Now, thanks to a new FOIA release from CIA, DOJ (and courtesy of ACLU), we have a pretty good sense of what detainees at the CIA's "black sites" overseas experienced. For the agency, protecting CIA personnel and the cover of the facility was paramount. The purpose of the memo was to evaluate whether the CIA techniques, as described by the CIA, complied with the Constitution, the Geneva Convention and other statutes preventing torture. According to the Justice Department, the conditions imposed on detainees "do not amount to punishment" because there was no evidence available that punishment was the intention of those doing the confining. Again, make note that the Justice Department was evaluating information provided by the CIA. As we've learned, what the CIA said it was doing, and what CIA officers actually did, were often two different matters.
Incoming detainees were blindfolded immediately, but the material is "opaque," and is taken off during interrogations. Detainees are stripped, then shaved, but not "punitively" -- and allowed to grow their hair back after the first shearing. Detainees, apparently, could hide foreign objects in their hair. If a detainee so desired, other body parts can be shaved. A footnote:
Two 18 watt T-8 fluorescent lightbulbs kept the cell illuminated 24/7. Only "some" detainees were given eyeshades to help them sleep.