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COMMUNITYPSYCHUK  July 2005

COMMUNITYPSYCHUK July 2005

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Subject:

Re: Guantanamo complicity of psychologists

From:

"Paul@home" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

The UK Community Psychology Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 6 Jul 2005 13:42:05 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (459 lines)

For the APA not to condemn such practice would be for the APA to condone
such practice. I don't see it would have much of an option but to take
action against these psychologists, but as Paul rightly reflects, the APA
might interpret this as much a financial decision as an ethical one.

I keep clear of being a member of professional organisations whenever I can
for this very reason - their need to maintain financial solvency can lead
them to make ethical compromises in an economic climate that is geared to
profit from the misery of others and chase the greenback into particulary
smelly, slimey places.

The Olympics just knocked G8 off the top news slot here in the UK. The
sounds of protestors skull and bone being crushed by the police/army as the
government snuffs out its political dissenters are being suffocated by the
sounds of 'the Brits' celebrating their bashing of the French once again as
they celebrate the successful Olympic bid in, of all places, Trafalgar
Square and Sir Bob Gandalf puckering up for a kiss and cuddle with the G8
tyrants.... has the UK gone a bit stupid and have we on the CPUK list just
gone a bit silent?


p

-----Original Message-----
From: The UK Community Psychology Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Paul M. Camic
Sent: 06 July 2005 11:12
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [COMMUNITYPSYCHUK] Guantanamo complicity of psychologists


Thank you Mark for sharing this article. As former member of the
APA and as someone who has previously taught ethics in the
clinical psychology program at Northwestern University Medical
School and later at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology
it seems quite clear to me that the use of psychological science
and practice by clinicians for interrogation procedures defintely
violates APA ethical guidelines. These interrogation practices,
aided by psychologists, do not seem different from practices
undertaken by Soviet psychiatrists in the 1950s-70s. It appears to
be another example of the State using psychology to enforce
political and social aims.

If the psychologists involved in these activities at Gauantanamo
Bay prison camp are members of the APA it is possible for any
member of the American public to write a letter to the ethics and
professional practice office of the APA calling upon it to
investigate. If they are not APA members "technically" APA has no
jurisdiction in the matter but could certainly address the issue
nonetheless.

