Senate torture report: six top findings

The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday released an executive summary of its investigation into the Central Intelligence Agency’s detention and interrogation program – an investigation launched in 2009 after lawmakers learned that the CIA had destroyed videotapes of detainee interrogations. Here are six top findings in the report.

4. The interrogations of detainees ‘were brutal and far worse’ than the CIA claimed

Detainees were slapped and “walled” (slammed up against a wall), and frequently this happened while they were also being kept naked and deprived of sleep. Sleep deprivation often went on for one week straight, or “180 hours, usually standing or in stress positions, at times with their hands shackled above their heads.”

CIA interrogators also placed detainees in ice water and threatened to sexually harm female relatives. Waterboarding induced convulsions and vomiting, and was more akin to a “series of near drownings,” with one detainee rendered “completely unresponsive.”

According to the report, the CIA did not try to gain the trust of detainees before launching into the harsh techniques. And contrary to what the CIA told the Department of Justice, it often prioritized interrogation over medical care for detainees.

CIA doctors even treated detainees so that the torture could continue, the report found: “CIA medical personnel treated at least one detainee for swelling in order to allow the continued use of standing sleep deprivation.”

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