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The 10 most disturbing revelations in the CIA torture report

From waterboarding to rectal feeding — the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture tactics sheds truth on a flawed version of history.
A Public Affairs Officer escorts media through the currently closed Camp X-Ray on June 27, 2013 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Joe Raedle/Getty)
A Public Affairs Officer escorts media through the currently closed Camp X-Ray on June 27, 2013 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

1. More than 20% of those detained were wrongfully held.

“Detainees often remained in custody for months after the CIA determined they should not have been detained,” the report said. 

RELATED: Torture report sheds truth on a flawed version of history

2. More detainees than previously thought were probably waterboarded.

It has been known publicly, through reporting and previously released documents, that three detainees were subjected to waterboarding, among them Khaled Sheikh Mohamed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, who was waterboarded at least 183 times. But the committee found new photographic evidence suggesting others may have faced the same abuse as well.

3. Aggressive interrogation tactics were used "immediately, in combination, and nonstop."

Waterboarding and other brutal interrogation tactics, some not revealed before Tuesday, were used on detainees immediately following an arrest. Tactics include: “Sleep deprivation involving keeping detainees awake for up to 180 hours, usually standing or in painful positions, sometimes with their hands shackled above their heads.” Detainees were dragged naked up and down corridors while being beaten.

4. Rectal feeding and hydration were forced on detainees without medical need.   

According to the CIA’s own records, the report found, one detainee’s lunch tray, “consisting of hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts and raisins was 'pureed' and rectally infused.”

5. One detainee likely died because he was exposed to cold temperatures for a long period of time.

A junior officer was in charge of the facility, codenamed COBALT, where the detainee died of hypothermia. CIA officers had very little understanding of how the facility was run or what was going on there. Detainees there were left naked and in total darkness. More than half of all the CIA’s detainees were held at COBALT. 

6. The CIA nearly tortured two of its own informants.

... before realizing who they were.

7. The president didn't know the full extent of methods used until April 2006.

According to the CIA’s own records, Bush expressed discomfort when confronted with the “image of a detainee, chained to the ceiling, clothed in a diaper and forced to go to the bathroom on himself.” Two months after that briefing, the Supreme Court ruled that the protections of the Geneva Conventions applied to all detainees, even those held by the CIA. In September, Bush closed the black sites.     

8. Some of the CIA interrogators had histories of violence.

CIA officers assigned to the interrogation programs had “documented personal and professional problems of a serious nature — including histories of violence and abusive treatment of others.”

9. Roughly 20% more detainees were held in black sites than the 2007 director of the CIA disclosed publicly.

In 2007, Michael Hayden told a roomful of human rights advocates that “fewer than 100 people” had been held at secret sites run by his agency. In fact, 119 people were held in black site facilities around the world. Their identities are revealed for the first time in Tuesday’s report.

And, perhaps the most disturbing revelation of the new report:

10. The use of torture to extract information was ineffective.

At “no time did the CIA’s coercive interrogation techniques lead to the collection of imminent threat intelligence.”

READ MORE: Senate report: Brutal CIA interrogation tactics kept from public