Letters between Sen. Grassley (R-IA) and Asst. AG Moschella re: Constituent’s Concern Over Memos Defining Torture

An exchange of letters between Senator Charles Grassley and Assistant Attorney General William E. Moschella regarding the OLC's August 2002 memo defining torture. Senator Grassley initiated the exchange by forwarding to AAG Moschella for response a handwritten letter from one of his constituent’s expressing concern about the OLC memo's definition of torture.

Monday, October 18, 2004

. FIErLT to: REPLY To; U 135 HART SENATE ORME &JAMS . 103 FEDERAL COURThOUSE BisLow-sc WASHINGTON. DC 20610-1501 320 STM STREET (202) 224-3744 Sioux Co', IA 51151-1244 (202) 224-4473 (712) 233-1800 E-mel).0husk_grasalsyggrassfey.senlas.gov United Stater senate . 210 WATERLOO ERALorNG . 721 know, Busoma 531 COMMERCIAL STREET 210 WALNUT S TREET WATERLOO. IA 50701-6497 CHARLES E. GRASSLEY DES Maws LA 50309-2140 019/ 232-4657(515) 284-4890 WASHINGTON, DC 20 61 0-1 501 . 131 WEST 3no S. . 206 FEDERAL BUILDING SUITE 180 101 1ST STREET SE. DAVENPORT. IA 52801-1419 CEDAR RAPIDS. IA 5 24 01-1 22 7 . October 18, 2004 1563)322-4331 (315) 363-6892 . 830s700..FEOESA1.67,4 51ntir suus Coupcsu. ewers. IA 51501-4204 (712) 322-7103 Mx. William E. Moschella Assistant Attorney General for Office of Legislative Affairs U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legislative Affairs 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Room L145 Washington, D.C. 20530 IRRIANNI:010:01,MPRZI Dear Mr. Moschella: Enclosed please find a communication from regarding the Office of Legal Counsel Augus. memo defining what is legal and illegal torture. ? I would appreciate any assistance you could provide pertaining to this matter. Please mark your return correspondence to the attention of Curtis Philp when responding to my office. Thank 'you for your attention to my request. Sincerely, Charles E, Grassley United States Senator CEG/cp Enclosure CHAIRMAN, FINANCE Committee Assignments: BUDGET CHAIRMAN. INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS JUDICIARY CONTROL CAUCUS AGRICULTURE MMEDONRECNIMOWER ? //e7t9623 ou 04 SEP 22 Al112 : 35 igepe4 oi.art). .092.144a444i) 0->niLti. at/4 aa-cu). jAukuit 0. c)tLmLIS 1 ef-t ,eeJo. -7;ex,`t.4 i-As_ti Wk4124 05)? 012,,kord 5 WAIN-0MM U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legislative Affairs Washington, D.a 20530 Office of the Assistant Attorney General Dec'ember 17, 2004 The Honorable Charles E. Crossley United States Senate Washington, D.C. 20510-1501 Attn.: Curtis Philp Dear Senator Grassley: mi ntwonomill;!1.1 This is in response to your letter forwarding an inquiry from asked for "the US Government definition of torture when it applies in e United States is a party to the U.N. Convention Against Torture and internationa aw. Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted Dec. 10, 1984, S. Treaty Document No. 100-20 (1988), and the Convention includes a definition of torture as any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing WM or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any End, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions. Art. 1 at 19. In ratifying this Convention, the United States adopted the following understanding of what constitutes torture: [Title United States understands that, in order to constitute torture, an act must be specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering and that mental pain or suffering refers to prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from:. (1) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering; (2) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality; (3) the threat of imminent death; or (4) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe Physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind altering The Honorable Charles E. Grassley Page Two substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality. 136 Cong. Rec. 36198 (1990). This understanding sets the terms of the United States' obligations under the Convention. FR141P.WPROMM;61 also asks "[w]hich US Government prisoners can be legally tortured under international law." International law, as well as the law of the United States, forbids torture. Please let us know if we may be of further assistance. Sincerely, t -KULA-William E. Moschella ? Assistant Attorney General