ACLU Goes After CIA-Paid Torture Experts


5 years is a long time to do anything. I’ve never even lasted 5 years at the same job, they inevitably become unbearably tedious. A newborn takes about that long to mature sufficiently to reach school age. It takes an apple tree 5 years to grow 2½- 5 feet. And it took 5 years for Suleiman Abdullah Salim’s living nightmare at the hands of the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program to end as well.













Think about that as you watch this video. Five years of enduring this living hell for absolutely no reason.

Watch courtesy of The Guardian:

Suleiman Abdullah Salim is one of 119 men known to have gone through the CIA’s torture gauntlet, and 1 of 3 men the ACLU is filing a lawsuit on behalf of. They are going after the accused architects of this program, psychologists James Mitchell and John Jessen, whose firm Mitchell, Jessen and Associates were reportedly paid anywhere from $81-180 million to implement a program designed to break down a prisoner’s will. They developed their brand of torture through means such as “learned helplessness,” an adaptation of an already sadistic psychological theory posited by Martin Seligman. This mad scientist exposed dogs to random painful or otherwise unpleasant stimuli until they gave up trying to avoid or resist, bludgeoning the fight-or-flight instinct and rendering the subject helpless. It doesn’t seem to me as if an experiment was necessary to figure this out, it seems rather obvious and definitely not worth $81 million. Regardless, none of these three men are people I’d leave alone with my kids. Mitchell and Jessen oversaw the implementation of their psychological horror show put together and they were also directly involved, as reported by Megan Specia of Mashable.

This whole program is illegal according to the Geneva Convention of course as well as US law as defined by the Supreme Court, when it ruled as a 5-3 majority in the Hamdan v. Rumsfeld case (a cookie to whoever can guess which 3 Justices said “Nay”). In that ruling was stated that unlawful combatants still have protections against “violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture” and “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.” I am assuming that waterboarding, sleep deprivation for up to 180 hours, rectal rehydration/rectal feeding, slamming detainees against a wall and chaining people up would all fit under that definition. All of these are listed on the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s report on the CIA program in question where it is stated “The CIA’s use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence.”

So it was a waste of life, time, money, and souls. Like most every detainee, from the time Suleiman was detained by U.S. Forces after being turned over by a Somali warlord until he was released, he was never charged with a crime. There’s no way he could ever get that 5 years back, but this victim of circumstance deserves some form of closure by at the very least seeing the architects of this machine that tried to grind him up face punishment. Next, how about we release all of the detainees and shut down these terrible places for good already?

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Image: ACLU

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