Author Topic: Soetoro Appoints Top Bush-Era GITMO/Abu Ghraib Torture Psychologist/War Criminal  (Read 2038 times)

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Offline Optimus

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Top Bush-era GITMO and Abu Ghraib psychologist is WH's newest appointment

By Glenn Greenwald


Dr. Larry James

(Updated below with White House response)

 One of the most intense scandals the field of psychology has faced over the last decade is the involvement of several of its members in enabling Bush's worldwide torture regime. Numerous health professionals worked for the U.S. government to help understand how best to mentally degrade and break down detainees. At the center of that controversy was -- and is -- Dr. Larry James. James, a retired Army colonel, was the Chief Psychologist at Guantanamo in 2003, at the height of the abuses at that camp, and then served in the same position at Abu Ghraib during 2004.  

Today, Dr. James circulated an excited email announcing, "with great pride," that he has now been selected to serve on the "White House Task Force entitled Enhancing the Psychological Well-Being of The Military Family."  In his new position, he will be meeting at the White House with Michelle Obama and other White House officials on Tuesday.

For his work at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, Dr. James was the subject of two formal ethics complaints in the two states where he is licensed to practice: Louisiana and Ohio.  Those complaints -- 50 pages long and full of detailed and well-documented allegations -- were filed by the International Human Rights Clinic of Harvard Law School's Human Rights Program, on behalf of veterans, mental health professionals and others.  The complaints detailed how James "was the senior psychologist of the Guantánamo BSCT, a small but influential group of mental health professionals whose job it was to advise on and participate in the interrogations, and to help create an environment designed to break down prisoners."  Specifically:

    During his tenure at the prison, boys and men were threatened with rape and death for themselves and their family members; sexually, culturally, and religiously humiliated; forced naked; deprived of sleep; subjected to sensory deprivation, over-stimulation, and extreme isolation; short-shackled into stress positions for hours; and physically assaulted. The evidence indicates that abuse of this kind was systemic, that BSCT health professionals played an integral role in its planning and practice. . . .

More: http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/03/25/james/index.html
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people,
it's an instrument for the people to restrain the government.” – Patrick Henry

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Offline Optimus

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"Hell and Dr. James: When Gitmo and Abu Ghraib Come Home," by Bill Quigley and Deborah Popowski
http://ccrjustice.org/hell-and-dr.-james%3A-when-gitmo-and-abu-ghraib-come-home

By Bill Quigley and Deborah Popowski. October 26, 2009, CounterPunch.org

The Louisiana Board that licenses psychologists is facing a growing legal fight over torture and medical care at the infamous Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib prisons.

In 2003, Louisiana psychologist and retired colonel Larry James watched behind a one-way mirror in a U.S. prison camp while an interrogator and three prison guards wrestled a screaming near-naked man on the floor.

The prisoner had been forced into pink women’s panties, lipstick and a wig; the men then pinned the prisoner to the floor in an effort “to outfit him with the matching pink nightgown.”  As he recounts in his memoir, Fixing Hell, Dr. James initially chose not to respond.  He “opened [his] thermos, poured a cup of coffee, and watched the episode play out, hoping it would take a better turn and not wanting to interfere without good reason…”

Although he claims to eventually find “good reason” to intervene, the Army colonel never reported the incident or even so much as reprimanded men who had engaged in activities that constituted war crimes. 

Sadly, the story of Dr. James’ complicity in prisoner abuse does not end there.  The New Orleans native and former LSU psychology professor admits to overseeing the detention, interrogation and health care of three boys, aged twelve to fourteen, who were disappeared to Guantanamo and held without charge or access to counsel or their families. In Fixing Hell and elsewhere, Dr. James proudly proclaims that he was in a position of authority at Guantanamo.

Government records indicate that, as the senior psychologist consulting on interrogations, his decisions affected the policy and operations of interrogations and detention on the base.  During his time there, reports of beatings, sexual abuse, religious humiliation and sleep deprivation during interrogations were widespread, and draconian isolation was official policy.  Prisoners suffered, and some continue to suffer, devastating physical and psychological harm.

Dr. Trudy Bond, a psychologist under an ethical obligation to report abuse by other psychologists, filed a complaint against Dr. James before the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists in February 2008.

