At the CIA’s detention site Cobalt, the lights were never turned on. The site was blacked out at all times, with curtains and painted exterior windows. It was this location where some of CIA’s the most gruesome detainee abuse occurred, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s review of the CIA’s interrogation programs ( released Tuesday. Ultimately Cobalt housed, at one point or another, nearly half of the 119 detainees identified by the report. Advertisement The CIA detainment and interrogation program can be, in many ways, told through the story of the hellhole the Cobalt site became: brutal techniques, little oversight, and unchecked abuse in the early years after 9/11, in the name of national security. One of the lead interrogators at Cobalt once said that it was an effective place for interrogations because it is the closest he has seen to a “dungeon.” Detainees who had been through the site, apparently in Afghanistan, called it the ‘Dark Prison,’ while the agency referred to it as the ‘Salt Pit.’ The CIA was alerted of allegations that anal exams at Cobalt were conducted with “excessive force.” An attorney was asked to follow up, but no records indicate what happened next. Agency records said that one of the detainees housed at Cobalt, Mustafa al-Hawsawi, was later diagnosed with chronic hemorrhoids, an anal fissure, and symptomatic rectal prolapse. Nude prisoners were kept in a central area, and walked around as a form of humiliation. Detainees were hosed down while shackled naked, and placed in rooms with temperatures as low as 59 degrees Fahrenheit. Loud music was played constantly. Advertisement

In one case a detainee was dragged naked along the dirt floor. Detainee Gul Rahman’s clothes were cut off, and CIA interrogators put a hood on Rahman’s head. They slapped and punched him, and when he fell, dragged him through the dirt. Rahman was later found dead, with hypothermia the suspected cause. Advertisement One senior interrogator said that detainees “could go for days or weeks without anyone looking at him,” and that his team found a detainee who had been chained in a standing position for 17 days, “as far as we could determine.” Some of the detainees at Cobalt “literally looked like a dog that had been kenneled,” the interrogator said, cowering when doors to their cells were opened. Advertisement A senior CIA debriefer told the agency’s Inspector General that she heard stories of detainees at Cobalt hung on days for end with their toes barely touching the ground, choked, being deprived of food, and made the subject of a mock assassination. Detainees there were subject to sleep deprivation, shackled to bars with their hands above their heads. In fact, four of 20 cells at Cobalt were found to have bars across the cell to allow this. The mismanagement and abuse at detention site Cobalt can be traced at least in part to a CIA officer identified in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report as ‘CIA Officer 1.’ This officer had no experience in handling prisoners or conducting interrogations, and other CIA officers had questioned whether the officer’s access to classified information should continue due to a “lack of honesty, judgment and maturity.” He continued as a manager of Cobalt until July 2003. In 2002, CIA Officer 1 ordered that Gul Rahman’s clothing be removed and shackled to the wall such that he could only rest on the concrete floor. The next day, Rahman’s dead body was found, and the resuscitation efforts of a CIA employee proved unfruitful. Advertisement The medical officer who conducted the autopsy said the clinical impression for the cause of death was hypothermia, although the report itself said Rahman’s death was undetermined. In March 2003, just four months after Gul Rahman was found dead, a CIA station recommended that CIA Officer 1 receive a $2,500 cash award. Self-described 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was also kept at Cobalt after his March 2003 in Pakistan. After just a “few minutes” of questioning at Cobalt, he was subject to enhanced interrogation techniques. He was slapped, grabbed in the face, placed in stress positions, placed in standing sleep deprivation, and doused with water. As a means of obtaining “total control over the detainee,” the then-chief of interrogations said, KSM was subject to rectal rehydration multiple times, without a determination of medical need. But the enhanced interrogations were not effective with KSM, who appeared in the eyes of the interrogation team to “clam up” after they were used. Adopting a “softer Mr. Rogers’ persona” made KSM more cooperative, according to the team. Advertisement A senior CIA official later said that later waterboarding of KSM elsewhere appeared counterproductive, that the CIA had “lost ground” with KSM since this progress at Cobalt, and that the use of waterboarding “may poison the well.” The public may never receive a full accounting of detainee treatment at Cobalt. Multiple uses of sleep deprivation, prolonged standing, nudity and “rough treatment” were never reported. During the earliest days of Cobalt’s existence, in 2002, there were almost no detailed records of the detentions and interrogations there. In Dec. 2002, a CIA Renditions Group visited Cobalt asked asked for a review of the interrogation process and conditions, as well as a legal review, which CIA headquarters appears not to have done. And throughout interviews conducted in 2003 with the Office of Inspector General, top CIA leadership and attorneys acknowledged they had little knowledge of Cobalt operations. Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet said he was “not very familiar” with the detention site, while CIA General Counsel Scott Muller said he was “not very familiar.” In Aug. 2003, Muller said he believed Cobalt was merely a holding facility. Advertisement The 2003 CIA Inspector General review also found there were no guidelines for enhanced interrogation techniques at Cobalt and that some interrogators were “left to their own devices” with prisoners. By late Jan. 2003, Tenet had signed the first formal guidelines for interrogation and confinement. Detention facilities would not necessarily have to keep up with U.S. prison standards. These guidelines meant that Cobalt met the standard—even though prisoners were kept in total darkness and isolation, with only a bucket for human waste and without sufficient heat in winter months. Indeed, a review conducted of operations at Cobalt between Jan. and April of 2003 concluded that the detention site satisfied Tenet’s 2003 guidelines. Federal Bureau of Prisons staff said they were “wow’ed” by the facility because of the level of sensory deprivation and the starkness of the cells. “‘There is nothing like this in the Federal Bureau of Prisons,’” a CIA officer said, describing the officials’ reaction. “It was their collective assessment that in spite of all this sensory deprivation, the detainees were not being treated in humanely [sic].” Advertisement The CIA authorized more than $200,000 for the construction of Cobalt in June 2002, and the site began housing detainees in Sept. 2002. Although there were initially plans for a foreign country—likely the Afghan government—to operate the site, it was overseen by the CIA from the start. Ridha al-Najjar was the first to be held at detention site Cobalt. He had been left hanging, by handcuffs and not allowed to lower his arms for 22 hours each day for two consecutive days. He was kept in total darkness, kept cold, had music blasted at him and was shackled and hooded. The CIA inspector general would later say that al-Najjar “became the model” for treatment of CIA detainees at Cobalt. Cobalt also played a role in the detention of Arsala Khan, a detainee who the CIA concluded did not appear to be involved in plans or activities against the United States. The agency concluded that he should be released with a cash payment, but was instead transferred to U.S. military custody and held for an additional four years. While Cobalt was one central location for American detainee abuse, it was hardly the sole place to feature what lawmakers and the president have called torture. Detainees were described, in graphic detail, being rectally fed against their will. One detainee was bent over for a rectal feeding that involved Ensure, the protein shake. And in perhaps the most graphic detail of the report, a detainee had his lunch—consisting of hummus, pasta, nuts and raisins—pureed and rectally infused. Advertisement Related: The Most Gruesome Moments in the CIA Torture Memo ( Offers New Security Checks for ‘Torture Report’ Spies (  ( Tim Mak ( @timkmak ( Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast  here ( .

CIA has offered to perform security assessments for former intelligence officers that may be identified in the so-called Senate torture report, expected to be released Tuesday.

Most of these officers are not identified by their real names in the report, which was drawn up by the Democrats of the Senate Intelligence Committee. But the CIA remains concerned that close readers will be able to figure out, based on cross-referencing and context clues, who the anonymous officers are. (Some very senior and well-known officials will be mentioned by name in the report.)

UPDATE: CIA Torture Report’s Most Awful Moments

Current and former CIA personnel say they are fearful for their personal safety, and that of their families, should they be identified after the report is released and become targets for harassment or retribution. So the agency has agreed to determine their degree of exposure to any risk of identification, according to one senior intelligence official who spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to speak publicly. “They will help people assess their individual situations, assessing their homes, and helping them keep a low profile,” the official told The Daily Beast.

Roughly 15 agency employees were directly involved in running the program, but the official was not aware of how many had accepted the CIA’s offer of assistance. The CIA would not be providing security, this person said. The agency didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Separately, a lawmaker said the CIA had briefed him on the possible need for “personnel moves” related to the security fallout from the interrogation report. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the security preparations publicly.

The CIA has long been concerned that if any of its personnel were identified following the release of the report, which details interrogation techniques President Obama has called torture, it could jeopardize employees’ physical safety and make it impossible for them to work overseas. This issue was a central focus of debate between the committee and the Obama administration, which argued in favor of heavily redacting a 600-page summary so that it’s difficult to know who each anonymous officer mentioned or referred to in the report actually is.

Identifying current officers could also jeopardize any individuals with whom they’re in contact in foreign countries, including spies that the agency is running. “As soon as you start naming names, that person and everyone he’s connected to come up for grabs,” said a former intelligence official who hasn’t read the report but has spoken with current employees at the agency about their concerns.

In addition, intelligence officials are concerned that foreign governments that are described in the report as having helped the United States to detain and interrogate prisoners might resist cooperating in the future on controversial operations.

“Countries who are outed for having supported our interrogation program are going to be less likely to support us in the future,” said Gary Berntsen, who spent more than 20 years in the CIA, including three assignments as chief of station in the Middle East and Latin America. “Would you engage in another clandestine program with a country who outs you in the press? They won’t trust us. That’s a big problem.”

Bernsten said that releasing the report could endanger U.S. personnel chiefly in Iraq, Jordan, and Turkey, as well as other Persian Gulf countries—and especially those nations now struggling with Islamic extremist movements.

“There are now dozens of countries across the Middle East and Africa where those organizations that are members of ISIS or al Qaeda would be spurred to conduct additional operations against the United States. I don’t want to test that theory, however—and I see [the release] as unnecessary,” he said, adding that U.S. personnel working in Middle Eastern countries in particular will be at risk for attack. “Why fan the flames on this?”

It’s an argument that Mieke Eoyang—a former staffer on the House Intelligence Committee who now directs the National Security Program at Third Way, a Washington think tank—has trouble swallowing.

“Is ISIS really able to rally people in the streets over waterboarding and sleep deprivation after they’ve beheaded people? It seems hard to imagine that they have the moral high ground here,” she told The Daily Beast. “However, aside from the techniques themselves, if there were slights against religious texts or icons, that might inflame the Muslim world more generally. If that’s in the report, you have to ask why we did it and if it was actually effective.”

Last week, Bloomberg View reported that Secretary of State John Kerry raised concerns with the Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman, Dianne Feinstein, about how the release of the report might affect the United States’ fight against ISIS, as well as the safety of Americans held overseas by terrorist groups. Kerry called the senator on Friday “because a lot is going on in the world, and he wanted to make sure that foreign-policy implications were being appropriately factored into timing,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

Rep. Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on CNN that releasing the report at this time would put America at risk of attack, calling the Senate committee’s decision “a terrible idea.” Rogers added, “Foreign partners are telling us this will cause violence and deaths. Our own intelligence community has assessed that this will cause violence and deaths.” Former CIA Director Michael Hayden told the right-leaning Newsmax TV that the reaction to the report would make the CIA less willing to undertake risky but necessary operations and would result in “an American espionage service that is timid and friendless and that really is a danger to the U.S.”

Those concerns weren’t enough, however, to stall the report’s release. The White House was informed by the committee on Monday that the report would be released the following day