Secret Red Cross Report of CIA Torture

Red Cross investigators concluded last year in a secret report that the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation methods for high-level Qaeda prisoners constituted torture and could make the Bush administration officials who approved them guilty of war crimes, according to a new book on counterterrorism efforts.

The book “The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals,” by Jane Mayer, cites unnamed “sources familiar with the report,” and wrote that the Red Cross document “warned that the abuse constituted war crimes, placing the highest officials in the U.S. government in jeopardy of being prosecuted.”

The report says the prisoners considered the “most excruciating” of the methods being shackled to the ceiling and being forced to stand for as long as eight hours. Eleven of the 14 prisoners reported prolonged sleep deprivation, the book says, including “bright lights and eardrum-shattering sounds 24 hours a day.”

Ms. Mayer acknowledges that Red Cross investigators based their account largely on interviews with the prisoners. But she writes that several C.I.A. officers she spoke with confirmed parts of the Red Cross description.

[Excerpt of an article by Scott Shane, The New York Times]

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