Another damaging leakage of classified information has been released through WikiLeaks: a 138-page transcript regarding the United States’ inhumane torture methods of detainees by the CIA at separate black sites during the post-9/11 period. Though the Senate-passed Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 banned the “usage of cruel, inhuman, or deranged treatment or punishment,” the leakage reveals shocking evidence of such practices being used from 2006 to 2008. “We understood that such torture methods banned under the act were not to be practiced. So we decided to bend and not break the rules, resorting to more nonsensical tactics in order to obtain the information needed,” quoted former CIA Director General Michael V. Hayden.
In 2006, CIA operatives based in Vilnius utilized a torture method dubbed “Live Action” (LA) on thirteen prisoners in an effort to obtain information on the Iraq bombings. LA is comprised of all prisoners having to memorize, choreograph, and stage productions from off-off-Broadway plays, lasting anywhere between two and four hours. One detainee described, on page 58, the productions as “repetitive” and “devoid of art,” while still citing the “complete lack of legitimate virtue that should be present on stage.” While LA was considered “heinous and lacking subtlety,” another torture method consisted of being forced to watch and listen to old ladies chew on macaroni for extended periods of time, with one elderly woman taking as long as 35 minutes to chew one piece of casarecce. “Why would they even chew for that long? It’s completely inefficient, not to mention the fact that the rest of her food is getting cold,” quoted another detainee on page 37 as he watched a woman chew on angel hair for 17 minutes.
Guantanamo Bay, the most famous of the black sites, also engaged in such heinous yet harebrained torture methods. In 2007, they had all 28 detainees write 3-5 page papers every week on one book from the children’s series “The Magic Tree House.” One prisoner was reported to have been acting like an ape after weeks of writing about the series, with the change in personality most likely triggered after finishing his essay on “Good Morning Gorillas.” Besides that, the guards at Guantanamo Bay decided that all matters regarding hygiene, cleanliness, and medical issues were to be handled by cats. Since the cats had no prior medical experience, they would simply use their tongues to lick wounds and clean them. An allergic reaction for an inmate was recorded on page 75, yet the prisoner was again treated not with medications, but with more cats.
Yet such methods were nothing compared to the tactic used at Udon Thani, in which 21 inmates were forced to listen to white, upper-class, American women talk about their days. On page 128, after a detainee listened to one woman talk for around 20 minutes about how “Becky, just like, doesn’t get she likes Charlie more than her,” the prisoner “resorted to blocking out the woman’s speaking by trying to scratch his ears off” while screaming like a boar. In response to new evidence, the United States Congress has called for a revision of the Detainee Treatment Act, whereas any torture regarded as “nonsensical, ridiculous, literary, or just plain rude” would be branded illegal.