- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Senate report on the harsh treatment of terrorism suspects during interrogation says evidence suggests the CIA used “waterboarding” on more than three detainees, contrary to what the agency has previously told the Justice Department.

The highly-anticipated document released Tuesday by Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee also says one detainee in CIA custody is believed to have died of hypothermia and at lease five were subjected to a practice described as “rectal feeding” or “rectal hydration” during interrogations that human rights activists have described as torture.

While the actual 6,000-page report produced by the Intelligence Committee remains classified, a nearly 500-page executive summary was released Tuesday by the office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat who heads the Intelligence Committee and whose staff spent five years investigating the CIA’s post-9/11 activities.

According to a breakdown of the summary’s findings posted on Mrs. Feinstein’s website, “there are records to indicate that the CIA may have used the waterboard technique on more than the three detainees the CIA had previously identified.”

“The committee uncovered a photograph of a waterboard with buckets of water around it at a dention site where the CIA has claimed it never subjected a detainee to a waterboard,” the breakdown states.

President Obama in 2009 banned the use of such “enhanced interrogation techniques” as waterboarding — a process that involves pouring water over a cloth covering the nose and mouth of a detainee to create the sensation of drowing.

The executive summary released by Democrats on Tuesday is the most comprehensive public accounting to date of the agency’s use of interrogation techniques on terror suspects held at so-called “black sites” in Europe and Asia after 9/11.

It maintains that the CIA misled the White House and Congress about its activities, and that the techniques did not yield valuable intelligence in the war on terrorism.

The CIA fiercely disputes the claim.

The Intelligence Committee document describes repeated “rectal feeding” of detainees despite there being no evidence that the detainees were in any medical need of being given food in that manner.

It also describes the death of a detainee held at a secret site known as “COBALT.”

“In November 2002 a detainee who had been held partially nude and chained to a concrete floor died from suspected hypothermia at the facility,” it states, adding that CIA officials participating in interrogations “placed detainees in ice water ‘baths.’”

Agency officials also “led several detainees to believe they would never be allowed to leave CIA custody alive, suggesting to one detainee that he would only leave in a coffin-shaped box.”

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