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United States CIA’s torture handbook revealed brutal inhuman practices

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Uruguay has recently received a number of CIA prisoner of war and political  ex-prisoners who have been brutally tortured over a long period of time in US prisons. Anyone interested in human rights should read this before passing judgement on Uruguay for their actions,

A newly released report on the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation tactics has detailed 13 different “enhanced interrogation techniques”.

The report found pain and suffering beyond legal limits was inflicted on CIA detainees.

Here are the interrogation methods, as listed by a May 30, 2005, Justice Department memo to the CIA.

Abdominal slap

The purpose was to cause the detainee to feel fear and despair, to punish certain behavior and humiliate or insult the detainee, according to a description in government documents, obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2009.

The interrogator stands about a foot from the detainee’s stomach, and slaps the detainee with the back of his hand. The interrogator’s hand is held with the fingers together and straight and slaps the detainee’s abdomen.

The CIA was using this technique prior to 2004 without approval by the Justice Department.

Attention grasp

The interrogator grabs the detainee by the collar, with two hands, and pulls him closer in, according to a description of the technique by former CIA acting general counsel John Rizzo.

Rizzo described this technique being used on al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah in his recent book, Company Man.

Cramped confinement

The interrogator would put the detainee in a box, sometimes big enough to stand in, for up to 18 hours, or one only big enough to curl up in for up to two hours, Rizzo said in his book.

 torture handbook
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence chairman Mike Rogers warned the release of a the report would cause violence and deaths abroad. 

The interrogator had the option to put a “harmless” insect inside the small box when the technique was used on Zubaydah, because he hated bugs, Rizzo said.

Dietary manipulation

This technique involved switching from solid foods to liquid. For instance, in August of 2002, Zubaydah was put on a liquid diet that consisted of Ensure nutrition shakes and water, the Senate report said.

The facial hold

The interrogator holds the detainee’s head so it can’t move and puts one hand on each side of the detainee’s face, keeping fingertips away from the detainee’s eyes, Rizzo explained in his book.

The facial slap

The interrogator slaps the detainee in the face, with fingers spread, striking between the chin and earlobe, Rizzo explained in his book.

The idea, Rizzo said, was to startle or humiliate the detainee, Zubaydah, and “disabuse him of the notion that he wouldn’t be physically hit.


This technique was used with others. For instance, a detainee would be forced to stand for prolonged periods while nude.

Stress positions

The purpose of these techniques are to stimulate mild discomfort from extended muscle use, according to a description in a government document obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Two such positions, used on Zubaydah, were to have him sit on the floor with his legs stretched out in front of him and his arms above his head, or kneeling on the floor while leaning back at a 45-degree angle, Rizzo said in his book.

Sleep deprivation

Detainees were kept awake for up to 180 hours, often standing or in a stress position, the Senate report said. Sometimes, the detainees’ hands would be shackled above their heads.

At least five detainees had “disturbing hallucinations” during this technique, and in two of those cases, the CIA continued the practice.


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Comments from our readers

  • Six former Guantanamo inmates were still hospitalized Tuesday after being transferred to Uruguay, where they are due to be 6 6 resettled, ending more than a decade in detention. They are intensive care due to 10 years of inhuman treatment by the CIA.

    The Uruguayan defense minister initially said the men, who arrived in the South American country Sunday as refugees, would be released “in a matter of hours,” but more than two days after their arrival officials said they were still undergoing medical treatment at a military hospital.

    Uruguay’s President Jose Mujica agreed to take in the inmates on “humanitarian grounds” in a bid to help his US counterpart Barack Obama fulfill his long-delayed promise to close the prison set up in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

    Authorities have said that after leaving hospital the men will be taken to a house in an unidentified location in the interior of the country to begin adapting to Uruguay.

    They have been kept under tight security, a measure Interior Minister Eduardo Bonomi said was for their own safety and would continue after they leave hospital.

    “People often ask what measures are going to be taken from a security standpoint.

    “The security measures we’re going to take are for their own security.”

    The men — four Syrians, a Palestinian and a Tunisian, all in their 30s and 40s — were among the first detainees sent to Guantanamo in 2002.

    Detained as part of the US so called “War on Terror” for alleged links to Al-Qaeda, they were never charged or tried.

    They had been cleared for release, but the United States ruled they could not be sent to their home countries for security reasons.

    – Handcuffed, blindfolded flight –

    A lawyer for one of the men, Syrian national Jihad Diyab, said they had been kept handcuffed and blindfolded during their more than 12-hour flight on a US Air Force plane to Uruguay.

    “It upsets me as an American citizen, but I’m afraid they take people out of Guantanamo in a way that is almost as degrading as the way they take them in,” said the lawyer, Cori Crider, who is in Uruguay following the process.

    “They handcuff them, they still have the blindfolds on and the ear defenders on, and there’s not really a proper seat, so right up until the last moment I’m afraid the attitude of the Defense Department is not that these people are cleared to be free.”

    Crider said Monday that some of the men may need “intensive care.”

    Diyab, 43, had staged a hunger strike and requested a US court to order prison officials to stop force-feeding him.

    Another of his lawyers, Alka Pradhan, has said her client can barely walk and mostly uses a wheelchair after “horrible treatment” in detention.

    Lawyers said the men have been in touch with their families and may possibly bring them to Uruguay.

    A barber gave them haircuts and trimmed their beards after arrival, hospital sources told AFP.

    The men’s resettlement comes as the United States released a damning Senate report Tuesday on the CIA’s torture of Al-Qaeda suspects.

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