The Torture Question
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thomas berg


Lt. Col. Thomas Berg was an assistant federal public defender and Army reservist when he was called up after 9/11. He was invited to participate in a Defense Department project to set up war crimes tribunals for captured Al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners. Here, he explains how the process they established for the tribunals, based on the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Geneva Conventions, was rejected by the Pentagon civilian leadership. "They were overly result-oriented, terrified that somebody might be acquitted in the process," he tells FRONTLINE. Berg then traveled to Guantanamo to serve as a Judge Advocate General (JAG), or military legal adviser, to Gen. Rick Baccus, who headed detentions there until October 2002. He describes how confusion on the ground over the rules for detention and intelligence gathering led to bitter fights between the military police and intelligence personnel at Gitmo. This is the edited transcript of an interview conducted on July 18, 2005.

Where were you on Sept. 11, 20