A document detailing what some are calling repulsive methods of torture used by the CIA to force answers out of detained prisoners after the tragic events on September 11th was released to the public. This disturbing report included examples of how the CIA used many “advanced interrogation techniques” to coax answers out of the unfortunate prisoners such as waterboarding and rectal feeding.
The forms of “torture” that are described in the report are extremely illegal forms of interrogation and apparently were not very effective in getting the information they needed.
After surfacing of this information, North Korea did not miss this opportunity to strike America at its lowest. North Korea’s UN ambassador, Ja Song-nam, wrote a letter to the council president requesting a “thorough probe into the CIA torture crimes.” The ambassador also wrote in the letter that he believes that the “recently revealed CIA torture crimes committed by the United States, which have been conducted worldwide in the most brutal medieval forms, are the gravest human rights violations in the world,”
President Barack Obama spoke about this issue in a press conference. "These techniques did significant damage to America's standing in the world and made it harder to pursue our interests with allies and partners," Obama said when discussing the newly released torture report. During the press conference, Obama did not speak of punishing the top officials that executed the torture on the detained.
This 6,300 page document can greatly affect the United States' image, making other countries not want to ally with America.
One of the methods of torture was waterboarding, or dry drowning, which is when the torturer pours water over a cloth on the prisoners mouth for minutes or at times hours at a time.This simulates drowning and may cause death to the prisoner if not practiced carefully.
To torture the detainees even further, the CIA fed them pureed and anally infused foods, such as hummus, pasta, nuts, and raisins. One officer explained that it was a method of “clearing a person’s head,” and others called it behavioral control. Former vice-president of the United States, Dick Cheney, justified this by stating that the rectal feeding was for medical reasons, and not to get answers.
As an edition to sleep deprivation, detainees were hung onto walls, often with no clothing on, for extremely long periods of times. Cold water was thrown at them to keep them awake. Basliir Nasri Ali al-Marwalah, a detainee at Guantanamo Bay, stated that once he had to stand stark naked for five days straight. Another man, Abu Ja'far al-Iraqi, experienced swelling in the lower legs due to blood thinning after enduring fifty four hours of prolonged standing.
“Torture to me is an American citizen on a cell phone making a last call to his four young daughters shortly before he burns to death on the upper levels of the Trade Center in New York City on 9/11,” Cheney said in an interview, refusing to call it torture. “There’s a notion that there’s moral equivalence between what the terrorists did and what we do, and that’s absolutely not true. We were very careful to stay short of torture.” Several medical officers sent out emails saying that rectal rehydration was a safe and effective way of rectal control.
CIA Director John Brennan dodged assumptions of rectal feeding at a press conference on November 11th, adding more suspicion to the claims. “In a limited number of cases, agency officers used interrogation techniques that had not been authorized, were abhorrent, and rightly should be repudiated by all.” He addressed.
“I certainly agree that there were times when CIA officers exceeded the policy guidance that was given and the authorized techniques that were approved and determined to be lawful,” Brennan went on. “They went outside the bounds in terms of their actions as part of that interrogation process. They were harsh. In some instances, as I said, I consider them abhorrent. And I will leave to others how they might want to label those activities.”
Cheney was unfazed by the inhumane methods of torture, as he said in an interview with Chuck Todd of the Meet the Press, “I’d do it again in a minute.” He even goes to calling the Senate Torture report released this week “full of crap.”
“The men and women of the CIA did exactly what we wanted to have them do in terms of taking on this program.” Chesney concluded. “It was not deemed torture by the lawyers, and secondly, it worked.” Though he stated that the plan was “seriously flawed,” he added that the methods of torture got what they needed, despite the large amounts of backlash and controversy. In regards of George W. Bush, Chesney said that the former president "knew what we were doing, he authorized it, he approved it."