The Luxury Homes That Torture and Your Tax Dollars Built

The CIA paid torture teachers James Mitchell and Bruce Jesser more than $80 million. As they now live out their wildest dreams, their barbarity has cost the U.S. far more.

Call them the houses that torture built: Two sprawling luxury homes purchased by the CIA-contracted psychologists at the center of the scathing Senate report.

James Elmer Mitchell and John Bruce Jessen are not the first Americans to employ waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” against our enemies. 

But they are almost certainly the only ones to get rich doing it.

They did so by employing what is widely dismissed as “voodoo science” based on misapplied principles in a program that CIA records suggest produced little, if any, intelligence of significant value.

And they might have gotten even richer. The Senate Intelligence Committee report says they secured a contract with the CIA in 2006 valued “in excess of $180 million.”

The CIA canceled the deal three years later, but by then the duo had received $81 million. They had more than enough to build fabulous new domiciles that surely at least equal their wildest dreams.

Mitchell’s pied a torture is in Florida. Records describe a waterfront residence on six-tenths of an acre and appraised at more than $880,000, with 4,233 square feet of living space, four bathrooms, a three-car garage, a pool, central air-conditioning, and a wooded walkway leading to a lakeside combination dock and gazebo.

Jessen’s is in the state of Washington, situated on 15 acres and appraised at $1,599,900. Records describe this house as 6,916 square feet, with six bedrooms and eight bathrooms. An aerial image shows what appears to be a spa, roiling water apparently carrying no nasty connotations.

“We are proud of the work we have done for our country,” Mitchell and Jessen have said in a joint statement...




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