CaseMap Facts Report - Laura Parsky Interview 1

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The document includes notes from interviews conducted with FBI personnel Laura Parsky, regarding her work related to the issues at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay as well as concerns that she raised to the detainee Policy Coordinating Committee about detainee treatment and interrogation techniques.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

DATE 11-09-200 BY CS179 DMH/13c
CaseMap Facts Report
rater: Linked To Source(s): "Laura Parsky Interview I" or Linked To Souree(s): "Laura Parsky Interview Notes 8/25/2005"
- 3$ of 7832 (0,4%) Filtered
Case: FBI in Military Zones
Created: 2/26/2009 10:5E02 AM
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Laura Parsky has been since April 2004 and is currently a Deputy Assistant AO in the Criminal
Division, reporting to the AAG, first Christopher Wray, then John Richter, acting AAG since
about May 2005 -
- Soutee(S)- '
Laura Parsky
Interview 1 at 5:00 -
To Be '
From Nov, 2003 to April, 2004, Laura Parsky-was- on a detail to the National Security Council,
working on international justice issues there.
Laura Parsky
Interview 1 at 10:31
To Be
Laura Parsky served as Counsel-to the AAG, CrimmalDivision from June 2002 to November
2003, working with Bruce Swartz almost exclusively (counter-intelligence and counteresiio
e , el Chertoff was the e.
Laura Pariky
Interview 1 -at 10:53
To Be
Laura .Paraicy said Shelhterectid wit awards the end of her time as counsel, in Laura Parsky
connection with issues at U.S. Naval ase antanamo Bay, Cuba, with Bruce Swartz. Interview 1 at 16:50
- Specifically, she said the US was getting MLAT (Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties) requests
for documents, possibly detainee interviews, & extradition re uest re. U.S. Naval Base
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detainees and they worked wi as a liaison with
LEGAT's and to get info directly from Federal Bureau of Investigation records-re. U.S. Naval
Base Guantananxi Bay, Cuba detainees. *
To Be
Laura Parsky said that, toward the- end of her time as-Counsel, she participated in the National
Security Council policy coordinating committee meetings. She said she continued to work-On
the detainee Policy Coordinating Committee while serving her detail at National Security
Laura Parsky
Interview I at 23:50
- 25:10
To Be 1
Determined !
Laura Parsky said there -was a time wher raised issues about the effectiveness
of Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cut interrogations. She said she had brought this to
Laura Parsky
'U.S. Interview I at 28:10.
b:i Per Elq
Bruce Swartz's attention, who had raised it with Sohn Bellinger. She said she met with - 32:15

I I Bruce Swartz, and others (David Nahmias?) before communicating the info in a
telephone call to Bellinger -- to talk through what they were going to tell John Bellinger, Laura
Parsky said the individuals present at the meeting were in her notes. [The notes to which P2
thi ' ferring shows a meeting on 11/19/03 among NaluniasD, Swart2B,1
and 011(6) On )..] Laura Perky said she recalls a speakerphone telephone call to John Bellinger
to to this concern, and she said she rememerbs that she, Bruce Swartz, and David
Nahmias were M the room. She said she can't guarantee this is right but she reniemerbs the
meeting took place in Alice Fisher's old office when David Nahmias was the Deputy AAG, so
Alice Fisher would already have gone,
To Be
Laura Parsky said it was not uncommon for.Department of Justice to raise an issue — like the
issue raised about the efficacy oltl.S. Navel-Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba interrogations -- to
John Bellinger, as he had the lead for the detainee Policy Coordinating Committee, and they
were dealing with lots of different issues at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo. Bay; Cuba. She said
there were some things Department of Defense held very close and didn't want to share with
other agencies, saying "thew are our operations and this is our prerogatives," and to-some
extent, going to John Bellinger and saying 'are Your operations effedive" was breaking that
Laura Parsky .
Interview I at 33:00
- 34:00 .
To Be
- Determined
Parsky-DNR any deliberative convefsitibns among Departined tifJustice OOni:erring whether
to raise these concerns to 'aim Bellinger, but 'we raised things with John Bellinger all the
time." Laura Parsky said she was net privy to the counterrorism part of U.S. Naval Base
Laura Parsky
Intei-view 1 at 34:30
- 37:00
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba operations. She said Inade certain. comments to her
offhandedly, she passed them to Bruce Swartz, and he said, let's get-dps info.and give it to John
Bellinger. .
To Be
Laura Parsky said that this communication of information -- from to her to Laura Barsky
Interview ] at 37:00
- 38:28
Bruce Swartz to John Bellinger — wasn't really 'reporting" in the official sense. S e said that
the way these things came up 'was as off- handed as you can imagine.;, just an anecdote as he is
sitting there with nothing better to do.' For example, he'd say, ''you know what I heard?" of "I
am really frustrated that they are making a mess of things down there.' That was the context in
which Labra Parsky said she would raise these issues. Laura Pars* said Ititade
several ofthese off-handed remarks over time.
1,5 Per FG"
To Be -
Laura Parsky said she knew that part ofl ifrustration was that Department of
She said
the details
based on
Laura Parsky
Interview I at 38:28
- 40:30
Defense's interrogation methods made potential witnesses "tin-useable' in U.S. cases.
she wasn't part of wofking on those U.S. counter-terrorism cases so she didn't know
of that. She said the decision to raise the effectiveness issue with John Bellinger was
the cumulative effect of bath the off handed anecdotes, noted above, as well as t
frustration. That's whet caused Laura Parsky, Bruce Swartz, David Nahmias, and
Ito all get together and figure out, based on these-different pieces, was worth ng at
more carefully.
'Based on having recently looked at her notes of the meeting in advance of the conversation
with Jo hit Bel linger, Laura Parsky recalls that they raised the following issues, First, site
understands there.are 2 schools of interrogation— rapport- building (Federal Bureauof ,
Laura Parsky
Interview 1 at 40:55
- 42:20
Investigation approach) vs. U.S.(1)(5)
(Department of Defense approach . De rtment of Defense would have first access-to the
to John
be in
the infodetainees,
and one of things ggested, and what we would suggest
Bellinger as a way to improve, ow he Federal Bureau of Investigation either
there the first time or start the interrogation process so that, if the detainee cooperated,
could then-be used.
Tq Be
Laura Parsley said that, in terms of the anecdotes' I.elayed to her, she recalled Laura Parsky ,
Interview I at 43:08
- 46:31
and these may be classified, not sure what level, but probably not more than TS)
s in her office °venting" frustrations about dealingwith Department of D1' ) =I
. bureaucracy & personality issues. He would relay "hearsay upon hearsay," .i.e., "you're not
going to believe what I heard' kind of thing. One of the things Laura Pariiity said she recalled
was he told her about a female-detainee who lied taken off her top and rubbed her breasts in a
detainee's face, or pot on an Israeli flag, or used pigs oil, or said it was pig's oil -- those types of
tactics. Laura Pinsky said her reaction was disgust ,- she didn't believe at the time there was
any thing criminal in that -- but that it was 'disgusting and highly inappropriate" for a U.S.
official. That's why she shared those anecdotes with Bruce Swartz. She said]
didn't mention any particular detainees -- she said she didn't think] as present
- maybe no Federal Bureau of investigation agent was present- She said she thil 1
aid it was in U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Ba Cuba.
To Be Laura Parsk said that she and tie other Department of Justice Imnfers who talked with Laura Parsky ,
1-,Q Pi? r
Fer F5
P•=r .5E,1"
Determined in advance of the phone call to John Bellinger did not ask hint 'who what where when" Interview 1 at 46:13
type questions about the-anecdotes he had related to them. She said she doesn't think they came
up in the call to..John Bellinger, which was more in the context of — these-guys are doing a
terrible job of interrogating these detainees in U.S. Naval Base' Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and
die are do' ! stuff that Federal•Bureau of ruvestiiation would not do in a million ears.
- 47:10
-To Be
Laura Parsky said that, even though the information was•passed to her very off-handediy -- in Laura Parsky
Interview 1 at 47:10
- 49:52

the context ofl la friend, siting in her office waiting for her while she compiled
documents for him to pick up --L she paSsed it up to Bruce Swarta•because, notwithstanding that
it had nothing to do•with her job responsibilities she found the alleged conduct personally
disgusting and because she knew that Bnice Swartz would have the same reaction both
personally and that he ,was not happy with the whole situation of having•all the detainees at
U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba hie he had to defend it to the international community
and this would fit in with his feelings on the matter, She said that she does not thialcthe details
of the anecdotes were shared with John Bellin er and she doesn't know what David Nahmias
knows about them. She reiterated that, when old her these things, site shared
them with larOCE Swartz and once we had hear enougs in ividual anecdotes PRICE Swartz
wanted John Bellimaer to be more-assertive in terms ofsa in• "we-need to re-examine this.."
