Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Inside the C.I.A. Report on Interrogation

Just yesterday, the Justice Department released the once-secret 2004 report on "advanced interrogation tactics" that lists, in grim detail, alleged abuses that went on in C.I.A. run prisons overseas. We've been covering torture and prisoner abuse cases for the last two days, but nothing thus far has been as extreme – and frankly, disturbing – as some of the findings gathered in the document.

It's also worth noting that some portions have been edited, and that anyone may peruse the document at will – as it's being hosted, in full, at The New York Times' website.

There are entire pages devoted to the description of "Specific Unauthorized or Undocumented techniques" which include "handgun and power drill", "threats", "smoke", "stress positions", "stiff brush and shackles", "pressure points", "mock executions", "use of smoke", "use of cold", "water dousing" and "hard takedown".

Aside from the black marks that obscure portions of the report, it's a rather difficult read. Some of the techniques described were truly brutal – to say nothing of their breach of civil liberties, prisoners' rights, and international law. To say that some of these methodologies qualify as "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" seems an understatement.

The report may also be downloaded as a .pdf here.

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