The Costs and Consequences of Torture


9/11 attacks


The World Trade Center and Pentagon are attacked.

White House

Bush signs MON


Six days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President Bush signed a covert action Memorandum of Notification authorizing the DCI to “undertake operations designed to capture and detain persons who pose a continuing, serious threat of violence or death to U.S. persons and interests or who are planning terrorist activities.” The MON granted the CIA unprecedented authority in deciding whom to detain, the reason for detention, and length of detention. The MON made no reference to interrogation or interrogation techniques (SSCI majority, 11).

NSC debates Geneva


NSC principles debated whether or not the Geneva Convention's protection of prisoners of war ought to apply to detainees in the war on terror (SSCI majority, 20).

Bush issues second MON


President Bush issued a second MON stating that neither al-Qa’ida nor Taliban detainees qualified as prisoners of war under Geneva, and that Common Article 3 of Geneva, requiring humane treatment of individuals in a conflict, did not apply to al-Qa’ida or Taliban detainees (SSCI majority, 20).

Rice delays approval of EITs


NSA Rice asked that the DOJ’s approval of EITs usage on Abu Zubaydah be postponed until the AG issued an opinion. Rice and Deputy NSA Hadley also requested the DOJ delay its approval of the next phase of negotiations until the CIA submitted an explanation of why it believed the EITs would be effective and would not cause lasting damage to AZ (SSCI majority, 34).

Rice approves EITs


NSA Rice informed Deputy DCI McLaughlin that in light of AG Ashcroft's approval of EITs and with the threat of lost American lives, she would not object to the use of EITs (SSCI majority, 37).

Bellinger briefed on AZ


NSC Legal Advisor Bellinger was briefed by CTC Legal on the use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah. Bellinger was told that "the current phase was producing meaningful results." However, by the end of the RDI program and after extensive use of EITs, AZ never produced intelligence on future attacks on the U.S. or operatives tasked with attacks on the U.S. (SSCI majority, 45).

Press secretary avoids “humane”


After CIA General Counsel Muller expressed concerns that the RDI program was not consistent with White House statements on the treatment of detainees, the White House press secretary was advised to avoid using the word “humane treatment” when discussing al-Qa’ida and Taliban detainees (SSCI majority, 116).

CIA misinforms NSC


DCI Tenet and CIA General Counsel Muller met with VP Cheney, NSA Rice, AG Ashcroft, White House Counsel Gonzales, and others to obtain reauthorization for the EIT program. Tenet and Muller inaccurately warned that an end to the program would “result in loss of life, possible extensive” and falsely claimed that 50 percent of CIA intelligence reports on al-Qa’ida came from the program. They also provided inaccurate examples of terrorist attacks that had been avoided due to the program (SSCI majority, 118).

Powell and Rumsfeld briefed


After some debate among the NSC, NSA Rice, and the CIA, Rice decided that Secretary of State Powell and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld should be briefed on the RDI program prior to the recertification of the program (SSCI majority, 119).

ICRC approaches USG about detainees


The ICRC sent a letter saying it had become aware that the USG was holding unacknowledged detainees in several black sites. The letter accused the USG of holding detainees “Incommunicado for extensive periods of time, subjected to unacceptable conditions of internment, to ill treatment and torture, while deprived of any possible recourse,” (SSCI majority, 119).

CIA misinforms Administration


In a meeting with NSA Rice, NSC officials, White House Counsel Gonzales, AG Ashcroft, and the deputy AG, CIA officials sought permission to use EITs, specifically on Janat Gul saying “interrogations have saved American lives,” that more than half of the CIA detainees would not cooperate until they were interrogated using the CIA's EITs, and that “unless CIA interrogators can use a full range of enhanced interrogation methods, it is unlikely that CIA will be able to obtain current threat information from Gul in a timely manner.” This information was inaccurate (SSCI majority, 136).

Rice approves EITs except waterboard on Janat Gul


NSA Rice informed DCI Tenet that all previously approved EITs were permissible to use on Janat Gul with the exception of the waterboard. She requested additional information on the waterboard so the DOJ could assess its legality (SSCI majority, 136).

NSC authorizes EITs, requests DOJ opinion


NSC principles approved the usage of EITs, with the exception of the waterboard, on Janat Gul (SSCI majority, 136). At this meeting, AG Ashcroft stated that the use of EITs described in the 1 August 2002 OLC memorandum, with the exception of the waterboard, would not violate U.S. statutes, treaty obligations, or the Constitution. NSC principles and VP Cheney then asked Ashcroft to prepare a written legal opinion on whether CIA’s EITs violated the 5th and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution (SSCI majority, 414).

CIA briefs Cheney


In a CIA-prepared briefing for VP Cheney on the subject of EITs, the CIA made several inaccurate representations concerning the success of the RDI program. Specifically, the CIA claimed that the use of EITs on Khalid Sheikh Mohammad assisted in the discovery and disruption of the Karachi Plot, a plan to attack U.S. interests in Pakistan. In reality, the plot was thwarted by Pakistani officials acting independently of the CIA, who arrested operatives and confiscated explosives (SSCI majority, 240).

NSC discusses public campaign for RDI


The NSC Principals Committee discusses a public campaign for the CIA's RDI Program. After the meeting, ALEC Station personnel suggested to CTC Legal that scheduled interviews by NBC News with CIA Director Goss and Deputy CTC Director Mudd should not proceed so that “we don't get a head [sic] of ourselves,” (SSCI majority, 403).

White House delays EITs, Goss proceeds


The White House informed the CIA that a meeting of NSC principles was necessary to approve the usage of EITs on Abu Faraj al-Libi, but the travel schedule of a principle member would delay such a meeting. CIA Director Goss told officers to proceed as planned, and if EITs were needed on al-Libi, he would approve them without waiting for the NSC to meet (SSCI majority, 146).

PDB says al-Iraqi lacks info


A draft PDB stated Abu Ja'far al-Iraqi provided “almost no information that could be used to locate former colleagues or disrupt attack plots”—the type of information sought by the CIA, and the CIA's justification for the use of its EITs (SSCI majority, 149).

PDB altered


One of Abu Ja'far al-Iraqi's interrogators wrote pushing for a change in the PDB draft saying, “If we allow the Director to give this PDB, as it is written, to the President, I would imagine the President would say, ‘You asked me to risk my presidency on your interrogations, and now you give me this that implies the interrogations are not working. Why do we bother?’ We think the tone of the PDB should be tweaked. Some of the conclusions, based on our experts’ observations, should be amended. The glass is half full, not half empty, and is getting more full every day” (SSCI majority, 149).

CIA briefs president for first time


The CIA briefed President Bush on the ‘current status’ of the RDI program and informed him of the CIA’s EITs for the first time. The president expressed concern about the “image of a detainee, chained to the ceiling, clothed in a diaper, and forced to go to the bathroom on himself,” (SSCI majority, 158).

Bush acknowledges existence of RDI


President Bush made a public speech admitting the U.S. had held al-Qa’ida operatives in secret detention, saying the CIA used an “alternative set of procedures” when interrogating detainees. He described the techniques as effective and the information gained significant, which was inaccurate. President Bush also announced the transfer of 14 detainees to GTMO to stay in DOD custody. All other CIA detainees had been transferred to other countries by this time, meaning the CIA had no detainees in its custody at the time of the speech (SSCI majority, 160).

Bush signs Military Commissions Act


In the aftermath of the USSC Hamdan decision, which directly contradicted the OLC’s 22 January 2002 opinion that Common Article 3 did not apply to captured members of al-Qa’ida, the administration concluded the CIA needed new legislation to continue using EITs. The Military Commissions Act addressed issues raised by Hamdam and gave the president the authority to issue an Executive Order detailing permissible conduct under Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. The bill passed the Senate on 28 September 2006, and the House of Representatives the following day, and became law 17 October 2006 (SSCI majority, 161).

Mitchell and Jessen brief Rice


In an effort to gain Secretary Rice's support (see 9 Feb 07 in OLC), the CIA asked CIA contractors James Elmer Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, architects of the interrogation program, to brief Rice on the program. During the briefing, Rice expressed her concern about the use of nudity and a detainee being shackled in the standing position for the purpose of sleep deprivation (SSCI majority, 162).

Rice approves modified interrogation program


After the capture of Muhammad Rahim, Secretary Rice indicated that she would not support the use of nudity as an interrogation technique, but that she would not continue to object to the CIA's proposed interrogation program if it was reduced to six of the EITs listed in the draft OLC memorandum: sleep deprivation, dietary manipulation, facial grasp, facial slap, abdominal slap, and the attention grab (SSCI majority, 163).

Bush issues Executive Order


A classified legal opinion from OLC concluded that the use of the CIA's six EITs proposed for Muhammad Rahim (sleep deprivation, dietary manipulation, facial grasp, facial slap, abdominal slap, and the attention grab) did not violate the Military Commissions act signed by the president. The accompanying unclassified Executive Order was issued the same day (SSCI majority, 159, 163).

