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Benefits of Psychologists Involvement in Torture Matthew Carbonelli, Jessica Fino & Rebecca See.

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Presentation on theme: "Benefits of Psychologists Involvement in Torture Matthew Carbonelli, Jessica Fino & Rebecca See."— Presentation transcript:

1 Benefits of Psychologists Involvement in Torture Matthew Carbonelli, Jessica Fino & Rebecca See

2 American Perspectives on Torture (Yougov.com, 2012)

3  Do you feel that torture is justifiable?  Do you feel that these statistics accurately reflect the American viewpoint now? Discussion Question

4  A time bomb is located in a major city. A suspect in custody knows where the bomb is located, but will not talk.  Would you support torturing the suspect to find information that would save lives?  If so, what would you do?  If not, why? (Opotow, 2007) Discussion-“Ticking Bomb” Scenario

5  Torture  the act of causing severe physical pain as a form of punishment or as a way to force someone to do or say something  Interrogation  To question formally and systematically What is Torture? (Abeles, 2010; The Torture Question, 2005)

6  Military Psychology  Branch of psychology responsible for understanding, predicting, and countering behaviors of enemy or friendly forces or civilian populations that are considered undesirable  Gain as much information from the subject as possible through non-invasive means without violating rules of engagement Overview (DeClue, 2010; Soldz, 2010)

7  Standard interrogation techniques (SITs)  Techniques used to illicit information from an individual over the course of a few days such as sleep deprivation  Enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs)  Other techniques that are used to illicit immediate responses from the individual such as water boarding  Approved by the Department of Justice and the CIA  Stress positions, water boarding and others Overview (Abeles, 2010; Cheney, 2009)

8  Unlawful Combatants  Any person who engages directly in armed conflict violating the laws war  Prisoners of War  Any person being held captive by an enemy organization or military group Unlawful Combatants or POWs? (Abeles, 2010; The Torture Question, 2005)

9  Reasons for torture  Obtaining a confession  Punishment  Intimidation to act in specific ways  Destroy victim psychologically  Induce helplessness Goals of Torture (Arrigo, & Wagner 2007).

10  Corporal punishment  Humiliation  Suspension  Burning  Electrical injuries  Asphyxiation  Sexual assault Previous forms of torture (Abeles, 2010)

11  A complex phenomenon that can damage a person’s  Personality  Cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning  Social relationship  Autonomy  Can cause a wide range of psychological problems Psychological Consequences of Torture (Blakely, 2011)

12  Maintain civility  Ensure safety of detainees  Reduce local, national, and/or international criminal behavior  Information is extremely time-sensitive  Can stop or prevent future terror attacks Benefits of Psychologists in Torture (Rockwood, 2010)

13  2005 – APA board endorsed psychologists’ role in interrogations as consistent with APA ethics  2007 – APA board forbid members involvement in a number of interrogation tactics  2008 – the organization passed a resolution against members’ presence at any facility where U.S. and international law was being violated The Debate Among Psychologists (Clarkson, 2009)

14  3.04  3.08  3.09 American Psychological Association  1.02  1.03  1.05 (The Torture Question)

15 Psychological Ethics and National Security (PENS)  Engagement  Knowledge  Health-care Information  Actions that violate laws  Clarification of roles  Differing Agendas  Different roles  Mindful of detainees  Limits of confidentiality  Actions beyond competencies  Retain ethical obligations  Report ethical dilemmas (Carr, 2007)

16  Torture clearly violates a person’s rights and should only be used in extreme cases  Psychologists are necessary to prevent serious harm to detainees in such situations  Harming someone is always wrong  The general will outweighs the individual will Ethics (Abeles, 2010)

17  Defined:  The belief that a morally good action is one that helps the greatest number of people  The Trolley Problem  What would you do? Ethics: Utilitarianism (Suefeld, 2007)

18  Four treaties and three additional protocols establishing the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of war  Unlawful combatants are not protected by the Geneva Convention  These civilians or military personnel that directly engage in armed conflict in violation of the laws of war Geneva Convention, 1949 (Bothe, Partsch, & Solf, 1982)

19  Justice Department and the White House Justice Department  International laws against torture “unconstitutional when applied to interrogations”  President directed military to treat them humanely  A total of 35 techniques used and at least 24 were approved  Priest, D. & Smith, R.J. (2002) Memo for torture at Guantanamo

20  Ethics class given quiz with 4 answers on how to respond to terrorist attacks  More than 75% said they would chose options A and D  In 2002, a survey found that 42% Americans surveyed favored torture (Luban, 2005) After 9/11 on torture

21  Codified legal definitions of this term and invested POTUS with broad discretion to determine whether a person may be designated an unlawful enemy combatant  Organizations or people that violate international law via war crimes are not protected by the Geneva Convention or international law Military Commissions Act, 2006 (Arrigo & Wagner, 2007)

22  Should terrorists be protected by international law despite their organizations involvement?  How far is to far when getting information from a detainee?  Is violating the rights of one person beneficial if it has the potential to save countless lives? Discussion Question (The Torture Question)

