Enhanced Interrogation Techniques

“…not torturers, Heroes” – Marc A. Thiessen
The truth of how the American left turned their back on the men who kept us safe for so long from radical Islamists; and my utter disappointment in the inaction of those of us who support these men.
Consider this, a wake up call

On the 11th day of September, 2001 at 08:46 (approx.) – American Airlines Flight 11 out of Boston, MA (hijacked and flown by Egyptian: Muhammed el-Amir Awad al-Sayed Atta) crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York. At 09:03 (approx.) – a second hijacked airliner, United Flight 175 (flown by Marwan Yousef Muhammed Rashid Lekrab al-Shehhi of the United Arab Emirates) also from Boston, crashed directly into the south tower. As both buildings burn, American men and women are seen jumping to their deaths, as opposed to burning alive in the smoke filled, fiery hell which existed as their place of work, just moments before. Millions of Americans, and millions across the globe watched in absolute awe at the tremendous acts of terror which had just taken place on American soil. At 09:30 (approx.), President Bush stated the country has suffered an “apparent terrorist attack.” At 09:37 (approx.) – American Airlines Flight 77 (flown by Hani Salih Hasan Hanjur of Saudi Arabia) crashed into the Pentagon, in Washington, D.C.; its living occupants begin to evacuate immediately. The White House then evacuates, and at 10:03 (approx.) – the south tower collapses, and United Flight 93 in route from Newark, New Jersey to San Francisco, California (rerouted to head straight for the capitol, also hijacked, flown by Zaid Samir Jarrah of Lebanon) crashed in Pennsylvania, just south of Pittsburg in Somerset County. Already, thousands of Americans are dead. At 10:10, a portion of the Pentagon collapses. All while, the FAA orders all transatlantic aircraft flying in to the United States, be diverted to Canada. At 10:28 (approx..), the north tower of the World Trade Center collapses; by 10:45 all federal office buildings in Washington are evacuated. The day goes on – thousands of Americans are found dead and injured at all sites; emergency responders lose brothers and sisters in the efforts to save American lives; President Bush, Mayor Giuliani of New York, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, and many others make statements, and begin to execute America’s response.
On this day in our history, nineteen Islamists who’d pledged bay’at (allegiance) to the radical Islamic terror group known as al-Qa’ida and its leader, Usama Bin Laden (who I will refer to as UBL) – savagely and falsely pursued one of the most respected acts of worship one can perform in Islam: martyrdom. This resulted in near 3,000 American deaths, as we all know. While many watched with irrevocable anger and sadness for the overwhelming loss of life, some allowed their passion for freedom and love of country to prevail, and immediately knew their being part of the solution was necessary.
What you are about to read does not illustrate my perspective of what happened on 9/11/01 – but will portray the facts of the most essential part of America’s response, i.e. the program which prevented another 9/11 style attack on our soil, saved thousands of American lives, produced actionable intelligence which lead to the capture of UBL, and so much more. Here also, I will provide the truth about the two heroic, selfless, brave men who both created and implemented the techniques laid out in this program, on behalf of the American people: retired Air Force Psychologist, Lt. Col. James Elmer Mitchell PhD and John Bruce Jessen, 18 year SERE Psychologist.
Oh yes – we’re talking about the utterly misinterpreted, misrepresented, and misunderstood Enhanced Interrogation Techniques which many leftist elites both in media and government, have slandered over the past several years -- publishing lie, after lie, after lie – no surprise there. These great men deserve a caliber of thanks which is not achievable through any vernacular I’m aware of, so I’ll start here – making the American people more aware of the great sacrifice and absolute dedication to freedom made by Dr. Mitchell and Jessen.
