2 psychologists earned $81M from CIA torture tactics
The Central Intelligence Agency’s torture of detainees was developed by two inexperienced contractors who were eventually paid $81 million for their work,according to a Senate Intelligence Committee report on the program released Tuesday.
The two psychologists were working at the U.S. Air Force Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape school prior to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
They had no knowledge of interrogation techniques, al Qaeda, counterterrorism or “any relevant cultural or linguistic expertise,” the report said.
The report suggests that the program was poorly managed with limited oversight. A surprisingly small number of officials were running the program.
The two contractors played a central role — they developed, operated and assessed its interrogation operations.
“The CIA relied on these two contractors to evaluate the interrogation program they had devised and in which they had obvious financial interests,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat of California, said in a statement on the Senate floor.
From 2005 to 2008, the CIA “outsourced almost all aspects of its detention and interrogation program to this company,” Feinstein said. The contract was worth $181 million but only $81 million was paid, she said.
The two contractors personally conducted interrogations, including waterboarding, of the CIA’s most significant detainees. They provided official evaluations of the psychological state of detainees to determine if the enhanced techniques would continue.
“Evaluating the psychological state of the very detainees they were interrogating is a clear conflict of interest and a violation of professional guidelines,” Feinstein said.
The two contractors even acted as a liaison between the CIA and foreign intelligence services.
The names of the two contractors were not provided, but they were referred to in the report by the pseudonyms Grayson Swigert and Hammond Dunbar.