August 27, 2009


Not only is this illegal, it's immoral and just plain crazy. Keeping someone awake that long induces psychosis, and how does that give you useful information? Sounds like the Bush Administration was getting some kind of sick gratification from torturing people.

But of course, the Cowboy Administration was more interested in starring in their own action movie than in following our laws:

A year after the Bush administration abandoned its harshest interrogation methods, CIA operatives used severe sleep deprivation tactics against a terror detainee in late 2007, keeping him awake for six straight days with permission from government lawyers.

Interrogators kept the unidentified detainee awake by chaining him to the walls and floor of a cell, according to government officials and memos issued with an internal CIA report. The Obama administration released the internal report this week.

Though the detainee's name and critical details are blacked out in the memos, there is only one detainee known to have been in CIA custody at that time: Mohammed Rahim al-Afghani, an alleged al-Qaida operator and translator for Osama bin Laden.

The documents show that even as the Bush administration was scaling back its use of severe interrogation techniques, the CIA was still pushing the boundaries of what the administration's own legal counsel considered acceptable treatment.

The documents describe two instances in 2007 in which the CIA was allowed to exceed the guidelines set by Bush administration lawyers allowing prisoners to be kept awake for up to four days.

The first episode occurred in August 2007, when interrogators were given permission from the Office of Legal Counsel to keep an unidentified detainee awake for five days, a U.S. government official confirmed. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the report's details.

According to the documents, the sleep-deprived prisoner was kept awake by being forced to stand with his arms chained above heart level. He wore diapers, allowing interrogators to keep him chained continuously without bathroom breaks.

The second incident occurred in November 2007. After again asking permission from Justice lawyers to keep a detainee awake an extra day, interrogators pressed to extend the treatment for another 24 hours, depriving the prisoner of sleep for six straight days.

It is unclear from the documents whether the two incidents involved the same detainee. CIA spokesman George Little would not provide the identity of the prisoner referred to in the document.

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