Disturbing New Photos of CIA Torture

Underground News – by Christopher Rice

Of the 119 known detainees, the CIA wrongfully held at least 26 people (22 percent) due to bad intelligence. Throughout the program, the CIA repeatedly underreported the number of people it detained. It claimed it had detained “fewer than 100 people,” while records indicate the agency detained 119. One of the wrongfully held was an “intellectually challenged” man, Nazir Ali. His taped interrogation was used as leverage to get a family member to provide information.  

Secret prisons, renditions, and enhanced interrogations are characteristic of police states, not constitutional republics.

Such methods might gain wider approval, the lawyers figured, if they were proved to have saved lives.

“A policy decision must be made with regard to US use of torture,” CIA lawyers wrote in November 2001, in a previously undisclosed memo titled “Hostile Interrogations: Legal Considerations for CIA Officers.”

The lawyers argued that “states may be very unwilling to call the US to task for torture when it resulted in saving thousands of lives.”

[READ: Here Is the CIA Torture Report]
CIA removed detainees skin with wire brush

The Intelligence Committee report describes repeated efforts by the CIA to make that case, even when the facts did not support it. For example, the CIA helped edit a speech by Bush in 2006 to make it seem as if key intelligence was obtained through the most brutal interrogation tactics, even when CIA records suggested otherwise.

In 2002, the CIA took custody of Abu Zubaydah, who was brought to Thailand. There, two CIA contractors named James E. Mitchell and Bruce Jessen were in charge of the interrogation sessions, using methods that had been authorized by Justice Department lawyers. The two contractors, both psychologists, are identified in the Senate report under the pseudonyms Grayson Swigert and Hammond Dunbar.

The program expanded, with dozens of detainees taken to secret prisons in Poland, Romania, Lithuania and other countries. In September 2006, Bush ordered all of the detainees in CIA custody to be transferred to the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and after that the CIA held a small number of detainees in secret at a different facility for several months at a time – before they were also moved to Guantanamo Bay.

Sergey Petrov / shutterstock

Sergey Petrov / shutterstock
Let’s assume that every individual who was tortured was in fact a member of a terrorist group; have we officially discarded the bothersome notion that basic human rights are “inalienable”? Forgive the rhetorical question – we know the answer.

Former CIA Deputy Director for Operations Jose Rodriguez has written a book with the assistance of former Agency press officer Bill Harlow. Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives is largely a defense of Rodriguez’s role in the CIA’s use of torture on suspected terrorists in the aftermath of 9/11. Rodriguez argues that what he describes as “enhanced interrogation techniques” were necessary to obtain information on terrorist activities. His employment of the euphemism underscores his argument that these procedures were found to be legal by Bush administration lawyers and that they do not constitute torture, which is a war crime.

Report finds CIA interrogation techniques ‘far more brutal than approved’. (Credit: ABC)

In November 2005, Rodriguez, ordered on his own authority and contrary to Agency general counsel advice the destruction of 92 videotapes that recorded interrogation sessions in a secret prison in Thailand. This was done, he says, to protect the identities of CIA interrogators from possible reprisals by terrorists, not to cover-up waterboarding being used to obtain information, a procedure he claims was both an acceptable interrogation technique and one that was subject to congressional oversight before it was employed. He does not explain exactly how terrorists could obtain the tapes or be able to make identifications from them; perhaps the idea is that someday the recordings might leak to the public. Whatever its plausibility, or lack thereof, his argument might just as well be a deliberate deception if the primary purpose of his actions was to eliminate evidence of what many would consider a war crime. I leave it up to the reader to decide what explanation is most likely. For what it’s worth, Amazon reviews are running about five to one in praise of the book rather than condemning what it describes.


Waterboarding, the practice of torturing prisoners by partially drowning them, was one of the torture practices used at Guantanamo.

What is most disturbing to me about the book and the interviews is that Rodriguez is apparently seen by some in the media as the “new normal” and even some kind of hero. CIA officers overseas are indeed operating on the “dark side,” in that spying overseas is illegal in the countries where one is operationally engaged. But that does not mean all gloves are off in terms of international and U.S. law, especially in the case of war crimes. It is worth noting that Japanese Army officers were executed in 1946 for waterboarding Allied prisoners, while the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution explicitly forbids “cruel and unusual punishment.” The United States is also a signatory to the International Convention on Torture and to the Geneva Conventions. And then there is the War Crimes Act of 1996, which requires the United States Justice Department to prosecute anyone involved in torture, no exceptions.  President Obama has refused to permit justice to be served, making him as complicit in war crimes as his predecessor was.

A detainee with blindfold and handcuffs arrested after an early morning operation by US Marines from 3rd Battalion 9th Marines Kodiak Company sits in a room of a house at Block 9 military camp of Marjah district in Helmand Province on May 23, 2011.
A detainee arrested by U.S. Marines sits at a military camp in Afghanistan in 2011.

