Tag: Colonel Larry James

A Tale of Two Letters, or On Moral Courage and Moral Cowardice

Kenneth S. Pope, Ph.D., a distinguished psychological researcher, and former Ethics chair for the American Psychological Association, as well as a recipient of the APA Distinguished Contribution to Psychology Award, has resigned from APA. He argues that in the post-9/11 environment, APA has changed its ethical stance in a way that distorts the principles of ethical psychological practice. In particular, he singles out APA’s stance toward the treatment of detainees in Bush’s “war on terror” prisons.

The letter is published at Counterpunch and at his own website, and is reproduced below, followed by another letter, from APA’s President and Chief Executive Officer to Attorney General Mukasey. Both are printed in juxtaposition here, as they offer an interesting contrast in emphases. First, Dr. Pope: Why I Resigned from the American Psychological Association.

Consequences of Gitmo SOP Leak: the Pentagon Replies

I can’t access the Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedures manual leaked the other day. It could be demand is so high it crashed the servers at Wikileaks. (Here’s an alternate link.) I wanted to check more on what I’m hearing is in all those hundreds of pages, including the fact that the initial period of isolation of prisoners is four, not two weeks in length. Also, other reports are describing, for instance, the use of military dogs with prisoners to “enhance physical security and as a psychological deterrent”. Both the ACLU and the Center for Human Rights are reported to have lawyers looking carefully at the document.

For those of use who have been protesting within the American Psychological Association (APA) about its policy of permitting psychologists to work in “war on terror” interrogation centers like Guantanamo, the Delta SOP is of more than passing interest. Colonel Larry James, who spoke against a moratorium resolution (banning psychologist participation in interrogations at places like Guantanamo) at the last APA conference, warning that without psychologists involved in the interrogation process “people are going to die” (meaning prisoners, I suppose; he wasn’t clear), was Chief Psychologist with the Joint Intelligence Group at Guantanamo during the period the controversial SOP was in operation. The APA has defended Colonel James to the present day, and even put him forward as someone who helped blunt human rights abuses at the facility.