Bush vetoes congressional act banning EITs


President Bush vetoed the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 that banned coercive interrogations. In a radio address explaining his decision, the president said “[t]he bill Congress sent me would take away one of the most valuable tools in the war on terror—the CIA program to detain and question key terrorist leaders and operatives.” Addressing the CIA's EITs, President Bush stated that the “main reason” the CIA program “has been effective is that it allows the CIA to use specialized interrogation procedures to question a small number of the most dangerous terrorists under careful supervision.” The president said that the CIA program had a “proven track record,” and that the CIA obtained “critical intelligence” as a result of the EITs. The president then repeated a warning the CIA had given to the White House, saying to “restrict the CIA to [interrogation] methods in the [Army] Field Manual, could cost American lives.” The CIA's representations to the White House regarding the effectiveness and necessity of the EITs were false, therefore rendering the President’s speech inaccurate (SSCI majority, 170).

Obama issues Executive Order


The Executive Order required the CIA to “close as expeditiously as possible any detention facilities that it currently operates and... not operate any such detention facility in the future.” The order also prohibited any U.S. government employee from using interrogation techniques other than those in the Army Field Manual 2-22.3 on Human Intelligence Collector Operations (SSCI majority, 171).


CIA briefs SSCI


CIA officials provided briefing on Abu Zubaydah's interrogation to SSCI Chairman Bob Graham, Vice-Chairman Richard Shelby, and their staff directors. Graham followed the meeting up with repeated requests for more information via e-mail, but the CIA waited until Graham left the SSCI in January 2003 and never replied (SSCI majority, 48-49).

SSCI attempts to investigate CIA


SSCI Vice Chairman Rockefeller began a formal effort to fully investigate the CIA’s RDI program, including the effectiveness and legality of EITs. This effort would not succeed for another four years (SSCI majority, 441).

Congress passes Detainee Treatment Act, RDI suspended


The Detainee Treatment Act prohibited “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment” of detainees and provided “uniform standards” for interrogation. The CIA suspended the RDI program the day the Act was passed (SSCI majority, 151).

CIA admits wrongful detentions


The CIA acknowledged to House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that it had wrongfully detained five individuals. The actual number was 26 wrongfully detained individuals out of the RDI program's 119 detainees (SSCI majority, 15-16).

CIA briefs SSCI on RDI


Hours before President Bush’s public speech acknowledging the existence of CIA secret detention sites and use of EITs, CIA Director Hayden briefed all members of the committee on the RDI program for the first time. Prior to this, only several members of the committee had been briefed (SSCI majority, 446).

SSCI investigates destroyed tapes


The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence began a review of the destruction of videotapes of Abu Zubaydah and ‘Abd al-Rahim as-Nashiri interrogations. The review was prompted by a briefing on the matter that day by CIA Director Hayden to the SSCI. Hayden said operational cables provided “a more than adequate representation of the tapes” and agreed to grant the SSCI limited access to the cables at CIA HQ (SSCI majority, 8).

House passes restrictions on interrogations


The House-Senate conference for the Fiscal Year 2008 Intelligence Authorization Act voted to include an amendment that banned coercive interrogation techniques and established the Army Field Manual on Human Intelligence Collector Operations as the interrogation standard for all U.S. government interrogations. The bill was passed the House and sent to the Senate (SSCI majority, 170).

Senate passes restrictions on interrogations


The Senate voted to passed the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, with the House having passed it several days earlier. The act limited CIA interrogations to techniques authorized by the Army Field Manual, which excludes coercive techniques (SSCI majority, 452).

House fails to override veto


After President Bush vetoed the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 banning coercive interrogations, the House of Representatives failed to override the veto by a vote of 225-188 (SSCI majority, 170).

SSCI approves study of RDI program


In a vote of 14 to 1, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence approved Terms of Reference for a study of the CIA’s RDI program (SSCI, 8).


Tenet delegates RDI program


DCI Tenet delegated management and oversight of the rendition, detention, and interrogation program to CIA DDO Pavitt and Chief of CIA CTC Black. Tenet then instructed that all orders for capture and detention be recorded in writing (SSCI majority, 13).

CIA HQ determines prison standards


CIA HQ decided that any future CIA detention facility would have to meet U.S. prison standards and that CIA RDI program should “meet the requirements of U.S. law and federal rules of criminal procedure,” (SSCI majority, 12).

OGC drafts legal defense of torture


Attorneys in the CIA’s Office of General Council released a draft legal memorandum outlining a potential “novel” legal defense for CIA officers who engage in torture in spite of the criminal prohibition on torture. The memorandum stated that the “CIA could argue that the torture was necessary to prevent imminent, significant, physical harm to persons, where there is no other available means to prevent the harm.” It added that “states may be very unwilling to call the U.S. to task for torture when it resulted in saving thousands of lives,” (SSCI majority, 19).

Pavitt expands MON authorities


DDO Pavitt bypassed the requirements laid down by DCI Tenet on 8 October 2001 to record in writing requests and approvals for detention and interrogation when he issued a cable giving “blanket approval” to CIA officers to “determine [who poses] the requisite ‘continuing serious threat of violence or death to U.S. persons and interests or who are planning terrorist activities,’” as stated in the 17 September 2001 MON (SSCI majority, 13).

CIA argues against Geneva


A CIA attorney wrote that if CIA detainees were to be protected by Geneva there would be “few alternatives to simply asking questions.” The attorney concluded that, if that were the case, “then the optic becomes how legally defensible is a particular act that probably violates the convention, but ultimately saves lives,” (SSCI majority, 20).

CIA expands MON


By this time, CIA HQ had widened the authority granted to it in the 17 September 2001 MON. CIA HQ instructed CIA personnel that it would be acceptable to detain individuals who may not be high-value targets, but who could provide information leading to high-value targets (SSCI majority, 13).

EIT program designed

7/3/2002 - 7/13/2002

CIA officers at CIA HQ held several meetings to discuss the possible use of “novel interrogation techniques” on Abu Zubaydah. It was during these meetings when James Elmer Mitchell, a psychiatrist in the U.S. airforce, proposed a program of learned helplessness achieved by the use of twelve EITs such as cramped confinement, stress positions, sleep deprivation, waterboarding, and mock burial. Mitchell also recommended the CIA enter into a contract with his colleague Bruce Jessen (SSCI majority, 32).

CIA seeks legal approval


CTC Legal and CIA Acting General Counsel Rizzo met with attorneys from the NSC and the DOJ’s OLC, as well as with Michael Chertoff, the head of the DOJ’s Criminal Division, and Daniel Levin, the chief of staff to the FBI director, to provide an overview of the CIA’s proposed interrogation techniques and to ask for a formal, definitive DOJ opinion regarding the lawfulness of employing the specific CIA interrogation techniques against Abu Zubaydah (SSCI majority, 33).

CIA HQ authorizes EITs on AZ


The CIA interrogation team at Detention Site Green in Thailand received formal approval from CIA HQ to use EITs, including the waterboard, on Abu Zubaydah. Only CIA contractors James Elmer Mitchell and Bruce Jessen were to have any contact with AZ (SSCI majority, 40).

CIA HQ authorizes EITs on al-Najjar


The day after the beginning of EITs on Abu Zubaydah, CIA HQ approved the use of EITs on Ridha al-Najjar (SSCI majority, 53).

CIA HQ forces use of EITs on AZ


Despite reports from the CIA interrogation team at Detention Site Green in Thailand that it was unlikely Abu Zubaydah “had actionable new information about current threats to the United States,” and that it was “highly unlikely” that AZ had the information CIA HQ was seeking, CIA HQ still believed AZ was withholding important threat information and instructed interrogators to continue using EITs (SSCI majority, 43).

CIA selectively briefs Bush


Officials at CIA HQ prepared a PDB on Abu Zubaydah saying they believed he was still withholding important threat information despite AZ’s interrogators making the opposite assertion. The PDB said AZ “resisted providing useful information until becoming more cooperative in early August, probably in the hope of improving his living conditions.” There was no mention of EITs (SSCI majority, 47).

CIA conducts first EIT training

11/12/2002 - 11/18/2002

CIA held the first official training of interrogators on EITs. By this time, at least nine detainees had been subjected to EITs by untrained interrogators (SSCI majority, 58, 104).

CTC designates RDG


In the aftermath of Gul Rahman’s death, the CTC formally designated the Renditions and Detentions Group as the entity responsible for the oversight and maintenance of CIA detention and interrogation facilities (SSCI majority, 55).

CIA IG reviews RDI program


In January 2003, CIA IG Helgerson began a formal review of the death of Gul Rahman and a second formal review of the RDI program as a whole (SSCI majority, 57).

Tenet signs guidelines for RDI program


In the aftermath of Gul Rahman’s death and the use of a gun and drill in the interrogations of ‘Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, DCI Tenet signed the first formal interrogation and confinement guidelines for the RDI program. The guidelines required only that a detention facility be able to meet basic health needs. This standard meant conditions in Detention Site Cobalt such as total darkness, isolation, buckets for human waste, and lack of heating were all permissible. The guidelines also listed 12 EITs, including two that had not been evaluated by the OLC, that could be used with prior approval from the director of CTC (SSCI majority, 62-63).

