What Exactly Did US Prison Officials Hope To Learn At The CIA’s Infamous Torture Dungeon?

“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

As many citizens who have taken a basic civics class will tell you, this is the 8th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. It is a part of the Bill of Rights, and as such one of the key principles behind this nation. Whenever you have leaders that betray these core ideas, it results in a blemish on our history that can never be removed, thus impacting our image to the rest of the international community.

cia torture destroyed american credibility

What the Bush Administration and CIA did between 2001-2008 not only destroyed the lives of many innocent people, but also permanently ruined our reputation for treating our enemies with fairness. It brought the country back to the 19th century, where atrocities were committed against Native American groups, and while President Obama managed to bring back some of our honor, even he could not restore things back to the way they were.

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As human rights organizations attempt to seek justice for what was done, recent events have revealed some new, shocking information. A report has come up regarding a visit from members of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP) to the CIA Cobalt black site in Afghanistan in 2002. To give some back story on each, the FBOP is a law enforcement agency charged with managing the United States’s prison system, while Cobalt, or “The Salt Pit” as it was more popularly called, was one of many places where the CIA conducted torture. The Salt Pit came to gain notoriety as the worst of the sites due to its lack of regulatory oversight, management by incompetent individuals, dungeon-like design, and general sadism of the guards.

Why, then, would prison officials from the FBOP travel all the way there? Turns out to “assess” the area, and make sure it stood up to scrutiny. However, what should have then resulted in the dismantling of the institution turned into a tourist attraction, as these FBOP officers expressed amazement at the inhumane conditions of the place, jealousy that they did not have similar exhibits at their own prisons, and ultimately approval as they checked-off the “sanitary” box in their review.

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This trip showcases how corruption can travel throughout a bureaucracy like a virus, and that the failure of the mainstream media and people to hold the government accountable led to these war crimes being mostly unprosecuted. As is it stands, the FBOP refuses to comment on the matter.

Image by John Moore/Getty Images