Dec 12, 2014 04:30 PM EST
In spite of the graphic and disturbing nature of its content, a long-awaited torture report was released this past Tuesday, Dec. 9 by the United States Senate's Intelligence Committee, 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.
While 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, 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.
Allegedly created by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States in collaboration with psychologists James Mitchell and John Bruce Jessen from Spokane, the "enhanced interrogation techniques" sought out employ an interrogation approach coined by the psychologists, known as "learned helplessness". Aside from severe physical harm and abuse, which detainees experience in collaboration with other intensely physical torturous methods, this "learned helplessness" predicted that detainees would become passive and depressed when faced with an inevitable and unforeseeable chain of events that they could neither predict nor control.
But as it so happens, the methods not only did not work, but according to the 6,000 page report, they may have also led to counterproductive or false results in the process. 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.
But what did the Senate say in response to the heinous methods? Below are excerpts from the official torture report, but if you'd like an even more in-depth view, you can also view it HERE. *Please advise the graphic and disturbing nature of this content.
"On April 3, 2014, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence voted to send the findings and conclusions, and the executive summary of its final study on the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program to the President for declassification and subsequent public release" Senate committee members said in the Foreward of the released documents. "This action marked the culmination of a monumental effort that officially began with the Committee's decision to initiate the study in March 2009, but which had its roots in an investigation into the CIA's destruction of videotapes of detainee interrogations that began in December 2007."
"The full Committee study, which totals more than 6,700 pages remains classified, but is now an official Senate report. The Intelligence Committee as well often pushes intelligence agencies to act quickly in response to threats and world events. Nevertheless, such pressure, fear and expectation of further terrorist plots do not justify, temper or excuse improper actions taken by individuals or organizations in the name of national security."
"The major lesson of this report is that regardless of the pressures and the need to act, the Intelligence Community's actions must always reflect who we are as a nation, and adhere to our laws and standards. It is precisely at these times of national crisis that our government must be guided by the lessons of our history and subject decisions to internal and external review."
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