NYT: Cables Details CIA Waterboarding at Secret Prison Run by Gina Haspel

Newly released top-secret cables detail multiple instances of waterboarding and the use of other torture techniques at a CIA black site in Thailand that was run by Director Gina Haspel, The New York Times reports.


The cables, which were likely written or at least authorized by Haspel, refer to applying the “water treatment,” as waterboarding is euphemistically called, on al Qaeda suspects in 2002.


The documents are heavily redacted, but the readable parts confirm that one suspect, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, was waterboarded, locked in a box and shoved against a wall, all to obtain information about potential attacks on the United States. The documents suggest that these attempts were unsuccessful.


“Interrogation escalated rapidly from subject being aggressively debriefed by interrogators while standing at the walling wall, to multiple applications of the walling technique, and ultimately, multiple applications of the watering technique,” reads one of the reports, which were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request from National Security Archive. 


Eventually, Nashiri was described in cables as “compliant and cooperative,” though they obtained no new information, and Haspel’s CIA superiors insisted that Nashiri knew more than he was telling them. Haspel arrived at the black site in October 2002. It would be shut down only a few weeks later, on December 4, 2002.



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