The 600-page executive summary of the report details the techniques used by the CIA on terrorism suspects, including waterboarding, sexual threats, sleep deprivation, and the use of a blacked out “dungeon” where detainees were kept in total darkness and bombarded with loud music.
The US Senate Intelligence Committee report also found the CIA provided extensive inaccurate information about the program to the White House, Congress, Department of Justice and American people.
“It was morally, legally, administratively misguided,” Senator Dianne Feinstein said as she released the report.
The report itself took seven years to be compiled and come to light.
There were five years of research looking at CIA memos, cables and real-time chats as well as other official documents.
It was approved by the Committee for release two years ago and has taken until now to be revealed publicly because of the fighting over what should be redacted.
Torture program a ‘stain’ on nation’s history
On the floor of the Senate Committee, Senator Feinstein spoke almost non-stop for an hour, describing a “stain” on the nation’s history that should “never happen again”.
Some detainees were held in a “dungeon” without light. Others were subjected to the “most aggressive techniques immediately – stripped naked, diapered, physically struck and put in various painful stress positions for long periods of time”.
“They were deprived of sleep for days – in one case up to 180 hours,” she said.
“That’s seven and a half days – over a week with no sleep. Usually standing or in stress positions – at times with their hands tied together over their heads – chained to the ceiling.”
One “black site” prison the report called COBALT began operating in September 2002.
“The facility kept few formal records of the detainees housed there. Untrained CIA officers conducted frequent unauthorised and unsupervised interrogations using techniques that were not, nor ever became, part of the CIA’s formal Enhanced Interrogation Technique program.”
“The CIA placed a junior officer with no relevant experience in charge of the site. In November 2002 an otherwise healthy detainee who was being held mostly nude and chained to a concrete floor died at the facility from what is believed to have been hypothermia.