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Federal judge rules lawsuit against creators of CIA interrogation program may proceed

[JURIST] A federal judge on Friday ruled [ACLU press release] that a lawsuit [brief, PDF] against two former military psychologists who developed the CIA's [official website] interrogation program under George W. Bush may proceed. US District Court Judge Justin Quackenbush of the US District Court of the Eastern District of Washington [official website] decided that the three plaintiffs, who claim that they were tortured in secret overseas military prisons, may continue with their lawsuit which claims that the two psychologists encouraged the CIA [Reuters report] to adopt torture as an official policy and made millions of dollars doing so. The lawsuit was filed [JURIST report] in October by Suleiman Abdullah Salim, a Tanzanian taken into custody in Somalia, Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud, a Libyan captured in Pakistan, and Gul Rahman, an Afghan who died in CIA custody in 2002.

The majority of the ACLU's complaint is based on the so-called "Senate Torture Report" [text, PDF] released in December 2014, which found the so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" employed during the Bush administration were ineffective [JURIST report]. In February Amnesty International alleged [JURIST report] that Mustafa al-Hawsawi, one of the accused 9/11 ringleaders, was in desperate need of medical care in a letter to the Pentagon. In the letter the agency stated that Hawsawi was in severe rectal distress due to interrogation methods that amounted to torture and that he had yet to receive adequate medical care. In June a Guantanamo [JURIST backgrounder] detainee alleged that the CIA's torture techniques [JURIST report] went beyond those described in the Senate Intelligence Committee report. In December 2014 the UN Special Rapporteur on counter terrorism and human rights called for the prosecution [JURIST report] of CIA and other government officials for the interrogation and torture of detainees. In September 2014 it was claimed [JURIST report] that the CIA used torture methods beyond waterboarding on suspected terrorists, according to a report published by the Telegraph. In August 2014 10 victims of the CIA's extraordinary rendition program signed an open letter [JURIST report] to US President Barack Obama urging him to declassify the then-upcoming Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the program.

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