By Matt Apuzzo, Sheri Fink and James Risen, The New York Times, published October 9, 2016.
A long and difficult to read article in the NYT details how the beating, sleep deprivation and other torture tactics used by the CIA interrogators on detainees at secret CIA prisons and Guantanamo created lifelong psychological problems. Oddly, the government lawyers and intelligence officers were able to tell themselves that this treatment would not cause any lasting psychological damage. Hard to understand how these people could say or believe that.
Everything from nightmares, terrifying memories and the reliving of the torture plague these individuals even though they have been released to some semblance of their former lives. Not everyone detained were actually guilty of a war crime. There are many victims who were detained because of mistaken identity or insufficient evidence. There were, of course, some who were “hardened terrorists” or foot soldiers who posed little threat. The question becomes one of whether or not anyone deserves to be tortured.
The New York Times discovered that at least half of the 39 people who were subjected to the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” have shown psychiatric problems, including PTDS, paranoia, depression or psychosis.
Read the full article on the psychological impact of torture.