Special Review: Counterterrorism Detention and Interrogation Activities (Office of the Inspector General, CIA)
This May 7, 2004 Special Review by the CIA’s Office of the Inspector General examines the CIA’s counterterrorism detention and interrogation activities, including the apparently unauthorized use of mock executions, a hand gun, a power drill, threats, smoke to induce vomiting, stress positions, a stiff brush and shackles, pressure points, the “hard takedown,” and excessive waterboarding. The report also describes the death of a detainee following four days of detention and brutal interrogation. The report concludes (1) that “[t]he effectiveness of particular interrogation techniques in eliciting information that might not otherwise have been obtained cannot be so easily measured,”; (2) that the interrogation program approved by the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel “diverges sharply from previous Agency policy and practice, rules that govern interrogations by U.S. military and law enforcement officers, statements of U.S. policy by the Department of State, and public statements by very senior U.S. officials, including the President, as well as the policies expressed by Members of Congress, other Western governments, international organizations, and human rights groups”; (3) that “the Agency—especially in the early months of the Program—failed to provide adequate staffing, guidance, and support to those involved with the detention and interrogation of detainees”; (4) that “[u]nauthorized, improvised, inhumane, and undocumented detention and interrogation techniques were used”; (5) that “the waterboard was used in a manner inconsistent with the written DoJ legal opinion of 1 August 2002”; and (6) that some participants in the CIA’s program “judge that CTC assessments to the effect that detainees are withholding information are not always supported by an objective evaluation of available information and the evaluation of the interrogators but are too heavily based, instead, on presumptions of what the individual might or should know.”
A CIA interrogator threatened a detainee, Al-Nashiri, with an unloaded semi-automatic handgun as a prop to frighten him.