Poland Risked Lives of Own Citizens Hosting CIA Prisons: Lawmaker

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© Sputnik/ Igor Zarembo

December 10, 2014

Poland sacrificed the security of millions of its people for the sake of friendship with the United States when Warsaw agreed to host CIA prisons on its territory.

There are strong indications that Poland, Romania, Lithuania and other EU allies of the United States were deeply involved in the CIA's enhanced interrogation program and rendered terrorist suspects to the US spy agency for torture, UK's The Guardian newspaper reported Wednesday.
© Flickr/ Justin Norman

 

Reports Indicate EU Countries Rendered People to CIA for Torture

 

MOSCOW, December 10 (Sputnik) —Poland put the lives of ordinary Poles at risk when it agreed to host CIA prisons on its soil, Polish Sejm speaker told Sputnik Wednesday.”By making a decision to host CIA prisons on the territory of Poland, Leszek Miller [former Prime Minister] and Aleksander Kwaśniewski [former President] agreed to increase the terrorist threat to their own people. They risked the health and lives of millions of the Poles in the sake of friendship with the United States,” Andrzej Rozenek said.Rozenek’s comment comes after the release of the so-called CIA torture report compiled by the Senate Intelligence Committee, which included more than 500 pages of a detailed investigation into controversial interrogation techniques that were used by the CIA on alleged al-Qaeda terrorists, following the 9/11 attacks on Washington and New York.

Poland, Romania, Lithuania and other EU allies of the United States were deeply involved in the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program and rendered terrorist suspects to the US spy agency for torture.”Unfortunately, this is a situation when a gross violation of the Polish legislation is supported by such high-ranking officials as the president and prime minister. The report indicates the absence of democracy and human rights in our country,” Rozenek stressed.

He also expressed hope that “extensive conclusions will be drawn and all those responsible for torture in CIA prisons will be brought to justice.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Amnesty International’s counter-terrorism expert Julia Hall said that the United States and all of the countries that cooperated with it to transfer, detain and torture suspects, have an “international legal obligation to ensure full accountability for crimes under international law, including torture and enforced disappearances.”

According to Amnesty International, Italy, Lithuania, Romania, Sweden, Britain and Poland, which hosted a secret US prison at Stare Kiejkuty from 2002 to 2005, are among the countries that have cooperated with the CIA.

 

Obama Accepts Decision Not to Prosecute CIA Officers: White House

 

 

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President Barack Obama

CIA Torture Report (47)
 

White House spokesperson Josh Earnest announced that US President Barack Obama shares the US Department of Justice decision that no prosecutable crime had been committed by the CIA officers.

WASHINGTON, December 11 (Sputnik) — US President Barack Obama agrees with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) finding that CIA officers involved in enhanced interrogation should not be prosecuted, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said.

“The president [Obama] has confidence both in this [US] justice system and in the way it was deployed in this particular situation [CIA officers investigation],” Earnest said Wednesday, when asked if Obama accepts DOJ conclusion that there are no prosecutable crimes committed by the CIA.

The US Department of Justice did their own investigation that concluded that no prosecutable crime had been committed by the CIA officers.

“There is a process in place that is administered by career professionals [DOJ prosecutors] that did what they were supposed to do. The president [Obama] believes firmly in their confidence and the system,” Earnest said.

On Tuesday, the US Senate Intelligence Committee released the so-called CIA “torture report,” a summary of the detailed investigation into the CIA Detention and Interrogation program that in some cases included torture practices.

Following the release of the report, US President Barack Obama vowed not to use the methods of torture, outlined in the report during the time of his presidency.

But according to the United Nations, the United States is obliged by international law to investigate its citizens suspected of engaging in torture, but even if it does not, Americans who ordered or carried out torture can be prosecuted abroad, by legal bodies including the International Criminal Court, legal experts say.

Whether they will be is another question. That’s largely a political determination. But calls for international prosecution, legal experts say, are likely to grow so long as the United States chooses not to prosecute its own.

