Pain Has No Voice
A number of former Guantanamo detainees reported being kept in the “Dark Prison” near Kabul Afghanistan. They claim they were kept in the dark for weeks at a time and deprived of food and water. The guards didn’t wear uniforms. Human rights groups think the dark prison was a CIA black site. Some say the “Dark Prison” is another name for the “Salt Pit.” The prisoners said they were chained to walls in total darkness while extremely loud rap and heavy metal music was played. They could hear other prisoners screaming in pain. During interrogations they were exposed to a strobe light, slapped, punched and shackled to the floor. They were threatened with rape.
“It was pitch black no lights on in the rooms for most of the time.... They hung me up. I was allowed a few hours of sleep on the second day, then hung up again, this time for two days. My legs had swollen. My wrists and hands had gone numb.... There was loud music, [Eminem’s] “Slim Shady” and Dr. Dre for 20 days.... they changed the sounds to horrible ghost laughter and Halloween sounds. [At one point, I was] chained to the rails for a fortnight.... The CIA worked on people, including me, day and night.... Plenty lost their minds. I could hear people knocking their heads against the walls and the doors, screaming their heads off.”
I frequently wake up unable to move. A rushing sound of air around me. I try to scream and can’t. No force of my mind or body can help me move a muscle or scream for help. Silent and paralyzed I struggle to move against an invisible weight on top of me. At some point I’m able to move again. My voice returns and the rushing tunnel of air and white noise is gone. I am left lying in my bed as if nothing ever happened.
1 The Body in Pain, Elaine Scarry, p. 3
3 DOJOLC001145; Department of Justice document from the Torture FOIA, declassified and partially redacted guidelines of medical and psychological support for detainee rendition, interrogation and detention
4 U.S. Operated Secret ‘Dark Prison’ in Kabul (Human Rights Watch, 19-12-2005)
5 DOJOLC001145. Department of Justice document from the Torture FOIA, declassified and partially redacted document describing enhanced interrogation techniques and their medical limits as well as potential complications
6 U.S. Operated Secret ‘Dark Prison’ in Kabul (Human Rights Watch, 19-12-2005) Benyam Mohammad, former Guantanamo detainee, describing his experience to his attorney
7 DOJOLC001145. Department of Justice document from the Torture FOIA, declassified and partially redacted document describing enhanced interrogation techniques including he use of small boxes
Physical pain has no voice, but when it at last finds a voice, it begins to tell a story...
Claustrophobia is the fear of having no escape and being closed in small spaces or rooms. It is usually classified as an anxiety disorder. Spaces such as elevators, small rooms without windows and narrow hallways can trigger a panic attack which is often associated with claustrophobia. There are two key fears associated with it. The fear of restriction and the fear of suffocation.