I will start by telling the truth, as many such as Dianne Feinstein and the Democratic majority on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI - 2014) have neglected to do so, in an attempt to save their own behind and gain reelection. The SSCI released a report on the CIA’s Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation program in December of 2014 -- claiming to entail the exacts of the program, stating that two Air Force Psychologists tortured detainees (a “categorically untrue claim” - James Mitchell), and nearly naming Dr. Mitchell – though he was under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with the CIA. Thus, resulting in more false narrative and complete inaccuracy being spread about the Enhanced Interrogation program, and the leaking of Dr. Mitchell’s true identity to the press (from one of the staffers of an SSCI representative). Not only was his identity made known through channels such as dishonest democratic staffers – but by the lawyers representing the terrorists, who in fact, contracted private investigators to stalk Mitchell and several others – later sneaking photos, home addresses, phone numbers, and names of family members of these men, into the cell of GITMO detainee Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, in 2014. As the result of both, Dr. Mitchell received a call from the chief of security for the CIA, saying “You need to leave your home immediately.” – as ISIS had just become aware of his true identity, tweeting out a request that he be beheaded, and a jihadist had just volunteered to do the job and was believed to be in-route. Dumbfounded, yet?
From conducting interrogations at a blacksite on the other side of the world in 2002, to a state of absolute disgust and genuine disappointment as Mitchell and Jessen prepare for defense in a case against three radical Islamists with clear al-Qa’ida ties – some may wonder where we’ve gone wrong; and I intend to clarify. Hardly a week goes by without false criticisms of Mitchell and Jessen; it’s August 2017. Shall we blame it on the December 2014 SSCI report on EITs -- or maybe on the fact that Barack Hussein Obama, within his first 48-hours in office, did away with the program which kept us safe for so long, naming it “torture”? Overall, the fault resides with those who do not understand the truth, or those who choose willingly to put American lives in the hands of terrorists, ever so selfishly.
Here, is our truth.
In a safehouse in Faisalabad, Pakistan on the 28th day of March, 2002 – the most significant capture to date had been made, as Pakistani SF pursued and succeeded in obtaining an al-Qa’ida terrorist by the name of Abu Zubaydah (who I will refer to as AZ). Later, turning Zubaydah over to the CIA. Thus, marking the first and most significant capture post-9/11, in the hunt for UBL and the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks – Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (who I will refer to as KSM).
As AZ began to recover from injuries acquired during capture, our intelligence community worked rigorously, utilizing repour based techniques in the efforts to obtain actionable intelligence which could help stop operations against the United States. From the beginning, AZ was not cooperative. And as he got stronger, so did his resistance posture. It became clear that AZ had been resistance trained and would not capitulate using a “tea and dates” approach – and so, the CIA contracted two tried and true Air Force Psychologists, who had contributed greatly to the SERE (Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape) model and deeply understood resistance techniques – to develop a legal and safe set of physically coercive techniques which could alter the priorities of the detainees without causing lasting harm. In order, to gain the intelligence necessary to stop future attacks against Americans.
For those of you who are unaware, SERE training is a program through which our Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and special force (SF) team members who are at high-risk of capture, are sent to acquire the necessary skills to serve and return with their honor intact, and strategically withhold intelligence, if ever in a capture situation. Through SERE school, men are exposed to a wide range of different physically coercive techniques which assist in the development of their resistance posture. However, as many (including James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen) who helped construct the training began to notice a constant capitulation as the result of a few of the techniques, they were reexamined – as the overall goal of SERE is to create a solid resistance posture and make the men confident, rather than actually make them capitulate. Which, one of these techniques (specifically) often did: the waterboard. As you may’ve guessed, knowledge and experience with this concept can be extremely useful when dealing with some of the most dangerous men on the planet, who indeed, were resistance trained. And so, James Mitchell and his counterpart in the task at hand, developed what the CIA later dubbed as Enhanced Interrogation Techniques, by reverse engineering what had been and still is, used to condition and teach at our very own Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape training. (Writer’s note: though you can potentially waterboard an individual in a way which constitutes torture -- the fashion in which it is done both in SERE training and under the CIA’s Enhanced Interrogation program, is safe and classified specifically as physical coercion, as pours are regulated and when executed in this fashion, the technique does not cause lasting harm -- though it is scary and uncomfortable, it is not painful.)
