The CIA inspector general is now investigating the deaths of three prisoners during CIA interrogations in Iraq and Afghanistan, ABCNEWS has learned.
Two CIA officers and one CIA contract employee are under investigation in the deaths.
One of prisoners was an Iraqi who was in good health when he was turned over to CIA custody on Nov. 4, sources said. According to intelligence sources, 15 minutes after the CIA interrogation of Manadel al-Jamadi began, he was dead, and his body was packed in ice. (Al-Jamadi was not the same prisoner whose ice-packed body appears in a widely published photograph, the sources said.)
A second death under investigation is that of an Iraqi army major general, which also occurred last November, intelligence sources told ABCNEWS. At the time, U.S. officials said the man, identified as Abid Hamid Mowhoush, had died of natural causes.
If the allegations are true, it would represent a huge departure from what had been CIA policy on the use of torture.
"It was absolutely barred," said Bob Baer, a former CIA officer who was one of the first outsiders into Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison last year after the fall of Saddam Hussein. "Not only that, before we went overseas, we were made to read regulations. No torture. You don't participate, you don't do it, you don't watch it."
Interrogation Rules Changed Post 9/11
Baer said the rules changed after the 9/11 attacks.
"It was systematic and the policy has changed since I was in the CIA, and it's changed in the military as well," he said.
The U.S. Army's own report on the abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison found that Army military police "were directed to change procedures" to "set the conditions" for military interrogations.
There is also evidence that changes began in Afghanistan two years ago, when the CIA took the lead role in interrogations away from the FBI.
In one case, a suspected al Qaeda leader reportedly was removed from FBI custody and shipped out of Afghanistan in a coffin-like box.
"He was duct-taped, he was put in flexi cuffs, and he was put essentially in, not a cardboard box, but a plywood box," said Jack Cloonan, a retired FBI agent who is now an ABCNEWS consultant.
Intelligence sources said the man was shipped to Egypt, but died in transit.
One official said the death of the prisoner in Afghanistan, allegedly at the hands of the CIA contract employee, was nothing short of murder.
The CIA said it notified the Department of Justice about all three cases and told members of Congress about the deaths in January.