What the CIA Did to Its Detainees

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May 19, 2015

From 2002 to 2007, at least 39 people were subjected to what the CIA called “enhanced interrogation techniques,” which have been widely criticized as torture.

In July 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft verbally approved the use of 11 so-called “EITs”: attention grasp, walling, the facial hold, the facial slap, cramped confinement, wall standing, stress positions, sleep deprivation, the use of diapers, use of insects, and waterboarding. Later other techniques, such as water dousing, were added.

CIA interrogators didn’t always stick to the approved techniques, though — and in December 2014 a Senate investigation concluded that the agency’s interrogations were ineffective, detrimental to national security, and did not help to find Osama bin Laden. The CIA has defended the program.

We still don’t know everything that was done to the 39 men subjected to the EITs. The chart below, which is largely based on the Senate report, lays out what we do know. Detainees are listed based upon days spent in detention.





Sarah Childress

Sarah Childress, Former Series Senior Editor, FRONTLINE

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