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Fredman, Jonathan M. PDF Print E-mail

Name: Jonathan M. Fredman

(No photographs available)

Profession: Lawyer


Positions in the Bush regime and the Obama administration:

He was Chief Counsel to the CIA's Counter Terrorist Center under Bush from 2002-2004, and employed by CIA since 1987. He is a lawyer in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence under Obama.


War crime charges:

  • Complicity in the commission of the war crime of torture.
  • Complicity in the commission of a war crime detaining and hiding prisoners from the International Red Cross.

According to the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee report:

"On October 2, 2002, Jonathan Fredman, who was chief counsel to the CIA's Counter Terrorist Center, attended a meeting of GTMO staff. Minutes of that meeting indicate that it was dominated by a discussion of aggressive interrogation techniques including sleep deprivation, death threats, and waterboarding, which was discussed in relation to its use in SERE training.

“Mr. Fredman's advice to GTMO on applicable legal obligations was similar to the analysis of those obligations in OLC's first Bybee memo. According to the meeting minutes, Mr. Fredman said that 'the language of the statutes is written vaguely. . . . Severe physical pain described as anything causing permanent damage to major organs or body parts. Mental torture [is] described as anything leading to permanent, profound damage to the senses or personality.'

“Mr. Fredman said simply 'It [torture] is basically subject to perception. If the detainee dies you're doing it wrong.'"

The minutes from the Oct. 2 meeting quoted in the report describe Fredman as saying extreme techniques, like threatening to kill detainees, “should be handled on a case by case basis.” Fredman suggested that there was no inherent reason for the military not to be able to use techniques the CIA had legal clearance to employ.

Fredman is further described by the minutes as discussing moving detainees to avoid their exposure to the International Committee of the Red Cross. He also warned interrogators for the military never to videotape torture interrogations because they will "look ugly."

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