Professor and Associate Dean Milena Sterio published a blog post on Intlawgrrls discussing the recently-filed ACLU lawsuit against two psychologists who, as C.I.A. contractors, devised and implemented a harsh interrogation plan used against detainees at secret agency prisons.
“According to the lawsuit, defendants Mitchell and Jessen committed torture, human experimentation, and war crimes because of their roles in the secret interrogation program. The torturous interrogation techniques devised by Mitchell and Jessen included waterboarding, sleep deprivation, isolation and stress positions. These techniques inflicted severe physical and mental pain on detainees to induce a state of “learned helplessness,” where detainees become passive and fully compliant with all of their interrogators’ demands. According to the complaint, these techniques amounted to torture and cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment as well as war crimes. In addition, the complaint alleges that Mitchell and Jessen kept detailed logs of interrogation sessions in order to analyze detainees’ reactions to torture, calibrate the methods used, and provide the Bush administration with false assurances that such practices were “safe” and “effective.” According to the complaint, collecting such information without informed consent constitutes unlawful research and experimentation.”
Professor Sterio’s post is available here.