A pair of psychologists contracted by the CIA were paid more than $80 million to develop the enhanced interrogation techniques used against al Qaeda suspects, the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on torture reveals. Those techniques included slapping suspects and waterboarding, both deemed "not effective" by the committee.
The psychologists were identified by ABC News in 2009 as former military officers Jim Mitchell and Bruce Jessen. The report states that Mitchell and Jessen did not have experience as interrogators, any specialized knowledge of al Qaeda, or backgrounds in counterterrorism. Their "base contract" with the CIA was "in excess of $180 million," but they received $81 million before their contract was terminated in 2009.
Although Mitchell would not confirm or deny involvement due to a nondisclosure agreement, he told ABC News the report was "bulls—." "I think it's despicable that they cherry-picked all of that stuff," he said of the Senate committee. "The men and women of the CIA put their lives on the line, put their personal lives on hold, and sacrificed for this country.... It's like somebody backed up to your driveway and dumped a steaming pile of horse crap."