The Mysterious Eleventh Torture Technique: Prolonged Diapering?

Monday, August 24, 2009 at 11:29 pm

The 2004 CIA inspector general’s report on torture says clearly that in 2002, the CIA proposed to the Justice Department the use of eleven “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Ten of them got the approval of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel in August 2002 in the infamous Jay Bybee/John Yoo memo declassified by the Obama administration in April: the attention grasp; walling; the facial hold; the facial or insult slap; cramped confinement; insects; wall standing; stress positions; sleep deprivation; the waterboard. But what happened to the eleventh?

The Agency eliminated one proposed technique — [REDACTED] — after learning from DoJ that this could delay the legal review.

But an appendix to the report written by former CIA Director George Tenet gives an indication as to what that eleventh technique was — and says that it’s permissible.

Take a look at Appendix E, Tenet’s January 28, 2003 memorandum on guidelines for both “standard” and “enhanced” interrogations. Tenet’s list of “enhanced” techniques, you’ll notice, number eleven:

These techniques are, [sic] the attention grasp, walling, the facial hold, the facial slap (insult slap), the abdominal slap, cramped confinement, wall standing, stress positions, sleep deprivation beyond 72 hours, the use of diapers for prolonged periods, the use of harmless insects, the water board, and such techniques as may be specifically approved pursuant to paragraph 4 below.

You can see why I bolded the diaper technique. All the others on Tenet’s list were approved by the Office of Legal Counsel in August of 2002. But that diapering technique was never approved by the Justice Department. Tenet considered “the use of diapers for limited periods (generally not to exceed 72 hours)” to be a “standard” technique, as I blogged earlier. But it’s at least conceivable that the Justice Department would have thought reviewing prolonged diapering would have delayed the 2002 review, since the humiliation and health issues of forcing someone to remain in their own filth for over three days raise serious legal issues.

More on this tomorrow.

Update: In the Draft Guidelines issued September 4, 2003 by the CIA’s Office of Medical Services, there’s another list of both “standard” and “enhanced” interrogation techniques. This time, under “enhanced” techniques, there are only ten listed techniques, with all of them being those listed in the original 2002 request to OLC  — though “insects” has been removed, Pharoahonically — except for “prolonged diapering.” Diapering is also listed under “Standard measures,” like in Tenet’s guidelines from earlier that year, and again the difference between its “standard” and “enhanced” application is time: “standard” diapering is “generally for periods not greater than 72 hours,” while “enhanced” diapering has no specified time restrictions.

When did CIA get approval from the Justice Department to do this? In the IG report, the only listed amendment between 2002 and 2004 to the CIA enhanced interrogation regimen comes on July 29, 2003, when Attorney General John Ashcroft “confirmed that DoJ approved of the expanded use of the various EITs, including multiple applications of the waterboard.” There is no reference in that passage of the report to any diapering, prolonged or otherwise, and no redactions that could suggest it. Even if there were, Tenet wrote his guidelines approving the “prolonged diapering” technique seven months before Ashcroft’s legal blessing.

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Comment posted August 25, 2009 @ 8:10 am

Sadly, this will probably be the team name of my team at bar trivia this evening.

Comment posted August 25, 2009 @ 12:14 pm

I do aim for service journalism.

Comment posted August 25, 2009 @ 3:56 pm

Dude, if you look at the Bradbury Memo of 2005 May 30, page 14, ( you will see that he has shoehorned the 'forced diaper shitting' technique under 'Sleep Deprivation' , and claimed that diapering was some sort of side-requirement, owing to the fact that the prisoner could not be 'securely' unshackled while they were being shackled standing for days at a time (and besides it would 'interfere with the technique') of Sleep Deprivation.

He says “You have informed us that diapers are used solely for sanitary and health reasons and not in order to humiliate the detainee.”….

Sometimes I have wondered how people go apeshit about 'is waterboarding torture', but forcing a guy to stand up for days on end while some CIA agent changes his diapers… err.. how is that not torture? Id like to see some talk radio show or author volunteer for that one for charity.

Another question…. who was the guy whose job it was to change the guys diaper? Office of Medical Services?

But like you say…. what was going on with this… did someone try to cover it up or something (or call it something else, like 'Sleep Deprivation') because they knew that it would shock the conscience?

Progressive Nation » Blog Archive » CIA Diapering, as Observed by the Red Cross
Pingback posted August 25, 2009 @ 8:58 pm

[...] the mys­te­ri­ous “pro­longed dia­per­ing” tech­nique for­merly employed by the CIA — pos­si­bly the tech­nique neb­u­lously referred to in the 2004 inspec­tor gen­eral report as … — I turned to the Inter­na­tional Com­mit­tee of the Red Cross’s Feb­ru­ary 2007 report [...]

Comment posted August 26, 2009 @ 12:06 am

Thank you for this, my friend. Sorry that I'm just seeing now.

3arabawy BookMarx 08/26/2009 (p.m.) at 3arabawy
Pingback posted August 26, 2009 @ 5:30 pm

[...] The Washington Independent » The Mysterious Eleventh Torture Technique: Prolonged Diapering? [...]

Comment posted August 27, 2009 @ 4:23 pm

See also digby's addition where she writes:

“But there's another reason they were kept in diapers, at least while in transit, and I suspect at other times as well: forced enemas.

Mr. Kahtani was, for example, forcibly given an enema, officials said, which was used because it was uncomfortable and degrading.

Pentagon spokesmen said the procedure was medically necessary because Mr. Kahtani was dehydrated after an especially difficult interrogation session. Another official, told of the use of the enema, said, however, “I bet they said he was dehydrated,” adding that that was the justification whenever an enema was used as a coercive technique, as it had been on several detainees.

Diapering would likely be part of such a torture technique, I imagine. The American torturers prided themselves on hygiene, after all.

This stuff is actually one of many sick, psychosexual techniques that were used on prisoners under the assumption that “teh ayrabs” were especially a-scared of the dirty dirty.”…

Author of Torture Memos Admits Some Techniques Were Not Approved By DOJ « Mohammed Abbasi
Pingback posted July 15, 2010 @ 5:37 pm

[...] use of blackout goggles is a sensory deprivation technique. Prolonged diapering was at one time included in a list of torture techniques the OLC had approved of in 2002. But it [...]

Jay Bybee Admits CIA Had No Approval for Water Dousing, Diapering « NEWS Gate
Pingback posted July 15, 2010 @ 7:18 pm

[...] first wrote about the prolonged diapering here. I’ve written extensively about how CIA tried to fudge approval for water dousing [...]

Jay Bybee Admits CIA Had No Approval for Water Dousing, Diapering | Emptywheel
Pingback posted July 30, 2010 @ 4:29 pm

[...] first wrote about the prolonged diapering here. I’ve written extensively about how CIA tried to fudge approval for water dousing [...]

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