Cables Detail CIA Waterboarding at Prison Run by Gina Haspel

New cables released by the CIA show that interrogators carried out waterboarding at a secret prison in Thailand when it was being overseen by Gina Haspel, now the agency’s director. The cables describe the brutal treatment of one man, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, in November 2002. He reportedly pleaded that he was trying to recall more information to tell his interrogators, and, as he cried, the “water treatment was applied.” As the chief of the base, Haspel would have written or authorized the cables, so had to be fully aware of the practices. The missives also describe interrogators shaving Nashiri, locking him in a box, and slamming him against a wall. The heavily redacted documents, obtained via the Freedom of Information Act, suggest that the waterboarding and other brutal treatment produced little or no new intelligence about existing plots or imminent attacks. As she was trying to win confirmation as CIA director earlier this year, Haspel claimed the torture techniques yielded valuable intelligence, but said their use “should not have been undertaken.”