Link To Full Torture Report: Brutality, Dishonesty, Arbitrary Violence
…agency medical personnel voiced alarm that waterboarding methods had deteriorated to “a series of near drownings” and that agency employees subjected detainees to “rectal rehydration” and other painful procedures that were never approved…
CIA officials allegedly deceived their superiors at the White House, members of Congress and even sometimes their own peers about how the interrogation program was being run and what it had achieved. In one case, an internal CIA memo relays instructions from the White House to keep the program secret from then-Secretary of State Colin Powell out of concern that he would “blow his stack if he were to be briefed on what’s going on.”…
A declassified summary of the committee’s work discloses for the first time a complete roster of all 119 prisoners held in CIA custody and indicates that at least 26 were held because of mistaken identities or bad intelligence. The publicly released summary is drawn from a longer, classified study that exceeds 6,000 pages…
The panel deconstructs prominent claims about the value of the “enhanced” measures, including that they produced breakthrough intelligence in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and dismisses them all as exaggerated if not utterly false — assertions that the CIA and former officers involved in the program vehemently dispute.
The CIA of course, is disputing the report:
“Many of the Study’s charges that CIA misrepresented are based on the authors’ flawed analysis of the value of the intelligence obtained from detainees,” the statement said. “But whether Congress accepts their assessment or ours, we still must question a report that impugns the integrity of so many CIA officers when it implies — as it does clearly through the conclusions — that the Agency’s assessments were willfully misrepresented in a calculated effort to manipulate.”
[su_r_sky_ad]Here are other highlights:
- At one point in 2002, CIA employees at a secret site in Thailand broke down emotionally after witnessing harrowing treatment of Abu Zubaida, a high-profile facilitator for al-Qaeda.
- The document names only a handful of high-ranking CIA employees and does not call for any further investigation of those involved or even offer any formal recommendations. It steers clear of scrutinizing the involvement of the White House and Justice Department, which two years ago ruled out the possibility that CIA employees would face prosecution.
- [Senator Dianne] Feinstein does not characterize the CIA’s actions as torture, but said the trauma of Sept. 11 had prompted the agency to employ “brutal interrogation techniques in violation of U.S. law, treaty obligations and our values.” The report should serve as “a warning for the future,” she said. “We cannot again allow history to be forgotten and grievous past mistakes to be repeated.”
- At its height, the CIA program included secret prisons in countries including Afghanistan, Thailand, Romania, Lithuania and Poland — locations that are referred to only by color-themed codes in the report, such as “Cobalt,” to preserve a veneer of secrecy.
- After being transferred to a site in Thailand, Zubaida was placed in isolation for 47 days, a period during which the presumably important source on al-Qaeda faced no questions. Then, at 11:50 a.m. on Aug. 4, 2002, the CIA launched a round-the-clock interrogation assault — slamming Zubaida against walls, stuffing him into a coffin-sized box and waterboarding him until he coughed, vomited and had “involuntary spasms of the torso and extremities.”
- The treatment continued for 17 days. At one point, the waterboarding left Zubaida “completely unresponsive, with bubbles rising through his open, full mouth.”
- The document provides a similarly detailed account of the interrogation of the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who fed his interrogators a stream of falsehoods and intelligence fragments. Waterboarding was supposed to simulate suffocation with a damp cloth and a trickle of liquid. But with Mohammed, CIA operatives used their hands to form a standing pool of water over his mouth. KSM, as he is known in agency documents, was ingesting “a LOT of water,” a CIA medical officer wrote, saying that the application had been so altered that “we are basically doing a series of near drownings.”
- The agency’s records of the program were so riddled with errors, according to the report, that the CIA often offered conflicting counts of how many prisoners it had…In 2007, then-CIA Director Hayden testified in a closed-door session with the Senate panel that “in the history of the program, we’ve had 97 detainees.” In reality, the number was 119…Two years later, when Hayden was preparing to deliver an early intelligence briefing for senior aides to newly elected President Obama, a subordinate noted that the actual count was significantly higher. Hayden “instructed me to keep the detainee number at 98,” the employee wrote to himself in an e-mail. “Pick whatever date I needed to make that happen but the number is 98.”… Hayden said the discrepancy in the prisoner numbers reflected the fact that detainees captured before the start of the interrogation program were counted separately from those held at the black sites.
- Tapes of interrogations were destroyed in 2006 at the behest of CIA counterterrorism chief Jose Rodriguez, a move that triggered a Justice Department investigation.
- Senate investigators said none of the claims that torture helped obtain valuable information held up under scrutiny, with some unraveling because information was erroneously attributed to detainees subjected to harsh interrogations, others because the CIA already had information from other sources.
- Torture played no meaningful role in the identification of a courier, Abu Ahmad al-Kuwaiti, who would lead the agency to bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.