I am not sure how much APA will get directly involved in this
issue due to its increasing reliance on the U.S. government for
funding of research, training, and education. We are all horribly
aware of how the Bush administration punishes those who oppose
its policies and the political costs to APA may be too high.
Certainly however, members of the American and international
psychological communities can individually write to voice their
disapproval.
Paul
On Sat, 25 Jun 2005 09:53:37 +0100 Mark Burton
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Article from New York Times showing complicity of
> psychologists in abusive interrogation methods used by the
> US military at Gauantanamo prison camp on occupied Cuban
> soil.
>
> ------- Forwarded message follows -------
> Date sent:      	25 Jun 2005 08:02:28 -0000
> From:           	[log in to unmask]
> To:             	[log in to unmask]
> Subject:        	[psicliberacion] Resumen n: 342
> Send reply to:  	[log in to unmask]
>
> [ Double-click this line for list subscription options ]
>
> Hay 1 mensaje en este resumen.
>
> Temas de este resumen:
>
>       1. Artmculo del New York Times
>            De: Carolina Flores <[log in to unmask]>
>
>
> _________________________________________________
> _____________________
> __
> _________________________________________________
> _____________________
> __
>
> Mensaje: 1
>   Fecha: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 12:22:41 -0500 (CDT)
>      De: Carolina Flores <[log in to unmask]>
>  Asunto: Artmculo del New York Times
>
> Psicslogos y psiquiatras ayudan a los torturadores...
>
>
> June 24, 2005
> Interrogators Cite Doctors' Aid at Guantanamo Prison
> CampBy NEIL A.
> LEWIS
>
> WASHINGTON, June 23 - Military doctors at Guantanamo
> Bay, Cuba, have
> aided interrogators in conducting and refining coercive
> interrogations
> of detainees, including providing advice on how to increase
> stress
> levels and exploit fears, according to new, detailed accounts
> given by
> former interrogators.
>
> The accounts, in interviews with The New York Times, come
> as mental
> health professionals are debating whether psychiatrists and
> psychologists at the prison camp have violated professional
> ethics
> codes. The Pentagon and mental health professionals have
> been
> examining the ethical issues involved.
>
> The former interrogators said the military doctors' role was to
> advise
> them and their fellow interrogators on ways of increasing
> psychological duress on detainees, sometimes by exploiting
> their
> fears, in the hopes of making them more cooperative and
> willing to
> provide information. In one example, interrogators were told
> that a
> detainee's medical files showed he had a severe phobia of
> the dark and
> suggested ways in which that could be manipulated to induce
> him to
> cooperate.
>
> In addition, the authors of an article published by The New
> England
> Journal of Medicine this week said their interviews with
> doctors who
> helped devise and supervise the interrogation regimen at
> Guantanamo
> showed that the program was explicitly designed to increase
> fear and
> distress among detainees as a means to obtaining
> intelligence.
>
> The accounts shed light on how interrogations were
> conducted and raise
> new questions about the boundaries of medical ethics in the
> nation's
> fight against terrorism.
>
> Bryan Whitman, a senior Pentagon spokesman, declined to
> address the
> specifics in the accounts. But he suggested that the doctors
> advising
> interrogators were not covered by ethics strictures because
> they were
> not treating patients but rather were acting as behavioral
> scientists.
>
>
> He said that while some health care personnel are
> responsible for
> "humane treatment of detainees," some medical professionals
> "may have
> other roles," like serving as behavioral scientists assessing
> the
> character of interrogation subjects.
>
> The military refused to give The Times permission to interview
> medical
> personnel at the isolated Guantanamo camp about their
> practices, and
> the medical journal, in an article that criticized the program,
> did
> not name the officials interviewed by its authors. The handful
> of
> former interrogators who spoke to The Times about the
> practices at
> Guantanamo spoke on condition of anonymity; some said
> they had
> welcomed the doctors' help.
>
> Pentagon officials said in interviews that the practices at
> Guantanamo
> violated no ethics guidelines, and they disputed the
> conclusions of
> the medical journal's article, which was posted on the
> journal's Web
> site on Wednesday.
>
> Several ethics experts outside the military said there were
> serious
> questions involving the conduct of the doctors, especially
> those in
> units known as Behavioral Science Consultation Teams,
> BSCT,
> colloquially referred to as "biscuit" teams, which advise
> interrogators.
>
> "Their purpose was to help us break them," one former
> interrogator
> told The Times earlier this year.
>
> The interrogator said in a more recent interview that a biscuit
> team
> doctor, having read the medical file of a detainee, suggested
> that the
> inmate's longing for his mother could be exploited to
> persuade him to
> cooperate.
>
> Dr. Stephen Xenakis, a psychiatrist and former Army
> brigadier general
> in the medical corps, said in an interview that "this behavior is
> not
> consistent with our medical responsibility or any of the codes
> that
> guide our conduct as doctors."
>
