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by Our Foreign Desk
A CIVIL RIGHTS case against the CIA for the torture and killing of prisoners in a twisted experiment has received the tacit green light from authorities.
The Justice Department submitted a motion before todays’ hearing in a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, asking for classified information to be kept under wraps
But the ACLU’s lawyers were encouraged that the department did not immediately invoke state secrets privilege to block the proceedings.
“The government is actually going to show up at the hearing instead of trying to shut it down,” said attorney Dror Ladin. “It’s going to be suggesting procedures that might allow the case to go forward.”
The government invoked those privileges in the case of Khaled El-Masri, a German citizen who unsuccessfully sued after he was beaten and sodomised while held at a CIA-run prison in Afghanistan known as the “Salt Pit.”
Today’s hearing stems from a ACLU lawsuit against two CIA-employed psychologists, James Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen, filed last October on behalf of three former prisoners of the agency.
The two devised an experimental CIA interrogations programme based on 1960s tests involving dogs and the theory of “learned helplessness.”
One of the victims, Gul Rahman, was interrogated at the Salt Pit and subjected to isolation, darkness and extreme cold water, and was later found dead from hypothermia.
The other two, Suleiman Abdullah Salim and Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud, were held in CIA prisons but never charged. Both are now free.
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