Psychologists behind CIA interrogation tactics deny torture

Two former Air Force psychologists from Washington state who helped design CIA interrogation techniques used on terrorism suspects are denying civil rights groups’ allegations of torture and war crimes.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued James E. Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen last October on behalf of three former CIA prisoners, creating a closely watched case that will likely include secret information.

The lawsuit contends the psychologists condoned waterboarding, loud music, confinement, slapping and other harsh tactics.

Lawyers for the pair filed documents this week in federal court in Spokane, denying they committed torture or war crimes.

But Mitchell and Jessen declined to respond to many of the allegations, saying much of the information is classified. They asked a judge to throw out the lawsuit and award them court costs.

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