Friday, 17 December 2010

Psychologists Conducted Torture Sessions for the CIA - Millions of Dollars Involved

The news are now absolutely "official", as official as it gets: straight from the mouth of the global ruling class media. The Associated Press reveals that psychologists - civilians acting as "consultants" for the CIA - conducted torture of people were illegally detained by the US.

This immediately brings up questions of:
o- What is the position of the American Psychological Association on its members conducting torture in violation of all International and US laws?

o- What is the US Government, or its system of justice, going to do about this?

o- It has been almost ten years now that these "allegations" of torture by US services - and now by citizens! as it's being revealed - became first confirmed and now an established fact. To this day no one has been prosecuted, no one punished, not one of the criminals even fired from their jobs, nor charged with anything in Court or in any other sort of procedure. Is it time for the Movement within the US and/or globally to set up its own Peoples' Courts and agencies that will deliver justice? What kind of punishment is fit for a "health professional" who oversaw or conducted several hundreds of torture sessions?

Please read the news article below. I've added some very interesting links at the bottom.

Petros Evdokas
member of Cyprus IndyMedia Collective

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Officials: CIA gave waterboarders $5M legal shield
By ADAM GOLDMAN and MATT APUZZO, Associated Press
Dec. 17, 2010

WASHINGTON – The CIA agreed to cover at least $5 million in legal fees for two contractors who were the architects of the agency's interrogation program and personally conducted dozens of waterboarding sessions on terror detainees, former U.S. officials said.

The secret agreement means taxpayers are paying to defend the men in a federal investigation over an interrogation tactic the U.S. now says is torture. The deal is even more generous than the protections the agency typically provides its own officers, giving the two men access to more money to finance their defense.

It has long been known that psychologists Jim Mitchell and Bruce Jessen created the CIA's interrogation program. But former U.S. intelligence officials said Mitchell and Jessen also repeatedly subjected terror suspects inside CIA-run secret prisons to waterboarding, a simulated drowning tactic.

The revelation of the contractors' involvement is the first known confirmation of any individuals who conducted waterboarding at the so-called black sites, underscoring just how much the agency relied on outside help in its most sensitive interrogations.

Normally, CIA officers buy insurance to cover possible legal bills. It costs about $300 a year for $1 million in coverage. Today, the CIA pays the premiums for most officers, but at the height of the war on terrorism, officers had to pay half.

The Mitchell and Jessen arrangement, known as an "indemnity promise," was structured differently. Unlike CIA officers, whose identities are classified, Mitchell and Jessen were public citizens who received some of the earliest scrutiny by reporters and lawmakers. The two wanted more protection.

The agency agreed to pay the legal bills for the psychologists' firm, Mitchell, Jessen & Associates, directly from CIA accounts, according to several interviews with the former officials, who insisted on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.

The company has been embroiled in at least two high-profile Justice Department investigations, tapping the CIA to pay its legal bills. Neither Jamie Gorelick, who originally represented the company, nor Henry Schuelke, the current lawyer, returned messages seeking comment. Mitchell and Jessen also didn't return calls for comment.

The CIA would not comment on any indemnity agreement.

"It's been nearly eight years since waterboarding — an interrogation method used on three detainees — was last used as part of a terrorist detention program that no longer exists," CIA spokesman George Little said.

After the terrorism attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Mitchell and Jessen sold the government on an interrogation program for high-value al-Qaida members. The two psychologists had spent years training military officials to resist interrogations and, in doing so, had subjected U.S. troops to techniques such as forced nudity, painful stress positions, sleep deprivation and waterboarding.

But those interrogations had always been training sessions at the military's school known as SERE — Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape. They had never conducted any actual interrogations.

That changed in 2002 with the capture of suspected al-Qaida facilitator Abu Zubaydah (ah-BOO' zoo-BY'-dah). The agency believed tougher-than-usual tactics were necessary to squeeze information from him, so Mitchell and Jessen flew to a secret CIA prison in Thailand to oversee Zubaydah's interrogation.

The pair waterboarded Zubaydah 83 times, according to previously released records and former intelligence officials. Mitchell and Jessen did the bulk of the work, claiming they were the only ones who knew how to apply the techniques properly, the former officials said.

The waterboarding technique involved "binding the detainee to a bench with his feet elevated above his head," formerly top-secret documents explain. "The detainee's head is immobilized and an interrogator places a cloth over the detainee's mouth and nose while pouring water onto the cloth in a controlled manner."

