MOSCOW – Every now and again the CIA does its best to appear relatable, and every time the agency gets put back in its place. Now, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden hijacked a festive tweet to slam the CIA’s torture practices.
“It’s *snow secret* that we love winter,” the clandestine agency tweeted on Saturday, marking the first day of winter in the US, RT reported. Snowden was acerbic in his response, tweeting, “It’s *snow secret* that you tortured Gul Rahman for weeks at a black site, then chained him naked to a concrete floor until he died in the near-winter cold.”
It's *snow secret* you tortured Gul Rahman for weeks at a black site, then chained him naked to a concrete floor until he died in the near-winter cold.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) December 21, 2019
An Afghan national, Gul Rahman, was snatched from a refugee camp in Pakistan by CIA officers in 2002, and whisked away to a secret prison near Kabul, known as the ‘Salt Pit’. His treatment there was a secret until the publication of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA torture in 2014.
According to the report, Rahman was shackled and forced to stand for days on end, subjected to sleep deprivation, blasted with freezing cold water, beaten and chained to the floor of his cell. He died of hypothermia less than a month into his captivity, his guilt never ascertained. Snowden also blasted current CIA Director Gina Haspel, “who was then the head of a related torture site.”
At the time of Rahman’s detention, Haspel was in charge of a black site in Thailand codenamed ‘Cat’s Eye’. According to the same Senate report, detainees at the site were routinely tortured, with one detainee, Abu Zubaydah, confined to a coffin-sized box and waterboarded nearly to death. One CIA officer quoted in the report likened the facility to a medieval “dungeon”.
Snowden’s burn is not the first time the CIA has been flamed for its PR efforts. A Halloween tweet offering kids helpful disguise tips was met with groans and eye-rolling online, while some commenters wondered if an organization with such a murky history should be teaching children anything in the first place.