“we do not torture”…

Posted on Friday 28 August 2009

This document is part of the document release last Monday. It’s a description of the process used for prisoners taken to CIA Black Sites overseas [rendition] prepared by the CIA for Dan Levin in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel [12/30/2004]. I won’t quote it as it’s fa airly straightforward twenty pages written in a clinical detached manner. It is essentially a torture manual. There’s really nothing else to call it.

The HVD [high value detainee] was flown to an overseas flight in a state of sensory deprivation [hooded with earcovers]. From arrival they were bombarded with loud white noise and bright lights, stripped naked, shackled upright to cause sleep deprivation, and subjected to "dietary manipulation."  Thereafter, they were interrogated using the coercive methods we’ve read about – various kinds of slaps, slammed into walls, doused with water. Sleep deprivation lasted up to 180 hours. The process went on for 30 days [or sometimes longer].

Like I said, it’s a torture manual – laid out as if it’s some kind of medical procedure. It’s monsterous at the least, made all the more bizarre by the recurrent reassurances that "we do not torture." If you haven’t yet realized that we did torture as a routine process for high value detainees, just read this 19 page document. You’ll need nothing else to convince you.

Why were these sites on foreign soil? I guess they thought that they were exploiting a loophole – something like "we don’t torture in America" – as if moving the prisoners to another country to be tortured [by Americans] made it okay. They included physicians and psychologists in the process, as if that inclusion somehow legitimized what they were doing. They imposed limits like no more that 180 hours of sleep deprivation or no more than 30 days without reauthorization as if these limits somehow insured that the prisoner wouldn’t be something [killed, maybe?]. They limited the volume of the white noise to 79 dB as if this limit protected against something [permanent deafness?]. But most of all, when they were forced to admit they were doing these things, they talked as if this wasn’t torture.

This document alone refutes all the Bush Administration’s denials, like this one from 2005 when the public was first learning about the "Black Sites":

Here’s just a sample from the Background Paper:

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