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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Attorney General Appoints Officials to Lead Task Force Reviews on Interrogation and Detention Policy

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder today announced the appointment of two individuals to lead interagency task forces established under separate Executive Orders issued on Jan. 22 calling for a review of the government’s interrogation and transfer policies, as well as a review of detention policy.

"These appointments reflect our commitment to develop sound options for handling detainees in the future as well as policies on interrogation and transfer that uphold American values and national security interests," said Attorney General Holder. "Having served in critical legal and national security positions over their careers, J. Douglas Wilson and Brad Wiegmann have the experience and judgment necessary to help us carry out these important tasks."

J. Douglas Wilson has been designated to lead the Special Task Force on Interrogation and Transfer Policies. In accordance with the President’s Executive Order, this interagency task force is charged with conducting a review to determine whether the Army Field Manual interrogation guidelines, when employed by departments or agencies outside the military, provide an appropriate means of acquiring the intelligence to protect the nation, and whether different or additional interrogation guidance is necessary.

The task force is also responsible for examining the transfer of individuals to other nations in order to ensure that such practices comply with all domestic and international legal obligations and are sufficient to ensure that such individuals do not face torture or inhumane treatment.

The Order provides that the Attorney General or his designee shall serve as the Chair of the task force and that the Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of Defense, or their designees, shall serve as Co-Vice-Chairs. Other members of the task force include representatives of the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other officials as determined by the Chair.

Mr. Wilson is the Chief of the National Security Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. Previously he served as Appellate Chief and Criminal Chief in that office and as Special Counsel in the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review at the Department of Justice.

The Attorney General also announced that Brad Wiegmann, together with a representative of the Department of Defense, will lead the Special Task Force on Detention Policy. In accordance with the President’s Executive Order, this interagency task force is charged with conducting a review of the lawful options available to the federal government for the apprehension, detention, trial, transfer, release or other disposition of individuals captured or apprehended in connection with armed conflicts and counterterrorism operations.

The Order provides that the Attorney General and the Secretary of Defense, or their designees, will co-chair the Task Force. Other task force participants include representatives of the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other officials as determined by the Co-Chairs.

Mr. Wiegmann serves as the Principal Deputy and Chief of Staff in the National Security Division of the Department of Justice. Previously he has served in legal positions in the Departments of State and Defense and on the staff of the National Security Council.

Both task forces are charged with providing a report to the President within 180 days of the January 22 Executive Orders, unless the chairs determine that an extension of time is necessary.

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