"Is it safe?""Oh, don't worry. I'm not going into that cavity. That nerve's already dying. A live, freshly-cut nerve is infinitely more sensitive. So I'll just drill into a healthy tooth until I reach the pulp. That is unless, of course, you can tell me that it's safe." - - - Dr. Christian Szell (Marathon Man)
|(Associated Press) - The Obama administration has asked Congress repeatedly to exempt its military effort against the Islamic State from a longstanding ban on U.S. assistance to torturers and war criminals, highlighting doubts about finding "clean" American allies in a region wracked by ethnic animosity and religious extremism. (Associated Press)|
Two psychologists were paid $81 million by the CIA to advise on and help implement its brutal interrogation program targeting detainees in the war on terror, according to the Senate torture report summary released Tuesday.
The contract psychologists are identified with pseudonyms -- Grayson Swigert and Hammond Dunbar -- like most of the individuals named in the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the CIA program. Published reports dating back to 2007, however, identify the two men as James Elmer Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, both former members of the military.
According to the documents released Tuesday, Mitchell and Jessen -- aka Swigert and Dunbar -- played a key role in this grim chapter of American history.
The Senate report details how Swigert and Dunbar traveled the world for the CIA, devising and carrying out interrogations using tactics that meet widely accepted definitions of torture. The two men were also entrusted with judging whether their methods were successful. Not surprisingly, they reported to their CIA bosses that their methods were crucial to persuading prisoners to divulge high-value information.
For six years, starting in 2002, the two psychologists operated what amounted to a feedback loop of torture, coming up with new ways to inflict pain on detainees and then convincing CIA brass that the harsh tactics had worked.
Although Jessen has previously said that a confidentiality agreement prevents him from discussing his work for the CIA, the two men in 2007 issued a statement saying, "The advice we have provided, and the actions we have taken have been legal and ethical." They added, "We are proud of the work we have done for our country."
The report reveals that for Dunbar and Swigert, that work was also a cash cow.
After initially helping to devise the "enhanced interrogation" efforts, they were designated as the only two contractors allowed to oversee these interrogations at sites around the world. In 2005, they formed a company to receive contracts from the CIA. According to the Senate report, the base value of their contract in 2006 was in excess of $180 million.
By the time the CIA terminated their contract in 2009, the consulting firm founded by the two men had collected $81 million in taxpayer money. In May of that year, ProPublica reported, the firm abruptly gave up the lease on its Spokane, Washington, headquarters and disconnected the phone.
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|Do you really want to give the liar hack |
politician of the moment (Gore, Cheney,
Janet Reno or Eric Holder) the power to torture?