CaseMap Facts Report - David Nahmias Interview 2

The document includes notes from interviews conducted with FBI personnel David Nahmias, regarding his knowledge about issues related to the treatment or interrogation of military detainees. He states that he regularly raised concerns about the Department of Defense's approach to interrogations, which was not the law enforcement/FBI approach.

Doc_type: 
Interview
Doc_date: 
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Doc_text: 

ALL /RFORMATION CONTAINED
MEIN IS UNCLASSIFIED
DM 05-05-2011 BY 65179 DDH/NJS
Cate-Map Facts Report
Linked To Source(s): "David Nahmies Interview 2" or Linked To Source(a): "Dade Hobnobs Interview Notes 8/30/05"
- 35 of 7910 (0.4%) Filtered
Case: FBI in Mliitary Zones
Created: 2/24/2009 11:53a3 PM
Date-4
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DaVid Nahmias said he worked with Alice Fisher as a colleague froth 2.001 to 2003 .
,
— - •" -......,..
-David Nahmias
Interview 2 at 10:43
To Be
Determined
To Be
Determined
David Nahmias said he discussed with Alice Fisher issues related to the treatment or
interrogation of military detainees._
. David Nahmias
Interview 2 at 10:55
To Be
Determined •
David Nahmias said he DNR if he or Alice Fisher were ever told ahem a detainee being taken
up in a helicopter by Federal Bureau of Investiption. He said he had' heard about it ,
somewhere, but it was herd to recall if heleard about it as a tumor or as an "apocryphal" story,
or read about it in the newspaper, but he is "pretty confident' (later "quite confident') no one
ever pretented it to hitn as a ant, Ei/C if SQMO011e did that lie would have.taken it up the chain.
David Naha ties
Interview 2 at 11:13

To Be
Determined

David Nahmias said he regularly raised concerns, and was at meetings where "other •
Department of Justice people raised concerns, about Department of Dame's approach to
Interrogations, which was not the law anibrceinent&BI approach. He Said "we' raised those .
concerns with DOD/OGC and with "other Mks in the government* He said the person they
spoke with most in DOD/OGC was Whit Cobb. also Marshal Billingsley — head of detainee
group (which dealt with 1861.108 of whether detainees were enemy combatants and other issues
and was part of SOLIC — (pt I am.pretty sure this is something like special office fbr low
David Nahmias
Interview 2 at 14:05 -
18:35
intensity conflict*. David Nelunias said he did not remember talking toAt)ifillre. U.S.
Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba issues — but yes ral(b)(6) [not being actively
interrogated after he was transferred to military custody as an enemy cornMatent. (Nei:tins
was concerned Department of Defense seemed to be sitting on its hands after getting custody
of him.) ,
DOJOIG014091
To Be
Determined
David Nahmias said his concerns went to the effectiveness of Department of-Defense's.
interrogation approach. Hessid 'Our understadding" was that Department of Defense was
using U.S. ArrnYSurvive, Escape, Resistance and Evasion techniques and particularly tactical
intelligence gathering. He said Department of Defense did not seem to have trained • -
interrogatom they did not seem to have people who knew a whole lot about terrorism or AQ
they did not go in trying to develop long term rdattonihips with folks to get strategic
intelligence over an extended, period of time. That was the focus of discussions he said he had
with Tedeml Bureau of Investigation all the time and within Departinentrif Justice and with
lots of people in Department of Defense and 'throughout the government" David Nahmias
_David Nahmias
Interview 2 at 18:45 -
20:33
.
' said Alice Fisher was involved in 'mime" of these discussions, but he had more of a role in.
meeting with regularly with thefedard Bureau of Investigation, Department of Dense and
some other folks. Alice Fisher would sometimes make those meetings and sometimes not.
.
Nahmias said he usually briefed her OR his meetings, though the level of detail varied. He said
she certainly knew about the effectiveness-issue, as did many people in Department of Justice
and elsewhere in the government.
'
To Be David Nahmias said that it was difficult to separate out what he may have read about after the David Nahmiaa
DOW:Mined fact and what he learned about at the time. But he said that he understood from Federal Interview 2 at 21:50 -
Bureau of Iriveatigation that the approach that-was the subject oft* 00%1V-fleas 0.4.10
i» eluded yelliiig at detimees, perhaps sleep deprivation "though not in any...really thought
through sophisticated way.' He said he was not sure of the other techniques. Era impression,
which was formed in various including during a trip to US. Naval Base Guantanamo
24:10 ' .
Bay, Cuba with was that the Department of Defense approach was to yell at
. detainees, tell them trey were 'ble AQ peop1e• and they'd better talk or else horrible things
would happen to them, whereas Federal Bureau- ofInvestigation and Criminal Investigative
Task Force way was to explain to them they were in a horrible situation, apart from their
families, abandoned by their former colleagues, that -"we know more than they know,' and it
was in their best interest to talk.
To Be David Nahmias Said he recalled that Alice Fisher was present during conversations at which David Nahmias
Determined the interrogation methods were described in a 'generic" way, such as referring to the Federal Interview 2 at 24:35 -
Bureau of Investigation approach as "Strategic" and Department of Defense's as 'tactical,' 26:28
iI i tat v, h' to reason w He also thinks he'discusseci with Alice Fisher
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atannialevelof aeueralint_thiconcern that Department of Defense's interrogation of
1(b)(1) was not going to be efibctive. He said he does not know if
'
Mica Fisher ever saw the interrogation plan fod 01)(1) 1 David ,
Narlial3 said Department of Dehnse had a 'very aggressive" interrogation plan for
(b)( 1 ) at least on paper. He said it did not seem to he very effective
in the early stages and he thought Department of „IklemmdklnotrmtaerdittiNith It He said
the concern re. the effinitiveness of the plan for (b)(1) was also,
discussed with Federal Bureau ofinvestigation and Department of Detente.
To Be
mined
To Be
Determined
David blahmila said he doeslot remember Federal Beam of Investigation ever raising
concerns about the legality of any interrogstion technique. Had Federal bureau of
Investigation done so, "that would have caught my attention,' dud hq didn't remember that
r_eer ydo • _uL
David -
Interview 2 at 26:30 -
27:30.
David Nahmies does recall the Federal Bureau of Investigation hamming coneerris whethm the David Nahmies
Interview 2 at27:30 -
28:35
__. . ,
plan foil (b)(1) ]was going to be efFective and that some of the
techniques on the-list were extremely aggressive, hut, based on his dim re coftection of the
plans, there were many levels of review at each step of the process and he was not sure if we'
WM got Put the-first step of the process. He said he recalls that he saw Interrogation plans, or
drafts, DNR.iftven or lust shown at. nratinas at the - .-- - _ . .... _ ... -__
Talk
Deteimined
David Mihail saline iitterukidlissiiiings re. interro:a= jlib)(1 ) I David Nahnuas
Interview 2 at 28:35 -
29:12
but the focus of those meetings. from "our" standpoint was that we were very concerned about
him and the jilted! he had and we were not convinced that either Department of Defense was
netting the intell he had or that the kit& they were reoorthut was accurate.
To Be
Determined
(b)(5) David Nahrniate
Interview 2 at 29:12 -
31:05

