INTERROGATION methods, including ‘dunking suspects in icy water’ and ‘smashing a prisoner’s head against a wall’ are included in a long-awaited US Senate report, aspects of which have come to light.
The content of the report, parts of which have already been leaked, show that the CIA used secret ‘black sites’ to interrogate prisoners. The report also shows that even when CIA officials were convinced that they had got all of the information that they possibly could out of a prisoner, the ‘interrogation techniques’ did not stop.
One official said that although they had extracted all the valuable intelligence that they possibly could from one ‘al-Qaeda suspect’ called Abu Zubaida, the ‘interrogation techniques’ continued.
It was after extracting information from Abu Zubaida that he was ‘waterboarded’ 83 times. ‘Waterboarding’ is a form of water torture, it involves tying a ‘suspect’ to a chair, covering their face with a cloth, tilting the head back and pouring water on their face so that they believe they are drowning.
The findings of the report relate to interrogation that went on during George W Bush’s presidency and is the result of a wide-ranging investigation by the Senate intelligence committee into CIA activities which began in 2009 when Bush’s ‘war on terror’ was in full swing.
The ‘severity’ and ‘effectiveness’ of the ‘techniques’ and a number of the ‘techniques themselves’ have not been previously acknowledged. The US government claims that they were ‘misled’ by the CIA on the ‘severity and effectiveness of the techniques’.
Officials who have seen the secret document said that the CIA’s interrogation programme yielded little useful intelligence. They also said that this intelligence had then been exaggerated so that the interrogation programme looked more effective than it actually was.
The US Senate intelligence committee will meet on Thursday to decide whether to send a summarised version to President Barack Obama for eventual public release.
The report also spoke of ‘divisions within the CIA’ in protest at the conditions prisoners were forced to endure.