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The FBI's use of Cold Cell Torture

The CIA is not alone in their use of 'cold cell' torture1 or 'induced hypothermia,' because the FBI is a user of cold cell torture as well.

I suspected their use, but had no way to prove it. That was until the FBI's own Inspector General published a report2 in May of 2008 on the FBI's role in the interrogation of detainee's at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

I have footnoted some extracts from the report dealing with the FBI's use of cold cell torture.

One unsavory victim was rushed to the hospital with hypothermia. The mortality rate is 50% at that necessity:

Page 157, Detainee #63 (AI-Qahtani) was subjected to special interrogative techniques and later admitted to the base hospital for hypothermia or low body core temperature.

Stan Cox wrote a good article on this subject, titled, Militarism, Torture ... and Air Conditioning?3 that was published on April 22, 2010.


Please see the CIA page at: cia.php for totality of statement.

In May of 2008 the US Department of Justice, Oversight and Review Division, Office of the Inspector General, published their unclassified, "A Review of the FBI's Involvement in and Observations of Detainee Interrogations in Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan, and Iraq" report.
(internal link: [file is large, 22megs] docs/FinalFBIReportFromGitmo.pdf)

Selected extracts:

Page 180
The same FBI agent told the OIG that approximately two weeks later she encountered another detainee who was shackled to the floor of an interview room. She said the air conditioner had been set to make it very cold in the room and the detainee was shivering. Also, the detainee had urinated in his pants. The MPs advised her that the detainee had been in the room since the previous day with the air conditioner left on the whole time, and that they were told not to bring the detainee food, water, or anything else until the interrogators returned. The agent said the MPs told her that the interrogators were trying to "break down" detainees through the use of temperature manipulation, loud music, and immobility.

Page 157
Detainee #63 (AI-Qahtani) was subjected to special interrogative techniques and later admitted to the base hospital for hypothermia or low body core temperature.

Page XXll
This technique was sometimes used in conjunction with holding detainees in rooms where the temperature was very cold or very hot in order to break the detainees' resolve.

Page 124
He was left alone in a cold room known as "the freezer," where guards would prevent him from sleeping by putting ice or cold water on him or making noise;

Page 184
D. Extreme Temperatures. Approximately 29 agents provided information to the OIG regarding the use of extreme temperatures on detainees at GTMO. Some agents simply observed that most interview rooms were cold. In a few cases however, it appears that detainees were intentionally subjected to extreme temperatures by unknown interrogators in an apparent effort to break the detainees' resolve to resist cooperating. As noted above, several agents reported the use of extreme temperatures in conjunction with prolonged short -shackling.

Page 260
R. Other Findings Concerning Agent Observations Extremely Cold or Hot Room Temperatures. One survey respondent said he observed detainees subjected to extremely cold room temperatures in Iraq, and another said he heard about such an 'incident. 184 The first agent told us that at [redacted] during the first quarter of 2004 he once observed a detainee through the open door of an interrogation room who appeared to be shaking due to the cold. He said he heard the wall air conditioning unit operating in the room and knew that the room could get cold because he had conducted interviews there, but did not know how the detainee [redacted] there. Another agent who worked at [redacted] reported to us that military personnel told him in mid-2004 that cold temperatures were used to place stress on the detainees, but that he never personally saw this done.

184 According to the Church Report, military interrogators used temperature manipulation (both hot and cold) in Iraq prior to May 2004. The technique was used as a prelude to the incentive technique under Field Manual 34-52 (i.e. moving the detainee to a more comfortable environment as an incentive for cooperation). In September 2003, environmental manipulation was explicitly approved under DOD policy as an interrogation technique in Iraq. The October 2003 DOD policy removed this technique from the pre-approved list but authorized its use with prior approval from CJTF -7 Command. Church Report at 268. The May 2004 DOD policy for Iraq stated that henceforth this technique would not be approved under any circumstances. Id. at 270.

Article written by Stan Cox titled, "Militarism, Torture ... and Air Conditioning?," on April 22, 2010. (internal link: docs/ColdTortureGitmo.pdf)

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