New "sick details" emerge about water torture

On "Countdown," Jeremy Scahill discusses how the DOD hid behind waterboarding while using other water tortures

By Natasha Lennard

Published August 5, 2011 12:06PM (EDT)

Jeremy Scahill on "Countdown"
Jeremy Scahill on "Countdown"

The official government narrative, as defended by Donald Rumsfeld, is that no prisoners were waterboarded at Guantanamo Bay; the CIA did use waterboarding as an interrogation technique, but only at so-called "black sites"; and only three prisoners were subjected to this treatment.

However, new evidence is emerging to the contrary, largely in anecdotal form. As Truthout reported this week, a number of stories have come out about forced water choking and other uses of water for torture at sites including Gitmo.

Investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill discussed the issue with Keith Olbermann Thursday. He recalled an incident he had investigated (which would not be classified as waterboarding) of a former Guantanamo detainee having a high pressure water hose fixed up a nostril. Water would be forced up his head until suffocation.

Scahill noted President Obama's "extremely poor record" at holding people accountable for torturous acts and expressed concern that little has changed at Guantanamo.

Rumsfeld currently faces a lawsuit over the alleged use of torture, bought by a former military translator held in Iraq for nine months, but Scahill emphasized that the U.S. administration always tends to get its people off the hook.

Watch the clip for "Countdown" below:


Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email

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