Working Though the Torture Report, Part 1: Janat Gul Tortured for Nothing

Page 11 of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's report, "Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program":

"Conditions at CIA detention sites were poor, and were especially bleak early in the program. CIA detainees at the COBALT detention facility were kept in complete darkness and constantly shackled in isolated cells with loud noise or music and only a bucket to use for human waste. Lack of heat at the facility likely contributed to the death of a detainee. The chief of interrogations described COBALT as a 'dungeon.' Another senior CIA officer stated that COBALT was itself an enhanced interrogation technique.

"At times, the detainees at COBALT were walked around naked or were shackled with their hands above their heads for extended periods of time. Other times, the detainees at COBALT were subjected to what was described as a 'rough takedown,' in which 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."

Also on page 11:

"CIA officers also threatened at least three detainees with harm to their families — to include threats to harm the children of a detainee, threats to sexually abuse the mother of a detainee, and a threat to 'cut [a detainee's] mother's throat.'"

Starting on page 164:
"After being rendered to CIA custody on July [redacted] 2004, Janat Gul was subjected to the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques, including continuous sleep deprivation, facial holds, attention grasps, facial slaps, stress positions, and walling, until he experienced auditory and visual hallucinations. According to a cable, Janat Gul was 'not oriented to time or place' and told CIA officers that he saw 'his wife and children in the mirror and had heard their voices in the white noise.' The questioning of Janat Gul continued, although the CIA ceased using the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques for several days. According to a CIA cable, '[Gul] asked to die, or just be killed.' After continued interrogation sessions with Gul, on August 19, 2004, CIA detention site personnel wrote that the interrogation 'team does not believe [Gul] is withholding imminent threat information.' On August 21, 2004, a cable from CIA Headquarters stated that Janat Gul 'is believed' to possess threat information, and that the 'use of enhanced techniques is appropriate in order to obtain that information.' On that day, August 21, 2004, CIA interrogators resumed using the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques against Gul."

You got that? At the CIA's detention site, where they were torturing Janat Gul, the torturers said that he had no information. CIA Headquarters demanded that he be tortured some more. Someone in a position of authority above the torturers said to continue the torture. And they did get something out of him eventually. See, Gul was accused of being a terrorist by a single source. Even though Gul gave no information on any plots, the CIA saw his torture as successful. Why? Because his inability to provide information under torture proved that the source who gave him up was a liar.

"[T]he CIA began representing that its enhanced interrogation techniques were required for Gul to deny the existence of the threat, thereby disproving the credibility of the CIA source."

That's right. He knew nothing. But he was forced to stand for 47 hours straight, wearing a diaper, with no sleep, just to prove he knew nothing. And the CIA decided to say that the glass was half-full.

Fuck us. Truly. Fuck us.

More later. The Rude Pundit needs a mid-afternoon six-pack.

(Note: The New York Times today features an editorial from an ACLU official calling for President Obama to pardon all the torturers and their enablers, thus implicitly indicting and convicting them. That's a great idea, one that the Rude Pundit suggested back in 2009.)