“If I am someone implicated in the torture report, I am thinking twice about traveling to Europe anytime soon,” said Steve Vladeck, a law professor at American University in Washington. “It puts those governments in a sticky position if someone who is accused of torture presents themselves on that country’s soil.”

Torture report reveals how Poland objected to CIA’s secret jail on its soil – but became ‘flexible’ after being bought off with large cash payment

Admission: Former Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski (pictured right, alongside former Afghan leader Hamid Karzai) today confirmed that Poland granted permission for a secret CIA prison in the country Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2867879/CIA-paid-Poland-ease-qualms-secret-prison-Senate-report.html#ixzz3Ld1XSsqq Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Admission: Former Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski (pictured right, alongside former Afghan leader Hamid Karzai) today confirmed that Poland granted permission for a secret CIA prison in the country  

U.S. President Barack Obama last night discussed the CIA torture report’s publication during a telephone call with current Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz.

The heavily redacted report did not mention Poland by name, but documents relating to the site match other reports that identify them as originating in the Eastern European nation. Among these documents is European Court of Human Rights ruling relating to a CIA-run ‘black site’ in Poland.

By John Hall

The U.S. Senate Committee’s torture report has claimed Poland initially objected to the CIA’s secret prison on its soil but became ‘flexible’ after being bought off with a large sum of money.

After denying the fact for years, former Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski today admitted that Poland had granted the CIA permission to run the secret prison, but insisted his officials had not authorized illegal treatment or torture of its inmates.

Human rights groups believe at least eight terror suspects were held at a Polish prison codenamed ‘Blue’, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed – the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

This morning former Polish president Kwasniewski admitted that the prison existed, but insisted that the secret operation was halted amid pressure from the country’s leaders.

‘Poland took steps to end the activity at this site and the activity was stopped at some point,’ he told Warsaw based Radio TOK FM this morning.

The prison is thought to have operated from December 2002 until autumn 2003. Kwasniewski was in power from 1995 until 2005, but has always denied the site’s existence until now.

Detainee: Human rights groups believe at least eight terror suspects were held at a Polish prison codenamed 'Blue', including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (pictured) - the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2867879/CIA-paid-Poland-ease-qualms-secret-prison-Senate-report.html#ixzz3Ld2NvmiF Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Detainee: Human rights groups believe at least eight terror suspects were held at a Polish prison codenamed ‘Blue’, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (pictured) – the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks

Global: At its height, the CIA program included secret prisons in countries including Poland, Afghanistan, Thailand, Romania and Lithuania - locations that are referred to only by color-themed codes in the report

Global: At its height, the CIA program included secret prisons in countries including Poland, Afghanistan, Thailand, Romania and Lithuania – locations that are referred to only by color-themed codes in the report

According to a ruling by the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights  the CIA operated a facility near the village of Stare Kiejkuty in north east Poland.

It is one of a network of sites around the world where Al Qaeda suspects were held and subjected to interrogation techniques that human rights groups say amounted to torture.

The CIA torture report, which was published yesterday by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, described how seriously the rendition programme strained relations with Poland – a North Atlantic Treaty Organization member and one of Washington’s staunchest European allies.

People close to the Polish authorities at the time say Poland felt an obligation to protect its relationship with Washington, even as it knew hosting the facility was open to legal challenge.

‘The agreement to host a CIA detention facility in Country created multiple, ongoing difficulties between Country and the CIA,’ the report said. All direct mentions of the name of the country were blacked out, but other details matched those already known to relate to the East European country.

Divisions: Polish officials were also said to be disappointed not to have been given more warning of the 2006 acknowledgement of the detention programme by then U.S. President George W Bush (left)

Divisions: Polish officials were also said to be disappointed not to have been given more warning of the 2006 acknowledgement of the detention programme by then U.S. President George W Bush (left)

The CIA torture report said the Poland proposed drawing up a written memorandum of understanding defining the CIA’s roles and responsibilities at the facility, but the agency refused.