23  Do these people deserve to be treated fairly?  What would you do to prevent something terrible from happening to your home town?  How would you treat someone that has mistreated you terribly for instance murdered a close family member? Discussion Question (The Torture Question)

24  The Stanford Prison Experiment and Abu Ghraib: Two Studies in Human NatureStanford Prison Experiment Video

25  Took place in 1971  Young men were divided into roles of Prisoner and Guard and were put into a prison-like environment  Was supposed to last 2 weeks but had to be terminated after 6 days  Provided a graphic illustration of the power of situations to shape individuals’ behavior The Stanford Prison Experiment (The Stanford Prison Experiment, 2008)

26  Dean, School of Professional Psychology at Wright State University  Was awarded the Bronze Star and the Defense Superior Service Medal  Served as Chair, Department of Psychology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center while on active duty  Was sent to Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay  Wrote “Fixing Hell” about his experiences Retired Colonel Larry C. James (Wright.edu, 2011)

27  Factors that were attributed to the behavior of soldiers/interrogators:  Lack of supervision  Young soldiers had no training  Soldiers were frustrated and scared which affected their dispositions and composure  Soldiers themselves needed mental health assistance  No clear cut directions were posted “Fixing Hell” (James, 2008)

28  Utilitarianism  It is likely to happen anyways, why not control it?  Why do psychologists need to be involved?  Prevention of interrogations going to far  Ethical responsibility of controlling outcomes of the interrogations Summary

29 References  "36% Favor, 38% Oppose Using Torture on Terror Suspects." YouGov: What the World Thinks. N.p., 11 May Web. 30 Sept  Abeles, N. (2010). Ethics and the Interrogation of Prisoners: An Update. Ethics & Behavior, 20(3/4), doi: /  Arrigo, J. M., & Wagner, R. V. (2007). Psychologists and Military Interrogators Rethink the Psychology of Torture. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 13(4), doi:  Behnke, S. H., & Koocher, G. P. (2007). Commentary on “Psychologists and the Use of Torture in Interrogations”. Analyses Of Social Issues & Public Policy, 7(1), doi: /j x  Blakeley, R. (2011). Dirty Hands, Clean Conscience? The CIA Inspector General's Investigation of “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” in the War on Terror and the Torture Debate. Journal Of Human Rights, 10(4), doi: /  Bothe, M., Partsch, K. J., & Solf, W. A. (Eds.). (1982). New Rules for Victims of Armed Conflicts: Commentary on the Two 1977 Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.  Carr, K. (2007). Psychology, ethics and national security. The Psychologist,20(10), 594.  Carter, L. A., & Abeles, N. (2009). Ethics, prisoner interrogation, national security, and the media. Psychological Services, 6(1), 11. doi: /a  Cheney, R. B. (2009). Enhanced Interrogation Techniques. Vital Speeches Of The Day, 75(7),  Clarkson, F. (2009). The psychologists of torture. Retrieved from  Costanzo, M., Gerrity, E., & Lykes, M. (2007). Psychologists and the Use of Torture in Interrogations. Analyses Of Social Issues & Public Policy, 7(1), doi: /j x  DeClue, G. (2010). Three Things That Should Be Used to Guide Investigative Interviews by Military and Intelligence Agencies. J. Psychiatry & L., 38, 251.  Halpern, A. L., Halpern, J. H., & Doherty, S. B. (2008, January). "Enhanced" interrogation of detainees: do psychologists and psychiatrists participate?. Philosophy, Ethics & Humanities in Medicine. pp doi: /  Hubbard, K. M. (2007). Psychologists and Interrogations: What's Torture Got to Do with It?. Analyses Of Social Issues & Public Policy, 7(1), doi: /j x  James, Larry C., and Gregory A. Freeman. (2008). Fixing Hell: An Army Psychologist Confronts Abu Ghraib. New York: Grand Central Pub.  Luban, D. (2005). Liberalism, torture, and the ticking bomb. Georgetown Law, 91(1),  Opotow, S. (2007). Moral exclusion and torture: The ticking bomb scenario and the slippery ethical slope. Doi:  Priest, D. & Smith, R.J. (2004). Memo offered justification for use of torture. Washington Post, 1(1), A01. washingtonpost.com.  Rockwood, L. P. (2012). Professional ethics and military necessity: A false dichotomy?. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 18(4), 401. doi: /a  Soldz, S. (2008). Healers or Interrogators: Psychology and the United States Torture Regime. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 18(5), doi: /  Suedfeld, P. (2007). Torture, interrogation, security, and psychology: Absolutistic versus complex thinking. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 7(1),  The BBC Prison Study. (2008). The Stanford Prison Experiment. Retrieved from  Writght State University. (2011). Larry C. James, Ph.D., ABPP. Retrieved from  Zimbardo, P. G. (2007). Thoughts on psychologists, ethics, and the use of torture in interrogations: Don't ignore varying roles and complexities. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 7(1),


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