The CIA Inspector General's Report

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The secret 2004 report by the agency's internal watchdog raised concerns about the use of coercive techniques while also attempting to assess whether the methods worked. Here are some highlights:

Unauthorized or Excessive Practices

-- Mock executions: An interrogator in 2002 tried to frighten detainee Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri into thinking he was going to be executed. The interrogator flashed an unloaded handgun at the detainee and later revved a power drill while Nashiri stood naked and hooded. At one point, the interrogators faked the shooting of another detainee in a neighboring cell. After a shot was fired, a guard dressed as a detainee pretended to be dead.

-- Threats: Interrogators threatened to kill or harm relatives of two detainees. Nashiri was told: "We could get your mother in here." Officers warned Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that his children would be killed if there was another attack on the United States.

-- Stress positions: While Bush administration lawyers had approved forcing detainees to stand or sit in painful positions, the report suggests that some interrogators were overly aggressive. In one instance, Nashiri was forced to kneel leaning backward with his arms bound behind him. One interrogator pushed the detainee backward, causing others in the room to worry that his arms would become dislocated. In another instance al-Nashiri was lifted by the arms while bound in this fashion.

-- Excessive waterboarding: Noting that Mohammed was subjected to waterboarding 183 times, the report questioned the intensity and frequency of the CIA's use of the technique. The CIA's version of waterboarding used large quantities of water and was repeated so often that the agency's medical advisers objected.

-- Stiff brush: When bathing Nashiri, an interrogator scrubbed the detainee with a stiff brush until he developed abrasions on his legs.

-- Pressure points: A shackled detainee was grabbed by the neck and his carotid artery pressed until the detainee began to lose consciousness.

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