اتهم تقرير مجلس الشيوخ الأمريكي، الصادر اليوم الثلاثاء، وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية الأمريكية بالتعامل بطريقة 'وحشية' في استجوابها لعدد من المشتبه بهم في أعقاب أحداث 11 سبتمبر/ آيلول 2001.
وذكر التقرير 20 وسيلة تعذيب استخدمتها الـ'سي أي إيه' في استجواب المعتقلين، وأبرزها الإيهام بالغرق، والصفع، والتهديد بالكهرباء، الحرمان من النوم، والتهديدات بالاعتداءات الجنسية، والإذلال.
وفيما يلي تفصيل لما أورده التقرير بشأن استخدام هذه الوسائل، وما أحدثته من أضرار:
1- الإيهام بالغرق
قال التقرير إن وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية استخدمت أسلوب الإيهام بالغرق، الذي كان ضاراً من الناحية الجسدية، وتسبب في تشنجات وقيء لعدد من المعتقلين.
وضرب التقرير مثالاً بأبو زبيدة (وهو مواطن سعودي محتجز في معتقل غوانتانامو الأمريكي، ويعتقد أنه عضو بتنظيم القاعدة) الذي أصبح 'لا يستجيب تماما (للمحققين)، مع خروج فقعات من فمه'.
كما دلل على تلك الأضرار، أيضاً، بما حدث لخالد شيخ محمد (وهو مواطن كويتي سجين لدى الولايات المتحدة ويعتقد أنه من أبرز قادة تنظيم القاعدة)، واصفة ما تعرض له بأنه ليس مجرد إيهاما ولكنه 'قارب الغرق'.
2- الحرمان من النوم
قال التقرير إن الوكالة استخدمت، أيضاً، أسلوب الحرمان من النوم، وإبقاء المعتقلين مستيقظين لمدة تصل إلى 180 ساعة، عادة ما يكونوا واقفين في أوضاع مجهدة، وفي بعض الأحيان تكون أيديهم مقيدهم فوق رؤوسهم.
ونحو 5 معتقلين تعرضوا إلى هلاوس بسبب حرمانهم من النوم لفترات طويلة، ومع ذلك استمرت الـ'سي أي إيه' في حرمان اثنين على الأقل، من النوم، وفق ما رصده التقرير.
ولفت إلى أن الحالة الوحيدة التي قام الأطباء التابعين للـ'سي أي إيه' بمعالجتها كانت 'لمعتقل واحد على الأقل، كان يعاني من التورم'، لافتة أن معالجته كانت بغرض 'استمرار استخدام أسلوب حرمانه من النوم'.
3- التهديدات بالإعتداءات الجنسية
قام مسؤولون من الـ'سي أي إيه' بتهديد ثلاث معتقلين على الأقل، بالتعرض لذوييهم بالضرر، بما في ذلك تهديدات بإيذاء أطفال أحد المعتقلين، وتهديد بالاعتداء جنسياً على والدة معتقل، وتهديد بحز نحر أم المعتقل الثالث، حسبما قال التقرير.
4- التغذية العكسية
قال التقرير إنه 'بخلاف التزامات الوكالة الأمريكية المركزية لوزارة العدل، كانت تعليمات الوكالة أن استجواب أبو زبيدة (أحد المعتقلين بسجن غوانتانامو) مقدم، على رعايته الصحية، وهو ما أدى إلى تدهور جرح إثر رصاصة أصيب بها أثناء اعتقاله'.
كما يوجد، على الأقل، حالتين من الحالات الأخرى، استخدمت فيها وكالة المخابرات المركزية، أساليبها في الاستجواب رغم تحذيرات طبية بأن تلك الأساليب يمكن أن تسبب تفاقم الإصابات الجسدية للمعتقلين'، بحسب التقرير.
وأشار التقرير إلى تعرض على الأقل 5 معتقلين للتغذية الإجبارية بحقن دون ضرورة طبية موثقة.
5- الضغط النفسي والجسدي
قال التقرير إن 'ظروف احتجاز الاستخبارات الأمريكية للمعتقلين كانت أشد قسوة مما أعلنته لواضعي السياسات وغيرهم، حيث كانت ظروف مواقع الاحتجاز سيئة، وكئيبة، لا سيما في المراحل الأولى لبرنامج الاستجواب.
