The following editorial appeared in the Charlotte Observer:
Here are some of the interrogation methods the CIA used on detainees, according to an exhaustive report released by the Senate Intelligence Committee:
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.
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