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These actions were performed by Americans, paid for by the American Government and done in our name. This information comes from the CIA’s own documents:

Prisoners at various CIA prisons, at Guantanamo, and at Abu Ghraib were hung from the ceiling by chains, stuffed inside small boxes for hours on end and sometimes were told that lethal insects were being placed inside the boxes with them. Their bodies were wrenched into ‘stress positions’. They were slapped, threatened with aggressive dogs, beaten, slammed against walls, deprived of sleep for days upon days and sometimes kept awake by having buckets of urine thrown in their faces. They were ‘sexually humiliated’. They were clothed in diapers and purposely allowed to defecate and urinate on themselves. Some were ‘rectally hydrated’ and ‘rectally fed’. Many were waterboarded hundreds of times.

Some CIA workers described those waterboardings “as near drownings.” *

original

Waterboarding as practiced by the Khmer Rouge during the Cambodian Genocide

At the Salt Pit, a secret CIA prison likened by one CIA officer to a “dungeon,” one prisoner, naked from the waist down, was shackled to a wall; by the next morning he had died of hypothermia. The American who ordered his treatment was later “recommended for a cash award of $2500 for his ‘consistently superior work.”’**

In every state in the Union, his actions and those who obeyed his orders would have been subject to a charge of murder.

CIA interrogators held electric drills to the heads of prisoners and later told them that their wives and daughters would be raped.***

Some interrogation sessions were so extreme “that some CIA officials were to the point of tears and choking up.”**

James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, two psychologists, copied some of these techniques from those used by Chinese Communists on captured US Servicemen during the Korean War. Neither Mitchell or Jessen had ever interrogated a single person. Later, before Americans used torture, they thought that both the CIA and FBI were “running a sissified interrogation program.”**

In an interview of “60 Minutes” Jose Rodriguez, a CIA officer “underplayed what he and his operatives had done (making suspects “uncomfortable”) and bragged about its use in proving the manhood of the torturer (“We needed to get everybody in government to put their big boy pants on and provide the authorities that we needed”; “The objective is to let him know there’s a new sheriff in town.”).”***

Luke McGrath sketch of stress position torture used by the North Vietnamese against captured US Airmen

Pilot Mike McGrath’s sketch of stress position torture used by North Vietnamese against US Airmen POW’s. POW’s called this “the Rope Trick.”

Listen to the language used by Rodriguez and as criticism by Mitchell and Jessen, the two originators of the program of “enhanced interrogation,” a term that implies only a slight increase in methods commonly used by the police to gain a confession. They knew that we watch “Law and Order” and dozens of other cop shows and that we have seen interrogations on the screen. How bad can a little enhancement be? Now think about their use of “sissified” in a document they never thought would be exposed. We are closer to the bone here; they are obscuring nothing. They are attacking the sense of manhood of those in the CIA and FBI who had been handling the interrogations in a lawful manner (and producing results). To not be a sissy means to be a man. To be a man with terrorist suspects means to beat them, twist them, threaten to rape the women they love.

Listen to the language that apologists for torture employ. ‘Rectal feeding’ and ‘rectal hydration’ have been described by former CIA chief Michael Hayden and Vice-President Cheney and Karl Rove as “a medical procedure.” The scenes these words create in the imagination are important. One hears “medical”, one hears “rectal”, and one sees calm professionals tending to a sick patient — not screaming, cursing big men shoving hoses up someone’s ass and flooding his bowels with streams of water and pureed food. Not a room covered in shit and piss and a howling, whimpering, begging man, naked and exposed. We employed anal rape as a method of torture.

Second stress position -- guard nicknamed Mouse throws freezing water onto a POW to keep him awake

Second stress position used by the North Vietnamese. A guard nicknamed ‘Mouse” throws freezing water onto an American POW to keep him awake.

Jose Rodriguez shredded 92 tapes of waterboarding sessions.*** He knows what those would have shown to the world. ^*

Six thousand more pages of CIA documents describing interrogations and techniques remain secret. Up to two thousand (2000) photographs of ‘interrogations’ remain secret.

We need to see the photographs. They will show definitively how language has been purposely defiled by the apologists for torture. They will be direct. They will destroy lies and fantasy.