> The use of psychologists and psychiatrists in interrogations
> prompted
> the Pentagon to issue a policy statement last week that
> officials said
> was supposed to ensure that doctors did not participate in
> unethical
> behavior.
>
> While the American Psychiatric Association has guidelines
> that
> specifically prohibit the kinds of behaviors described by the
> former
> interrogators for their members who are medical doctors, the
> rules for
> psychologists are less clear.
>
> Dr. Spencer Eth, a professor of psychiatry at New York
> Medical College
> and chairman of the ethics committee of the American
> Psychiatric
> Association, said in an interview that there was no way that
> psychiatrists at Guantanamo could ethically counsel
> interrogators on
> ways to increase distress on detainees.
>
> But in a statement issued in December, the American
> Psychological
> Association said the issue of involvement of its members in
> "national
> security endeavors" was new.
>
> Dr. Stephen Behnke, who heads the group's ethics division,
> said in an
> interview this week that a committee of 10 members,
> including some
> from the military, was meeting in Washington this weekend to
> discuss
> the issue.
>
> Dr. Behnke emphasized that the codes did not necessarily
> allow
> participation by psychologists in such roles, but rather that the
> issue had not been dealt with directly before.
>
> "A question has arisen that we in the profession have to
> address and
> that is where we are now: is it ethical or is it not ethical?" he
> said.
>
> Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant secretary of defense
> for
> health matters, said the new Pentagon guidelines made clear
> that
> doctors might not engage in unethical conduct. But in a
> briefing for
> reporters last week, he declined to say whether the guidelines
> would
> prohibit some of the activities described by former
> interrogators and
> others. He said the medical personnel "were not driving the
> interrogations" but were there as consultants.
>
> The guidelines include prohibitions against doctors'
> participating in
> abusive treatment, but they all make an exception for "lawful"
> interrogations. As the military maintains that its interrogations
> are
> lawful and that prisoners at Guantanamo are not covered by
> the Geneva
> Conventions, those provisions would seem to allow the
> behavior
> described by interrogators and the medical journal. The article
> in the
> medical journal, by two researchers who interviewed doctors
> who worked
> on the biscuit program, says, "Since late 2002, psychiatrists
> and
> psychologists have been part of a strategy that employs
> extreme
> stress, combined with behavior-shaping rewards, to extract
> actionable
> intelligence."
>
> The article was written by Dr. M. Gregg Bloche, who teaches
> at
> Georgetown University Law School and is a fellow at the
> Brookings
> Institution, and Jonathan H. Marks, a British lawyer who is a
> fellow
> in bioethics at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Universities.
>
> Dr. Bloche said in an interview that the use of health
> professionals
> in devising abusive interrogation strategies was unethical and
> led to
> their involvement in violations of international law. Dr.
> Winkenwerder
> said on Thursday that the article was "an outrageous
> distortion" of
> the medical situation at Guantanamo, according to Reuters
> news agency.
>
> The article also challenges assertions of military authorities
> that
> they have generally maintained the confidentiality of medical
> records.
>
>
> The Winkenwerder guidelines make it clear that detainees
> should have
> no expectation of privacy, but that medical records may be
> shared with
> people who are not in a medical provider relationship with the
> detainee only under strict circumstances.
>
> Dr. Bloche said such an assertion was contrary to what he
> had
> discovered in his research. It is also in conflict with accounts
> of
> former interrogators who previously told The Times that they
> were free
> to examine any detainee's medical files. After April 2003,
> when
> Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld tightened rules on
> detainee
> treatment, one interrogator said the records had to be
> obtained
> through biscuit team doctors who always obliged.
>
> The former interrogator said the biscuit team doctors usually
> observed
> interrogations from behind a one-way mirror, but sometimes
> were also
> in the room with the detainee and interrogator.
>
> http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/24/politics/24gitmo.html?hp&
> ex=11196720
> 00&en=17f38087d71bd912&ei=5094&partner=homepage
>
>
>
>
>
>       Carolina Flores Hine
>       Tel. 225 4603
>       Cel. 830 3500
>
>
>
>
>
> _________________________________________________
> _
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>
> COMMUNITYPSYCHUK - The discussion list for community psychology in the UK.
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[log in to unmask]

----------------------
Paul M. Camic, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Programme
Centre for Applied Social & Psychological Development
Canterbury Christ Church University
Broomhill Road
Tunbridge Wells, Kent  TN3 0TG

Telephone: (44) 01892.507.773
Fax:       (44) 01892.539.102
Email:     [log in to unmask]
Internet:  www.salomonscaspd.org
           www.canterbury.ac.uk
           www.culturalreuse.org

___________________________________

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