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ACLU 2004 Remand Documents
CIA OIG Releases
1.

2004 CIA OIG Report

2.

07 March 2003 CIA business plan
discussing RDI program [OIG Vaughn #
Other-29]

3.

31 January 2003 Draft psychological
assessment of Abu Zubaydah [OIG Vaughn #
Other-39]

4.

20 November 2002 spot report discussing
interrogation of al-Nashiri [OIG Vaughn #
Other-63]

5.

24 July 2002 Draft psychological
assessment of Abu Zubaydah [OIG Vaughn #
Other-71]

6.

Undated certification sheet used in
interrogation training [OIG Vaughn #
Other-93]

7.

Undated blank "Enhanced Pressures" sheet
used for waterboard training [OIG Vaughn
# Other-l03]

B.

17 July 2003 interview with a sen~or CIA
officer regarding CIA RDI program [OIG
Vaughn # Interview-B3]

9.

22 January 2003 Email wi th attached spo t
report regarding interrogation of alNashiri [OIG Vaughn # Email-196l

)

CIA LOAN COpy

DO NOT COpy

...

Central Intelligence Agency
Inspector General

SPECIAL REVIEW

COUNTERTERRORISM DETENTION AND
INTERROGATION ACTIVITIES
(SEPTEMBER 2001- OCTOBER 2003)
(2003-7123-IG)

7 May 2004

Copy

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TOP'SS~m:L

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page

INTRODUCTION

1

SUMMARy

2

BACKGROUND

9

DISCUSSION

11

GENESIS OF POST 9/11 AGENCY DETENTION AND INTERROGATION
ACTIVlTlES

11

THE CAPTURE OF ABU ZuaA ¥DAR AND DEVELOPMENT OF EITs

12

Dof LEGAL ANALYSIS

16

NOTICE TO AND CONSULTATION WITH ExECUTIVE AND CONGRESSIONAL
OFFlaALS

,

23

GUIDANCE ON CAPTURE, DITENTION, AND lNTERROGATION

24

................................... 25

DCI Confinement Guidelines

27

DCI Interrogation Guidelines

29

Medical Guidelines

31

Training for Interrogations

31

DETENTION AND INTERROGATION OPERATIONS AT

.................................................................. "

33

" ........•... .•.•.......................... ........ .........................•...•..... ..... 34
.......... ...................................................34

Videotapes of Interrogations
..............................................................,

,

Background and Detainees

36
,

37

38

.............................................................................................39

Guidance Prior to DCI Guidelines

.40

Specific Unauthorized or Undocumented Techniques

..41

Handgun and Power Drill

.41

Threats

42

Smoke

43

Stress Positions

44

Stiff Brush and Shackles

44

Waterboard Technique

44
.......... .46

..............................................................48
...............................................................50
................................ 54
........................................................57
..........................................................................58

.........,

61

................................................... '

,.,67

Specific Unauthorized or Undocumented Techniques

69

Pressure Points

69

Mock Executions

70

Use of Smoke

72

Use of Cold

73

Water Dousing
Hard Takedown

,
"

76
77

Abuse

at Other Locations Outside of the CTC

Program

78
....................................80

ANALmCAL SUPPORT TO INTERROGATIONS

82

EFFECTIVENESS

85

POLICY CONSIDERATIONS AND CONCERNS REGARDING TIlE DETENTION
AND INTERROGATION PROGRAM
91

Policy Considerations

92

Concerns Over Participation in the CTC Program

94
95

ENDGAME

CONCLUSIONS

100

RECOMMENDATIONS

106

APPENDICES
A. Procedures and Resources

B. Chronology of Significant Events
C. Memorandum for John Rizzo, Acting General CowlSe] of the
Central Intelligence Agency, Re: Interrogation of an A1-Qa'ida
Operative, 1 August 2002

. D. DCI Guidelines on Confinement Conditions for CIA Detainees,
28 January 2003
ations Conducted Pursuant to the

>.

F. Draft Office of Medical Services Guidelines on Medical and
Psychological Support to Detainee Interrogations, 4 September

2003

~I

OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL

SPECIAL REVIEW
(~ COUNTERTERRORISM DETENTION AND
INTERROGATION ACTIVITIES
(SEPTEMBER 2001· OCTOBER 2003)
(2003-7123-IG)
7 May 2004

INTRODUCTION

2.. ~ In November 2002, the Deputy Director for
Operations (000) informed the Office of Inspector General (OIG)
that the Agency had established a program in the Counterterrorist
Center to detain and interrogate terrorists at sites abroad ("the CTC
Program"). He also informed OIG that he had 'ust learned of and had
dis atched a team to investigate
January 2003, the ODO informed OIG
that he had received allegations that Agency personnel had used
tmauthorized interrogation techniques with a detainee,
'Abd AI.Rahim AJ-Nashiri, at another foreign site, and requested that

OIG investigate. Separately, OrG received information that some
employees were concerned that certain covert Agency activities at an
overseas detention and interrogation site might involve violations of
human rights. In January 2003, OIG initiated a review of Agency
counterterrorism detention and interro ation activities
and the incident with
Al-Nashiri. 1 This Review covers the eriod Se tember 2001 to midOctober 2003.2

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SUMMARY
the DCI assigned responsibility for
implementing capture and detention authority to the DDO and to the
Director of the DCI Counterterrorist Center (D/CTC). When U.S.
military forces began·d~tainin individuals in Ai hanistan and at
Guantanamo Ba ,Cuba,

the Agency began to detain and interrogate
clirec 1y a number of suspected terrorists. The capture and initial
Agency interrogation of the first high value detainee, Abu Zubaydah,
1 ~ Appendix A addresses the Procedures and Resources that GIG employed in
conducting this Review. The Review does not address renditions conducted by the Agency or
interrogations conducted jointly wi
e U.S. military.
2 (U) Appendix B is a chronology of significant events that occurred during the period of this
Review.

