Sexual Assault and Rectal Feedings: The CIA Report’s Messy Details

Interrogation Chief Said Forced Enemas Needed to Demonstrate 'Control'

The CIA torture report summary released today was heavily redacted: one shudders to think what they took out, when one considers the brutality they left in.

The summary shows the CIA carried out some of the most brutal torture imaginable, sexually assaulting detainees and forcing others to stand for long periods of time on broken legs.

Many of the worst abuses weren’t even done specifically for information gathering, as the summary details the practice of punishing detainees who “partially refused liquids” with rectal force-feedings.

The practice, discredited medically for nearly a century, was favored by interrogators on the grounds that it was more painful than the traditional force-feedings or IV feedings, and would scare detainees away from refusing orders.

One unnamed chief interrogator was even quoted in the summary as saying it would make detainees more cooperative afterward, on the grounds that it demonstrated “total control.”

There’s no sign any intelligence was gathered through this torture, and indeed some detainees ended up with significant medical problems as a result.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.