To promote Hard Measures, Rodriguez has been appearing on a number of television programs. I have seen him on “60 Minutes”with Lesley Stahl and on Bill O’Reilly’s program. He has also appeared with Sean Hannity. Stahl failed to push Rodriguez on the illegality of torture and frequently allowed him to drift into the kind of mumbo-jumbo tradecraft language that former spies use when they don’t want to answer a question. Rodriguez stated that the (CIA) are part of the “dark side — that’s what we do.”  That was the end of the story for “60 Minutes.”

Poland’s former president has publicly acknowledged for the first time that his country hosted a secret CIA prison where a US Senate report says torture was used against Al Qaeda suspects.

Former British Ambassador to Tashkent Craig Murray lost his job and has endured severe vituperation at the hands of his government because he objected to Britain’s collaboration in CIA-sponsored torture conducted in Uzbekistan.

Murray recalls, Uzbeks made use of a torture method specifically endorsed by the execrable John Yoo: Torturing children in order to compel the parents to submit.

Yoo, the impenitent war criminal who wrote many of the key torture memos for the Bush regime, claims that the president has the authority to order the sexual mutilation of a child if he considers such action necessary.

Ninety percent of all “rendition” flights that visited the former KGB prison in Poland used as a CIA torture facility “went straight on to Tashkent,” Murray observes. “There was an overwhelming body of evidence that … people from all over the world were being taken by the CIA to Uzbekistan specifically in order to be tortured.

Sometimes words simply fail me: The remains of Muzafar Avazov, who was boiled alive by the CIA’s noble Uzbek allies.

The CIA’s Uzbek subcontractors occasionally grew tired of commonplace abuse and occasionally boiled a victim alive. Murray recalls the case of Muzafar Avazov, who was submerged in a boiling liquid after his fingernails had been pulled from his hands.

This case was neither unique nor uncommon. Murray had no trouble compiling a large and detailed dossier on the routine, systematic torture being carried out with the blessing of his government and the Washington-based empire that holds its leash.

CIA detainee tortured to death Libya

UN says there should be no impunity

The United Nations high commissioner for human rights said there should be no impunity or statute of limitations for torture.

The Convention against Torture prohibits torture and allows for “no exceptional circumstances whatsoever”, not even a state of war, as justification, Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein said in a statement issued in Geneva on the annual human rights day.

“The Convention lets no one off the hook – neither the torturers themselves, nor the policy-makers, nor the public officials who define the policy or give the orders,” he said.

The pact has been ratified by 156 countries.

Romania and Lithuania also have cases pending for hosting secret CIA prisons.

What the CIA Is Doing in Libya

Ben Emmerson, U.N. special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism, voiced concern that while President Barack Obama’s administration has rejected Central Intelligence Agency practices conducted under his predecessor George W. Bush, there have been no prosecutions.

“Despite this clear repudiation of the unlawful actions carried out by the Bush-era CIA, many of the facts remain classified, and no public official has so far been brought to justice in the United States,” Emmerson said in a report to the U.N. Human Rights Council, which he will address on Tuesday.

Emmerson, an international lawyer from Britain, has served since August 2011 in the independent post set up by the U.N. Human Rights Council in 2005 to probe human rights violations committed during counter-terrorism operations worldwide.

The “war on terror” waged by Bush after al Qaeda attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001 led to “gross or systematic” violations involving secret prisons for Islamic militant suspects, clandestine transfers and torture, Emmerson said.

A cell at Camp Echo where detainees are held after they have been formally charged. The camp is located in Guantanamo Bay. The report reveals that 10 targets were secretly held and questioned at the site

A cell at Camp Echo where detainees are held after they have been formally charged. The camp is located in Guantanamo Bay. The report reveals that 10 targets were secretly held and questioned at the site

CIA “Tortured and Sodomized” Wrongly Detained German Citizen

TheGuardian: CIA agents tortured a German citizen, sodomizing, shackling, and beating him, as Macedonian state police looked on, the European Court of Human rights said in a historic judgment released on Thursday.

In a unanimous ruling, it also found Macedonia guilty of torturing, abusing, and secretly imprisoning Khaled el-Masri, a German of Lebanese origin allegedly linked to terrorist organizations.

Masri was seized in Macedonia in December 2003 and handed over to a CIA “rendition team” at Skopje airport and secretly flown to Afghanistan.

It is the first time the court has described CIA treatment meted out to terror suspects as torture.

7 Horrific Revelations Of The CIA Torture Report

CIA torture program earned 2 men millions

The names James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen don’t show up at all in the 500-page Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA torture program, but they’re definitely mentioned throughout it, according to multiple reports.

Even though their names and alleged involvement in the “enhanced interrogation techniques” (EITs) program have been known for some time, the CIA contractors appear in the report (respectively) under the names “Dr. Grayson Swigert” and “Dr. Hammond Dunbar.” A. U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed their identities to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Although they had no first-hand experience with interrogation or no “specialized knowledge” of al-Qaeda or terrorism, as the Senate Intelligence Committee report indicated, the men had plenty of experience with “coercive interrogation techniques.”