CIA HQ approves techniques without DOJ


CIA HQ approved requests to use water dousing, nudity, abdominal slaps, and dietary manipulation without consulting the DOJ (SSCI majority, 105).

Muller seeks clarification


CIA General Counsel Muller expressed his concern to the NSC, White House staff, and the DOJ that the CIA’s program was not consistent with public statements from the Administration about the humane treatment of detainees. He sought to clarify that the 2 Feb. 2002 MON requiring the U.S. military to treat detainees humanely did not apply to the CIA (SSCI majority, 115).

CIA HQ approves EITs for KSM


CIA HQ approved an interrogation plan for Khalid Sheikh Muhammad at Detention Site Cobalt in Afghanistan. The plan did not require the use of non-coercive techniques before the use of EITs (SSCI majority, 82) (Rendition Project).

CTC Legal interprets MON


CTC Legal sent a cable to CIA Stations and Bases expressing the desire to document most aspects of the RDI program. The cable also made suggestions on who could be detained under the MON, stating, “We are not permitted to detain someone merely upon a suspicion that he or she has valuable information about terrorists or planned acts of terrorism.... Similarly, the mere membership in a particular group, or the mere existence of a particular familial tie, does not necessarily connote that the threshold of ‘continuing, serious threat’ has been satisfied.” (SSCI majority, 13)

CTC Legal allows EITs


CIA CTC Legal decides that the 1 August 2002 OLC opinion provides a legal “safe harbor” for the CIA’s use of EITs (SSCI majority, 116).

Tenet seeks approval from Rice


After the White House made statements suggesting detainees were being treated humanely, DCI Tenet asked for policy reaffirmation for CIA EITs from NSA Rice. While the request was being processed, CIA HQ stopped approving requests from CIA officers to use EITs and standard techniques were used instead. For example, 72 hours of sleep deprivation is defined as “enhanced” so Khallad Bin Attash was deprived of sleep for 70 hours while standing (SSCI majority, 116).

CIA HQ decertifies three officers


In contrast to the majority of the interrogation program, while the CIA was waiting for policy reaffirmation from the NSA, CIA HQ responded to CIA officer infractions in the interrogation program. One officer was decertified for placing a broom handle behind the knees of a detainee in a stress position. There are no official records explaining the decertification of the other two officers (SSCI majority, 117).

OIG completes draft of Special Review


In January 2004, the OIG circulated its Special Review of the CIA’s RDI program. The review pointed out differences between EITs described to the DOJ in 2002 and those actually used, the use of unauthorized techniques, and oversight problems at Detention Site Cobalt. CIA General Counsel Muller and DDO Pavitt were very critical of the draft, saying it was imbalanced and inaccurate (Muller) and that it should have come to the conclusion that EITs were indispensable in preventing attacks to the U.S. and its allies (Pavitt). Pavitt’s claims were later found to be entirely inaccurate (SSCI majority, 123).

CIA transfers 25 detainees, releases five


After the 6 January 2004 letter from the ICRC implying it knew the USG was holding unacknowledged detainees, many of whom the ICRC did not have access to, CIA HQ decided to reduce the number of detainees in CIA custody by transferring 25 detainees to the U.S. military and foreign governments and releasing five (SSCI majority, 119).

CIA doubts source


In March, the former chief of the CIA’s Bin Ladin unit wrote in an email that a CIA source’s reporting on a “pre-election plot” was “vague” and “worthless in terms of actionable intelligence.” He suggested that the information “would be an easy way for al-Qa’ida to test” the loyalty of the source because al-Qa’ida knew that leaked threat reporting “causes panic in Washington.” An ALEC Station officer echoed the former chief’s concerns in a response email. This information would lead to the wrongful capture and torture of Janat Gul (SSCI majority, 135).

CIA disciplines officials over al-Nashiri


The CIA disciplined the officer who used unauthorized techniques against ‘Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, including the use of a gun and drill. The Chief of Base at Detention Site Blue in Poland where the interrogation took place was also disciplined (SSCI majority, 70).

CIA Inspector General report released


In a review of the CIA RDI program covering the period of Sept 2001 to Oct 2003, the CIA Inspector General issued as a key recommendation that DCI should "Brief the President regarding...the use of EITs and the fact that detainees have died" (SSCI majority, 39).

CIA reviews RDI


As requested by the 4 May 2004 OIG Special Review, “Counterterrorism and Interrogation Activities,” two CIA officers began an informal assessment of the CIA’s RDI program. The officers found the program to be “a success, providing unique and valuable intelligence at the tactical level” and that the procedures for handling detainees were “adequate and clear.” They did suggest that the operation of detention sites was not the responsibility or charter of the CIA and should be left to trained and experienced U.S. law enforcement officers. The SSCI report found the CIA’s assessment to be inaccurate and incomplete (SSCI majority, 125).

Tenet formally suspends EITs


DCI Tenet released a formal memorandum of suspension of EITs (SSCI majority, 135).

CIA requests permission for EITs


A CIA attorney wrote to Acting Asst. AG Levin giving biographies of four suspects the CIA hoped to detain, in an attempt to gain DOJ approval of the use of EITs on them. Two of the suspects had not yet been captured, thus their biographies made no reference to the need to use EITs on them based on their willingness or behavior (SSCI majority, 138).

CIA identifies drawbacks of RDI


In a draft presentation to the NSC, the CIA highlighted problems such as the need for regular relocation of detainees, the small pool of host countries, the threat long term detention poses to HVD health, and the complications in prosecution of HVDs if delays continued. The final draft of the presentation one month later identified detainee transfer to DOD or DOJ custody as the preferred endgame (SSCI majority, 143).

CIA information discovered fabricated


In October 2004, it was found that the CIA source who had provided information on the “pre-election” plot that implicated Janat Gul, Sharif al-Masri, and others had fabricated the information. CIA officials expressed doubt of the validity of the source’s information as early as March 2004. Gul was subsequently released (SSCI majority, 135) (Rendition Project).

Goss discusses endgame


Citing troubled relations with host countries and difficulty recruiting additional countries to hold detainees, CIA Director Goss urged the NSC and the president to establish a long-term plan for HVDs held in overseas detention sites. “If a [U.S. government] plan for long-term [detainee] disposition does not emerge soon, the handful of liaison partners who cooperate may ask us to close down our facilities on their territory. Few countries are willing to accept the huge risks associated with hosting a CIA detention site, so shrinkage of the already small pool of willing candidates could force us to curtail our highly successful interrogation and detention program. Fear of public exposure may also prompt previously cooperative liaison partners not to accept custody of detainees we have captured and interrogated,” (SSCI majority, 150).

Goss questions host nations


Talking points prepared for CIA Director Goss for a meeting with the NSC stated it was, “only a matter of time before our remaining handful of current blacksite hosts concludes that [U.S. government] policy on [detainees] lacks direction and... [the blacksite hosts] ask us to depart from their soil.... Continuation of status quo will exacerbate tensions in these very valuable relationships and cause them to withdraw their critical support and cooperation with the [U.S. government],” (SSCI majority, 150).

CTC proposes commission


This “blue ribbon” commission was created to study the CIA's RDI program and its use of EITs. The commission was comprised of two panelists who received briefings and papers from CIA personnel who participated in the RDI program. The first panelist agreed with CIA officers that the program was a success but noted his limited ability to judge effectiveness of interrogation techniques. The second panelist said “there is no objective way to answer the question of efficacy,” (SSCI majority, 127, 128)

Chief of ALEC requests info for press


The chief of ALEC Station asked CTC officers to compile information on the success of the CIA's RDI program in preparation for interviews of CIA officers by Tom Brokaw of NBC News. Deputy CTC Director Mudd highlighted the importance of gaining public support of the program through media. “We either get out and sell, or we get hammered, which has implications beyond the media, congress reads it, cuts our authorities, messes up our budget, we need to make sure the impression of what we do is positive... most of them [CIA personnel] do not know that when the w post/ny times quotes ‘senior intel official,’ it’s us... authorized and directed by opa,” (SSCI majority, 403).

Chief of Base expresses concern


The Chief of Base at Detention Site Black in Romania sent a letter to head of RDG conveying concerns about the detention site and the program in general saying “we have seen clear indications that various Headquarters elements are experiencing mission fatigue vis-a-vis their interaction with the program,” resulting in a “decline in the overall quality and level of experience of deployed personnel,” and a decline in “level and quality of requirements.” He wrote that because of the length of time most of the CIA detainees had been in detention, “[the] detainees have been all but drained of actionable intelligence.” The Chief of Base further commented that “Over the course of the last year the quality of personnel (debriefers and [security protective officers]) has declined significantly. With regard to debriefers, most are mediocre, a handfull [sic] are exceptional and more than a few are basically incompetent....managers seem to be selecting either problem, underperforming officers, new, totally inexperienced officers or whomever seems to be willing and able to deploy at any given time.... The result, quite naturally, is the production of mediocre or, I dare say, useless intelligence....” (SSCI majority, 144).

