December 15, 2014
Frankly, Johnson was broke. He’d blown all his money doing unsavory things but couldn’t change that. He had to survive and hoped to soon flourish and thought he would after learning from confidential sources about James E. Mitchell and Bruce Jessen and writing them letters. He knew they could help. They’d been mere staff psychologists at the Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape School, administered by the U.S. Air Force in Washington state, yet – knowing the nation was terrified and desperate after 9/11 – they presented themselves as interrogation experts and the CIA, evidently lacking same, hired these patriots and kept increasing their authority, while ignoring FBI warnings about improprieties, and eventually paid them, and their hirelings, almost two hundred million bucks to torture suspected Islamic terrorists and tour the world to brief bigwigs about their program.
Johnson also wanted to torture some bad guys and be rewarded like James E. Mitchell and Bruce Jessen. But they didn’t answer his letters and when he used his sources to get their phone numbers, they either failed to return messages or hung up on him, insults he resolved to avenge. Johnson enlisted FBI agents the interrogators had disrespected and, using several cars one evening, they separately blocked and kidnapped Mitchell and Jessen and took them to a secret dungeon. The FBI gave Johnson a list of their interrogation techniques and other complaints about the elite pair and left him four burly assistants.
Johnson probably didn’t know more about interrogation than Mitchell and Jessen so just wrote down the techniques in what seemed like reasonable order, starting with with waterboarding. He and his team tightly taped the interrogators’ wrists, stretched them out backs on boards, strapped their legs and bodies to the boards, and wrapped smelly clothes over their eyes and around heads prior to placing rags on open mouths and noses and pouring water into those orifices about fifteen seconds at a time. Both gasped and gurgled before hollering uncle the third time.
“Khalid Sheikh Mohammed endured this a hundred eighty-three times,” Johnson said. “Let’s see how you boys deal with slapping.”
Johnson’s no sadist so settled for cuffing their mouths twice each and let his four assistants do the same. Some of those big guys must’ve had boxing or martial arts training as they rendered Mitchell and Jessen unconscious. This seemed like a fine time to shackle their arms and hands and let them relax. For a couple of days, when they screamed for water, the team threw buckets of it in their faces. The interrogators begged to be unbound, so, tired of their carrying on, the team unlocked their four-limb restraints and hooded them prior to dragging them up and down the hallway while those not dragging punched and kicked. After wearying, the team pulled out two electric drills, turned them on, and shoved them quite close to ears, eyes, noses, and groins.
One of the assistants said to put the interrogators back into darkness but Johnson said, “Sleep’s an escape. They need eternal light.”
That they got, thousands of hot watts overhead, for about a week. One man, doesn’t matter which one, screamed he was hallucinating and the other probably was too but didn’t confirm as he writhed on his side.
“Boys, your rags are stinking, aren’t they?” Johnson said. “You don’t need them anyway.”
The team ripped off their fetid clothes and began soaking various body parts in ice water.
“God, please quit,” one said, doubtless speaking for both.
“We can do that soon as you sign documents confirming FBI and CIA allegations about your behavior,” Johnson said. “Here are a few key points: Bruce Jessen and James E. Mitchell were arrogant and narcissistic in their pursuit of power and gilded contracts, yet proved quite unproductive in obtaining useful information. Meanwhile, Jessen and Mitchell ignored experienced FBI agents who had successfully used rapport-building techniques to gain helpful information.”
“You can’t do this…This won’t hold up in court,” they said.
“I’m not sure this matter will get to court,” Johnson said. “We still have a number of unused procedures on your list.”