One prisoner froze to death after being left to sleep, without pants, on a cold concrete floor. Another was forced to stand in a "stress position" on broken bones. CIA officers threatened to sexually assault the wife of one detainee, and cut the throat of another prisoner's mother.
And it gets worse.
After months of negotiations with the White House and CIA, the Senate Intelligence Committee has released a redacted summary of its original 6,300-page report on the "enhanced interrogation techniques" carried out by George W. Bush-era intelligence agents on suspected terrorists.
Through a process known as "extraordinary rendition," detainees were taken to prisons in allied nations — so-called CIA "black sites" — where American officers sought to extract information, often by using brutal and repugnant tactics banned by international law. The secret program began sometime in the weeks after 9/11; President Barack Obama's executive order formally ended it Jan. 22, 2009.
Tuesday's "executive summary" is approximately 500 pages, with certain key details — names and locations — blacked out by CIA censors. The report is a dense and at times confounding read. CIA officials did their best to obscure the names of the 54 countries that partnered with U.S. intelligence to host the prisons. In 2005, 92 videotapes showing hundreds of hours of extreme interrogations were destroyed. Names of individual agents have also been wiped from the record, either to protect their safety or preserve their careers.
Additional information will come out over time, but for now, here are 16 excerpts from the torture report the CIA does not want you to see:
1. A prisoner froze to death after being made to sit on a concrete floor without pants.
2. A CIA prison site known as COBALT was described as a "dungeon" and detainees were shackled with "only a bucket to use for human waste."
Prisoners would be disrobed and restrained with "mylar tape, then "walked around naked" and "hooded ... while being slapped and punched."
3. Federal Bureau of Prisons staff were "WOW'ed" by the depravity of the COBALT prison.
4. Torture tactics caused detainees to develop psychosis, leading to hallucinations, paranoia and attempts to self-mutilate.
5. Five prisoners were subjected to "rectal rehydration" or "rectal feeding."
One detainee was eventually "diagnosed with chronic hemorrhoids, an anal fissure and symptomatic rectal prolapse," symptoms normally associated with a violent rape.
6. Buried in the footnotes, the report mentions that an officer played "Russian Roulette" with a prisoner.
7. Detainees were made to stand in "stress positions" on broken bones and prosthetic limbs.
8. The waterboarding of a prized prisoner devolved into a "series of near drownings."
"Waterboard" is mentioned 275 times in the report, which is technically just a "summary" of the official, classified report.
9. On at least two occasions, the CIA conducted "mock executions" of prisoners.
10. Former National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice was deeply involved in evaluating the use of waterboarding and "staged burial."
11. The CIA manipulated the press and ignored when classified material that supported their torture policies was published.
12. Former CIA director Michael Hayden repeatedly misled Congress about the degree and extent of the torture.
13. A prisoner was tortured for months based on a false accusation made under duress by another prisoner.
On multiple occasions, CIA agents reported that Janat Gul knew nothing of the alleged "pre-election threat." But they were repeatedly told to continue their interrogations, including a "47-hour session of standing sleep deprivation," which over time caused him to hallucinate, seeing "his wife and children in the mirror" and "[hearing] their voices in the white noise."