Senate Report on CIA Torture


Several detainees were threatened as part of their interrogation. Abu Zubaydah was told “that the only way he would leave the [detention] facility was in a coffin-shaped confinement box,” in which he was sometimes kept when he was left alone in between interrogation sessions. At other times, he was “placed in a stress position [or] left on the waterboard with a cloth over his face,” or locked in a smaller confinement box “which had a width of 21 inches, a depth of 2.5 feet, and a height of 2.5 feet.” Detainees “Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Khallad bin Attash and Adnan al-Libi were threatened with rectal rehydration,” despite the CIA’s claim that it was used only for medical purposes. One CIA officer threatened Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri with a gun and a power drill. While al-Nashiri was blindfolded, the officer “placed a pistol near al-Nashiri’s head and operated a cordless drill near al-Nashiri’s body.” Interrogators also threatened “at least three detainees,” including Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, al-Nashiri, and Zubaydah, with harm to their families. According to the 2004 Inspector General Special Review of the CIA program, “a debriefer threatened al-Nashiri by saying ‘[w]e could get your mother in here,’ and, ‘[w]e can bring your family in here.’” A psychologist and interrogators “told KSM that, if anything happens in the United States, ‘[w]e're going to kill your children,’” and “[a] case officer ‘used [Abu Zubaydah's] “family card” to apply more psychological pressure…[telling Zubaydah] that even if [Abu Zubaydah] did not care about himself…[Abu Zubaydah] should at least care about his family and keep in mind their welfare; the insinuation being that something might happen to them.” On KSM’s first day of interrogation, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen “began threatening KSM's children.” An officer implied to Al-Nashiri “that his mother would be brought before him and sexually abused” and an officer threatened to “cut [a detainee's] mother's throat.” In at least two instances, the CIA used mock executions, which were not authorized and went unreported.