The “architect” of the CIA’s interrogation program, James Mitchell, accused Senate Democrats of putting his life in danger last week when they released a report detailing the program’s “brutal” abuses.
“They issue this report that essentially stirs up all the crazies and all the jihadists. So now we’re getting death threats,” Mitchell, a retired Air Force psychologist, said during a Monday night Fox News interview.
Mitchell was one of seven men who owned a company paid millions of dollars by the CIA to devise interrogation techniques for alleged terrorists in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2011 attacks on the World Trade Center. The controversial techniques included waterboarding, which President Barack Obama called torture.
The Senate report presented even more shocking techniques and previously undisclosed details from the program. Among other things, the report found that forced rectal feeding, diapers, and insects were used against detainees. Additionally, the report said these techniques did not achieve any actionable intelligence in the fight against terror.
However, the Republican minority accused the Senate report of having partisan bias against the program. It also said the report did not include enough input from the CIA. Mitchell echoed this criticism on Fox News and said he was not interviewed for the report.
“I’m angry about this. They have a forgone conclusion. They put my life in danger. They put the lives of other CIA personnel … and our families in danger for some sort of morale high ground?” he asked. “You can probably tell I’m a little agitated by this. For me, I don’t want to die because the Democrats in the Senate don’t have the courtesy to ask the CIA to explain what they view as abuses that occurred.”
Directly asked if he felt his life was in danger, Mitchell said “of course.”
“How many times in your life have you had a law enforcement official call you up in the middle of the day and say, ‘Leave your house immediately.’ That happened to me a couple days ago,” he said. “I do not mind giving my life for my country but I do mind giving my life for a food fight for political reasons, between two groups of people that should be able to work it out like adults.”
Megyn Kelly, the Fox host interviewing Mitchell, said he was unable to speak out before because of a CIA non-disclosure agreement that was “loosened” over the weekend in the wake of the report. During the interview, Mitchell refused to answer questions about how many interrogators were involved in the program or what country he was in while it was underway. He did say, however, that he was proud of the program’s accomplishments.
“I’m proud of the work we did. We saved lives. I don’t care what the Senate said,” he declared.
View part of the interview below.
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