As time went on and more high value detainees (HVDs) were captured, including KSM (thanks to intelligence produced in a debriefing session which followed an interrogative session where EITs were used on AZ) Mitchell and Jessen found themselves – not only observing the detainees and their resistance to interrogation, but actually implementing the DOJ approved techniques, themselves. These men carefully used EITs on approximately a dozen of the most dangerous and knowledgeable HVDs such as KSM -- the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Walid Bin Attash, AZ, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri – the amir of the bombing of the USS Cole, Abu Faraj al-Libbi – the third highest ranking member of al-Qa’ida, and several others. Thus, producing actionable intelligence which has contributed greatly to our national security.
Which, brings me to my next point. It has often been said that EITs produced not one shred of actionable intelligence – wrong. Absolutely and completely, wrong. Information from detainees in CIA custody acquired through these interrogations produced the following: the capture of KSM; the arrest of Jose Padilla aka Abu Ameriki aka Dirty Bomber –the man whom KSM sent back to the U.S. with $5,000 and plans of “dirty bombs” and to blow up high-rise apartment buildings in Chicago; the capture of Ramsi Bin al-Shibh – KSM’s counterpart in the planning of the 9/11 attacks – just as he was finalizing plans to hijack European airliners in Europe with intent to fly them into Heathrow Airport and buildings in London, an abrupt and total halt to the 2006 airlines plot which al-Qa’ida planned to mark the 5th anniversary of 9/11 (which was of similar scope and magnitude); the capture of a cell of southeast Asian terrorists who were granted plans by KSM to hijack a passenger jet and fly it into the Library Tower in Los Angeles; the capture of both Amar al-Baluchi and Walid Bin Attash – as they were planning to replicate the foreseen destruction of American embassies in East Africa by bombing the U.S. Consulate and western residences in Karachi, Pakistan; helped break up an al-Qa’ida cell which was developing anthrax for terror attacks to be carried out in the United States; the disruption of a plot to bomb the Marine camps in Djibouti – which could’ve produces similar results as the 1983 bombings if the Marine barracks in Beirut. The list goes on; countless more captures were made, plots were stopped, and American lives were saved. And overall, our intelligence officials were able to get an inside look at al-Qa’ida, who at the time, we knew remotely nothing about. All together, well over 50% of the intelligence which our government possessed about al-Qa’ida (up until EITs were temporarily suspended in 2006) was produced as the result of detainees in CIA custody.
Oftentimes, I find those on the opposing side of the issue (against the use of EITs) who claim to know what went-down at these CIA blacksites, having not a single clue which of the ten EITs were actually implemented by these men and approved by the DOJ, White House, etc. after the September 11th attacks. Ranging, from what is defined as an attention grasp (“Grasping the detainee with both hands, with one hand on each side of the collar opening, in a controlled and quick motion. In the same motion as the grasp, the detainee is drawn toward the interrogator.”) to the waterboard (“The detainee is bound to a bench with his feet elevated above his head. The detainee’s head is immobilized, and an interrogator places a cloth over the detainee’s mouth and nose while pouring water into the cloth in a controlled manner. Airflow is restricted for twenty to forty seconds, and the technique produces the sensation of drowning and suffocation.”); you can find them all in their exact verbiage on page 52 of Dr. Mitchell’s Book – Enhanced Interrogation: Inside the Minds and Motives of the Islamic Terrorists Trying to Destroy America.   
Aside from this and the fore-stated claim which labels EITs as producing not one shred of actionable intelligence, the liberal media has made countless untrue claims about this program these great men. Of course, making the same false statements over and over again as they all tend to do (that blue text book must be getting pretty old by now). Some of these claims include the following: that Dr. Mitchell and Jessen do not possess proper knowledge and experience to have implemented these techniques; that the two Air Force Psychologists contracted by the CIA robbed the American taxpayers for $81 million dollars; that Gul Rahman was killed during the implementation of EITs; that the CIA is in the business of punishing these terrorists, rather than acquiring intelligence to stop operations in the United States; that AZ was waterboarded 83 times; that Mitchell and Jessen became contractors specifically to develop EITs and had no prior contracts; that the detainees who’ve already admitted to their involvement in 9/11 or about which we possess actionable intelligence confirming involvement -- are merely “suspects”; that Zubaydah was not a high value al-Qa’ida operative and/or contributing member; that Ali Soufan of the FBI was worth-a-damn in the interrogations which took place at CIA blacksites after the September 11th attacks; and finally, the constant misrepresentation of the way in which the ten DOJ approved EITs are actually implemented, and their descriptions.
The list of irrational and absolutely untrue rumors floating around about EITs and these two heroes, is nearly endless. Though it is quite clear that Dr. James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen are indeed “…not torturers, Heroes.” in the words of Marc A. Thiessen – we find ourselves having a conversation which shouldn’t exist.
Next month -- the two incredible, selfless men who created this program and (literally) saved thousands of American lives and prevented a second 9/11, will be questioned, disrespected, and accused of crime which they did not commit. The plaintiffs in the case are Mohamed Ahmed Bin Soud, Suleiman Abdullah Salim, and the estate of the late Gul Rahman (who is said to have died during interrogations, but in reality, his cause of death was exposure and those who were in charge of his well-being at the time, were actually local-national guards) – all of whom are suing Mitchell and Jessen for torture, which they did not undergo, as none of the detainees which Mitchell and Jessen interrogated, did. Oh, and did I mention that Salim admits to never having met Dr. Mitchell and Jessen; but feels they are responsible for his/their “suffering”, as they were the architects of the program?
If this doesn’t have you outraged as an American, your sanity and decency is truly questionable. Have we really arrived at the point of believing a terrorist who is trained to lie and deceive, to further their agenda at all cost, and literally hates everything we stand for, not to mention wants us all dead – over the men who offered to be part of the solution within minutes of the first plane crash? Ladies and gentlemen, the very men who kept us safe for so long from large and small-scale jihadist attacks are being sued by the very men who assisted in the planning and execution of the mass-murder of thousands of innocent Americans. Whom, are being represented by (here’s the best part) The American Civil Liberties Union.
Wake up, America.
It is nearly impossible to express the overwhelming frustration that’s felt as a result of the ignorance and anti-American efforts being pursued; I can only hope that I share this feeling with you. Have we as a nation forgotten what it was like to watch Americans jump to their death instead of burning alive in the twin towers after airliners were crashed into them by radical Islamists looking to destroy our way of life? Did we dismiss the actions of the brave men and women on United Flight 93 who sacrificed their lives to save those of other Americans?
The absolute disregard for our very recent history, and for those who kept us safe for so long until their hands were tied by horribly selfish and ignorant leftist elites -- are parallel, yet tremendously sickening examples of how political correctness is literally killing us.
Though I’ve covered the truth of the matter vaguely, Dr. Mitchell does an incredible job of telling the truth of what happened at CIA blacksites after 9/11, in his book. From how exactly these interrogations work, to KSM’s confession and description of beheading Daniel Pearl, to the correction of many accusations and false statements made by the liberal media and government officials – James E. Mitchell tells his story. One of an incredible caliber of selflessness, and love of country.
Friends, I could go on for days. To hear more about the horrible and utterly untrue accusations made about these men – stay tuned for my podcast. I will elaborate on what’s been discussed, answer any questions you all may have, and address several other issues which surround EITs, Dr. Mitchell, his incredible book, and the trial.
Date and time podcast will be available: coming soon. 

About the Author: 

Sam is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Government: National Security with a minor in both Strategic Intelligence and Psychology, from Liberty University. After graduation she plans to work within our intelligence community. 

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