Dec 11, 2014 03:44 PM EST
We may live in the 21st century, with many conventions in place to protect the rights of the general public, but if you're a prisoner of war you're likely to find that those same courtesies are not extended to you too. In fact, as it so happens, torture may be on your captor's list of to-do's.
It's been a long-awaited document, approached with some hesitation by the Senate's Intelligence Committee, but on Tuesday, Dec. 9, the Senate released its torture report, recounting endless accounts of post-9/11 detention and interrogation programs initiated by the United States' CIA in more horrific detail than you could imagine. But what's worse, is that the report revealed that the tactics of torture likely had little to no efficacy, even when inflicting bodily harm to acquire intel.
Now, it may not be the first time that torture has been used, the pope's pear and electroshock therapy have been effective and relatively heinous methods in the past, but these new psychologically-driven methods undoubtedly set a new bar for what the US is willing to do under the context of keeping its people and its nation safe.
"As a military lawyer for more than 30 years, I believe we can and must fight this war within our values" Senator Lindsey Graham said. "I supported the investigation of the CIA as the problems of interrogation policies were obvious to me. I do not condone torture and continue to believe abusive detention and interrogation techniques used in the past were counterproductive."
But as it so happens, they may not have only been counterproductive, but they may also not have worked as intended at all. In the 6,000 page report, the Senate's Intelligence Committee investigated several methods of method, and after careful review, questioned the efficacy of "enhanced interrogation techniques". These techniques escalated to include waterboarding, rectal feeding, threats of sexual assault, refusal of access to the toilet, stripping and beating on a regular basis, in conjunction with severe sleep deprivation.
However, in spite of the great efforts placed in acquiring invaluable information, US armed forces found that they later acted on false intelligence delivered in a state of duress, leading to several casualties the committee deemed unnecessary. Even after countless prisoners, since 9/11 alone, the CIA failed to produce documentation that proved the efficacy of the types of techniques, or the successful intelligence extracted in the past.
After careful consideration, the Senate's committee deemed the torturous methods excessive and immoral, saying "the committee finds, based on a review of CIA interrogation records, that the use of the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of obtaining accurate information or gaining detainee cooperation."
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