Tuesday, December 9, 2014

CIA TORTURE PROGRAM CREATED AND RUN BY 2 PSYCHOLOGISTS

Psychology is a healing profession so it is disturbing to find that the US hired 2 contractors (psychologists) to develop, and implement a torture program that was clearly in violation of international law and the ethical code of conduct in the profession.  Torture as a Violation of Professional Codes of Conduct

Dr. Mitchell and Dr. Jessen, identified by pseudonyms in the report, had not conducted a single real interrogation. They had helped run a Cold War-era training program for the Air Force in which personnel were given a taste of the harsh treatment they might face if captured by Communist enemies. The program — called SERE, for Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape — had never been intended for use in American interrogations, and involved methods that had produced false confessions when used on American airmen held by the Chinese in the Korean War.

Yet the program allowed the psychologists to assess their own work — they gave it excellent grades — and to charge a daily rate of $1,800 each, four times the pay of other interrogators, to waterboard detainees. Dr. Mitchell and Dr. Jessen later started a company that took over and ran the C.I.A. program from 2005 until it was closed in 2009. The C.I.A. paid it $81 million, plus $1 million to protect the company and its employees from legal liability.



The agency had evidently forgotten its own conclusion, sent to Congress in 1989, that “inhumane physical or psychological techniques are counterproductive because they do not produce intelligence and will probably result in false answers,” the report says. The Democratic Senate staff members who studied the post-9/11 program came up with an identical assessment: that waterboarding, wall-slamming, nudity, cold and other ill treatment produced little information of value in preventing terrorism.

The report spends little time condemning torture on moral or legal grounds. Instead, it addresses mainly a practical question: Did torture accomplish anything of value? Looking at case after case, the report answers with an unqualified no.