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Issue #1905      March 2, 2020

Trained US torture architects

CIA psychologists who designed torture methods, to be used at illegal US Naval Base in Guantánamo, testify unapologetically in pre-trial hearings

The United States used trained professionals to design torture for detainees at the illegal Guantánamo base prison, accused – not proven – of being involved in the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001.

Hundreds of detainees from several countries were held at the base, simply on suspicion or because they had Arabic features. Most never had access to a lawyer, or were informed of the charges they faced, that led to their arrest.

The truth is that the CIA experimented on them with the most terrible methods of torture. Some could not resist and died. Others committed suicide. And some remain in Guantánamo.

In January of 2020 the truth is coming out and it involves US psychologists, who created the CIA’s so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

Psychologists James E. Mitchell and John Bruce Jessen were in charge of creating cruel new methods such as waterboarding, sleep deprivation, confinement in small coffin-sized boxes, and beatings, Russia Today reports.

The professionals involved in this unethical work of torture testified, unapologetically, in pre-trial military commission hearings, 21st January, in the case against detainee Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and co-defendants.

Their testimony could influence the fate of detainees if it is determined – already more than proven – that the CIA and FBI were accomplices in torturing the detainees and that the “enhanced interrogation techniques” used by the US government violated their human rights.

Five defendants are facing the death penalty. The legal status of prisoners and the torture used against them has led institutions like Amnesty International to state that the proceedings of the military commissions, which will make the final ruling, do not meet international fair trial standards.

There is more injustice in the US judicial system and its non-credible “respect for human rights.”

According to a CIA’s secret report on the role of doctors in its torture program between 2002 and 2007, published in 2018 by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the CIA-hired professionals legitimised torture experiments carried out on the detainees.

Thus, the Agency’s legal team convinced the Justice Department to legalise waterboarding, despite its representing an imminent risk of death, Russia Today reports.

Psychologists James Mitchell and John Jessen knew that, technically speaking, the torture methods they created were not considered illegal during their use under the George W Bush administration, so both psychologists insist that they did nothing wrong, only what they were asked to do and what was considered absolutely legitimate.

Before the military tribunal hearing at the illegal base in Guantánamo, James Mitchell went so far as to declare that if he had the opportunity, he would do the same thing again.

This is just another instance of the United States and its “justice” system involving health professionals at the request of the Central Intelligence Agency and, of course, their very unique way of “respecting human rights.”


Next article – Trump pardons more violators of the public trust

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