Horrific details from the torture report – USA TODAY
Parts of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA-enhanced interrogations read like the script of a blood-soaked horror movie. Interrogating terrorist suspects is clearly not an activity for the faint of heart, but the committee argues that in many cases, the CIA interrogation program descended into a kind of mindless brutality.
Warning: Many readers may find the following material offensive.
Some of the worst examples, quoted directly from the report:
•Sleep deprivation: “According to CIA records, Abu Ja’far al-Iraqi was subjected to nudity, dietary manipulation, insult slaps, abdominal slaps … stress positions and water dousing with 44-degree Fahrenheit water for 18 minutes. He was shackled in the standing position for 54 hours as part of sleep deprivation and experienced swelling in his lower legs requiring blood thinner and spiral ace bandages. He was moved to a sitting position, and his sleep deprivation was extended to 78 hours. After the swelling subsided, he was provided with more blood thinner and was returned to the standing position.
“The sleep deprivation was extended to 102 hours. After four hours of sleep, Abu Ja’far al-Iraqi was subjected to an additional 52 hours of sleep deprivation, after which CIA headquarters informed interrogators that eight hours was the minimum rest period between sleep deprivation sessions exceeding 48 hours.”
•Transport by plane: “Detainees transported by the CIA by aircraft were typically hooded with their hands and feet shackled. The detainees wore large headsets to eliminate their ability to hear, and these headsets were typically affixed to a detainee’s head with duct tape that ran the circumference of the detainee’s head.
“CIA detainees were placed in diapers and not permitted to use the lavatory on the aircraft. Depending on the aircraft, detainees were either strapped into seats during the flights, or laid down and strapped to the floor of the plane horizontally like cargo.”
•Stress positions: “The Office of Inspector General later described additional allegations of unauthorized techniques used against (Abd al-Rahim) al-Nashiri by [CIA OFFICER 2] and other interrogators, including slapping al-Nashiri multiple times on the back of the head during interrogations; implying that his mother would be brought before him and sexually abused; blowing cigar smoke in al-Nashiri’s face; giving al-Nashiri a forced bath using a stiff brush; and using improvised stress positions that caused cuts and bruises resulting in the intervention of a medical officer, who was concerned that al-Nashiri’s shoulders would be dislocated using the stress positions.”
•Nudity: In November 2002, a CIA officer “ordered that Gul Rahman be shackled to the wall of his cell in a position that required the detainee to rest on the bare concrete floor. Rahman was wearing only a sweatshirt, as [CIA OFFICER 1] had ordered that Rahman’s clothing be removed when he had been judged to be uncooperative during an earlier interrogation.
“The next day, the guards found Gul Rahman’s dead body. An internal CIA review and autopsy assessed that Rahman likely died from hypothermia — in part from having been forced to sit on the bare concrete floor without pants.”
•Waterboarding: According to the report, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — often described as the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks — was waterboarded at least 183 times. This is a technique that simulates drowning, in which the detainee is strapped to a board while water is poured in his mouth and nose.
“During these sessions, KSM ingested a significant amount of water. CIA records state that KSM’s ‘abdomen was somewhat distended, and he expressed water when the abdomen was pressed.’ KSM’s gastric contents were so diluted by water that the medical officer present was ‘not concerned about regurgitated gastric acid damaging KSM’s esophagus.’ The officer was, however, concerned about water intoxication and dilution of electrolytes and requested that the interrogators use saline in future waterboarding sessions. The medical officer later wrote … that KSM was ‘ingesting and aspiration [sic] a LOT of water’ and that ‘[i]n the new technique we are basically doing a series of near drownings.’ “
•Rectal Feeding/hydration: Detainees who refused food or drink were forced to ingest food or water rectally. According to the report, a CIA officer “provided a description of the procedure, writing that ‘[r]egarding the rectal tube, if you place it and open up the IV tubing, the flow will self-regulate, sloshing up the large intestines.’
“Referencing the experience of the medical officer who subjected KSM to rectal rehydration, the officer wrote that, ‘[w]hat I infer is that you get a tube up as far as you can, then open the IV wide. No need to squeeze the bag — let gravity do the work.’ ”
Another case describes forcing Ensure into a detainee rectally, and in a third instance, “Majid Khan’s ‘lunch tray,’ consisting of hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts and raisins was ‘pureed’ and rectally infused.”