CIA officer promoted despite killing Afghan in detention
By Khalid Hasan
WASHINGTON: A CIA officer who caused a young Afghan detainee’s death by stripping him naked and forcing him to lie on a bare cell floor was promoted instead of being held to account.
In November 2002, a young CIA officer who was put in charge of a secret prison ordered that an Afghan whom he considered uncooperative should be stripped and made to lie on the floor all night, according to an exclusive report that the Washington Post ran as its first lead on Wednesday. It said the temperature fell and the next morning the young man who had been arrested in Pakistan and brought over was found frozen to death. He was buried in an unmarked grave and no effort was made to look for his family.
“He just disappeared form the fact of the earth,” a US official told the newspaper. The place where the young Afghan was held was called the “salt pit” by the CIA. The case is now said to be under investigations by the agency’s inspector general.
The 10-acre “salt pit” detention facility is located north of the centre of Kabul and was built after the US invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001. It was off limits to everyone except CIA personnel. The Post reports, “The Afghan detainee had been captured in Pakistan along with a group of other Afghans. His connection to Al Qaeda or the value of his intelligence was never established before he died. ‘He was probably associated with people who were associated with Al Qaeda,’ one US government official said.”