CIA drafts RDI description for media


CIA attorneys, discussing the use of off-the-record disclosures in the campaign, cautioned against attributing information to the CIA itself. A CIA attorney said that the description draft “makes the [legal] declaration I just wrote about the secrecy of the interrogation program a work of fiction...” CTC Legal urged the CIA leadership to “confront the inconsistency” between CIA court declarations “about how critical it is to keep this information secret” and the CIA “planning to reveal darn near the entire program.” The reference to court declarations alludes to CIA efforts to deny Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for previously acknowledged information (SSCI majority, 405).

CIA discusses rendering al-Libi


CIA discusses possibility of rendering Abu Faraj al-Libi to U.S. custody (SSCI majority, 146) (Rendition Project).

Goss requests EITs on al-Libi


CTC Director Grenier asked CIA Director Goss to send a memorandum to the NSA Hadley and DNI Negroponte, “‘informing them of the CIA's plans to take custody of Abu Faraj al-Libi and to employ interrogation techniques if warranted and medically safe,’” (SSCI majority, 147).

IG recommends legal guidance on EITs


The CIA’s Inspector General recommended the CIA seek legal guidance beyond the two OLC memoranda from 10 May 2005 on whether the CIA’s EITs and conditions of confinement met the standard under Article 16 of the Convention Against Torture. The IG noted that his staff had “found a number of instances of detainee treatment which arguably violate the prohibition on cruel, inhuman, and/or degrading treatment,” (SSCI majority, 145).

CIA negotiates with Washington Post


The CIA learned that Washington Post reporter Dana Priest had information on the CIA’s RDI Program. The CIA then entered into negotiations with Washington Post to prevent it from publishing the information, while immediately requesting the transfer of CIA detainees to DOD custody, which the DOD denied (SSCI majority, 151).

CIA destroys tapes


The CIA destroyed videotapes of interrogations of detainees in the RDI program. The destruction was a reaction to Senator Carl Levin’s calls for an independent commission to investigate U.S. detention policies and allegations of prisoner abuse and resulting CIA fears of the discovery of the tapes (SSCI majority, 444).

Goss proposes changes to criteria


CIA Director Goss proposed future criteria that would require CIA detainees not only meet the standard in the MON, but that they possess information about threats to the citizens of the United States or other nations, and that detention in a CIA facility was appropriate for intelligence exploitation. (SSCI majority, 158).

CIA proposes fewer EITs


A CIA proposal for an interrogation program was created after discussions with NSC principles. The program would involve only seven of the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques: sleep deprivation, nudity, dietary manipulation, facial grasp, facial slap, abdominal slap, and the attention grab, though the proposal for sleep deprivation of up to 180 hours raised concerns among the NSC principals. This proposal was not acted upon at the time (SSCI majority, 156).

CIA names detainees for prosecution


In an attempt to create an end game for the RDI program, the CIA created a list of 11 detainees who would be candidates for U.S. military prosecution. The other detainees in CIA custody were described as having “repatriation options open,” (SSCI majority, 157).

CTC suggests modified standard for EITs


CTC Legal wrote to Acting Asst. AG Bradbury suggesting the new standard for EIT use be “the specific detainee is believed to possess critical intelligence of high value to the United States.” This proposed modification would be an expansion of CIA authorities, because it included the detention and interrogation of an individual with information that “would assist in locating the most senior leadership of al-Qa'ida of [sic] an associated terrorist organization,” even if that detainee was not assessed to have knowledge of, or be directly involved in, imminent terrorist threats. (SSCI majority, 158).

OIG finds CIA personnel satisfactory


The OIG found that officers at CIA detention sites complied with standards and guidelines in carrying out their duties, but that shortages in personnel were an ongoing problem. For example, there were extended periods of time in 2005 when Detention Site Orange in Afghanistan had either one or no debriefers (SSCI majority, 144).

CIA recommends four EITs be discontinued


A panel of CIA interrogators recommended that four CIA EITs—the abdominal slap, cramped confinement, nudity, and the waterboard—be eliminated, but that the remainder of the interrogation techniques be retained. Under this proposal, the CIA would still be authorized to subject detainees to dietary manipulation, sleep deprivation, the facial slap, the facial grasp, the attention grab, walling, stress positions, and water dousing. (SSCI majority, 162).

Rizzo calls ICRC allegations accurate


The ICRC provided the CIA information on the claims made by detainees in a 8 November 2006 meeting with Acting CIA General Counsel Rizzo. Rizzo emailed CIA Director Hayden and other CIA senior leaders the next day saying, “[a]s described to us, albeit in summary form, what the detainees allege actually does not sound that far removed from the reality... the ICRC, for its part, seems to find their stories largely credible, having put much stock in the fact that the story each detainee has told about his transfer, treatment and conditions of confinement was basically consistent, even though they had been incommunicado with each other throughout their detention by us,” (SSCI majority, 160).

OIG issues report


CIA’s OIG issued a report investigating the possible unauthorized use of the waterboard on Mustafa al-Hawsawi at Detention Site Cobalt in Afghanistan. The report stated that water was poured on al-Hawsawi while he was laying on his back on the floor, which in the words of one interrogator, “could easily approximate waterboarding.” The OIG could not corroborate whether al-Hawsawi was strapped to the waterboard during this interrogation and went on to say that al-Hawsawi’s experience was, “the way water dousing was done at Detention Sit Cobalt,” and that the method was developed with assistance from CTC attorneys and the OMS (SSCI majority, 107).

ICRC gives CIA report


The ICRC’s report on detainee treatment concluded that “the ICRC clearly considers that the allegations of the fourteen include descriptions of treatment and interrogation techniques - singly or in combination - that amounted to torture and/or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.” Notwithstanding Rizzo's 9 November 2006 comments, the CIA disagreed with a number of the ICRC's findings and questioned its credibility. The SSCI report found the ICRC report to be largely consistent with the information in CIA records (SSCI majority, 160).

CIA cooperates with author


In an effort to “push back” on Ronald Kessler’s proposed narrative on post-9/11 intelligence and the interrogation of AZ, which a CIA officer claimed gave “undue credit to the FBI for CIA accomplishments,” the CIA cooperated with Kessler on a second book. CTC Legal suggested Kessler be told nothing but “if for policy reasons” they were to proceed, certain information should not be disclosed. CTC Legal went on to say “if we are going to do this,” the CIA could provide information to Kessler that would “undercut the FBI agents,” who it was said had “leaked that they would have gotten everything anyway” from AZ without the use of EITs (SSCI majority, 407).

Rizzo requests DOJ opinion


Acting CIA General Counsel Rizzo informed Acting Asst. AG Bradbury that the CIA was anticipating a “new guest,” and that the CIA would need the signed DOJ opinion allowing the use of EITs on Rahim “in a matter of days,” (SSCI majority, 163)

Hayden requests Executive Order


CIA Director Hayden sent a letter to President Bush formally requesting that the president issue an Executive Order interpreting the Geneva Conventions in a way that would allow the CIA to interrogate Muhammad Rahim with EITs. Rahim was left unquestioned in a cell for a week while the CIA waited for permission to use EITs, despite the CIA describing him as “one of a handful of al-Qa'ida facilitators working directly for Bin Ladin and Zawahiri,” (SSCI majority, 164).

Hayden extends Rahim’s detention amid doubts


Director of the National Clandestine Service Rodriguez disagreed with CIA Director Hayden’s approved extension of Muhammad Rahim’s detention , writing, “I did not sign because I do not concur with extending Rahim's detention for another 60 days. I do not believe the tools in our tool box will allow us to overcome Rahim's resistance techniques. J.A.R.” (SSCI majority, 167).

Hayden misrepresents number of detainees


In a testimony during an open hearing before the SSCI, CIA Director Hayden claimed, “[i]n the life of the CIA detention program we have held fewer than 100 people.” According to the SSCI report, there were 119 in the CIA RDI program (SSCI majority, 14).

RDG reviews Rahim interrogation


The CIA’s RDG review panel attempted to determine why the CIA had been unsuccessful in acquiring useful information from Muhammad Rahim. The summary documents reported that the primary factors contributing to Rahim's lack of cooperation were the interrogation team's lack of knowledge of Rahim, the decision to use EITs immediately after the short “neutral probe” and subsequent isolation period, the lack of clarity about whether the non-coercive techniques described in the Army Field Manual were permitted, the team's inability to confront Rahim with incriminating evidence, and the use of multiple improvised interrogation approaches despite the lack of any indication that these approaches might be effective. The summary documents recommended that future CIA interrogations should incorporate rapport-building techniques, social interaction, loss of predictability, and deception to a greater extent (SSCI majority, 167).


OLC issues memorandum


The OLC released a memorandum advising that the use of ten EITs on Abu Zubaydah would not violate prohibitions against torture in Section 2340A of Title 18 of the United States Code because of AZ’s alleged status in al-Qa’ida, his role in al-Qa’ida plots, his ability to resist interrogation, and his withholding of information on impending terrorist attacks (SSCI majority, 409).

Tenet suspends use of techniques


The OLC informed the CIA that no formal opinion had been delivered on the constitutionality of EITs. DCI Tenet suspended the use of both enhanced and standard interrogation techniques as a result, pending approval of the OLC (SSCI majority, 135).