To Be
Laura Parsky said that when she relayed-these anecdotes to Bruce Swazi he•alsd found theM ,
peisonatly offensive. Slie.said that she DNR getting into the details of the anecdotes because
site was uncomfortable even discussing them with us and DNR feelingthat way on the
speakerphone with John Bellinger during the discussion, but she couldn't guarantee they-didn't
get into it, and site knows Bruce Swartz talked to John Bellinger all the time and lie may told
him those anecdotes or not.
• Laura Parsky
Interview I at 51:10
To Be

Laura Parsky DNR lolut Bellinger's reaction -- he was receptive to having us make the phone
call & lie was just taking down the info. Laura Parsky DNA learning of any follow up, nor did
she raise-it later -- what ever happened with-the info we gave you? --•but she is not sure where
she was hi her jobs at the time [PZ says: i.e., she may have moved out of the job and so
following up in that way wouidn't.have been realistic/a • • ro• date.
Laura Parsky
Interview 1 at 52:10
To Be
Laura Parsky said her understanding of the incidents was that the detainees'
INTERROGATORS rubbed pig's oil on themselves, which would have been offensive to a
Muslim -- and wrapped themselves in the Israeli flag= not on the detainees. •
Laura Parsky
Interview I at 54:25
}:r. ref rat
To Be '
Laura Parsky explained why no one considered these incidents to raise an issue of a crime,
among Other reasons, at the time the understanding was there was no jurisdiction in U.S, Naval
Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba period and, in any event, no piyicl abuse, no torture.
Laura Parsky
Interview 1 at 54;48
- 56:37
To Be
Laura Parsky said that other than already discussed, site recalls no other interactions with Laura Parsky
Interview 1 at
•1:01:20 .
11 !concerning interrogation or treatment of detainees.
To Be
' Determined
Laura Parsky has met Pasquale D'Arnuro but recalls no interaction with him re. detainee
treatment issues
Laura Parsky
Interview I at
To Be
Laura Parsky said he knows Marion B. "Spike" Bowman but dicinot interact with him re.
detainee treatment issues. -
Laura Parsky
Interview 1 at
To Be
Laura Parsky said she knows Valerie E. Caproni but never interacted with her re. detainee
treatment iSStieS
Laura Parsky ,
Interview 1 at
To Be
Del emitted
LauraParsky said she knows ICerineth It Weinstein but never talked with him re. detainee
treatment issues.
Laura Parsky
interview 1 at
Other than above, Laura Parsky said she can recall no other specific interaction with.any other
goverruuent official concerning the treatment or interrogation tactics of detainees.
Laura Parsky
Interview 1 at
To Be
Laura Parsley said no one ever told het that there was an Federal Bureau of Investigation
em lo ee who had concerns about the legality of the treatment of detainees he was aware of
Laura Parsley
Interview 1 at
plained it to me as, this is not how tbe Federal Bureau of Investigation is I:06:52 - 1:07:44
traised tO pro ace evidence for Court, were working in a different system, there were two
different systems colliding as you had interrogafons for different purposes
To Be
Laura Parsky said that, although she wasn't sure, (13)i1 ) .,. _ J might have Laura Parsky
Interview 1 at
l!14:25 - 1:15:10
been the particular detainee or one of the detainees I lives concerned about that
we would'not be able to be used as a witness or prosecuted.
To Be Laura Parsley said she did not hav nes bbeing taken upp in a helicopter ride Laura Parsley
r FF,T.
Determined as part of an interrogation plan, but then said she didn't know if she had read about that in the
paper or heard about it from Bruce Swartz ager the fact in discussing issues in general — she
Interview 1 at
1:18:00. 1:43:40 -
Laura Parsky ,
Interview I at
1:25:00 — 1:25:57
said she didn't think that was something Rohl her. Then she said she had a dim
recollection, maybe' Itol her but she didnt think so, She later said her faint,
dim familiarity with it was not-any recollection of that the :detainee was threatened with being
pushed out the open door while in the air, but maybe a verbal statement made to Mini like,
"We're going to go an a helicopter ride. It may be your last ride." She said she really may be
making that up as she was tryingto search her very dimiecollection.
