Psychologists Met In Secret To Help Bush Justify Torture Program


Psychologists Met In Secret To Help Bush Justify Torture Program

Disturbing revelations about just how far our government will go to justify their actions to the public have emerged today.

A watchdog analysis released on Thursday shows that the leading American professional group for psychologists secretly worked with the Bush administration to help justify the post 9-11 U.S. detainee torture program.

Written by six leading health professionals and human rights activists, the report is the first to examine the alleged complicity of the American Psychological Association (APA) in the “enhanced interrogation” program. It raises deep concerns about the level of complicity between academia and government with serious consequences for objective, un-biased scientific research in our country.

Those involved in fraudulently justifying, via supposed-academic methods, could risk their entire careers due to academic dishonesty.

The group of concerned academics analyzed more than 600 newly disclosed emails and found that the APA coordinated with Bush-era government officials – namely in the CIA, White House and Department of Defense – to ethically justify the interrogation policy in 2004 and 2005, when the program came under increased scrutiny for prisoner abuse by military personnel at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Through a series of clandestine meetings the two parties created “an APA ethics policy in national security interrogations which comported with then-classified legal guidance authorizing the CIA torture program,” the team found.

The APA is the biggest organization representing psychologists in the US, with more than 122,500 members. That mental health professionals - let alone members of the APA - played any role in the justification or enhancement of the interrogation program undoubtedly gave the program an air of legitimacy, even if not made public.

In secret opinions, the Department of Justice argued that the torture program did not constitute torture and was therefore legal, since they were being monitored by medical professionals.

The implications here raise serious questions about both the closeness of U.S. academic and professional organizations to secret police organizations and also what exactly gets discussed at secret court hearings.

The second point is particularly important, in that if secret courts are hearing falsified evidence to justify otherwise illegal actions, they amount to nothing more than a show, where the outcome is pre-ordained and all proceeding are a theatrical production designed to look legitimate.

The sad part is this type of manipulation appears to be standard operating procedure, with the CIA, White House, NSA and DoD all now very good at manufacturing academic-sounding and looking evidence to justify their illegal and unconstitutional behavior.

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