April 17, 2009
Certain aspects of the documents are redacted – including the names of CIA officials – but the four memos written by Bush lawyers as a guideline for interrogators offer an unprecedented look inside the methods used as the perpetrators of 9/11 and their cohorts were hunted down.
Water-boarding, which is banned by international human rights law, was one of the ‘torture’ methods used.
The Justice Department memo dated May 10, 2005, admitted that "we find that the use of the waterboard constitutes a threat of imminent death". "It creates in the subject the uncontrollable physiological sensation that the subject is drowning."
However, it said, "in the absence of prolonged mental harm, no severe mental pain or suffering would have been inflicted, and the use of these procedures would not constitute torture within the meaning of the statute".