Thursday, April 23, 2009

Who Lied?

Marc Thiessen seems willing to take at face value assertions the CIA made to the OLC that traditional (non-torturous) interrogation techniques were of little use in the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah. But FBI Special Agent Ali Soufan directly contradicts that notion; he says flat-out that he was getting "important actionable intelligence" before he was whisked away, allegedly as a result of his unwillingness to tie Al Qaeda to Saddam Hussein. This has Spencer Ackerman wondering exactly who was telling CIA attorneys Scott Muller and John Rizzo that traditional interrogations weren't working with Zubaydah. Ackerman speculates that SERE psychologist James Mitchell had something to do with it. Why? Mitchell wanted to get paid: it too cynical to suggest that Mitchell also had an interest in saying that Soufan and the FBI’s (and apparently, in part, CIA’s) non-brutal techniques failed? From page 24 of the Senate Armed Services Committee report:

Subsequent from his retirement from DoD [the Department of Defense], Dr. Jessen joined Dr. Mitchell and other former JPRA [Joint Personnel Recovery Agency, which oversees SERE] officials to form a company called Mitchell Jessen & Associates. Mitchell Jessen & Associates is co-owned by seven individuals, six of whom either worked for JPRA or one of the service SERE schools as employees and/or contractors. As of July 2007, the company had between 55 and 60 employees, several of whom were former JPRA employees.

Science may be science, but money is money.

Is that unbelievable? Not to me, and not for someone like Mitchell, who sounds like a real piece of work.

No comments: