INTEL TODAY DIARY — June 23 2017

Psychologists Open a Window on Brutal C.I.A. Interrogations — Intel chiefs tell investigators Trump suggested they refute collusion with Russians — Russian Foreign Ministry Diplomat found dead in apartment — Trump: I did not record ex-FBI chief James Comey

Bruce Jessen and James E. Mitchell

Psychologists Open a Window on Brutal C.I.A. Interrogations — NYT

Fifteen years after he helped devise the brutal interrogation techniques used on terrorism suspects in secret C.I.A. prisons, John Bruce Jessen, a former military psychologist, expressed ambivalence about the program.

He described himself and a fellow military psychologist, James Mitchell, as reluctant participants in using the techniques, some of which are widely viewed as torture, but also justified the practices as effective in getting resistant detainees to cooperate.

“I think any normal, conscionable man would have to consider carefully doing something like this,” Dr. Jessen said in a newly disclosed deposition. “I deliberated with great, soulful torment about this, and obviously I concluded that it could be done safely or I wouldn’t have done it.”

The two psychologists — whom C.I.A. officials have called architects of the interrogation program, a designation they dispute — are defendants in the only lawsuit that may hold participants accountable for causing harm.

The program has been well documented, but under deposition, with a camera focused on their faces, Drs. Jessen and Mitchell provided new details about the interrogation effort, their roles in it and their rationales. Their accounts were sometimes at odds with their own correspondence at the time, as well as previous portrayals of them by officials and other interrogators as eager participants in the program.

Intel chiefs tell investigators Trump suggested they refute collusion with Russians — CNN

Two of the nation’s top intelligence officials told Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team and Senate investigators, in separate meetings last week, that President Donald Trump suggested they say publicly there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russians, according to multiple sources.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers described their interactions with the President about the Russia investigation as odd and uncomfortable, but said they did not believe the President gave them orders to interfere, according to multiple sources familiar with their accounts.
Sources say both men went further than they did in June 7 public hearings, when they provided little detail about the interactions.
The sources gave CNN the first glimpse of what the intelligence chiefs said to Mueller’s investigators when they did separate interviews last week.
Both men told Mueller’s team they were surprised the President would suggest that they publicly declare he was not involved in collusion, sources said.
Mueller’s team, which is in the early stages of its investigation, will ultimately decide whether the interactions are relevant to the inquiry.

Russian Foreign Ministry Diplomat found dead in apartment — Crime Russia

It was the ex-wife of the senior adviser of Foreign Ministry CIS Affairs Department who found his body in an apartment on Zoologichesky Lane downtown Moscow.

According to the examination results, the corpse had been there for several days. We also know that the day before Andrey Nedosekin’s death he had been dismissed from the Foreign Ministry.

As our readers may remember, a little more than a month ago, another Foreign Ministry high-ranking official had shot and killed his wife and daughter in Moscow before committing suicide.

We know that when the tragedy occurred on May 15, the deputy head of the Asian and Pacific department no longer lived with his wife, but met with them for some reason in his apartment located on Leninsky Prospekt, where a lot of Foreign Affairs officials live. It is yet to be found out what had triggered the incident, but at some point he took out a gun and fired at the woman’s face, and at the back of the five-year-old girl, when she tried to escape. After that, the man committed suicide.

Another tragic incident involving a diplomat occurred in December 2016. Former head of Foreign Ministry Latin America department Petr Polshchikov, 56, was killed in his house on Moscow’s Balaklavsky Avenue.

There was a gun and some cartridges next to his body. According to the police, the man did not work anywhere after leaving the Foreign Ministry. His wife was suspected in the murder since she was in the apartment at the time. However, there has been no official confirmation of this information.

Trump: I did not record ex-FBI chief James Comey — BBC

US President Donald Trump says he did not make secret recordings of ex-FBI chief James Comey despite an earlier hint to the contrary.

He said in a tweet: “I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.”

Days after he fired Mr Comey, the president had tweeted: “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations…”

A Senate inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in the US election had asked whether such tapes exist.

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INTEL TODAY DIARY — June 23 2017

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