Sad, isn't it? That psychologists have to be told not to help torturers, I mean. You'd hope it would be obvious:
Psychologists in the United States have been warned by their professional group not to take part in torturing detainees in U.S. custody.
Now the American Psychological Association has taken the unprecedented step of supporting an attempt to strip the license of a psychologist accused of overseeing the torture of a CIA detainee.
The APA has told a Texas licensing board in a letter mailed July 1 that the allegations against Dr. James Mitchell represent "patently unethical" actions inconsistent with the organization's ethics guidelines.
If any psychologist who was a member of the APA were found to have committed the acts alleged against Mitchell, "he or she would be expelled from the APA membership," according to the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press. APA spokeswoman Rhea Farberman confirmed its contents.
We can certainly come to our own conclusions, since we're not hearing any official explanation. But it would be nice to know why the last administration (you remember, from the Party of Personal Responsibility?) covered this up - and why the Obama administration isn't doing anything about it:
WASHINGTON—The military lawyer that represents an Afghan youth who spent roughly seven years in U.S. custody says the Defense Department has repeatedly ignored his requests for a war crimes investigation into the detainee’s treatment.
Air Force Maj. David Frakt, the attorney for former detainee Mohammed Jawad, says over the past 16 months he sent multiple memos to Defense Department and military leaders asking them to account for what a military judge called “abusive conduct and cruel and inhuman treatment” of his client. Jawad, who was arrested when he says he was 12 years old for allegedly tossing a grenade at U.S. military, was moved from cell to cell 112 times during a 14-day period to disrupt his sleep patterns, according to military documents. Frakt said he believes the treatment constituted torture, violated the Geneva Convention, war crime laws and Defense Department regulations.
“Why has no one – no one has been held remotely accountable for this,” Frakt said in an interview with Raw Story. “This is a mandatory investigation. It’s not optional, you can’t just sweep it under the rug… but they did as far as I can tell.”
As first reported in The Washington Independent, Frakt wrote in memos to Defense Department officials: “Accordingly, I believe I have an affirmative obligation to report the incident to my chain of command,” listing military rules that mandate reporting possible war crimes to a superior.
Both a federal district court judge and a U.S. military commission judge have questioned the use of sleep deprivation, also called the “frequent flyer” program, on Jawad.
When military officials changed Jawad’s cell 112 times between May 7 and May 20, 2004, roughly once every three hours, military Judge Stephen Henley, a U.S. Army colonel ruled “the scheme was calculated to profoundly disrupt his mental senses.” Although officials were allowed to use such tactics during interrogation, Jawad’s attorney Frakt said he was not interrogated months before or months after the sleep deprivation occurred.
Defense Department General Counsel Jeh Johnson moved the Obama administration into new territory from a civil liberties perspective. Asked by Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) the politically difficult but entirely fair question about whether terrorism detainees acquitted in courts could be released in the United States, Johnson said that “as a matter of legal authority,” the administration’s powers to detain someone under the law of war don’t expire for a detainee after he’s acquitted in court. “If you have authority under the law of war to detain someone” under the Supreme Court’s Hamdi ruling, “that is true irrespective of what happens on the prosecution side.”
Martinez looked surprised. “So the prosecution is moot?” he asked.
“No, no, not in my judgment,” Johnson said. But the scenario he outlined strongly suggested it is. If an administration review panel “determines this person is a security threat” and “for some reason is not convicted of a lengthy prison sentence, I think we have the authority to continue to detain someone” under “law of war authority” as granted by the September 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force, Johnson said. And beyond that source of authority “we have the authority in the first place.” I’m no lawyer, but that sounds a lot like Johnson is claiming inherent presidential authority from the Constitution to detain someone after he’s been acquitted in court if the president believes that person to be a security threat. [Update: I think I'm wrong about that. Johnson is claiming authority from the law-of-war construct for such detentions, and that doesn't stem from any constitutional interpretation of inherent power. Apologies.]
Oh, and Johnson also suggested that the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay might remain open after January 2010, since “you can’t prosecute some significant subset of 220 people before January.” He said the administration will continue to detain some of those Guantanamo detainees, “whether at Guantanamo or somewhere else.”
You know I like Captain Ed a lot. He's a nice guy, but Ed...stop it, please. You're actually trying to spin the Nazis over the Republican Party of torture and attack the NY Times. (h/t G. Greenwald)
Many of them -- indeed, most of them -- oppose the Iraq war and especially the interrogation techniques applied by the Bush administration. They rightly remain proud of their record of using softer techniques to get the information they needed to stop the Germans. A few of them took the opportunity to make that clear during the ceremonies in New Jersey that honored their service.
