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COMMUNITYPSYCHUK  July 2005

COMMUNITYPSYCHUK July 2005

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Subject:

Re: community psychology in relation to the issues raised by G8 and more generally by US domination: "have we on the CPUK list just gone a bit silent?"

From:

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

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Thu, 7 Jul 2005 23:54:24 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (607 lines)

David,
In relation to the point you make about the context of your writing:

With foresight, I wonder if we might have held our UKCP conference in
Auchterader during the time of the G8 summit. With hindsight, I wonder what
that CPUK conference might have been like....

I am looking forward to visiting Newcastle-upon-Tyne, but in future should
we also look at the sociopolitical map and calender rather than solely the
geographic map and academic calender when planning when and where (and why)
we have our gatherings?

p


-----Original Message-----
From: The UK Community Psychology Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of David Fryer
Sent: 07 July 2005 11:03
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [COMMUNITYPSYCHUK] community psychology in relation to the
issues raised by G8 and more generally by US domination: "have we on the
CPUK list just gone a bit silent?"


Dear Paul, Paul, Mark and all,

Thanks for raising these issues. I have been one of the silent ones. I
break that silence below . . .

Like many others, I am also concerned (but not at all surprised) about
the complicity of psychologists in the theory and practice of torture
but from a community psychological perspective surely the complicity
runs far deeper and more systemically than the level of the professional
ethics of individual psychologists? This collusion with oppression and
injustice could not conceivably be adequately addressed by a
professionals' organisation like the APA (whose whole raison d'etre is
after all to promote the interests of psychologists) by weeding out 'bad
apples' through sanctions against individuals: an individualistic,
reactive, intervention which would be wholly inadequate and problematic.
The issue is not surely one of individual ethics but of the social
practice of psychology within current political/militaristic societal
arrangements being an ideologically problematic discipline which in so
many domains provides the tools which can be used to inflict sustained
survivable pain and anguish, psychological, physical and community
destruction. Why is our voice as community psychologists not being heard
more often more loudly about these matters?

Like many others, I too am deeply worried and ashamed of the silence and
complicity of many psychologists in relation to G8. In my view the
policies of the countries which make up G8, but especially those of the
USA and the UK, which have led them to wage illegal, unjust, hideously
destructive wars abroad with incalculable human damage at all levels and
'the war without bullets' fought daily on the poor and powerless in all
countries, including our own, leads to a daily tsunami of misery,
psychological and physical health and community destruction. Why is our
voice as community psychologists not being heard more often more loudly
about these matters?

Third, like many others, I too am concerned about oppressive, US-led,
global domination: militarily, economically, culturally and
ideologically. But surely this is as evident in the domination of
community psychology by the USA as it is anywhere? Colonisation through
domination of journals, textbooks, professional lobbying groups like the
APA, international evangelising by celebrity academics and most
problematic of all through . . . ideas . . . . ideas which are products
of a largely ideologically acritical, culturally specific, community
psychology born out of its liberal individualistic culture but
'exported' around the world as a universal model of community
psychology. Through UK community psychology too? Why is our voice as
community psychologists not being heard more often more loudly about
these matters?

My context of writing? I am writing from Stirling. As you will know the
G8 leaders, their entourage and many citizens who wish to express their
opposition to the G8 policies which create and maintain poverty and
ecological destruction globally and locally are currently visiting this
part of Scotland. Like a quarter of a million citizens I went to
Edinburgh last weekend for the Make Poverty History March. It was a
moving event regrettably eclipsed by the London pop circus. Yesterday
was very different except that again voices for sanity and justice were
drowned out by an olympic circus. Where I live was cut off by police
road blocks trying to stop people moving about the country to exercise
their right to speak out. The road in which I live was turned into a
conduit for truckloads of riot police. Young people walking through
where I live, walking many miles to get to Gleneagles because other
means of transport had been made unavailable, had verbal abuse hurled at
them by terrified 'ordinary citizens'. Why terrified - almost all
sources of information created a climate of fear suggesting a siege by
subhuman anarchists hell bent on violence (actually of course for some
of us they were our children). Even at the University of Stirling, a
message was sent round electronically yesterday afternoon to all staff.
Part of this read as follows: "The University has been informed that the
situation in Stirling has now worsened and there is significant
disruption in the Central Stirling area in connection with the G8
meeting. All First Bus services in the Stirling area are currently
suspended. Travel in and around Stirling over the next two hours could
be severely disrupted. In view of this members of staff are advised to
stay on campus for the time being. If your personal circumstances are
such that you feel the need to leave early please notify your line
manager."

To business . . . has space been set aside at the Newcastle UK CP
Network for critical debate about the position of community psychology
in relation to the issues raised by G8 and the issues more generally
raised by US domination generally and in community psychology also? If
not who is interested in collaborating in developing a proposal - now?
The deadline for Newcastle porposals is, I believe, tomorrow.

David

David Fryer
Community Psychology Group
University of Stirling
FK9 4LA
Scotland
+44 (0) 1786 467650 (tel)
+44 (0) 1786 467641 (fax)
[log in to unmask]

-----Original Message-----
From: The UK Community Psychology Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Paul@home
Sent: 06 July 2005 1:42 pm
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Guantanamo complicity of psychologists


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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----------------------
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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