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1993elledemonsofedenton-1Each defendant was tried separately, with Robert Kelly the first to go to trial. Testimony lasted nine months with 12 children providing descriptions of sexual and physical abuse: babies ritualistically killed, victims taken out on boats and thrown overboard, and inappropriate trips in hot air balloons. In April 1992, “Robert Kelly Jr. was convicted of 99 of 100 counts of rape and related crimes against children.” One of the mothers of the 12 children that testified against Kelly stated that she felt “overwhelming relief.” The six other defendants, including Kelly’s wife, faced trials later. The jury believed the children on the witness stand. One juror stated “the children were convincing.” Kelly and his supporters maintained that he was innocent.

Kelly was convicted and sentenced to 12 consecutive life terms in prison. The trial “included 83 prosecution witnesses and 60 defense witnesses.” The children had testified that Kelly had forced them to have different types of sex. The parents testified that the children exhibited abnormal behavior. “Twelve children, between the ages of 4 and 7, testified, and the results of physical and psychological tests of them were presented as evidence.”

‘Innocence Lost’ – The Frontline Series

SOURCE: Text excerpted from Wikipedia Little Rascals Day care sexual abuse trial entry available hereFrontline link courtesy Lew Powell, PBS and staff.

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The CIA’s rendition, interrogation, and detention programs were even more nightmarish than you could imagine.

Interrogations that lasted for days on end. Detainees forced to stand on broken legs, or go 180 hours in a row without sleep. A prison so cold, one suspect essentially froze to death. The Senate Intelligence Committee is finally releasing its review of the CIA’s detention and interrogation programs. And it is brutal.

Here are some of the most gruesome moments of detainee abuse from a summary of the report, obtained by The Daily Beast:

‘Well Worn’ Waterboards

The CIA has previously said that only three detainees were ever waterboarded: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah, and Abd Al Rahim al-Nashiri. But records uncovered by the Senate Intelligence Committee suggest there may have been more than three subjects. The Senate report describes a photograph of a “well worn” waterboard, surrounded by buckets of water, at a detention site where the CIA has claimed it never subjected a detainee to this procedure. In a meeting with the CIA in 2013, the agency was not able to explain the presence of this waterboard.

Near Drowning

Contrary to CIA’s description to the Department of Justice, the Senate report says that the waterboarding was physically harmful, leading to convulsions and vomiting. During one session, detainee Abu Zubaydah became “completely unresponsive with bubbles rising through his open full mouth.” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded at least 183 times, which the Senate report describes as escalating into a “series of near drownings.”

The Dungeon-Like ‘Salt Pit’

Opened in Sept. 2002, this “poorly managed” detention facility was the second site opened by the CIA after the 9/11 attacks. The Senate report refers to it by the pseudonym Cobalt, but details of what happened there indicate that it’s a notorious “black site” in Afghanistan known as the Salt Pit. Although the facility kept few formal records, the committee concluded that untrained CIA operatives conducted unauthorized, unsupervised interrogation there.

A Senate aide who briefed reporters on the condition that he not be identified said that the Cobalt site was run by a junior officer with no relevant experience, and that this person had “issues” in his background that should have disqualified him from working for the CIA at all. The aide didn’t specify what those issues were, but suggested that the CIA should have flagged them. The committee found that some employees at the site lacked proper training and had “histories of violence and mistreatment of others.”

Standing on Broken Legs

In November 2002, a detainee who had been held partially nude and chained to the floor died, apparently from hypothermia. This case appears similar to the that of Gul Rahman, who died of similarly explained causes at an Afghan site known as the “Salt Pit,” also in November 2002. The site was also called “The Dark Prison” by former captives.

The aide said that the Cobalt site was was dark, like a dungeon, and that experts who visited the site said they’d never seen an American prison where people were kept in such conditions. The facility was so dark in some places that guard had to wear head lamps, while other rooms were flooded with bright lights and white noise to disorient detainees.

At the Cobalt facility, the CIA also forced some detainees who had broken feet or legs to stand in stress-inducing positions, despite having earlier pledged that they wouldn’t subject those wounded individuals to treatment that might exacerbate their injuries.

