“Handgun and power drill”

Selected pages from the CIA inspector general's report on interrogation during the war on terror

Topics: Torture, Barack Obama, CIA,

"Handgun and power drill"A view of Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base August 5, 2009. The facility, which has been left in its present state as it is being preserved as an evidence in law suits and was opened after the deadly Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, became a symbol of detainee abuse and detention without charge under the previous administration of George W. Bush. U.S. President Barack Obama has vowed to close Guantanamo Bay, which currently holds some 225 detainees, and has also ordered a stop to harsh interrogation methods. Picture taken August 5, 2009.

On Monday afternoon, the Justice Department released a report by the CIA inspector general on the CIA’s interrogation procedures and use of “enhanced interrogation techniques.” The May 2004 review provides many disturbing details about just what enhanced interrogation entails. Salon has culled two dozen pages from the 234-page report that describe, among other things, diapering, mock executions, threats to kill a detainee’s children and the use of a power drill for interrogations, a technique once employed by Saddam Hussein. The report indicates that some agency personnel were worried that they would later have to answer for these interrogations in court.

In addition, the report includes a 2002 psychological evaluation of al-Qaida suspect Abu Zubaydah, forwarded to John Yoo, then deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel and now renowned for providing much of the Bush administration’s legal justification for torture. The evaluation says that Abu Zubaydah is mentally stable and a powerful figure within al-Qaida. Both assertions are diametrically opposed to the characterization of Abu Zubaydah in Ron Suskind’s “The One Percent Doctrine,” an authoritative account of the Bush administration’s counterterrorism efforts.



Mark Benjamin is a national correspondent for Salon based in Washington, D.C. Read his other articles here.

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