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The Washington Independent

The Mysterious Eleventh Torture Technique: Prolonged Diapering?

Last updated: July 31, 2020 | August 24, 2009 | Rhyley Carney
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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.

Rhyley Carney | Rhyley Carney is a New York Times bestselling author, anthology editor, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content designer, and writing teacher/lecturer who has won five Bram Stoker Awards. More than a dozen countries have purchased her novels.

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