Public Comment


Tejinder Uberoi
Friday October 21, 2016 - 01:31:00 PM

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, James Risen, and his team at The New York Times conducted an in-depth investigation into the abuse of prisoners by the CIA. Risen and military psychiatrist, Dr. Stephen Xenakis, concluded that the CIA torture methods caused devastating long-term psychological harm. 

At least half of the 39 detainees interviewed experienced serious psychiatric problems including post-traumatic stress disorder, paranoia, depression and psychosis. The torture methods used mimic those used by autocratic regimes that we claim to despise such as severe sleep deprivation, waterboarding, mock executions, sexual violations, dog attacks, confinement in coffin-like boxes, severe beatings and dousing with ice-cold water. These grotesque, sadistic methods were approved at the highest levels of the Justice Department of the Bush administration. The prisoners were captured in a broad sweep at the outset of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Former prisoners complained of excruciating pain. Many had lost the will to live and were prone to suicidal thoughts.  

These gross violations of international law and the Geneva Conventions will continue until there is proper oversight of the CIA. Its brutal activities have intensified rage and fueled anti-American hostility around the world. It has engaged in overthrowing governments around the world with complete impunity (Iran (1953); Guatemala(1954); Laos (1958); Ecuador (1961); Argentina (1963); Honduras (1963 & 2009); Panama (1968); Chile (1973); Bangladesh (1975); Haiti (1991 & 2004), . . . The agency should be disbanded and the funds used for promoting real peace and democracy around the world.