The Senate Intelligence Committee has released a blistering, 500-page report on the CIA's controversial detention and interrogation program, a document that committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said represents the most significant oversight effort in the history of the US Senate.
The $40 million, five-year study concluded that CIA officials exaggerated the value of the intelligence they gleaned from dozens of "high-value detainees" held at black site prisons, where they were subjected to so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" such as sleep deprivation and waterboarding.
The committee reviewed more than 6 million pages of top-secret CIA documents and found that "two contract psychologists devised the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques and played a central role in the operation, assessments, and management of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program." Mitchell is one of the psychologists. He is identified in the Senate report with the pseudonym Grayson Swigert. The report said "CIA Headquarters chose the most coercive interrogation option, which was proposed and supported by CIA contractor SWIGERT."
A day after the Senate released its report, VICE News released 'The Architect', a documentary on Mitchell. In the interview, which took place prior to the release of the Senate report and marks the first time Mitchell spoke on-camera to a news organization after 9/11, he was confronted with questions about his role in the enhanced interrogation program — but he declined to give answers due to his non-disclosure agreement with the CIA.
Following the release of the Senate report and VICE News' interview with him, Mitchell was bombarded with media inquiries and was the subject of dozens of news reports. Late Wednesday, he was informed by the CIA that he could now confirm that he was under contract to the agency and "that [he] was part of the enhanced interrogation program."
According to the Senate report, Mitchell is the CIA contractor who personally waterboarded alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.