Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lawyer Slams Psychologists for Participation in Interrogation

This is a biased hate speech piece, and not journalism. These psychologist deserve the gratitude of the nation for the information obtained that prevented attacks. The lawyer should be considered a collaborator with the enemy.

"Psychologists participated in every stage of the program’s development and implementation.2 First, they assisted in providing its legal justification. The United Nations Convention against Torture and corresponding federal statutes define torture as “an act intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering.”3,4 Severe mental pain or suffering is “the prolonged mental harm” caused by the “infliction or the threat of infliction of severe physical pain or suffering.” Psychologists sanctioned all utilized techniques. For example, the report observes that the CIA “informed us that your on-site psychologists, who have extensive experience with the use of waterboard in Navy training, have not encountered any significant long-term mental health consequences from its use.”

Second, those same psychologists sculpted the program’s basic structure. Initially, the CIA retained independent contractor and Air Force psychologist James Mitchell to “research and write a paper on al-Qaeda’s resistance to interrogation techniques.” Then, Mitchell paired with a Department of Defense psychologist and “developed a list of new and more aggressive EITs.”

Third, psychologists crafted individual intake evaluations that assessed mental status and forecast successful techniques. Consider, for example, the psychological profile of al-Qaeda member Abu Zubaydah. The profile observed that his strengths included “ability to focus, goal-directed discipline, intelligence, [and] emotional resilience.” The report predicted interrogation success because Zubaydah “believes [that] the ultimate destiny of Islam is to dominate this world. . . . Thus, there is the chance that he could rationalize that providing information will harm current efforts but represent only a temporary setback.”

Finally, psychologists attended and supervised interrogation sessions. Consider, again, the case of Zubaydah. Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Ali Soufan, who, according to Newsweek, “had a reputation as a shrewd interrogator who could work fluently in both English and Arabic,” conducted the initial interrogation in Guantánamo Bay. Although Soufan’s interrogation was productive, producing information that led to the arrest of Richard Reid, the would-be “shoe bomber,” the CIA brought in Mitchell. Mitchell ratcheted up the interrogation by stripping Zubaydah and barraging him with loud, rock music. When a coffin, apparently for a mock burial, arrived and Soufan objected, the CIA terminated his employment.5"

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