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Please begin with an informative title:

The BBC is publishing a brief glimpse into the conditions of confinement and personality breakdown techniques currently used in our secret prison system.

The information comes from prisoner interviews. This is at a new facility at Bagram in Afghanistan.

"They call it the Black Hole," said Sher Agha who spent six days in the facility last autumn.

"When they released us they told us we should not tell our stories to outsiders because that will harm us."

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The BBC also managed to get a one hour visit to the prison.
 

In the new jail, prisoners were being moved around in wheelchairs with goggles and headphones on.

The goggles were blacked out, and the purpose of the headphones was to block out all sound. Each prisoner was handcuffed and had their legs shackled.

Prisoners are kept in 56 cells, which the prisoners refer to as "cages". The front of the cells are made of mesh, the ceiling is clear, and the other three walls are solid.

Appendix M of the interrogation manual rules out hooding. It's no surprise that goggles and earmuffs or headphones are used instead.
Field Expedient Separation: Limited to 12 hours of initial duration at the initial interrogation site. This limit on duration does not include the time that goggles or blindfolds and earmuffs are used on detainees for security purposes during transit and evacuation.
The BBC states the obvious, "the purpose of the headphones was to block out all sound." The interrogation manual uses "For the purposes of this manual" language and lack of clarity to transform disallowed sensory deprivation into allowed not sensory deprivation.

Sleep deprivation and a noise machine are used. Camera monitoring is used to enforce sleep deprivation:

There was a small camera in my cell, and if you were sleeping they'd come in and disturb you
The interrogation manual rules out "Forcing the detainee to be naked, perform sexual acts, or pose in a sexual manner." Bathroom humiliation, as an ego-down approach, is still in effect.
Mirwais said he was made to dance to music by American soldiers every time he wanted to use the toilet.
Intentional induction of hypothermia is ruled out by the manual. Cold cells are still in effect.
Sher Agha and others we interviewed complained their cells were very cold.

"When I wanted to sleep and started shivering with cold I started reciting the holy Koran,

Beatings are ruled out by the manual. Beatings are still in effect.
Most of them said they had been beaten by American soldiers at the point of arrest before being taken to the prison.

Mirwais had half a row of teeth missing, which he said was from being struck with the butt of a gun by an American soldier.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Garrett on Thu Apr 15, 2010 at 02:20 PM PDT.

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