22 May 2011

CIA staged mock execution, wielded power drill in interrogations

The CIA staged a mock execution and brandished weapons, including a gun and a power drill, during interrogation sessions with detainees the agency was desperate to persuade to talk, according to a long-secret internal CIA report expected to be released Monday.

The episodes are part of a catalog of alleged abuses -- a 2004 report by the CIA's inspector general -- that has prompted U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. to consider appointing a criminal prosecutor to investigate cases in which the CIA strayed beyond its interrogation authorities. The prisoner confronted with the gun and power drill was identified by current and former U.S. government officials as Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the alleged plotter of the attack on the USS Cole. Nashiri was also one of three prisoners who was subjected to the simulated drowning interrogation method known as water-boarding.
The IG report also describes at least one instance in which the CIA fired a gunshot in a room next door to a detainee in an apparent effort to convince the prisoner that another terrorism suspect had been executed, the official said.

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