Legal experts say that procedures such as simulated drowning, induced hypothermia, and noise bombardment are highly coercive and can lead subjects to say whatever they think will help stop the harsh treatment. Human rights experts say these kinds of techniques can amount to torture.
The president's public disclosure has prompted a debate in Congress over whether to endorse the CIA's "alternative" interrogation tactics. But Bush is also asking lawmakers to grant retroactive legal immunity to US interrogators who engaged in or were present during these practices. The request is being made despite the president's assurance that they are legal and do not amount to torture.
The government has never acknowledged the identities of the two sources used for the 2002 warrant. Defense lawyers and other analysts identified them by cross-referencing the unique information the sources provided to the government with public sources and documents that matched the same information. In addition to Abu Zubaydah, defense lawyers say the second source used to obtain the Padilla warrant was an Ethiopian named Binyam Mohammed.
Mr. Mohammed is one of 10 individuals being held at Guantánamo Bay who had been facing war-crimes conspiracy charges before the military commission process was struck down by the Supreme Court. Because of those charges, he has been afforded access to a lawyer.
According to an affidavit signed by Patel, Mohammed was being held in Pakistan at the time the Padilla warrant application was prepared. US agents wanted incriminating information about Padilla. The affidavit says Mohammed was hung on a wall with a leather strap around his wrists for a week by his Pakistani jailers. He was beaten with a leather strap, and was questioned with a loaded gun pressing into his chest, the affidavit says.
It says he was questioned by four individuals who identified themselves as agents of the FBI. The affidavit adds that Mohammed says he is sure that if he sees them again or sees their photos he will be able to identify them.