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Engineered Cold Cell 1613 in the Sheriff Cannon Detention Center, Charleston, South Carolina


18 Cold Cell Deaths


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Navy Brig's use of Cold Cell

The Navy Brig, Charleston, South Carolina

Those non-citizen's that were tortured did not fare too well in the US Courts, as every lawsuit dealing with torture was dismissed. For those that were tortured and were US citizens, they did not do well either, all of their suits were dismissed. The US Courts are not open for business when it comes to torture.

One suit in particular was that of Jose Padilla, a US citizen and a confessed Al-Qaida one man sleeper cell that was caught thankfully, but once in custody posed a problem as he could not be sent to Gitmo, being a US citizen, and the last thing they could do is release him into the general population block of a prison, so they locked him by himself in the Navy Brig in Charleston, South Carolina.

The Charleston Navy Brig had a highly secret cell block1 (docs/NavyBrig.pdf) but the secret was revealed that the cell block was both engineered for 'cold cell' and 'hot cell,' in temperature controlled cells. It is called temperature manipulation, in an FBI report2 The brig would alternate between periods of deep cold and high heat. Padilla's lawyers wrote of the extreme pain from the deep cold, which even resulted in nerve damage, to the sweltering heat and stench. The guards turned off the water to his cell toilet, forcing him to defecate on his meal tray just to get it out of the cell.

Jose Padilla filed a civil lawsuit in federal court in Charleston, South Carolina, and his suit was dismissed immediately. He appealed to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia and lost, then filed a petition in the US Supreme Court asking, Whether federal officials responsible for the torture of an American citizen on American soil may be sued for damages under the Constitution. The Supreme Court denied the petition on June 11, 2012.3

Padilla confessed and was sentenced to 17 years in prison. The reason for the short duration was due to the harsh torture conditions he endured in the Navy brig. After outrage, the courts managed to somehow resentence Padilla, this time, for 21 years, the problem again was the harsh conditions in the brig.


Article in the Post and Courier newspaper by Tony Bartelme on 11/23/2003, titled, The Navy's Secret Brig, (internal link: docs/NavyBrig.pdf)

FBI Report:
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: docs/FinalFBIReportFromGitmo.pdf) Citing:

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.

Also, see the FBI page at: fbi.php

Torture Lawsuit Dismissed:
US Supreme Court: Lebron/Padilla v. Rumsfeld, No. 11-1277, asking, Whether federal officials responsible for the torture of an American citizen on American soil may be sued for damages under the Constitution. Petition Denied on June 11, 2012. See SupremeCourt.gov. Copy of petition (internal link: docs/padilla_supremect_appeal.pdf)

PAGE LAST UPDATE: 3/11/2023, 2:13pm ET, by dab
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May 27th 2024 08:23am ET