Poland’s government allegedly then refused to accept the planned transfer of new detainees, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

The torture report claims that decision was only reversed after the U.S. ambassador to Poland intervened on the CIA’s behalf. The following month, the CIA allegedly provided several million dollars to the country. The exact figure was deliberately blacked out on the document.

The report did not name the representative who intervened, although the American ambassador to Poland at the time was Christopher Hill. A woman who answered the telephone in his office at the University of Denver, where he now works, said he was not immediately reachable.

After the money changed hands, officials speaking for the country’s political leadership indicated Poland ‘was now flexible with regard to the number of CIA detainees at the facility and when the facility would eventually be closed,’according to the report.

Years later, Polish officials became ‘extremely upset’ when details of the detention programme began to emerge from U.S. government sources, the report claimed. The officials were also said to be disappointed not to have been warned of George Bush’s admission of the programme in 2006.

Controversy: Chained detainees are seen arriving at Camp X-Ray on Guantanamo Bay ahead of interrogation about their suspected involvement with terrorist groups including Al Qaeda or the Taliban

Controversy: Chained detainees are seen arriving at Camp X-Ray on Guantanamo Bay ahead of interrogation about their suspected involvement with terrorist groups including Al Qaeda or the Taliban

Adam Bodnar, vice-president of the Warsaw-based Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, said of the Polish authorities at the time: ‘They betrayed the Polish constitution for money, to a great extent, and all the values that are associated with the Polish constitution.’

The Polish constitution states that no one can be subjected to torture, or cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment.

Bodnar said the diplomatic tensions outlined in the report explains why Obama telephoned the Polish Prime Minister on the eve of the report’s publication.

The two leaders ‘expressed hope that the publication of this report will not have a negative effect on Polish-U.S. relations,’ according to a statement from the Polish prime minister’s office.

Senior U.S. administration officials confirmed the subject of the Senate report came up during Obama’s call with Kopacz.

 

More Details: Rectal rehydration and waterboarding: the CIA torture report’s grisliest findings

Parts of the CIA interrogation programme were known, but the catalogue of abuse is nightmarish, especially knowing much more will never be revealed     CIA’s brutal and ineffective use of torture revealed in landmark report     Trevor Timm: America tortured more than ‘some folks’ – and covered it up

Parts of the CIA interrogation programme were known, but the catalogue of abuse is nightmarish, especially knowing much more will never be revealed
CIA’s brutal and ineffective use of torture revealed in landmark report
Trevor Timm: America tortured more than ‘some folks’ – and covered it up

Detainees were forced to stand on broken limbs for hours, kept in complete darkness, deprived of sleep for up to 180 hours, sometimes standing. Photograph: Bob Strong/Reuters

The full horror of the CIA interrogation and detention programmes launched in the wake of the September 11 terror attack was laid bare in the long-awaited Senate report released on Tuesday.

While parts of the programme had been known – and much more will never be revealed – the catalogue of abuse is nightmarish and reads like something invented by the Marquis de Sade or Hieronymous Bosch.

Detainees were forced to stand on broken limbs for hours, kept in complete darkness, deprived of sleep for up to 180 hours, sometimes standing, sometimes with their arms shackled above their heads.

Prisoners were subjected to “rectal feeding” without medical necessity. Rectal exams were conducted with “excessive force”. The report highlights one prisoner later diagnosed with anal fissures, chronic hemorrhoids and “symptomatic rectal prolapse”.

The report mentions mock executions, Russian roulette. US agents threatened to slit the throat of a detainee’s mother, sexually abuse another and threatened prisoners’ children. One prisoner died of hypothermia brought on in part by being forced to sit on a bare concrete floor without pants.

The dungeon

The CIA began the establishment of a specialised detention centre, codenamed DETENTION SITE COBALT, in April 2002. Although its location is not identified in the report it has been widely identified as being in Afghanistan. Conditions at the site were described in the report as poor “and were especially bleak early in the program”.

