A summary of the upcoming Senate Intelligence Committee report on the interrogation techniques used by the CIA in the war on terror obtained by The Daily Beast shows the methods used would rival tactics used by the Spanish Inquisition and Vlad the Impaler in their cruelty and excesses. If the allegations prove true, the inhuman treatment of detainees can never be justified even if it had obtained any information of value which it apparently did not.
Although the CIA had claimed that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah, and Abd Al Rahim al-Nashiri were the only detainees who were ever water boarded, the report says that the Senate committee had seen a photograph of a “well worn” waterboard surrounded by buckets of water at a site where the CIA denies anyone was ever subjected to the procedure. In a 2013 meeting, the agency was unable to explain why this waterboard was present at a site where no one was ever waterboarded.
Previous reports by the CIA to the DOJ had described waterboarding as not being physically harmful in any way. The Senate report found that there were harmful effects experienced, including convulsions and vomiting — in one session Abu Zubaydah became “completely unresponsive with bubbles rising through his open full mouth.” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was subjected to the process at least 183 times with the intensity rising to the point where he experienced a “series of near drownings.”
One “black site” in Afghanistan, the second site opened by the CIA after the 9/11 attacks, was known as the Salt Pit. The report called it “poorly managed” and found that although record keeping was nearly non-existent the committee concluded that it was run by untrained people who conducted unauthorized interrogations there.
The abuses go on and on. Detainees were chained nude or nearly nude to the floor in cold cells where some died of hypothermia, others were forced to stand for extended periods on broken legs and feet. Some areas of the site were so dark and dungeon-like that the guards had to wear head lamps while other areas were flooded with bright lights and white noise to disorient prisoners.
Some prisoners such as Abu Zubaydah were subjected to the most harsh tactics from the start of their interrogation without ever attempting to use more conventional methods. The interrogations often went on non-stop for days or even weeks at a time.
So poor was the record keeping that the CIA to this day is unsure of how many prisoners were held in these “black sites” or who they were.
One of the most damning findings in the report is that contrary to what the agency was reporting to the president, no new intelligence was gathered through these methods. Most of what was extracted through torture was information that the intelligence community already had, and other information was useless because the prisoners were telling them anything they had to just to stop the torture.
h/t: The Daily Beast