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arch 2002, P esented the Agency with a significant dilemma.4
The Agency was under pressure to do everything possible to prevent
additional terrorist attacks. Senior Agency officials belie ed Abu
Z baydah ,vas withholding information that could not be obtained
through then-authorized interrogation techniques. Agency officials
belie ed that more robust approach was necessary to elicit threat
information from Abu Zubaydah and possibl from other senior
Al-Qa'ida high value detainees.
5. (
The conduct of deten 'on and interrogation
activities presented ne\ challenges for CIA. These induded
det rmining \ here detention and interrogation facilities could be
securel located and operated, and iden' . g and preparing
qualified personnel to manage and carry out detention and
interrogation activities. With the kno ledge that -Qa ida
personnel had been trained in the use of resistance teclmiques,
another challenge was to identify interrogation techniques that
Agency personnel could lawfully use to overcome the resistance. In
this context, CTC, with the assistance of the Of .ce of Technical
Ser .ce (OTS), proposed certain more coercive physical techniques to
use on Abu Zubaydah. All of these considera .ons took place against
the backdrop of pre-September 11,2001 CIA avoidance of
interrogations and repeated U.S. policy statements condemning
torture and advocating the humane treatment of political prisoners
and detainees in the international community.
6. (
The Office of General Counsel (OGC) took
the lead in determining and documen' g the legal parameters and
co traints for' terrogations. OGe c nduct d indep ndent research
4
The use of "high value" or "medium value" to d cribe terrorist targets and
d tainees in this Review is based on hO\ they ha e been generally categorized by ere. ere
distinguishes targets according to the quality of the in elligence that hey are believed likely to be
able to pro 'ide about CUlTent terrorist threats against the United States. Senior AJ-Qa'ida
planners and operators, such as Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Shaykh uhammad, fall into the
category of "high value" and are given the highest priority f capture, detention, and
interroga .on.
ca tegorizes those individ um ho are e1ieved to ha e lesser di:red
know dge of such threats, but to have information of intelligence value, as "medium value
targetsl detainees.

ere

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and consulted extensively with Department of Justice (Do}) and
National Security Council (NSC) legal and policy staff. Working with
Dol's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), OGC determined that in most
instances relevant to the counterterrorism detention and
interrogation activities
the criminal prohibition
against torture, 18 V.S.c. 2340-2340B, is the controlling legal
constraint on interrogations of t;letainees outside the United States. In
August 2002, DoJ provided to the Agency a legal opinion in which it
determined that 10 specific "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques"
(EITs) would not violate the torture prohibition. This work provided
the foundation for the policy and administrative decisions that guide
the CTC Program.
7. ~ By November 2002, the Agency had Abu
Zubaydah and another high value detainee, 'Abd Al-Rahim
Al-Nashiri, in custod

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From the beginning, aGe briefed DO officers
assigned to thes
acilities on their legal authorities, and Agency
persormel staffing the e facilities documented interrogations and the
condition of detainees in cables.
10. (
There were few instances of deviations
from approved procedure
with one
notable exception described in this Review. With respect to two
detainees at tho e sites, the usc and frequency of one EIT, the
waterboard, went beyond the projected use of the technique as
originally described to DoJ. The Agency, on 29 July 2003, secured
oral Do] concurrence that certam deviations are not significant for
purposes of Dol's legal opinions.

5

15.
Agency efforts to provide systematic,
cl ar and timely guidance to those involved in the eTC Detention
and Interrogation Program was inadequate at first but have
improved considerably during the life of the Program as problems
have been identified and addressed. CTC implemented training
programs for interrogators and debriefers. 6 Moreover, building upon
opera tional and legal guidance previously sent to the field, the DO
6

Before 11 September (9/11) 2001, Agency personnel sometimes used the
terms interrogation/interrogator and debriejing/debn'efer interchangeably. The use of these terms has
since evolved and, today, ere more clearly distinguishes their meanings. A debriefer engages a
det inee solely through que lion and answer. An interrogator' a person who completes a
two-\ eek interrogations traIning program, which is designed to train, qualify, and certify a
person to administer EIT . An interrogator can administer Errs during an interrogation of a
detainee only after the field, in coordination with Headquarters, as
the detainee as
.vithholding information. An interrogator transitions the detainee from a non-cooperative to a
cooperative phase in order that a debriefer can elicit actionable intelligence through
non·aggressive t hniques during debriefing s i
. An interrogator may debrief a detainee
dwmg an interrogation; however, a debriefer may not interrogate a detainee.

6

~I
on 28 January 2003 signed "Guidelines on Confinement Conditions
for CIA Detainees" and "Guidelines on Interro ations Conducted
Pursuant

be made aware of the
gUidelines and sign an acknowledgment that they have read them.
The DC! Interrogation Guidelines make formal the existing CTC
practice of requiring the field to obtain specific Headquarters
approvals prior to the application of all ElTs. Although the DC!
Guidelines are an improvement over the absence of such DC!
Guidelines in the past, they still leave substantial room for
misinterpretation and do not cover all Agency detention and
interrogation activities.
16. ~ The Agency's detention and intenogation
of terrorists has provided intelligence that has enabled the
identification and apprehension of other tenorists and wamed of
terrorist plots planned for the United States and around the world.
The CTC Program has resulted in the issuance of thousands of
individual intelligence reports and analytic products supporting the
counterterrorism efforts of U.S.policymakers and military
commanders.

17. ~ Thec~renterCDetentionand
Interrogation Program has been subject to DoJ legal review and
Administration approval but diverges sharply from previous Agency
policy and rules that govern interrogations by U.S. military and law
enforcement officers. Officers are concerned that public revelation of
the ere Program will seriously damage Agency officers' personal
reputations, as well as the reputation and effectiveness of the Agency
itself.

_
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18. (
recognized that detainees may
be held in U.S. Government custody indefinitely if appropriate law
enforcement jurisdiction is not asserted. Although there has been
ongoing discussion of the issue inside the Agency and among NSC,

Defense Department, and Justice Department officials, no decisions
on any "endgame" for Agency detainees have been made. Senior
Agency officials see this as a policy issue for the U.S. Government
rather than a CIA issue. Even with Agency initiatives to address the
endgame with policymakers, some detainees who cannot be
prosecuted will likely remain in CIA custody indefinitely.
19. (~ The Agency faces potentially serious
long-term political and legal challenges as a result of the CTC
'Detention and Interrogation Program, particularly its use of EITs and
the inability of the U.S. Government to decide what it will ultimately
do with terrorists,detained by the Agency.
20. ~ This Review makes a number of
recommendations that aIe designed to strengthen the management
and conduct of Agency detention and interrogation activities.
Although the DCI Guideliries were an important step forward, they
were only designed to address the CTC Pro~am rather than all
A enc debriefin or mteIro ation activities.

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-------------------

BACKGRO

D

22. ~ The Agency has had intermittent involvement in the
interrogation of individuals whose interests are opposed to those of
the United States. After the Vietnam War, Agency personnel
experienced in the field of interrogations left the Agency or moved to
other assignments. In the early 1980s, a resurgence of interest in
teaching interrogation techniques developed as one of several
methods to foster foreign liaison relationships. Because of political
sensitivities the then-Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (DDCI)
forbad Agency officers from using the word "interrogation." The
Agency then developed the Human Resource Exploitation (HRE)
training program designed to train foreign liaison services on
interrogation techniques.
23.
1984,OIG investigated alleg tions of misconduct on
the part of two Agency officers who were involved in interro ations
and the death of one individual
Following that in estigation, the "gency
took steps to ensure Agency personnel understood its po 'cy on

interrogations, debriefings, and human rights issues. Headquarters
sent officers to brief Stations and Bases and provided cable guidance
to the field.
24. ~ In 1986, the Agency ended the HRE training program
because of aile ations of'human ri hts abuses in Latin America.

DO Handbook
which remains in effect, explains the Agency'S general interrogation
policy:

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DISCUSSION
GENESIS OF POST 9/11 AGENCY DETENTION AND INTERROGATlON

ACTIVITIES

27. ~ The DCI delegated responsibility for
implementation
to the DDO and D/CTC. Over time,
CTC also solicited ass'
ce from other Agency components,
including OGC, OMS
and OTS.

7 (U / /FOUO) Do] takes the position that as Commander-in-Chief, the President independently
has the Article U constitutional authority to order the detention and interrogation of enemy
combatants to gain intelligence information.

8
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wrote "draft" paper
discussions of the

'draft" papers with

gency officers responsible

THE CAPTIIRE OF ABU 2UBA YDAH AND DEVELOPMENT OF EIT
) The capture of s ruor Al~Qa'ida operative
Abu Zuba dab on 27 1 rch 2002 pre ent d the g n
ith the
op ortuni to obtain actionable intelligence n futur thr ts to the
United States from th rna t senior Al-Qa'ida m m er in U.S. custod
at that tim . This acceler ted CIA's develo ment of an interro ation
program

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31. ~ To treat the severe wounds that Abu
Zubaydah suffered upon his capture, the Agency provided him
intensive medical care from the outset and deferred his questioning
for several weeks pending his recovery. The Agency then assembled
a team that interrogated Abu Zubaydah usin non-a essive,
non-physical elicitation techniques.

The Agency believed that Abu Zubaydah
was withholding imminent threat information.
32. ~ Several months earlier, in late 2001, OA
had tasked an independent contractor psychologist, who had.
_experience in the U.S. Air Force's Survival, Evasion,
~ce, and Escape (SERE) training program, to research and
write a paper on Al-Qa'ida's resistance to interrogation techniques.!3
This psychologist collaborated with a Department of Defense (DoD)
psychologist who had_SERE experience in the U.S. Air
Force and DoD to pro~per, "Recognizing and Developing
Countermeasures to Al-Qa'ida Resistance to Interrogation
Techniques: A Resistance Training Perspective," Subsequently, the
two psychologists developed a list of new and more aggressive Errs
that they recommended for use in interrogations.

12
13 (UI/FOUO) The SERE training program falls Wlder the DoD Joint Personnel Recovery
Agency (fPRA). JPRA is responsible for missions to include the training for SERE and Prisoner of
War and Missing In Action operational affairs including repatriation. S~RE Training is offered
by the u.s. Army, Navy, and Air Force toils personnel, partirularly air crews and special
operations forces who are of greatest risk of being captured during military operations. SERE
students are taught how 10 survive in vcu;ious terrain, evade and endure captivity, resist

interrogations, and conduct themselves to prevent harm to themselves and fellow prisoners of
war.

33. (
CIA's OTS obtained data on the use of the
proposed EITs and their potential long-term psychological effects on
detainees. OIS input was based in part on information solicited from
a number .of psychologists and knowledgeable academics in the area
of psychopathology.
34. ~
OIS also solicited input from DoD/Joint
Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA) regarding techniques used in its
SERE training and any subsequent psychological effects on students.
DoD /JPRA concluded no long-term psychological effects resulted
from use of the EITs, including the most taxing technique, the
waterboard, on SERE students.1 4 The OTS analysis was used by aGe
in evaluating the legality of techniques.
35. (
Eleven EITs were proposed Jor adoption
in the eTC Interrogation Program. As proposed, use of EITs would
be subject to a competent evaluation of the medical and psychological
state of the detainee. The Agency eliminated one proposed
technique
after learnirig from Do] that this could
delay the legal review.
e following textbox identifies the 10 EITs
the Agency described to Do].

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14 ~ According to individuals with authoritative knowledge of the SERE program, the
waterboard was used for demonstration purposes on a very small number of student in a class.
Except for Navy SERE training, use of the waterboard was discontinued because of its dramatic
effect on the students who were subjects.

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Enhanced Interrogation Techniques
•

The attention grasp consists of grasping the detainee with both hands, with one
hand on each side of the collar opening, in a controlled and quick motion. In the
same motion as the grasp, the detainee is drawn toward the interrogator.

•

During tile walling teclu1ique, the detainee is pulled forward and tilen quickly and
'firmly pushed into a flexible false wall so that his shoulder blades hit the wall, His
head and neck are supported with a rolled towel to prevent whiplash,

•

The facial hold is used to hold the detainee's head lIDDlobile. The interrogator
places an open palm on either side of the detainee's face and the inlerroga tor's
fingertips are kept well away from the detainee's eyes.

•

With the facial or insult slap, the fingers are lightly spread apart. The
interrogator's hand makes contact 'th the area between the tip of the detainee's
chin and the bottom of the corresponding earlobe.

•

In cramped confinement, the detaInee is placed in a confined space, typically a
small or large box, which is usually dark. Confinement in the smaller space lasts
no more than two hours and in the larger space it can last up to 18 hours.

•

Insects placed in a confinement box involve placing a harmless insect in the box
with the detainee.

•

During wall standing, the detainee may stand about 4 to 5 feet from a wall with
his feet spread approximately to his shoulder width. His arms are stretched out in
front of him and his fingers rest on the wall to support all of his body weight. The
detainee is not allowed to reposition his hands or feet.

+ The application of stress positions may include having the detame sit on the floor
wi.th his legs extended straight out in front of him with his anns raised above his
head or kn eling on the floor while learung ack at a 45 degree angle.
•

Sleep deprivation will not exceed 11 day at a time.

+ The application of the 'Waterboard technique in olves binding the detain e to a
bench with his f et elevated above his head. Th detainee's head' i.mm.obilized
and an interrog tor places a cloth over the detainee's mouth and nose while
pouring" ater onto the cloth in a controlled manner. Airflow is restricted for 0 to
40 seconds and the technique produces the sensation of drowning and suffocation.

Do] LEGAL ANALYSIS
CIA's aGC sought guidance from Dol
al bounds of EITs vis-a.-vis individuals detained
The ensuing legal opinions focus on
the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane and
Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Torture Convention),15
especially as implemented in the U.S. criminal code, 18 U.S.C. 23402340A.
37. (U / /FOUO) The Torture Convention specifically prohibits
"torture," which it defines in .Article 1 as:
any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or
mentat is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as
obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession,
punishing him for an act he or a third person has conunitted or is
suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or
a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any
kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the
instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official
or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include
pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to'
lawful sanction. [EmphaSiS added.]

Article 4 of the Torture Convention provides that states party to the
Convention are to ensure that all acts of "torture" are offenses under
their criminal laws. Article 16 additionally provides that each state
party "shall undertake to prevent in any territory under its
jurisdiction other acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment which do not amount to acts of torture as defined in
Article 1."

15 (UI/FOUO) Adopted 10 December 1984, S. Treaty Doc. No. 100-20 (1988) 1465 U.N.T.S. 85

(entered into force 26 June 1987). The Torture Convention entered into force for the United States

on 20 November 1994.

38. (V//FOUO) The Torture Convention applies to the United
States only in accordance with the reservations and understanclings
made by the United States at the time of ratification.l 6 As explained
to the Senate by the Executive Branch prior to ratification:
Article 16 is arguably broader than existing U.S. law. The phrase
"cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or p'unishrnent" is a
standard formula in international instruments and is found in the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights, and the European Convention on
Human Rights. To the extent the phrase has been interpreted in the
context of those agreeIl).ents, "cruel" and "inhuman" treatment or
punishment appears to be roughly equivalent to the treatment or
punishment barred in the United States by the Fifth, Eighth and
Fourteenth Amendments. "Degrading" treatment or punishment,
however, has been interpreted as potentially including treatment
that would probably not be prohibited by the U.S. Constitution.
[Citing a ruling that German refusal to recognize individual's
gender change might be considered "degrading" treatment.] To
make clear that the United States construes the phrase to be
coextensive with its constihltional guarantees against cruel,
unusual, and inhumane treatment, the following understanding is
reconunended:
"The United States understands the term 'cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment,' as used in Article 16 of
the Convention, to mean the crueL unusual, and inhumane
treatment or punishment prohibited by the Fifth, Eighth
and! or Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the
United States."17 [Emphasis added.]

16 (U) Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 23 May 1969, 1155 UNT.5. 331 (entered into
force 27 January 1980). The United Stales is not a party to the Vienna Convention on treaties, but
it generally regards its provisions as customary international law.

17 (U / /FOUO) S. Treaty Doc. No. 100-20, at 15-16.

TO

39. CUIIFOUO) In accordance with the Can ention, the
United States criminalized acts of torture in 18 U..C.2340A(a),
hich pro .des as follo" s:

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VVhoe er outside the United States comnu or attempts to commit
torture shall be fined under this ti e or imprisoned not more than
20 years, or both, and if death re ults to any person from conduct
prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished b death or
impri oned for any term of years or for life.

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The tatut adopts the Convention definition of 'torture" as "an act
conunitted by a person acting under the color of la specificall
intended to inflict se ere ph sical or mental pain or suffering (other
th pain or suffering incidental to la\ fu1 sanctions) upon another
person within his custody or physical con 01."1
e ere h skal
pain and suffering" is not further defined, but Congress added a
d finition of" e ere mental pain or suffering:"

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[T)he prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from(A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of evere

physical pain or suffering;
(B) the administration or application, or threat ned
administration Of application, of mind-alt ring substances or
other procedures calculated t disrupt profoundly the sen es or
the personality;
(C) the threat of irruninent death; or
(D) the threat that another person will imrnin ntly be subjected

to d ath, ev re physical pain or suffering, r the administration
or application of mind-altering ub tances Of th r pr c dares
calculated to disrupt profoundly th senses or per anality.... 19

h e tatutory definitions are co i tent with the understandings
and r er ations of the United States to the Torture Con ention.

UI IF UQ) 8 US.C. 2340(1).
19
I/FOUO) 1 U .c. mo(2).

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40. (UIIFOUO) Dol has never prosecuted a violation of the
torture statute, 18 U.S.C. §2340, and there is 0 case law construing
its provisions. aGe presented the resul of its research into relevant
issues under U.S. and international law to Dol's OLe in the summer
of 2002 and received a preliminary summary of the elements of the
torture tatute from OLe in Jul 2002.
uncia silled 1 ugust 2002
OLe legal memorandum set out OLC's conclusions regarding the
proper interpret tion of the torture statute and concluded that
'S ction 23 OA proscnbes acts inflicting, and that re sp cificall
intended to inflict, severe pain or suffering hether mental or
ph sic 1."20 Also, OLC stated that the acts must be of an extreme
nature" and that "certain acts rna be cruel, inhuman, or degrading,
but still not produce pain and suffering of the requisite intensity to
fall within Se tion 2340A's proscription against torture." Further
describing the requisite level of intended pain, OLe stated:
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Physical pain amounting to torture must be equi alent in intensity
to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, uch as organ
failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death. For purely
mental pain or suffering to amotrnt to torture under Section 2340, it
mu t re ult in significant psychological harm of significant
durati n, e.g., lasting for months or even years. 21

OLe det rmined that a violation of Section 2340 r quires that the
infliction of severe pain be the defendant's "precise obj clive." OLe
also concluded that necessity or self-defens might justify
interrogation methods that would otherwise vi lat Section 2340A.22
The August 2002 OLC opinion did not addr ss whether an other
pro isi ns of U.S. law are relevant to the det nlion, treatment, and
int IT gation of detainees outside the Unit d tat .23
20 (U I I OUO) Legal emorandum, Re: Standards of
18 U..C. 2340-2.3-lOA (I ugust 2002).
21 (UIIFOUO) Ibid., p. 1.

duct or Interrogation under

22 (UIIFOUO) Ibid., p. 39.
23 (UI/FOUO) OLC's analysis of the torture statute as guided in part b judicial decisions
under e Torture iclims Protection ct (TVPA) 28 US.c. 1350, which prov"des a tort remedy
for ictims of tOrture. OLe noted that e courts in this conI t have 100. ed at the entice course

41. (U I IFOVO) A second unclassified 1 August 2002 OLC
opinion addressed the intemationallaw aspects of such
interrogations. 24 This opinion concluded that interrogation methods
that do not violate 18 U.S.C. 2340 would not violate the Tortur
Convention and would not come within the jurisdiction of the
International Criminal Court.

42. (
In addition to the two unclassified
opinions, OLC produced another legal opinion on 1 August 2002 at
the request of CIA.25 (Appendix C.) This opinion, addressed to
CIA's Acting General Counsel, discussed whether the proposed use
of EITs in interrogating Abu Zubaydah would violate the Title 18
prohibition on torture. The opinion concluded tha t use of EITs on
Abu Zubaydah would not violate the torture statute because, among
other things, Agency personnel: (1) would not specifically intend to
inflict severe pain or utfering, and (2), ould not in fact inflict
ere
pain or suffering.
r

3. (
This OLC opinion as based upon
specific representations by CIA concerning the manner in which EITs
would be applied in the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah. For
example, OLe was told that the E "phase" would likely last "no
more than several days but could last up to thirty days." The E s
would be used on "an as-needed basis" and all would not necessarily
be u ed. Further, the EITs were expected to be used "in some art of
escalating fashion, culminating with the waterboard though not
neces arily ending with this technique." Although some of the EITs

of conduct., although a single incident could constitute torture. Ot also noted that courts may
be willing to find a wide range of physical pain an rise to the Ie el ("severe pain and
suffering." Ultimately, however, OLC concluded (hat the cases show that only acts "of an
extreme nature have been redressed under the TVPA's civil remedy for torture." White House
COWlSel Memorandum at 22 - 27.
24 (U I/FOUO) OLC Opinion by John C. Yoo, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, OLC

(1

Au~t

2002).

25
Memorandum for John Rizzo, Acting General Counsel of the Central
Intelligence Agency, '"Interrogation of al Qaida Operative" (I August 2002) at 15.

oUght be used more than once, "that repetition will not be substantial
because the techniques generally lose their effectiveness after several
repetitions." With respect to the waterboard, it was explained that
... the individual is bound securely to an mdmed bench .... The
individual's feet are generally elevated. A doth is placed over the
forehead and eyes. Water is then applied to the cloth in a
controlled manner. As this is done, the cloth is lowered Wltil it
covers both the nose and mouth. Once the doth is saturated. and
completely covers the mouth and nose, the air flow is slightly
restricted for 20 to 40 seconds due to the presence of the doth. This
causes an increase in carbon dioxide level m the individual's blood.
This increase in the carbon dioxide level stimulates increased effort
to breathe. 1his effort plus the doth produces the perception of
"suffocation and incipient panic," Le., the perception of drowning.
The individual does not breathe water into his lungs. During those
20 to 40 seconds, water is continuously applied from a height of [12
to 24) inches. After this period, the doth is lifted, and the
individual is allowed to breathe unimpeded for three or

fOUf

full

breaths. The sensation of dro\.vning is immediately relieved by the
removal of the cloth. The procedure may then be repeated. The
water is usually applied. from a canteen cup or small watering can
with a spout. ... {T]his procedure triggers an automatic
physiological sensation of drowning that the individual cannot
control even though he may be aware that he is in fact nol
drowning. [Ilt is likely that this procedure would llollast more
than 20 minutes in anyone application.

Finally, the Agency presented OLC with a psychological profile of
Abu Zubaydah and with the conclusions of officials and
psychologists associated with the SERE program that the use of ElTs
would cause no long term mental harm. OLC relied on these
representations to support its conclusion that no physical harm or
prolonged mental harm would result from the use on him of the
ElTs, including the waterboard."

~

Se~

~

According lo the Olief. MedkaI
OMS
neltM consulted nor
ulVolved in the initial a.naJ.ysis of the risk and benefits of EITs, nor provid~ With lheOTS report
cited in the OLe opinion. In retrospect, based on the Ole extracts of thl!: OTS report. OMS
contencb that the reported sophistication 01 the prelimitwy EITreview was exaggenled,. at least
as it ~ted to the watl'Iboard, and that the ~r of this Err wu appreciably ~taled in the
26

..port. Furthermore, OMS rontends thaI the expertise 01 the SERE psydlolog1St/inlerrogatoo; on

44. (
OGC continued to consult with DoI as the
eTC Interrogation Program and the use of EITs expanded beyond the
interrogation of Abu Zubaydah. This re ulted in the production of
an undated and unsigned document entitled, "Legal Principles
Applicable to CIA Detention and Interrogation of Captured
Al-Qa'ida Personnel. II27 According to aGC, this analysis was fully
coordinated with and drafted in substantial part by OLe. In addition
to reaffirming the previous conclusions regarding the torture statute, .
the analysis concludes that the federal War Crimes statute, 18 U.S.C.
2441, does not apply to "Al-Qa'ida because members of that group are
not entitled to prisoner of war status. The analysis adds that "the
[Torture] Convention permits the use of [cruel, inhuman, or
degrading treatment] in exigent circumstances, such as a national
emergency or war." It also states that the interrogation of -Qa'ida
members doe not iolate the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments
because those pro isions do not apply extraterritorially, nor does it
violate the Eighth Amendment because it only applies to persons
upon whom criminal sanctions ha e been imposed. Finally, the
analysis states that a wide range of EITs and other techniques would
not constitute conduct of the type that would be prohibited by the
Fifth, Eighth, or Fourteenth Amendments even were they to be
applicable:
The use of the following teclmiques and of comparable, approved
techniqu s does not violate any Federal statute or other law, where
the CIA interrogators do not specifically intend to cause the
detainee to lUldergo severe physical or mental pain or suffering
(i.e., they act with the good faith belief that their conduct ill not
cause such pain or suffering): i alation, reduced caloric inta (so
long as the amount is calculated to maintain the general health of
the detainees), deprivation of reading material, loud music r \ hi te
the warerboard was probably misrepresented at the lime, as the SERE walerboard xpertence is
so dilierent from the subsequent Agency usage as to make it almost irrele\'ant. Consequently,
according 10 OMS, there was no Q priori reason to believe that applying the walerboard with the
frequency ~d intensity with which it was used by the psychologist/intenogator was either
efficacious or medically safe.
27 (

"Legal Principles Applicable to CIA Detention and Interrogation of

Captured Al-Qa'ida Personnel," attached to

16 June 2003).

TOP

noise (at a decibel level calculated to avoid damage to the
detainees' hearing), the attention grasp, walling, the facial hold, the
facial slap (insult slap), the abdominal slap, cramped confinement,
wall standing, stress positions, sleep deprivation, the use of
diape,rs, the use of harmless insects, and the water board.

According to OGC, this analysis embodies Do) agreement that the
reasoning of the classified 1 August 2002 OLC opinion extends
beyond the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah and the conditions that
were specified in that opinion.
NOTICE TO AND CONSULTATION WITH EXECUTIVE AND CONGRESSIONAL
OFFICIALS

45. ~ At the same time that OLC was reviewing
the legality of EITs in the summer of 2002, the Agency was consulting
with NSC policy staff and senior Administration officials. The DO
briefed appropriate senior national security and legal officials on the
proposed EITs. In the fall of 2002, the Agency briefed the leadership
of the CongreSSional Intelligence Oversight Committees on the use of
both standard techniques and EITs.
46. ~ In early 2003, CIA officials, at the urging
of the General Counsel, continued to inform senior Administration
officials and the leadership of the Congressional Oversight
Committees of the then-current status of the CTC Program. The
Agency specifically wanted to ensure that these officials and the
Committees continued to be aware of and approve CIA's actions.
The General Counsel recalls that he spoke and met with White House
Counsel and others at the NSC, as well as Dol's Criminal Division
and Office of Legal Counsel beginning in December 2002 and briefed
them on the scope and breadth of the eTC's Detention and
Interrogation Program.
47. ~ Representatives of the DO, in the
presence of the Director of Congressional Affairs and the General
Counsel, continued to brief the leadership of the Intelligence
Oversight Committees on the use of EfTs and detentions in February

-

and March 2003. The General Counsel says that none of the
participants expressed any concern about the tedmiques or the
Program.

~ On 29 Jtily 2003, the DC! and

the General
Counsel provided a detailed briefing to selected NSC Principals on
CIA's detention and interrogation efforts involving "high value
detainees," to i.nclude the expanded use of EITs.28 Accordi.ng to a
Memorandum for the Record prepared by the General CowlSel
following that meeting, the Attorney General confirmed that Do)
approved of the expanded use of various EITs, including multiple
applications of the waterboard. 29 The General Counsel said he
believes everyone in attendance was aware of exactly what CIA was
doing with respect to detention and interrogation, and approved of
the effort. According to OGC, the senior officials were again briefed
regarding the CTC Program on 16 September 2003, and the
Intelligence Committee leadership was briefed again in September
2003. Again, according to OGC, none of those involved in these
briefings expressed any reservations about the program.
48.

GUIDANCE ON CAPTURE, DETENTION, AND INTERROGATION

49. ~ Guidance and training are hmdamental
to the success and integrity of any endeavor as operationally,
politically, and legally complex as the Agency's Detention and
Interrogation Program. Soon after 9/11, the 000 issued uidance on
the standards for the ca ture of terrorist tar ets.

so. ~ The DO, in January 2003 approved
formal "Guidelines on Confinement Conditions for CIA Detainees"
(Appendix D) and "Guidelines on interrogations Conducted

(V/ /FOUO) Memorandum for the Record,

5 August 2003).

·

.

DCI

T

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I
I
59. ~I The LX. I (.,"dol.. I·' I\'CII\ leg,,1
"minimums and n:qlure thal ue 1 fll\ I H.m I11U:-.t b: .1k.en to protect
the health and S"fl'll 01.111 CiA Jd.lInl'l.
I h, l,lIHiplmes do not
require that condition~ of oJrrhncll1t.'llt .1t the d 'll~I1(jOJl (,.1nlities

conform to U.S. pnsnn or oU1er ~tJndJld ... At

detention fadlih 5 .1I'e to pruVldE'

Further, the gtlldeh.

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b<1~1l:

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J Inlnln"lUIl1,

!c'\"els oj

m('di(~11

however,

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DCI Interrogation Guidelines
60. ~Prior to January 2003, CTC and aGC
disseminated guidance via cables, e-mail, or orally on a case-by-case
basis to address requests to use specific interrogation techniques.
Agency management did not require those involved in interrogations
to sign an acknowledgement that they had read, understood, or
agreed to comply with the guidance provided. Nor did the Agency
maintain a comprehensive record of individuals who had been
briefed on interrogation procedures.

The DCI
Interrogation Guidelines require that all personnel directly engaged
in the interrogation of persons detained have reviewed these
Guidelines, received appropriate training in their implementation,
and have completed the applicable acknowledgement.
62. \S'tf!'l& The DCI Interrogation Guidelines define
"Permissible Interrogation Techniques" and specify that "unless
otherwise approved by Headquarters, CIA officers and other
personnel acting on behalf of CIA may use only Permissible
Interrogation Techniques. Permissible Interrogation Techniques
consist of both (a) Standard Techniques and (b) Enhanced

Techniques."33 Errs require advance approval from Headquarters, as
do standard techniques whene er feasible. The field must document
the use of both standard techniques and Errs.
63. (
The DO Interrogation Guidelines define
"standard interrogation techniques" as techniques that do not
incorporate significant physical or ps chological pre sure. These
techniques include, but are not limited to, aUla ful forms of
questioning employed by U.S. law enforcement and military
interrogation personnel. Among standard interrogation techniques
are the use of isolation, sleep deprivation not to exceed 72 hour ,34
reduced caloric intake (so long as the amount is calculated to
maintain the general health of the detainee), depri ation of reading
material, use of loud music or white noise (at a decibel Ie el
calculated to avoid damage to the detainee's hearing), the use of
dia ers for limited eriods ( enerall not to exceed 72 hours
and moderate
psycho ogical pressure. The DCI Interrogation Guidelines do not
pecifically prohibit improvised actions. A CTC/Legal officer has
said, however, that no one may employ any technique outside
specifically identified standard techniques without Headquarters
approval.
64.
EITs include physical actions and are
defin d as "techniques that do incorporate physical or psychological
pressure beyond Standard Teclmiques." Headquarters must approve
th use of each specific EIT in advance. Err may b employed only
by trained and certified interrogators for use with a specific detainee
and with appropriate medical and psychological monitoring of the
proce .35

Med'caJ Guid line

65.
OMS prepared draft guidelines for
medical and psychological support to detainee interrogations.

Training for Int rrogations

In ovember 2002,
initiated a pilot running of a two-week
ourse designed to train, qualify, and certify
n . interrogator .37 Several CTC officers,
36 (U / I AruG)
f rch :o(r Lotus ate from clerc/Legal ad ised Chief, e ical
Services that the . e enlh Floor would need to approve the promulgation of any further formal
guideline .... For now. therefore, let's remain at the discussion sta
~

37

T

Students
completing the Interrogation Course are reqUired to sign an
acknowledgment that they have read, lUlderstand, and will comply
with the DCl's Interrogation Guidelines,
69, ~ In June 2003, CTC established a debriefing
course for Agency substantive experts who are involved in questioning
detainees after they have undergone interrogation and have been
deemed "compliant." The debriefing course was established to train
non-interrogators to collect actionable intelligence from high value
detainees in CIA custody, The course is intended to farlliliarize
non-interrogators with key aspects of the Agency interrogation
Program, to include the Program's goals and legal authorities, the DO
Interrogation Guidelines, and the roles and res onsibilities of all who
interact with a hi h value detainee,

DETENTION AND INTERROGATION OPERATIONS AT

psychologist/interrogators began Al-Nashiri's interrogation using
EITs immediately upon his arrival. Al-Nashiri provided lead
information on other terrorists durin~t day of interrogation.
On the twelith day of interrogation_psychologist/
interrogators administered two applications of the waterboard to
Al-Nashiri during two separate interrogation sessions. Enhanced
interro ation of Al-Nashiri continued through 4 December 2002.

Videotapes of Interrogations
77. ~ Headquarters had intense interest in
kee in abreast of all aspects of Abu Zubaydah's interrogatio~
including compliance with the guidance provided to the
site relative to the use of Errs. Apart from this however, and before
decided to
the use of Errs, the interrogation teams
videotape the interrogation sessions. One initial purpose was to
ensure a record of Abu Zubaydah's medical condition and treatment
should he succumb to his wounds and questions arise about the
medical care provided to him by CIA. Another purpose was to assist
in the preparation of the debriefing reports, although the team
advised CTC/Legal that they rarely, if ever, were used for that
purpose. There are 92 videotapes, 12 of which include EIT
applications. An OGC attorney reviewed the Videotapes in
November and December 2002 to ascertain compliance with the
August 2002 DoT opinion and compare what actually happened with
what was reported to Headquarters. He reported that there was no
deviation from the DoT guidance or the written record.
OIC reviewed the videotapes, logs, and
cables
in May 2003. OIC identified 83 waterboard
lications, most of which lasted less than 10 seconds."

41 ~ For tM purpose of this Review. a waWbc:wd appUaUonCUlStitutl!d each
discrete InStance in which water was applied for ~y period of bme during a session.

36

GIG' re .e of the rid 0
evealed
as different
o d echnique emplo ~ e a
·ed1lIUQrue as d
ed in e DoJop' . 0 and ed in the
......,
The difference -as in the manner in hi
e
r thing as obstructed. ~ t
ERE ch 01 and in the
inion, the sUbject's airllo . eli rupted b~ th f
p plication
UQ,UI .... cloth 0
er the air passages; the int r g tor plies a small
amclWlt f
ter to the cloth in a controlled mann r. B c ntrast, the
genc}' interrogator
continuousl applied large olumes
f
t r to a cloth that covered the detain e' mouth and nose. One of
th p Y holo . ts/interrogators ae-kno 1 dg th the Agen 's use
of th echni ue differed from that used in SE
ining and
expl' d that th Agency's technique is diff r nt b e e it is "for
r 1" d is more poignant and c.onvincing.

. 'call

J

addre sin reql ire _ nrs tor O~ 1~' fl~Llmn I. 1115 sen'
streng en he con 11.ln i 1\. C trol
rc.:i er h
Progr ID.
Back r un .11 d 0 lail

I

r

~I

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Guidance Prior to DCI Guidelines

the Agenc was roviding legal and operational
briefings and cables
that contained Headquarters'
guidance and discussed the torture statute and the DoJ legal opinion.
eTC had also established a recedent of detailed cables between
and Headquarters regarding the
interrogation and debriefing of detainees. The written guidance did
not addres the fOUI standard interrogation technique that,
according to CTC/Legal, the gency had identified as early as
November 2002. 43 gency personnel were authorized to employ
standard interrogation techniques on a detainee without
Headquarters' prior appro al. The guidance did not specifically
43 '~L"'rr\ The four standard interro tion echniques were: (1) Jeep depr \Tabon not to
exceed 72 hows, (2) continual use of light or . arkness in a cell, (3) loud music, and (4) white noise

(backgroun hum).

