Diapering, as Observed by the Red Cross

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 10:11 am

In order to learn more about the mysterious “prolonged diapering” technique formerly employed by the CIA — possibly the technique nebulously referred to in the 2004 inspector general report as an eleventh and previously unacknowledged interrogation method — I turned to the International Committee of the Red Cross’s February 2007 report on the treatment of 14 “high-value detainees” once held in secret CIA prisons. There are numerous references to diapering in the report.

On how detainees were transfered from one secret detention facility to another:

The detainee would be made to wear a diaper and dressed in a tracksuit. … The journey times obviously varied considerably and ranged from one hour to over twenty-four to thirty hours. The detainee was not allowed to go to the toilet and if necessary was obliged to urinate or defecate into the diaper.

That would count as a “standard” technique, according to former CIA Director George Tenet’s January 2003 guidance, as “prolonged diapering” lasted longer than three days.

In a section of the report dealing with so-called “stress positions” — forced bodily contortion used not just for inflicting pain but as a sleep deprivation technique — there’s a section about how some detainees were allowed to defecate in a bucket. Not all were that fortunate.

None of them, however, were allowed to clean themselves afterwards. Others were made to wear a garment that resembled a diaper. This was the case for Mr [Walid] Bin Attash in his fourth place of detention. However, he commented that on several occasions the diaper was not replaced so he had to urinate and defecate on himself while shackled in the prolonged stress standing position. Indeed, in addition to Mr Bin Attash, three other detaineesspecified that they had to defecate and urinate on themselves and remain standing in their own bodily fluids. Of these, only Mr [Mohammed Nazir] Bin Lep agreed that his name be transmitted to the authorities.

That would seem the point of the technique: to compel the psychological stress and physical discomfort caused from forcing a person to wallow in his own human waste for extended periods of time. “[T]he general goal of these techniques is a psychological impact, and not some physical effect, with a specific goal of ‘dislocat[ing] his expectations regarding the treatment he believes he will receive…’,” read the CIA medical office’s Sept. 4, 2003 guidelines on “enhanced interrogation” techniques. Now that I think about it, there’s an element of religious coercion to the diapering as well, as observant Muslims cleanse themselves before they pray.

Then again, it appears that while the diapering may have been continuous, the wallowing-in-filth wasn’t. From Bin Attash’s verbatim account as transcribed by the ICRC:

During the standing I was made to wear a diaper. However, on some occasions the diaper was not replaced and so I had to urinate and defecate over myself. I was washed down with cold water everyday.

How long would this go on for? According to the ICRC:

Prolonged stress standing position, naked, held with the arms extended and chained above the head, as alleged by ten of the fourteen, for periods from two or three days continuously, and for up to two or three months intermittently, during which period toilet access was sometimes denied resulting in allegations from four detainees that they had to defecate and urinate over themselves.

My emphasis. The account of the diapering being used in conjunction with standing stress positions is corroborated by the nebulous account of the “hard takedown” procedure in the CIA 2004 inspector general’s report:

According to [REDACTED] the hard takedown was used often in interrogations at [REDACTED] as “part of the atmospherics.” For a time it was the standard procedure for moving a detainee to the sleep deprivation cell. It was done for shock and psychological impact and signaled the transition to another phase of the interrogation. The act of putting a detainee into a diaper can cause abrasions if the detainee struggles because the floor of the facility is concrete.

The diapering appears from the ICRC report not to have been frequent enough to merit its own discussion as a separate technique, but that could be fragmentary information.

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All Spin Zone » Child Rape, Prolonged Diapering, Bush Era Torture Scandals Explode
Pingback posted August 25, 2009 @ 11:17 am

[...] evidently used to cause discomfort and shame in the subjects of the torture. Here are reports at washingtonindependent.com and [...]