To Be n.- . I Wheal_ tLenal Analyslit doctunent was descatibed to David Nahmies, David Nahmias
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Determined David Nam* said it did not nn,g a belly (b)(51 IMervlew 2 at 31:15 -
(b)(5) 33:10 •
To Be
Determined
(b)(5) David Nahmias
Interview 2 at 33/.0 -
34;00 .
To Be
Determined

Interviewer attempted to refielh David Nahmias's recollection by asking if he recalled v.hother
he,learned about ti"t1e-_.±. .. i ,. ' from the Federal Bureau of Investigation during a
David Nahmias
Interview 2 at 34:00 -
36:30 •
.
meeting at win MIMI Laura Parsky, and possibly Bruce and Alice Fisher
weft present during m7. 1 , laape was raised, including,the concern by that
the individuals involved as Federal Bureau of Investigation agents , no
but he did recall a concern about Department of Defense
impersonating 1? wean investigation agents, but not in that contest_ Herald it was
in the context of "making some kind of overture" to detainees, but he DN the context. He
sew the It weem e ',unique wog," the imperaanatice, but that•it has1 happened 04 several.
occasions not PI* hi VS. WM Base duantenanto BaY, Cuba but some incident abroad as
well. DNR meeting with Laura Parity, Bitsie Swartz, and Alice Fisher at which this was
deicribed.
To Be
Determined
. '
David Nehmen said he did recall a meeting with hi , Bruce Swartz and David Nalimiai
Interview 2 at 36:30 -
38:35
Laura Parsky — he DNlit Alice trishefbeing present — at which' !described
several other things anecdotally — stories of things at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo BaY,
Cuba, he didn't know If they-Were true. David Nahmias thinks this was alter Alice Fisher had
left. David tiahmias remembers supposedly a Esau& soldier baring her chest at a detainee,
and somehow using an Israeli flag or invoking Israel in an interrogation. DNR helicopter
incident being raised, but it might have been Idol laying out a whole bunch
of things. He didn't know if they were true, but ilea Were eno4vitlisf these "apocryphal"
stories to make it a concern. DM anything about perfume or water — but there may have
been something a or or like that. General Idea Was Department of
A
6
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OIG-arFV-001065.
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Defame was using things that very observant Muslims would find offensive to try to =Inns
information. DNR helko or other eel threat. .
To Be
Determined
After the meeting at ' relayed these anecdotal stories, David Nahmias David Nahmias
Wen/1m 2 at 38:40 -
40:02

