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.” *
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.”).”***
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 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.