Friday, May 08, 2015

dirty double-00 promised so much and delivered so little...,


HuffPo |  A government psychologist who helped craft policies central to the CIA’s torture program is now advising an FBI-led interrogation project, according to a series of emails revealed in a new independent report.

The High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group is the Obama administration’s response to the now-defunct CIA effort. Its members are dispatched to question terror suspects. Dr. Susan Brandon leads the HIG’s research committee, which studies and recommends the most effective methods of noncoercive interrogation. 

But as a Bush White House official, the new report says, Brandon helped that administration base the legality of the CIA’s interrogation techniques -- now widely denounced as torture -- on the assessments of psychologists present during the interrogations.

“Susan Brandon ... played a central role in the development of the 2005 [Psychological Ethics and National Security] policy,” states the report, which examined the complicity of psychologists in the CIA’s torture program. The language that Brandon helped write, the report says, has served to protect former torturers and their superiors from prosecution.

The report, titled "All The President’s Psychologists," was released last week on the heels of a separate inquiry examining the potential complicity of the American Psychological Association (APA) in the torture program. The latest investigation came from a group of university-affiliated psychologists, other medical professionals and human rights investigators.

Emails from the mid-2000s, cited in the report, tie Brandon to CIA contract psychologists Bruce Jessen and James Mitchell, masterminds of the torture program. She had personal contact with them at a conference she arranged in 2003 and, according to emails, appears to have been in regular contact with their CIA supervisor. The extent of Brandon’s knowledge about Mitchell and Jessen’s activities at the time is unknown, though she is included on an email that discusses them as “doing special things to special people in special places.”

"What we see is associations. And the associations with the apparent supervisor of Mitchell and Jessen at each step of the process over a period of three years,” said Nathaniel Raymond, one of the report's co-authors and a program director with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. “The issue here is not about what she thinks about torture; the issue is about what she did in the past to knowingly or unknowingly create a legal heat shield for the president using the ethics of the APA. That’s the issue. This is not a question of torture. It’s a question of alleged corruption."