#1: We Tortured Some Folks (disturbing but important to read) *UPDATED*
The CIA raped people so hard that at least one suffered rectal prolapse. Also torture doesn't work.
e: I've decided to keep updating the thread with passages from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report.
e2: The purpose of the report is to clear Bush, Obama, and Congress of blame and prevent the CIA from being sued.
Keep in mind that many European countries – including Poland, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the UK – were to varying degrees complicit in the kidnap, detention, and torture of the victims. (Link.)
The European Court of Human Rights convicted Macedonia and ruled against Poland for their participation, while Italy prosecuted 25 people – including two Italians. (Same link.) We all know the US government will never face prosecution, except, perhaps, a couple of expendable scapegoats.
e3 The Senate report repeatedly stresses that the information extracted by torture was either false (including the phony WMDs on which the Iraq War was premised) or already known by the government.
The CIA also illegally leaked secret information to the press to make the torture seem effective.
Not surprising in the slightest. I think most were expecting some pretty nasty methods were used in torture. I have heard bits and pieces about the reports on the news and done some reading. One of my favorite, sarcastic, pieces was done by Rolling Stone.
Capitol Hill yesterday provided America with a classic set piece of partisan performance art: a pair of sanctimonious legislative events, one for each chamber, the two parties blaming each other for high crimes. On the House side, Republican Oversight Chief Darrell Issa emceed a Fox News reality show in which Obamacare advisor Jonathan Gruber was metaphorically burned at the stake. Issa had finally captured alive the most reviled demon of the Republican myth: a bespectacled coastal intellectual who not only collected millions ($5.9 million, to be exact) from the government helping institute redistributionist policies, but also snickered in his down time about how ordinary Americans are too dumb to govern themselves. If there's such a thing as conservative snuff porn, this was it.
Meanwhile, on the Senate side, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chair Dianne Feinstein released a controversial study about perhaps the worst chapter in the history of the Bush administration: the "Enhanced Interrogation" program, which the Senate in its last days of Democratic control has decided finally to call "torture" (see page 4 of the report).
Because of the way our media works, there will be a lot of hemming and hawing about the political implications of yesterday's events, while less attention will be focused on the fine print. Who can guess at the motive behind the release of the Feinstein report, but one clear objective is to place the end of the American "torture" regime in January of 2009. That was when Barack Obama came to office and signed Executive Order 13491, restricting interrogations to the techniques outlined in the Army Field Manual.
I'm not sure I'm buying that the U.S. government suddenly got religion about mistreatment of terror suspects once Obama took office, particularly since this government massively accelerated a drone-assassination program that years from now, when some Senate Republican releases a Feinstein-like report on that chapter of our history, will probably make the Bush torture regime look like pretty weak beer. (This is despite the hilarious protests from mainstream press commentators like this one claiming that having robots murder people from the sky is somehow more humane, and less of a moral and religious outrage, than torture).
They did bring up some of the uniquely American aspects of torture, along with the gruesome. Forbid someone to use the bathroom, but put diapers on them. Build a plywood wall for one method because concrete is too harsh. As they put it, any serious terrorist is going to laugh at the cushioning involved in some of the pratices. Sigh. War ain't pretty.
When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??
These quotations are from Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: Committee Study of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program, under the Executive Summary section. "Page 1" of this section is page 27 of the PDF, so I'm citing both the internal page numbers and the PDF page numbers. I've also marked footnotes and replaced black-bar redactions with |||.
Page 100 (126 of PDF)
Cables and records indicating that CIA detainees who were undergoing or had undergone the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques were subjected to rectal rehydration, without evidence of medical necessity, and that others were threatened with it;[footnote]584
[From footnote 584] CIA leadership, including General Counsel Scott Muller and DDO James Pavitt, was also alerted to allegations that rectal exams were conducted with "excessive force" on two detainees at DETENTION SITE COBALT. CIA attorney ||| was asked to follow up, although CIA records do not indicate any resolution of the inquiry. CIA records indicate that one of the detainees, Mustafa al-Hawsawi, was later diagnosed with chronic hemorrhoids, an anal fissure, and symptomatic rectal prolapse.
Page 488 (514 of PDF)
At least five detainees were subjected to rectal rehydration or rectal feeding. There is at least one record of Abu Zubaydah receiving "rectal fluid resuscitation" for "partially refusing liquids."[footnote]2656 According to CIA records, Majid Khan was "very hostile" to rectal feeding and removed the rectal tube as soon as he was allowed to.[fn]2657 KSM was subjected to rectal rehydration without a determination of medical need, a procedure that KSM interrogator and chief of interrogations, |||, would later characterize as illustrative of the interrogator's "total control over the detainee."[fn]2658 Marwan al-Jabbur was subjected to what was originally referred to in a cable as an "enema," but was later acknowledged to be rectal rehydration.[fn]2659 Both al-Nashiri[fn]2660 and Majid Khan were subjected to rectal feeding.[fn]2661
[From footnote 2658] |||, ||| the Office of Medical Services (OMS), described the rectal rehydration of KSM as helping to "clear a person's head" and effective in getting KSM to talk.
Note that the person from the Office of Medical Services is talking like a tough guy in a gangster movie. The Office's approval of (and, I assume, participation in) the torture shouldn't come as a surprise.
I've omitted most of the footnotes and their references from these quotes. The only additions I've made are the ellipses and the bracketed text relating to page numbers and footnotes, which I've marked in blue. All other brackets are part of the original document.
Section: "Findings and Conclusions," page 4 (11 of PDF)
Lack of heat at the facility likely contributed to the death of a detainee.
Section: “Executive Summary,” pages 54-55 (80-81 of PDF)
... CIA contract interrogator Hammond DUNBAR ... While DUNBAR was present at DETENTION SITE COBALT, he assisted ||| [CIA OFFICER I] in the interrogations of Gul Rahman, a suspected Islamic extremist. ... this interrogation included "48 hours of sleep deprivation, auditory overload, total darkness, isolation, a cold shower, and rough treatment." ... Prior to DUNBAR's departure from the detention site on November |||, 2002, [a few days before the death of Gul Rahman] DUNBAR proposed the use of the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques on other detainees and offered suggestions to ||| [CIA OFFICER 1], the site manager, on the use of such techniques.
||| On November |||, 2002, ||| [CIA OFFICER 1] 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 [p. 55 (81)] from having been forced to sit on the bare concrete floor without pants.[footnote]272 ...
[From footnote 272] Other contributing factors were identified as dehydration, lack of food, and immobility due to “short chaining.” [End of footnote]
... many of the same individuals within the CIA—including DUNBAR, officers at DETENTION SITE COBALT, and officers within ALEC Station who had recommended the use of the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques against Gul Rahman—remained key figures in the CIA interrogation program and received no reprimand or sanction for Rahman's death. Instead, in March 2003, just four months after the death of Gul Rahman, the CIA Station in Country ||| recommended that ||| [CIA OFFICER 1] receive a "cash award" of $2,500 for his "consistently superior work.” ||| [CIA OFFICER 1] remained in his position as manager of the detention site until July 2003 and continued to be involved in the interrogations of other CIA detainees. He was formally certified as a CIA interrogator in April 2003 after the practical portion of his training requirement was waived because of his past experience with interrogations at DETENTION SITE COBALT.
"CIA Officer 1" was certified based, in part, on killing Rahman. The CIA couldn't have been happy about the death, but they were willing to overlook it.
Didn't the whole world already know this? They are just admitting this officially? People are just pretending to be shock, because they turned a blind eye and pretend nothing was happening.
There has been talk of it before, over the years. I am not sure if it was anything quite so lengthy or specific. To be honest I have slept and not slept since then so I can't recall all details. I know the water boarding was discussed numerous times along with sleep deprivation and cold showers. If the rectal feeding was discussed, I blocked it out or something.
When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??
Didn't the whole world already know this? They are just admitting this officially?
The Executive Summary is 499 pages long. There's a lot of details on what specifically happened, narratives of what was done to individual prisoners, and an in depth review of how the torture was pointless. Reading through this wealth of information is very different from just generally knowing these things were happening.
It also gives a picture of what waterboarding is really like, which I'll be posting shortly. It ain't pretty.
This is the waterboarding of just one guy, Abu Zubaydah. He was also confined in very small boxes for 295 hours over the course of just 20 days. I'll use additional posts to cover what happened to other captives who were waterboarded.
The following passages are from the Executive Summary. The footnotes have been removed. I've added ellipses and page numbers (in brackets, with the internal number followed by the PDF number in parentheses), which are marked in blue. Any other brackets or ellipses are part of the original text. Black-bar redactions are represented as |||.
[40(66)] CIA records indicate that the first CIA briefing for the president on the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques occurred on April 8, 2006. CIA records state that when the president was briefed, he expressed discomfort with the "image of a detainee, chained to the ceiling, clothed in a diaper, and forced to go to the bathroom on himself." ...
From August 4, 2002, through August 23, 2002, the CIA subjected Abu Zubaydah to its enhanced interrogation techniques on a near 24-hour-per-day basis. After Abu Zubaydah had been in complete isolation for 47 days, the most aggressive interrogation phase began at approximately 11:50 AM on August 4, 2002. ...
[41(67)] ... At approximately 6:20 PM, Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded for the first time. Over a two-and-a-half-hour period, Abu Zubaydah coughed, vomited, and had "involuntary spasms of the torso and extremities" during waterboarding. ...
[42(68 )] ... When Abu Zubaydah was left alone during this period, he was placed in a stress position, left on the waterboard with a cloth over his face, or locked in one of two confinement boxes. According to the cables, Abu Zubaydah was also subjected to the waterboard "2-4 times a day...with multiple iterations of the watering cycle during each application." ...
Over the course of the entire 20 day "aggressive phase of interrogation," Abu Zubaydah spent a total of 266 hours (11 days, 2 hours) in the large (coffin size) confinement box and 29 hours in a small confinement box, which had a width of 21 inches, a depth of 2.5 feet, and a height of 2.5 feet. The CIA interrogators told Abu Zubaydah that the only way he would leave the facility was in the coffin-shaped confinement box. ...
[43(69)] ... DETENTION SITE GREEN cables describe Abu Zubaydah as "compliant," informing CIA Headquarters that when the interrogator "raised his eyebrow, without instructions," Abu Zubaydah "slowly walked on his own to the water table and sat down."200 When the interrogator "snapped his fingers twice," Abu Zubaydah would lie flat on the waterboard. Despite the assessment of personnel at the detention site that Abu Zubaydah was compliant, CIA Headquarters stated that they continued to believe that Abu Zubaydah was withholding threat information and instructed the CIA interrogators to continue using the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques.
||| At times Abu Zubaydah was described as "hysterical" and "distressed to the level that he was unable to effectively communicate." Waterboarding sessions "resulted in immediate fluid intake and involuntary leg, chest and arm spasms" and "hysterical pleas." In at least one waterboarding session, Abu Zubaydah "became completely [44(70)] unresponsive, with bubbles rising through his open, full mouth." According to CIA records, Abu Zubaydah remained unresponsive until medical intervention, when he regained consciousness and expelled "copious amounts of liquid." ...
[45(71)] ... After the use of the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques ended, CIA personnel at the detention site concluded that Abu Zubaydah had been truthful and that he did not possess any new terrorist threat information. ...
[46(72)] ... The cable recommended that "the aggressive phase at [DETENTION SITE GREEN] should be used as a template for future interrogation of high value captives,” not because the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques produced useful information, but rather because their use confirmed that Abu Zubaydah did not possess the intelligence that CIA Headquarters had assessed Abu Zubaydah to have.
The cable was written by Dunbar and Swiggert, the two psychologists who were paid $80,000,000 to plan and directly implement the torture. They were recommending their own continued employment and spinning their failure as success.