Non-stop Interrogation

Starting with Abu Zubaydah, and following with other detainees, the CIA deployed the harshest techniques from the beginning without trying to first elicit information in an “open, non-threatening manner,” the committee found. The torture continued nearly non-stop, for days or weeks at a time.

The CIA instructed personnel at the site that the interrogation of Zubaydah, who’d been shot during his capture, should take “precedence over his medical care,” the committee found, leading to an infection in a bullet wound incurred during his capture. Zubaydah lost his left eye while in custody. The CIA’s instructions also ran contrary to how it told the Justice Department the prisoner would be treated.

The CIA forced some detainees who had broken feet or legs to stand in stress-inducing positions, despite having earlier pledged that they wouldn’t subject those wounded individuals to treatment that might exacerbate their injuries.

Forced Rectal Feeding and Worse

At least five detainees were subjected to “rectal feeding” or “rectal hydration,” without any documented medical need. “While IV infusion is safe and effective,” one officer wrote, rectal hydration could be used as a form of behavior control.

Others were deprived of sleep, which could involve staying awake for as long as 180 hours—sometimes standing, sometimes with their hands shackled above their heads.

Some detainees were forced to walk around naked, or shackled with their hands above their heads. In other instances, naked detainees were hooded and dragged up and down corridors while subject to physical abuse.

At one facility, detainees were kept in total darkness and shackled in cells with loud noise or music, and only a bucket to use for waste.

Lost Detainees

While the CIA has said publicly that it held about 100 detainees, the committee found that at least 119 people were in the agency’s custody.

“The fact is they lost track and they didn’t really know who they were holding,” the Senate aide said, noting that investigators found emails in which CIA personnel were “surprised” to find some people in their custody. The CIA also determined that at least 26 of its detainees were wrongfully held. Due to the agency’s poor record-keeping, it may never be known precisely how many detainees were held, and how they were treated in custody, the committee found.

No Blockbuster Intelligence

The report will conclude that the CIA’s interrogation techniques never yielded any intelligence about imminent terrorist attacks. Investigators didn’t conclude that no information came from the program at all. Rather, the committee rejects the CIA’s contention that information came from the program that couldn’t have been obtained through other means.

“When you put detainees through these [torture sessions] they will say whatever they can say to get the interrogations to stop,” the Senate aide said.

The Senate Intelligence Committee reviewed 20 cited examples of intelligence “successes” that the CIA identified from the interrogation program and found that there was no relationship between a cited counterterrorism success and the techniques used. Furthermore, the information gleaned during torture sessions merely corroborated information already available to the intelligence community from other sources, including reports, communications intercepts, and information from law-enforcement agencies, the committee found. The CIA had told policymakers and the Department of Justice that the information from torture was unique or “otherwise unavailable.” Such information comes from the “kind of good national-security tradecraft that we rely on to stop terrorist plots at all times,” the Senate aide said.

In developing the enhanced interrogation techniques, the report said, the CIA failed to review the historical use of coercive interrogations. The resulting techniques were described as “discredited coercive interrogation techniques such as those used by torturous regimes during the Cold War to elicit false confessions,” according to the committee. The CIA acknowledged that it never properly reviewed the effectiveness of these techniques, despite the urging of the CIA inspector general, congressional leadership, and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.

Contractors and Shrinks

The CIA relied on two outside contractors who were psychologists with experience at the Air Force’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape school to help develop, run, and assess the interrogation program. Neither had experience as an interrogator, nor any specialized knowledge of al Qaeda, counterterrorism, or relevant linguistic expertise, the committee found. In 2005, these two psychologists formed a company, and following this the CIA outsourced virtually all aspects of the interrogation program to them. The company was paid more than $80 million by the CIA.

Lies to the President

An internal report by the CIA, known as the Panetta Review, found that there were numerous inaccuracies in the way the agency represented the effectiveness of interrogation techniques—and that the CIA misled the president about this. The CIA’s records also contradict the evidence the agency provided of some “thwarted” terrorist attacks and the capture of suspects, which the CIA linked to the use of these enhanced techniques. The Senate’s report also concludes that there were cases in which White House questions were not answered truthfully or completely.

