Opinion

America is much better than this

Here are some of the interrogation methods the CIA used on detainees, according to an exhaustive report released by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday:

• Forcing hummus, pureed nuts and raisins up a detainee’s rectum.



• Putting a detainee in a diaper, chaining him to the ceiling and forcing him to defecate on himself.



• Depriving detainees of sleep for 180 straight hours, or more than a week, to the point that they hallucinated.



• Playing Russian Roulette.



• Threatening to rape a detainee’s mother in front of the detainee.



• Threatening to cut a detainee’s mother’s throat.



• Threatening a detainee with a power drill.



• Putting detainees in ice-water baths.



• “Rectal exams were conducted with excessive force.”



• Waterboarding, including 183 times for 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. One detainee was waterboarded until he became “completely unresponsive with bubbles rising through his open, full mouth.”



• Slamming detainees into concrete walls.



• Subjecting detainees with broken feet “to walling, stress positions, and cramped confinement.”



• Tormenting a detainee until he was “on the verge of a complete breakdown.”



• Keeping one detainee naked from the waist down sitting on a cold concrete floor. He died and the autopsy suggested the cause was hypothermia.



• Keeping detainees naked, in a cold room, with arms shackled overhead, even before determining whether they intended to cooperate.



• Assigning people who had admitted to sexual assault to be interrogators.



• The “rough takedown”: “Approximately five CIA officers would scream at a detainee, drag him outside of his cell, cut his clothes off, and secure him with Mylar tape. The detainee would then be hooded and dragged up and down a long corridor while being slapped and punched.”



• Holding detainees in complete darkness and total isolation while blaring loud music for hours on end.



• Holding an “intellectually challenged” detainee solely as leverage against his family members.



• “Use of insects.”



• Confining a detainee to a small coffin-shaped box and telling him that the only way he was leaving was in that box.



• Abuse of detainees so bad it made even CIA officers cry.



• Chaining a detainee to a wall in a standing position for 17 days.



• Dousing detainees with cold water and then holding them naked in rooms as cold as 59 degrees.



• “Mock executions.”



No one then alive can forget the environment in the days following 9/11. We were scared. We were angry. We were uncertain. We were at war.

But we were America. We are America. This is beneath who we are supposed to be.

  Comments