Bruce Jessen and James Mitchell
This story is about Mitchell and Jessen (photos above, and cited in below posts) re: their upcoming hearing outlined in this report.
They are apt to say: “We were just following orders” (just like those Nazis claimed at Nuremberg in 1945-46).
More likely today those two are claiming: “We were just following the government’s contract specs – yes, we did modify it later and watched and yes, we even participated in some of the “enhanced methods we developed and refined them, too, but we did our duty by fulfilling the contract, and yes, we were paid some $80 million) – so what – we were just following orders.”
(Note: “Enhanced” is a buzzword for torture)
Whoa – stop the press – hold it a darn minute for this short edit. Let’s be clear here shall we – “Just following orders” ain’t gonna hack it for Mitchell and Jessen.
It didn’t work in 1945-1946 for the Nazis on trial for war crimes, and it won’t fly today, either. The heart of the defense’s case argument in their motion to dismiss a lawsuit from former detainees outlined in the article, are the points below:
1. The two, Mitchell and Jessen (both former Air Force psychologists who helped craft the CIA’s harsh interrogation techniques known as “enhanced” (again the buzzword for “torture”) should be as free from liability as a worker for a company that supplied the Nazis with poison gas used in concentration camps in WWII.
2. Like the gassing technician who was acquitted on charges of helping the Nazis, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen were independent contractors who lacked authority to “control, prevent or modify” the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques.
The ACLU challenges that defense claim, saying the psychologists should be held accountable for the methods they designed following the September 11 terror attacks – wherein those methods included waterboarding, beatings, and worse.
Both sides in this case plan arguments on August 4 in in Spokane. The outcome will determine whether the lawsuit will go to trial, set for September 5, 2017.
The judge could decide that the psychologists are guilty of aiding and abetting torture and no trial is needed, or he could dismiss the suit or limit what claims can be pursued.