On Dec. 9, the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee released a 6,000-page report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s “enhanced interrogation” techniques. The report outlines and condemns the harsh tactics carried out on suspected terrorists in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Five years in the making, the “torture report” is based on more than 6 million documents. "Under any common meaning of the term, CIA detainees were tortured," Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat and the committee chairman, declared.
When President Barack Obama took office, he signed an Executive Order restricting interrogations to the tactics outlined in the Army Field Manual, officially putting an end to the worst chapter in the history of the Bush administration. Still, despite the controversy surrounding waterboarding and several leaked photos of suspected terror detainees in diapers and collars, the methods presented in the Senate report are far more brutal and shocking than original thought. While the CIA countered by saying that the findings “only tell part of the story,” the use of techniques such as rectal feeding, sleep deprivation, and mock executions indicate that the story, whatever it may be, had gone too far. The extreme tactics waged by the CIA over a 12-year war are grisly and macabre, but whether or not the exhaustive and damning report puts an end to America’s torture legacy remains to be seen.
7 How Much Did President George W. Bush Know?
President George W. Bush approved the CIA’s detention and interrogation program in 2002. However, he wasn’t briefed on the details of the program until April 2006. The president and vice president were also unaware of the locations of all the secret detention facilities overseas. The Senate report states that in April 2006, when President Bush was finally briefed, he “expressed uneasiness with the image of a detainee, chained to the ceiling, clothed in a diaper, and forced to go the bathroom on himself.”
6 Torture Techniques
In order to provide legal cover, CIA interrogators gave code names to their harsh interrogation techniques. Here is a list of the names outlined in the Senate report: attention grasp; walling; facial hold; insult slap; wall standing; cramped confinement; sleep deprivation; stress positions; insects placed in a confinement box; and the waterboard.
5 Twenty-Six People Wrongfully Held
4 The CIA Outsourced the Dirty Work
3 Zero Accountability
2 Rectal Feeding/Rectal Hydration
1 Enhanced Interrogation Produces Minimal Results
The Senate Intelligence Committee Report not only revealed several inhumane and outlawed methods of torture, but it confirmed that those techniques produced little information or information that was fabricated. People will say anything not be trapped in a box with insects or to have a cordless drill operated near their genitals. The CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques didn’t produce results. Throughout the 6,000-page report there are mountains of false leads and numerous examples of wasted time.
Still, former Vice President Dick Cheney made an appearance on Meet the Press and declared he would “do it again in a minute” and had no problem with enhanced interrogation “as long as we achieve our objective.” The Senate report noted the CIA’s efforts to reach out to the media and boast its successes. Did forcing a detainee to wear a diaper lead to the capture of Osama bin Laden? Cheney seems to thinks so. However, 20 different case studies based on the CIA’s internal records found that enhanced interrogations did not help to disrupt terror plots or capture terror leaders.
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