Mitchell & Jessen Wanted Abu Zuabydah to Think He Was Being Buried Alive

Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 10:34 am

Marcy Wheeler conducts an invaluable close reading of the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility report, released on Friday, and finds that the SERE psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen whom CIA contracted in 2001 to advise them on how to interrogate al-Qaeda detainees recommended a horrific technique:

The twelfth [interrogation] technique–which Mitchell and Jessen wanted approved but which Yoo excluded because of the rush to approve waterboarding–is mock burial.

There must have been significant discussion about the decision to exclude mock burial from the Bybee Two memo, because the reference to its exclusion in the report itself (PDF page 60 in the Final Report) includes a page and a half of redactions following the discussion of leaving it out.

We learned last year that the mysterious eleventh technique was prolonged diapering, thanks to the disclosure of the 2004 CIA inspector-general’s report into interrogation and detention. Wheeler’s discovery completes the list of what these two torture enthusiasts advocated.

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