The waterboarding technique was physically harmful, inducing convulsions and vomiting. Abu
Zubaydah, for example, became "completely unresponsive, with bubbles rising through his open,
full mouth.'" Internal CIA records describe the waterboarding of Khalid Shaykh Mohammad as
evolving into a "series of near drownings."
Sleep deprivation involved keeping detainees awake for up to 180 hours, usually standing or in
stress positions, at times with their hands shackled above their heads. At least five detainees
experienced disturbing hallucinations during prolonged sleep deprivation and, in at least two of
those cases, the CIA nonetheless continued the sleep deprivation.
Contrary to CIA representations to the Department of Justice, the CIA instructed personnel that
the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah would take "precedence" over his medical care, resulting in
the deterioration of a bullet wound Abu Zubaydah incurred during his capture....
At least five CIA detainees were subjected to "rectal rehydration" or rectal feeding without
documented medical necessity. The CIA placed detainees in ice water "baths." The CIA led
several detainees to believe they would never be allowed to leave CIA custody alive, suggesting
to one detainee that he would only leave in a coffin-shaped box. One interrogator told another
detainee that he would never go to court, because "we can never let the world know what I have
done to you." CIA officers also threatened at least three detainees with harm to their families—
to include threats to harm the children of a detainee, threats to sexually abuse the mother of a
detainee, and a threat to "cut [a detainee's] mother's throat."
Conditions at CIA detention sites were poor, and were especially bleak early in the program.
CIA detainees at the COBALT detention facility were kept in complete darkness and constantly
shackled in isolated cells with loud noise or music and only a bucket to use for human waste.
Lack of heat at the facility likely contributed to the death of a detainee. The chief of
interrogations described COBALT as a "dungeon." Another senior CIA officer stated that
COBALT was itself an enhanced interrogation technique."
At times, the detainees at COBALT were walked around naked or were shackled with their
hands above their heads for extended periods of time. Other times, the detainees at COBALT
were subjected to what was described as a "rough takedown," in which approximately five CIA
officers would scream at a detainee, drag him outside of his cell, cut his clothes off, and secure
him with Mylar tape. The detainee would then be hooded and dragged up and down a long
corridor while being slapped and punched.
Even after the conditions of confinement improved with the construction of new detention
facilities, detainees were held in total isolation except when being interrogated or debriefed by
Throughout the program, multiple CIA detainees who were subjected to the CIA's enhanced
interrogation techniques and extended isolation exhibited psychological and behavioral issues,
including hallucinations, paranoia, insomnia, and attempts at self-harm and self-mutilation.
Multiple psychologists identified the lack of human contact experienced by detainees as a cause
of psychiatric problems.
The CIA's COBALT detention facility in Country -- began operations in September 2002 and
ultimately housed more than half of the 119 CIA detainees identified in this Study. The CIA
kept few formal records of the detainees in its custody at COBALT. Untrained CIA officers at
the facility conducted frequent, unauthorized, and unsupervised interrogations of detainees using
harsh physical interrogation techniques that were not—and never became—part of the CIA's
formal "enhanced" interrogation program. The CIA placed a junior officer with no relevant
experience in charge of COBALT. On November --, 2002, a detainee who had been held
partially nude and chained to a concrete floor died from suspected hypothermia at the facility.
The CIA contracted with two psychologists to develop, operate, and assess its interrogation
On the CIA's behalf, the contract psychologists developed theories of interrogation based on
"learned helplessness,"and developed the list of enhanced interrogation techniques that was
approved for use against Abu Zubaydah and subsequent CIA detainees. The psychologists
personally conducted interrogations of some of the CIA's most significant detainees using these
techniques. They also evaluated whether detainees' psychological state allowed for the
continued use of the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques, including some detainees whom
they were themselves interrogating or had interrogated. The psychologists carried out inherently
governmental functions, such as acting as liaison between the CIA and foreign intelligence
services, assessing the effectiveness of the interrogation program, and participating in the
interrogation of detainees in held in foreign government custody.
In 2005, the psychologists formed a company specifically for the purpose of conducting their
work with the CIA. Shortly thereafter, the CIA outsourced virtually all aspects of the program.
In 2006, the value of the CIA's base contract with the company formed by the psychologists with
all options exercised was in excess of $180 million...
[Individuals detained by the CIA included] Abu Hudhaifa, who was subjected to ice water baths and 66 hours of standing sleep deprivation
before being released because the CIA discovered he was likely not the person he was believed to be ...
Muhammad Khan, who, like
Zarmein, was among detainees about whom the CIA acknowledged knowing "very little"... Haji Ghalgi, who was detained as "useful leverage"
against a family member...
Nazar Ali, an "intellectually
challenged" individual whose taped crying was used as leverage against his family member...
a cable described Abu Zubaydah's cell as white with no natural
lighting or windows, but with four halogen lights pointed into the cell." An air conditioner was
also in the room. A white curtain separated the interrogation room from the cell. The
interrogation cell had three padlocks. Abu Zubaydah was also provided with one of two chairs
that were rotated based on his level of cooperation (one described as more comfortable tlian the
other). Security officers wore all black uniforms, including boots, gloves, balaclavas, and
goggles to keep Abu Zubaydah from identifying the officers, as well as to prevent Abu Zubaydah
"from seeing the security guards as individuals who he may attempt to establish a relationship or
dialogue with."... In addition, either loud
rock music was played or noise generators were used to enhance Abu Zubaydah's "sense of hopelessness."' Abu Zubaydah was typically kept naked and sleep deprived.
The "aggressive phase of interrogation" continued until August 23,
2002. Over the course ofthe entire 20 day "aggressive phase of interrogation," Abu Zubaydah spent a total of 266 hours (11 days, 2 hours) in the large (coffin size) confinement box and 29 hours in a small confinement box, which had a width of 21 inches, a depth of 2.5 feet, and a height of 2.5 feet. The CIA interrogators told Abu Zubaydah that the only way he would leave
the facility was in the coffin-shaped confinement box.
According to the daily cables from DETENTION SITE GREEN,
Abu Zubaydah frequently "cried," "begged," "pleaded," and "whimpered," but continued to deny that he had any additional information on current threats to, or operatives in, the United States.
After approximately three weeks, the CIA developed a more aggressive treatment regimen
"without unnecessary conversation." Majid Khan was then subjected to involuntary rectal
feeding and rectal hydration, which included two bottles of Ensure. Later that same day, Majid
Khan's "lunch tray," consisting of hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts, and raisins, was "pureed"
and rectally infused. Additional sessions ofrectal feeding and hydration followed. In
addition to his hunger strikes, Majid Klian engaged in acts of self-harm that included attempting
to cut his wrist on two occasions, an attempt to chew into his arm at the inner elbow, an
attempt to cut a vein in the top of his foot, and an attempt to cut into his skin at the elbow joint
using a filed toothbrush.