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Reporter Jason Leopold Talks About CIA Torture “Architect” James Mitchell, and What Is–and Isn’t–in Senate Report

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Jason Leopold is now reporting for Vice News, where he has scooped the mainstream media with video and text interviews of James Mitchell, the CIA contractor who admitted to Leopold that he was involved in waterboarding Khalid Sheikh Muhammed and Abu Zubaydeh.  We also talk about the limited scope of the Senate report, and important issues that were not covered.

Leopold published the first interview with James Mitchell in March of this year, and produced the Vice interview “The Architect”, posted last week.  In the past few days, the CIA partly released Mitchell from a gag order, and Leopold got the first interview with him.  We open with discussion of Mitchell’s revelations, including the $81 million he and a partner were paid.  We cite comments from CIA interrogator Glenn Carle, who calls Mitchell and Jessen “frauds”.

We outline the limited scope of the “review” by the Senate Intelligence Committee, and note the the declassified executive summary doesn’t mention the CIA’s botched kidnap of Abu Omar in Milan, or the use of drugs in interrogation.  While the report states that $300 million was spent, and that bribes were paid, it obscures details of the bribes.  We talk about Dick Cheney’s callous rationalization of the torture and detention of at least 26 innocent men, and how the CIA engaged in human trafficking by grabbing the Libyan Belhaj, who was not a terrorism suspect, and delivering him to be tortured in Libya for 7 years as a favor to Qaddafi.

Leopold comments on two proposed remedies: a call to abolish the CIA (not likely, but interesting) and Anthony Romero of ACLU’s call for pardons of the top decision makers–he argues it’s the only way to establish crimes were committed.