TOP

address the use of props to imply a physical threat to a detainee, nor
did it specifically address the issue of whether or not Agency officers
could improvise with any.other techniques. No formal mechanisms
were in place to ensure that personnel going to the field were briefed
on the existing legal and policy guidance.
Specific Unauthorized or Undocumented Techniques

!
\

90. ~ This Review heard allegations of the use
of lmauthorized techniques
The most significant, the
handgun and power drill incident, discussed below, is the subject of a
separate OIG investigation. In addition, individuals interviewed
during the Review identified other techniques that caused concern
because DoI had not specifically approved them. These included the
making of threats, blOWing cigar smoke, employing certain stress
positions, the use of a stiff brush on a detainee, and stepping on a
detainee's ankle shackles. For all of the instances, the allegations
were disputed or too ambiguous to reach any authoritative
determination regarding the facts. Thus, although these allegations
are illustrative of the nature of the concerns held by individuals
associated with the CTC Program and the need for clear guidance,
they did not warrant separate investigations or administrative action.
Handgun and Power Drill
91. l'R;
interrogation team members,
whose purposeit was to in~l-Nashiri and debrief Abu
Zubaydah, initially s t a f f e d _ The interrogation team
continued EITs on Al-Nashiri for two weeks in December 2002_
they assessed him to be "corn liant." Subse uentl ,CTC officers at
Headquarters
sent"
enior operations officer (the debriefer)
to debrief and assess AI-Nashiri.
92. ~The debriefer assessed Al-Nashiri as
withholding information, at which point_reinstated_
hooding, and handcuffing. Sometime between

T

28 December 2002 and 1 January 2003, the debriefer used an
unloaded semi-automatic handgun as a prop to frighten 1into disdo ing information.oM After discus ing this plan wi
the debriefer entered the cell where Al- ashiri sat shackled and
racked the handgun once or twice close to Al- ashiri's head.45 On
'what was probably the same da , the debriefer used a power drill to
frighten Al- asruri. Wi
consent, the debriefer entered
the detainee's cell and revved the drill" hile the detainee tood
naked and hooded. The debriefer did not touch - ashiri with the
power drill.

93.
Th
d debriefer did not reque t
authorization or report the use of these unauthorized techniques to
s. However, in January 2003, newly arrived TOY officers
ho had learned of these incidents reported them to
H adquarter . OIG investigated and referred its findings to the
Criminal Di ision oIDoJ. On 11 September 2003, Do} declined to
prosecute and turned these matters 0 er to
for disposition.
These incidents are the subject of a separate OIG Report of
In s tigation. 46
Threats
94. ~
During another incid nt
the
sam Headquarters debriefer, according to a
ho
was pres nt, tmeatened Al-Nashiri by saying that if he did not talk,
"W could get our mother inhere," and, "W can bring your family
in here." Th
debriefer reportedly wanted Al-Nashiri
to inf I, for psychological reasons, that the debri fer might b
intelli ence officer based on hi Arabic di led, and that Alashiri was in
custod because it was wid ly believed in
.ddle East cit es
. terrogation technique involves

44

nus individual was not a trained interrogator and was not authorized to use Errs.

45 (U / / FO 0) Racking is a mechanical procedure used with fireanns to chamber a bullet or
simulate bullet being chambered.
46

Unauthorized Interrogation Techniques

29

tober 2003.

sexually abusing female relatives in front of the detainee. The
debriefer denied threatening Al- ashiri through his famil. he
debriefer also said he did not explain who he was or here he was
from when talkin with Al- ashiri. The debriefer said he ne er said
he w
. telligence officer but let
Al- a hiri draw his own conclusions.
An experienced Agenc interrogator
. terrogators threatened Khalid
uham.m:a
According to this interrogator, the
interrogators said to Khalid Shaykh uhammad that
if anything else happens in the United States, "We're going to kill
your chiJdren." ccording to the interro ator, one of the
. terro ators sai

provided tc? him of the ~eat
indicate that the law had been violated.

Slnoke
Agenc
at, in December 2002, he and another
smoked cigars and blew smoke in
Al-Nashiri's face during an interrogation. The interrogator claimed
they did this to "cover the stench" in the room and to help keep the
interrogators alert late at night. This interrogator said he would not
do this again based on "perceived criticism." Another Agency
interrog tor admitted that he also smoked cigar during two se sions
with Al- ashiri to mask the stench in the room. e claimed he did
not deliberately force smoke into Al- ashiri's face.

T

Stress Positions
97. ~ OIG received reports that interrogation
team me~be~otentiallyinjurious stress positions on
Al-Nashiri. Al-Nashiri was required to kneel on the floor and lean
back. On at least one occasion, an Agency officer reportedly pushed
Al-Nashiri backward while he was in this stress osition. On another
aid he had to intercede afte
occasion
xpressed concern that AI-Nashiri's arms mig t be
dislocated from his shoulders. _explained that, at the time,
the interrogators were attempting to put A1-Nashiri in a standing
stress position. A1-Nashiri was reportedly lifted off the floor by his
arms while his arms were bound behind his back with a belt.
Stiff Brush and Shackles
98.
. terrogator reported that
he witnesse other techniques use on A1-Nashiri that the
interrogator knew were not specifically approved by Do). These
included the use of a stiff brush that was intended to induce pain on
Al-Nashiri and standing on Al-Nashiri's shackles, which resulted in
cuts and bruises. When questioned, an interrogator who was at
~cknowledgedthat they used a stiff brush to bathe
Al-Nashiri. He described the brush as the kind of brush one uses in a
bath to remove stubborn dirt. A CTC manager who had heard of the
incident attributed the abrasions on Al-Nashiri's ankles to an Agency
officer accidentally stepping on Al-Nashiri's shackles while
repositioning him into a stress position.
Waterboard Technique
99. ~ The Review determined that the
interrogators used the waterboard on Khalid Shaykh Muhammad in
a marmer inconsistent with the SERE application of the waterboard
and the description of the waterboard in the Do) OLe opinion, in that
the technique was used on Khalid Shaykh Muhammad a large
number of times. According to the General Counsel, the Attorney

TO

General acknowledged he is fully aware of the repetitive use of the
waterboard and that CIA is well within the scope of the Do} opinion
and ~e authority given to CIA by that opinion. The Attorney
General was informed the waterboard had been used 119 times on a
single individual.
) Cables indicate that Agency
interrogator
applied the waterboard tedmi ue to
I<halid Sha kh Muhammad 18

48

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