The CIA’s own internal records show that in 20 critical case studies “extreme interrogation methods played no role in disrupting terror plots, capturing terrorist leaders or even finding Bin Laden.” * There was never a ‘ticking bomb’ scenario. ^^

This is what we know. There is much more we do not know and have not seen.

CIA documents list 26 men tortured and released because they were innocent of everything, of anything. CIA documents list 119 men on whom torture was used.*# We have only the CIA’s word on these numbers. Their own internal reports show that they repeatedly lied to Congress.^*

All of these actions were done in our name. We cannot escape responsibility.

 

* “Failure of Oversight is Outlined — Agency Defends Itself” by Mark Mazzetti. The New York Times, December 10, 2014.

** “Portraying a Broken Agency Devoted to a Failed Approach” by Scott Shane. The New York Times, December 10, 2014.

*** “Jose Rodriguez and the Ninety Two Tapes” by Amy Davidson. The New Yorker, April 30, 2012

^*  “… many of those involved in the program, which began in 2002, recognized its potential for criminality. Before subjecting a detainee to interrogation, a 2002 cable notes, CIA officers sought assurances that he would ‘remain in isolation and incommunicado for the remainder of his life.’ Permanent, extrajudicial disappearance was apparently preferable to letting the prisoned ever tell what had been done to him. That logic may explain why ‘no high value detainee’ subjected to the most extreme tactics and still in US custody in Guantanamo has yet been given an open trial (43).” from “Torture And The Truth” by Jane Mayer. The New Yorker, December 22 and 29, 2014.

*# “Amid Details on Torture, Data on 26 Who Were held in Error,” by Scott Shane. The New York Times, December 12, 2014.

^* “The report also demonstrates that the agency misrepresented nearly every aspect of its program to the Bush Administration, which authorized it, to the members of Congress charged with overseeing it, and to the public, which was led to believe that whatever the CIA was doing was vital for national security and did not involve torture. Instead, the report shows in all twenty cases most widely cited by the CIA as evidence that abusive interrogation methods were necessary, the same information could have been obtained, and frequently was obtained, through non-coercive methods. Further, the interrogations often produced false information, ensnaring innocent people, sometimes with tragic results. (43).” from “Torture And The Truth” by Jane Mayer. The New Yorker, December 22 and 29, 2014.

^^ This piece from The Atlantic effectively destroys the ‘ticking bomb’ excuse for torture.

© Mike Wall

14 Responses

  1. Brandy Kilroy says:

    I do not believe Americans should torture to the point of death no matter what the circumstances are. We are all humans. In my beliefs, terrorists should be punish and tortured, but not to the extent each of these terrorists go through. Would the CIA want this to happen to their family or other Americans. Everything kept in secret should be revealed. We should not reward someone for killing and beating to the point of killing. We should not preform these horrific actions that can lead to death. Torture is suppose to gain information from the suspect, not kill them on the spot. What the CIA is doing to the terrorist in my eyes is not right and they should not get away with murder. We as Americans are responsible for the CIA’s actions and it is looked upon us for doing these treacherous ways of torture. Torture needs to stop. No one should be tortured to this extent. However, I do believe some torture is okay, but stuffing someone in a box and throwing urine into ones face is not acceptable. The CIA should not be torturing one and be to the point of tears. This is where we need to make a change and stop this kind of excessive torture. The CIA documents should be revealed and the CIA should be punished for their own doings. It is not remotely okay what we do to these humans and like Mr. Wall stated, it is our responsibility and we are the ones performing these actions. The people receiving these actions may not be innocent but they are still humans.

  2. Amy Savarese says:

    Reading the first paragraph reminded me of the book 1984 when suspected citizens would be taken to the Ministry of Love to be tortured and cured. I thought about how the treatments of torture are similar and still inhumane. I feel like these torturous acts are too extreme and should be handled with less cruelty. Even for terrorists, these acts are just plain cruel. Perhaps we can change how torture should be defined or performed in the future. Mr. Wall says, “these actions were performed by Americans, paid for by the American Government and done in our name.” I do not feel too well about this statement. I find it sad that Americans in our country actually did this. When I read about this I think, what have we become? Have we always lived in a time of hate and war and destruction? Some may argue it is only fair that we torture terrorists in this way because they could be doing the same to us. I do not like to think of it that way, but I guess there really is nothing that I can do about it. We may be living like this for a long time until a person with higher power can put an end to excessive torture.

