Nov. 24, 2005 — -- A can of Ensure is the highlight of Thanksgiving for the dozen or so top al Qaeda terrorists in the CIA's secret overseas prisons.
Besides the repetitive playing of rap music, they have been made to talk by harsh treatment that includes water boarding, in which water is poured over the face to make them think they are drowning.
"The person believes they are being killed, and as such it really amounts to a mock execution," said John Sifton, the Afghanistan researcher at Human Rights Watch.
The inmates rarely see daylight, and the CIA gives them the bare minimum to make sure they do not die in U.S. custody. That includes the cans of Ensure and shots of vitamin B12.
Yet, U.S. officials have little sympathy for the prisoners. Collectively, they have admitted responsibility for the deaths of several thousand innocent civilians.