Ex-CIA Director Michael Hayden went on CNN and spoke with Jake Tapper in order to defend the CIA’s use of rectal re-hydration.
It was not an easy interview, and Mr. Tapper did a good job at making sure Director Hayden elaborated on his claims that rectal re-hydration was “medically necessary, and in no way, shape or form, used for interrogation purposes.”
Tapper had this to say to the former 4-star General:
I’m a little dumb-founded that you are saying it is medically necessary, the report seems to make it clear it is a method of interrogation.
No it wasn’t! Why would you presume we were doing it for interrogation purposes?
It is described as a form of torture in the Senate report.
Are they an objective observer?
You’re really defending rectal hydration?
What I’m defending is history.
It was a heated interview for such a high ranking former official who oversaw the agency at the time such interrogations had occurred – and a good one at that. It’s one thing to read in a report, but another to hear straight from the horse’s mouth.
Dianne Feinstein’s office wasted no time making a counter response Friday night by wanting everyone to know that the Justice Department never authorized such a procedure and cited a statement given recently by Physicians for Human Rights that says there is “no clinical indication to use rectal re-hydration and feeding” in place of oral or intravenous nutrients.
Her office also pointed out page 82 of the CIA report that says:
KSM was subjected to facial and abdominal slaps, facial grab, stress positions, standing sleep deprivation, nudity, and water dousing. The Chief of Interrogations also ordered the rectal re-hydration of KSM without a determination of medical need, a procedure that the chief of interrogations would later characterize as illustrative of the interrogator’s ‘total control over the detainee.’
The report specifically says The Chief of Interrogations ordered the rectal procedure. But, if Hayden is correct that it was a medical procedure, why wasn’t a doctor ordering it, instead? This is one question that still needs to be clarified upon.
Thomas Burke, an emergency doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital, and who is also a teacher at the Harvard Medical School weighed in on this issue during an interview with the Washington Post:
For all practical purposes, it is never used. No one in the United States is hydrating anybody through their rectum. Nobody is feeding anybody through their rectum. That’s not a normal practice.
Maybe when Hayden said “he was defending history,” he was referring back to the days of the 18th and 19th centuries, when it was known for being used.
If you haven’t already seen the interview yet, you can watch it below:
H/T: Michael Hayden | Featured Image: Politico