We Tortured People Just to Be Sure


I'm at about 200 pages into the Senate's torture report, skimming and taking quick screencaps of information that might help illuminate what was going on with the torture and interrogation. With a couple dozen screencaps, I figured it's a good time to share. Of course, journalists will continue to be combing through this report for info.

One of the well-known narratives about the failure of "enhanced interrogation" is that it failed to actually get useful information, or that the information the CIA learned from torture duplicated what they had already gotten through less violent forms of interrogation or through other intelligence channels. The Senate report heavily emphasizes this narrative (as you'll see in some of these screencaps). But what I also find notable is how frequently torture was justified for interrogators to make certain and to be confident that the man they tortured actually did not have information about a pending terrorist attack. According to the report, sometimes interrogators believed their detainee did not have information, but tortured them just to be sure.

So with that, here's some screencaps from the report that you may find disquieting. CIA recordkeeping was awful:

The CIA tortured the hell out of Abu Zubaydah, waterboarding him dozens of times, for the reason I mentioned above: to make sure he didn't have important information. The next few caps will be about him.

The Senate report describes the CIA exaggerating the results of torture/enhanced interrogation

Gul Rahman died in a CIA prison in Afghanistan in 2002.

Government accountability in action!

Government oversight in action!

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri is the alleged mastermind of the USS Cole bombing. He was captured in 2002.

Forced rectal feeding. Also, again, "no actionable information":

Ramzi bin al-Shibh is accused of helping organize the Sept. 11 attacks. His military trial at Guantanamo Bay has been delayed as psychiatrists attempt to determine if he's mentally competent to stand trial.

The CIA already had the information he provided, but they apparently didn't realize it.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, generally referred to as KSM in the report, is the accused mastermind of the September 11 attacks and has confessed to many, many things (Wikipedia has a list) during exposure to enhanced interrogations.

Information he provided from enhanced interrogation was unreliable.

Some other bad things:

And this:

These things happen:

Maybe this will help!

Again, an example of the CIA essentially torturing folks to make sure they don't know something:

Like the difference between a detainee and a contact. Sometimes they don't know that.

Keep trying! And remember the below segment if or when the CIA tries to throw field interrogators under the bus. Sometimes the interrogators wanted to stop, but leadership pushed them on:

Well, that's enough for now. As I said, there will probably be more to come.