Psychologists Who Designed Bush Torture Program Outed By ABC News
- NHNE Wavemaker News List
Current Members: 447
Be The Wind In NHNE's Sails. Join Our 54 Monthly Supporters:
Sunfellow & NHNE on Twitter:
Integral Rising on Twitter:
Subscribe / unsubscribe / important links at the bottom of this message.
WATERBOARDING, INTERROGATIONS: THE CIA'S $1,000 A DAY SPECIALISTS
NEW FOCUS ON TWO RETIRED MILITARY PSYCHOLOGISTS CALLED THE 'ARCHITECTS' OF
THE CIA'S TECHNIQUES
By Brian Ross, Matthew Cole, and Joseph Rhee
April 30, 2009
As the secrets about the CIA's interrogation techniques continue to come
out, there's new information about the frequency and severity of their use,
contradicting an 2007 ABC News report, and a new focus on two private
contractors who were apparently directing the brutal sessions that President
Obama calls torture.
According to current and former government officials, the CIA's secret
waterboarding program was designed and assured to be safe by two well-paid
psychologists now working out of an unmarked office building in Spokane,
Bruce Jessen and Jim Mitchell, former military officers, together founded
Mitchell Jessen and Associates.
Both men declined to speak to ABC News citing non-disclosure agreements with
the CIA. But sources say Jessen and Mitchell together designed and
implemented the CIA's interrogation program.
Click here to see Jessen refusing to talk to ABC News.
"It's clear that these psychologists had an important role in developing
what became the CIA's torture program," said Jameel Jaffer, an attorney with
the American Civil Liberties Union.
Click here to see Mitchell refusing to talk to ABC News.
Former U.S. officials say the two men were essentially the architects of the
CIA's 10-step interrogation plan that culminated in waterboarding.
Associates say the two made good money doing it, boasting of being paid a
$1,000 a day by the CIA to oversee the use of the techniques on top al Qaeda
suspects at CIA secret sites.
"The whole intense interrogation concept that we hear about, is essentially
their concepts," according to Col. Steven Kleinman, an Air Force
Both Mitchell and Jessen were previously involved in the U.S. military
program to train pilots how to survive behind enemy lines and resist brutal
tactics if captured.
Mitchell and Jessen Lacked Experience in Actual Interrogations
But it turns out neither Mitchell nor Jessen had any experience in
conducting actual interrogations before the CIA hired them.
"They went to two individuals who had no interrogation experience," said
Col. Kleinman. "They are not interrogators."
The new documents show the CIA later came to learn that the two
psychologists' waterboarding "expertise" was probably "misrepresented" and
thus, there was no reason to believe it was "medically safe" or effective.
The waterboarding used on al Qaeda detainees was far more intense than the
brief sessions used on U.S. military personnel in the training classes.
"The use of these tactics tends to increase resistance on the part of the
detainee to cooperating with us. So they have the exact opposite effect of
what you want," said Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich).
The new memos also show waterboarding was used "with far greater frequency
than initially indicated" to even those in the CIA.
Abu Zubaydah was water boarded at least 83 times and Khalid Sheikh Mohamed
at least 183 times.
Former CIA Officer John Kiriakou Says Waterboarding is Torture
That contradicts what former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who led the Zubaydah
capture team, told ABC News in 2007 when he first revealed publicly that
waterboarding had been used.
He said then, based on top secret reports he had access to, that Zubaydah
had only been water boarded once and then freely talked.
Kiriakou now says he too was stunned to learn how often Zubaydah was
waterboarded, in what Kiriakou says was clearly torture.
"When I spoke to ABC News in December 2007 I was aware of Abu Zubaydah being
waterboarded on one occasion," said Kiriakou. "It was after this one
occasion that he revealed information related to a planned terrorist attack.
As I said in the original interview, my information was second-hand. I never
participated in the use of enhanced techniques on Abu Zubaydah or on any
other prisoner, nor did I witness the use of such techniques."
A federal judge in New York is currently considering whether or not to make
public the written logs of the interrogation sessions.
The tapes were destroyed by the CIA, but the written logs still exist,
although the CIA is fighting their release.
A CIA spokesperson declined to comment for this report, except to note that
the agency's terrorist interrogation program was guided by legal opinions
from the Department of Justice.
Matthew Cole is a freelance national security reporter. His book, about the
CIA rendition program, will be published later this year by Simon &
NHNE Wavemaker News List:
Send Some Green Love To NHNE:
To subscribe, send a message to:
To unsubscribe, send a message to:
To review current posts:
Visit NHNE's Mother Ship:
Visit NHNE's Online Community:
Visit Integral NHNE:
Sunfellow & NHNE on Twitter:
Published by David Sunfellow
Phone: (928) 257-3200
Fax: (815) 642-0117
P.O. Box 2242
Sedona, AZ 86339