Unspeakable Times

15 CIA Torture Conspiracies

The release of the Senate Intelligence Committee's study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program, AKA the Torture Report (T-Report), turned the stomachs of many Americans. The report contained descriptions of human rights violations, including unauthorized confinement, beatings, the withholding of food and water, and other horrors - all done to people floating in a quasi-POW status. Though released in 2014, there are many instances of the CIA conducting systematic harm throughout American history as well. 

The CIA conspiring to harm people - or at the very least, conspiring to flout human rights conventions - is nothing new. Conflicts since the dawn of the Cold War have been studded with brutal CIA-taught techniques, slayings, extraditions, and unconstitutional tactics. And the CIA is almost certainly still doing it, under a name and directive that won't be known for years.

These CIA conspiracies and government plots and little-known facts have shocked US citizens over the years. Upvote the most appalling, shocking, and despicable CIA cases detailed below, and be warned, a few are truly nauseating.

  • Rectal Feeding

    Of all of the revelations in the so-called T-Report prepared by Congress, the worst might have been that the CIA can literally make you eat. A prisoner named Majid Khan had a "lunch tray" of hummus, pasta, sauce, and raisins pureed and rectally introduced into his body. 

    Other prisoners were forced to stand on broken limbs, shackled naked to walls, given rectal exams, and threatened with the assault and deaths of their loved ones. This is only the information that was publicly released.


    The CIA’s infamous MK-ULTRA experiment ran for more than a decade, and involved citizens unknowingly being dosed with mind-altering LSD. While the goal of the study was to advance US intelligence and special operations capabilities in mind control, brainwashing, and resisting systematic harm, it failed miserably, producing no actionable results.

    What's worse is that it violated every ethical code in any medical book anywhere. At one point, seven men were given the drug for 77 days straight. Reportedly, several demises are directly attributable to the program.

  • Latin American 'Interrogation' Manuals

    One of the great scandals of the 1980s was the "interrogation manuals" fiasco, in which the Baltimore Sun uncovered nearly two decades of CIA handbooks specifically used to teach coercive information gathering methods to Latin American paramilitaries, or unofficial organizations that are semi-militarized. Among the tactics taught by these manuals - first called KUBARK, then the Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual - were electric shocks, truth serum, fear, sleep deprivation, and solitary confinement.

    Among the most prolific US-taught recipients of the manual were Honduras's Battalion 316, which the CIA played a major role in establishing, training, equipping, and financing. Close to 200 Honduran students disappeared and were systematically harmed or terminated before this unit was closed down by the US.

  • Stress And Duress

    The brutal techniques used at Abu Ghraib were so numerous that they spawned a rhyming nickname: "stress and duress." There were 72 different unsanctioned methods in the stress and duress "matrix" used on detainees who may not have done anything wrong. While US officials first claimed that inflicting stress and duress didn't constitute inhuman treatment, and therefore, were not specifically against the Geneva Convention, those subjected to such techniques would probably disagree.

    Among the tactics in the stress and duress manual are the use of bright lights or blaring noise, putting blackout hoods on heads for 24 hour periods, exposure to extreme heat and cold, binding in stress positions, stripping, humiliation, and sleep deprivation. All of this was approved at some level by American military personnel.