Lawsuit Advances Against CIA Torture Contractors

Lawsuit Advances Against CIA Torture Contractors | Torture doctors bragged of getting CIA medals for designing program

The International Criminal Court’s investigation into myriad US torture programs the world over has rested on the fact that the US government is not doing anything to punish any of those involved in the crimes. One civil lawsuit is continuing to slowly advance, however.

Dr. James E. Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, a pair of contracted psychologists, were hired by the Bush Administration to design and run the entire torture program. Mitchell has even written a book bragging of his involvement, and the fact that they both got medals from the CIA for their “services.”

Their defense is built around the idea that they acted “with government permission” in committing these crimes, and seems to rest heavily on their ability to get the current government’s support in suppressing classified evidence of all the sordid details.

While President Obama spent the last eight years admitting “we tortured some folks” and shirking responsibility for it, experts are saying is likely to rest on President-elect Donald Trump whether to claim “state secrets” to block this particular civil case from going any further.

While Trump campaigned on the idea of returning to the days of torture, it isn’t clear he’s going to be on board with using the state secrets claim to cover up the torture of the past. This is particularly true because he has previously presented the torturing as something of a badge of honor for the US, and the recent lack as a sign of weakness. Trump is also said to be souring on the return to torture, after discussions with Gen. James Mattis, and that could also change things.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • Pat Dunne

    Accountability is the foundation of justice and democracy.
    These people need to be held accountable.

  • Adriaan de Leeuw

    SCOTUS in Hamden V Rumsfeld made the comment that all Prisoners caught in Afghanistan had at least common article three rights, well in both POW and Civilian prisoner Geneva Rights conventions there are articles that call torture and even lessor crimes against inmates war crimes, Article 130

    Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts, if committed against persons or property protected by the Convention: wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, compelling a prisoner of war to serve in the forces of the hostile Power, or wilfully depriving a prisoner of war of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in this Convention.

    even the argument it was not torture would be covered by that article above,there are also in those same articles Article 131

    No High Contracting Party shall be allowed to absolve itself or any other High Contracting Party of any liability incurred by itself or by another High Contracting Party in respect of breaches referred to in the preceding Article.

    Of which the US congress did for the CIA and others with laws passed by Congress at the end of the Bush Presidency, laws which are obviously un constitutional as they breach the treaty above which has been ratigfied by the senate! of course then there is the other problem that again has been ratified by the Senate,
    Article 129

    The High Contracting Parties undertake to enact any legislation necessary to provide effective penal sanctions for persons committing, or ordering to be committed, any of the grave breaches of the present Convention defined in the following Article.

    Each High Contracting Party shall be under the obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts. It may also, if it prefers, and in accordance with the provisions of its own legislation, hand such persons over for trial to another High Contracting Party concerned, provided such High Contracting Party has made out a prima facie case.

    Each High Contracting Party shall take measures necessary for the suppression of all acts contrary to the provisions of the present Convention other than the grave breaches defined in the following Article.

    In all circumstances, the accused persons shall benefit by safeguards of proper trial and defence, which shall not be less favourable than those provided by Article 105 and those following of the present Convention.

    The US Senate has Ratified other nations courts to try US WAR CRIMINALS in their courts IF the United Staes refuses to prosecute them themselves! That the US doesnt recognise the ICC is immaterial it does recognise that other Nations Courts have jurisdiction to prosecute and is the reason why Rumsfeld wouldnt go to Germany when he was the Secretary of Defense or Why Bush wouldnt go to Geneva a few years back as they both heard there were warrants for their arrest waiting for them!

    • jeff_davis

      Thank you, Adrian.

      The US political class has sunk into rampant criminality, but remain protected by the unspoken rule that state actors are above the law. Which of course is the rule for state actors everywhere, as those in control of the judiciary never hold themselves accountable for their misdeeds on behalf of the state.

      Only defeated state actors, after a revolution or war, will be held accountable, which happens only when the political class is divided internally by unbridgeable differences, or externally by boundaries of sovereignty.

      “Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.” Jonathan Swift

      Since the beginning of humanity, the powerful, in exclusive possession of the tools of violence and control, have ***been*** the law. Human progress in the political realm has gradually moved in the direction of the law actually being supreme, that is, above even the rich and powerful. It’s not there yet, but there is no reason to believe it won’t get there eventually. If President Trump would take that last step, and indict every surviving perpetrator among the DC criminal class for all past war crimes — there being no statute of limitations for war crimes(Kissinger is still alive) — his legacy as one of the greatest of all modern leaders would be established. He won’t do it, but the march of human civilization awaits the man/woman who will. I hope to see it in my lifetime.