OLC issues two memoranda


OLC Acting Asst. AG Bradbury issued two memoranda finding the CIA’s EITs did not violate torture statutes. The first analyzed whether the individual use of EITs between 2003 and 2004 was consistent with the criminal prohibition on torture, finding that it was. The second considered the combined use of EITs and found it to not violate the torture statute (SSCI majority, 145).

OLC issues memorandum


The OLC completed its third memorandum assessing U.S. obligations under the Convention Against Torture. The conclusions of the memorandum were largely based on CIA representations of EIT effectiveness, which were almost entirely inaccurate (SSCI majority, 146). The memorandum approved the use of 13 techniques: dietary manipulation, nudity, attention grasp, walling, facial hold, facial slap, abdominal slap, cramped confinement, wall standing, stress positions, water dousing, sleep deprivation of more than 48 hours, and the waterboard (SSCI majority, 421).

OLC withdraws draft memorandum


In the aftermath of the USSC’s decision on Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the OLC withdrew its draft memorandum on the impact of the Detainee Treatment Act on EIT usage (SSCI majority, 159).

OLC says EITs consistent with Geneva


The OLC concluded that the use of seven CIA EITs—sleep deprivation, nudity, dietary manipulation, facial grasp, facial slap, abdominal slap, and the attention grab—were consistent with the requirements of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions and the Military Commissions Act. This draft generated significant disagreement between DOS Legal Advisor Bellinger and Acting Asst. AG Bradbury, resulting in Secretary of State Rice refusing to concur with the proposed Executive Order (SSCI majority, 162).

OLC issues memorandum


After a suggestion from CTC legal to Acting Asst. AG Bradbury that a new standard for the RDI program be implemented that more accurately reflected CIA practices, the OLC changed the standard to allow CIA detention and interrogation to be based on the belief that a detainee had information that could help locate a senior al-Qa’ida member (SSCI majority, 425). In this memorandum, the OLC applied the War Crimes Act, the Detainee Treatment Act, and Common Article 3 to the CIA’s EITs, saying that challenges to the RDI program were resolved by the Military Commissions Act, which left the responsibility for interpreting the meaning and application of Common Article 3 to the President of the United States (SSCI majority, 431).


Yoo intreperts torture statute


In a letter to Acting CIA General Counsel Rizzo, Deputy Asst. AG Yoo advised that the criminal prohibition of torture would not apply to CIA interrogators because of an absence of intent to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (SSCI majority, 34).

Ashcroft verbally approves 10 EITs


AG Ashcroft approved the usage of the attention grasp, facial hold, walling, facial slap, cramped confinement, stress positions, sleep deprivation, use of diapers, and use of insects. However, Abu Zubaydah’s team did not begin AZ’s interrogation at this point, as they were waiting for approval to use the waterboard (SSCI majority, 36).

Ashcroft verbally approves waterboard


AG Ashcroft approved verbally the use of the waterboard for Abu Zubaydah (SSCI majority, 36)

AG reapplies memorandum


AG Ashcroft stated that the legal principles outlined in the 1 August 2002 memorandum that allowed for the use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah could be applied to other CIA detainees (SSCI majority, 411).

DOJ recommends detainee transfer


Pending the USSC’s ruling on Rasul v. Bush, which could grant habeas corpus rights to the five CIA detainees being held in GTMO, the DOJ suggested four of the inmates be transferred to different CIA detention sites. The DOJ decided the fifth detainee did not need to be moved because he had originally been in U.S. military custody, but by April 2004, all five were moved (SSCI majority, 141).

Ashcroft writes EITs constitutional


In a letter to Acting DCI McLaughlin, AG Ashcroft stated that nine interrogation techniques (excepting the waterboard) did not violate the Constitution, any statute, or U.S. treaty obligations, in the context of Janat Gul (SSCI majority, 136).

Habeas petitions at GTMO cause concern


U.S. Solicitor General Clement expressed his concern that if HVDs held in overseas detention sites were transferred to GTMO, they might be entitled to file a habeas petition and gain access to an attorney (SSCI majority, 150).

USSC decides Hamdan v. Rumsfeld


The United States Supreme Court concluded that the military commission convened to try GTMO detainee Salim Hamdan, was inconsistent with statutory requirements and Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. The decision implied that treating a detainee in a manner inconsistent with the requirements of Common Article 3 would constitute a violation of federal criminal law. CIA attorneys noted the decision could have a significant impact on “current CIA interrogation practices.” Their memorandum mentioned that Acting Asst. AG Bradbury had the “preliminary view ... that the opinion ‘calls into real question’ whether CIA could continue its CT interrogation program involving enhanced interrogation techniques,” as the EITs “could be construed as inconsistent with the provisions of Common Article 3 prohibiting ‘outrages upon personal dignity’ and violence to life and person,” (SSCI majority, 159).


CTC requests declination of prosecution


CIA’s CTC Legal drafted a letter to AG Ashcroft requesting the DOJ grant “a formal declination of prosecution, in advance, for any employees of the United States, as well as any other personnel acting on behalf of the United States, who may employ methods in the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah that otherwise might subject those individuals to prosecution.” There is no record showing if this letter was sent (SSCI majority, 33)

DOD distances itself from CIA


After a U.S. military visit to Detention Site Cobalt in Afghanistan, the U.S. military’s legal advisor suggested military personnel not have any part in the interrogation of Ridha al-Najjar because of the legal risks it would entail. The advisor to the military came to this conclusion in light of al-Najjar’s treatment and the concealment of Detention Site Cobalt from the ICRC (SSCI majority, 53).

Arsala Khan wrongfully detained

11/1/2003 - 11/1/2007

Despite a CIA HQ recommendation of release, CIA interrogators at Detention Site Cobalt instead transferred Arsala Khan to U.S. military custody, where he was held for an additional four years. During this time significant intelligence was uncovered, indicating that the source who reported that Khan had aided OBL (prompting Khan's original arrest) had a vendetta against Khan's family. Khan was released in November 2007 (SSCI majority, 110).

DOD pushes CIA for full disclosure


According to an internal CIA email concerning a call made from the DOD to the CIA, the DOD supported the USG’s position that there should be full disclosure of detainees to the ICRC. The DOD did not believe there was not adequate military necessity to warrant non disclosure and that the USG “should not be in the position of causing people to ‘disappear,’” (SSCI majority, 121).

CIA gets detainees from DOD


The CIA and the DOD signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing that the U.S. military transfer two detainees, Ibrahim Jan and Abu Ja'far al-Iraqi, to CIA custody. Both were held by the U.S. military without being registered with the ICRC for over 30 days, pending their transfer to CIA custody. The transfer of al-Iraqi took place notwithstanding DOS concerns that the transfer would be inconsistent with statements made by the secretary of state that U.S. forces in Iraq would remain committed to the law of armed conflict, including the Geneva Conventions (SSCI majority, 148).

Rumsfeld rejects transfer of CIA detainees


Officials at the DOD informed CIA officers that Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld made a formal decision not to accept any of the 28 CIA detainees being held at Detention Sites Violet and Orange in Lithuania and Afghanistan respectively, at U.S. military base on GTMO (SSCI majority, 156).

14 CIA detainees transfered to DOD


Fourteen detainees in the CIA's RDI program were transferred out of CIA custody and into U.S. military custody at GTMO. This transfer took place the day before President Bush's speech acknowledging the RDI program for the first time, meaning at the time of the speech, the CIA was no longer holding detainees. Among the transfers were Abu Zubaydah, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, Abu Faraj al-Libi, Kahled Sheikh Muhammad, Hambali, Mustafa al-Hawsawi, Majid Khan, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. By this time, the information AZ gave before during and after EITs produced 766 intelligence reports. However, none of the information provided concerned attacks on the United States or operatives in the United States, as required by the MON. At this point KSM had provided nearly 15 percent of all CIA intelligence reporting, but a significant amount of his intelligence that the CIA identified as important threat reporting was later discovered to be fabricated (SSCI majority 47, 80, 96, 148) (Rendition Project).

14 CIA detainees meet with ICRC


After 14 CIA detainees were transferred to the U.S. military base at GTMO, they were housed in a separate building from other U.S. military detainees and remained under the operational control of the CIA. In October 2006, the 14 detainees were allowed to meet with the ICRC. They each gave detailed accounts of their time in CIA custody, describing similar stories of detention, treatment, and interrogation (SSCI majority, 160).

Rahim transferred to GTMO


Muhammad Rahim was transferred to what appears to be a foreign government, where he is then transferred to another location. He was then moved back into CIA custody at which point he was rendered to U.S. Military custody at GTMO (Rendition Project) (SSCI majority, 167).


AZ questioned while hospitalized

3/30/2002 - 4/30/2002

The FBI questioned Abu Zubaydah at his hospital bed (presumably in Thailand) as he recovered from injuries sustained during capture. The FBI found AZ to be cooperative (SSCI majority, 24-25).

