The Senate Intelligence Committee released its report on torture Tuesday
Techniques included mock executions, sleep deprivations and dietary manipulation
Here’s a look at some of the techniques the CIA used to interrogate detainees that were included in a Senate Intelligence Committee report released Tuesday.
1. The CIA conducted at least two mock executions – among other techniques that went unreported in the agency’s cables. Others included “nudity, dietary manipulation, exposure to cold temperatures, cold showers,” and rough takedowns.
In another passage, the mock executions are included in a section that also mentions techniques like “placing pressure on a detainee’s artery … blowing cigarette or cigar smoke into a detainee’s face, using cold water to interrogate detainees, and subjecting a detainee to a ‘hard takedown.’”
2. Those “rough” or “hard” takedowns involved CIA officers rushing into a detainee’s cell, stripping him naked and running him up and down a long hall while slapping and punching him. “As they ran him along the corridor, a couple of times he fell and they dragged him through the dirt,” the report says.
3. The CIA often used sleep deprivation, which “involved keeping detainees awake for up to 180 hours, usually standing or in stress positions, at times with their hands shackled above their heads.”
4. The CIA decided that interrogating Abu Zubaydah would take precedence over his medical care. He almost died as a result of waterboarding. In at least one waterboarding session, Abu Zubaydah “became completely unresponsive, with bubbles rising through his open, full mouth.” He remained unresponsive until medical intervention, when he regained consciousness and expelled “copious amounts of liquid.”
5. The first prisoner at the COBALT detention facility, Redha al-Najar, was kept in “isolation in total darkness.” The CIA gave him increasingly worse food, kept him in uncomfortably cold temperatures, kept him shackled and hooded and played music 24 hours a day. He wore a diaper and had no access to toilets. And he was described as being left hanging – with one or both wrists handcuffed to an overhead bar so he couldn’t lower his arms – for 22 hours a day for two straight days in an attempt to “‘break’ his resistance.”
6. The CIA threatened the families of detainees. It used that prisoner’s “fear for the well-being of his family to our benefit,” according to the report, by “using ‘vague threats’ to create a ‘mind virus.’” In another section, the report says “CIA officers also threatened at least three detainees with harm to their families – to include threats to harm the children of a detainee, threats to sexually abuse the mother of a detainee and a threat to ‘cut [a detainee’s] mother’s throat.’”
7. One detainee faced particularly rough treatment in late 2005. Per the report: “According to CIA records, Abu Ja’far al-Iraqi was subjected to nudity, dietary manipulation, insult slaps, abdominal slaps, attention grasps, facial holds, walling, 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. In addition to the swelling, Abu Ja’far al-Iraqi also experienced an edema on his head due to walling, abrasions on his neck and blisters on his ankles from shackles.”
8. “At least five CIA detainees were subjected to ‘rectal rehydration’ or rectal feeding without documented medical necessity,” the report said. More specifically, “Majid Khan’s ‘lunch tray’ of hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts and raisins was ‘pureed’ and rectally infused.”
9. The CIA officers involved in the detention and interrogation program weren’t the most savory bunch. The group “included individuals who, among other issues, had engaged in inappropriate detainee interrogations, had workplace anger management issues and had reportedly admitted to sexual assault,” the report said.
10. Some of those who were interrogated didn’t have the best thought-out plans. After reading a satirical web story called “How to Make an H-bomb,” U.S. citizen Jose Padilla and his associate, Binyam Mohammed, conceived the “Dirty Bomb Plot.”
The report says: “The article instructed would-be bomb makers to enrich uranium by placing it “in a bucket, attaching it to a six-foot rope, and swinging it around your head as fast as possible for 45 minutes. Padilla and Mohammed approached Abu Zubaydah in early 2002, and later [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed], with their idea to build and use this device in the United States.
“Neither Abu Zubaydah nor KSM believed the plan was viable, but KSM provided funding for, and tasked Padilla to conduct, an operation using natural gas to create explosions in tall buildings in the United States, later known as the ‘Tall Buildings Plot.’”