But by the time their involvement with the CIA’s interrogation program wrapped up in 2009, they had earned millions of dollars off of the torture of detainees.

Mitchell and Jessen formed a private company in 2005, specifically for the purpose of conducting their work with the CIA. Mitchell, Jessen and Associates have ultimately earned $81 million from the CIA.

via: bigstockphoto.com

Few, if any, CIA officers or contractors were held accountable even after being caught with significant events of wrongdoing. One detainee, suffering from insomnia, paranoia, and severe hallucinations caused by the extreme interrogation methods, attempted to chew his arm off at the elbow. When a detainee died of hypothermia after being chained to a concrete floor partially nude, the CIA decided not to take any punitive action against the officer in charge. The report states, “The director strongly believes that mistakes should be expected in a business filled with uncertainty.”

Wali collapsed and died after a three-day torture session with Passaro
Abdul Wali collapsed and died after a three-day torture session with former US Army ranger DAVID A Passaro Source:Supplied

An unconscious Wali during Passaro’s torture session
An unconscious Wali during Passaro’s torture sessionSource:Supplied

Farmer Abdul Wali handed himself in for questioning only to die at the hands of Passaro.

Farmer Abdul Wali handed himself in for questioning only to die at the hands of CIA interrogator Passaro. Source:Supplied

Former Vice President Dick Cheney made an appearance on Meet the Press and declared he would “do it again in a minute” and had no problem with enhanced interrogation “as long as we achieve our objective.” Did forcing a detainee to wear a diaper lead to the capture of Osama bin Laden? Cheney seems to think so.

However, 20 different case studies based on the CIA’s internal records found that enhanced interrogations did not help to disrupt terror plots or capture terror leaders.

Human Rights Watch report detailing unusually cruel torture techniques used by the CIA in Libya, under the Bush Administration, including prolonged diapering, insects and water boarding.

Human Rights Watch report detailing unusually cruel torture techniques used by the CIA in Libya, under the Bush Administration, including prolonged diapering, insects and water boarding.

Wired News did a report detailing some of the alleged Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) torture techniques used in Libya (see article: U.S. Used This Torture Box to Interrogate Gadhafi’s Enemies


7 thoughts on “Disturbing New Photos of CIA Torture

  1. Sickening. Absolutely sickening.

    Can someone tell me how the Nazis, the NKVD, or any other notoriously brutal thugs from the past were any worse than today’s US government? Because I really can’t see the difference — at least beyond the fact that the US is extremely hypocritical in its talk about “defending freedom” and “human rights.”

  2. C’mon now people… don’t act surprised.
    What is released now is nothing compared to what torture porn they’re keeping to themselves. They’re keeping the best stuff so they can jackoff and masturbate in their plush offices in the pentagram. That you are paying for with your tax dollars! Just you note… that you are next…..and you get to watch your children sodomized while they are having a gang rape… then burning them after they cut them into little pieces alive and eating their flesh like a southern barbeque!
    Evil has no boundaries. … or conscious.
    This is just the tip of the iceberg…or goldberg
    or steinberg…., you ain’t seen sh! t…yet what they have done. This is just a tickler to let you know and fear what they are going to do to you! Don’t get out of line goyim…or they will be watching videos of you and death porn pictures on a torrent feed. Stay in line…and obey ! Total fear pysyops. I guess this explains what was going thru … nuttin Yahoo’s
    mind with his blank stare for 45 seconds at the UN address.



  3. “The Convention lets no one off the hook – neither the torturers themselves, nor the policy-makers, nor the public officials who define the policy or give the orders,” he said.

    I agree with the convention. Every last one of these sick bastards needs to be rounded up, and it might be wise to round up their entire families too, just in case this brutal madness is genetic.

    “The CIA’s Uzbek subcontractors occasionally grew tired of commonplace abuse…:”

    And this is always the result of sadistic behavior. What’s insane today, is common place tomorrow, so there’s always a need to up the ante. You have to understand that these people are receiving sexual gratification from this, and I’ve heard reports of C.I.A. torturers masturbating while torturing people. (that was in South America — the “war on terror” wasn’t the C.I.A.’s first experience with torture; revealing it to the public is the only thing new about it, and we wouldn’t know about these instances unless they wanted us to know. They attempted to get the American people to accept it)

    “Mitchell and Jessen formed a private company in 2005, specifically for the purpose of conducting their work with the CIA. Mitchell, Jessen and Associates have ultimately earned $81 million from the CIA.”

    They should have $81 million shoved up their asses, in pennies.

  4. NEVER allow yourself to be taken alive.

    “Alive” will only be a temporary condition, until the demons are done playing God with your meat sack (body).

    Kill every one of them that comes to unlawfully seize you.

    1. AMEN about never being taken alive. We all have to go sometime anyway. No one lives forever. Accepting the inevitability of death is the key to freedom and courage.

      Each of us owes it to himself to be mentally and physically prepared to do what’s needed when the time comes. The famous Solzhenitsyn quote about how the prisoners “burned in the camps” is as timely as ever.

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