Cover-Ups

In the early days of the program, CIA officials briefed the leadership of the House Intelligence Committee. Few records of that session remain, but Senate investigators found a draft summary of the meeting, written by a CIA lawyers, that notes lawmakers “questioned the legality of these techniques.” But the lawyer deleted that line from the final version of the summary. The Senate investigators found that Jose Rodriguez, once the CIA’s top spy and a fierce defender of the interrogation program, made a note on the draft approving of the deletion: “Short and sweet,” Rodriguez wrote of the newly revised summary that failed to mention lawmakers’ concerns about the legality of the program.

Threats to Mothers

CIA officers threatened to harm detainees’ children, sexually abuse their mothers, and “cut [a detainee’s] mother’s throat.” In addition, several detainees were led to believe they would die in custody, with one told he would leave in a coffin-shaped box.

Detainees wouldn’t see their day in court because “we can never let the world know what I have done to you,” one interrogator said.

Sexual Assault by Interrogators

Officers in the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program included individuals who the committee said, “among other things, had engaged in inappropriate detainee interrogations, had workplace anger management issues, and had reportedly admitted to sexual assault.”

SOURCE: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/12/09/the-most-gruesome-moments-in-the-cia-torture-report.html

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Many of the most shocking scenes recounted in the Senate’s torture report all take place at a location known as ‘Cobalt,’ the ‘Dark Prison,’ the ‘Salt Pit,’ and a ‘dungeon.’

At the CIA’s detention site Cobalt, the lights were never turned on.

The site was blacked out at all times, with curtains and painted exterior windows. It was this location where some of CIA’s the most gruesome detainee abuse occurred, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s review of the CIA’s interrogation programs released Tuesday. Ultimately Cobalt housed, at one point or another, nearly half of the 119 detainees identified by the report.

The CIA detainment and interrogation program can be, in many ways, told through the story of the hellhole the Cobalt site became: brutal techniques, little oversight, and unchecked abuse in the early years after 9/11, in the name of national security.

One of the lead interrogators at Cobalt once said that it was an effective place for interrogations because it is the closest he has seen to a “dungeon.” Detainees who had been through the site, apparently in Afghanistan, called it the ‘Dark Prison,’ while the agency referred to it as the ‘Salt Pit.’

The CIA was alerted of allegations that anal exams at Cobalt were conducted with “excessive force.” An attorney was asked to follow up, but no records indicate what happened next. Agency records said that one of the detainees housed at Cobalt, Mustafa al-Hawsawi, was later diagnosed with chronic hemorrhoids, an anal fissure, and symptomatic rectal prolapse.

Nude prisoners were kept in a central area, and walked around as a form of humiliation. Detainees were hosed down while shackled naked, and placed in rooms with temperatures as low as 59 degrees Fahrenheit. Loud music was played constantly.

In one case a detainee was dragged naked along the dirt floor. Detainee Gul Rahman’s clothes were cut off, and CIA interrogators put a hood on Rahman’s head. They slapped and punched him, and when he fell, dragged him through the dirt. Rahman was later found dead, with hypothermia the suspected cause.

One senior interrogator said that detainees “could go for days or weeks without anyone looking at him,” and that his team found a detainee who had been chained in a standing position for 17 days, “as far as we could determine.”

Some of the detainees at Cobalt “literally looked like a dog that had been kenneled,” the interrogator said, cowering when doors to their cells were opened.

One senior interrogator said that detainees “could go for days or weeks without anyone looking at him,” and that his team found a detainee who had been chained in a standing position for 17 days, “as far as we could determine.”

A senior CIA debriefer told the agency’s Inspector General that she heard stories of detainees at Cobalt hung on days for end with their toes barely touching the ground, choked, being deprived of food, and made the subject of a mock assassination.

Detainees there were subject to sleep deprivation, shackled to bars with their hands above their heads. In fact, four of 20 cells at Cobalt were found to have bars across the cell to allow this.

The mismanagement and abuse at detention site Cobalt can be traced at least in part to a CIA officer identified in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report as ‘CIA Officer 1.’ This officer had no experience in handling prisoners or conducting interrogations, and other CIA officers had questioned whether the officer’s access to classified information should continue due to a “lack of honesty, judgment and maturity.” He continued as a manager of Cobalt until July 2003.

In 2002, CIA Officer 1 ordered that Gul Rahman’s clothing be removed and shackled to the wall such that he could only rest on the concrete floor. The next day, Rahman’s dead body was found, and the resuscitation efforts of a CIA employee proved unfruitful.

