This week’s Senate report reveals gruesome and grisly details about the way the CIA used torture after 9/11. While the revelations are sparking outrage and disgust, few people are making the important and disturbing point that the regimented, systemized, and dehumanizing abuse actually included sexual violence and rape.
While organizations like Human Rights Watch and Center for Constitutional Rights have been documenting and even filing suit against the abuses that occurred under CIA watch for over a decade, a Senate report released on Tuesday confirms that the CIA did indeed engage in torture — and lied about it.
The CIA doesn’t call this torture “torture,” opting instead for the euphemism of “enhanced interrogation techniques.” But it’s hard to call the following anything but torture: beating people; “walling” people (which is slamming them against a wall using an improvised “collar,” such as a rolled-up towel); binding them with tape; hanging them from their wrists for days; waterboarding them until they turn blue; making them stand on broken feet or limbs, dragging them naked down hallways; and punching and slapping them.
The CIA also used threats of sexual abuse and actual sexual abuse against detainees. Continue reading “The sexual violence of the CIA torture program”