Federal judge allows former CIA detainees to sue over torture
By: Brian Bennett
For the first time, a federal judge is letting a civil lawsuit proceed against two CIA contract psychologists who designed and supervised brutal interrogation tactics that critics called torture.
The ruling allows two former CIA detainees and the family of another who died in agency custody to try to win damages in federal court for the abuse they suffered at then-secret CIA prisons in the early 2000s.
In a ruling from the bench at federal district court in Spokane, Wash., Senior Judge Justin L. Quackenbush said he would deny a motion to dismiss the lawsuit against James E. Mitchell and Bruce Jessen.
According to the lawsuit and a Senate Intelligence Committee report, the mistreatment included waterboarding, sleep deprivation, confinement in small boxes, rectal feeding and beatings.
Quackenbush gave the parties 30 days to submit plans to request documents, gather sworn statements and collect evidence for the case.