From The Huffington Post
The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday released the highly anticipated 500-page summary of its report on the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program, providing a sobering glimpse into one of the darkest chapters in the U.S. government's history.
In the report, a product of a 5-year investigation, Senate investigators reveal torrid details of the systemic and individual failures by the agency personnel who ran the enhanced interrogation program during the George W. Bush administration. The program involved capturing terrorism suspects and shipping them to secret overseas prisons, where they were subjected to harsh interrogation techniques such as waterboarding.
The CIA's program has long been criticized as un-American and a chilling departure from the nation’s values. Opponents allege that it resulted in gross abuses and inhumane treatment of detainees, some of whom were eventually revealed not to have been involved in terror organizations.
The newly released document tears apart the CIA's past claims that only a small number of detainees were subjected to the harsh interrogation techniques. The agency has said it held fewer than 100 detainees and subjected fewer than one-third of those to controversial tactics such as waterboarding. But Senate investigators found that the CIA had actually kept 119 detainees in custody, 26 of whom were illegally held. And despite CIA insistence that the program was limited in scope, Senate investigators conclude that the use of enhanced interrogation was much more widespread than previously thought.
The study reveals several gruesome instances of torture by mid-level CIA officers who participated in the program, including sexual threats with use of a broomstick and the use of "rectal hydration" in instances of harsh interrogations that lasted for days or weeks on end. And, contrary to the agency's prior insistence that only three detainees were subject to waterboarding, the Senate report suggests it was likely used on more detainees.