Tag: American Psychological Association

Out of the Depths: CIA Torture Victim Speaks

Crossposted at Invictus

Blogger Deep Harm over at Daily Kos did a nice job of writing up a review on Mark Benjamin’s recent article at Salon.com, Inside the CIA’s notorious “black sites”. Benjamin’s article details the case of CIA Yemeni prisoner (now released), Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah.

Mr. Bashmilah was held for 19 months in a succession of prisons, trapped inside the CIA’s secret worldwide gulag. Now the one-time CIA torture victim has filed a declaration as part of a lawsuit brought by the ACLU against Jeppesen Dataplan Inc., a subsidiary of Boeing Company, and implicated in secret CIA rendition flights.

According to Mark Benjamin, Mr. Bashmilah — a businessman who had travelled from his home in Indonesia to Jordan to help arrange a surgery for his mother — was subjected to extreme psychological torture and physical maltreatment, first by the Jordanians:

No Moral Compass: Pelosi, Democrats, & the WP Revelations

Crossposted at Invictus and Daily Kos

Notoriously (depending upon your point of view), this past weekend the Washington Post published an article revealing that a number of top Democrats and Republicans were briefed in September 2002 on CIA interrogation methods. They were “given a virtual tour of the CIA’s overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.” The reported techniques are said to have included waterboarding.

Yesterday, Pelosi released a statement clarifying what happened from her perspective. This must have shocked even a little those Democratic Party stalwarts, but no, as we’ll see, their Nancy can make no mistake. She was, you see… helpless.

Reprint: FBI & American Psychological Association Attack Patient Confidentiality

(The following was first posted on January 7, 2007 at the Daily Kos website. It is being reprinted here as of significant interest to readers of this blog. I have no reason to believe that anything important has changed since this article was originally written. One exception might be the peregrinations undertaken by the American Psychological Association on the question of interrogations, which can be followed in numerous other articles at my blog. Another exception would be revelations that emerged during the year regarding psychologist participation in U.S. government torture, and this additional material is included in the following text in the form of an editorial emendation.)

I recently came across an FBI report on a conference jointly sponsored by the FBI and the American Psychological Association. Given the recent and ongoing controversies over the use of psychologists and other medical personnel in U.S. torture programs abroad, I thought a close examination of the matter of this conference could be interesting. — What you will read may shock you (especially if you are interested in mental health practice). It will certainly enlighten you, and help fill in the gaps that exist in our understanding of U.S. interrogation techniques, the “war on terror”, and the government campaign to curtail our liberties.

APA Critics Plumb New Gitmo Revelations

Also posted at Invictus

Once again, the indefatigable Stephen Soldz has jumped out on the Guantanamo SOP story, providing readers with important analysis on exactly what is in that document, and how it links to what we already know about U.S. torture policies. He also discusses the document in the light of the struggle he and other psychologists have waged in the American Psychological Association against the latter’s collaborationist policy of staffing the interrogation rooms and prisons of Bush’s anti-democratic and bloody “war on terror”.

This is from his latest article, “Leaked Guantanamo Document Confirms Routine Use of Isolation as Psychological Torture”, posted yesterday at ZNet.

The Guantanamo SOP now provides official documentation that, at the time of the Rumsfeld memo and despite its warnings regarding the techniques’ potential illegality and physical and psychological dangers, isolation was routinely used by the Defense Department at Guantanamo on all new detainees. The Rumsfeld memo complements the SOP in that it documents the central role of “medical and psychological review,” and, thus, medical and psychological personnel in the administration of this technique….

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.

My APA Paper on Isolation, Sensory Deprivation & Sensory Overload

This essay is a reprint of a posting made a while back on my own blog, Invictus, and over at Daily Kos. Given the emphemeral nature of blog pieces, and the importance of this well-researched essay and the material herein, I am reposting it for the readers of Docudharma.

As an added bonus, I’d like to give a link to a site where for a small fee you can download the entire 1977 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Hearings on MKUltra in Adobe format. (Thanks to an anonymous commenter for this link.) For those interested in researching or studying the covert actions of this government, this is not only an important historical document, but a crucial resource for understanding what has happened to the U.S. government since World War II.

In the opinion of myself and others, the move to total war in the struggle against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan initiated a major shift in power within the United States to the Department of Defense, and increasingly, the intelligence apparatus of the government. Both became inextricably intertwined with the scientific, educational, and medical establishments, until today, it seems there is no severing the connection and control of the government over civil society.

When reading what follows, in essence you are studying an important case history — of much significance in and of itself, of course — of this overarching influence of military-government design covertly taking over an entire portion of the intellectual establishment, e.g. the fields of behavioral psychology and psychiatry/neurology.

I hope you will appreciate the reposting of this most significant presentation.

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