Former CIA Director Gina Haspel watched as a prisoner was tortured by interrogators at a Thai black site that she ran for the agency in 2002, the New York Times reported on Friday.
As chief of the CIA base in Thailand in late 2002, Haspel personally observed interrogation sessions in which USS Cole bombing suspect Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri was waterboarded, the newspaper outlined, citing testimony from a psychologist who took part in the torture. The doctor, James Mitchell, admitted in a Guantanamo Bay court hearing that he held a cloth over al-Nashiri’s face to direct the flow of water as another interrogator poured.
Al-Nashiri was strapped to a gurney during the torture sessions, and he was pivoted from lying on his back to an upright position to catch his breath between waterboarding pours, Mitchell reportedly testified. The prisoner was described as being nude and sometimes hooded. Interrogators used other coercive techniques, such as confining him in a small box, slapping him, or slamming his head into a burlap-covered wall, the psychologist reportedly said.
Haspel’s knowledge of the controversial interrogation techniques was previously disclosed. In fact, she wrote memos to Washington about what was done to al-Nashiri and what was learned from the interrogations. However, Mitchell’s testimony offered a more detailed peek at her work in Thailand.