Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Two Torture Novices Back in the Spotlight Under a Heat Lamp

Bruce Jessen (top) and Jim Mitchell

Background for the following three key stories vis-à-vis torture from here as well as other stories of interest to the readers – check them out after this brief set up:

Snapshot of Jessen and Mitchell: John Bruce Jessen is both a retired Air Force psychologist and former Mormon bishop along with James Elmer Mitchell, also a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel and psychologist created the controversial interrogation program used by the CIA and others referred to as “enhanced interrogation (and note in professional interrogation lingo that means “torture”) of detainees.

The two earned some $81 million from the CIA for their program. At one point, those two yahoos were quoted as saying, “It's not harmful or long lasting.”

The major problem with both Jessen and Mitchell as noted in the ABC article is this – pretty simple really: Neither one of them had ever conducted an interrogation, or had ever been involved in an intelligence operation in the real world, let alone in a combat situation.

When they became involved in interrogations for the CIA, it was their first step into the real world of intelligence, said Air Force Colonel Steve Kleinman, a career military interrogator and former colleague of both Mitchell and Jessen. “That was their very first experience with it. Everything else was role-play,” Kleinman said.

On top of that, Mitchell and Jessen had no experience with al-Qaeda, Islamic extremists, or battlefield interrogations. Yet, more than anyone else, they shaped the CIA's interrogation program for all the evil shit it contained and we have witnessed a dozen years or so.

Now this update as it relates the damage those two inflicted. Also, note that the strikeouts in the articles below are from the original source document editors:

1.  CIA torture program broke agency rules on human experimentationTimeline suggested CIA manipulated basic definitions of human experimentation to ensure the torture program proceeded – watchdog from June 15 2015:  The Central Intelligence Agency had explicit guidelines for "human experimentation" - before, during and after its post-9/11 torture of terrorism detainees prisoners - that raise new questions about the limits on the CIA’s in-house and contracted medical research. Sections of a previously classified CIA document, made public by the Guardian, empower the agency's director to “approve, modify, or disapprove all proposals pertaining to human subject research.” CIA director George Tenet approved abusive interrogation torture techniques, including water boarding, designed by CIA contractor psychologists (Note: Our two “friends outlined above”).  Tenet further instructed the agency's health personnel to oversee the brutal interrogations -- the beginning of years of controversy, still ongoing, about torture as a violation of medical ethics.

2.  Human experimentation and the CIA: Read the previously classified document also from June 15, 2015: This document, updated over the years and still in effect at the CIA, was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the ACLU and shared with the Guardian, which is publishing it for the first time. The guidelines for 'human experimentation' were still in effect during the lifespan of the agency's controversial interrogation torture program.

3.  Senators push to limit CIA torture techniques from June 13, 2015:  Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has joined a bipartisan team pushing to limit brutal interrogation torture techniques -- such as waterboarding, sleep deprivation and electric shock – that the CIA can use on detainees. McCain and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have proposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in the Senate that would prohibit the use of so-called “enhanced interrogation” tactics and allow the CIA to only use techniques listed in the Army Field Manual (FM), such as deception, the silent treatment, isolation (and I add: the many others proven effective minus any torture). The amendment would make permanent the executive order signed by President Obama back in 2009 that limited interrogation techniques to those found in the Army FM.

And here we are still today: With the public in the dark, the world in turmoil, and detainees at Gitmo still waiting on justice – whatever that means, who knows?

Thanks for stopping by. More updates later.

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