Tags: CIA | contractor | James Mattis | Waterboarding

Former CIA Contractor to Mattis: Waterboarding Works

Image: Former CIA Contractor to Mattis: Waterboarding Works

Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis. (AP)

By    |   Friday, 09 Dec 2016 02:56 PM

Waterboarding is effective and President-elect Donald Trump's pick to serve as secretary of defense should reconsider his view on the technique, a former CIA contractor wrote in an opinion piece published Friday.

James Mitchell, who helped put together the CIA's enhanced-interrogation program, waterboarded the three terrorists who were contracted by the CIA to perform the technique on. He's convinced that the torture technique works and that it must remain in U.S. intelligence agencies' quiver if preventing future attacks on American and other Western targets is a priority.

"Waterboarding was never the first, nor the best, choice for most detainees," Mitchell wrote in The Wall Street Journal. "We started out with the 'tea and sympathy' approach and only escalated to harsher methods when it became clear that the detainee held vital information that might save innocent lives and was determined not to provide it.

"We quickly moved away from enhanced interrogations as soon as the detainee showed even a little cooperation.

"The people I dealt with were not run-of-the-mill battlefield detainees, but hardened terrorists. Men like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. These people were hellbent on bringing about further devastation."

Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis reportedly told Trump using "beer and cigarettes" is a better option for getting information from terror suspects than enhanced-interrogation methods.

Mitchell said Mattis should rethink that opinion.

"I would ask Gen. Mattis this: Imagine being captured by America's enemies," Mitchell wrote. "Would you give up important secrets that could get fellow Americans captured or killed in exchange for a Michelob and a pack of Marlboros?"

Mitchell also would like Trump to think about what's best for America when it comes to getting vital information from terror suspects captured on the battlefield.

Enhanced-interrogation methods like waterboarding are now illegal under U.S. law because of an amendment tacked onto the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016.

"Is he prepared to say that if intelligence cannot be elicited using only the tactics contained in the Army Field Manual — as President Obama has directed — we will simply have to live with the consequences?" Mitchell asked of Trump.

"Overemphasize political correctness, and we will be standing on the moral high ground, looking down into a smoking hole that used to be several city blocks."

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Waterboarding is effective and President-elect Donald Trump's pick to serve as secretary of defense should reconsider his view on the technique, a former CIA contractor wrote in an opinion piece published Friday.
CIA, contractor, James Mattis, Waterboarding
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2016-56-09
Friday, 09 Dec 2016 02:56 PM
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