The December release of the U.S. Senate Select Intelligence Committee’s so-called “torture report” shocked the nation with the gruesome accounts of extreme interrogation tactics employed by the CIA in the war on terror.
HBO Films is examining the origins of the brutal tactics with Rorschach And Awe, a movie in development, which will be written and directed by Scott Z. Burns (Contagion, The Bourne Ultimatum).
Based on the 2007 Vanity Fair article of the same name by investigative reporter Katherine Eban (you can read it here), Rorschach And Awe will explore how the CIA hired two psychologists to build a torture program with the full knowledge and cooperation of the American Psychological Association.
In her article, Eban shed light on the roles of psychologists James Elmer Mitchell and Bruce Jessen as architects of the coercive interrogation tactics. For their services, the duo were rewarded with $180 million in CIA contracts, $81 million of which had been paid before the agreement was terminated in 2009.
Burns will executive produce the project through his Wandering Jew banner alongside Michael Sugar of Anonymous Content. American human rights investigator Nathaniel Raymond serves as consultant.