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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Lawsuit Aims to Hold 2 Contractors Accountable for C.I.A. Torture

By Sheri Fink and James Risen
The New York Times
Originally posted on November 27, 2016

Here is an excerpt:

Dr. Mitchell was first publicly identified as one of the architects of the C.I.A.’s “enhanced interrogation” program nearly a decade ago, and has given some news media interviews, but is now providing a more detailed account of his involvement. His book, “Enhanced Interrogation: Inside the Minds and Motives of the Islamic Terrorists Trying to Destroy America” (Crown Forum), was written with Bill Harlow, a former C.I.A. spokesman. It was reviewed by the agency before release. (The New York Times obtained a copy of the book before its publication date.)

In the book, Dr. Mitchell alleges that harsh interrogation techniques he devised and carried out, based on those he used as an Air Force trainer in survival schools to prepare airmen if they became prisoners of war, protected the detainees from even worse abuse by the C.I.A.

Dr. Mitchell wrote that he and Dr. Jessen sequestered prisoners in closed boxes, forced them to hold painful positions for hours and prevented them from sleeping for days. He also takes credit for suggesting and implementing waterboarding — covering a detainee’s face with a cloth and pouring water over it to simulate the sensation of drowning — among other now-banned techniques. “Although they were unpleasant, their use protected detainees from being subjected to unproven and perhaps harsher techniques made up on the fly that could have been much worse,” he wrote. C.I.A. officers, he added, “had already decided to get rough.”

The article is here.

Editor's note: If you think torture works, please read: Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation, by Shane O'Mara.