by Claire Bernish, Activist Post:
A new report from the Guardian says the “CIA took naked photographs of people it sent to its foreign partners for torture.”
These detainees had been part of the CIA’s covert practice of “extraordinary renditions” — the “U.S. government’s global kidnap and secret detention” program. Because the CIA operated the program to avoid scrutiny, exactly how many detainees have been “rendered” remains unclear — as is how many of them were photographed naked by the agency.
Insiders with knowledge of the photographs say the purpose of the pictures was to act as a buffer against potential political and legal fallout from torture perpetrated by the U.S. and its allies. CIA officials claim such documentation would provide evidence of humane treatment while prisoners were in the agency’s custody. But some detainees were rendered to other countries with dubious records of allowing torture — so the premise for such photographs appears questionable, at best.
As the Guardian reports,
Stripping the victims of clothing was considered necessary to document their physical condition while in CIA custody, distinguishing them at that point from what they would subsequently experience in foreign custody – despite the public diplomatic assurances against torture that the US demonstrably collected from countries with a record of torturing detainees.
An unnamed former U.S. official described these photographs to the Guardian as “very gruesome.”
Experts believe the contents of these pictures, taken without consent — which some say evidence “sexual humiliation” — might constitute a war crime. “Is the naked photography a form of sexual assault? Yes. It’s a form of sexual humiliation,” explained the medical director of Physicians for Human Rights, Dr. Vincent Iacopino.
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