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Senate Report on CIA Torture

Ramzi bin al-Shibh

Ramzi bin al-Shibh is a Yemeni national who was captured in Pakistan in September 2002. He was initially transferred to a foreign government before being moved back to CIA custody in February 2003. CIA officials in the country where he was initially held “were satisfied with al-Shibh’s reporting” and “found [his] information to be generally accurate.” They found that “the most effective interrogation tool was having information available to confront him when he tried to mislead or provide incomplete information.”

While in CIA custody, “bin al-Shibh was interrogated using the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques for an estimated 34 days.” His interrogation plan included “continued sensory deprivation, a liquid diet, and sleep deprivation.” It also provided for the use of “attention grasp, walling, the facial hold, the facial slap…the abdominal slap, cramped confinement, wall standing, stress positions…and the waterboard.” The plan further stated that “bin al-Shibh would be shackled nude with his arms overhead in a cold room prior to any discussion with interrogators or any assessment of his level of cooperation.” [Emphasis added] Despite the assessment of onsite interrogators that “bin al-Shibh was cooperative and did not have additional knowledge of future attacks,” CIA headquarters “instructed the interrogators to continue using the CIA’s enhanced interrogations techniques.”

They were used “in response to perceived disrespect, and on several occasions, before [he] had an opportunity to respond to an interrogator’s questions or before a question was asked.” These techniques were also used “when bin al-Shibh failed to address an interrogator as ‘sir,’ when interrogators noted he had a ‘blank stare’ on his face, and when bin al-Shibh complained of stomach pain.” Such use of the interrogation techniques for “behavior adjustment purposes” was not approved by CIA headquarters.

Bin al-Shibh began to show signs of psychological problems, the symptoms including “visions, paranoia, insomnia, and attempts at self-harm.” In April 2005, a psychologist said that his isolation for the last two-and-a-half years was having a ”clear and escalating effect on his psychological functioning,” which was especially “alarming” given that "he was previously a relatively high-functioning individual.” He was transferred to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in September 2006 and “placed on anti-psychotic medication.” In 2005, “personnel at CIA headquarters concluded…that the most significant intelligence derived from bin al-Shibh was obtained during his detention in foreign custody, which was prior to his [2003] rendition to CIA custody and the use of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation  techniques.” Another CIA assessment concluded that “the overall quality of his reporting…steadily declined since 2003.”