An explosive report released by the Senate Intelligence Committee has revealed the heinous nature of CIA interrogations after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The document, which was declassified and redacted, proved what many suspected, that the CIA’s use of torture violated United States and international law. However, the Bush administration ignored governing law and gave the CIA permission to use “enhanced interrogation techniques” on high value prisoners at secret overseas prisons.
These techniques included sleep deprivation, death threats and water boarding of prisoners at secret CIA facilities. Sleep deprivation of prisoners included “keeping detainees awake for up to 180 hours, usually standing or in stress positions, at times with their hands shackled above their heads. At least five detainees experienced disturbing hallucinations during prolonged sleep deprivation and, in at least two of those cases, the CIA nonetheless continued the sleep deprivation.”
In addition the use of waterboarding was the most controversial the report states, “The waterboarding technique was physically harmful, inducing convulsions and vomiting. Abu Zubaydah, for example, became “completely unresponsive, with bubbles rising through his open, full mouth.” Internal CIA records describe the waterboarding of Khalid Shaykh Mohammad as evolving into a “series of near drownings.”
The report paints a picture of a deeply flawed, vicious and ultimately ineffective detention program. The cases of abuse in these facilities were extreme and included medically unnecessary forced rectal feedings of prisoners.
Senators found that the CIA lied to multiple government agencies and branches, including the Justice Department and the White House in order to hide the illegal activities. President Obama outlawed enhanced interrogation during the first year of his administration. Obama acknowledged the CIA program by stating,“We tortured some folks” in August of this year.