Torture Shrinks Rehired by CIA, Fired by Panetta

Contracts renewed after inauguration, then killed in April
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2009 8:09 AM CDT
CIA Director Leon Panetta speaks with reporters in Langley, Va.,    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
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(Newser) – The CIA renewed contracts with several psychologists considered the architects of waterboarding and other brutal techniques tantamount to torture a month after Barack Obama's inauguration. The revelation comes in a piece by New Yorker reporter Jane Meyer on Leon Panetta, the new CIA director, who nixed their contracts after his confirmation. The psychologists had recommended that interrogators apply theories of "learned helplessness" based on research on abused dogs.

Panetta also tells Meyer that he supported an investigation into post-9/11 CIA abuses, which Obama eventually ruled out. In March he and the president favored a truth commission, but by April the plan was scrapped amid fears it would seem politically motivated. "It was the president who basically said, 'If I do this, it will look like I'm trying to go after Cheney and Bush,'" Panetta said. "He just didn’t think it made sense."