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View Diary: Army Psychologist Pleads 'Fifth' in Case of Prisoner 900 (250 comments)

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  •  problem is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, kurt, Johnny Q

    that's not what they're doing.
    they're using their knowledge of psychology - these people are Ph.D.s, they've spent years doing nothing but pouring over psych theory - and their skill as therapists to inflict psychological pain, which goes completely against the ethics that govern the discipline.

    i know you're looking for a rationale in it somewhere, but there isn't one, unfortunately.

    "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach." - Upton Sinclair

    by kathleen518 on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 06:42:02 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  that may be, but not likely (0+ / 0-)

      the goal is not to inflict pain...that's easy.  The goal is to transform the mind of the subject.  Ideally, make him a willing and helpful partner....but that's exceedingly rare....particularly with religious fundamentalists....not impossible, but rare.

      The next goal is to wear down their defenses...get them to blurt...make a mistake....say something they tried to keep from you.   Once they do that, you use the mistake to keep the information coming.  The trick is how do you get there......sleep deprivation helps, physical stress positions help, noise bombardment helps, fear helps.....  is there "pain" involved?  sure.  But not usually simply for the purpose of inflicting pain.

      So the issue is whether information extracted under those circumstances is reliable......if you got it while the guy was delerious, you pretty much understand it is unreliable...so the guy rests and you come back later and ask him about it.....

      These interrogators, for the most part, are enlisted soldiers.   I think having a psychologist on hand could be a benefit.  Particularly in a situation such as this "endless war" scenario where there is no clear end in sight, where the battleground and enemy is so amorphous, where our government has eliminated habeus and other procedural safeguards.

      It doesn't change the fact that the job has to be done by guys on the ground and the question is whether it makes sense to have a trained psych. professional on hand...hopefully they don't succumb to sadism.

      simplicity is the most difficult of all things

      by RichardWoodcockII on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 06:55:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  this interrogator is a Lt. Col. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        juslikagrzly, aitchdee, kurt, Johnny Q

        and a Ph.D. and what she was doing is unethical.
        period.

        "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach." - Upton Sinclair

        by kathleen518 on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 07:01:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Was she doing harm (0+ / 0-)

          If she was guiding interrogation to mitigate potentially worse harm?

          simplicity is the most difficult of all things

          by RichardWoodcockII on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 07:03:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  keep reading... n/t (0+ / 0-)

            "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach." - Upton Sinclair

            by kathleen518 on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 07:08:01 PM PDT

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            •  i get yer point (0+ / 0-)

              and I agree with it....just discussing the general idea of whether a psychologist should EVER participate in interrogation because all interrogation results in some harm.

              simplicity is the most difficult of all things

              by RichardWoodcockII on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 07:13:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  NO! And I also think having medical doctors (0+ / 0-)

                present at executions is also unethical and immoral.  

                Eyes on the Prize - JedReport

                by juslikagrzly on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 09:05:59 PM PDT

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                •  I would submit there is room for disagreement (0+ / 0-)

                  in this area....the border of right/wrong.   Nobody wants war (at least nobody should want war) but when war comes...how do you conduct it?

                  I think having a psychologist or doctor present and guiding a necessary process like interrogation does yield a benefit consistent with the hypocratic oath in that, at a minimum, it hopefully mitigates the harm that is necessarily going to be caused...with or without you.

                  simplicity is the most difficult of all things

                  by RichardWoodcockII on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 09:16:27 AM PDT

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                  •  I would agree with this ONLY if (0+ / 0-)

                    said professional (medical, psychologist, etc.) had the power to stop the interrogation at any point he/she deemed that harm was being done.  And it would require a certain personality to be able to even participate in interrogations/torture.

                    Eyes on the Prize - JedReport

                    by juslikagrzly on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 01:09:33 PM PDT

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                    •  that would be nice (0+ / 0-)

                      but what if she doesn't....should she just walk away and let whatever happens, happen.  Or do her professional ethics require her to stay, to warn, to guide, to object...?

                      simplicity is the most difficult of all things

                      by RichardWoodcockII on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 04:25:06 PM PDT

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                      •  our ethical code states that when confronted (0+ / 0-)

                        with law, regulations or administrative rules that contradict our ethical code we first attempt to change the situation.  If the situation is unchangeable, then we must leave the situation.  So, yeah, she should quit and make a big roaring stink about it to anyone who'd listen.

                        Eyes on the Prize - JedReport

                        by juslikagrzly on Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 07:05:46 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, she wasn't the interrogator ... (5+ / 0-)

          ...but rather fulfilling the role RichardWoodcockII has posited for her and other psychologists. But that's not the role that the BSCT envisions for psychologists. That role is to facilitate interrogation, not to protect the mental health of the detainee. This is like having a doctor throw the switch at an execution, then put her stethoscope on the executed's chest to see if the heart is still beating.

          I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land. -- Mark Twain

          by Meteor Blades on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 07:05:15 PM PDT

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          •  thanks you say it better than i do n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jhutson

            "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach." - Upton Sinclair

            by kathleen518 on Thu Aug 14, 2008 at 07:07:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  what is "assisting interrogation?" (0+ / 0-)

            is it the assistance part that crosses the line?

            Is she assisting if she says to the interrogator "lay off, he's done."?

            Is she assisting if she says..."Ok, I think he's ready again."

            Is she assisting by observing "I think you should pry more in this area...he seems worried and concerned when you ask him about X."

            Is she assisting by offering no observations and leaving the interrogator to do whatever he/she thinks may be working?

            If you think she has an obligation to protect the detainee's mental health, what exactly does that mean?  Surely it doesn't mean to make sure he is well adjusted and happy during his detention experience.

            simplicity is the most difficult of all things

            by RichardWoodcockII on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 09:28:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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