Perpetrator Studies Network


Enhanced Interrogation: Inside the Minds and Motives of the Islamic Terrorists Trying to Destroy America

By James E. Mitchell & Bill Harlow.

For more information from the publishers click here.

From a review of the book by Stephen Rohde published in the LARB:

“Mitchell has never been prosecuted for violating the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, which is enforceable under U.S. Code Title 18 Sections 2340-2340A. Instead, he has written a book entitled Enhanced Interrogation: Inside the Minds and Motives of the Islamic Terrorists Trying to Destroy America. It is a remarkably candid exercise in justifying and excusing his brutal conduct. He seems quite comfortable admitting to committing crimes over and over again, because, as he explains several times, he was just following orders — in this case, the discredited “Torture Memos,” written by Bush administration lawyers.


Mitchell might still be held accountable. In October 2015, torture survivors Suleiman Abdullah Salim and Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud, as well as a representative of the estate of Gul Rahman — who froze to death in a CIA black site in Afghanistan — sued Mitchell and Jessen in federal court in the state of Washington, where the defendants currently reside. The plaintiffs are represented by the ACLU. The lawsuit alleges that Mitchell and Jessen “designed, developed, and implemented” the torture program, in which the plaintiffs were subjected to brutal torture, causing severe and lasting emotional distress and physical consequences.

Unlike other lawsuits against the CIA, which have been dismissed, this one is set for trial on June 26, after US District Judge Justin Quackenbush last January denied a motion to dismiss filed on behalf of Mitchell and Jessen. The court ruled that the defendants, as independent contractors, were not protected under the Military Commissions Act, which prohibits legal actions by detainees against the United States and its agents.

In February, the lawsuit gained added prominence when lawyers for Mitchell and Jessen sought a court order to depose Gina Haspel, recently appointed Deputy CIA Director by President Donald Trump. Haspel ran the CIA black site prison where Mitchell and Jessen tortured Zubaydeh.

While Mitchell has so far escaped criminal prosecution, in the upcoming civil trial the full extent of his brutal conduct may finally be publicly exposed. His book should be Exhibit A.”

For the full review click here.