A prisoner at a Central Intelligence Agency \u0022black site\u0022 in Afghanistan was used as a training prop to teach U.S. operatives how to torture other prisoners, leaving him with serious brain damage and other ailments, newly declassified documents published this week affirmed.\r\n\r\n\u0022We now know that the CIA\u0026#039;s brutalization of Ammar at the black sites was secretly condemned by the agency itself.\u0022\r\n\r\nAmmar al-Baluchi, a 44-year-old Kuwaiti national, is currently imprisoned at the U.S. prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where he is one of five men awaiting trial by military commission for alleged involvement in plotting the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. The case, which has been delayed due to disputes over the admissibility of defendant testimony extracted through torture, has been in pre-trial hearings for more than a decade.\r\n\r\nA subject of the U.S. government\u0026#039;s extraordinary rendition program, al-Baluchi was captured in Pakistan in 2003 and then transferred to secret CIA prison known both as Cobalt and the Salt Pit north of Kabul, Afghanistan. The so-called black site gained international attention after revelations that prisoner Gul Rahman was tortured to death there in 2002, and that instead of being punished, the CIA officer in charge of the site was subsequently promoted.\r\n\r\n\u0022Twenty years later, none of the those responsible for the CIA\u0026#039;s heinous regime of torture were ever prosecuted,\u0022 U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) tweeted Tuesday in response to a Guardian report on al-Baluchi\u0026#039;s experience. \u0022Instead they got promotions.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAccording to a declassified 2008 report by the CIA inspector general\u0026#039;s office, agency officials knew that al-Baluchi no longer posed a terror threat but rendered him to the Salt Pit, where he was subjected to techniques that were approved under the George W. Bush administration\u0026#039;s \u0022enhanced interrogation\u0022 regimen, as well as unauthorized torture.\r\n\r\nNot only was al-Baluchi was subjected to the authorized torture of \u0022walling\u0022—in which naked prisoners were slammed against plywood and, in departures from the approved method, concrete walls—he was also used a training prop to teach trainee interrogators how to perform the technique.\r\n\r\n\u0022They smashed my head against the wall repeatedly. It continued until I lost count at each session. As my head was being hit each time I would see sparks of lights in my eyes.\u0022\r\n\r\nAccording to the declassified report, \u0022all the interrogation students lined up to \u0026#039;wall\u0026#039; Ammar so that [the instructor] could certify them on their ability to use the technique.\u0022\r\n\r\nThe torture training sessions \u0022typically... did not last for more than two hours at a time,\u0022 the document states.\r\n\r\n\u0022They smashed my head against the wall repeatedly. It continued until I lost count at each session,\u0022 al-Baluchi recounted. \u0022As my head was being hit each time I would see sparks of lights in my eyes. As the intensity of the sparks were increasing as a result of repeated hitting, all of a sudden I felt a strong jolt of electricity in my head then I couldn\u0026#039;t see anything and everything went dark and I passed out.\u0022\r\n\r\nPreviously declassified documents state that James Mitchell—who along with his associate John \u0022Bruce\u0022 Jessen was paid $81 million by the CIA to oversee the torture and interrogation of prisoners in the so-called War on Terror—told one of al-Baluchi\u0026#039;s lawyers that it \u0022looks like they used your client as a training prop.\u0022\r\n\r\nIn 2018, al-Baluchi underwent an MRI examination which found \u0022abnormalities indicating moderate to severe brain damage\u0022 which \u0022were consistent with traumatic brain injury.\u0022\r\n\r\nAccording to a neuropsychologist\u0026#039;s evaluation, al-Baluchi also suffers from anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.\r\n\r\nThe inspector general\u0026#039;s report notes that al-Baluchi\u0026#039;s torture did not produce any useful intelligence and that he \u0022fabricated the information he provided\u0022 in an effort to end his torment.\r\n\r\nThe document also paints al-Baluchi in a sympathetic light, referring to him as \u0022one of the more cooperative, likable, even \u0026#039;gentle\u0026#039; detainees,\u0022 and as \u0022one of the more intelligent or \u0026#039;bookish\u0026#039;\u0022 prisoners. Some interrogators expressed remorse for their actions, with one saying \u0022there is no honor in it\u0022 and another stating that he \u0022wished he had never been asked\u0022 to participate in torture.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAl-Baluchi was subsequently transferred to numerous other black sites, including one in Vilnius, Lithuania where he was tortured by the notorious CIA operative known as \u0022The Preacher\u0022 due to his penchant for infusing interrogation sessions with religious fervor. In 2006 al-Baluchi was transferred to Guantánamo.\r\n\r\nThe inspector general\u0026#039;s report concludes the CIA\u0026#039;s rationale for detaining al-Baluchi was \u0022fuzzy and circular.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022We now know that the CIA\u0026#039;s brutalization of Ammar at the black sites was secretly condemned by the agency itself,\u0022 Alka Pradhan, one of al-Baluchi\u0026#039;s military commission attorneys, told Forever Wars\u0026#039; Spencer Ackerman. \u0022But it didn\u0026#039;t stop the U.S. government from holding him in a CIA facility at Guantánamo, and trying to execute him using evidence derived from that very same treatment.\u0022\r\n\r\nOn Tuesday, The New York Times reported that U.S. military prosecutors are engaged in talks with lawyers for five Guantánamo defendants including al-Baluchi and his uncle, alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, to possibly negotiate plea deals that will spare the men from execution but result in their lifetime imprisonment.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe issue of torture has proved an impediment to the prosecution of terrorism suspects, and may at least partially explain prosecutors\u0026#039; newfound willingness to negotiate plea agreements.\r\n\r\nLast November, seven out of eight members of a military jury convened to hear the case against Guantánamo detainee Majid Khan recommended clemency after the defendant testified how he endured torture including rape, being hung from a ceiling beam, and being subjected to the interrupted drowning method known as waterboarding.\r\n\r\nThe jurors called Khan\u0026#039;s treatment \u0022an affront to... the concept of justice\u0022 and \u0022a stain on the moral fiber of America.\u0022\r\n\r\nNumerous Guantánamo prosecutors have also resigned their posts in protest, with former lead prosecutor Col. Morris Davis condemning what he called \u0022rigged\u0022 military commissions designed to ensure that every defendant is convicted.