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High-roller Gruesome Torture Psychologists Finally Sued


By Deborah Dupre

Two American psychologists responsible for developing the US torture program, so gruesome, even the CIA rebuked it, are finally being sued by three of their victims with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). As with most US prisoners of war now called “detainees,” the three men were innocent of any crime, much less terrorism.

The CIA, with US military personnel aid, began using Jensen and Mitchell's torture program on newly wed fisherman from Tanzania, Suleiman Abdullah Salim, soon after kidnapping him, “renditioning him.” They cut his clothes from his body and forcibly inserted an object “into his anus, causing him excruciating pain,” according to the lawsuit.

US forces kidnapped one of the three in the lawsuit, an Afghan refugee living in Pakistan with his family, Gul Rahman. He was in Islamabad for a medical appointment. They took him to a CIA black site in Afghanistan, according to the ACLU. He was tortured to death.


“An internal CIA review and autopsy assessed that Rahman likely died from hypothermia — in part from having been forced to sit on the bare concrete floor without pants,” according to the Senate report. “Other contributing factors were identified as dehydration, lack of food, and immobility due to ‘short chaining',” the report stated. His body has not been returned to his family.

Under the guise of “counterterrorism,” the U.S. government paid Jim E. Mitchell, 63, and Bruce Jessen, 65 upward of $80 million to develop those types of torture, most gruesome torture operation in the country’s history, including mock burials, "rectal feeding" and waterboarding, according to a Senate report.

That report had detailed Mitchel and Jensen's torture, “enhanced interrogation techniques” that were among many unprecedented abuses the government succeeded in rationalizing to Americans to gain consent and complicity after the Sept. 11, 2001 mass murder. Each of those abuses fostered increasing government control over its minions. Throughout ancient and recent history, evil rulers have used fear, brutality and lies to further their power and control over the public. (See: Micheal Rivero, What Really Happened....)

Human rights-based groups that campaigned for over ten years to arrest the US torture architects are finally seeing their work paying off. Three torture survivors represented by the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the two psychologists who put into place the CIA’s so-called interrogation program after the Sept. 11, 2001 mass murder.

US military personnel, under the torture architect's instructions, slammed the three innocent targets into walls, placed them in coffin-like boxes, forced them to endure extreme temperature, starved them, water tortured them, sleep deprived them and chained them in stress positions, according to the ACLU. The three men were never charged with a crime, much less were they terrorists. Most anyone observing from afar would easily see who the real terrorists were.

Jensen had taught in the military's infamous Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape, or SERE training program, a program supposedly aimed to give Air Force members an idea of the enemies’ brutal methods. For years in with the SERE program, Jessen taught “Coping with isolation in a hostage environment,” a main component of the training, according to an investigation by Salon in 2007. Mitchell’s expertise was in bringing prisoners to the point of “helplessness.”

When Jensen was promoted to a top psychologist’s position at the school’s graduate sister school, he was replaced by Mitchell.

“The irony — and ultimately the tragedy — in the migration of SERE techniques is that the program was specifically designed to protect our soldiers from countries that violated the Geneva Conventions,” Brad Olson of the American Psychological Association, told Salon years ago. “The result of the reverse-engineering, however, was that by making foreign detainees the target, it made us the country that violated the Geneva Conventions.”

Not only did torture show the world how the US was violating international law, the US government made every American more vulnerable to terror attacks by torturing people, according to research. Research also shows no credible information is gained by torturing people. The main gain of the US torture program was non-consensual human experimentation, the same gained by covertly torturing thousands of innocent Targeted Individuals, the same gained in Nazi concentration camp torture chambers – information on how to better control humans.

At a black site “COBALT,” Americans put around Salim's waist a chain with a large ball at the end and then forced him to walk around the room naked and hooded until he collapsed.

Another time, they took him into a room with a wooden wall, placed a collar around his neck, and, “using the leash, the interrogator threw Mr. Salim against the wooden wall. Mr. Salim crashed into the wall, and as he rebounded, the interrogator struck Mr. Salim in the stomach,” the suit claims.

At Bagram, they placed Salim in small cages in solitary confinement so he could never see daylight, according to the ACLU.

The U.S. eventually released Salim with a simple letter saying he posed no threat to the United States. The other two men suing the psychologists experienced similar torture. Even after their experienced with US forces, the two survivors suffer unimaginable pain and might do so as long as they live.

The ACLU reports:

“Constant flashbacks transported [Salim] back to his torture at the hands of his CIA captors. After years of near-starvation he was unable to eat normally. He suffered splitting headaches and pain throughout his body from the torture. Prolonged isolation left him unaccustomed to human interaction... Unable to sleep due to the torment of his memories and the physical pain, he found limited solace playing with his family’s rabbits in the middle of the night.

Salim expressed similar fear and re-victimization most Targeted Individuals eventually experience and express after being in the unspoken torture experiment they are in.

“I was afraid of so many things,” Salim says in halting English acquired in prison. “Everyone thought I’m crazy.”

The Senate report had referred to the two psychologists via pseudonyms – Grayson Swigert and Hammond Dunbar. Previous reports, however, identified Mitchell and Jessen. The CIA had contracted their consulting company Mitchell, Jessen & Associates in 2005 to take over its secret prison program, as its masterminds. “The whole intense interrogation concept that we hear about, is essentially their concepts,” Col. Steven Kleinman, an Air Force interrogator, told ABC News in 2009.

Jensen and Mitchell developed, operated, and assessed interrogation operations. The methods of torture were approved by lawyers at the Justice Department.

“Psychology is a healing profession, but Mitchell and Jessen violated the ethical code of ‘do no harm’ in some of the most abhorrent ways imaginable,” the ACLU stated in a press release.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Washington State under the Alien Tort Statute, that allows federal lawsuits by non-U.S. Citizens for wrongful acts committed in violation of international law.

Typical of psychopaths, neither psychologist Mitchell nor Jensen has publicly expressed regret for the program they orchestrated. Mitchell had defended the CIA interrogations and accused the Senate of releasing the report for political reasons.

"I think it's despicable that they cherry-picked all of that stuff," Mitchell told ABC News. "There were a lot of men and women in the CIA who put their lives on the line, and some of them died after 9/11 protecting the United States. And to suggest that they lied to the president, that they lied to the Senate, that they falsified intel reports so they could make a program look better than it was, is despicable."

Lack of remorse and blaming others are two other typical traits of a psychopath.

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