Torture — Former CIA Interrogator Responds to Whoopi Goldberg

CIA EITs program was not torture. If it was, I would be in jail. I am just the guy who was asked to do something for his country.”

Dr. James Mitchell

“Although these guys [Mitchell and Jessen] believe that their way is the only way, there should be an effort to define roles and responsibilities before their arrogance and narcissism evolve into unproductive conflict in the field.”

CIA medical professional — Email (June 16, 2003)

“James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen are war criminals.”

John Kiriakou — Former CIA Officer

Bruce Jessen and James Mitchell

‘Enhanced Interrogation’ author Dr. James Mitchell speaks out after ‘The View’ co-host Whoopi Goldberg criticized the infamous CIA interrogation programme. While watching the interview, keep in mind that Mitchell earned 81 million US$ for his work with the CIA. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today

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The interview of Dr James Michell– see video below — left me both speechless and angry.

I contacted Dr Jeffrey Kaye — a retired psychologist — who sent me the following comment.

“After watching the video I was filled with amazement and disgust.

What stood out for me was not the discussion about waterboarding per se, but the transformation of James Mitchell into a kind of pundit celebrity.

Mitchell, who worked for the CIA, was a key figure in the construction and implementation of the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” torture program.

He and his associate, Bruce Jessen, played the role of identified targets, directing the attention of courts and media to them and away from others within CIA that were involved in construction, approval, and implementation of the program.

The context of the interview and Haspel controversy is also important.

In 2015, the UN indicated in its review of U.S. torture practices that the Army Field Manual contains procedures that are tantamount to torture, highlighting in particular its use of sleep and sensory deprivation.

But this is never mentioned by the press or human rights groups, thereby ceding the ground to outright torture advocates such as Mitchell.”

US Poll — Most Americans don’t know and don’t care

Americans love James Bond, Jack Bauer and Jason Bourne. They simply can’t get enough of spy thriller television series such “Homeland” which has been  renewed for an eighth — and final — season.

But when it comes to the on-going debate regarding the confirmation of Gina Haspel as CIA Director, they could not care less.

Very few have heard of her and even fewer understand her role in the history of the CIA ‘Black Sites’ and the so-called ‘Enhanced Interrogation Programme’.

Most American consider waterboarding to be a form of torture. However, they are divided on the issue of torture in the fight against terrorism. Is torture acceptable? Necessary? Useful? When asked, their answers clearly fall along political lines.

Let us review a few facts

Not so bad? — Let us start with the obvious. Even if it is true that Mitchell waterboarded various people from the US government and the CIA, there is a major difference. These folks knew full well that he was not going to kill them.

Legal by US Laws? — During World War II, Japanese military personnel used waterboarding as a method of torture. According to Senator John McCain, United States military hanged Japanese soldiers for waterboarding American prisoners.  A minimal sentence for Japanese soldiers convicted of waterboarding American soldiers was 15 years.

On 21 January 1968, The Washington Post published a controversial front-page photograph of two U.S soldiers and one South Vietnamese soldier participating in the waterboarding of a North Vietnamese POW. The photograph led to the soldier being court-martialled by a U.S. military court within one month of its publication, and he was discharged from the army.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed the Convention Against Torture. Reagan pressed the Senate to ratify it on a bipartisan basis, arguing that the United States should be a global leader to help “bring an end to the abhorrent practice of torture. The Convention prohibits torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment in all circumstances, with no
exceptions. The Convention requires all states to prosecute all torturers found on its soil. The Convention clearly states that nothing excuses torturers, including terrorism or “an order from a superior officer”.

Useful? — In December 2014, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence issued a declassified 500 page summary of its still classified 6,700 page report on the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Detention and Interrogation Program. The report concluded that “the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques (EIT) was not effective for acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.”

According to the report, the CIA had presented no credible proof that information obtained through waterboarding or the other harsh interrogation methods that the CIA employed prevented any attacks or saved any lives. There was no evidence that information obtained from the detainees through EIT was not or could not have been obtained through conventional interrogation methods.

Former CIA Interrogator Responds to Whoopi Goldberg

 

C.I.A. Torture: Interrogating The Interrogators | The New York Times

REFERENCES

Poll: Just a third of Americans think Trump’s CIA pick should be blocked for overseeing torture — AOL

James Mitchell: ‘I’m just a guy who got asked to do something for his country’ — TheGuardian

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Torture — Former CIA Interrogator Responds to Whoopi Goldberg

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