In late 2002, the CIA asked the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to send a training team to a CIA black site in Northern Kabul, Afghanistan, code-named COBALT. While there, the BOP team instructed guards on the proper use of a restraining technique against detainees called “short chaining,” also referred to as short shackling.
Not long after the BOP team left the black site, the technique was used on an Afghan militant and suspected al-Qaeda operative named Gul Rahman, who had been captured by the Pakistani government during a raid a month earlier. Deemed a high-value detainee, he was then taken to COBALT. While being held captive at the black site, the CIA said Rahman became violent, and on numerous occasions had threatened to kill guards.
On November 19, 2002, at about 3pm, guards brought food to Rahman’s cell. The last meal he’d eaten had been the day before. When the guards entered Rahman’s cell, he was nude from the waist down. The captive again threatened to kill the guards and proceeded to throw his food, water bottle, and waste bucket at them.