CIA cables reveal new details of waterboarding at prison run by Haspel

CIA cables reveal new details of waterboarding at prison run by Haspel
© Greg Nash

Communication obtained by The New York Times reveals new details of waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques used at a secret CIA prison in Thailand run by now-CIA Director Gina Haspel.

The Times reported Friday that the cables, documenting incidents that took place in the year after 9/11, show that the CIA used waterboarding and other torture techniques on at least one suspected terrorist who produced little or no new information on current or forthcoming plots.

Haspel, who the Senate confirmed to oversee the CIA earlier this year, would have written or signed off on the cables, according to the newspaper.

The CIA declined to comment to the Times on the cables, which were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the National Security Archive at George Washington University. 

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Haspel faced questions during her confirmation process over her involvement in the CIA’s post-9/11 use of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” which are now widely viewed as torture.

She said at the time that she would not restart the program at the agency, and that “the enhanced interrogation program is not one the CIA should have undertaken.”

The redacted cables detail actions taken against an al Qaeda suspect, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, including waterboarding, shaving him, slamming him against a wall and locking him in a box, the Times reported.

“Interrogation escalated rapidly from subject being aggressively debriefed by interrogators while standing at the walling wall, to multiple applications of the walling technique, and ultimately, multiple applications of the watering technique,” one document read, referring to waterboarding.

ProPublica has previously reported on declassified cables from the same Thailand prison, including those on Nashiri’s treatment.

Nashiri is accused of helping to plot the 2000 bombing of the Navy destroyer Cole as it was off the coast of Yemen. He is currently being held in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, as the U.S. attempts to prosecute him on those charges.