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Memos: CIA pushed limits on sleep deprivation

WASHINGTON (AP) - A year after the Bush administration abandoned its harshest interrogation methods, CIA operatives used severe sleep deprivation tactics against a terror detainee in late 2007.

According to government officials and memos issued with an internal CIA report, the operatives kept the detainee awake for six straight days with permission from government lawyers.

The documents describe two instances in 2007 in which the CIA was allowed to exceed the guidelines set by Bush administration lawyers allowing prisoners to be kept awake for up to four days. It's unclear whether the two incidents involved the same detainee.

Sleep deprivation beyond 48 hours is known to produce hallucinations. It can reduce resistance to pain, and it makes people suggestible.

The State Department regularly lists sleep deprivation as a form of torture in its annual report on human rights abuses.


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