  3. Tyler Kwortnik says:

    I believe americans should torture terrorists for several reasons. These are people that don’t only harm our country, but rape, murder and terrorize their own people. These people being tortured are enemies to the world. These people seek the destruction of others and it is neccassary to torture them at a time when terrosism is rising on a global level. I do believe these torture methods are extreme, but people are forgetting who these terrorist really are and the damage they caused. These are people that are willing to blow themselves up to kill masses so they deserve to be punished. If we stop torturing then our country will look weak. Even though torture is done by americans it is not done inside the U.S. so I believe thats more exceptable.

  4. Abby Pegler says:

    I personally do not believe that Americans should torture ANYONE for anything. No matter if it is an innocent person on the side of the road to a suspected terrorist. Torture should not be an option, it shouldn’t even be used for a last resort under any circumstances. Those he CIA need to think about this, would they want someone torturing them? Even if they weren’t a suspected terrorist? Would you personally let someone throw urine in your face to get an answer out of you? Because personally I would not like it if someone tortured me just to get an answer. I would be scared and give hem any answer just so they would stop beating on me and hurting me. We should treat all humans the same no matter what.

  5. Megan Harpold says:

    I believe in the use of torturing a terrorist to receive valuable, needed information. Although I agree with torturing, I do not agree with some of the techniques to accomplish the task. I do not agree with how the CIA would tell prisoners that their daughters would be raped. Being sexually ‘humiliated’ is disgusting and should not be a resort to find the needed information. The reported 26 men who were found innocent after terrible treatments of torture is disgusting. How could they not find that they were innocent before going to such cruel resorts. I believe in torture as an absolute last resort.

  6. Kalie Radcliffe says:

    Nobody should be totrured the way people are being tortured. They are to extreme. Yes, it’s a terrorist but even then they are to extreme and they should be less cruel to them. Reading this made me very shocked that Americans were actually this cruel to the people and is sad to see what we have turned into. Some of the techniques used for torture such as sexually humiliated is just flat out wrong and disgusting and should never be used to get information. If anything torture should be the last thing they come to.

  7. Lyons Canino says:

    The facts that Mr. Wall has given are knowledgeable, however they are extremely one sided. The facts that Mr. Wall gives are all in favor of stopping torture completely, where they should be about how it is necessary but to make sure it does not control our sense of morality and for torture not to control us,so that we do not become the monsters we fight against. Mr. Wall also seems to suggest that there is a moral high ground in the war on terror, where there is no such thing. Something I think Mr. Wall forgets is that in war there is no real morial high ground except the one’s that we lie to ourselves about. Also torture is commonly used when intel is need fast and when there is no time for kindness or the slowly breaking and gaining of trust with captive. I personally feel that Mr. Wall is one of those people who don’t want to give up any of their freedom but when something happens he will be the first to complains to the government and say “where were you and why didn’t you do anything to stop them.” Mr. Wall please ask your self this, is one person with hundreds or even millions of innocent people?
    With respect
    Lyons Canino

  8. Sean McCoy says:

    America has only been recognized as a torturous country since the Iraqi war. Dating back to WW2, Americans were held as POWs (Prisoners of War) and tortured by a numerous amount of different countries in American history. Since the attack on the twin towers, the U.S simply has the right to interrogate suspected terrorists in however they please. Its sounds cruel and heartless, but torture is a business and tactic, not a recreational activity the CIA chooses to do “because they can”. Prior to 9/11, American agents in this business were known as being “soft” or “caring”. Now, with the torture tactics being present in your articles, shall teach future terrorists to rethink what they are planning. The modern world is in a place where countries cannot trust each other one-hundred percent of the time, and each country must stand their ground….including the United States. In conclusion, the CIA and other agencies in this line of work are simply trying to protect their people from future attacks, and making a name for our country. Again, dating back to hundred of thousands of wars and battles, torture is simply business.

