Former US Detainees Sue CIA Torture Program Architects
Source: Telesur English
 13 October 2015
Two U.S. psychologists contracted by the CIA are accused of human experimentation, torture and war crimes.
CIA psychologists behind the U.S. intelligence agency’s “enhanced interrogation” program are guilty of torture, non-consensual human experimentation, and war crimes, three former detainees alleged in federal lawsuit Tuesday.

The civil case was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of plaintiffs Suleiman Abdullah Salim, Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud, and Gul Rahman, who were all held in CIA detention centers in Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11.

RELATED: U.S. Senate Report on CIA Torture

Not one of the three was ever charged with a crime. Raham died in a CIA prison in 2002, while the other two were eventually released.

“It was cruel and unethical, and it violated a prohibition against human experimentation that has been in place since World War II.”
According to the lawsuit, Raham’s autopsy report showed he died from hypothermia caused “in part from being forced to sit on the bare concrete floor without pants,” with the contributing factors of “dehydration, lack of food, and immobility due to ‘short chaining’.”

The case is being brought against psychologists James Elmer Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen, contractors who managed a company that was given a US$81 million paycheck from the CIA over a four-year period, and “helped convince the agency to adopt torture as official policy.”

The duo was also featured in last year’s CIA “torture report.”

The lawsuit sets out that the pair devised the torture program to intentionally inflict intense pain and suffering, on both a physical and mental level. The object was to psychologically destroy detainees through torture and abuse so that they would be unable to resists demands for information. The CIA adopted the methods in 2002, and contracted Mitchell and Jessen to train others in the arts of tortures.

RELATED: Secret Document Shows CIA Reaction to Finding No WMD in Iraq

“(Plaintiffs) were subjected to solitary confinement; extreme darkness, cold, and noise; repeated beatings; starvation; excruciatingly painful stress positions; prolonged sleep deprivation; confinement in coffin-like boxes; and water torture,” according to the ACLU lawsuit. “Defendants are directly liable because they experimented on Plaintiffs by seeking to induce in them a state of ‘learned helplessness’ to break their will by means of torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.”

Intelligence agencies expert Steven Aftergood told the Guardian that the tortured men were being studied by medical professionals to note their responses to such treatments, which ACLU said amounted to a war crime.

“These psychologists devised and supervised an experiment to degrade human beings and break their bodies and minds,” said Dror Ladin, a staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project. “It was cruel and unethical, and it violated a prohibition against human experimentation that has been in place since World War II.”