New DoD Directive on Detainees Allows Sleep and Sensory Deprivation, Biometric IDs

By: Wednesday September 17, 2014 7:13 pm

A new directive from the Department of Defense regarding its Detainee Program fails to offer any protections against the use of torture techniques like isolation, sleep deprivation, and forms of sensory deprivation. Obama’s detainee program has not really changed since the days of Bush and Cheney. With the addition of biometric identification and the provision for indefinite detention, it may even be worse.

Obama Admits He Banned Only “Some” of the CIA’s Torture Techniques

By: Sunday August 3, 2014 2:27 pm

President Obama has said he only banned “some” of the CIA’s torture techniques after 9/11. He’s not the first to note that, but the problem is, no one is really paying attention.

Psychologists’ Call for End to Abusive Interrogation Techniques in Army Field Manual

By: Saturday May 3, 2014 5:47 pm

Psychologists for Social Responsibility, who have been outspoken in opposing the use of U.S. medical professionals in interrogations, has released a letter to President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel condemning the ongoing use of interrogation techniques in the Army Field Manual, which amount to use of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners.

DoD Directive Used Duplicity to Hide Current Use of SERE Torture Techniques in Interrogations

By: Sunday April 20, 2014 9:42 pm

A key U.S. Defense Department directive rewritten only a month before Barack Obama was first elected President used a legalistically-carved definition for SERE techniques to hide the fact that, despite the fact DoD maintained such techniques were “banned,” important components of the SERE interrogation techniques that could amount to torture were still available to U.S. interrogators.

More Charges of Forced Drugging at Guantanamo

By: Monday February 24, 2014 4:38 am

Four of six prisoners whose civil suit against Rumsfeld and other military officials for torture was argued in a federal appeals court last week have charged the U.S. used forced drugging against them, along with a panoply of other torture abuse. Some of these prisoners had already been cleared of “enemy combatant” status. The whitewash investigation of such drugging by the Department of Defense’s Inspector General becomes more evident with each passing day.

More on the Press and the Question of Torture in the Army Field Manual

By: Wednesday January 15, 2014 11:08 pm

While the mainstream press fell down on its responsibility to report the truth about the 2006 rewrite of the Army Field Manual, burying its use of coercive interrogation techniques amounting to torture, the alternative press and bloggers weren’t doing much better. Meanwhile, the foreign press was quizzing government figures about the unequal treatment of detainees in relation to Geneva Convention, and getting bureaucratic double-talk in response. The dialogue around the Army Field Manual hasn’t changed much in the ensuing seven years, and in large part this can be traced back to how consensus around the government’s interrogation manual was established.

How the Press, the Pentagon, and Even Human Rights Groups Sold Us an Army Field Manual that (Still) Includes Torture (updated)

By: Sunday January 12, 2014 6:54 pm

On the 12th anniversary of Guantanamo, it’s time to look back and see how the U.S. press and human rights community were suborned to accept a policy about interrogations that included the use of psychological torture.

Blue Ribbon Task Force Says Army Field Manual on Interrogation Allows Torture, Abuse

By: Tuesday November 5, 2013 12:33 am

A report by a multidisciplinary task force, made up largely of medical professionals, ethicists and legal experts, has called on President Obama to issue an executive order outlawing torture and other abusive techniques currently in use in the military’s Army Field Manual on interrogations. The Task Force, which wrote the report for The Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) and the Open Society Foundations (OSF), has also called on the Department of Defense to rewrite the Army Field Manual in accordance with such an executive order.

But politically, it has been difficult for the issue of abuse in the Army Field Manual to get traction.

Violence at Guantanamo? Detainees Desperately Fight for their Humanity

By: Tuesday April 16, 2013 1:29 am

Considering the way the military has handled the situation at Guantanamo — forbidding reporters at the island, making nice to the ICRC only to conduct violent raids on detainees as soon as Red Cross officials leave, force-feeding hunger-striking detainees against all medical ethics and protocols — you’d think the Pentagon thought they had another Koje-Ko prison camp rebellion on their hands.

Apparently the White House was notified in advance of the nighttime raids on the debilitated hunger strikers, who according to military accounts (which one must take with maximum suspicion), fought back with mop and broom handles and plastic water bottles.

Whatever military police met in terms of opposition, what they certainly encountered were emaciated prisoners, worn down by years of interrogation, isolation, brutality, and now hunger, as they wield the only real weapons they know, their very bodies, choosing death over the hopelessness and torture that is indefinite detention.

APA “Casebook” on Psychologist Ethics and Interrogations Fails to Convince

By: Wednesday August 24, 2011 9:07 pm

A new proposed “casebook” on psychologist ethics in national security settings, written by the Ethics Committee of the American Psychological Association (APA), tells psychologists that when assessing whether an interrogation technique is abusive or not, they should consider, among other factors, whether there are “data to support that the technique is effective in gathering accurate information.” This determination, which places the needs of the military or intelligence gathering entity above that of the person the psychologist is examining, demonstrates how blatantly unethical it is for psychologists to participate in these interrogations.

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