×

The Strategic Costs of Torture

How “Enhanced Interrogation” Hurt America

The human toll: at Guantánamo Bay, January 2002. REUTERS / STRINGER

It has been more than seven years since U.S. President Barack Obama issued Executive Order 13491, banning the U.S. government’s use of torture. Obama’s directive was a powerful rebuke to the Bush administration, which had, in the years after the 9/11 attacks, authorized the CIA and the U.S. military to use “enhanced interrogation tech­niques” in questioning suspected terrorists. Some detainees were shackled in painful positions, locked in boxes the size of coffins, kept awake for over 100 hours at a time, and forced to inhale water in a process known as water­boarding. Interrogators sometimes went far beyond what Washington had authorized, sodomizing detainees with blunt objects, threatening to sexually abuse their family members, and, on at least one occasion, freezing a suspect to death by chaining him to an ice-cold floor overnight.

By the time Obama came to office, the CIA had apparently abandoned the most

Loading, please wait...

To read the full article

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.

Continue