said they briefed Stuart Levey, principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, and either Stuart
Levey or Bruce SWer12 and Nahmias went over to brief /Oho Bellinger, Legal Advisor to the
National Security Council.. David Nehrnias recalled that this took place approximately in Fall
to end of 2003 — before Abu 0 became-pubiic in early 2004. He said 'we .., raised it as an
effectiveness point with John Bellinger.' and we knew he shareitour concerns re.
effectiveness.
To Be
Determined
David Nahmias said there was a debate going on at the time about U.& Naval Base
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba re, whether it was worth it — the international pressure we were -
getting on U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba versus its value as an knell gathering
center. The 'point" of the stories that David Nehmias retard to Bellinger was, "this is the
stupid sluff that Department of Defense might do that isn't going to get you anywhere. If you
offend somebody, you're not going to get good information. • The ordy good info is corning
from u• • based -,,, . • . . , _
Da* Nahmias
Interview 2 at 40:02 -
40:51
To Be
Determined
. -
David Nahmias said that dining.the meeting with Bellinger he probably used examples — the David Nahmias
. Interview:2 4.40:51 -
41:42
.
. baring of the breast and the use of pig oil -- but used the same caveat! lhad, i.e.,
we don't know for a fid that these things happened. He said they were not retemag it-as a .
specific incidents or allegation ((misconduct, but rather, these are the kinds of stories that are
going around and, assuming any of them are true, this is illustrative of the kind of stuff
Department of Defense would be doing. David Nahmias reiterated that his recollection was
that none of these Incidents had to do with physical abuse or mistreatment.
To Be •
Determined
David Nahmlas said he utent through Stuart Levey before briefing John Bellingeibecause the
DAG's Office coordinates relationships with the White House..
David Nahmias
Interview 2 at 41:42 -
To Be
Determined
David Nebulas said Bellinger's relation to the anecdotes David Nahritias relayed was the
same as others' reactions: this is Vivid." It is not effective and if it gets out in the publiC it
will cause yet more backlash against the 11S. and U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bah Cuba
and it has no value as an intell, • t- , , • , a.
42:15
David Nalimias - -
Interview 2 at 42:15 -
42:52
To Be When asked ' • , ' , t them -- ,,- with john : elli , :.- there was , , smite of b ' , :L: this David Nahmias
DOJOIG014095
OI&INIV-001066
Determined inibrmation to his attention because Department of Justice had already raised these issues with
Department of Defense and perhaps John Bellinger could raise this issue attbe National
Security Council level to NG if Someone could intervene and try to get this Well-gathering
mission on a better track, David Nahmias said "That's why we went to see John Bellinger."
David Nahmias said he did not know what John Bellinger did with the information be
provided to him. .
Interview 2. at 42:52 -
43:45, 4423 - 44:38

To Be
Determined
David Nahmias said shortly after his meeting with John Bellinger, Abu 0 became public and
then everyone agreed that this was all outrageous conduct, but this was not in the context of
this is criminal or this is torture Of violation of a stet" but rather, this was not effective, this
was not smart policy, this was not a good way to do business.
David Nalunias.
Interview 2 at 43:45 -
44:22
David Nahmias
Interview 2 at 45:00 -
46:48
'
.
David Nahniias
Interview 2 at 41:30 -
48:50

To Be
Determined
David Nahmias said pretty much everyone involved in terrorism at Department of kale* —
including Bruce Swat; Lairs Paraky, Alice Fisher,. David Nahmias, Christopher Wray,
Michael Chertoff, Larry Thompson, Jim Comey, Stuart Levey at a later point, John Ashcroft
and some of his senior stag and Antrim M. Cummings and john S. Pistole entRobett S.
Mueller, III — were aware of concerns about the ineffectiveness of Department of Defense
interrogations. Concern about this ineffectivenem generally, as well 113 COMUIS about
effectiveness of interrogations of specific detainees, were "a repeated issue during my entire
time rt justice." _
Tb Be
Determined
.