وأوضح التقرير أنه، خلال مراحل البرنامج، ظهرت على العديد من محتجزي سي آي إيه الذين تعرضوا لتقنيات الاستجواب المتقدمة والعزلة، حالات نفسية وسلوكية، تشمل الهلوسة، ومحاولات إيذاء النفس وتشويه الذات.
وكان يبقى المحتجزين في مركز احتجاز 'كوبالت' في ظلام دامس، مكبلين بالأغلال على نحو مستمر في زنازين معزولة.
6- الموسيقى والضجيج
وسط ضجيج أو موسيقى عالية.
7 - العزلة
وتابع التقرير: 'حتى بعد تحسن ظروف الحبس مع بناء مركز اعتقال جديد، كان يتم احتجاز المعتقلين في عزلة تامة إلا عندما يتم استجوابهم أو التحقيق معهم من قبل موظفي وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية'.
وكذلك كان يتم الحبس في مكان ضيق لا يمكن التحرك داخله.
وحدد العديد من علماء النفس غياب الاتصال البشري الذي يعانيه المعتقلون باعتباره سببا للمشاكل النفسية.
8 - الإذلال
في بعض الأحيان، كان يمشى المحتجزين في مركز احتجاز 'كوبالت' عراة أو يتم تقييدهم بالأصفاد وأيديهم فوق رؤوسهم لفترات طويلة، وتارة أخرى كانوا يتعرضوا لما وصف بأنه 'إذلال شديد'، حيث يصرخ ما يقرب من خمسة من ضباط الاستخبارات في المحتجز، ويجروه خارج زنزانته.
9 تمزيق الملابس والسحل
كان يتم تمزيق ملابس المحتجز مع تأمينه (تقييد حركته) بشريط لاصق، قبل تغطية رأسه وجره ذهابا وإيابا عبر ممر بينما يتم ضربه.
10- الصفع واللكم
من بين الأساليب التي استخدمتها وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية، أسلوب صفع المعتقلين، وضربهم للحائط، بشكل يجمع بين الأسلوبين، وهو ما قامت به مع معتقلها الأول أبو زبيدة وأخرون، بحسب تقرير مجلس الشيوخ.
كما كان يتم استخدام أساليب أخرى في هذا السياق مثل امساك الوجه، وتستخدم بعدة طرق منها إمساك الوجه بيد واحدة أو يدين.
وكذلك في هذا السياق كان يتم مواجهة الضحية للحائط رافعاً ذراعيه بحيث يلامسان الحائط.
'كذلك تم مهاجمة أبو زبيدة بعد تقييده وتغطية وجهه ولف منشفة حول رقبته لاستخدامها كطوق ودفعه باتجاه حائط الزنزانة'
11- التهديد بالكهرباء
أوضح التقرير أن وكالة الاستخبارات الأمريكية استخدمت التهديد بالكهرباء، مع أحد المعتقلين ويدعى عبد الرحمن النشيري، دون أن يذكر التقرير استخدام الكهرباء بشكل مباشر عليه.
وعبدالرحيم النشيري هو سعودي متهم بالتخطيط لتفجير المدمرة الأمريكية يو إس إس كول عام 2000 بميناء يمني.
12- عصا المكنسة
كما استخدمت الوكالة أسلوب إجهاد جسد الشخص الذين استجوابه عن طريق ارهاق ركبتيه، ودلل التقرير على ذلك بأن 'أحد مسؤولي تحقيقات وكالة المخابرات المركزية وضع عصا مكنسة خلف ركبتي زبير (مشتبة به) عندما كان زبير (يجلس) على ركبتيه على الأرض.
13- خفض درجات الحرارة
أشار التقرير إلى أن خفض درجة الحرارة في أحد زنازين سجن بـ'كوبالت' ويرجح أنه ساهم في وفاة أحد المعتقلين. كما أن رئيس الاستجوابات وصف 'كوبالت' بأنه 'حصن'، فيما ذكر مسؤول آخر كبير في سي آي إيه أن 'كوبالت' في ذاته تقنية معززة للاستجواب.
أشار التقرير إلى أنه تم مهاجمة أبو زبيدة بعد تقييده وتغطية وجهه ولف منشفة حول رقبته لاستخدامها كطوق ودفعه باتجاه حائط الزنزانة.
15- الماء المثلج
كان يتم تعريض المعتقلين لحمامات مليئة بالماء المثلج.
16 - التابوت
تخويف الضحية عن طريق اخباره بأنه سيتم قتله لا محالة ودفنه، ويحضر تابوت لاثبات صحة كلام المحقق.
