The other day I mentioned James E. Mitchell's book, "Enhanced Interrogation." And in it he listed and described EITs on pages 52 and 53. To wit:
This is a list of the techniques that finally were approved:
Attention grasp. Grasping the detainee with both hands, with one hand on each side of the collar opening, in a controlled and quick motion. In the same motion as the grasp, the detainee is drawn toward the interrogator.
Walling. The detainee is pulled forward and then quickly and firmly pushed into a flexible false wall so that his shoulder blades hit the wall. His head and neck are supported with a rolled towel to prevent whiplash.
Facial hold. The interrogator places an open palm on either side of the detainee's face with the interrogator's fingertips kept well way from the detainee's eyes.
Facial or insult slap. The interrogator's fingers are slightly spread apart, and his hand makes contact with the area between the tip of the detainee's chin and the bottom of the corresponding earlobe.
Cramped confinement. The detainee is placed in a confined space, typically a small or large box, which is usually dark. Confinement in the smaller space lasts no more than two hours, and in the larger space it lasts for up to eighteen hours.
Insects. Harmless insects can be placed in the confinement box with the detainee.
Stress positions. The detainee sits on the floor with his legs extended straight out in front of him and with his arms raised above his head, or kneels on the floor while leaning back at a 45-degree angle.
Wall standing. The detainee may stand about four to five feet from a wall with his feet spread approximately to shoulder width. His arms are stretched out in front of him, and his fingers rest on the wall to support all of his body weight. The detainee is not allowed to reposition his hands or feet.
Sleep depredation. Not to exceed eleven days at a time.
Waterboard. The detainee is bound to a bench with his feet elevated above his head. The detainees head is immobilized, and an interrogator places a cloth over the detainee's mouth and nose while pouring water onto the cloth in a controlled manner. Airflow is restricted for twenty to forty seconds, and the technique produces the sensation of drowning and suffocation.
Meanwhile, the Convention against Torture defines torture as follows:
To provide the requisite clarity for purposes of domestic law, the United States therefore conditioned its ratification upon an understanding that, in order to constitute torture, an act must be specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering and that mental pain or suffering refers to prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from: (1) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering; (2) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality; (3) the threat of imminent death; or (4) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality.
The issue has gotten very political, but readers should decide for themselves whether they think any of those interrogation techniques constitute torture for purposes of the Convention.