The documents add that "airflow is restricted for 20 to 40 seconds and the technique produces the sensation of drowning and suffocation." The session was not supposed to last more than 20 minutes.

The psychologists also waterboarded USS Cole bombing plotter Abd al-Nashiri (ahbd al-nuh-SHEE'-ree) twice in Thailand, according to former intelligence officials.

The role of Mitchell and Jessen in the interrogation of confessed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is a bit murkier.

At least one other interrogator was involved in those sessions, with the company providing support, a former official said. Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in Poland in 2003, according to documents and former intelligence officials.

The CIA inspector general concluded in a top secret report in 2004 that the waterboarding technique used by the CIA deviated from the rules outlined by the Justice Department and the common practice at SERE school. CIA interrogations involved far more water poured constantly over the prisoner, investigators said.

"One of the psychologists/interrogators acknowledged that the agency's use of the technique differed from that used in SERE training and explained that the agency's technique is different because it is `for real' and is more poignant and convincing," the inspector general's report said.

It was not clear whether Mitchell or Jessen made that remark.

Justice Department prosecutor John Durham is investigating whether any CIA officers or contractors, including Mitchell and Jessen, should face criminal charges.

In at least two instances, Mitchell and Jessen pushed back. During Zubaydah's interrogation, the psychologists argued he had endured enough waterboarding, believing they had reached the point of "diminishing returns." But CIA superiors told them to press forward, two former officials said.

In another case, Mitchell and Jessen successfully argued against waterboarding admitted terrorist Ramzi Binalshibh (RAM'-zee bin-al-SHEEB') in Poland, the official said.

On top of the waterboarding case, Mitchell and Jessen also needed lawyers to help navigate the Justice Department's investigation into the destruction of CIA interrogation videos.

Mitchell and Jessen were recorded interrogating Zubaydah and al-Nashiri and were eager to see those tapes destroyed, fearing their release would jeopardize their safety, former officials and others close to the matter said.

They often contacted senior CIA officials, urging them to destroy the tapes and asking what was taking so long, said a person familiar with the Durham investigation who insisted on anonymity because the case's details remain sensitive. Finally the CIA's top clandestine officer, Jose Rodriguez, made the decision to destroy the tapes in November 2005.

Durham investigated whether that was a crime. He subpoenaed Mitchell, Jessen & Associates last year, looking for calendars, e-mails and phone records showing contact between the contractors and Rodriguez or his chief of staff, according to a federal subpoena. They were ordered to appear before a grand jury in northern Virginia in August 2009.

Last month, Durham closed the tapes destruction investigation without filing charges.


* * *

The American Psychological Association Meets Dr. Mengele
APA Confab Whitewashes Torture by Shrinks

"The Task Force Report Should Be Annulled"–Member of 2005 APA Task Force on Psychologist Participation in Military Interrogations Speaks Out

Why Torture Made Me Leave the APA
Jeffrey Kaye left the APA over its complicity in torture by the U.S. government. This is his letter of resignation

The Latest from the APA On Torture

APA Psychologist's torture debate emails leaked



  1. What?
    Almost an hour has passed since you published and no one has cursed you out yet?


  2. I would be interested to see the reaction of the "anti-fascists" on the news above.

    What does Gregory Ioannou say about the tortures conducted by the agencies with which he is connected via USAID?

    Does he celebrate the torture methods conducted by his friendly organization?

    The same torture methods were conducted by the British special branch against EOKA members.

    The methods were tried, developed and perfected here in our island against the Hellene Cypriot freedom fighters.

    I wonder if Gregory Ioannou, and the rest of the "anti-fascist" gang applaud the imperialist beasts' tortures against their "right-wing" country men or the tortures against innocent people all over the world.

    Do they have anything to say about our left governments role in the transfer of the victims to their torture destinations through Cyprus soil?

    Anything? Anyone?

    Solon Antartis

  3. Fear begets fear and hate begets hate.

    A lot of human-beings have a lot to answer for when they leave this world.....I don't want to be one of them. I want my heart to be pure & clean on how I treated my fellow human-beings while I walked this Earth. This is a very human decision that each one of us must make and at this time of year, the majority seem to get it right.

    I only wish that there was peace on Earth and good-will toward men & women all year long.

    Rev.Steven B.Thompson,Executive Director
    Michigan NORML
    6215 Smeltzer Rd.
    Benzonia,MI 49616
    (231) 882-4496

    ‘Yes We Cannabis!!'

