Alex Emmons writes about a lawsuit filed by the ACLU against two psychologists James Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen who received lucrative government contracts to devise the most abusive torture methods used by the government. Their work was supervised by Gina Haspel who has been appointed by Donald Trump as deputy director of the CIA.
Haspel ran a secret prison in Thailand in 2002, part of the CIA’s global network of “black sites.” That prison — codenamed “DETENTION SITE GREEN” by Senate investigators — was the site of the CIA’s first prisoner interrogations after the 9/11 attacks, and Haspel supervised them. She later took part in covering up the abuses, helping to destroy 92 videotapes of interrogations against the Senate’s wishes.
The Senate torture report does not mention Haspel by name, but details the role of the prison’s station chief in the horrific torture of detainee Abu Zubaydah, who the CIA waterboarded until he became “completely unresponsive, with bubbles rising through his open, full mouth.”
The defense is seeking Hempel’s testimony to support their claim that everything they did was authorized by the CIA, and the Trump administration is seeking to prevent her from being forced to give a deposition.
What struck me about the story was this bit.
The lawsuit against Mitchell and Jessen is the first torture lawsuit the Department of Justice did not try to block in its entirety. Although the government is not a direct party to the case, it is paying Mitchell and Jessen’s legal fees. Knowing they could face legal liability for their actions, the CIA provided Mitchell and Jessen with a multi-million dollar indemnification contract in 2007 – meaning that if they were sued for their actions, taxpayers would foot the bill.
So they realized all along that what they were doing was not only morally wrong but illegal and liable for damages as well but they went ahead and did it and shifted the cost to us.