The medical officer who conducted the autopsy said the clinical impression for the cause of death was hypothermia, although the report itself said Rahman’s death was undetermined. In March 2003, just four months after Gul Rahman was found dead, a CIA station recommended that CIA Officer 1 receive a $2,500 cash award.

Self-described 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was also kept at Cobalt after his March 2003 in Pakistan. After just a “few minutes” of questioning at Cobalt, he was subject to enhanced interrogation techniques. He was slapped, grabbed in the face, placed in stress positions, placed in standing sleep deprivation, and doused with water.

As a means of obtaining “total control over the detainee,” the then-chief of interrogations said, KSM was subject to rectal rehydration multiple times, without a determination of medical need.

But the enhanced interrogations were not effective with KSM, who appeared in the eyes of the interrogation team to “clam up” after they were used. Adopting a “softer Mr. Rogers’ persona” made KSM more cooperative, according to the team.

A senior CIA official later said that later waterboarding of KSM elsewhere appeared counterproductive, that the CIA had “lost ground” with KSM since this progress at Cobalt, and that the use of waterboarding “may poison the well.”

The public may never receive a full accounting of detainee treatment at Cobalt. Multiple uses of sleep deprivation, prolonged standing, nudity and “rough treatment” were never reported. During the earliest days of Cobalt’s existence, in 2002, there were almost no detailed records of the detentions and interrogations there.

In Dec. 2002, a CIA Renditions Group visited Cobalt asked asked for a review of the interrogation process and conditions, as well as a legal review, which CIA headquarters appears not to have done.

And throughout interviews conducted in 2003 with the Office of Inspector General, top CIA leadership and attorneys acknowledged they had little knowledge of Cobalt operations. Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet said he was “not very familiar” with the detention site, while CIA General Counsel Scott Muller said he was “not very familiar.” In Aug. 2003, Muller said he believed Cobalt was merely a holding facility.

The 2003 CIA Inspector General review also found there were no guidelines for enhanced interrogation techniques at Cobalt and that some interrogators were “left to their own devices” with prisoners.

By late Jan. 2003, Tenet had signed the first formal guidelines for interrogation and confinement. Detention facilities would not necessarily have to keep up with U.S. prison standards.

These guidelines meant that Cobalt met the standard—even though prisoners were kept in total darkness and isolation, with only a bucket for human waste and without sufficient heat in winter months. Indeed, a review conducted of operations at Cobalt between Jan. and April of 2003 concluded that the detention site satisfied Tenet’s 2003 guidelines.

Federal Bureau of Prisons staff said they were “wow’ed” by the facility because of the level of sensory deprivation and the starkness of the cells. “‘There is nothing like this in the Federal Bureau of Prisons,’” a CIA officer said, describing the officials’ reaction. “It was their collective assessment that in spite of all this sensory deprivation, the detainees were not being treated in humanely [sic].”

The CIA authorized more than $200,000 for the construction of Cobalt in June 2002, and the site began housing detainees in Sept. 2002. Although there were initially plans for a foreign country—likely the Afghan government—to operate the site, it was overseen by the CIA from the start.

Ridha al-Najjar was the first to be held at detention site Cobalt. He had been left hanging, by handcuffs and not allowed to lower his arms for 22 hours each day for two consecutive days. He was kept in total darkness, kept cold, had music blasted at him and was shackled and hooded. The CIA inspector general would later say that al-Najjar “became the model” for treatment of CIA detainees at Cobalt.

Cobalt also played a role in the detention of Arsala Khan, a detainee who the CIA concluded did not appear to be involved in plans or activities against the United States. The agency concluded that he should be released with a cash payment, but was instead transferred to U.S. military custody and held for an additional four years.

While Cobalt was one central location for American detainee abuse, it was hardly the sole place to feature what lawmakers and the president have called torture. Detainees were described, in graphic detail, being rectally fed against their will. One detainee was bent over for a rectal feeding that involved Ensure, the protein shake. And in perhaps the most graphic detail of the report, a detainee had his lunch—consisting of hummus, pasta, nuts and raisins – pureed and rectally infused.

SOURCE: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/12/09/inside-a-cia-dungeon.html