Comment posted August 25, 2009 @ 4:54 pm

Think about how ” refined” torture tecniques are. We, down here in Argentina after 30 years following “dirty war”, the most terrifying, cruel, coup d`etat (1976) in our history, are putting militaries and police service men, on CIVIL trials. No longer militaries ca be judged by peers!!!
All these murderers, now abou 70-80 years old are on public trials. Media reports about them, their life imprisonment, for the HEADS. Less, for the ones on service-

You should know by now, after such a long time, that these “monsters” were trained at SCHOOL of AMERICAS, in the USA, Panama….etc.
And who were/ are the ones still asking for JUSTICE, not revenge? MADRES de PLAZA de MAYO, ( mothers who have still, their children MISSING!) Not the least, ABUELAS de PLAZA de MAYO, grandmothers, who are still looking for and recovering their grandchildren, taken away from their own children, in prison, who delivered babies. Babies who do not know their blood family, adopted or sold by militaries, commanding repression, to suppress terrorism. Every procedure is legal, children ( now around 30 years ols) are not forced to have a DNA blood test. But judges allow grandmothers to take possible evidence from hairs, or other samples.
Try to learn something about the FATE of countries ” underdeveloped” ones. Always under the fatal sign of imperial bussiness. Greed is part of the root, in this kind of politics.
And, sorry, but I really think Americans are naive. Should study, read, investigate, some alternative sources of thinking and media. Do not ask This president to solve every one problem.
Stop WARS- Invading countries for business, DO something in favour of our Planet!!!!
Stop Bases in COLOMBIA!!! Restore President Zelaya in HONDURAS. Stop coups in Latin America and anywhere!!!
STOP disrespect for DIFFERENCIES- they make our world worth living!!!!
HELP President Obama – He MAY change Some ways of living. PEACE!!!!

Comment posted August 25, 2009 @ 4:57 pm

The discussion of torture occurs from time to time but this account makes one wonder more and more about the frequency of torture. It seems counter-productive, if nothing else. For a person to have to put up with degradation like this would seem to make them less likely to tell interrogators what information they might possess.
I can also understand that some people who are obsessed with the idea of “power” would use this technique in the hope that the psychological impact would get information that might be considered vital. I would think that a psychological examination of the interrogator would be a necessity a person is allowed to question a prisoner.

Judas Gutenberg
Comment posted August 25, 2009 @ 6:43 pm

Well, if it provided a retroactive justification for the $3 trillion invasion of Iraq, I say it was torture well-inflicted! Someone give the diaperists a Freedom Medal!

Progressive Nation » Blog Archive » CIA Diapering, as Observed by the Red Cross
Pingback posted August 25, 2009 @ 8:59 pm

[...] Arti­cle: Dia­per­ing, as Observed by the Red Cross — Wash­ing­ton Independent Share and [...]

Comment posted August 25, 2009 @ 8:11 pm

The society that allows this to go unpunished is sick. Republicans, every time they open their mouths and support the GOP animals who championed this phase of US history, need punishment.

Comment posted August 26, 2009 @ 12:56 am

sounds like something out of an American reality TV show -

Comment posted August 26, 2009 @ 7:14 am

Muslims cut off girls' clitoris at birth and stone their women for the slightest real or imagined infraction, and torture and murder people for being Christians or Jews. Then when they try to mass murder Americans, liberals wee wee all over themselves when the CIA uses effective interrogation techniques to stop it. This is war. Get over it.

Comment posted August 26, 2009 @ 11:59 am

FGM has N O T H I N G to do with Islam and was practiced in Pharoanic times. This practice was intensely opposed and disliked by the Prophet Mohammed (saws). For the RECORD he gave women full rights over their money, property, marriage, voting that their Jewish and Christian counterparts still do not enjoy today and the only reason they themselves do not enjoy it fully is because of the greed of men. If Muslim women are abused it is not due to their religion, it is due to a LACK of it on their husbands part.

Your ignorance and hatred is palpable and the first obviously feeds the second in heaping mouthfuls.

Ima Guest
Comment posted August 26, 2009 @ 12:26 pm

I like your style. Wanna go 'hike the Appalacian Trail' with me somtime?

Comment posted August 26, 2009 @ 3:03 pm

For a starting point in educating yourself about the “School of the Americas”, read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Hemisphere…
and http://www.soaw.org

Comment posted August 27, 2009 @ 1:35 am


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Judas Gutenberg
Comment posted August 27, 2009 @ 1:56 am

I agree with johnwurts! The muslims have much to teach us about how to run our society. In way it was good that Osama bin Laden brought a little of his culture over here so we could finally toughen up. Certainly we could do with a little more Muslim-style clitoris snipping and a lot less namby-pamby Bill of Rights/Geneva Convention whining. If Jefferson and Washington could foresee what a bunch of wusses we were going to become over Habaeaus Corpus, torture, and the strict interpretation of what it means to be Vice President, they would have said “Screw it, let's just stay British.”

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