Journalist Mark Danner reports today that he has acquired a once “confidential” 2006 Red Cross investigation on U.S. terror detentions. The report details “suffocation by water,” “prolonged stress standing,” “beatings by use of a collar,” and “confinement in a box.” Danner notes that senior Bush officials were well aware of the techniques being used. Some accounts from detainees:
– “I was taken out of my cell and one of the interrogators wrapped a towel around my neck; they then used it to swing me around and smash me repeatedly against the hard walls of the room.”
– “Both my feet became very swollen after one month of almost continual standing.”
– “A thick flexible plastic collar would also be placed around my neck so that it could then be held at the two ends by a guard who would use it to slam me repeatedly against the wall.
The report’s conclusion reads: “The allegations of ill treatment of the detainees indicate that, in many cases, the ill treatment to which they were subjected while held in the C.I.A. program, either singly or in combination, constituted torture.” Previously, the Bush administration had attempted to conceal harsh treatment from the Red Cross.
In August 2007, speaking about a Red Cross torture investigation, Bush defensively remarked: “Haven’t seen it; we don’t torture.”