Criminal Investigation Task Force

The Criminal Investigation Task Force (CITF) was an organization created in early 2002 by the United States Department of Defense to conduct investigations of detainees captured in the War on Terrorism. It was envisioned that certain captured individuals would be tried by a military tribunal for war crimes and/or acts of terrorism.

The CITF is a military unit made up of members from all the branches of the U.S. armed forces; Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID), the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), the United States Marine Corps Criminal Investigation Division (CID), and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI). In military, and law enforcement agencies, "Task Forces" are temporary organizations created to conduct a specialized mission or task. Members of "Joint Task Forces" such as the CITF are drawn from many different units.

The CITF has operated worldwide and has conducted over 1500 investigations and 10,000 interviews, and has collected evidence both in places where persons were captured and elsewhere. The results of CITF investigations has been used in military tribunals at the Guantánamo Bay detainment camp and quasi-legal proceedings in Afghanistan and Iraq.. The CITF has provided evidence to Iraqi Courts to prosecute insurgents and foreign fighters captured in Iraq for crimes there.

As a result of widespread criticism of reported human rights abuses at Guantanamo and in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere—most notably the Iraq prison abuse scandals, including torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib and Bagram, a great deal of media and public attention was given to the methods used by the CITF and other U.S. military and civilian agencies in interrogations and other activities.

Senior law enforcement agents with the CITF told in 2006 that they began to complain to Department of Defense officials in 2002 that the interrogation tactics used by a separate team of intelligence investigators were unproductive, not likely to produce reliable information, and probably illegal. Unable to achieve a satisfactory response from the U.S. Army commanders in charge of the detainee camp, they took their concerns to both the Army Criminal Investigation Command under General Donald Ryder, and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service under David Brant. Brant alerted Alberto J. Mora, the general counsel for the Navy. The first commander of the CITF was Colonel (now retired) Brittain Mallow, and his Deputy was Special Agent Mark Fallon. Their names have been in several articles and also mentioned during Congressional testimony.

Some copies of government documents detailing CITF policies and practices have become publicly available through after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a Freedom of Information Act request and subsequently a lawsuit. There have been numerous discussions in congress and in the press and online regarding the differences between the CITF and other law enforcement methods, and those of the intelligence organizations involved with detainees. The CITF staff by all reports appear to have used only non-coercive, non-torturous methods in questioning detainees.

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