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Who Is Responsible For Torture?

James Mitchell (left) and John Jessen
Trial Evidence
/
ACLU via AP

A settlement was reached last week in a lawsuit against two psychologists who were paid by the CIA to develop its post-9/11 interrogation program.

Bruce Jessen and James Mitchell received more than $80 million as contractors, and their work included proposing techniques such as waterboarding and forcing individuals to hold painful positions for hours. The terms of the settlement are confidential, but some psychologists and civil rights attorneys are calling it a “historic victory.” They argue that it is one of the first times individuals affiliated with the torture program are being held accountable. The lawsuit draws attention to ongoing questions about how to compensate torture survivors.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Deborah Weissman, Reef C. Ivey II Distinguished Professor of Law at UNC-Chapel Hill, and Stephen Soldz, clinical psychologist, professor and director of the master's program in social justice and human rights at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis.

Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist and the host and creator of "Embodied," a live, weekly radio show and seasonal podcast about sex, relationships & health. She's also the managing editor of WUNC's on-demand content.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.