While President Bush today would not divulge the details of the interrogation techniques that have been used on high-value detainees, such as the 9/11 attacks architect Khalid Sheikh Mohamed, current and former CIA officers had previously described these techniques to ABC News.
The officers told ABC News there was a list of six progressively harsher techniques that were authorized, with the prisoner always handcuffed.
The first — the attention grab, involving the rough shaking of a prisoner.
Second — the attention slap, an open-handed slap to the face.
Third — belly slap, meant to cause temporary pain, but no internal injuries.
Fourth — long-term standing and sleep deprivation, 40 hours at least, described as the most effective technique.
Fifth — the cold room. Prisoners left naked in cells kept in the 50s and frequently doused with cold water.
The CIA sources say the sixth, and harshest, technique was called "water boarding," in which a prisoner’s face was covered with cellophane, and water is poured over it (pictured above) — meant to trigger an unbearable gag reflex.
New rules issued by the Pentagon today prohibit water boarding, though there was no clear acknowledgement that it was permitted previously. CIA officers told ABC News that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed lasted the longest under water boarding, two and a half minutes, before beginning to talk.
The Pentagon today also listed numerous other interrogation methods that will be banned.
–Interrogators may not force a detainee to be naked, perform sexual acts or pose in a sexual manner. –They cannot use hoods or place sacks over a detainee’s head or use duct tape over his eyes. –They cannot beat or electrically shock or burn him or inflict other forms of physical pain, any form of physical pain. –They may not use hypothermia or treatment which will lead to heat injury. –They may not perform mock executions. –They may not deprive detainees of the necessary food, water and medical care. –They may not use dogs in any aspect of interrogations. (Dogs can be used legally by our military police for security, but not as an adjunct part of the interrogation process.)