أشار التقرير إلى دفع المعتقلين للاعتقاد بأنهم لن يسمح لهم أبدا بمغادرة محبسهم في الوكالة أبدا وهم على قيد الحياة، واقترحت الوكالة على أحد المعتقلين بأنه يمكن أن يغادر فقط في تابوت، كدليل على عدم السماح بخروجهم.
ونقل التقرير، أحاديث لما دار بين بعض محققي الـ'سي أي إيه' والمعتقلين، ومن بين هذه الأحاديث، ما قاله أحد المحققين لمعتقل بأنه لن يذهب أبداً إلى المحكمة لأنه 'لا يمكن أن نسمح بأن يعرف العالم بما فعلناه بك'.
17 - التغذية عن طريق الشرج
تتلخص بوضع انبوب داخل المخرج (الشرج) مرتبط بطعام مهروس وضخها إلى داخل بدنه، وهي طريقة طبية قديمة تستخدم كأسلوب للتعذيب.
18- الإرواء الشرجي
ضخ سوائل إلى جسم الضحية باستخدام نفس اسلوب التغذية عن طريق الشرج، بدلاً من الفم.
19- استخدام البامبرز او الحفاظات
وهو ما يستخدمه الطفل عند قضاء حاجته، يلبس الضحية حفاظاً بقصد الاهانة، لكي يقضي حاجته داخلها بدلاً من الذهاب إلى الحمام
20- استخدام الحشرات
وضع الضحية في مكان مليء بالحشرات كالبعوض والديدان
Supporting Human Rights, Transparency and Fairness for David Hicks
· Facts »
Torture Techniques used in Guantanamo
Why Torture Techniques Were Used
Many Guantanamo interrogators (including psychologists and psychiatrists) were trained by Survival-Evasion-Resistance-Escape (SERE) instructors, or had experience in the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA), which oversaw SERE training. SERE was a program designed to train military personnel who had been caught as Prisoners Of War to withstand torture during interrogation if they were to be caught by a ‘dishonourable enemy’. Military personnel went through a program of beatings, starvation, stress positions, being stripped naked and thrown into small cages for days. The SERE program was established after years of experimentation by the CIA and the other four branches of the U.S. military. Jane Mayer points out that the SERE program was a strange way to try and obtain the ‘truth’ from detainees because it was founded during the Cold War when 36 US air men gave false confessions during the Korean War. Ideas for interrogation also came from the television series ‘24’, which depicted a fictional character torturing detainees to get information about a terrorist plot.
The Senate Armed Services Committee Report outlines how the harsh interrogation techniques came about. See, ‘Senate Armed Services Committee Inquiry into the Treatment of Detainees in US Custody’; and, Jane Mayer, ‘The Dark Side’, Scribe Publications, Victoria, 2008, p.158; Philippe Sands, ‘Torture Team’, Penguin Books, London, 2008, p.73; and former soldier put through SERE training, David J. Morris, Empires of the Mind: ‘SERE, Guantánamo, and the Legacies of Torture’, Virginia Quarterly Review, Winter 2009.
List of Torture Techniques
1. Sexual Assault/Humiliation Techniques
Detainees in US custody in Abu Ghraib, Kandahar and Bagram (where many were taken to before Guantanamo) have reported being sodomised with broomsticks, a ‘chemical light’ or rifles. Other forms of sexual humiliation reported have been; parading men naked in front of female soldiers, forcing them to wear women’s underwear and dance with other men, forcing them to undress in front of female interrogators and guards, touching their genitals or provoking them in a ‘humiliating’ way and forcing them to watch pornography. Most detainees in U.S. custody have alleged that they were either raped, threatened with rape, or anally probed. Sexual violence is a war crime. Sexual humiliation is used to induce feelings of humiliation and fear.
See Army Major General Anonio M. Taguba, interview with Seymour Hersh, ‘The General’s Report: How Antonio Taguba, who investigated the Abu Ghraib scandal, became one of its casualties.’, 25th June, 2007; and Joseph Margulies,‘Guantanamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power’, Simon & Schuster, New York, p.87. For more information about proven cases of sexual assault, see ‘Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by U.S. Personnel and its Impact’; and Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR), ‘Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment of Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba’, July, 2006.
2. Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation is used by torturers because it makes a person more suggestible, reduces psychological resistance and it reduces the body’s capacity to resist pain. Sleep deprivation is a very effective torture technique. The Committee against Torture (CAT) has noted that sleep deprivation used for prolonged periods constitutes a breach of the CAT, and is primarily used to break down the will of the detainee. Sleep deprivation can cause impaired memory and cognitive functioning, decreased short term memory, speech impairment, hallucinations, psychosis, lowered immunity, headaches, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stress, anxiety and depression. For more information, see Gretchen Borchelt, JD & Christian Pross, MD ‘Systematic Use of Psychological Torture by US Forces’,Torture, vol.15(1), 2005; and ‘Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by U.S. Personnel and its Impact’.
Sleep deprivation was authorised under the 2002 Department of Defense Memo in the form of 20 hour interrogations. The U.S. military authorised sleep deprivation for its prisoners for up to seventy two hours. See, Human Rights First & Physicians for Human Rights, ‘Leave no Marks: Enhanced Interrogation Techniques and the Risk of Criminality’, August 2007,p.22. The Schmidt report found that, ‘military interrogators improperly used sleep deprivation against Detainees’.
Operation Sandman is also known as the ‘Frequent Flyer Program’. Salim Hamdan was subjected to fifty days of Operation Sandman (See Glaberson,http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/15/us/15gitmo.html?_r=1). Mohammad Jawad was moved 112 times from cell to cell over a fourteen day period. See ACLU, ‘Major David J.R. Frakt’s Closing Argument in Favour of Dismissal of the Case Against Mohammad Jawad’, 19th June, 2008.
3. Sensory Deprivation
Sensory deprivation is used to instil a sense of fear, disorientation and cause dependency on their captor. In the 1950s the CIA funded a study into human behaviour and mind control in response to the Cold War. Dr Hebb of McGill University conducted studies on people to induce a state akin to psychosis by placing students in air-conditioned cubicles with earmuffs, gloves and goggles. Within 24 hours they began to experience hallucinations, and by 48 hours complete breakdown and disintegration of personality. Sensory deprivation has also been attributed to increased pain sensitivity and increased psychological stress. According to the Kubark manual, sensory deprivation makes the detainee more susceptible to the interrogator. See, Professor McCoy, ‘Hicks ‘Severely Damaged’, says CIA expert’, ABC Lateline, 13th June, 2006; and, John Zubeck, ‘Sensory and Perceptual Motor Process’, in Zubeck (ed.), ‘Sensory Deprivation: Fifteen Years of Research’, Meredith, New York, 1969, p.232; and Physicians for Human rights, ‘Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by U.S. Personnel and its Impact’.
4. Solitary Confinement/Isolation
Solitary confinement is strictly prohibited under international law. It is a cruel practice which causes permanent psychological damage. The impacts can range from hallucinations, emotional damage, delusions and impaired cognitive functioning to anxiety and depression. Solitary confinement is outlawed under the Convention Against Torture, ICCPR and the Geneva Conventions. Camp 5, 6, and Echo are also considered solitary under international law; in other words, David spent the majority of his time in solitary confinement. See, Human Rights Watch,Locked Up Alone: Detention Conditions and Mental Health at Guantanamo, June 9, 2008; and The Istanbul Statement on the Use and Effects of Solitary Confinement, Adopted 9th December, 2007 at the International Psychological Trauma Symposium.
5. Mock Executions
It is contrary to international law to allow a prisoner to think that he is going to be executed. The ICRC complained to the military officials saying that ‘The detainees think they are being taken to be shot’. Apparently military officials debated whether to tell the detainees the truth, but decided to wait until after the first round of interrogations. See, Joseph Margulies, ‘Guantanamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power’, Simon & Schuster, New York, 2006, p.65; and David Rose, ‘Guantanamo: America’s War on Human Rights’, Faber & Faber Ltd., London, 2004, p. 51-53.
