FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Torture, Shrinks and a Groundhog’s Day Moment

 

Did you hear about the torture
In the newspapers that you read?
Did you pretend it didn’t matter?
Did you blame a few bad men?
Did you think that your leaders
Wouldn’t just do it all again?

How far is it from here to Nuremberg?

–David Rovics

Dr. James Bray, current president of the American Psychological Association (yes, those guys again), recently responded to a group of psychologists with the admonition, “I have a request for each of you. As you know, our association has a long history of adamantly opposing torture and the abusive interrogation of detainees. I hope you will accurately reflect this in your communications.” (Sarcasm in italics added.)

If only . . . IF ONLY APA would abide by its own counsel. In his most recent press release, Dr. Bray asserted, “APA has declared that psychologists have an obligation to intervene to stop torture or abuse, and a further obligation to report any instance of torture or abuse.” Really Dr. Bray?? Then perhaps you could explain to us why, out of the many military psychologists that have been deployed to Guantanamo, we’ve only heard a brief complaint from psychologist Mike Gelles. APA has repeatedly used him as an example of psychologists “doing the right thing.” What about the many other psychologists at Guantanamo the last seven years . . . why haven’t we heard from them when detainees were brutalized outside of the interrogation room, with the military forcing their heads into toilets, breaking bones, gouging their eyes, squeezing their testicles, urinating on a prisoner’s head, banging their heads on concrete floors, hog-tying them, sometimes leaving prisoners tied in excruciating positions for hours on end, days and days and weeks and weeks in isolation or subject to sleep deprivation.

We know some of their names, these military psychologists at Guantanamo, but none of them have come forward to “intervene to stop the torture and abuse” that continues at Guantanamo, as Dr. Bray demands in his best, politically-correct, hollow announcement.

Dr. Bray continues: “Furthermore, APA stands ready to adjudicate reports that any APA member has engaged in prohibited techniques.” And this becomes my personal Groundhog Day.

You see, Dr. Bray, I’ve been here before. Ironically, one year ago this month, I appealed to your organization for truth and action, after the three previous presidents of APA made the same meaningless statements:

Gerald Koocher, APA President 2006: “I should also note that A.P.A. has taken a very strong stance against the use of torture, inhumane, and degrading treatment, and if anyone is able to identify A.P.A. members who have been involved in such activities, we will take disciplinary action.”

Sharon Brehm, APA President 2007: “Any allegations that a member has violated APA’s strict prohibition against engaging in torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment will be investigated and, if the evidence warrants, adjudicated.”

Alan E. Kazdin, APA President 2008: “Any APA member found to have violated this prohibition would be subject to sanction under our Code of Ethics.”

And now you, Dr. Bray, offering the same empty promise. There is no truth in your statement, or the statements of the preceding three presidents of APA. Your organization has refused for two years to rule on a complaint I have filed against a member of APA who has clearly violated your Code of Ethics.

Follow your own sanctimonious advice to others and “accurately reflect” the intentions of the American Psychological Association. Stop intoning the glittering generalities of your predecessors. You insult those who of us who still believe in our ethics and you demean the victims of those psychologists who have perpetrated criminal acts.

Dr. TRUDY BOND is a licensed psychologist in Ohio. She can be reached at ar_mordilo@yahoo.com.

More articles by:

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

June 19, 2019
Matthew Stevenson
Requiem for a Lightweight: the Mayor Pete Factor
Kenneth Surin
In China Again
Stephen Cooper
Abolishing the Death Penalty Requires Morality
George Ochenski
The DNC Can’t Be Allowed to Ignore the Climate Crisis
John W. Whitehead
The Omnipresent Surveillance State
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
Guaidó’s Star Fades as His Envoys to Colombia Allegedly Commit Fraud With Humanitarian Funds for Venezuela
Dave Lindorff
What About Venezuela’s Hacked Power Grid?
Howard Lisnoff
Try Not to Look Away
Binoy Kampmark
Matters of Water: Dubious Approvals and the Adani Carmichael Mine
Karl Grossman
The Battle to Stop the Shoreham Nuclear Plant, Revisited
Kani Xulam
Farting in a Turkish Mosque
Dean Baker
New Manufacturing Jobs are Not Union Jobs
Elizabeth Keyes
“I Can’t Believe Alcohol Is Stronger Than Love”
June 18, 2019
John McMurtry
Koch-Oil Big Lies and Ecocide Writ Large in Canada
Robert Fisk
Trump’s Evidence About Iran is “Dodgy” at Best
Yoav Litvin
Catch 2020 – Trump’s Authoritarian Endgame
Thomas Knapp
Opposition Research: It’s Not Trump’s Fault That Politics is a “Dirty” Game
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
U.S. Sanctions: Economic Sabotage that is Deadly, Illegal and Ineffective
Gary Leupp
Marx and Walking Zen
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Color Revolution In Hong Kong: USA Vs. China
Howard Lisnoff
The False Prophets Cometh
Michael T. Klare
Bolton Wants to Fight Iran, But the Pentagon Has Its Sights on China
Steve Early
The Global Movement Against Gentrification
Dean Baker
The Wall Street Journal Doesn’t Like Rent Control
Tom Engelhardt
If Trump’s the Symptom, Then What’s the Disease?
June 17, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
The Dark Side of Brexit: Britain’s Ethnic Minorities Are Facing More and More Violence
Linn Washington Jr.
Remember the Vincennes? The US’s Long History of Provoking Iran
Geoff Dutton
Where the Wild Things Were: Abbey’s Road Revisited
Nick Licata
Did a Coverup of Who Caused Flint Michigan’s Contaminated Water Continue During Its Investigation? 
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange and the Scales of Justice: Exceptions, Extraditions and Politics
John Feffer
Democracy Faces a Global Crisis
Louisa Willcox
Revamping Grizzly Bear Recovery
Stephen Cooper
“Wheel! Of! Fortune!” (A Vegas Story)
Daniel Warner
Let Us Laugh Together, On Principle
Brian Cloughley
Trump Washington Detests the Belt and Road Initiative
Weekend Edition
June 14, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump’s Trade Threats are Really Cold War 2.0
Bruce E. Levine
Tom Paine, Christianity, and Modern Psychiatry
Jason Hirthler
Mainstream 101: Supporting Imperialism, Suppressing Socialism
T.J. Coles
How Much Do Humans Pollute? A Breakdown of Industrial, Vehicular and Household C02 Emissions
Andrew Levine
Whither The Trump Paradox?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of 10,000 Talkers, All With Broken Tongues
Pete Dolack
Look to U.S. Executive Suites, Not Beijing, For Why Production is Moved
Paul Street
It Can’t Happen Here: From Buzz Windrip and Doremus Jessup to Donald Trump and MSNBC
Rob Urie
Capitalism Versus Democracy
Richard Moser
The Climate Counter-Offensive: Secrecy, Deception and Disarming the Green New Deal
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail