Interrogator Revved Power Drill In Front of Hooded Detainee — Report Details More Abuses

CIA interrogators racked an unloaded handgun close to the head of a high-value detainee, and revved a power drill while the detainee stood naked and hooded, according to the just-released CIA IG report. They also threatened to bring in the mother and family of the detainee, al Nashiri, as well as using a stiff brush to induce pain, and standing on Nashiri’s shackles, causing cuts and bruises.

And interrogators threatened another detainee, Khalid Shaykh Muhammad, that they would kill his children if another attack occurred in the US.

All of these techniques would appear to go beyond the guidelines — themselves likely unlawful — laid out by the Bush Justice Department.

Here’s the relevant part of the report:

Handgun and Power Drill

91. REDACTED interrogation team members, whose purpose it was to interrogate Al-Nashiri and debrief Abu Zubaydah, initially staff REDACTED. The interrogation team continued EITs on Al-Nashiri for two weeks in December 2002 REDACTED they assured him to be “compliant.” Subsequently, CTC officers at Headquarters REDACTED sent a REDACTED senior operations officer (the debriefer) REDACTED to debrief and assess Al-Nashiri.

92. REDACTED The debriefer assessed Al-Nashiri as withholding information, at which point REDACTED reinstated REDACTED hooding, and handcuffing. Sometime between 28 December 2002 and 1 January 2003, the debriefer used an unloaded semi-automatic handgun as a prop to frighten Al-Nashiri into disclosing information. After discussing this plan with REDACTED the debriefer entered the cell where Al-Nashiri sat shackled and racked the handgun once or twice close to Al-Nashiri’s head. On what was probably the same day, the debriefer used a power drill to frighten Al-Nashiri. With REDACTED consent, the debriefer entered the detainee’s cell and revved the drill while the detainee stood naked and hooded. The debriefer did not touch Al-Nashiri with the power drill

93. The REDACTED and debriefer did not request authorization or report the use of these unauthorized techniques to Headquarters. However, in January 2003, newly arrived TDY officers REDACTED who had learned of these incidents reported them to Headquarters. OIG investigated and referred its findings to the Criminal Division of DoJ. On 11 September 2003, DoJ declined to prosecute and turned these matters over to CIA for disposition. These incidents are the subject of a separate OIG Report of Investigation.


94. REDACTED During another incident REDACTED the same Headquarters debriefer, according to a REDACTED who was present, threatened Al-Nashiri by saying that if he did not talk, “We could get your mother in here,” and, “We can bring your family in here.” The REDACTED debriefer reportedly wanted Al-Nashiri to infer, for psychological reasons, that the debriefer might be REDACTED intelligence officer based on his Arabic dialect, and that Al-Nashiri was in REDACTED custody because it was widely believed in Middle East circles that REDACTED interrogation technique involves sexually abusing female relatives in front of the detainee. The debriefer denied threatening Al-Nashiri through his family. The debriefer also said he did not explain who he was or where he was from when talking with Al-Nashiri. The debriefer said he never said he was REDACTED intelligence officer but let Al-Nashiri draw his own conclusions.

95. REDACTED An experienced Agency interrogator reported that the REDACTED interrogators threatened Khalid Shaykh Muhammad REDACTED. According to this interrogator, the REDACTED interrogators said to Khalid Shaykh Muhammad that if anything else happens in the United States, “We’re going to kill your children.” According to the interrogator, one of the REDACTED interrogators said REDACTED. With respect to the report provided to him of the threats REDACTED that report did not indicate that the law had been violated.


96. REDACTED An Agency interrogator admitted that, 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” inthe room and to help keep the interrogators alert late at night. This interrogators said he would not do this again based on “perceived criticism.” Another Agency interrogator admitted that he also smoked cigars during two sessions with Al-Nashiri to mask the stench in the room. He claimed he did not deliberately force smoke into Al-Nashiri’s face.

Stress Positions

97. REDACTED OIG received reports that interrogation team members employed potentially injurious 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 position. On another occasion REDACTED said he had to intercede after REDACTED expressed concern that Al-Nashiri’s arms might be dislocated from his shoulders. REDACTED explained that, at the time, the interrogators were attempting to put Al-Nashiri in a standing stress position. Al-Nashiri was reportedly lifted off the foor by his arms with his arms were bound behind his back with a belt.

Stiff Brush and Shackles

98. REDACTED interrogator reported that he witnessed other techniques used on Al-Nashiri that the interrogator knew were not specifically approved by DoJ. 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 REDACTED acknowledged that 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.

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