CIA excludes FBI


In an update to DCI Tenet on interrogation plans for Abu Zubaydah, CIA team at Detention Site Green said they intended to “set the stage” and increase control over AZ. It noted that in concurrence with their strategy and FBI Headquarters, the FBI agents onsite would no longer directly participate in the interview or debriefing sessions. In a message to FBI Headquarters, an FBI special agent wrote that the CIA planed to completely change AZ’s environment and have him interact solely with the CIA’s interrogator, despite progress made and critical information gained using the FBI tactic of rapport building (SSCI majority, 27).

FBI disagrees with CIA techniques


After having been presented with three different interrogation options by CIA personnel at Detention Site Green in Thailand, CIA HQ chose the most coercive option. This option included sensory deprivation and was opposed by the FBI (SSCI majority, 30).

FBI seeks access to KSM


FBI Director Mueller began seeking direct FBI access to Khalid Sheikh Mohammad to better understand threats to U.S. cities. DCI Tenet made personal commitments to Mueller to make KSM more accessible, but CIA CTC formulated a position that wouldn’t allow FBI access to KSM until his transfer to GTMO. While the transfer was anticipated to be in the near future at that point in time, it did not take place until 5 September, 2006 (SSCI majority, 93-94).


Media discovers AZ location


A media organization learned of Abu Zubaydah’s presence at Detention Site Green in Thailand, leading the CIA to explain to the organization the security threats that would arise from the release of this information. The CIA convinced the media organization not to release the intelligence (SSCI majority, 24).

Newspaper discovers AZ location


The CIA learned that a U.S. newspaper had come to know of Abu Zubaydah’s detainment at Detention Site Green in Thailand. Senior CIA officials and VP Cheney urged the newspaper to not publish the information and it did not (SSCI majority, 24).

Book published with classified info


No investigation was opened on The CIA at War, despite the inclusion of classified information, because “the book contained no first time disclosures,” and because the “OPA provided assistance with the book.” Senior Deputy General Counsel Rizzo wrote that the CIA made that determination because the CIA's cooperation with author Ronald Kessler had been “blessed” by the CIA director. The book included inaccurate claims about the effectiveness of CIA EITs (SSCI majority, 401).

Abu Ghraib photos released


NY Times publishes classified info


Douglas Jehl published an article in the New York Times containing significant classified information. According to CTC Legal, “part of this article was based on ‘background’ provided by OPA. That, essentially, negates any use in making an unauthorized disclosure [report].” Therefore, the CIA did not open an investigation into this release of classified information. The article contained inaccurate claims about the effectiveness of CIA use of EITs (SSCI majority, 401).

Dateline NBC airs program


Dateline NBC aired a program that included on-the-record quotes from CIA Director Goss and Deputy CTC Director Mudd, as well as quotes from “top American intelligence officials.” The program and Dateline NBC’s associated online articles included classified information about the capture and interrogation of CIA detainees and quoted “senior U.S. intelligence analysts” stating that intelligence obtained from CIA interrogations “approaches or surpasses any other intelligence on the subject of al-Qa’ida and the construction of the network.” Significant pieces of information in the program were inaccurate. There are no CIA records of an investigation done nor a crime report made on the classified information used in the Dateline reporting (SSCI majority, 404).

Washington Post publishes article on black sites


This article resulted in a series of demarches to the United States from several countries. A U.S. representative in one country warned that “if another shoe were to drop” there would be considerable ramifications for U.S. relations with that country on a number of issue dependent upon U.S. credibility in the area of human rights (SSCI majority, 152).

NY Times publishes AZ interrogation


David Johnson’s article in the New York Times described the “sharply contrasting accounts” of the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah. It cited both officials who were “more closely aligned with law enforcement” who said AZ “cooperated with FBI interviewers” and officials who were “closely tied to intelligence agencies” who said AZ “was lying and things were going nowhere.... It was clear he had information about an imminent attack and time was of the essence.” The article also included the CIA representation that AZ was more cooperative after use of EITs-- a claim inconsistence with CIA records. A request for crimes reports on leaked information in this New York Times article and a Time Magazine article on 12 September 2006 was responded to by Senior Deputy General Council Rizzo urging his colleagues to determine whether the leak had come from the CIA's OPA “before we get DOJ or FBI too cranked up on this” (SSCI majority, 404).

NY Times reports on destroyed tapes


The New York Times revealed that the CIA had destroyed interrogation tapes in 2005 (SSCI majority, 451).

Other Countries

Other countries include locations of captures, renditions, or detentions that were not specifically facilitated by the CIA. They include Pakistan, UAE, and Morocco, among others.

AZ captured


Pakistani authorities working with the CIA captured Abu Zubaydah in a raid, during which AZ suffered severe bullet wounds (SSCI majority, 21).

Al-Najjar and Abu Bakr captured


Ridha al-Najjar and Hassan Muhammad Abu Bakr were captured in late May during a raid in Karachi, Pakistan (SSCI majority, 51).

Bin al-Shibh captured


Ramzi bin al-Shibh was captured in Karachi, Pakistan by Pakistani officials (SSCI majority, 75) (Rendition Project).

Bin al-Shibh transferred to Morocco


Ramzi bin al-Shibh was transferred to Morocco (Rendition Project). U.S. officials soon requested he be rendered to U.S. custody because they do not believe the Moroccans are gaining good intelligence from Bin al-Shibh (SSCI majority, 75).

Al-Nashiri captured


'Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri was captured in UAE (SSCI majority, 66).

Gul Rahman captured


Gul Rahman was captured in Pakistan (Rendition Project).

KSM and al-Hawsawi captured

3/1/2003 - 3/5/2003

Khalid Sheikh Muhammad and Mastafa al-Hawsawi were captured in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. KSM was interrogated by CIA officers and Pakistani officials during this time period (SSCI majority, 81) (Rendition Project).

Al-Nashiri transferred six times

6/1/2003 - 9/5/2006

Over these three years, ‘Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri was transferred to five different CIA detention sites before he was transferred to U.S. military custody at GTMO. During this period, Bruce Jessen and another CIA interrogator concluded al-Nashiri provided “essentially no actionable information,” and that “the probability that he has much more to contribute is low,” (SSCI majority, 73).

Janat Gul captured


Janat Gul was captured in a foreign country in mid June. Gul was believed to have information on al-Qa’ida plans to attack the U.S. before the 2004 presidential election (SSCI majority, 135) (Rendition Project).

Sharif al-Masri captured


Sharif al-Masri was captured in Pakistan and remained in Pakistani custody for about one month. Intelligence he provided while in Pakistani custody led to 30 CIA intelligence reports (SSCI majority, 138).

Sharif al-Masri transferred to Egypt


In mid December, Sharif al-Masri was transferred to Egypt where he was interrogated for seven months at intelligence headquarters. He was the transferred to State Security headquarters in Cairo and finally released during the Jan. 2011 uprisings (SSCI majority, 138) (Rendition Project).

Janat Gul transferred to foreign gov


Janat Gul was transferred from Detention Site Black in Romania to foreign government custody (SSCI majority, 135) (Rendition Project).

Al-Libi captured


Abu Faraj al-Libi, al-Qa’ida’s chief of operations, was captured in Pakistan (SSCI majority, 146).

Rahim captured


Muhammad Rahim was captured in Pakistan (SSCI majority, 162)

Black Site Countries

Black site countries hosted CIA detention facilities in their territory. The black site countries are Afghanistan, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Thailand.

Romania agrees to host CIA prison


At an unknown date in 2002, the government of Romania agreed to host a CIA detention site. The CIA station in Romania was given several million dollars to spend in ways that would show Romania "that we deeply appreciate their cooperation and support" for the detention program (SSCI majority, 97).

Bush approves AZ rendition to DS Green


President Bush approved the rendition of Abu Zubaydah from Pakistan to Detention Site Green in Thailand. Detention Site Green was the last dentition site location made known to President Bush as he directed that he not be informed of black site locations so as to avoid accidental disclosure of the information (SSCI majority, 23, 98).

DS Green opens


Detention Site Green in Thailand opens most likely in April or May 2003 (SSCI majority, 23).

Al-Najjar and Abu Bakr rendered to CIA


The exact date and rendition location are unknown, but they were most likely rendered between 1 June and 9 June to Afghanistan to await the construction of Detention Site Orange (SSCI majority, 51) (Rendition Project).

Construction begins on DS Cobalt


CIA HQ approved $200,000 be used to construct Detention Site Cobalt in Afghanistan (SSCI majority, 49).

AZ tortured at DS Green

8/4/2002 - 8/23/2002

During this time period, Abu Zubaydah was tortured on a near 24-hour-per-day basis at Detention Site Green in Thailand. The first session on 4 August was begun after a 47 day isolation period. EITs used on AZ during this time period in various combinations included walling, attention grasps, slapping, facial hold, stress positions, cramped confinement, white noise, and sleep deprivation (SSCI majority, 40).

Interrogators disturbed by EITs on AZ


CIA personnel at Detention Site Green in Thailand reported being disturbed by the interrogation tactics used on Abu Zubaydah during his interrogations. "Today's first session... had a profound effect on all staff members present... it seems the collective opinion that we should not go much further... everyone seems strong for now but if the group has to continue... we cannot guarantee how much longer." A separate email that day reported "Several on the team profoundly affected... some to the point of tears and choking up" (SSCI majority, 44).

