Torture, Cover-Up At Gitmo?

Former Translator Says Prisoner Interrogations Were Staged For VIPs

Then, the interrogator sent the prisoner back to his cell with a message.

"She said, 'Have fun trying to pray tonight while there's no water in your cell,' meaning that she was gonna have the water turned off in his cell, so that he then could not go back and become ritually clean. So he then therefore could not pray," says Saar.

"I know that the individual that we were talking that night was a bad individual. Someone who I hope never -- I hope he's in captivity forever, I hope he never goes anywhere. But I felt awful that night. I felt dirty and disgusting."

"What you have here is a Saudi training at an American flight school, just like the 9/11 hijackers," says Pelley. "You know, there are people at home watching this right now, saying, 'Hey, you've got to do what you've got to do.'"

"I do understand that, and the fact is No. 1, it's ineffective," says Saar. "There are much better methods that were being employed at Guantanamo Bay, that yielded the little bit of intelligence that we did receive, and it wasn't methods like those."

60 Minutes talked to three interrogators who were at Guantanamo at the same time that Saar was there. And they told us the sexual tactics were well known, and even had a name they called it the "sex-up" approach.

Did it work?

"It did not work, and from what I later learned, the detainee remained uncooperative," says Saar. "It's impossible to try to build a connection and establish trust. We were now relying solely on fear to get the detainee to cooperate, and I think that's an enormous mistake. I think many of the FBI agents on the base felt as though that was a mistake also."

The FBI does its own questioning of prisoners at Guantanamo, and those agents have been writing emails, classified secret, to FBI headquarters. They detail abuse by military interrogators. The agents wrote of finding prisoners "chained hand and foot in a fetal position" for up to 24 hours at a time, and of prisoners who had "urinated or defecated on themselves."

Another FBI document says an interrogator grabbed a detainee's thumbs and "bent them backwards" and "grabbed his genitals." One FBI agent reported that he saw a detainee had been "gagged with duct tape that covered much of his head." The interrogator explained that the prisoner had been "chanting the Koran and would not stop."

60 Minutes ran the emails and Saar's story past one of the nation's most experienced military intelligence experts.

"Unimaginable to me, I just can not imagine what people think they were doing," says Army Col. Patrick Lang, who was head of human intelligence gathering at the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency.

Lang, who's now retired, wrote the Arabic and Middle-East studies curricula for West Point. "I mean, what is this?" asks Lang. "A scene from Dante's Inferno? I mean, what level of hell are we on to? Imagine that we could do such things to people? This is just absolutely wrong."

60 Minutes also asked Lang to review some of the written statements of prisoners who claim to have been beaten.

"If people were really beaten and kicked and knocked around, and their heads beaten against the floor, and had, you know, deprived of treatment for broken bones and teeth resulting from this," says Lang. "If these things really happened in fact, to me, that's a lot more serious than this silliness with having these girls go in and rub themselves all over these prisoners."

"There is a lot of discussion about precisely what the word "torture" means," says Pelley. "You've been at the top of defense military intelligence. Based on what you've seen and heard, is all of this torture?"

"I think that a lot of this behavior which has been allowed is so far outside the pale, that I think that it would have to be considered to be something not allowed in international law or U.S. military law," says Lang.

But is it torture? "Yeah," says Lang. "I think it's torture."