Tags: james mitchell | 911 | interrogation | excessive

Psychologist: Sept. 11 Suspect Subjected to 'Excessive' Abuse

James Connell, left, civilian defense lawyer for Ammar al-Baluchi, and Air Force Lt. Col. Sterling Thomas
James Connell, left, the civilian defense lawyer for Ammar al-Baluchi, and Air Force Lt. Col. Sterling Thomas, his military lawyer, speak with reporters about FBI questioning of the defense teams staff in the Sept. 11 war crimes case. (Ben Fox/AP)

By    |   Friday, 24 January 2020 10:12 AM

Psychologist James Mitchell, who helped the CIA develop “enhanced interrogation techniques,” said the agency subjected a man accused of helping finance the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to “excessive” abuse.

Mitchell’s comments came in pre-trial testimony Thursday in Guantanamo in the case of Ammar al-Baluchi. Details of the testimony were provided in a Friday report by NPR.

Al-Baluchi is the nephew of the alleged mastermind of the attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

NRP reported that during a May 2003 interrogation at a CIA prison in Afghanistan, al-Baluchi was knocked into a wall, doused with water and slapped in the face and stomach. It attributed the information to an unclassified CIA document presented in court.

He also was forced to lean at an angle against a wall using only his forehead and to kneel backwards to an extreme degree — for nearly an hour.

Before his questioning, al-Baluchi was kept in a “standing sleep deprivation position” for about a day.

NPR reported that Mitchell confirmed claims by al-Baluchi’s attorneys that CIA employees used the experience as a training tool for learning the agency’s techniques.

Mitchell had co-owned a company that was paid $80 million by the U.S. to develop what the CIA has termed “enhance interrogation techniques.”

A former interrogation trainer, Mitchell said it is not customary for people learning interrogation techniques to practice on prisoners.

He told al-Baluchi’s attorney:  "It looks like they used your client as a training prop.”

Of the 20 “facial slaps” al-Baluchi was subjected to, Mitchell noted: “To me, that seems excessive.”

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Psychologist James Mitchell, who helped the CIA develop “enhanced interrogation techniques,” said the agency subjected a man accused of helping finance the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to “excessive” abuse.
james mitchell, 911, interrogation, excessive
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2020-12-24
Friday, 24 January 2020 10:12 AM
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