Legally the CIA is not allowed to torture detainees, but there are ways around that policy.

"Porter J. Goss, the director of central intelligence, told Congress that all interrogation techniques used "at this time" were legal but declined, when asked, to make the same broad assertion about practices used over the past few years."[1]

Abu Ghraib abuse (JPG) ""You have to have full control," [Brigadier General Janis] Karpinski quoted [Major General Geoffrey] Miller as saying. There can be "no mistake about who's in charge. You have to treat these detainees like dogs.""[2]

"CIA interrogations may have played a role in the deaths of several detainees in Iraq, as Bush administration lawyers were advocating an aggressive interrogation policy that critics say led to torture, military documents and officials say. Sworn statements provided to Army investigators by military intelligence and police at Abu Ghraib contain at least four references to CIA detainees dying during interrogations."[3]

"According to a United States Army report, [Abu Ghraib] abuses included: a. Punching, slapping, and kicking detainees; jumping on their naked feet; b. Videotaping and photographing naked male and female detainees; c. Forcibly arranging detainees in various sexually explicit positions for photographing; d. Forcing detainees to remove their clothing and keeping them naked for several days at a time; e. Forcing naked male detainees to wear women's underwear; f. Forcing groups of male detainees to masturbate themselves while being photographed and videotaped; g. Arranging naked male detainees in a pile and then jumping on them; h. Positioning a naked detainee on a MRE Box, with a sandbag on his head, and attaching wires to his fingers, toes, and penis to simulate electric torture; i. Writing "I am a Rapest" (sic) on the leg of a detainee alleged to have forcibly raped a 15-year old fellow detainee, and then photographing him naked; j. Placing a dog chain or strap around a naked detainee's neck and having a female Soldier pose for a picture; k. A male MP guard having sex with a female detainee; l. Using military working dogs (without muzzles) to intimidate and frighten detainees, and in at least one case biting and severely injuring a detainee; m. Taking photographs of dead Iraqi detainees (Taguba, Maj. General Antonio, "U.S. Army report on Iraqi prisoner abuse,", May 4, 2004)."[4]

"Detainees 27, 30 and 31 were stripped of their clothing, handcuffed together nude, placed on the ground, and forced to lie on each other and simulate sex while photographs were taken. Detainee 8 had his food thrown in the toilet and was then ordered to eat it. Detainee 7 was ordered to bark like a dog while MPs spat and urinated on him; he was sodomised with a police stick while two female MPs watched. Detainee 3 was sodomised with a broom by a female soldier. Detainee 15 was photographed standing on a box with a hood on his head and simulated electrical wires were attached to his hands and penis. Detainees 1, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24 and 26 were placed in a pile and forced to masturbate while photographs were taken. An unidentified detainee was photographed covered in faeces with a banana inserted in his anus. Detainee 5 watched Civilian 1 rape an unidentified 15-year-old male detainee while a female soldier took photographs. Detainees 5 and 7 were stripped of their clothing and forced to wear women’s underwear on their heads. Detainee 28, handcuffed with his hands behind his back in a shower stall, was declared dead when an MP removed the sandbag from his head and checked his pulse."[5]

"An Iraqi whose corpse was photographed with grinning U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison died under CIA interrogation while suspended by his wrists, which had been handcuffed behind his back, according to investigative documents reviewed by the Associated Press. The prisoner died in a position known as "Palestinian hanging," the documents show."[6]

"I heard a soldier describe what they called ‘bitch in a box’: ‘That was the normal procedure for them when they wanted to soften up a prisoner: stuff them in the trunk for a while and drive them around. The hoods I can understand, and to have them cuffed with the plastic things – that I could see. But the trunk episode – I thought it was kind of unusual. It was like a sweatbox, let’s face it. In Iraq, in August, it’s hitting 120 degrees, and you can imagine what it was like in the trunk of a black Mercedes.’ I heard a marine at Camp Whitehorse say: ‘The 50/10 technique was used to break down EPWs and make it easier for the HET member to get information from them.’ The 50/10 technique was to make prisoners stand for 50 minutes of the hour for ten hours with a hood over their heads in the heat. EPWs were ‘enemy prisoners of war’. HETs were ‘human exploitation teams’."[7]

"Detained children at Abu Ghraib [were] abused while parents [were] forced to watch."[8] But "Of all the stories about the abuse of prisoners of war by American soldiers and CIA agents, surely none was more troubling and important than the March 16 [2005] report by my New York Times colleagues Douglas Jehl and Eric Schmitt that at least 26 prisoners have died in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002 — in what Army and Navy investigators have concluded or suspect were acts of criminal homicide."[9] Personally, I think child abuse is worse.

"So far 109 soldiers have been sanctioned, 32 of them in courts-martial."[10]

"A half a dozen current and former officials told the New York Times the Bush administration may have turned a blind eye to torture."[11]

"U.S. Army documents reveal the CIA's unauthorized practice of hiding unregistered detainees in Iraq was more widespread than first thought. Documents obtained by the Washington Post said the agency's "ghosting" program was systematic and known to at least three senior U.S. intelligence officials in Iraq."[12] "Military police soldiers came up with a rough system to keep track of such detainees with single-digit identification numbers, while others were dropped off unnamed, unannounced and unaccounted for."[13]

""Abu Ghraib was only the tip of the iceberg," said Reed Brody, special counsel for Human Rights Watch. "It's now clear that abuse of detainees has happened all over-from Afghanistan to Guantánamo Bay to a lot of third-country dungeons where the United States has sent prisoners. And probably quite a few other places we don't even know about.""[14]

"The Bush administration gave the CIA extensive authority to send terrorism suspects to foreign countries for interrogation just days after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, The New York Times reported."[15] "Rendition was begun [in previous administrations (conflicting reports)] but was used sparingly. After the September 11 attacks, Mr Bush gave the CIA wide licence to send terrorist suspects abroad without prior approval. Off the record, officials say that 150-200 suspects have been rendered since then."[16]

"Officials say suspects have been sent to countries including Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan"[17] -- "countries that have such abysmal human rights records that promises of decent treatment are a joke. Editorial, Los Angeles Times, March 11 [2005]."[18]

"Persistent attempts by Democrats on the US Senate Intelligence committee to hold hearings on rendition have been thwarted by its Republican majority."[19] "President Bush is defending the...program, saying America always gets assurances that terror suspects won't be tortured before they're sent to other countries. And he says the practice of capturing potential terrorists and sending them to their country of origin is necessary "in the post-September Eleventh world.""[20]

"Authorities in Sweden, Italy and Germany are investigating alleged CIA kidnappings on their own soil"[21] as people disappear and plane spotters record CIA aircraft comings and goings.

Meanwhile, "there is widening unease within the Central Intelligence Agency over the possibility that career officers could be prosecuted or otherwise punished for their conduct during interrogations and detentions of terrorism suspects, according to current and former government officials."[22]

"The United States must investigate the role of top officials, such as Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and former CIA Director George J. Tenet, in this scandal that has done so much to harm the reputation and interests of the country. If Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, who is involved in these policies, will not begin such a probe, a special prosecutor should be appointed."[23]
























For more information, visit CIA Tradecraft at

See also

Sadistic Soldiers
Mind Control