CaseMap Facts Report - Larry Thompson Interview 1

The document includes notes from interviews conducted with FBI personnel Larry Thompson, regarding his knowledge of concerns about overseas detainee treatment, his advocacy for civilian control of Iraqi prisons, and discussions about the status of unlawful enemy combatants.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Caselylap Facts Report
Filter: Linked To Source(s): "Larry Thompson Interview I" - 22 of 79H (0.3%) Filtered
Case: Fal in Military Z.Ones
Created: 2/2,4t2009 11:1S:33 AM
Pate &
Fact Te;ct . Sotireeks).
' • '
To Be
From May 2001 through Sept or early October 2003, Larry Thompson served as Deputy
Attorney General under John Ashcroft_ . .
Larry Thompson
Interview 1 at 1;30
To $e .
Larry Thompson does not recall over getting, receiving or learning about concerns regarding
overseas detainee treatment. Larry Thortpson was aware, in the aftermath of 9/11, of some
Federal Bureau of Investigation concerns but the need to "clear" detainees who had been
arrested and were being held in the U.S. (they needed time to conduct nedessary interviews,
etc.) 4:00 Larry Thompson also recalls an issue coming up about w)seller detainees overseas
should 13 interrogated-by the -Federal 13 llreall of Investigation versu I
Larry Thompson
Interview l at 230 •
the military. Larry Thompson said that the Federel-BureattofInvestigatioris
post ran was that the other people don't really know how to do it - we know how to do it - this is
how we're trained - this is what- wr. (kfor a IIVI ne DUTV TIOnipson recall's getting examples of
"clumsy' interrogation byj he military. He does not recall
anything abusive or 'torture.' He does recall that they were planning to not interview the
person for a long period- of time — not interviewing them for 2-3 mouths at a time,(though he
said some might consider that abuse). Some of this, Larry ThOmpson said, he "discounted"
some of this as rivalry between people. One-of these examples of "clumsy' handling was with
Padilla. 6:30,
To Be
Re: F131030689CBT (White House Briefing papers). Larry Thompson recalls advocating for
civilian control of prisons in Iraq (and he notes that if that had been the case, the Abu Ghreib
Prison scandal would likely not have happened). Larry Thompson also stated that, if the topic
of unlawful combatants or the Geneva Conventions came up during a Deputies meeting. then
probably would not have discussed anything but that. Armitage and Paul Wolfowitz
Larry Thompson
Interview -1 at 6:30
- 13:30
DATE: OE-18-11:10
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REA3O1: 1.4 (Source)i
DECLASSIFY ON: 02-18-2026
would have just argues about those issues. 13.30.
To Be
The Office of the Inspector General asked whether Larry Thompson,could recall learned of Larry Thompson
Interview I at 13:30
- 14:30
Federal Bureau of Investigation interaction with f
land Federal Bureau .orinvestipTafion
concerns that developed based on their observations of him and his treatment. Lany Thompson
said be remembered "something like that"but did hot know which detainee-it related to. 14:30
To Be
According to the Department of Justice ors chart; the Federal Bureau of Investigation Director
reports to the DAG. Larry Thompson said he had a good relationship with Mueller and Mueller
was not difficult to work with. 15:30, Lan-y Thompson saidthe issue of whether the Federal
Buread of Investigation would ase 'alternate" methods was not brought to him for a decision.
He said he recalls some discussion, not sure with who, in which a concern was expressed about
agents having Giglio problems if they were exposed-to non-law enforcement techniques. 17:00
Larry Thompson
Inferview.1 at 14:30
- 17:00
To Be
Someone from the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Pasquale D'Amuro or soineone else from
the Federal Bureau 0/Investigation, would attend Deputies meetings with-Larry Thompson, if
the to.ic was relevant to the Federal Bureau of Invest' tion. 18:00.-
Larry Thompson
Interview I at 17:00
- 18:00
To Be
Larry Thompson luterifiew 1 became aware in 2002 that other non-traditional law enforcement
techniques were being used, though he does not know exactly when ht became aware of that.
He recalls discussing them with-tvfichael Chertpff or sdrnecitie front Office of Legal Counsel.-
Larry- Thompson
interview I at ll3 :11)
maybe John C. Yoo, 18:55. The only specific technriroies Larry Thompson could recall
discussing was waterboarding-(which was approved) 120.30. Larry Thompson never approved any or mese 'Pings, nut lie got rue
impression they were approved. He does not recall seeing memos approving these techniques.
