Judge indicates he will allow torture suit against psychologists who aided CIA
A federal judge in Spokane, Washington, has indicated he will allow a lawsuit filed against two psychologists accused of helping design a CIA interrogation program that included waterboarding.
U.S. District Judge Justin Quackenbush said on Friday that he will deny a request to toss the suit by two psychologists who argue they have immunity as CIA contractors, the Huffington Post reports. “I don’t think I have any other choice,” Quackenbush said. The Los Angeles Times, Reuters, the Hill and the Associated Press also have stories.
The company of the psychologists, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, received $81 million from the CIA, allegedly for helping the CIA used “learned helplessness” techniques on detainees. Defense lawyers say Mitchell and Jessen did not design the interrogation program and were not involved in decisions.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed the alien tort suit on behalf of the family of Gul Rahman, who died in CIA custody, and two other men, Suleiman Abdullah Salim and Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud, who were never charged with crimes. The plaintiffs are relying on a Senate report on the CIA’s interrogation program that was released in December 2014.