The CIA’s enhanced interrogation program was not approved by the US Justice Department and impeded White House investigations, the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded in the summary of a new report obtained Thursday by the McClatchy news agency.
“The techniques included waterboarding, which produces a sensation of drowning, stress positions, sleep deprivation for up to 11 days at a time, confinement in a cramped box, slaps and slamming detainees into walls. The CIA held detainees in secret ‘black site’ prisons overseas and abducted others who it turned over to foreign governments for interrogation,” McClatchy’s Washington Bureau said.
The report summary also suggests the CIA failed to present investigators with an accurate number of individuals it detained and subjected to the controversial interrogation methods, which were not approved by the Department of Justice or authorized by CIA headquarters. By providing false information, the intelligence agency misled the White House and Congress about the value of data extracted from terrorist suspects.
The report, weighing in at over 6,000 pages, came as a result of a four-year investigation. Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to make the final report public. The documents have now gone to the president for de-classification.
Moscow has repeatedly expressed deep concern over human rights violations in the US. Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry Commissioner for Human Rights, said last week that by delaying declassification of the US Senate Report, the Obama administration has violated the Convention Against Torture.
Dolgov also noted that leaks in the media indicate the internal investigation by US authorities might have revealed previously undisclosed methods of torture.
A Russian delegation headed by Dolgov recently visited the US military jail at Guantanamo Bay to meet a Russian prisoner and convince Washington to close down the facility. Since it was established in 2002, the Guantanamo Bay detention camp has been the target of criticism by human rights activists and many international government officials, who have condemned its controversial interrogation methods and the dubious legality of holding prisoners indefinitely without charging them with crimes.
Force-feeding is one of the most notorious techniques used in Guantanamo. It involves the use of force and physical restraints to immobilize hunger strikers without their consent and compel them to take food, especially by means of a tube inserted into the throat. The UN Human Rights Commission also condemned force-feeding at Guantanamo as both a form of torture and a breach of international law.