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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/18/10

Second Taping System Facilitated Zubaydah Experiments

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In a new Truthout article, Jason Leopold reports that the Senate Intelligence Committee is initiating an investigation of the CIA's treatment of Abu Zubaydah.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has launched an investigation into Abu Zubaydah, the "high-value" detainee captured in March 2002 that the Bush administration wrongly claimed was one of the planners of 9/11 and a top al-Qaeda operative, according to several Capitol Hill sources.

In an explosive development, Leopold is also reporting the existence of a second taping system at the CIA's black site in Thailand, where Zubaydah was held:

but five intelligence sources said in interviews conducted over the past month that they were aware of a second taping system that was set up at the black site prison in Thaliand--possibly one they said that was installed by an outside contractor--which captured Zubaydah's torture sessions that were stored on computers and separate hard drives.These sources noted that a similar taping system was also set up at other black site prison facilities and at a secret site at Guantanamo about a year later where interrogations of other high-value prisoners were also recorded.

A CIA spokesman did not return calls for comment about the veracity of the claims that another taping system existed at the time Zubaydah was tortured.

However, the documents released by the CIA Friday, requested "instructions" from agency officials about the "disposition of hard drives and magnetic media" related to the torture sessions.

The existence of this system naturally raises a question about the disposition of the tapes. Were these tapes destroyed along with the others? Or do they, perhaps, still exist?

Leopold's article also continues exploring the nature of the the techniques used upon Zubaydah and whether they were authorized. It also provides further evidence that the CIA was systematically experimenting upon Zubaydah in order to establish parameters for use of the "enhanced interrogation" torture techniques:

Meanwhile, highly placed intelligence sources directly knowledgeable about Zubaydah's torture said some of the interrogation sessions captured on at least 90 videotapes between April and August 2002 showed Zubaydah being subjected to torture methods not approved by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC).

Specifically, these sources said, Zubaydah was subjected to repeated sessions of "water dousing," a method that at the time interrogators used it on Zubaydah was described as spraying him with extremely cold water from a hose while he was naked and shackled by chains attached to a ceiling in the cell he was kept in at the black site prison.

The OLC did not approve the use of water dousing as an interrogation technique until August 2004. Use of the method is believed to have played a part in the November 2002 death of Gul Rahman, a detainee who was held at an Afghanistan prison known as The Salt Pit and died of hypothermia hours after being doused with water and left in a cold prison cell.

Other videotapes showed Zubaydah being subjected to extended hours of sleep deprivation before the interrogation method was approved by OLC, which one current and three former CIA officials said was part of a larger experiment to determine how long a detainee could endure the technique.

Such research violates the ethical foundations that since Nuremberg have regulated human subjects research; it is therefore illegal and unethical. The research component of the" enhanced interrogation" program has so far not been investigated, an omission that should be fixed.

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Stephen Soldz is psychoanalyst, psychologist, public health researcher, and faculty member at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis. He is co-founder of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology and is President of Psychologists for Social Responsibility. He was a psychological consultant on two of (more...)
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