The new Daniel Klaidman book Kill or Capture is out today, and details the Obama administration's approach to national security. And there are some juicy details coming out of it.
During the transition period from the Bush to Obama administrations, former CIA director Michael Hayden wanted to defend the CIA's practice of 'enhanced interrogation,' what critics call 'torture.' Obama had been harshly critical of the practice during his campaign.
Hayden got that chance in December of 2008, at a meeting with Obama and his top security advisors at their Chicago office.
From the book:
Hayden had prepared assiduously , showing up with charts and slides. But his most unusual prop was David Shedd, the deputy DNI for policy, plans, and requirements. Not long into his presentation., Hayden called Shedd over. Suddenly, unexpectedly, Hayden slapped Shedd's face. Then he grabbed him by the lapels and started to shake him. He'd wanted to throw him up against the wall during this demonstration, but there were chairs in the way. Instead he explained to Obama and his aides about the interrogation technique known as "walling," in which detainees were thrown against a flexible artificial wall that made a loud noise on impact but cause little physical pain.
Hayden went on to explain that the only other three techniques still used then were playing loud music, keeping lights on all day and sleep deprivation. He didn't mention that sleep deprivation was accomplished by hanging prisoners from ceiling hooks.