Roger Aldrich, the Al Qaeda Manual, and the Origins of Mitchell-Jessen

By: Sunday August 16, 2009 4:00 pm

In parts one and two of this series on the origins of the SERE torture program, we examined how unlikely it was that James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, relying on entrepreneurial guile and chutzpah alone, convinced a passive Pentagon and CIA, eager to find some way to get terror intelligence, to buy into their “learned helplessness” interrogation paradigm.

 

Expanding the Investigation into SERE Torture

By: Friday August 14, 2009 4:00 pm

The first installment of this three-part series on the origins of the Mitchell-Jessen torture program concentrated on the insufficiency of reducing our understanding of the spread of torture during the Bush administration to the interventions of just two men. This is essentially the way the story was presented in a 12 August New York Times article by Scott Shane, leaving the question unanswered:

NYT Misses Full Story on Mitchell-Jessen

By: Thursday August 13, 2009 3:05 pm

Scott Shane’s new article in the New York Times on the background to the Mitchell-Jessen story may work as a prosecutorial brief, but it presents a narrative about the origins of the SERE-inspired torture program that is misleading in its particulars. As a result, though the article has some interesting new bits of information, and appears to be the result of a great deal of work, it presents an overly simplistic

Torture Architects Mitchell & Jessen in Road to Maui

By: Thursday June 18, 2009 4:45 pm

James Mitchell and John Bruce Jessen, the ex-military psychologists identified as primary architects of the CIA’s “enhanced interrogations techniques” torture program, apparently did not spend all their time on the battlefield. As the Bush administration-approved coercive interrogation techniques spread from Guantanamo and Afghanistan to the new war in Iraq, Mitchell and Jessen were cashing in on their new-found influence.

“Targets of Opportunity”: Corruption, Contractors, and the Origins of the SERE Torture Program

By: Sunday June 14, 2009 4:08 pm

Leon Panetta’s latest filing in the ACLU FOIA lawsuit had this curious revelation:

Officials of the National Security Council (NSC) determined it… essential to limit access to the information in the program. NSC officials established a special access program governing access to information relating to the CIA terrorist detention and interrogation program….

Two Generals Who Enabled Torture Skirt Accountability

By: Thursday June 4, 2009 6:00 pm

There’s been plenty of news and journalistic investigation on the torture enablers George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, John Yoo, Alberto Gonzalez, David Addington, and a host of other Bush administration figures. The CIA, too, has come in for its share of investigation and scutiny. But while the Senate Armed Services Committee conducted a months-long investigation and published last April a 200+ page report on Department of Defense abuse of

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