The Torture

Ken AshfordWar on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

I don't have much to say about this

WASHINGTON – With just two weeks of training, or about half the time it takes to become a truck driver, the CIA certified its spies as interrogation experts after 9/11 and handed them the keys to the most coercive tactics in the agency's arsenal.

It was a haphazard process, cobbled together in the months following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington by an agency that had never been in the interrogation business. The result was a patchwork program in which rules kept shifting and the goals often were unclear.

At times, the interrogators went too far, even beyond the wide latitude they were given under the Bush administration's flexible guidelines, according to newly unclassified documents released Monday. Interrogators took the simulated drowning technique of waterboarding beyond what was authorized. Mock executions were held. Family members were threatened. There were hints of rape.

… other than I am not surprised.

The actual IG report is far more graphic than press reports.  The highlights include:  (1) mock executions; (2) threatened rape of family members; (3) threatened murder of children; (4) kicking and beating a detainee with a metal flashlight to death; (5) threatening naked hooded detainees with power drills; (6) blowing cigar smoke in detainees' faces until they got sick; (7) waterboarding with massive volumes of water far beyond what OLC authorized (to make it "poignant"); (8) stress positions that nearly caused shoulder dislocations; (9) scraping detainees with stiff brushes; (10) choking a detainee with one's bare hands until they nearly pass out; (11) subjecting detainees to extremely cold temperatures and water dousing; (12) "hard takedowns" (sometimes in diapers); and (13) beating detainees with butts of rifles (followed by kicking them).

I understand that Atty General Eric Holder will apppoint a special indpendent prosecutor to look into this, but that the focus of the investigation will be "low-level" CIA interrogators.  They will, of course, give the Nuremberg defense: "I was ordered to", and the Yoo torture memos will provide cover for any sort of accountability.

In the end, nothing will happen.  No repercussions to anybody, despite the fact that they broke the law.

Glenn Greenwald has the best summary of the IG report.