The director of the CIA, John Brennan, has warned President-elect Donald Trump against resuming the use of torture.
Mr Brennan told the BBC, in an interview broadcast this morning, that “the overwhelming majority of CIA officers would not want to get back into” the use of torture such as waterboarding. He added: “Without a doubt the CIA really took some body blows as a result of its experiences.”
President-elect Trump has said he would “bring back waterboarding” and “a hell of a lot worse.” Last week, he told the New York Times that “if [torture] is so important to the American people, I would go for it.” Trump’s choice to succeed John Brennan as CIA chief, Mike Pompeo, has incorrectly suggested that torture is legal.
Abu Zubaydah’s sworn statement provides a chilling, first-person account of how U.S. officials tortured a man they wrongly believed was a top al-Qaida operative.
“I would be strapped to a board by my arms and legs and by my waist (which was very painful because of my wound.)
Guards with black costumes, masks and black goggles strapped me in. My mouth and nose and eyes were covered by a cloth.
The board — and my body — were placed horizontally. My head was immobilized by a board. Someone poured over the cloth, which entered my mouth and nose. I could hear one water bottle empty out by the gurgling noise it made; I hoped that would end the process, then I heard another bottle start to pour.
Water would enter my lungs. I felt like my whole body was filled with water; even my eyes felt like they were drowning. I experienced the panicked sensation of death and my body convulsed in terror and resistance.
“I thought ‘I will die. I will die.’ I lost control of my functions and urinated on myself. At the last possible moment, I instantly vomited water violently but at the same time was still panicked and desperate for air.”