As an attorney representing victims of torture, one of the most inspiring things I have ever seen is the sheer determination of survivors standing up and publicly confronting those responsible. That’s why I’m so elated that our clients Suleiman Abdullah Salim, Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud, and Obaidullah have surmounted so many obstacles in their long pursuit of justice.
And today, these brave men secured a settlement from James Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen, the two psychologists who designed and implemented the CIA torture program that ensnared two of them and killed a relative of the third.
I wish they and the ACLU had been able to sue GW Bush and his attorneys who approved torture, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and Condoleeza Rice as well. For me, the Bush administration began the head-long dive into despicable Republican torture-depravity, and Obama did nothing to slow or stop it.
RealNews has a good article on this. Apparently these 2 individuals were represented by CIA lawyers, and the settlement was paid by the CIA i.e. our money. It also says that the standard pay for these 2 contractors (and others) is at around $1,000 per day, and that they made millions in this process. Not sure what the value of this victory truly is for the rest of us…as for the 2 of them…I can’t see what exactly did they loose.
There’s a parallel case involving prisoners who froze to death. Their families recently settled, apparently rather than pursue those responsible for the deaths of their family members. If not mistaken, Mr. Ladin and the ACLU represented those families. As in this case, the settlements were (of course) not disclosed.
The larger issue in both cases: Will the CIA be allowed to continue its torture practices?
That is not disclosed. Of course.
I commend these brave men and their attorneys. it’s so tragic that they had to endure such treatment by truly vile and evil people. Both of those psychologists should be imprisoned and lose their licenses.
Right. They should have lost their freedom and their ability to work with human beings.
I found a RealNews video of John Kiriakou talking about it here:
It is horrifying to see torturers get away with it. If the ACLU is happy the courts didn’t slam every last door, that’s at least something, but it tells us how committed the U.S. government is to protecting torturers.
But for developing the torture program, they made 80 million. Paid by us.
Have laws stopped the CIA from assassinating leaders who defy the Empire’s interest? Have they stopped the CIA from torturing so far?
No, and more legal rulings won’t stop the CIA now.
Until we ourselves have mastered our propensities for violence with deniability, our organizations will demonstrate the same propensities.
Humans have been torturing one another–and our other-than-human relations–for a long, long time.
Many humans all over the planet are torturing “others” right this minute. Most of these behaviors are regarded as normal, inevitable, and even laudable by the majority within the communities in which they are occurring.
Many, many more Americans practice torture than we like to think. The symptoms these men suffer are common to survivors of familial physical, sexual, emotional, mental and/or spiritual violence, and there are a LOT of such survivors here in “civilization.”
Most often, the torture of children within families here is denied or minimized by family members, the medical/insurance/pharmaceutical industry, the legal system, and modernity as a whole.
Very few such survivors ever receive the validation these survivors of CIA torture just did. Most instead endure chronic traumatization through tribal silencing and shaming.
May we live to make a new day for all survivors and perpetrators of torture, without exception
May we feel compelled to learn about how we have ourselves survived and perpetrated torture until this abomination is eliminated from our species’ behavioral repertoire…
It’s my understanding that there are still several dozen innocent people incarcerated in Guantanamo. At one time Trump said that he wanted to fill Gitmo up. Perhaps that did not occur because of his short attention span.
Thank you for some good news! We need it right now!
Congratulations, as well. I am so glad to see these men get justice, at long last.
There is no excuse for torture. None. Ever.
Trump should be put in Guantanamo and given water and crackers tor sustenance, say, for about 20 years.
Now that courts have accepted jurisdiction in such cases, why not go the extra mile and prosecute the political masters of the torturers. It is long past time, that both Bush and Cheney pay for their war crimes.