DS Cobalt opens


Detention Site Cobalt, constructed with CIA funds, opened outside of Kabul in Afghanistan. At Cobalt, detainees were kept in total darkness with loud music playing constantly. The CIA officer in charge of Cobalt was on his first overseas assignment and had no previous experience or training in handling prisoners or conduction interrogations (SSCI majority, 49). By the time the prison was closed in 2004, it had held 64 detainees (SSCI majority, 61).

Al-Najjar transferred to DS Cobalt


Soon after Detention Site Cobalt was opened in Afghanistan in early September, Ridha al-Najjar was transferred there (SSCI majority, 51).

Bin al-Shibh transferred to Afghanistan


There are conflicting reports on Ramzi bin al-Shibh's whereabouts after his capture but there is significant evidence suggesting he was transferred from Pakistan to a "dark prison" in Afghanistan (SSCI majority, 75) (Rendition Project).

Al-Najjar breaks


After approximately one month of isolation and use of EITs such as loud music, poor food, sleep deprivation, and hooding, interrogators at Detention Site Cobalt described al-Najjar as “clearly a broken man” and “on the verge of a complete breakdown,” (SSCI majority, 53).

Bureau of Prisons visits DS Cobalt


A delegation from the Federal Bureau of Prisons visited Detention Site Cobalt in Afghanistan in November of 2002. The delegation was "wow'd" by the level of sensory deprivation in the prison, but nonetheless reported in a followup meeting with CIA HQ that prisoners were being treated humanely (SSCI majority, 60).

Al-Nashiri rendered to DS Cobalt


‘Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri was rendered from the UAE to CIA custody at Detention Site Cobalt in Afghanistan (SSCI majority, 67) (Rendition Project).

Al-Nashiri transferred to DS Green


‘Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri was transferred from Detention Site Cobalt in Afghanistan to Detention Site Green in Thailand. EITs, including the waterboard, were used on al-Nashiri at Detention Site Green (SSCI majority, 67) (Rendition Project).

Gul Rahman dies at DS Cobalt


Gul Rahman’s body was found in a cell in Detention Site Cobalt. The previous day, the CIA officer in charge of Cobalt had ordered Rahman to be shackled to a wall in a way that forced him to sit on the concrete floor, though he was wearing only a sweatshirt and no pants. An internal CIA review and autopsy assessed that Rahman likely died of hypothermia (SSCI majority, 54).

DS Green closes


In light of two media discoveries of AZ’s presence at Detention Site Green in Thailand, the CIA decided to close Detention Site Green in case the information were to be released (SSCI majority, 24).

Al-Nashiri and AZ transferred to DS Blue


When Detention Site Green in Thailand was closed, ‘Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah were transferred to Detention Site Blue in Poland (SSCI majority, 67).

DS Grey opens


Detention Site Grey, the second of four CIA prisons in Afghanistan, was only in operation for several months in 2003. The exact dates are unknown. During its operation, Detention Site Grey held 8 detainees (SSCI majority, 61).

53 detainees enter RDI program

1/1/2003 - 12/30/2003

53 of the 119 CIA detainees were brought in this year, 17 of which were subject to EITs between January and August 2003. The majority of these 2003 interrogations were done at Detention Site Cobalt in Afghanistan or Detention Site Blue in Poland (SSCI majority, 96).

Gun and drill used in interrogation


A CIA officer was sent by CIA HQ to aid in the interrogation of ‘Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, despite the fact that the officer had not been trained, certified, or approved to use EITs. This CIA officer, with the participation and permission of the Detention Site Blue chief of base, used a pistol and cordless hand drill during the interrogations. Both the officer and chief of base were later disciplined (SSCI majority, 69).

Chief of Interrogations dissents


The CIA’s Chief of Interrogations at Detention Site Blue in Poland reported serious reservations over the continued use of EITs on ‘Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. He added that he would “no longer be associated in any way with the interrogation program due to serious reservation[s] [he had]about the current state of affairs.” In the same email he wrote, "[t]his is a train wreak [sic] waiting to happen and I intend to get the hell off the train before it happens,” (SSCI majority, 71).

Bin al-Shibh rendered to DS Blue


After spending five months detained by a foreign government (most likely Morocco) bin al-Shibh was rendered to CIA custody at Detention Site Blue in Poland (SSCI majority, 75) (Rendition Project).

KSM rendered to DS Cobalt


After his 1 March 2003 capture in Pakistan, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad was rendered to CIA custody at Detention Site Cobalt in Afghanistan. Interrogators at Detention Site Cobalt began using EITs a “few minutes” after the questioning of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad began. EITs used included the facial slap, abdominal slap, facial grab, stress positions, standing sleep deprivation, nudity, water dousing, and rectal rehydration without determination of medical need but rather to illustrate “total control over the detainee” according to the chief of interrogations. (SSCI majority, 82) (Rendition Project).

KSM tortured at DS Blue

3/7/2003 - 3/24/2003

During this period KSM was waterboarded 15 times, along with the use of other EITs (SSCI majority, 93).

KSM transferred to DS Blue


Upon Khalid Sheikh Muhammad’s arrival at Detention Site Blue in Poland, he was stripped and placed in the standing sleep deprivation position. CIA contractors Jessen and Mitchell along with another CIA interrogator used EITs on KSM approximately an hour after his arrival. EITs used included nudity, standing sleep deprivation, the insult grab, the facial slap, the abdominal slap, the kneeling stress position, and walling. Jessen and Mitchell also threatened KSM’s children. CTC Legal asserted these threats were legal so long as they were “conditional,” (SSCI majority, 84-85).

KSM fabricates information


Khalid Sheikh Muhammad fabricated information indicating Jose Padilla and Jaffar al-Tayyar were plotting together. He later explained he “felt some pressure to produce information about operations in the United States in the initial phases of his interrogation,” (SSCI majority, 85).

CIA detains those not covered in MON


The CIA officer in charge of Detention Site Cobalt in Afghanistan said in an email he paid officers in an unknown country (most likely Afghanistan) a few hundred dollars a month to hold detainees who did not meet the MON standard for CIA detention but who he deemed needed to be “kept isolated and held in secret detention,” (SSCI majority, 61).

“Water dousing” used on al-Hawsawi


Two CIA interrogators used the water dousing technique at Detention Site Cobalt in Afghanistan on Mustafa al-Hawsawi. Later, when al-Hawsawi described the experience to another CIA interrogator, the interrogator wrote that the treatment could be “indistinguishable from the waterboard,” (SSCI majority, 106).

Al-Karim tortured at DS Cobalt


At Detention Site Cobalt in Afghanistan, Abd al-Karim underwent standing sleep deprivation for an unspecified amount of time despite a broken foot and CIA HQ’s recommendation that crutches be used and no weight be placed on the for three months (SSCI majority, 112).

Abu Hazim tortured at DS Cobalt

6/3/2003 - 6/5/2003

At Detention Site Cobalt in Afghanistan, Abu Hazim was subjected to standing sleep deprivation for 56 hours despite a broken foot and a CIA regional medical officer recommending on 4 May 2003 that Hazim avoid putting weight on the foot for five weeks (SSCI majority, 112).

KSM retracts information


CIA interrogators at Detention Site Blue in Poland reported that “[KSM] nervously explained to debriefer that he was under ‘enhanced measures’ when he made those claims” about terrorist recruitment in Montana, and “simply told his interrogators what he thought they wanted to hear (SSCI majority, 269).

U.S. ambassador raises concerns


In August 2003, the U.S. ambassador to Romania attempted to contact the State Department to confirm it was aware of the presence of a CIA detention site in Romania. The CIA told the ambassador this was not possible. The ambassador then requested a letter from the NSA describing the authorities of the program and a guarantee that human rights would be respected, along with an explicit order telling the ambassador not to discuss the detention site with the secretary of state. At this point the CIA requested the aid of Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage who called the ambassador (SSCI majority, 97).

Hambali and Lillie captured and rendered


Hambali and Lillie were captured together near Bangkok, Thailand. Both were rendered to the CIA in Afghanistan several days after their capture. In spite of reports that Hambali was cooperative in the interview process without “the use of more intrusive standard interrogation procedures much less the enhanced measures,” interrogators requested and were granted permission to use EITs a month after his transfer to CIA custody (SSCI majority, 108).

DS Black opens


Detention Site Black in Romania opened and detainees began arriving soon after (SSCi majority, 97).

DS Blue closes


In fall 2003, the CIA closed Detention Site Blue in Poland (SSCI majority, 74).

KSM transferred to DS Black


Khalid Sheikh Muhammad was transferred to Detention Site Black in Romania (SSCI majority, 95) (Rendition Project).

Arsala Khan tortured at DS Cobalt


Arsala Khan was subjected to a 56 hour sleep deprivation session and a 21 hour session several days later at Detention Site Cobalt in Afghanistan. During the first session he experienced hallucinations, prompting CIA HQ to send a cable recommending he not be deprived of sleep for more than 56 hours (SSCI majority, 109).

