The Torture Program’s Black Site At GTMO


Dish readers know of the three alleged “suicides” that occurred in a facility at GTMO kept firmly off the books. Scott Horton’s story on the deaths – given the National Magazine Award – has been dismissed by the usual suspects in the military and CIA as preposterous. But given what we have now learned of what happened at other black sites, is it so outrageous to suspect those deaths were actually a result of an experimental torture technique – stuffing prisoners’ throats with rags to induce the same suffocation experienced during waterboarding? At this point, let me just say, I believe nothing that the CIA says that cannot be backed up by its own records. They have long since forfeited any public trust.

The report has some new details on that facility – sometimes known as “Camp No” or “Camp 7”. It confirms for the first time that the camp was indeed run independently by the CIA under its torture program:

The release of 524 pages of the 6,700-page Senate Intelligence Committee report confirms for the first time that the CIA used Guantánamo as a black site — and continued to run the prison that held the alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and 13 other men even as the Pentagon was charged to prosecute them … The report shows that Guantánamo had two of those secret CIA black sites — code named Maroon and Indigo — from September 2003 to April 2004 that held at least five detainees.

And this was kept secret from those supposed to oversee the torture program:

The report suggests all of Congress was kept in the dark about the dark site: “Because the Committee was not informed of the CIA detention site at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, no member of the Committee was aware that the U.S. Supreme Court decision to grant certiorari in the case of Rasul v. Bush, which related to the habeas corpus rights of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, resulted in the transfer of CIA detainees from the CIA detention facility at Guantánamo Bay to other CIA detention facilities.” The CIA’s spokesman, Dean Boyd, also declined to say when — if ever — the agency relinquished control of Guantánamo’s most secretive prison.

Which means to say we do not know if the CIA is still in charge of that facility. This is the facility where paddy wagons came and went, whence screams could be heard during “aggressive questioning”, and whence three corpses are believed to have emerged in June 2006. Another nugget:

A footnote in the Senate report says that in early December 2006, three months after the CIA brought its prisoners back to Cuba, then-Director Michael Hayden visited Guantánamo’s “High-Value Detainee Detention Facility” — something not reflected in the prison’s official list of dignitary visits.

What was he doing there? Why was his visit kept off the official list of visitors?