The CIA chief of interrogations described COBALT as “a dungeon”. There were 20 cells, with blacked-out windows. Detainees were “kept in complete darkness and constantly shackled in isolated cells with loud music and only a bucket to use for human waste”. It was cold, something the report says likely contributed to the death of a detainee.

Prisoners were walked around naked or were shackled with their hands above their heads for extended periods of time. About five CIA officers would engage in what is described as a “rough takedown”. A detainee would be shouted at, have his clothes cut off, be secured with tape, hooded and dragged up and down a long corridor while being slapped and punched.

A CIA photograph shows a waterboard at the site, surrounded by buckets and a bottle of an unknown pink solution and a watering can resting on the beams of the waterboard. The CIA failed to provide a detailed explanation of the items in the photograph.

Frozen to death – Gul Rahman

Gul Rahman died in the early hours of 20 November 2002, after being shackled to a cold concrete wall in a secret CIA prison.

Photograph AP

Gul Rahman

Photograph: AP

At COBALT, the CIA interrogated in 2002 Gul Rahman, described as a suspected Islamic extremist. He was subjected to “48 hours of sleep deprivation, auditory overload, total darkness, isolation, a cold shower and rough treatment”.

CIA headquarters suggested “enhanced measures” might be needed to get him to comply. A CIA officer at COBALT ordered Rahman be “shackled to the wall of his cell in a position that required the detainee to rest on the bare concrete floor”.

He was only wearing a sweatshirt as a CIA officer has ordered his clothes to be removed earlier after judging him to be uncooperative during an interrogation.

The next day, guards found Rahman dead. An internal CIA review and autopsy assessed he likely died from hypothermia – “in part from having been forced to sit on the bare concrete floor without pants”. An initial CIA review and cable sent to CIA headquarters after his death included a number of misstatements and omissions.
Shackled to the wall

The CIA in the first half of 2003 interrogated four detainees described as having “medical complications in their lower extremities”: two had a broken foot, one had a sprained ankle and one a prosthetic leg.

CIA officers shackled each of them in a standing position for sleep deprivation for extended periods until medical staff assessed they could no longer maintain that position.

“The two detainees that each had a broken foot were also subjected to walling, stress positions and cramped confinement, despite the note in their interrogation plans that these specific enhanced interrogation techniques were not requested because of the medical condition of the detainees,” the report says.
‘Rectal feeding’

CIA operatives subjected at least five detainees to what they called “rectal rehydration and feeding”.

One CIA cable released in the report reveals that detainee Majid Khan was administered by enema his “‘lunch tray’ consisting of hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts and raisins was ‘pureed and rectally infused’”. One CIA officer’s email was in the report quoted as saying “we used the largest Ewal [sic] tube we had”.

Rectal feeding is of limited application in actually keeping a person alive or administering nutrients, since the colon and rectum cannot absorb much besides salt, glucose and a few minerals and vitamins. The CIA administered rectal rehydration to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed “without a determination of medical need” and justified “rectal fluid resuscitation” of Abu Zubaydah because he “partially refus[ed] liquids”. Al-Nashiri was given an enema after a brief hunger strike.

Risks of rectal feeding and rehydration include damage to the rectum and colon, triggering bowels to empty, food rotting inside the recipient’s digestive tract, and an inflamed or prolapsed rectum from carless insertion of the feeding tube. The report found that CIA leadership was notified that rectal exams may have been conducted with “Excessive force”, and that one of the detainees, Mustafa al-Hawsawi, suffered from an anal fissure, chronic hemorrhoids and symptomatic rectal prolapse.

The CIA’s chief of interrogations characterized rectal rehydration as a method of “total control” over detainees, and an unnamed person said the procedure helped to “clear a person’s head”.

Waterboarding of Abu Zubaydah and KSM

The report suggests Abu Zubaydah was a broken man after his extensive interrogations. In CIA documents he is described as having become so compliant that “when the interrogator raised his eyebrows” he would walk to the “water table” and sit down. The interrogator only had to snap his fingers twice for Abu Zabaydah to lie down, ready for water-boarding, the report says.

