On this dayDec 09, 2014

Senate Releases Report Detailing CIA Torture of Muslim Detainees

Image | John Moore, AP

On December 9, 2014, the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a report revealing the CIA’s use of torture against Muslim detainees during the “War on Terror.” The report detailed dozens of horrific accounts of Muslim people being dehumanized to such an extent that they were likened to “dogs who had been kenneled.”

The story of Gul Rahman is illustrative of what the Senate Select Committee uncovered about the CIA’s practices between 2001 and 2006. In November 2002, Mr. Rahman was subjected to “48 hours of sleep deprivation, auditory overload, total darkness, isolation, a cold shower, and rough treatment.” Immediately following this experience, he was labeled as “uncooperative,” stripped of his clothing, shackled to the wall of his cell, and “forced to sit on the bare concrete floor without pants.” His autopsy revealed that he most likely died from hypothermia. Three months after Mr. Rahman froze to death, the CIA approved a plan to strip detainees nude in rooms set to near freezing temperatures. No officials were charged for Mr. Rahman’s death, and one of his interrogators was recommended to receive a $2,500 bonus for his “consistently superior work.”

In addition to exposing stories similar to Mr. Rahman’s (including accounts of people being subjected to force-feeding, mock executions, and sexual violence), the report concluded that the CIA had misled Congress about its practices, under-reported the number of people it had detained and tortured, and falsely incarcerated more than twenty percent of its detainees. One of the people unlawfully detained was an “intellectually challenged” man who was used as “leverage” to obtain information from a family member. Despite these troubling findings, there have been few attempts to hold anyone accountable for the harm that United States officials perpetrated against Muslim detainees.

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