CNN reported on Tuesday that the FBI has released documents showing that at least 26 of the agency's employees witnessed aggressive mistreatment and harsh interrogation techniques of prisoners by other government agencies or outside contractors at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
"On several occasions witnesses saw detainees in interrogation rooms chained hand and foot in fetal position to floor with no chair/food/water; most urinated or defecated on selves and were left there 18, 24 hours or more," according to one FBI account that was published by CNN.
Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay (Archive photo: Reuters)
According to the CNN report, one FBI witness saw a detainee "shaking with cold," while another noted a detainee in a sweltering unventilated room was "almost unconscious on a floor with a pile of hair next to him (he had apparently been pulling it out through the night)."
Another witness saw a detainee "with a full beard whose head was wrapped in duct tape," the report said.
CNN quoted from an FBI statement that said an interrogator squatted over the Quran and that a German shepherd dog was ordered to "growl, bark and show his teeth to the prisoner."
Another detainee was draped in an Israeli flag, the statement published by CNN said.
According to the report, the FBI surveyed all 493 FBI personnel who had been assigned to the military prison facility in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and determined no FBI agent or support personnel had participated in any of the controversial practices.
"This thorough internal assessment shows the FBI was not involved in these activities in any way," chief FBI spokesman Richard Kolko was quoted by CNN as saying.
CNN said the FBI released the documents in response to a Freedom of Information request by the American Civil Liberties Union, but stressed that most of the findings had already been reported elsewhere.
"Note these documents have been vetted by both DoD (Department of Defense) and FBI, and that FBI believes this or substantially similar information has already been released in this litigation," the FBI said in a statement.
CNN said other actions FBI personnel reported either witnessing or being told about included sleep deprivation, dressing a detainee as a priest and "baptizing" him and interrupting detainees' attempts to pray by putting fluid on their faces and telling them it was menstrual blood.