6. Forced Medication
Medical experimentation was outlawed under international law since its use in Nazi concentration camps. The history of U.S. medical experimentation, for interrogation purposes, began with the MKULTRA program which was enacted by the CIA in response to the Cold War. A number of biological agents and drugs were tested on people, including prisoners and prostitutes, to find substances that led to mind control and behaviour modification. Recently the US military has confirmed that they used high doses of Larium that caused neuropsychiatric effects- including suicidal thoughts and behaviours, and psyhcosis. See,Jason Leopold & Jeffrey Kaye, ‘Controversial Drug Given to All Guantanamo Detainees Akin to “Pharmacologic Waterboarding’, Truthout, 9th May 2011; and Dani Veracity, ‘Human Medical Experimentation in the United States: The Shocking True History of Modern Medicine and Psychiatry (1833-1965)’, 6th March, 2006; and Amnesty International Australia, ‘Human Experimentation in Guantanamo Bay’, 28th September 2009; andPhysicians for Human Rights, ‘Health Professionals’ Ethics and Human Rights Violations Revealed in the May 2004 CIA’s Inspector General’s Report’, August, 2009. Documentation of reports of detainees being given injections or other medications without consent can be found in Physicians for Human Rights, Physicians for Human Rights 2008 report, ‘Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by U.S. Personnel and its Impact’, p.8.
7. The Use of Dogs to Scare Detainees
The use of dogs to threaten and intimidate detainees can be traced back to the France, Belgium and the concentration camps during Nazi Germany (See, Darius Rejali, Torture and Democracy). In a 2002 memo, Defense Department lawyer, Jim Haynes wrote a memo authorising the use of sleep deprivation, stress positions, nudity and dogs. An investigation into FBI allegations of detainee abuse (The Schmidt Report) found that ‘military interrogators improperly used military working dogs during interrogation sessions to threaten detainees…’ The Schmidt Report, Investigation into FBI Allegations of Detainee Abuse at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Detention Facility, 1 Apr 05 (Amended 9 Jun 05). The use of dogs to intimidate at Guantanamo was such an effective technique it was transported to Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan and Iraq in an approved plan to ‘scare-up’ prisoners.
‘I still see the dogs in my dreams- that they are coming for me and are going to bite me.’ Detainee describing the fear the dogs created for him upon arrival at Guantanamo. See, ‘Hadyar’s testimony’ in, Physicians for Human Rights 2008 report, ‘Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by U.S. Personnel and its Impact’, p.47.
8. Temperature Extremes
Using temperature extremes as a form of torture has been used for many years by many different countries. It was the Brazilian’s who switched from heat to cold cells in 1966. The ‘cold cell’, which was used in Guantanamo was authorised in 2005 as part of the CIA’s ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’, however, they were using it before long before. The Haynes 2002 memo, signed off by Donald Rumsfeld, authorised this technique. See, Philippe Sands, ‘Torture Team’, Penguin Books, London, 2008, p.4-6; and, Darius Rejali, ‘Torture and Democracy’, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 2007, pp.351-353.
Leaving people in ‘Sweatboxes’ has been used for centuries. In Vietnam, shipping containers left over by American forces were used to torture people in the intense heat of the tropical climate. The same technique has been applied in Guantanamo. An investigation into improper interrogations noted this technique noting; ‘That military interrogators improperly used extremes of heat and cold during their interrogation of detainees.’ See, ‘The Schmidt Report’, Investigation into FBI Allegations of Detainee Abuse at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Detention Facility, 1 Apr 05 (Amended 9 Jun 05); and Darius Rejali, ‘Torture and Democracy’, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 2007, p.351-353.
9. Sensory Bombardment (Noise)
Noise has been used by torturers to either mask sounds of others being tortured, such as when children’s music was played by the Gestapo when beating Walter Bauer, or when they are trying to disrupt sleep, terrorise or create emotions within the prisoners. In 2004, a U.S. military official admitted that ‘uncooperative prisoners strip to their underwear, having them sit in a chair with shackled hand and foot to a bolt in the floor, and forcing them to endure strobe lights and screaming loud rock and rap music played through two close loudspeakers, while the air conditioning was turned up to maximum levels.’ See, Neil A. Lewis, ‘Broad Use of Harsh Interrogation Techniques is Described at Cuba’, New York Times, October 17th 2004; and Darius Rejali, ‘Torture and Democracy’, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 2007, p.360-366. Australian officials attributed the noise over the years to ‘construction and equipment noise’, after David submitted a complaint about not being able to sleep to Australian embassy officials. Letter to David Mcleod from Simeon Gelding, Assistant Secretary Consular Branch, 23rd March, 2006.
10. Watching Others Being Tortured
Witnessing torture and violence can have the same psychological effects of actually experiencing the violence. Scientists have found that psychological manipulation techniques, such as deprivation, humiliation and forced stress positions cause as much mental stress as physical pain. See,JAMA and Archives Journals, ‘Psychological And Physical Torture Have Similar Mental Effects’, ScienceDaily, 6th March 2007.
