The release of 525 pages of the Senate Intelligence Committee's "Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program" (aka the Torture Report) turned the stomachs of many Americans, with its descriptions of human rights abuses, beatings, starvation, kidnapping, and other horrors - all done to people floating in a quasi-POW status. Though released in 2015, there are many instances of CIA torture throughout American history as well. Which American torture conspiracies are the most shocking?
The CIA conspiring to torture 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 CIA-taught torture techniques, murders, extraditions, and illegal tactics. And the CIA is almost certainly still doing it, under a name and directive that won't be known for years.These CIA torture conspiracies and government torture plots and little-known facts have shocked US citizens over the years. Upvote the most appalling, shocking, and despicable cases of CIA torture below, and be warned, a few are truly nauseating.
Of all of the revelations in the so-called “torture 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 plate” of hummus, pasta, sauce and raisins pureed and rectally introduced into his body. There was no medical need for this, at least not one specified in the report.Other prisoners were forced to stand on broken limbs, shackled naked to walls, given forcible rectal exams, mock executions, and threatened with the murder and rape of their loved ones. This is only the information that was publicly released, and much of it might not be made public for decades – or ever.
Latin American Torture Manuals
One of the great scandals of the 1980s was the “torture 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. 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 torturers was Honduras’s Battalion 316, which the CIA played a major role in establishing, training, equipping, and financing. Close to 200 Honduran students were tortured, killed, or disappeared by this paramilitary unit before it was closed down by the US.
Stress and Duress
The torture techniques used at Abu Ghraib were so numerous that they spawned a rhyming nickname: “stress and duress.” There were 72 different methods in the stress and duress “matrix,” all of which were illegally used on Iraqis who may not have done anyhing wrong. While US officials first claimed that stress and duress wasn’t actually torture, and therefore, not specifically against the Geneva Convention, those subjected to it 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 and used on people whose status as combatants was unproven, at best.
Abu Ghraib Prison
For the better part of two years in 2003 and 2004, the CIA and US Army conspired to torture, abuse, sodomize and starve prisoners at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. After an investigation by the ACLU got the ball rolling, photos began to leak of prisoners being beaten, chained, humiliated and forced to pose in human pyramids.A number of officers and soldiers were arrested and court-martialed – and they all, in turn, claimed they were only following orders from military and CIA higher-ups who had approved their tactics.