Eventually, the interrogators moved from shoving him against the wall and confining him to various-size boxes to waterboarding.
“Interrogation escalated rapidly from subject being aggressively debriefed by interrogators while standing at the walling wall, to multiple applications of the walling technique, and ultimately, multiple applications of the watering technique,” another document said.
At times, the interrogators called Mr. Nashiri names — “a little girl,” “a spoiled little rich Saudi,” a “sissy” — and threatened to turn him over to “other people” who, they said, “would certainly kill him,” one cable said. Pointing to the black-clad team that carried out the torture, they told Mr. Nashiri that its members had volunteered for the job after hearing he was responsible for the bombing of the Cole and “had something to avenge.”
In the late November session, after Mr. Nashiri was waterboarded several times, the interrogators said they were willing to deliver the same treatment for months until he cooperated. When they were finished, Mr. Nashiri crawled into “the small box” in which he was confined.
The interrogators continually told Mr. Nashiri they did not believe he was telling everything he knew, threatening him with worse treatment if he did not tell them more. The prisoner, already subjected to the whole array of C.I.A. torture techniques — loud noise, sleep deprivation, forced nudity, wall-slamming and waterboarding — insisted he was trying to remember and tell them everything.
But the interrogators appear to have ultimately concluded that Mr. Nashiri was not lying. Some of the cables back to headquarters, apparently written by Ms. Haspel, described him as “compliant and cooperative,” according to the 2014 report on the interrogation program by the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Officials at C.I.A. headquarters were displeased by such comments, directing the field officers to stop making such “sweeping statements” about Mr. Nashiri’s compliance. The superiors in Langley, Va., insisted that he knew more than he was saying.