VICE News Exclusive: The Architect of the CIA’s Enhanced Interrogation Program

 

This video contains the first ever interview with Dr. James Mitchell, “The Architect of the CIA’s Enhanced Interrogation Program.” Key findings of this interview include:

  • James Mitchell and Dr. Bruce Jessen, retired Air Force psychologist from the SERE program under contract from the CIA, created the framework for the Enhanced Interrogation Program (EIP) and waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri with the approval of the Department of Justice.
  • Some of the EIP methods included: attention grasping, walling, facial holding facial slapping, cramped confinement, wall standing, stress positions, sleep deprivation, placing insects in a confined space, and waterboarding.
  • James Mitchell noted a contradiction in America’s policies towards EIP and targeted killing through the disposition matrix in terms of collateral damage.
  • EIP was not to gain intelligence from a suspect in and of itself, but was to loosen a suspect “to facilitate to get actionable intelligence” with future debriefing. Thus, EIP was used as a “bad cop” routine to get future intelligence for a “good cop” debriefing, as noted in Jose Rodriguez in his book Hard Measures.
  • James Mitchell was exposed in a 2005 New Yorker article, and Joseph Margulies, Abu Zubaydah’s lawyer, attempted to get the psychologist’s license removed.
  • Mitchell was moved to study Islam after his friend, Don Hutchings, was abducted and killed by terrorists in the Kashmir.
  • Mitchell also noted the difference between unrestrained interrogation by U.S. allies (such as Egypt and Yemen) against restrained interrogation by U.S. personnel.

 

The New Yorker. The Experiment.” July 11, 2005. Accessed January 1, 2015.

Vice News. “Psychologist James Mitchell Admits He Waterboarded al Qaeda Suspects.” December 15, 2014. Accessed January 1, 2015.

Vice News. “VICE News Exclusive: The Architect of the CIA’s Enhanced Interrogation Program.” December 10, 2014. Accessed January 1, 2015.

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