Lany Thompson got the impressionthat there were things iv which Department of Justice had
said no, 21:30. Healed got the impression that the approved techniques has been effective.
I To Be
Larry Thompson recalls going-to D.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for a visit on two
occasions (FB1040689CBT reflects a visit in-September 2002). 22:30. Larry Thompson does
not recall issues corning up, during the trip, relating to interrogation techniques. He looked at
the facilities. Larry Thompson does not think there were any confidential briefings at which.
such issues would have been discussed. It was more of a tour, 24:30.
La rry'ThoMpson
Interview I at 21:50
- 24:30
To Be Re: D0J015614CRIYI (Dec I2 email front[ .o Nahanias with military memo attached). . Larry Thompson
Determined Larry Thompson said he does not recall thatmeino, but he recalls the general discussion about
whether unlawful enemy combatants would be subject to the Geneva Convention. 26:25. Larry
Thompson said that when he-gave a speeches about this topic, when discussing the limits of
what we do in the war on terror, he used the example of interrogators posing as persons of a
' foreign nation . Larry Thompson said this Was in reference to someone captured by the
Interview I at 24:30
- 31:30
Phitlippinos who was planning to Wow up planes over the pacific ocean and who provided
information on Ramsey Yusef (46:00) . Larry Thompson said thePhillippinos put out
cigarettes on his skin and they put sticks up his "private parts" and he would not talk. Then
they told hiathey would turn hint over to Israeli intelligence (Mossad). and then he started
talking. Larry Thompson said he gave this as an example of the limits of what we can do as a
society, Larry Thompson said he also mentioned in his speech the 1999 decision of the Israeli
Supreme Coun which decided that moderate physical /Assure would not be permitted. The
decision was hugely unpopular, according to Larry Thompson. Larry Thompson said there was
a huge paradigm shift after 9/11 from protecution to prevention and there was .a big push to
share information, so you had to do things differently, but you still had limits. "How do you
strike a balancer was the focus of his speech, lie said. 31:30
To Be Larry ThoMpson said thaethe problem in terms of "loosening" the rules for Federal Bureau of Larry Thompson
Determined Investigation agents is that it bleeds over intoour criminal justice system. 32:45. Wry _ Interview 1 at 31:30
Theitipsoit Said he would not worry about this if we had a "ticking- bomb" situation, but going - 33:00
- fol and you do not want to expose Federal Bureau of Investigation agents to interrogation
techniques if it would cause the countwrobierns_ 33:00.
To Be' Larry Thompson
Larry Thompson remembeTrsht he name I fiSI)(1 ) land the connection
betweenIfb)(1 ) lanclthe 9/11 conspiracy seemed familiar to Larry Interview .I at 33:00
Thompson. 35:30. Larry ompson recalled discussions relating to Lindh, Padilla and
lacarias Moussaoui, but did not recall specifically a discussion of whether or not the 'end
- 40:30
game" with 1(15)(1) [would include the possihility of a criminal
prosecution. 37:00. Larry Thompson recalled some friction between the.Federal Bureau of
Investigation and Department of Defense, but primarily relating to Padilla. Larry Thompson
said the Federal Bureau of Investigation thought the Militaryalechnique.s were clumsy (such as
the tactic of not interrogating someone for a. long time with the expectation that-they would then
open up and henin speaking). 39:00. Larry Thompson kept wondering why it was taking so
long to make a decision about what to do with Padilla.. 39:20, Larry Thompson said. he did not
have contact with the military about this. 40:90. He said the discussions he had with it were
mostly intenial to Department ofiustice, Larry Thompson said he asked for briefings to find
out what was taking o long. 40:30.
To Be
Larry Thompson said that there were times when the military made a decision that people
would be deemed "combatants" and then it was a military issue. Larry Thompson does not
recall such a decision specific to
Larry Thompson
Interview I at 40:30
- 42:001
(b)(1) 42:00.
To Be
There.were some documents that Larry Thompson's office received plating to Deputies
meetipgs. 44:00. He would review the documents before the meeting, and would meet with
Mac to discuss it, and then go to the meeting, 44:30, Larry Thompson did not attend every
meeting. 44:30.
Larry Thompson
Interview i at 42:00
- 44:30
To Be
Re; AGLetter.doc, Larry Thompson laid that he had not previously seen this document Larry
Thompson said he has no recollection of a proposed strategy suck as the one described being
proposed or debated at Department ofIustice. 48:00.
