The man who waterboarded mastermind of 9/11: Feinstein put ‘a jihad out on me’

Award-winning investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson interviewed the man who waterboarded 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who said it bothered him to carry out the task, but “we had to do our duty.” 

“We were trying to save American lives,” said former Air Force psychologist James Mitchell, who oversaw the interrogation program with fellow psychologist John “Bruce” Jessen. “The point is that we had just been hit after 9/11 in an attack where they tried to decapitate us.”

In a raw interview, he told Attkisson that it bothered him “a lot” to waterboard the terrorist.

“You never like to watch a human being suffer,” Mitchell said. “That doesn’t even make any sense. You wouldn’t want anybody doing waterboarding that liked to watch human beings suffer. It was very difficult to do.”

According to Mitchell, waterboarding wasn’t all that effective on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and sleep deprivation is what eventually broke him.

“He was actually one of the very rare people who was able to resist it better than we had thought,” he said. “And when it became obvious to us that he could resist it, we stopped it because we didn’t want to hurt him.”

In response to the Democrat-led Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program, Mitchell said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif, is “trying to re-write history.”

“In my view, what she’s done is gone back into 6 million pages worth of information, cherry-picked it, put together some kind of prosecutorial brief, and then released it—in essence putting a jihad or some sort of contract out on me and Dr. Jessen,” he said.

Watch the riveting interview in its entirety here via The Daily Signal:

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Tom Tillison

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