PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Attorneys for Dr. James E. Mitchell and Dr. J. Bruce Jessen announced today that a settlement has been reached in the lawsuit known as “Salim et. al. v Mitchell et. al.” Both sides have agreed not to discuss the facts or terms and conditions of the settlement.
James T. Smith, of Blank Rome LLP, lead counsel for Drs. Mitchell and Jessen, in a statement today described his clients as “public servants whose actions in regard to the interrogation of suspected terrorists were authorized by the U.S. government, legal, and done in an effort to protect innocent lives.” Smith added that “if this case had gone forward, the facts would have borne out that while the plaintiffs suffered mistreatment by some of their captors, none of that mistreatment was conducted, condoned or caused by Drs. Mitchell and Jessen.”
Smith also said: “this settlement relieves a significant burden on the Court, potential witnesses and my clients.”
Dr. Mitchell observed: “In the aftermath of 9/11, almost sixteen years ago now, Dr. Jessen and I were asked to serve our country following the most vicious attack on American soil in our history. I am confident that our efforts were necessary, legal and helped save countless lives. However, in an effort to find those terrorists and stop another attack on America, certain individuals performed acts on detainees, including plaintiffs, without our knowledge or consent, and without authorization from the CIA — acts that should not have occurred and for which we are not responsible.”
Dr. Jessen said: “This resolution brings closure to this unfortunate matter. Neither Dr. Mitchell nor I knew about, condoned, participated in, or sanctioned the unauthorized actions that formed the basis for this lawsuit. We served our country at a time when freedom and safety hung in the balance. The actions that we actually participated in were legal and authorized and protected our country from another vicious attack.”
Smith concluded: “At the last hearing, Judge Quackenbush exhorted the parties to work diligently to reach a settlement in this matter. All of the attorneys for the parties worked tirelessly to follow that sage counsel from the Court, which ultimately resulted in a confidential settlement agreement.”
As part of the settlement agreement, both sides agreed to release the following joint statement:
Drs. Mitchell and Jessen acknowledge that they worked with the CIA to develop a program for the CIA that contemplated the use of specific coercive methods to interrogate certain detainees.
Plaintiff Gul Rahman was subjected to abuses in the CIA program that resulted in his death and in pain and suffering for his family, including his personal representative ObaidUllah. Plaintiffs Suleiman Abdullah Salim and Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud were also subjected to coercive methods in the CIA program, which resulted in pain and suffering for them and their families.
Plaintiffs assert that they were subjected to some of the methods proposed by Drs. Mitchell and Jessen to the CIA, and stand by their allegations regarding the responsibility of Drs. Mitchell and Jessen.
Drs. Mitchell and Jessen assert that the abuses of Mr. Salim and Mr. Ben Soud occurred without their knowledge or consent and that they were not responsible for those actions. Drs. Mitchell and Jessen also assert that they were unaware of the specific abuses that ultimately caused Mr. Rahman's death and are also not responsible for those actions.
Drs. Mitchell and Jessen state that it is regrettable that Mr. Rahman, Mr. Salim, and Mr. Ben Soud suffered these abuses.