WASHINGTON, D.C.–CIA Director John Brennan testified before congress today to address the recent allegations that the espionage agency has used illegal interrogation techniques when questioning terror suspects. Brennan admitted the CIA has used some questionable methods in the past, such as waterboarding, but he flatly denied that the agency has ever employed tickle torture as a means to obtain information.
Tickle torture is a particularly cruel interrogation method in which a feather, or sometimes an entire feather dusting implement, is applied to the bare skin on the bottom of a subject’s foot. The tickling sensation immediately elicits full-body convulsions and horrific screaming laughter, often causing the subject to urinate on himself. Tickle torture is regarded as so dehumanizing that it is the only form of torture that is referenced directly in the Third Geneva Convention, which provides guidelines for treatment of prisoners of war.
Sen. John McCain, (R-Ariz.), voiced his skepticism at Brennan’s denial, calling the CIA’s treatment of detained terror suspects “illegal, inhumane, and immoral.” McCain spent several years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War, during which he endured the dreaded tickle torture, and claims he was also forced to drink excessive glasses of chocolate milk before being violently spun in circles until he vomited, causing the chocolate milk to shoot out of his nose.
Brennan closed his testimony with a vow to completely overhaul the CIA’s interrogation protocols.
“My promise to you, the esteemed members of congress, and the American people, is that, moving forward, the Central Intelligence Agency will operate in complete transparency,” Brennan said, “These extreme interrogation techniques–Indian burns, noogies, wet willies and the like–are nothing more than a shameful piece of the agency’s history. They have no place in modern warfare.”