“At times Abu Zubaydah was described as ‘hysterical’ and ‘distressed to the level that he was unable effectively to communicate’. Waterboarding sessions ‘resulted in immediate fluid intake and involuntary leg, chest and arm spasms’ and ‘hysterical pleas’. In at least one waterboarding session, Abu Zubaydah ‘became completely unresponsive, with bubbles rising through his open, full mouth’ … Abu Zubaydah remained unresponsive until medical intervention, when he regained consciousness and ‘expelled copious amounts of liquid’.”

The CIA doctor overseeing the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed said that the prisoner was ingesting so much water that he or she was no longer concerned that regurgitated gastric acid was likely to damage his oesophagus. But, the doctor warned, the CIA should start using saline, because his electrolytes were becoming too diluted.

The forgotten man chained to a wall

One CIA interrogator at COBALT reported that “‘literally, a detainee could go for days or weeks without anyone looking at him’, and that his team found one detainee who ‘as far as we could determine’, had been chained to a wall in a standing position for 17 days’.’ Some prisoners were said to be like dogs in kennels: “When the doors to their cells were pened, ‘they cowered.’”

In April 2006, during a CIA briefing, President George W Bush, expressed discomfort at the “image of a detainee, chained to the ceiling, clothed in a diaper, and forced to go to the bathroom on himself”. This man is thought to be Ridha al-Najjar, who was forced to spend 22 hours each day with one or both wrists chained to an overhead bar, for two consecutive days, while wearing a diaper. His incarceration was concealed from the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation involved 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.” One of the prisoners forced to say awake for seven-and-a-half days was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Most of this time he was forced to stand. The report says that former CIS director Michael Hayden was aware that Mohammed had been deprived of sleep for this period.

 At the direction of the White House, the secretaries of state and defence – both principals on the National Security Council – were not briefed on the programme’s specifics until September 2003 Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

At the direction of the White House, the secretaries of state and defence – both principals on the National Security Council – were not briefed on the programme’s specifics until September 2003 Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

CIA lied to officials

The White House, National Security Council (NSC) and others were given “extensive amounts of inaccurate and incomplete information” related to the operation and effectiveness of the CIA’s detention and interrogation programme. No CIA officer briefed the president on the specific CIA enhanced interrogation techniques before April 2006. The CIA did not inform two secretaries of state of the locations of CIA detention facilities, despite the foreign policy implications and the fact that the political leaders of host countries were generally informed of their existence. FBI director Robert Mueller was denied access to CIA detainees that the FBI believed was necessary to understand domestic threats.
The White House kept key members of its team in the dark

At the direction of the White House, the secretaries of state and defence – both principals on the National Security Council – were not briefed on the programme’s specifics until September 2003. An internal CIA email from July 2003 noted that the White House was “extremely concerned” that secretary of state Colin Powell “would blow his stack if he were to be briefed on what’s been going on.”
Wrongfully detained

Among its findings, the report says that: “The CIA did not conduct a comprehensive or accurate accounting of the number of individuals it detained, and held individuals who did not meet its own legal standard for detention.”

The CIA acknowledged to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) in February 2006 that it had wrongly detained five individuals throughout the course of its detention programme. The report’s review of CIA records indicates that at least 21 additional individuals, or a total of 26 of the 119 (22%), of detainees identified did not meet the CIA’s standard for detention.

The report calls the number “a conservative calculation” and notes it does not include “individuals about whom there was internal disagreement within the CIA over whether the detainee met the standard or not, or the numerous detainees who, following their detention and interrogation, were found not to ‘pose a continuing threat of violence or death to US persons and interests’ or to be ‘planning terrorist activities’.

With one exception, the reports says there are no CIA records that indicate that anyone was held accountable for “the detention of individuals the CIA itself determined were wrongfully detained.”
CIA misled the press

The CIA gave inaccurate information to journalists in background briefings to mislead the public about the efficacy of its interrogation programme, the report reveals.

