US torture doctors could face charges after report alleges post-9/11 ‘collusion’

July 14, 2015 Comments Off on US torture doctors could face charges after report alleges post-9/11 ‘collusion’

US torture doctors could face charges after report alleges post-9/11 ‘collusion’
Leading group of psychologists faces a reckoning following repeated denials that its members were complicit in Bush administration-era torture
Spencer Ackerman  Saturday 11 July 2015

The largest association of psychologists in the United States is on the brink of a crisis, the Guardian has learned, after an independent review revealed that medical professionals lied and covered up their extensive involvement in post-9/11 torture. The revelation, puncturing years of denials, has already led to at least one leadership firing and creates the potential for loss of licenses and even prosecutions.

For more than a decade, the American Psychological Association (APA) has maintained that a strict code of ethics prohibits its more than 130,000 members to aid in the torture of detainees while simultaneously permitting involvement in military and intelligence interrogations. The group has rejected media reporting on psychologists’ complicity in torture; suppressed internal dissent from anti-torture doctors; cleared members of wrongdoing; and portrayed itself as a consistent ally against abuse.

Now, a voluminous independent review conducted by a former assistant US attorney, David Hoffman, undermines the APA’s denials in full – and vindicates the dissenters.

Sources with knowledge of the report and its consequences, who requested anonymity to discuss the findings before public release, expected a wave of firings and resignations across the leadership of an organization that Hoffman finds used its extensive institutional links to the CIA and US military to facilitate abusive interrogations….
http://www.theguardian.com/law/2015/jul/10/us-torture-doctors-psychologists-apa-prosecution

PSYCHOLOGISTS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
PsySR Responds to Hoffman Report about APA Collusion
http://www.psysr.org/about/statements/PsySR_Statement-Hoffman_Report.pdf

A national hero’: psychologist who warned of torture collusion gets her due
Jean Maria Arrigo was largely ignored and the subject of a smear campaign for sounding alarms about psychologists’ post-9/11 torture complicity but has emerged from the damning report as the story’s hero – and martyr
Spencer Ackerman in New York

Monday 13 July 2015

Jean Maria Arrigo’s inbox is filling up with apologies.

For a decade, colleagues of the 71-year-old psychologist ignored, derided and in some cases attacked Arrigo for sounding alarms that the American Psychological Association was implicated in US torture. But now that a devastating report has exposed deep APA complicity with brutal CIA and US military interrogations – and a smear campaign against Arrigo herself – her colleagues are expressing contrition.

Arrigo estimates she has received perhaps a dozen such emails since David Hoffman, a former federal prosecutor, confirmed what she has crusaded against for a decade: the APA’s institutional involvement with torture led to a concerted effort to quash dissent, lie to the public, and silence people like her. In a story full of villains, Arrigo emerges from Hoffman’s report as a hero – and a martyr….
http://www.theguardian.com/law/2015/jul/13/psychologist-torture-doctors-collusion-jean-maria-arrigo

American Psychological Association Bolstered C.I.A. Torture Program, Report Says

May 2, 2015 Comments Off on American Psychological Association Bolstered C.I.A. Torture Program, Report Says

American Psychological Association Bolstered C.I.A. Torture Program, Report Says
By JAMES RISEN APRIL 30, 2015

WASHINGTON — The American Psychological Association secretly collaborated with the administration of President George W. Bush to bolster a legal and ethical justification for the torture of prisoners swept up in the post-Sept. 11 war on terror, according to a new report by a group of dissident health professionals and human rights activists.

The report is the first to examine the association’s role in the interrogation program. It contends, using newly disclosed emails, that the group’s actions to keep psychologists involved in the interrogation program coincided closely with efforts by senior Bush administration officials to salvage the program after the public disclosure in 2004 of graphic photos of prisoner abuse by American military personnel at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

“The A.P.A. secretly coordinated with officials from the C.I.A., White House and the Department of Defense to create an A.P.A. ethics policy on national security interrogations which comported with then-classified legal guidance authorizing the C.I.A. torture program,” the report’s authors conclude….

The involvement of health professionals in the Bush-era interrogation program was significant because it enabled the Justice Department to argue in secret opinions that the program was legal and did not constitute torture, since the interrogations were being monitored by health professionals to make sure they were safe.

The interrogation program has since been shut down, and last year the Senate Intelligence Committee issued a detailed report that described the program as both ineffective and abusive.

Rhea Farberman, a spokeswoman for the American Psychological Association, denied that the group had coordinated its actions with the government. There “has never been any coordination between A.P.A. and the Bush administration on how A.P.A. responded to the controversies about the role of psychologists in the interrogations program,” she said….

In early June 2004, a senior official with the association, the nation’s largest professional organization for psychologists, issued an invitation to a carefully selected group of psychologists and behavioral scientists inside the government to a private meeting to discuss the crisis and the role of psychologists in the interrogation program.

Psychologists from the C.I.A. and other agencies met with association officials in July, and by the next year the association issued guidelines that reaffirmed that it was acceptable for its members to be involved in the interrogation program.

To emphasize their argument that the association grew too close to the interrogation program, the critics’ new report cites a 2003 email from a senior psychologist at the C.I.A. to a senior official at the psychological association. In the email, the C.I.A. psychologist appears to be confiding in the association official about the work of James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, the private contractors who developed and helped run the enhanced interrogation program at the C.I.A.’s secret prisons around the world….
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/01/us/report-says-american-psychological-association-collaborated-on-torture-justification.html

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