05:53 GMT16 January 2021
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    Mounting evidence continues to shed light on the CIA torture program and the cruelty of the agency's methods. As of yet, however, no senior official has been held accountable for the CIA's highly controversial interrogation practices.

    In response to a Freedom of Information suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the US Central Intelligence Agency released a new portion of documents which shed light on the agency's controversial torture program on Tuesday.

    "These newly declassified records add new detail to the public record of the CIA's torture program and underscore the cruelty of the methods the agency used in its secret, overseas black sites. It bears emphasis that these records document grave crimes for which no senior official has been held accountable," Jameel Jaffer, ACLU deputy legal director, said Tuesday.

    Commenting on the disclosure, Josh Gerstein, a White House reporter for Politico, calls attention to the fact that the newly released CIA records indicate "internal signs of concern" about the interrogation program, ranging "from nervousness to disgust."

    In his article Gerstein cites an unnamed CIA official who wrote in his email on January 22, 2003:

    "This morning I informed the front office [of CIA's Counterterrorism Center] that I will no longer be associated in any way with the interrogation program due to serious reservation I have about the current state of affairs. Instead, I will be retiring shortly. This is a train wreck [sic] waiting to happen and I intend to get the hell off the train before it happens."

    Did the CIA turn a deaf ear to such pledges? Quite the opposite: the intelligence agency strongly urged its servicemen "not to make written records of their worries" especially in regard to the potential illegality of interrogation methods.

    The August 2002 memo instructed CIA servicemen to refrain from any "speculative language" regarding the program's legality "in written traffic (e-mail or cable traffic)."

    "Such language is not helpful," the memo explained laconically.

    The newly disclosed documents also provide hideous details of Gul Rahman's death. Rahman died at a CIA secret prison in Afghanistan back in 2002. Before that, however, the detainee was subjected to humiliating torture:

    "Often, prisoners who possess significant or imminent threat information are stripped to their diapers during interrogation and placed back into their cells wearing only diapers. This is done solely to humiliate the prisoner for interrogation purposes. When the prisoner soils a diaper, they are changed by the guards. Sometimes the guards run out of diapers and the prisoners are placed back in their cells in a handcrafted diaper secured by duct tape. If the guards don't have any available diapers, the prisoners are rendered to their cell nude," the report reads, cited by ACLU.

    In Gul Rahman's case the detainee was simply frozen to death left on his cell's bare concrete floor naked from the waist down.

    While no senior CIA official has yet been held accountable for crimes described in detail in the CIA's de-classified documents, it seems that the intelligence agency's top level officials would do whatever it takes to evade the responsibility.

    In mid-May it turned out that the CIA inspector general's office had "mistakenly" destroyed its only copy of a 6,700-page comprehensive CIA Torture Report — the product of years of investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

    "The deletion of the document has been portrayed by agency officials to Senate investigators as an 'inadvertent' foul-up by the inspector general," investigative journalist Michael Isikoff wrote in his article for Yahoo News on May 16.

    The 6,700-page report contained detailed information on the CIA interrogation program. A 500-page executive summary on the issue was released by Senator Dianne Feinstein back in December 2014.

    Commenting on the "accidental" erasure of the sensitive information former NSA serviceman and whistleblower Edward Snowden tweeted on May 16: "I worked @CIA. I wrote the Emergency Destruction Plan for Geneva. When CIA destroys something, it's never a mistake."


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    Middle East, CIA torture, Freedom of Information Act, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), US Senate Intelligence Committee, Edward Snowden, Dianne Feinstein, Afghanistan, US
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