To Be Laura Parsky said that, based on her notes of the meeting-1A !anecdotes, one of
Determined the U.S. (b)(5) I may have been to "shake" '
detainees -- but she is rust saving what she thinks her notes reflect rather than any independent
recollection of what] 'told her
To Be
. Determined
Laura Parsky was- s hown a a e-mail stamped DOI025089P.0 froml3ruce Swartzto Laura Parsky
and others dated March J4, 2005 re "updated TPs on letter," i.e., talking.points re. the release
Laura Parsky
Interview 1 at
in unredacted form of the May 10, 2004 e-mail from! 'naming Laura Parsky, 1:28:05 - 1:29:40
David Nahmias, Bruce Swans and Alice Fisher. In the e-mail Laura Parsky was shown, Bruce
Swartz says we did make inquirleaabt an allegation we heard .abt that arguably raised erns
issues -- wh allegation, we were subsequently told, was not-true.' Wten asked ifahe recalled
what allegation Bruce Swartz was referring to in this e-mail, -Laura Parsky said "no."
To Be
Laura Parsky was given a packet of documents starting with DOS024700PR, which is a cover
memo front Chuck Rosenberg to Christopher Wray, and then from Christopher Wray to John
Laura Parsky
Interview i at
Richter, David Nalunias, Laura Parsky, & IbX6) (b)(7)47 and containing the Behavioral 1:29:40 - 1:38
Analysis Unit's 5/30103 EC and attachments. Laura Parsky- aid that, although her name is on
the face of it as one of the people it was copied for, but she did trot recall ever receiving or
reading the document. She said this was right when she came back to Me Department, maybe
her first week or two, and she was not going to the PCCsat that time. She was shown the
attar comaalms Department of Defense's IP forlfbitil 1:1 rid tire
egal analysis, but that did net refresh her recollection, She also recalls no
conversations about the contents of the EC.
To Be
Laura Parsky said that' Kvrote his May 10, 2004 e-mail quite some time after the Latta Parsky
... fact and there may be a.few things that are a little distorted in his recollection of what . Interview 1 at
Determined so. He said he did not communicate' 'concerns to the.Policy Coordinating
repeatedly had complained to
Committee because he understood land DOI 2/4/05 b 6 ,(13) 7) Cj
the Department of Defense about the metteetweness ortheir
thought it was well known that Federal Bureau of Investigation
had a difference of opinion on-tlils issue. (U)
tactics. 116)1611h1(711C1 said he Interview I
and Department of Defense
To Be 10)(6).(b)(7)D I said there was a Policy Coordinating Committee set up especially for1(10(b)(71(C)
Determined detainee issues It was Led by John Bellinger, National
wwaass also present. From Department
Ihterviq Nootteess
of State,
Secury enunei 1 !evil stiff
and 2/4A)5,1(h)(6),(brA I.
From the Office of the Legal Advisor and Pierre Prosper, Ambassador-at-Large for Interview l
War Crimes; from Department of Defeme, lots of eo It from the OGC, Office of the
Secretary of Defense,. Joint Staff, Mcludin OSD/Psych Ops and Low Intensity
Conflict) (lead voice at the meetings), Col. Tony Fortune cOffee of the Secretary of
Defense) Gen, Vincent Brnnlos Isookesman for
(b)(6) said these meetings were not
recorded and no notes taken. (U) (b)(7)(C
To Be (b)(6),(b)(7)(C) said he recalled no discussions at Policy Coordinating Committee meetings (hX6),(bnit)
Determined about detainee interrogation tactics, ahhough-he said it seemed understood that U.S. Naval Interview Notes
Base Guantanamo Bay, Cul:!a did not work as well acit could-producing intel He said he 2/4/05,1001,01(7)(1)
never heard any discussion at Policy Coordinating Committee meetings about what federal Interview i .
agency would take the lead in interrogating particular a particular detainee. He said he
believed such issues were worked at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He said the
Federal Bureau of Investigation would make its case. Federal Bureau of Investigation
• identified a small number of detainees its would work on and left the rest, based on its focus
an domesti threats. (U)
To Be (b)(6),(b)(7)(C) aid there was a process established for reviewing and clearing detainees. 1b)(6),16)(7)(()
Determined DO] would get Department of Defense's recommendation on a particular detainee, take it to Interview Notes
Federal Bureau of Investigation; Federal Bureau of.Investigation would look at the detainee 2/4/05, (1)(6),(b)(71(0
• and decide whether it objected to the Department of DefenT recommendation and then DOT Interview l
Defense, (b)(6),(b)(7)(() said he and
would communicate its position to Department of
and 'David Nahmias-would go to DAG- Corney and discuss
recommendations. (U)
ft.!. FH:
NM (Ong)
i Si