  9. Cole Houston says:

    Mr. Wall presents ample facts and information on how torture is inhumane, and that we; the american citizens, do not know all or what lies behind close doors. Mr. Wall describes horrid accounts of torture. The savage ways of America or tactics employed to extract the info. But were are the facts describing the torturous tactics that our enemy’s use. I am not truly on one side. I believe that it depends on the extent of what the terrorist/whomever has done, in which torture can be implored. The facts here truly create an image for the reader and an imagine for me that convinces me to disagree with torture. That it should not be used at all. But i do also believe and stand by my beliefs that their are time i which torture is necessary. Really i am in the middle i believe the use of torture is necessary only when it truly is needed, and if torture is always used, depending on the extent of the crime then it should be balanced out. Not complete and utter torture or complete and… utter torture. Very well written article and well read, thank you so much.

    With sincere Respect
    Cole Houston

  10. Sydney Place says:

    I personally do not think that terrorist should be tortured to this extent no matter how bad the crime was that they committed. Everyone is human and should be treated equally. The United States would not want one of their own citizens to be treated that poorly by another country, so why do that to someone else? The acts performed by these men were inhumane. I also do not agree with the fact that they gave a cash reward to one of the men involved with the torturing. To me, that is showing everyone in our country that this violence is “okay” when it’s completely wrong. I understand that what the terrorist is doing is not right either but there are other ways of handling the situation than torture. For example; we could keep him in jail here instead. Overall torture is wrong and needs to be stopped.

  11. Olivia Watkins says:

    I think that torture is cruel and unusual and should not be used in the court of law. I think that it is inhumane. There’s a price that comes with torturing a none U.S. citizen. Would we want our sons and daughters being tortured? If even C.I.A officials are getting choked up and crying over seeing these people being tortured, shouldn’t that mean something? No matter how horrible the crime they have committed was, they should not be treated that way. And what if they have not committed a crime and they are innocent? What if they are not involved with terrorist acts? The United States should not be able to use torture under any circumstances.

  12. Maddi Davis says:

    To be a person practically unknown to hurt, it makes me think of a Hell place that Americans can do this to someone. Even if that someone is suspected of terrorizing our nation. As everyone else has said, would we want our family, our people to go through this as well? The short answer is, well they already have. But does that matter, are we any better than them for doing this? No matter that most of them are suspected terrorists, not proven terrorists. Is that the price we pay in the land of the free? We as Americans are to be a just and fair nation. Is waterboarding and anal rape in any way just or fair? Some may argue yes, and to that all I can say is that you seem to have your stuff all figured out, but I don’t. I still lack most understanding about torture, as most 18 year olds I would think. But what I do know is that an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

  13. William Peeples says:

    Torture has only been a common place in the U.S. post 9/11 because it was only the third time U.S. soil was attacked and all three times it caused war. During WW2 we put Japanese Americans into internment camps after Pearl Harbor, but in putting these Americans into these camps we never actually tortured them even though it was undeniably cruel. Now we considered these people as possible spies. After all of these times we still never tortured anyone but now all of the sudden we will torture people something that America has never at least been caught torturing people until after 9/11. Now America treats its self as a moral beacon and how we must police the world to stop all threats to people’s freedoms yet we do not treat the victims with the same amount of freedom. If America wants to treat its self as such a great place with great morals then we need to start acting like it and stop using torture and act better then terrorists.

  14. Molly Slaughter says:

    This post is full of great facts. I agree with your opinions that if the torture of suspected terrorists is not stopped horrible things could happen to the United states. The way in which the terrorists are tortured shows the brutality of the United starss CIA. Some of the torture methods in which are used to torture the suspected terrorists may not only be used to withdraw information from the suspected terrorists, these acts may be made for revengeful purposes. The ways in which these suspected terrorist are tortured violates the 8th amendment. The United states will be put in very bad light and may be seen as terrorists themselves. This post was very insightful and informative. I greatly enjoyed learning about the many different ways that’s suspected terrorists are treated. This opened my eyes and made me realize the truth about the war on terror.

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