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16 absolutely outrageous abuses detailed in the CIA torture report

This is a stock photo. What the CIA did was much worse.
This is a stock photo. What the CIA did was much worse.
Dylan Matthews is a senior correspondent and head writer for Vox's Future Perfect section and has worked at Vox since 2014. He is particularly interested in global health and pandemic prevention, anti-poverty efforts, economic policy and theory, and conflicts about the right way to do philanthropy.

Listing every horrifying detail in the Senate Intelligence Committee's summary report on the CIA's torture program would be impossible. There's just too much. To get a sense of the gravity of the abuses, however, here are 16 of the most egregious behaviors detailed by the report.

1. The CIA put hummus in a detainee's rectum

2. Interrogators forced detainees to stand on broken feet

3. CIA interrogators threatened to sexually assault the mother of a detainee

4. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded at least 183 times

5. KSM and Abu Zubaydah nearly drowned to death during some of their torture sessions

6. Abu Zubaydah lost his left eye in CIA custody

7. The CIA conducted torture sessions knowing they'd worsen detainees' injuries

8. Detainees were kept awake for as long as 180 hours — over a week

9. CIA interrogators broke down a detainee until they judged him "clearly a broken man"

10. The interrogations probably killed at least one person

11. The CIA tortured people before they even tried asking them to cooperate

12. CIA interrogators objected to the torture but were told to keep going by senior officials

13. At least 26 out of 119 known detainees were wrongfully held

14. The CIA lied to the White House about the effectiveness of torture

15. The CIA refused to vet participants in the torture program who had admitted to sexual assault

16. They refused to impose disciplinary sanctions on an interrogator involved in a detainee's death

Many thanks to Shane Harris and Tim Mak of the Daily Beast and Mark Mazzetti of the New York Times for pointers to some of these. Be sure to read Andrew Prokop's full explainer on the report.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Abu Zubaydah lost his right eye in custody. He lost his left eye.

Ezra Klein points out the one sentence in the report that proves the program was a national disgrace:

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