Doctor accuses CIA of practicing ‘rectal feeding’ of prisoners

GUANTánAMO BAY, Cuba — For many years, the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of waterboarding and other forms of torture in secret prisons abroad followed the September 11, 2001 attacks. were revealed in government leaks, testimony and a Senate investigation.

But the testimony of an expert this week during pre-trial hearings at Guantánamo Bay offered some of the most vivid details publicly available about the CIA’s covert use of rectal feeding of prisoners, an act of discredit that was kept secret long after other torture methods had been exposed.

doctor Sondra S. Crosbyanother court-approved torture and trauma specialist who testified in the attorneys’ long defense efforts for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. tortured.

She held up a tube designed to be inserted into a patient’s windpipe and said that – according to once secret agency records – CIA prison staff had inserted the same one into Mr. Nashiri’s anus. in May 2004. Then, agency staff used a syringe to inject a protein-rich nutritional milk into his body.

She testified that at Guantánamo Bay in 2013, Mr. Nashiri confided that, years earlier, CIA agents had taken him from his cell, stripped him naked, chained him to his wrists and ankles, and put him on a chair. and liquid injection.

He asks her to never tell him about it again. And he did not attend the trial when she discussed it at length on Thursday.

Dr Crosby testified: “This was a very, very painful and shameful event of discrimination. “He experienced it as a rape, a violent sexual assault.”

Another year will pass before Dr Crosby finds an endorsement of the account. In December 2014, the Obama administration released a 500-page summary of a classified Senate study of the so-called CIA dark web program. It revealed the agency’s practice of using “rectal rehydration” and “rectal feeding” to punish inmates.

At the time, the CIA defended it as a healthy medical procedure. Later, the group Doctors for Human Rights condemned the practice as “Sexual assault masquerading as medical treatment.”

But this week, the agency declined a request to comment on the alleged CIA descriptions in public court. An agency spokesperson also did not respond to Dr. Crosby’s testimony that Mr. Nashiri also told her he was raped with a broom while the CIA kept him in a cell, naked with his wrists. shackled on the head.

The testimony appeared in pre-trial hearings in which the judge, Colonel Lanny J. Acosta Jr., was asked to decide what evidence could be used at his final trial. Nashiri. Nashiri, 58, is accused of orchestrating the October 12, 2000 suicide attack by Al Qaeda on the destroyer USS Cole that killed 17 US sailors while stopping to refuel in the port of Aden, Yemen. .

Defense attorneys argued that the testimony, along with other litigation, would convince the judge to dismiss the testimony the prisoner gave to interrogators in 2007, shortly after he be transferred to Guantanamo for trial – or, alternatively, eliminate the possibility of a death sentence.

Dr. Crosby is an internist in Boston who has evaluated and treated torture victims since the 1990s. She was paid by the Pentagon to advise Mr. Nashiri’s legal defense team. and licensed security.

Dr. Crosby said, to prepare for her testimony, she was given access to CIA documents. She recounts the facts she finds in a clinical fashion.

“They left the tube in there for another 30 minutes ‘to aid absorption in the large intestine,'” Dr Crosby said, dismissing the procedure as bogus. The liquid nutritional supplement “will act like an enema, and it will be thrown out.”

Daniel Joneshead of research for Senate investigationpraised this testimony in line with the findings of his team, which consulted medical professionals and found that rectal feeding or drinking was not care health.

“CIA officials always discuss it as a technique to punish or manipulate detainees – writing that it is done to gain ‘complete control over the detainee,’” he said. ‘ or to help ‘clear one’s mind’. “No medical officer or CIA officer should be held accountable for these actions.”

In court, Dr Crosby held up a 7mm diameter breathing tube that she said resembled the one the CIA used for Mr. Nashiri’s “enteral feeding”. She gives an explanation of how humans process food through the stomach – “it can’t be done” – and then offers a history lesson.

In battlefield situations, paramedics pressed fluid into the rectums of severely wounded soldiers to rehydrate them, she said. But an experiment done on medical students in the 1930s showed that trying to raise people that way was ineffective. “There is no medical benefit to administering any form of nutrition rectally,” she says.

The testimony is the most detailed public accounting of the procedure, from a medical perspective.

In October 2021, prisoner Majid Khan after being released tell your sentencing courtHe claimed that CIA agents used a “green garden hose” connected to a hose to push water into his rectum. His descriptions of what the CIA did to him confused the military jury so much that they urged the Pentagon to grant him clemency.

At a hearing in 2018 in September 11 conspiracy caseA prosecutor read aloud from a CIA cable that describe something similar was made with Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in March 2003, his first month in custody, for having twice refused his interrogator’s order to drink a glass of water.

Mr. Mohammed was taken to another room, “placed on a plastic sheet” and a CIA “medical worker” performed the procedure. “When he was brought back to the interrogation room, he then complied and drank water.”


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