Thursday, April 30, 2015

APA and CIA Torture Program: Novices at Work = Failure

Two Key Novices Who Got Very Rich for Being Very Wrong

Many links to this story. The basic article broke from here today (April 30, 2015). It is a story I have followed a long time ... this is confirmation of one huge mess.

Intro and Attention Grabber:

WASHINGTON — The American Psychological Association (APA) secretly collaborated with the administration of President George W. Bush to bolster a legal and ethical justification for the torture of prisoners swept up in the post-September 11 war on terror, according to a new report by a group of dissident health professionals and human rights activists.

As part of that story and one previously reported one about Jessen and Mitchell (photo abovecomes from here - a lot more in depth - key parts:

1.  Neither psychologist (Jessen or Mitchell) had any experience as an interrogator.
2.  Neither one had any specialized knowledge of al-Qaeda.
3.  Neither one had a background in counter-terrorism activities.
4.  Neither one or any relevant cultural or linguistic expertise. 

Despite their lack of experience in these key areas, Mitchell and Jessen “...carried out inherently governmental functions, such as acting as liaison between the CIA and foreign intelligence services, assessing the effectiveness of the interrogation program, and participating in the interrogation of detainees in held in foreign government custody.” And, BTW: they were paid millions

The icing on the proverbial cake as it were is this question in my mind: “How effective was the program; did Jessen and Mitchell earn their millions; and was it worth it overall?”

Simply stated: (1) No, the program was not effective; (2) No, Jessen and Mitchell ripped off the taxpayers; and (3) No, overall, it was not worth it. 

From that Senate report here (all 528 pages), remember it?

WASHINGTON — The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday issued a sweeping indictment of the CIA's program to detain and interrogate terrorism suspects in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks, drawing on millions of internal C.I.A. documents to illuminate practices that it said were more brutal — and far less effective — than the agency acknowledged either to Bush administration officials or to the public.  

B/L: A critical program like what was needed and intended run amok, was costly and very damaging to the country and our national honor and fiber. All that had to have been done was to have talked to experienced interrogators. They would have set the record straight. But, alas, that was never done and still today we suffer from that grand Foxtrot Uniform (larger than a simple Faux Pas as it were). Did we learn a valuable lesson? Only time will tell. 

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