Guantanamo psychologists who created the torture techniques used by CIA on detainees are facing lawsuits — and it doesn’t look good for them. This comes after the American Psychological Association (APA) tried but failed to distance itself from the practices that have received much criticism since Guantanamo Bay opened in 2002.
Two former detainees and the family of a third who died in custody filed a lawsuit earlier this month against the American psychologists who designed the CIA’s torture techniques. This is the first legal action to rely on the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation of the government’s interrogation program.
The plaintiffs accused James Elmer Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen of torture, cruel and degrading punishment, war crimes and conducting an “experimental torture program” as part of a “joint criminal enterprise” with the nation’s top intelligence agency.
These psychologiest earned more than $80 million for developing the brutal interrogation methods, which include but are not limited to simulated drowning (waterboarding), beatings, starvation, sexual abuse, forced tube-feedings and confinement in “coffin-like boxes,” for supervising their use on detainees in secret overseas CIA prisons and for personally applying them to detainees, according to the suit.
Here is a video made by musician Mos Def, showing what force-feeding looks like:
The action was brought on behalf of Suleiman Abdullah Salim, a Tanzanian fisherman and trader who was abducted from Somalia, and Mohammad Ahmed Ben Soud, a former Libyan opposition activist who was seized in Pakistan. Neither was ever charged with a crime.
The third plaintiff is a relative of Gul Rahman, an Afghan who died in CIA custody in November 2002 from suspected hypothermia and other complications after being “slapped, punched and dragged naked, hooded and bound,” doused in cold water and left in freezing temperatures. His family was never notified of his death and was never given his body.
For information on the reaction from the American Psychological Association (APA, see the video below: