Inside the CIA Torturers' Heads
Post: Higher-ups pushed interrogators for harsher methods than they wanted
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2009 11:40 AM CDT
Protestors demonstrate the use of waterboarding on a volunteer in front of the Justice Department in Washington in this Nov. 5, 2007, file photo.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, file)
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(Newser) – The FBI was already getting information out of a suspected terrorist in a series of relatively friendly interrogations in 2002 when the CIA stepped in, a former US official tells the Washington Post. Agency contract psychologists escalated the techniques to sleep deprivation, extreme cold, and waterboarding, which the FBI interrogators called "borderline torture." Then, CIA higher-ups escalated the process further.

Even after the CIA psychologists considered their suspect to have given up all he knew, CIA headquarters demanded 30 more days of waterboarding. "You've lost your spine," they told the team, which threatened to quit if officials didn't come to Bangkok to observe the process themselves. After watching a single interrogation session, officials immediately called a halt to the process.