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[ad_1] FORT MEADE, Md. — An architect of the brutal CIA interrogation and detention program developed after the Sept. 11 assaults defended the company and its practices on Tuesday as these methods turn out to be the main focus of an effort to dismiss key proof towards 5 males charged within the terrorist plot. James Mitchell spent the primary day of what's anticipated to be a minimum of every week of questioning by protection groups on the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, offering particulars in regards to the CIA's interrogation program in addition to what he stated was the “context” essential to know it. The CIA was the “tip of the spear” within the months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist assaults and was urgently making an attempt to assemble very important intelligence utilizing methods that had been approved by the U.S. authorities, the retired Air Force psychologist informed the courtroom. “We were trying to save American lives,” Mitchell stated. Mitchell is going through questions now as a result of legal professionals for the 5 males accused of planning and offering logistical assist for the Sept. 11 assaults are in search of to stop the federal government from utilizing statements the defendants gave to the FBI as proof towards them in a struggle crimes trial scheduled to start out subsequent January on the U.S. base in Cuba. The testimony in Guantanamo is a crucial milestone within the Sept. 11 struggle crimes proceedings, which have been slowed down within the pretrial section for the reason that Might 2012 arraignment. The 5 defendants, who embody the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11 hijacking plot, have been subjected to waterboarding and different strategies now extensively considered torture. Mitchell, who helped develop this system with one other personal contractor and others, insisted the CIA feared “another catastrophic attack,” presumably involving nuclear weapons, and was making an attempt to cease it. “My sole focus was stopping the next attack,” he stated. Mitchell agreed to return to Guantanamo to testify and not using a subpoena to offer his model of occasions, which he additionally detailed in a guide, referred to as “Enhanced Interrogation," that he co-wrote with a CIA spokesman. “I am completely happy to speak about my position in this system and what this system did," he informed the courtroom. At instances, nonetheless, he appeared to bristle on the questioning. When protection lawyer James Connell thanked him for coming to courtroom, he replied, “I did it for the victims and families not for you.” Mitchell and one other psychologist, Bruce Jessen, have been contracted by the CIA to develop the interrogation program, which additionally included intense sleep deprivation, confinement in a small field, extended shackling in “stress positions," and being doused with chilly water. Protection legal professionals for the 5 males charged within the assaults have referred to as the contractors, who noticed and took half in interrogations at clandestine CIA amenities, as witnesses in an effort to disqualify statements the defendants made to the FBI after they have been transferred to Guantanamo in September 2006. It was the primary time that the defendants and one of many essential architects of their brutal remedy had confronted one another in courtroom. Mitchell and Jessen gave depositions in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of three former prisoners, together with one who died in custody. The case was settled for undisclosed phrases in August 2017 and the 2 former contractors didn't testify in courtroom. “This testimony marks a crucial second for reckoning with the torture dedicated within the American individuals’s title," said ACLU staff attorney Dror Ladin, "Mitchell and Jessen, together with collaborators within the U.S. authorities, are accountable for shameful cruelty that the CIA continues to be making an attempt to cowl up." Mitchell was anticipated to be adopted on the stand by Jessen. Their testimony will seemingly take up a lot of a pretrial listening to scheduled to final two weeks. The defendants embody Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, an al-Qaida operative who has portrayed himself because the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, assaults. All 5 face the loss of life penalty if convicted of costs that embody terrorism and practically 3,000 counts of homicide for his or her alleged roles planning and offering logistical assist to the hijacking plot. Below a 2006 legislation that arrange the navy fee, any statements should be voluntary to be admitted into proof and the federal government is just not in search of to make use of on the trial something the boys stated whereas in CIA custody. However the prisoners additionally gave what prosecutors have referred to as “clean” statements to the FBI after they arrived at Guantanamo. Attorneys for the 5 defendants argue that all the things the boys have stated in custody was tainted by the torture they have been subjected to whereas in CIA confinement. James Connell, a lawyer for defendant Ammar al-Baluchi, stated he believes the FBI helped information a number of the questioning of the boys and that others within the authorities have been additionally concerned in creating this system beginning with the seize of a prisoner generally known as Abu Zubaydah in 2002. “Dr. Mitchell plays an important role but ultimately a small one,” in creating and finishing up the interrogations, stated Connell, whose consumer is a nephew of Mohammad. A Senate investigation in 2014 discovered that the interrogation program designed by Mitchell and Jessen was used on 39 detainees and produced no helpful intelligence. They have been paid $81 million for his or her work, in response to the Senate report. Mitchell and Jessen beforehand labored on the Air Drive survival faculty at Fairchild Air Force Base outdoors Spokane, Washington, the place they skilled pilots to keep away from seize and resist interrogation and torture. The CIA employed them to reverse-engineer that coaching to interrupt terrorism suspects. They defended their work when the lawsuit was settled, arguing that neither contractor condoned or performed any mistreatment of prisoners and that the general program was approved by the federal government. Jessen stated in a press release then that he and Mitchell “served our country at a time when freedom and safety hung in the balance.” The proceedings at Guantanamo have been being transmitted to a number of authorities installations within the U.S., together with Fort Meade, Maryland, the place they have been considered by The Related Press. This text was written by BEN FOX from The Associated Press and was legally licensed via the NewsCred writer community. Please direct all licensing inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn extra: 'An Embarrassment to the Navy:' Modly Censures Chief Accused of Taking $10K in Gifts Show Full Article © Copyright 2020 The Related Press. 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