The following email, including horrific details which you may or may not feel comfortable reading, was forwarded to me by Senior Policy Counsel at the Center for Victims of Torture, Yasmine Taeb. Note that this was sent to Sen. Mark Warner’s Legislative Director, Elizabeth Falcone from Sondra Crosby, MD (Associate Professor of Medicine and Public Health at Boston University). Also note that as of a few minutes ago, there had been zero response to this from Sen. Warner’s office (unless you’re counting Warner’s committee vote this morning to confirm Gina Haspel as CIA Director.
From: Crosby, Sondra
Sent: Monday, May 14, 2018 9:59 PM
Subject: Gina Haspel nomination
Dear Ms. Falcone,
My name is Sondra Crosby and I am a physician based in Boston and a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserves. I am writing in the context of Gina Haspel’s nomination for CIA director, which I strongly urge Senator Warner to oppose.
I have evaluated Mr. Abdal Rahim al-Nashiri, as well as close to 20 other men who were tortured as part of the CIA’s RDI program. I am one of the only health professionals he has ever talked to about his torture, its effects, and his ongoing suffering.
From 2002 to 2006, Mr. al-Nashiri was subjected to the following torture:
- suffocated with water (waterboarding)
- subjected to mock execution with a drill and gun while standing naked and hooded
- anal rape through rectal feeding
- threatened that his mother would be sexually assaulted
- lifted off ground by arms while they were bound behind his back (after which a medical officer opined that shoulders might be dislocated)
Mr. al-Nashiri was subjected to additional torture in the RDI program, some still classified, including both “authorized” and “unauthorized” forms. The CIA program has shattered Mr. Al-Nashiri psychologically, which was the intended purpose of so-called “enhanced interrogation”.
He is irreversibly damaged by torture that was unusually cruel and designed to break him. In my over 20 years of experience treating torture victims from around the world, including Syria, Iraq, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mr. al-Nashiri presents as one of the most severely traumatized individuals I have ever seen.
He suffers from every symptom of PTSD. He experiences flashbacks and suffers chronic nightmares, the content of which, while classified, directly relate to the specific torture inflicted upon him. He experiences flashbacks, which are triggered frequently by reminders of torture.
The suffering and harm Mr. al-Nashiri and others have endured, and continue to endure, is beyond anything I have seen.
In addition, I do not want any of our service members to be tortured by enemies following our example, as Mr. Al-Nashiri was tortured.
For these reasons, I urge Senator Warner to oppose Ms. Haspel, who did not have the courage or leadership to oppose the RDI program.
Thank you and
Sondra Crosby MD
Associate Professor of Medicine and Public Health
This opinion is my own and does not reflect the DoD, USN or USG.