went ahead before a lead trainer stepped in and stopped it. He and his team were sent home shortly thereafter.
The written testimony of two military officers troubled by the use of unconventional interrogation techniques was obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press ahead of the Senate Armed Forces Committee hearing. According to the testimony, the military invaded Iraq and took control without expert interrogators or well-reasoned polices for dealing with prisoners, and was flailing for information however it could get it.