11. Psychological Techniques
Psychologically abusive techniques were used to disrupt sleep and disorient detainees. The CIA’s KUBARK manual suggests that interrogations aided by the use of temperature extremes, noise bombardment and sleep deprivation are able to induce ‘regression, psychic disintegration, and feelings of helplessness that lower prisoners’ defences.’ This of course, leads to signed confessions and more malleable prisoners. For more information see, Physicians for Human Rights 2008 report, ‘Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by U.S. Personnel and its Impact’; and Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR),‘Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment of Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba’, July, 2006.
During interrogations, intelligence branches and BSCT teams (psychologists and psychiatrists) sat behind double sided glass to watch detainees being interrogated. Their job was to provide information on the detainee’s mental health, weaknesses and vulnerabilities. The Kiley Report confirms that medical personnel were utilised during interrogations. The ICRC called this ‘a flagrant violation of medical ethics.’ See, The Centre for the Study of Human rights in the America’s, ‘ICRC:Analysis’; and The Kiley Report, Kevin C. Kiley, ‘Assessment of Detainee Medical Operations for OEF, GTMO, and OIF, Office of the Surgeon General Army, 13th April, 2005; and ‘Steven Miles, Medical Ethics and the Interrogation of Guantanamo 063’,The American Journal of Bioethics, 7(4):5.
Seemingly menial techniques were also employed, such as forcing detainees to read children’s books. News organisations reported that an interrogator read a Harry Potter book to a detainee for hours in order to ‘wear down the detainee’. Keeping detainees in a ‘childlike’ state was considered advantageous to the interrogators because they were more suggestible and malleable. See, AP, ‘Pols: Gitmo Conditions Have Improved’, 27th June, 2005.
‘Enhanced’ Interrogation Techniques
Although these techniques were used before 2002, the military responded to General Miller’s request by seeking legal approval for ‘harsher’ interrogation methods. They split the methods into three categories, the third category being the most brutal. The methods authorised included: stress positions, mock executions, solitary confinement, hooding and other forms of sensory deprivation, removal of ‘comfort items’, forced nudity, forced grooming, taking advantage of the detainees fears (dogs), exposure to cold weather or water and allowing an interrogator to use ‘a wet towel and dripping water to induce the misperception of suffocation.’ See, Joseph Margulies,‘Guantanamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power’, Simon & Schuster, New York, 2006, p.97.
Abu Ghraib- The Connection to Guantanamo
The techniques used at Abu Ghraib were first used at Guantanamo. General Geoffrey Miller was sent to Abu Ghraib to ‘gitmo-ise’ it. The Taguba report found the intentional abuse of detainees by; forcing groups of males to masturbate, forcing male and female detainees into sexually explicit poses for photographing, punching, slapping and kicking detainees, arranging naked male detainees in a pile, a male guard raping a female detainee, writing ‘i am a rapest’ (sic) on the leg of a detainee alleged to have raped a 15 year old fellow detainee then photographing him naked and positioning a naked detainee on an MRE box with a sandbag on his head and attaching wires to his fingers, penis and toes to simulate electric shock, and taking photographs of dead Iraqi detainees. See, The Taguba report, ‘Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade’, 2004. Redacted version available fromhttp://www.npr.org/iraq/2004/prison_abuse_report.pdf; and, Seymour Hersh, ‘Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib’, HarperCollins, New York, 2004; and, David Rose,‘Guantanamo: America’s War on Human Rights’, Faber & Faber Ltd., London, 2004, p. 82.
The Torture Memos
The memos authorised interrogation techniques that included Attention Grasp, Walling, Facial Hold, Facial Slap (Insult Slap), Cramped Confinement, Wall Standing, Stress Positions, Sleep Deprivation, Insects Placed in Confinement Box; and Waterboarding. These techniques were discussed in the recently leaked International Committee of the Red Cross report which outlined the treatment of 14 ‘high value detainees’.
In one of the memos Steven Bradbury explores the psychological tool of ‘learned helplessness’ and how it is employed to condition detainees through techniques such as ‘nudity’, ‘dietary manipulation’ and ‘sleep deprivation’. This results in a total reliance on their captors for meeting basic human needs. Bradbury noted that sleep deprivation could consist of shackling the prisoner naked and in a ‘diaper’, as long as the diaper is ‘checked regularly’ and that this would not cause “severe physical suffering”.
