Saturday, December 20, 2014

Psychologist who devised CIA interrogation tactics resigned as Mormon bishop

Bruce Jessen (pictured on the left), one of the chief architects of the CIA's torture program, bemoaned the exposure that caused him to resign from his position as the bishop of his Mormon church in Spokane, Washington. On December 11, 2014, Jessen told Reuters that he had to quit after civil liberties and human rights activists criticized his past activities in the local newspaper. “This was due to concerns expressed about his past work related to interrogation techniques,” said Eric Hawkins, a national spokesman in Salt Lake City for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Local leaders met with Jessen and together determined that it would be difficult for him to serve as an effective leader in that position,” Hawkins added.

Former Air Force psychologists, Bruce Jessen and James Mitchell, ran a company that received compensation of a whopping $81.1 million from the CIA, according to a U.S. Senate report released on December 9, 2014. Neither one of them had any experience in interrogation or counter-terrorism. According to the report, the pair recommended waterboarding, slapping, humiliation, the use of insects and mock burials for detainees in the agency’s secret prisons. The American Psychological Association called for Jessen and Mitchell to be held accountable, although neither one of them belong to the organization and therefore cannot be disciplined.