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FBI: Workers saw prisoner abuse at Guantanamo

Story Highlights

• Detainees seen "chained hand and foot ... with no chair/food/water"
• Prisoners "urinated or defecated on selves and were left there 18, 24 hours"
• Witness saw a detainee "with a full beard whose head was wrapped in duct tape"
• Witness saw detainee draped in an Israeli flag
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The FBI on Tuesday released documents showing at least 26 of the agency's employees witnessed aggressive mistreatment and harsh interrogation techniques of prisoners by other government agencies or outside contractors at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"On several occasions witnesses saw detainees in interrogation rooms chained hand and foot in fetal position to floor with no chair/food/water; most urinated or defecated on selves and were left there 18, 24 hours or more," according to one FBI account made public.

One FBI witness saw a detainee "shaking with cold," while another noted a detainee in a sweltering unventilated room was "almost unconscious on a floor with a pile of hair next to him (he had apparently been pulling it out through the night)."

Another witness saw a detainee "with a full beard whose head was wrapped in duct tape."

One FBI statement said that an interrogator squatted over the Quran and that a German shepherd dog was ordered to "growl, bark and show his teeth to the prisoner."

Another detainee was draped in an Israeli flag.

The FBI surveyed all 493 FBI personnel who had been assigned to the military prison facility in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and determined no FBI agent or support personnel had participated in any of the controversial practices.

"This thorough internal assessment shows the FBI was not involved in these activities in any way," said chief FBI spokesman Richard Kolko.

The FBI Office of General Counsel in September 2004 ordered the "special inquiry" into any FBI participation or observations of a series of alleged incidents at the prison camp for suspected terrorists and al Qaeda sympathizers, but the results were not made public.

The FBI released the documents in response to a Freedom of Information request by the American Civil Liberties Union, but stressed that most of the findings had already been reported elsewhere.

"Note these documents have been vetted by both DoD [Department of Defense] and FBI, and that FBI believes this or substantially similar information has already been released in this litigation," the FBI said.

Results of the 26 "positive responses" and several more "not purely negative responses" reported by FBI personnel in the internal inquiry were made available Tuesday on the Web site at (Read the reportexternal link)

Other actions FBI personnel reported either witnessing or being told about included:

  • Placing a detainee in a darkened cell with the intent of interrogating him for 24 hours straight; the witness reported being told that then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had approved this technique.
  • Keeping detainees awake for days on end with strobe lights and loud music.
  • Dressing as a priest and "baptizing" a detainee.
  • Subjecting a detainee to a lap dance by a topless female guard.
  • Interrupting detainees' attempts to pray by putting fluid on their faces and telling them it was menstrual blood.
  • Beating a detainee who said he had recently undergone abdominal surgery.

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