Read the memos here (46 pages)http://stream.luxmedia501.com/?file=clients/aclu/olc_05102005_bradbury46pg.pdf&method, here (20 pages)http://stream.luxmedia501.com/?file=clients/aclu/olc_05102005_bradbury_20pg.pdf&, and here (40 pages)http://stream.luxmedia501.com/?file=clients/aclu/olc_05302005_bradbury.pdf&method
For a good summary of the memos, see Amnesty International, The ‘Torture Memos’, 4th May, 2009. Available at http://www.amnesty.org.au/hrs/comments/20923/. The ‘ICRC report on the treatment of fourteen ‘high value detainees in CIA custody’ is available at, http://www.nybooks.com/icrc-report.pdf; also see Mark Danner, ‘US Torture: Voices From the Black Sites,New York Review of Books, 9th April, 2009. Available at,http://www.nybooks.com/articles/22530. The CIA Inspector General’s Report is available at, http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/documents/cia_oig_report.pdf; or a summary is available here, http://www.amnesty.org.au/hrs/comments/21585/.
How the CIA tortured its detainees
Waterboarding, confinement, sleep deprivation – Oliver Laughland takes a look at some of the ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ used by the agency
· theguardian.com, Tuesday 9 December 2014 23.35 GMT
A detainee at Guantanamo Bay in 2009. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images
The CIA, and the Senate intelligence committee, would rather avoid the word “torture,” preferring euphemisms like “enhanced interrogation techniques” and “rendition, detention and interrogation program”. Many of the techniques employed by the CIA after capturing high-value targets have been documented in CIA memos released by the Obama administration, and in numerous leaks, including a report written by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Here are some of the techniques known to have been used, and the effects on detainees:
Rectal feeding and rehydration
The torture report contains new information on the CIA’s use of rectal feeding and rehydration. At least five detainees were subjected to the process, the report states. The report details how accused USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri was placed “in a forward facing position (Trendelenburg) with head lower than torso”, whilst undergoing rectal feeding.
Another detainee, Majid Khan, a legal resident of the United States and accused confident of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was also subjected to rectal feeding. According to a CIA cable released in the report, his “‘lunch tray’ consisting of hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts and raisins was ‘pureed and rectally infused’”.
Mohammed was also subjected to rectal rehydration “without a determination of medical need”. Mohammed’s chief interrogator described use of the process as emblematic of their “total control over the detainee”.
Confinement in a box
Placing the subject inside a confined box to restrict their movement was approved by the Bush administration in the case of Abu Zubaydah.
Zubaydah says he was placed in a number of different confinement boxes in an intense period of interrogation in Afghanistan in 2002. He told the ICRC that the boxes made it difficult to breathe and reopened wounds in his legs. He could not recall how long he spent in each confinement box, and believes he may have passed out inside.
The use of insects inside the box was also approved, to exploit a phobia Abu Zubaydah had. This element was not ultimately used, according to memos.
The use of cold water
A number of those interviewed by the ICRC said they were often subjected to dousings in cold water during interrogation. Khalid Sheikh Mohammad’s co-defendant Walid bin Attash said that for the first two weeks of his detention in Afghanistan his naked body was wrapped in plastic after being doused, and kept inside the cold envelope of water for several minutes.
In November 2002, a suspected Afghan militant, Gul Rahman, died of hypothermia inside a CIA black site north of Kabul known as the Salt Pit. Rahman had been left in a cold cell, stripped from the waist down and had been doused in water, according to reports from the Associated Press.
The torture report contains more details on Rahman’s death, including details of the CIA’s interrogation methodology used. This included “48 hours of sleep deprivation, auditory overload, total darkness, isolation a cold shower and rough treatment”. The CIA Headquarters did not approve these methods in advance, the report says. But the day before Rahman’s death, one CIA officer ordered that Rahman be shackled to the wall of his cell and sat on the cold floor whilst naked from the waist down. CIA headquarters had approved the use of “enhanced measures” at this point.
The CIA officer who sent these instructions received no reprimand. Instead, four months later, he was given a $2,500 cash reward for his “consistently superior work”.
The process of suffocation by water involves strapping the individual to a tilted board, with legs above their head, placing a cloth over their face, covering their nose and mouth. Water is then poured continuously over the cloth to prevent breathing, simulate drowning and induce panic.
The process is carried out for about 40 seconds and is known to have been repeated a number of times during interrogation.