  4. Petros,

    None of ths would surprise anyone who has ever been in an American prison or police station. It goes on all the time and always has. Things are done in every mental hospital that would be considered torture if done to anyone other than mental patients too. Every psychiatrist working in suich places has taken part in torture sessions.

    It is a waste of time and effort to prosecute individuals. What needs to be done is eliminate the institutionalized system that makes it possible for these things to happen. Untill that is done, it will go on, regardless of how many individuals are punished. The system is perfectly willing to sacrifice a few low/level employees to give the semblence of "justice" as long as the real causes of such incidents are left untouched.

    Basic institutions such as police, prisons, and mental hospitals must be gotten rid of and replaced by something else that does not offer pathological individuals the oportunity to take out their frustrations on helpless prisoners. As long as those instituions exist, they will attract sadists and psychopaths to work in them.

    It is emotionally satisfying to talk about prosecuting a few guilty parties, but the question I would ask is, "What do you suggest to replace the CIA, police, Army, or psychiatric profession?"

  5. Twenty years ago I met with S.K.

    He was a wonderful man living in Limassol Cyprus, very humble and down to earth.

    The one thing that was very striking about this middle aged man was his white teeth. They were shining white.

    One day I found the courage to ask him:
    "Mr S how come your teeth are so white?"

    Marios he said laughing. They are not mine. The British pulled every single one out during my interrogation...

    S.K was one of the hundreds of EOKA members that survived the struggle never demanding anything from the state after.

    He survived the atrocities of the imperialists including his teeth being pulled out, his nails being pulled out and having a tab dripping on his forehead for hours.

    Lucky for him he died before watching our pseudo-communist president aligning himself with the imperialists responsible for his tortures and for the division of our island

    Marios Pouzas

  6. ΝΑΣΑ: ίσως άρχισε ΝΕΑ ΠΑΓΕΤΩΔΗΣ ΠΕΡΙΟΔΟΣ...-Ας ΕΤΟΙΜΑΖΟΜΑΣΤΕ καλού-κακού!

    ΝΑΣΑ προς Τιτανικό: πάρ' το αλλιώς!
    Lighthouse becomes icehouse
    Metrodome Roof Collapse

    According to scientists, Earth's orbit and orientation toward the Sun indicate that our world should be just beginning to enter a new period of cooling - perhaps the next ice age.
    Other important forcings of Earth's climate system include such "variables" as clouds, airborne particulate matter, and surface brightness. Each of these varying features of Earth's environment can cause our world to cool. For example, increased cloudiness would give more shade to the surface while reflecting more sunlight back to space. Major volcanic eruptions (such as that of Mt. Pinatubo in 1992) can inject so much aerosol into the atmosphere that, as it spreads around the globe, it reduces sunlight and cause Earth to cool. Likewise, increasing the surface area of highly reflective surface types, such as ice sheets, reflects greater amounts of sunlight back to space and causes Earth to cool.

    Αλλά όχι και να αρχίσουν οι λαοί αλληλοβοήθεια-αποκέντρωση-αναδασώσεις!


  7. I could write a longer article on this subject someday, but really, it has all been said already. There are newsletters and blogs by and for former mental patients that cover all this ground in great and expert detail. So-called mental health professionals must be stripped of their legal power to forcibly imprison whomever they wish, administer poisons called drugs, subject victims and their relatives to indoctrination sessions, inflict brain damage disguised as surgery, testify as expert witnesses in court, have convicted individuals sentenced to attend sessions with them, and all the other special legal privileges they now have.

    The role of a police officer should be one that every ablebodied adult is trained and able to take on at need, not granted to a selected few. Policing should be a normal duty of all adult citizens like jury duty, not a paid job for professionals.

    Imprisonment should be abandoned as a form of punishment. There is no need for it and it is impossible to prevent abuses of power in a prison situation. Until some better alternative is offered than long term imprisonment, I will continue to suport the death penalty on humanitarian grounds.

    There! Now you have a few ideas to work with!

  8. The Army has a psychological profile report in the personnel file of every employee. If they need someone who would be willing to torture or commit some other crime, they can find the right person for the job just by looking through the files. They can then assign a number of them to the same unit so no member of that unit is likely to rat on the others. So if something like torture goes on, it is probably a group consensus of the unit involved and there is a lot of social reinforcement in favor of it and group contempt for those who would be against it.

    Practically all cops, for example, sincerely think they are protecting society by planting evidence on people they know are guilty but cannot prove anything against in court. And any new recruit who did not fall into line with this thinking would never get hired.

    What I would really like to see is for you to take these ideas and work them up into an article on the subject.