Dr. Bond’s complaint says that Dr. James’ conduct violated Louisiana laws governing his psychology license.  As a psychologist and military colonel, he had a duty to avoid harm, to protect confidential information, and to obtain informed consent, as well as to prevent and punish the misconduct of his subordinates.   

How did the Louisiana licensing board respond?  Rather than investigate, the Board dismissed the complaint, and when asked again, reaffirmed its decision.  Dr. Bond has now taken the case to the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal in Baton Rouge.  Dr. James played an influential role in both the policy and day-to-day operations of interrogations and detention in the notorious prison camps built to hold men and boys captured during the U.S. “War on Terror.”

According to his own statements, he was a senior member of interrogation consulting teams that, as documented by government records, were central in designing interrogation plans that exploited psychological and physical weaknesses of individual detainees.  In one example cited by the New York Times, a military health professional told interrogators that “the 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.”

Had Dr. James chosen to cast himself as a brave, but ultimately ineffective voice against torture, he may have fooled some people into believing him. Instead, he’s presented an utterly implausible portrait: one of a man “chosen” by “the nation” to “fix the hell” of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, a feat he claims to have accomplished so successfully that ever since he was first deployed in January 2003, “where ever [sic] we have had psychologists no abuses have been reported.”

This is patently untrue.  The real “fact of the matter,” as documented by government records, reports from the International Committee of the Red Cross and eyewitness accounts, is that serious abuses were widespread both during Dr. James’ tenure as senior psychologist for the Joint Intelligence Group at Guantánamo, and after he left.   

One would imagine that such disregard for a law designed to protect the public welfare would greatly concern the body charged with its enforcement. But the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, which issued James his license, has refused to investigate whether he violated professional misconduct law. 

The Board’s conduct should alarm all Louisiana health professionals and their patients.  The Board demeans the profession when it fails to seriously address the possibility that a Louisiana licensee was involved in torture.  It also strips the Louisiana psychology license of meaning and value.

How can patients rely on a license issued and enforced by a body that arbitrarily refuses to look into allegations of grave misconduct?

As the legal battle wears on, the people of Louisiana need to ask the Board’s members what “good reason” they await in order to act. They should demand that the Board of Examiners conduct a thorough investigation of Larry James and, if what he admits is true, revoke his privilege to practice.

Bill Quigley is a Loyola Law professor working at the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Deborah Popowski is a Skirball Fellow at the Harvard Law School Human Rights Program. Both authors are involved with the campaign When Healers Harm: Hold Health Professionals Accountable for Torture, see http://whenhealersharm.org/
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people,
it's an instrument for the people to restrain the government.” – Patrick Henry

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Offline Optimus

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http://www.blacklistednews.com/view.asp?ID=5728

Quote
Digusting New Images from Abu Ghraib

Blacklisted News
Source: Wired
February 28, 2008

  
  
  
As an expert witness in the defense of an Abu Ghraib guard who was court-martialed, psychologist Philip Zimbardo had access to many of the images of abuse that were taken by the guards themselves. For a presentation at the TED conference in Monterey, California, Zimbardo assembled some of these pictures into a short video. Wired.comobtained the video from Zimbardo’s talk, and is publishing some of the stills from that video here. Many of the images are explicit and gruesome, depicting nudity, degradation, simulated sex acts and guards posing with decaying corpses. Viewer discretion is advised.

View photos

http://www.blacklistednews.com/view.asp?ID=5728


And this a$$hole is appointed to look after the Psychological Well-Being of The Military Family? Give me a f**king break!
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people,
it's an instrument for the people to restrain the government.” – Patrick Henry

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Offline Satyagraha

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OMFG.
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Optimus

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Evidence: Larry James

Related to Evidence, Press

According to his own statements, Dr. James was influential in both the policy and day-to-day operations of interrogations and detention at GTMO from January to May 2003. The information presented below suggests that while Dr. James served in Guantánamo in the spring of 2003, abuse in interrogations was widespread and cruel treatment was official policy. This combination of factors raises serious questions about Dr. James’ ethical conduct in the prison camp, questions that warrant immediate investigation.  Take a look at the evidence yourself.

http://whenhealersharm.org/sources-call-for-an-investigation-on-larry-james/
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people,
it's an instrument for the people to restrain the government.” – Patrick Henry

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