The process was carried out on three detainees, Bush administration officials have said. But the number could be higher, according to a 2012 report from Human Rights Watch.
One of those, Abu Zubaydah, a suspected senior Bin Laden lieutenant, told the ICRC: “I struggled without success to breathe. I thought I was going to die. I lost control of my urine.” He underwent the process 83 times, while another of the CIA’s highest-value detainees, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, said to be the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks, was subjected to waterboarding 183 times.
Beatings and threats
Many detainees have reported being beaten by interrogators, and the CIA memo mentions a number of approved methods of physical contact, including “facial holds”, “insult slaps” and “attention grasps”.
Most of those interviewed by the ICRC alleged that these beatings often occurred in the immediate aftermath of their capture, often multiple times in the day.
One detainee said: “I was punched and slapped in the face and on the back, to the extent that I was bleeding. While having a rope round my neck and being tied to a pillar, my head was banged against the pillar repeatedly.”
Six of the detainees said they were slammed into walls after having a collar placed around their necks. The CIA called it“walling”: a fake, flexible wall is constructed and a detainee is thrown against it, creating a loud noise. The noise is designed to make the detainee believe they are injured.
Detainees also reported threats of severe violence and sexual assault made against them and their families. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told the ICRC he was threatened with being brought to the “verge of death and back again”.
The torture report notes that at least three detainees were threatened with harm to their families. Interrogators implied to Nashiri that his mother would be brought in front of him and sexually abused. The report also notes one detainee was told his mother’s throat would be cut. It is not clear which detainee this references.
The torture report confirms that Nashiri was threatened with a pistol placed near his head and a cordless drill that was operated near his body. Nashiri was blindfolded at the time.
“Al-Nashiri did not provide any additional threat information during, or after, these interrogations,” the report concludes.
A variety of stress positions were used by the CIA. Ten terror suspects alleged to the ICRC that these included beingtold to stand upright and shackled to the ceiling for up to three days, and in some cases at intervals for over three months. Other stress positions included being shackled to the floor with arms stretched over the head.
Three detainees interviewed by the ICRC said they were forced to urinate and defecate on themselves in these positions, and were left standing in their own excrement.
The use of stress positions was designed to cause muscle fatigue, physical discomfort and exhaustion.
Sleep deprivation was employed routinely and was seen as a key tool in enhanced interrogations. Many of these techniques overlap with other interrogation procedures – the use of stress positions, and in particular shackling a standing detainee with his hands in front of his body.
Among the most infamous was the use of loud music and white noise, sometimes played for 24 hours a day on short loops. Cells were also reportedly kept deliberately cold to prevent detainees falling asleep. The agency was authorized to keep a detainee awake for up to 180 hours – about a week – but told the Justice Department it only kept three detainees awake for 96 hours maximum.
Eleven of the 14 detainees interviewed by the ICRC said they had been subjected to sleep deprivation. One said: “If I started to fall asleep a guard would come and spray water in my face.”
The torture report reveals that four detainees, each with “medical complications in their lower extremities”, including two with broken feet, were placed in shackled standing positions for “extended periods of time” to induce sleep deprivation.
The men with broken feet, Abu Hazim and Abd al-Karim who sustained the injuries whilst trying to escape capture, were also subjected to walling, stress positions and cramped confinement, despite recommendations that their injuries prevented this form of interrogation.
Forced nudity and restricted diets
The CIA viewed certain techniques as “conditioning” measures, designed to get detainees used to their helplessness rather than yielding any intelligence value on their own. Sleep deprivation was in this category. So was stripping a detainee naked, which a 2005 memo from the Justice Department to the CIA said carried the benefit of “reward[ing] detainees instantly with clothing for cooperation.” (While keeping a detainee naked “might cause embarrassment,” a Justice Department lawyer wrote, it did not itself constitute “sexual abuse” or the threat of sexual abuse.)
Another “conditioning” technique involved feeding a detainee “a bland, commercial liquid meal” instead of normal food. The CIA set caloric intake guidelines – a recommended minimum was 1,500 calories daily – and relied on medical personnel, who are sworn to do no harm to their patients, to ensure detainees did not lose more than 10% of their body weight. A Justice Department memo understood the dietary manipulation could “increase the effectiveness of other techniques, such as sleep deprivation.”
• This article was amended on 9 December 2014 to correct a sentence that stated the CIA authorized a detainee to be kept awake for up to 180 hours – “about a week and a half.” It should have said “about a week.”