On Tuesday morning, the Senate intelligence committee released an executive summary of its five-year investigation into the CIA’s interrogation and detention program. (Read the executive summary here.)
Among the report’s most striking revelations is that CIA interrogators were often untrained and in some instances made up torturous techniques as they went along.
The CIA was “unprepared” to begin the enhanced interrogation program, the Senate report concluded. The agency sent untrained, inexperienced people into the field to interrogate Abu Zubaydah, the first important Al Qaeda suspect the US captured.
Within weeks of Zubaydah’s arrival, while he was still in the hospital recovering from a gunshot wound, CIA headquarters was planning to throw him in all-white room with no natural lighting, blast rock music 24/7, strip him of his clothes, and keep him awake all day. They did. Extreme interrogations like these, identified as “enhanced interrogation techniques,” went on for more than three months before CIA officers received any sort of training in the new techniques from anyone.