Larry Thompson
Interview L at 44:30
- 48:00
Re: 8/7/2003 EC that mentions his travel to I.I.S. Naval Base Cniantananio.Bay, Cuba, Larry
Thompson said he did not go more than twice. Larry-Thompson does not recall the pprpose of
this second trip to1.I.S. Naval base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, or what was discussed, 50:00
Larry Thompson
Interview I at 48:00
- 50:00
Larry Thompson
Interview t at 50.00
- 51:30, -
To Be
Does Larry Thompson recall going to repatriation meetings with Alice Fisher? Larry
Thompson said 'it could have happened.' 51:00 He cannot recall anything that was or was not
discussed at such a meetinj. 51:30.
To Be.
13.e: 5/30103 EC, does Larry ThOmpsomrecail seeing that document while he was at Department
of Iustice? Larry Thompson said no, and it would be very unlikely that as DAG he would set
anythin&as detailed as the 5/30/03 EC with attachmeats. 53:00
Larry Thompson
Interview I at 52:00
- 53:00
To Be
Larry Thompson reviewed the agendas of the National Security Coordination Committee which
were provided to the Office of the Inspector General by David Laufman. He noted that the
to • ic of intern): : ••o tec • ues does not a • • ear on the mules. 55:4. •
Larry Thompson
Interview 1 at 53:00
- 55:10.
Ilan issue were going to be raised byDepartment of Testae at the Deputies, Conntiittee or the
principles Committee regarding a dispute between Federal Bureau of Investigation and
De •arttnent of Defense as to who would take the lead on an interro: tMn and what techniques
Larry ThompSon
Interview I at 55:10
- 58:30.
would be used in connection with an unlawful enemy combatant, what documents would
normally be created and who would be the custodian of those records? Something as casespecific
as to who would be the lead on an interrogation would be an issue the prosecutor would
raise. Where there is no prosecutor, Larry ThoMpson said maybe justice wasn't as involved
with the overseas people. He said the issues may have been dealt with by Office of Legal
Counsel, in terms of what was legal. 57:00. With respect to the policy questions, the Deputies
focused more on the macro issues. Getting down to the details of the actual interrogation

techniques would probably come to Office of Legal Counsel. 58;00, If it involved someone on .
US soil, such as Padilla, then a lawyer or the Federal Bureau of Investigation might raise an
issue. 58:30.
To Be Larry Thompson does not recall anyone raising an allegation regarding a person being taken in Larry ThoMpson
Determined a helicopter or boat insuch a manner that the person might develop the impression that he or interview I at 58.30
she would or could be thrown out or thrown overboard. Larry Thompson recalls working with - 1:02:30.
Bruce Swartz, but does not recall hearing of this incident, 1:00:34. Larry Thompson said the
one he remembers is the idea of burying someone, and the decision was made (not by Larry
Thompson) that we would not permit that. 1:01:00. Does Larry ThompsonleCall, generally,
that the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported hearing about techniques they disagreed with
and that Department of Justice tried to raise these types pfeoncerns with the National Security
Council blit that Department ofJustice did not make much headway? Larry Thompson saYt
no, lie does not recall that. Larry Thompson said he does not recall Robert S. Mueller, III
_ coming to Him with those types of concerns. 1:02:30.
To Be Larry Thompson wotild expect that the agency who has custody and control of-a combatant Larry Thompson
Determined would follow their rules. Conversely, if a-person was being prosecuted..then Department of Interview 1 at
Justice practices would be follbwed. 1:05;00. Larry Thompson recalls that, once a person was
being prosecuted; Department of justice would not depart its practice. Larry Thompson
mentioned.that some advocated, in the Lindh case, that Department of Justice should not
disclose information it had been ordered to disclose by a judge. Larry Thompson advocated for
us teh cotws—a2aMm; andanni; etc, 1:07;00. -
1:03:00 - 1:07:00
- To Be Larry Thompson noted that it is not unusual for different agencies to have rivalries -- he would Larry Thompson
Determined be very•bothered if the techniques used were really "over the.topl and the kinds of things "we Interview 1 at
wouldn't countenance." 1:08:30. Larry Thompson alsonoted that after 9/1 l; t here was no 1:07:00 - 1:09:00.
"play book" to go by on how we would deal with public safety and law enforcement issues. He
said we did our best." He said he and otliersmade mistakes, but They did their best and were
trying to do it in good kith.. 1:09:00.