Privacy SOS

Former CIA director Michael Hayden defends ‘rectal rehydration’

Please note that by playing this clip YouTube and Google will place a long term cookie on your computer.

Watch former CIA (and NSA) director Michael Hayden defend pureeing food and forcing it up a detainee's rectum, known as 'rectal rehydration.'

Here's Physicians for Human Rights' full statement on the CIA torture practice:

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) said today that the use of rectal hydration and rectal feeding on detainees without evidence of medical necessity – which was revealed in yesterday’s U.S. Senate report – constitutes torture. 

“Contrary to the CIA’s assertions, there is no clinical indication to use rectal rehydration and feeding over oral or intravenous administration of fluids and nutrients,” said Dr. Vincent Iacopino, PHR’s senior medical advisor. “This is a form of sexual assault masquerading as medical treatment. In the absence of medical necessity, it is clear that the only purpose behind this humiliating and invasive procedure is to inflict physical and mental pain.”

The torture report released yesterday stated that rectal rehydration or feeding was inflicted on at least five detainees. Three additional detainees were also threatened with the procedure. PHR pointed out that three of the detainees subjected to rectal rehydration and feeds were on hunger strike, indicating that such procedures were likely used as punishment. 

The Senate report confirms that health professionals were complicit in the CIA’s illegal torture program, and PHR has called for everyone involved in detainee abuse to be investigated. A team of medical, psychiatric, and psychological experts has been studying the report and expects to produce an analysis on health professionals’ complicity in CIA torture in the coming days.

Hayden, who admits he is not a doctor, claims the CIA forced food up detainees' rectums because it was a necessary "medical procedure." Hayden is not a trustworthy witness, and is named personally in the Senate's torture report over 200 times.

It's no wonder Hayden is coming out swinging against the torture report. It essentially casts him as the "nation's biggest liar," as one observer remarked. But to go on television and defend what Physicians for Human Rights calls anal rape? That takes some serious…I don't know what. Depravity? Sickness?

Watch the clip. Kudos to Jake Tapper for asking him this question.

© 2021 ACLU of Massachusetts.