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You are here News Human Rights ACLU sues psychologists over CIA interrogation tactics

ACLU sues psychologists over CIA interrogation tactics

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ACLU sues psychologists over tortureThe American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Tuesday against two CIA contractors who designed and implemented the agency's harsh interrogation program, which has widely been denounced as torture.

According to the ACLU, James Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen — psychologists who had previously worked for the military — designed and participated in the CIA's interrogation methods, which the U.S. government has since renounced. The agency paid their company, Mitchell Jessen & Associates, $81 million, according to an unvarnished Senate report on the interrogation program, a summary of which was released last December.

The ACLU suit is on behalf of two men who say they were tortured using the methods but were never charged with any crimes, and a third prisoner who died in CIA custody, allegedly due to torture. The other two have since been freed.

“Mitchell and Jessen conspired with the CIA to torture these three men and many others,” Steven Watt, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU Human Rights Program said in a statement. “They claimed that their program was scientifically based, safe, and proven, when in fact it was none of those things. The program was unlawful and its methods barbaric. Psychology is a healing profession, but Mitchell and Jessen violated the ethical code of ‘do no harm’ in some of the most abhorrent ways imaginable.”

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