The recently assigned CIA case officer in charge of this prison directed the Afghan guards to strip Gul Rahman naked from the waist down, and chain him to the floor of his unheated cell, and leave him overnight, according to the Associated Press. Rahman was captured in Islamabad on October 29, 2002. In the morning, the suspect was dead. A post-mortem examination determined that he froze to death. The Washington Post described the CIA camp commandant as "newly minted", on his first assignment. ABC News called the CIA camp commandant "a young, untrained junior officer". The Washington Post's sources noted that the CIA camp commandant had subsequently been promoted.
Rahman was buried in an unmarked grave, and his friends and family were never told of what happened to him. They learned of his fate in 2010 after an AP story revealed Rahman had died at Salt Pit.
Khalid El-Masri, a German citizen, was kidnapped from the Republic of Macedonia and rendered to Afghanistan. El-Masri's name was similar to that of Khalid al-Masri, a terror suspect; the Macedonian authorities thought he might be traveling on a forgedpassport, and notified the regional CIA station. A team of American CIA officials were dispatched to the Republic of Macedonia, where they kidnapped El-Masri after he was released by the Macedonian officers, but without regard to his legal rights under Macedonian law. It took over two months for the CIA official who ordered his arrest to assess whether El-Masri's passport was legitimate. El-Masri described being beaten and injected with drugs as part of his interrogation.
On May 18, 2006 U.S. Federal District Judge T.S. Ellis, III of the Eastern District of Virginia dismissed a lawsuit El-Masri filed against the CIA and three private companies allegedly involved with his transport, stating that a public trial would "present a grave risk of injury to national security." A Court of Appeals also dismissed the case.
On October 9, 2007 the U.S Supreme Court declined to hear El-Masri's appeal of the lower courts, without comment.
The artist/geographer Trevor Paglen claims to be the only civilian to have taken a photo of the Salt Pit. Using El-Masri's testimony, Paglen located the Salt Pit using Google Earth and traveled to Afghanistan, where he photographed the facility using a long-distance lens. He claims that he knew he was on the right track when he passed a goat herder wearing a baseball cap with the logo of Kellogg, Brown & Root on it. The photo was shown at Bellwether Gallery in New York City in 2006, together with other items that documented Paglen's efforts to trace secret government projects. It was produced in an edition of one, and bore a price tag of $20,000.