After years of delays amid concern that releasing the information could incite violence against Americans, the Senate Intelligence Committee published a report Tuesday detailing the CIA’s use of often brutal enhanced interrogation techniques on terrorist suspects in the years after the September 11 attacks. Here are some key revelations of the report:

  • Tortured detainees often provided information vital to national security such as groans and hallucinatory shrieks
  • Interrogators were poorly trained, with many barely acquainted with proper, humane techniques for dragging people up and down stairs until they passed out
  • CIA physicians subjected many prisoners to a process known as “rectal hydration” or “rectal feeding,” which really isn’t as bad as you’re imagining, unless you happen to be picturing the most humiliating and invasive scenario conceivable. In that case, you’re pretty much right on the money.
  • Many U.S. officials were exposed to prolonged sleep deprivation for days at a time while trying to rationalize the moral atrocities they had overseen
  • Officials intentionally de-emphasized dungeons-filled-with-pain-and-horror aspect of the program to media and legislators
  • The grim practice of waterboarding occurred on a consistent basis, but you already knew about that and kind of moved on, right?
  • There are only two known instances of brutally beaten prisoners falling in love with their interrogators
  • Torture was only used as a last resort or when interrogators just had a hankering to deprive someone of sleep for a week
  • CIA pretty good at torture

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