Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

No one in U.S. appears to use the pseudonyms Senate gave to Spokane torture barons James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen

Grayson Swigert and Hammond Dunbar apparently don't exist.

And not just in the pseudonym sense, either.

No one in the United States appears to use the names that the Senate Intelligence Committee chose when trying to obscure the identities of Spokane psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen in the latest torture report, according to a review of various demographic and population databases.

Mitchell and Jessen have been paid more than $80 million from taxpayers for the now-discredited "enhanced" interrogation techniques, which the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigators concluded were brutal, ineffective and did nothing to make the country safer. SR columnist Shawn Vestal takes a closer look at their roles in his column today.

It's unclear why the Senate committee sought to obscure Mitchell's and Jessen's identities, particularly since their roles in the controversial torture techniques have long been known, but it made us wonder how you'd feel if your name was inserted into an official government report in lieu of the actual torture barons so we began searching for people with those names. And, that's when we discovered no one in the U.S. appears to use those specific names, based on searches of some of the most reliable databases, including Demographics Now and Lexus Nexus.

Perhaps that's why those pseudonyms were chosen.



David Wasson oversees coverage of politics and state and local government and assists with editing on the City Desk.

Follow David online: