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Tipsheet

CIA "Harsh" Interrogation Techniques

Are the harsh interrogation techniques used by the CIA to gain valuable information from terrorists really torture?


1. The Attention Grab: The interrogator forcefully grabs the shirt front of the prisoner and shakes him.

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2. Attention Slap: An open-handed slap aimed at causing pain and triggering fear.


3. The Belly Slap: A hard open-handed slap to the stomach. The aim is to cause pain, but not internal injury. Doctors consulted advised against using a punch, which could cause lasting internal damage.


4. Long Time Standing: This technique is described as among the most effective. Prisoners are forced to stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled to an eye bolt in the floor for more than 40 hours. Exhaustion and sleep deprivation are effective in yielding confessions.


5. The Cold Cell: The prisoner is left to stand naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees. Throughout the time in the cell the prisoner is doused with cold water.


6. Water Boarding: The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.


Belly slapping? Attention slap? Attention grab? Being grabbed forcefully by the shirt and shaken? Sounds more like school yard bullying or pledge week at college fraternities than harsh interrogation or torture.

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