Monday, June 22, 2015

The Mystery of the BOP, the CIA and Afghanistan

In November 2002, a team of federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) employees traveled to a secret CIA prison in Afghanistan known interchangeably by its nickname, "The Salt Pit," and its code name, "COBALT," according to a Senate Intelligence Committee report released last year.

The report, which examined the the CIA's detention and interrogation program, describes in detail a visit in which BOP officials saw detainees shackled to walls and stripped naked. The cells holding detainees were kept in total darkness, and there was no interaction between the correction guards and inmates, who were given buckets to dispose their own waste.

The BOP team wasn't just impressed, according to CIA documents cited in the report, they were "wow'ed" and had "never been in a facility where individuals are so sensory deprived."

It was an inspection and apparent vote of approval that raised questions about whether the BOP exceeded its bounds of authority as a domestic agency.

But the BOP says it has no record that it ever happened.


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