,
brividNahreias aid the issue of Peparanant Cif Defenseinterragations' effectiveness
generally, not necessarily tied to particular incidents, was raised. in meetings with Centred
Intelligence Agency 000 people, totally with Department of Defense GOC there as well
During Bell ingert detainee working soup meetings, this issue would periodically come up.
^nu fairly confident that it was raised in Deputy Committee or Ptincipaht ComMittee
meetings about U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba." This was partly in the context of
'what is US. Naval Base Civantanamo Bay, Cuba going to be?' The State Department was
getting tremendous pressure about U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Department .
of Defense was claiming it was a critically inaportarr intelligence center. There were
diseussions about whether it was a valuable lintel gathering place, and in those discussions
issues about the. tad effectiveness of intell ,../11. "came ii. ail the time.°
To.Be
Determined
When asked if John Ashcroft was personally involved in raising concerns . . -Win= David Namibia
(b)(1 ) Nabmiaa said, that Michael Chertoff and John Ashcroft had issues Interview 2 at 48:50 - .
DOJOIG014096
about whothorllip)t 'l ) Pas being effectively interiOgated, fir example, 52:25
.
'
-
.
abort his imowledge of sleeper cells in the U.& Was Department OD:those capable Of
effectively getting this Well from him. David Nalunias said that he, along with Alice Fisher,
raised these concerns with MOW Chestoff and then they were raised up the chain to John
Ashcroft. David Nalunias said that, as Ali as he knew, he'did not think John Ashcroft and
Michael Chertoff actually saw the, intertogation plan fix1(1A 1 l 1
David Nabmias said that he did not know "in detail' what John Ashcroft did with these
concerns, but he said he knew there were meetings in which John Ashcroft and Michael
Chertoff weep involved — David Nahmias did not attend them so he-doesn't all ail the details —
but the ides math& we had a very valuable detainee, and fun, we did-not-think we were
getting the intell this detainee had and, second, there were concerns that reported intell from
him was not always accurate, both because he may beim just been lying and Department of
Defense reported those-lies cut and concerns re. whether Department ofDefease was
accurately rooming what detainee said. DevidNahtnias said he helped brieflvfichael Chertoff
and John Ashcroft in preparation for these meetings, but he &A recall if they were smell
group meetings with ether senior officials or principals' committee mediasn. David Nahmias
. , . - , ., a series of internal talking points and briefing material on (b)(1)
(b)(1)
to
Determined
To Be
Determined
s David Nahtn'-iis -'—'
rater-view-2 at 52:25 -:
54:15
hDavid Nahmias acid that die briefing material he mentioned earlier re 1( )( J David Nahmiaa

To Be
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01G-INTV-001068
Determined 0)(5) Inter vieW 2 at 54:55 -
55:55
To Be
Determined
When asked what if anything he learned ever happened as a result of these meetings that took
place up his chain ofcommand to raise-these issues of effectiveness and greater FBliDOI
involvement, David Nahmias said 'that his recollection Was that everyone was continually
frustrated by the inability to get any-changes or progresic
David Nahmias does not recall a specific meeting at Cliertoffs office described by Pasquale
D'Amuro, at which Alice Fisher was present, and David'Kelley may have been, concerning
whether Federal Bureau of InveStigation would be allowed to have access to a TIVT who had
been taken into custody. David Nalunias said he recalls lots of meetings like that where we
would talk abort these issues, but the actual decisions on who was going to talcs the lead on a
given SVD were worked out between Robert S. hinejler, XII, John Ashcroft, the DAG, and
their counter-parts. .
David Nahmias
Interview 2 at 55:55 -
56:433
David Nahrolim
Interview 2 at 57:00 -
1:00:46
Toile
Determined '
To Be
Determined
David Nehru* said that FederearBureau of Investigation never held the detainee in custody
overseas, so the issue was always taking fix access Ikon either the' ibreign government or one
of our agencies that was holding the detainee. *
David Wallin said he couldn't answer a question about whether he.Imew Alice Fisher may
have been involved in any meeting at which treatments or interruption methods were ..
*Armed, indlurfmg.that Department of Yustice may have irdhrmed Department ofDefense,
Central Intelligence Agency, or others,that certain of those techniques were legally
. permissible, without ditto SCI inftxmation.
David Nahmias
Interview 2 at
1:00:46 -1:01:48
David Nalimias
Interview 2. at 1:02 1 .
1:03:10
' .
To Be
Determined
To Be
Determined
David Nahmiea said there werel th)f 5) David Nahmiaa .
Interview 2 at 1:04 -
l:05:03
(b)(5)
TO Be
Determined
David Nahmiad
Interview 2 at
1:14:10 - 1:16:08
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To Be (b)(5) David Nahrolas-
Detemined Iaterdew 2 at
1:22:32
DOJOIG014099

Doc_nid: 
11457
Doc_type_num: 
73