Attorneys believe that given Jessen and Mitchell’s role in designing the torture methods used by the US in its War on Terror, the defendants may have pertinent information regarding whether Polish nationals were complicit in the CIA’s techniques. Reprieve, a non-profit human rights watchdog, publicly announced on Wednesday that a lawsuit was filed in late May against the architects of the CIA torture protocol, the Star Tribune reported.
The lawyers highlighted alleged torture practices used against a suspected al-Qaeda "facilitator" at a clandestine interrogation building in Stare Kiejkuty, Poland from December 2002 until September 2003, according to the lawsuit.
In 2006, their client was transferred to the US military prison facility at Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay, where he remains to this day, despite pledges from former President Barack Obama to shutter the site.
The ACLU filed a separate lawsuit against Jessen and Mitchell in January, citing “commission of torture; cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment; non-consensual human experimentation; and war crimes,” the civil liberties group said on its website. That trial will begin in the fall of 2017.
Mitchell and Jessen’s consultancy landed a cushy $81-million federal contract to apply psychological insights to the process of extracting bits of information from prisoners, the Star Tribune wrote. The ACLU explained the psychologists’ operating principles as such: By inflicting sufficient mental and physical pain, tortured inmates would wash away any inhibitions as they morphed into a state of “learned helplessness.” Inducing this state, Mitchell and Jessen hypothesized, would transform ex-terrorists into useful informants.
That turned out to be a waste of $81 million in taxpayer money. The enhanced interrogation methods “do not produce intelligence,” “will probably result in false answers,” and have “historically proven to be ineffective,” according to a CIA self-assessment published in a 2014 Senate report.
Then-President Barack Obama terminated the contract and declared that the CIA’s interrogation practices must adhere to the Army Field Manual.
According to the same 2014 "Torture Report," "CIA personnel, aided by two outside contractors, decided to initiate a program of indefinite secret detention and the use of brutal interrogation techniques in violation of US law, treaty obligations, and our values."
Before testing enhanced torture methods on prisoners, Jessen and Mitchell used dogs for their experiments.