Hambali retracts information


Hambali recanted information he gave while under torture. CIA officers interrogating Hambali wrote about Hambali's “account of how, through statements read to him and constant repetition of questions, he was made aware of what type of answers his questioners wanted. [Hambali] said he merely gave answers that were similar to what was being asked and what he inferred the interrogator or debriefer wanted, and when the pressure subsided or he was told that the information he gave was okay, [Hambali] knew that he had provided the answer that was being sought,” (SSCI majority, 108)

CIA HQ recommends release of Arsala Khan


After a month of extensive use of EITs, the CIA concluded that Arsala Khan “does not appear to be the subject involved in... current plans or activities against U.S. personnel or facilities,” and recommended he be returned to his village with a cash payment (SSCI majority, 110).

CIA completes research on detainees


A cable to CIA HQ from Detention Site Cobalt in Afghanistan reported that, “In the process of this research, we have made the unsettling discovery that we are holding a number of detainees about whom we know very little. The majority of [CIA] detainees in [Country] have not been debriefed for months and, in some cases, for over a year. Many of them appear to us to have no further intelligence value for [the CIA]... In a few cases, there does not appear to be enough evidence to continue incarceration, and, if this is in fact the case, the detainees should be released.” All of these detainees were held in solitary confinement and almost all were later released (SSCI majority, 110).

CIA wrongfully detains al-Masri

1/24/2004 - 5/28/2004

The rendition of Khalid al-Masri was based on CIA ALEC Station officers’ determination by that “al-Masri knows key information that could assist in the capture of other al-Qa'ida operatives that pose a serious threat of violence or death to U.S. persons and interests and who may be planning terrorist activities.” The cable did not state that al-Masri himself posed a serious threat of violence or death, which is the standard required for detention under the September 17, 2001 MON (SSCI majority, 128).

Ghul gives info before EITs used


After Hassan Ghul’s capture in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, he was rendered to Detention Site Cobalt in Afghanistan where he provided information that created 21 intelligence reports. This information was given over two days and without the use of EITs (SSCI majority, 130).

Ghul rendered to DS Black


Hassan Gul was transferred from Detention Site Cobalt in Afghanistan to Detention Site Black in Romania where CIA HQ approved a request from officers there to use EITs on Ghul. Ghul provided no actionable threat information and repeated the same information he gave before EITs were used on him (SSCI majority, 130-133).

Majid Khan tortured

3/1/2004 - 9/4/2006

During this period, Majid Khan engaged in a series of hunger strikes and self-harm, resulting in CIA detention personnel subjecting him to multiple involuntary rectal rehydrations and rectal feedings despite medical staff implementing various other techniques to provide nutrients such as a nasogastric tube and the provision of intravenous fluids and nutrients with which Khan cooperated (SSCI majority, 114) (Rendition Project).

Ambassador raises concerns again


After the Abu Ghraib photos were released, documenting U.S. prisoner abuse in Iraq, the U.S. ambassador to Romania once again sought information on the CIA's RDI program. Again the CIA asked Deputy Secretary Armitage to step in. Armitage made strong remarks about his and the secretary of state's exclusion from the RDI's clearance and coordination process (SSCI majority, 97-98).

DS Orange in Afghanistan opens


Throughout its two year operation, Detention Site Orange held 34 detainees. The opening date of Detention Site Orange was estimated from the tense of the sentence in the SSCI report and the dates listed in footnote 310 (SSCI majority, 63).

Janat Gul rendered


Janat Gul was rendered to CIA custody where he was subjected to EITs at an unknown location, most likely within Afghanistan (SSCI majority, 135) (Rendition Project).

Janat Gul transferred to DS Black


Janat Gul was transferred from Afghanistan to Detention Site Black in Romania where he was held for a year and subjected to EITs which gave him hallucinations (SSCI majority, 135) (Rendition Project).

Sharif al-Masri rendered to CIA


Sharif al-Masri was rendered by Pakistan to the CIA in late September. Intelligence he provided while in Pakistani custody led to 30 CIA intelligence reports, and when he was transferred to CIA custody he pledged to cooperate. He, like Janat Gul, was believed to have information on the 2004 pre-presidential election attack, which would be discovered as fabricated the next month (SSCI majority, 138) (Rendition Project).

DS Violet in Lithuania opens


Detention Site Violet opened some time in early 2005.

Al-Libi rendered to DS Orange


Abu Faraj al-Libi was brought briefly to Detention Site Orange in Afghanistan before being transferred again the next day (SSCI majority, 147) (Rendition Project).

Al-Libi transferred to DS Black


Abu Faraj al-Libi was transferred from Detention Site Orange in Afghanistan to Detention Site Black in Romania (Rendition Project).

Interrogators receive permission for EITs


CIA interrogators at Detention Site Black in Romania receive permission from CIA HQ to use EITs on Abu Faraj al-Libi even though the OLC had not yet released its memorandum with a decision on whether EITs violated the U.S.'s obligations under Geneva (SSCI majority, 147).

Al-Libi is tortured at DS Black

5/28/2005 - 7/8/2005

The use of EITs on Abu Faraj al-Libi came two days prior to the OLC’s release of its third memorandum analyzing whether CIA EITs violated U.S. obligations under the Geneva Convention (SSCI majority, 147).

EITs stopped on al-Libi


The use of EITs on Abu Faraj al-Libi was eventually discontinued because CIA officers stated that they had no intelligence to demonstrate that al-Libi continued to withhold information, and because CIA medical officers expressed concern that additional use of EITs “may come with unacceptable medical or psychological risks.” After the discontinuation of the EITs, the CIA asked al-Libi about OBL facilitator Abu Ahmad al-Kuwaiti for the first time. Al-Libi denied knowledge of al-Kuwaiti (SSCI majority, 148).

KSM transferred to DS Violet


In early October 2005, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad was transferred from Detention Site Black in Romania to most likely Detention Site Violet in Lithuania (SSCI majority, 96) (Rendition Project).

Romania demands detention site closure


Within hours of the publication of the Washington Post article, Romania demanded CIA Detention Site Black in Romania be closed. The CIA transferred detainees from Detention Site Black shortly thereafter (SSCI majority, 153).

KSM retracts information


Khalid Sheikh Muhammad denied he ever asked Majid Khan to recruit Muslim converts or attend Islamic conferences in the United States (SSCI majority, 92).

Al-Iraqi tortured


As the U.S. Senate debated the Detainee Treatment Act banning “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment,” the CIA used EITS on Abu Ja'far al-Iraqi. EITs used included nudity, dietary manipulation, insult slaps, abdominal slaps, attention grasps, facial holds, walling, stress positions, standing sleep deprivation, and water dousing with 44 degree Fahrenheit water for 18 minutes (SSCI majority, 149).

DS Voilet closes


Detention Site Violet in Lithuania closed in March 2006 after CIA officers at DS violet refused to bring detainee Mustafa al-Hawsawi to a local hospital due to fears of recent media reports. Because this violated Lithuania's condition of emergency medical care for detainees, the site was closed (SSCI majority, 154).

KSM transferred to DS Brown


In late March 2006, KSM was moved from Detention Site Violet in Lithuania to Detention Site Brown in Afghanistan where he stayed for six months before he was transferred to GTMO (SSCI majority, 96).

Poland reacts to Bush’s speech


In a cable sent after President Bush’s speech acknowledging the existence of the CIA’s RDI program and secret detention centers, Polish officials were “deeply disappointed” in not having more warning of the President’s speech (SSCI majority, 75) (Rendition Project).

Rahim rendered to DS Brown


Muhammad Rahim was delivered to CIA custody at Detention Site Brown in Afghanistan. CIA interrogators had a single discussion with Rahim after his arrival. During this conversation he declined to provide answers to questions about threats to the United States and the locations of top al-Qa'ida leaders. Based on this interaction, CIA interrogators reported that Rahim was unlikely to be cooperative,” (Rendition Project) (SSCI majority, 163).

CIA resumes use of EITs, tortures Rahim


CIA interrogators “employed interrogation measures of facial slap, abdominal slap, and facial hold, and explained to [Muhammad Rahim] that his assumptions of how he would be treated were wrong.” The interrogators emphasized to Rahim that “his situation was the result of his deception, he would stay in this position until interrogators chose to remove him from it, and he could always correct a previous misstatement.” At this point Rahim threatened to fabricate information (SSCI majority, 159, 164). Ultimately no intelligence reports were gained from Rahim (SSCI majority, 167) (Rendition Project).

CIA temporarily stops torture on Rahim


After the use of EITs was halted, Muhammad Rahim was left in his cell with minimal contact with CIA personnel for approximately six weeks (SSCI majority, 166) (Rendition Project).

CIA interrogators call EITs bearable


Muhammad Rahim's interrogators report to CIA HQ that Rahim had “demonstrated that the physical collective measures available to HVDIs have become predictable and bearable,” (SSCI majority, 166).

Torture resumes on Rahim


Muhammad Rahim is subjected to a 138.5 hour sleep deprivation session and dietary manipulation (SSCI majority, 166).

Questioning of Rahim stops


Interrogation of Muhammad Rahim stops for three weeks as CIA detention site personnel discuss new ways to promote cooperation (SSCI majority, 167).