Torture Architects’ First Victim

Jim Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, the two psychologists who penned the military’s harsh interrogation tactics, receive profile treatment in Wednesday’s New York Times. Best part? In March 2002, Mitchell arrived in person at a jail in Thailand to oversee the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah. Though Zubaydah had already given his most valuable information to F.B.I. agents who had used traditional rapport-building techniques, “Dr. Mitchell ordered Mr. Zubaydah stripped, exposed to cold and blasted with rock music to prevent sleep. Not only the F.B.I agents but also C.I.A. officers at the scene were uneasy about the harsh treatment. Among those questioning the use of physical pressure, according to one official present, were the Thailand station chief, the officer overseeing the jail, a top interrogator and a top agency psychologist.” When Jessen arrived in July, Zubaydah “was confined in a box, slammed into the wall and waterboarded 83 times." The Times adds that the two men—not the C.I.A.—recommended when to stop interrogations.