“In seeking to shape press reporting … CIA officers and the CIA’s Office of Public Affairs (OPA) provided unattributed background information on the program to journalists for books, articles and broadcasts, including when the existence of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program was still classified,” the report said.

It also added that when this still-classified information was published, the CIA did not, as a matter of policy, submit crime reports – highlighting a gulf between officially sanctioned leaks and non-sanctioned whistleblowing, the latter of which is often heavily prosecuted.

The report refers to Ronald Kessler’s book The CIA At War. An unidentified party at the CIA – the name and office is redacted – decided not to open an investigation into the publication of classified information by Kiessler “because ‘OPA provided assistance with the book.’”

An article by Douglas Jehl in the New York Times also contained “significant classified information,” which was also not investigated because it was based on information provided by the CIA.

Both the book and the article, the report continues, contained inaccurate information about the effectiveness of CIA interrogation programs, and untrue accounts of interrogations.

Many of the inaccuracies the CIA fed to journalists, the report says, were consistent with inaccurate information being provided by the agency to policymakers at the time.

This article was amended on 10 December 2014. Colin Powell was secretary of state in the Bush administration, not defence secretary as an earlier version said.

The Most Gruesome Moments in the CIA ‘Torture Report’

Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty

Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty

By Shane Harris – 12.9.14

The CIA’s rendition, interrogation, and detention programs were even more nightmarish than you could imagine.
Interrogations that lasted for days on end. Detainees forced to stand on broken legs, or go 180 hours in a row without sleep. A prison so cold, one suspect essentially froze to death. The Senate Intelligence Committee is finally releasing its review of the CIA’s detention and interrogation programs. And it is brutal.Here are some of the most gruesome moments of detainee abuse from a summary of the report, obtained by The Daily Beast:Well Worn WaterboardsThe CIA has previously said that only three detainees were ever waterboarded: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah, and Abd Al Rahim al-Nashiri. But records uncovered by the Senate Intelligence Committee suggest there may have been more than three subjects. The Senate report describes a photograph of a “well worn” waterboard, surrounded by buckets of water, at a detention site where the CIA has claimed it never subjected a detainee to this procedure. In a meeting with the CIA in 2013, the agency was not able to explain the presence of this waterboard.

Near Drowning

Contrary to CIA’s description to the Department of Justice, the Senate report says that the waterboarding was physically harmful, leading to convulsions and vomiting. During one session, detainee Abu Zubaydah became “completely unresponsive with bubbles rising through his open full mouth.” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded at least 183 times, which the Senate report describes as escalating into a “series of near drownings.”

The Dungeon-Like Salt Pit 

Opened in Sept. 2002, this “poorly managed” detention facility was the second site opened by the CIA after the 9/11 attacks. The Senate report refers to it by the pseudonym Cobalt, but details of what happened there indicate that it’s a notorious “black site” in Afghanistan known as the Salt Pit. Although the facility kept few formal records, the committee concluded that untrained CIA operatives conducted unauthorized, unsupervised interrogation there.

A Senate aide who briefed reporters on the condition that he not be identified said that the Cobalt site was run by a junior officer with no relevant experience, and that this person had “issues” in his background that should have disqualified him from working for the CIA at all. The aide didn’t specify what those issues were, but suggested that the CIA should have flagged them. The committee found that some employees at the site lacked proper training and had “histories of violence and mistreatment of others.”

Standing on Broken Legs

In November 2002, a detainee who had been held partially nude and chained to the floor died, apparently from hypothermia. This case appears similar to the that of Gul Rahman, who died of similarly explained causes at an Afghan site known as the “Salt Pit,” also in November 2002. The site was also called “The Dark Prison” by former captives.

The aide said that the Cobalt site was was dark, like a dungeon, and that experts who visited the site said they’d never seen an American prison where people were kept in such conditions. The facility was so dark in some places that guard had to wear head lamps, while other rooms were flooded with bright lights and white noise to disorient detainees.

At the Cobalt facility, the CIA also forced some detainees who had broken feet or legs to stand in stress-inducing positions, despite having earlier pledged that they wouldn’t subject those wounded individuals to treatment that might exacerbate their injuries.

Non-stop Interrogation

Starting with Abu Zubaydah, and following with other detainees, the CIA deployed the harshest techniques from the beginning without trying to first elicit information in an “open, non-threatening manner,” the committee found. The torture continued nearly non-stop, for days or weeks at a time.

The CIA instructed personnel at the site that the interrogation of Zubaydah, who’d been shot during his capture, should take “precedence over his medical care,” the committee found, leading to an infection in a bullet wound incurred during his capture. Zubaydah lost his left eye while in custody. The CIA’s instructions also ran contrary to how it told the Justice Department the prisoner would be treated.

Forced Rectal Feeding and Worse

The CIA forced some detainees who had broken feet or legs to stand in stress-inducing positions, despite having earlier pledged that they wouldn’t subject those wounded individuals to treatment that might exacerbate their injuries.

At least five detainees were subjected to “rectal feeding” or “rectal hydration,” without any documented medical need. “While IV infusion is safe and effective,” one officer wrote, rectal hydration could be used as a form of behavior control.

Others were deprived of sleep, which could involve staying awake for as long as 180 hours—sometimes standing, sometimes with their hands shackled above their heads.

Some detainees were forced to walk around naked, or shackled with their hands above their heads. In other instances, naked detainees were hooded and dragged up and down corridors while subject to physical abuse.

At one facility, detainees were kept in total darkness and shackled in cells with loud noise or music, and only a bucket to use for waste.

Lost Detainees

While the CIA has said publicly that it held about 100 detainees, the committee found that at least 119 people were in the agency’s custody.

“The fact is they lost track and they didn’t really know who they were holding,” the Senate aide said, noting that investigators found emails in which CIA personnel were “surprised” to find some people in their custody. The CIA also determined that at least 26 of its detainees were wrongfully held. Due to the agency’s poor record-keeping, it may never be known precisely how many detainees were held, and how they were treated in custody, the committee found.

No Blockbuster Intelligence

The report will conclude that the CIA’s interrogation techniques never yielded any intelligence about imminent terrorist attacks. Investigators didn’t conclude that no information came from the program at all. Rather, the committee rejects the CIA’s contention that information came from the program that couldn’t have been obtained through other means.

“When you put detainees through these [torture sessions] they will say whatever they can say to get the interrogations to stop,” the Senate aide said.

The Senate Intelligence Committee reviewed 20 cited examples of intelligence “successes” that the CIA identified from the interrogation program and found that there was no relationship between a cited counterterrorism success and the techniques used. Furthermore, the information gleaned during torture sessions merely corroborated information already available to the intelligence community from other sources, including reports, communications intercepts, and information from law-enforcement agencies, the committee found. The CIA had told policymakers and the Department of Justice that the information from torture was unique or “otherwise unavailable.” Such information comes from the “kind of good national-security tradecraft that we rely on to stop terrorist plots at all times,” the Senate aide said.

In developing the enhanced interrogation techniques, the report said, the CIA failed to review the historical use of coercive interrogations. The resulting techniques were described as “discredited coercive interrogation techniques such as those used by torturous regimes during the Cold War to elicit false confessions,” according to the committee. The CIA acknowledged that it never properly reviewed the effectiveness of these techniques, despite the urging of the CIA inspector general, congressional leadership, and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.

Contractors and Shrinks

The CIA relied on two outside contractors who were psychologists with experience at the Air Force’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape school to help develop, run, and assess the interrogation program. Neither had experience as an interrogator, nor any specialized knowledge of al Qaeda, counterterrorism, or relevant linguistic expertise, the committee found. In 2005, these two psychologists formed a company, and following this the CIA outsourced virtually all aspects of the interrogation program to them. The company was paid more than $80 million by the CIA.

Lies to the President

An internal report by the CIA, known as the Panetta Review, found that there were numerous inaccuracies in the way the agency represented the effectiveness of interrogation techniques—and that the CIA misled the president about this. The CIA’s records also contradict the evidence the agency provided of some “thwarted” terrorist attacks and the capture of suspects, which the CIA linked to the use of these enhanced techniques. The Senate’s report also concludes that there were cases in which White House questions were not answered truthfully or completely.

Cover-Ups

In the early days of the program, CIA officials briefed the leadership of the House Intelligence Committee. Few records of that session remain, but Senate investigators found a draft summary of the meeting, written by a CIA lawyers, that notes lawmakers “questioned the legality of these techniques.” But the lawyer deleted that line from the final version of the summary. The Senate investigators found that Jose Rodriguez, once the CIA’s top spy and a fierce defender of the interrogation program, made a note on the draft approving of the deletion: “Short and sweet,” Rodriguez wrote of the newly revised summary that failed to mention lawmakers’ concerns about the legality of the program.

Threats to Mothers

CIA officers threatened to harm detainees’ children, sexually abuse their mothers, and “cut [a detainee’s] mother’s throat.” In addition, several detainees were led to believe they would die in custody, with one told he would leave in a coffin-shaped box.

Detainees wouldn’t see their day in court because “we can never let the world know what I have done to you,” one interrogator said.

Sexual Assault by Interrogators 

Officers in the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program included individuals who the committee said, “among other things, had engaged in inappropriate detainee interrogations, had workplace anger management issues, and had reportedly admitted to sexual assault.”

[ And the worst has yet to be revealed ]

 

Breaking news US closes Bagram detention center in Afghanistan

ARCHIVE PHOTO: Released Afghan prisoners raise their hands in prayer as the United States-led military released 20 Afghan prisoners from its Bagram Air Field detention centre, north of Kabul (AFP Photo / Farzana Wahidy)

ARCHIVE PHOTO: Released Afghan prisoners raise their hands in prayer as the United States-led military released 20 Afghan prisoners from its Bagram Air Field detention centre, north of Kabul (AFP Photo / Farzana Wahidy)

RT Breaking News

The US Defense Department announced it has closed the Bagram detention center and now has zero detainees in its custody in Afghanistan, Reuters reported.

Although the United States transferred control over Bagram to the Afghans back in 2013, the detention center became infamous due the harsh treatment some of the detainees received while in American custody. At one point, it was double the size of the controversial Guantanamo Bay prison complex in Cuba.

The facility’s closure comes just one day after the Senate released its long-awaited torture report, which described the gruesome tactics deployed by the CIA against terror suspects in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

READ MORE: Senate accuses CIA of torturing prisoners, overstepping legal boundaries

Two of the most infamous cases involved prisoners named Habibullah and Dilawar, whose abuse was chronicled by The New York Times in 2005. Dilawar – who was chained to the top of his cell for days by the time he died – was brutally beaten and passed away in 2002.

“At the interrogators’ behest, a guard tried to force the young man to his knees. But his legs, which had been pummeled by guards for several days, could no longer bend,” wrote Tim Golden in the Times.

“An interrogator told Mr. Dilawar that he could see a doctor after they finished with him. When he was finally sent back to his cell, though, the guards were instructed only to chain the prisoner back to the ceiling.”

Habibullah, who died just a few days before Dilawar, was also chained to the ceiling and beaten. The Times noted that he was struck more than 100 times in a 24-hour period.

READ MORE: ‘The Other Guantanamo’ – Indefinite detention at Bagram Air Force Base

As recently as this past September, there were still questions about the fate of the detainees being held at Bagram. It was unclear how many people remained in American custody, but with the US gradually drawing down its war in Afghanistan, officials said the legal authority allowing them to continue holding prisoners was about to expire.

“We’ve got to resolve their fate by either returning them to their home country or turning them over to the Afghans for prosecution or any other number of ways that the Department of Defense has to resolve,” said Brigadier General Patrick Reinert, the commanding general of the United States Army Reserve Legal Command, at the time. “Until the country provides assurances, the individual cannot be transferred.”

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