It must be said, however, that they faced a different enemy in a different war. The Germans fought to expand territory through traditional warfare, at least as arrayed against the US and the West. While they conducted sabotage missions in the US through espionage, they did not use terrorist infiltrators to attempt to kill thousands of American civilians. They also did not face religious extremists who believed that death brought them to Allah and 72 waiting virgins for taking out women and children. One can make a case that the civilized techniques of PO Box 1142 worked because their detainees also believed themselves civilized and members of the Western culture.
Ed, the Nazis exterminated at least 6 million Jews (2/3 of the Jewish population in Europe) not to mention homosexuals, Gypsies and disabled people in the most horrible fashion imaginable. They were monsters. What about the millions of Russians that they killed? They thought the Aryan race was supreme and we were cattle! There's a term they used---what was it again? Oh, yea---The Master Race. That's civilized? Are you f*&king serious?
"The C.I.A.’s interrogation program is remarkable for its mechanistic aura. 'It’s one of the most sophisticated, refined programs of torture ever,' an outside expert familiar with the protocol said. 'At every stage, there was a rigid attention to detail. Procedure was adhered to almost to the letter. There was top-down quality control, and such a set routine that you get to the point where you know what each detainee is going to say, because you’ve heard it before. It was almost automated. People were utterly dehumanized. People fell apart. It was the intentional and systematic infliction of great suffering masquerading as a legal process. It is just chilling.'..
The US government should account for all the missing detainees once held by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.The 50-page report, "Ghost Prisoner: Two Years in Secret CIA Detention," contains a detailed description of a secret CIA prison from a Palestinian former detainee who was released from custody last year. Human Rights Watch has also sent a public letter to US President George W. Bush requesting information about the fate and whereabouts of the missing detainees.
[..]Human Rights Watch's letter to Bush contained two lists of missing detainees. The first list names 16 people whom Human Rights Watch believes were held in CIA prisons and whose current whereabouts are unknown. The second list names 22 people who may have been held in CIA prisons and whose current whereabouts are unknown.
Human Rights Watch expressed concern about what may have happened to the missing prisoners. One possibility is that the US may have transferred some of them to foreign prisons where they remain under the CIA's effective control.
[..] Another worrying possibility is that prisoners were transferred from CIA custody to places where they may face torture. A serious concern is that some of the missing prisoners might have been returned to their countries of origin, which include Algeria, Egypt, Libya and Syria, where the torture of terrorism suspects is common.
LA Times has more. This story has come out in little drips since the beginning. I suspect that when or if the full story is ever known, the truth will be more horrifying than we can imagine. I was discussing this with a friend from Peru yesterday. The thing that we must remember is that the information is tightly controlled here, but in other parts of the world, they hear of the practices and as he reminded me, it's hard to disinguish exactly who the bad guy is in Bush's war.
A senior Pentagon official resigned Friday over controversial remarks in which he criticized lawyers who represent terrorism suspects, the Defense Department said.
Department spokesman Bryan Whitman said Charles ''Cully'' Stimson, deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, told him on Friday that he had made his own decision to resign and was not asked to leave by Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Stimson said he was leaving because of the controversy over a radio interview in which he said he found it shocking that lawyers at many of the nation's top law firms represent detainees held at the U.S. military prison in Cuba.
''He believed it hampered his ability to be effective in this position,'' Whitman said of the backlash to Stimson's comments.
I meant to post about this story sooner, but there was a power outage in my neighborhood most of the weekend. This story is unbelievable: I know, I say that a lot.
Detainee 200343 was among thousands of people who have been held and released by the American military in Iraq, and his account of his ordeal has provided one of the few detailed views of the Pentagon’s detention operations since the abuse scandals at Abu Ghraib. Yet in many respects his case is unusual.
The detainee was Donald Vance, a 29-year-old Navy veteran from Chicago who went to Iraq as a security contractor. He wound up as a whistle-blower, passing information to the F.B.I. about suspicious activities at the Iraqi security firm where he worked, including what he said was possible illegal weapons trading.
But when American soldiers raided the company at his urging, Mr. Vance and another American who worked there were detained as suspects by the military, which was unaware that Mr. Vance was an informer, according to officials and military documents.
At Camp Cropper, he took notes on his imprisonment and smuggled them out in a Bible...read on