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C.I.A. Docs Call Prisoner Abuse “Indefensible”

2017 January 20

Mitchell & Jessen showed “blatant
disregard” for ethics…

I’m watching Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration as I write this, and of course wondering and fearing what his presidency will mean for those of us concerned with issues of prisoner abuse and torture.

AJessenSs the Washington Post reported yesterday, “the CIA’s own medical and psychological personnel expressed deep concern about an arrangement that put two outside contractors in charge of subjecting detainees to brutal measures including waterboarding, then also evaluating whether those methods were working or causing lasting harm.”

This is only the latest revelation from the ongoing lawsuit charging that contract psychologists James Mitchell (at left, above) and Bruce Jessen were largely responsible for developing and promoting the torture methods used against prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo, and elsewhere. The suit, described in my prior post, was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of former prisoners Suleiman Abdullah Salim and Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud, as well as the family of Gul Rahman, who died under torture.

ACLU attorney, Dror Ladin, described the newly released documents as exposing “deep, deep concerns that even people within the CIA who are participating in the torture program have about Mitchell and Jessen’s ethics.” One memo said “We value their input, but they should not be in charge of anything!” Despite such internal opinions, the pair were awarded contracts paying them more than $71 million dollars.

Though DoCIA-lobbySnald Trump’s nominee to direct the CIA, Mike Pompeo, has said in Congressional hearings that he would “absolutely not” authorize the use of waterboarding or similar methods, and that Trump would not order him to do so, both men have made statements to the contrary during the campaign. Trump, in fact, has promised to authorize methods that are “far worse” than waterboarding.

I guess we have no choice but to wait and see…and hope.



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