Sunday, July 12, 2015

Institutionalized Sociopathy

Greg Miller, “Inquiry: Psychologists group colluded with Pentagon, CIA on interrogations,” The Washington Post (July 10, 2015),

Leaders of the American Psychological Association secretly collaborated with officials at the Pentagon and CIA to weaken the association’s ethical guidelines and allow psychologists to take part in coercive interrogation programs after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to a report released Friday. 
The report contains the findings of an investigation led by a former federal prosecutor and appears to represent the most detailed examination to date of the complicity of psychologists in interrogation programs that at times relied on torture.

The probe concluded that the association’s ethics director and others had “colluded with important [Department of Defense] officials to have APA issue loose, high-level ethical guidelines that did not constrain” the Pentagon in its interrogation of terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The association’s “principal motive in doing so was to align APA and curry favor with DOD.”

Leonard S. Rubenstein and Stephen N. Xenakis, "Roles of CIA Physicians in Enhanced Interrogation and Torture of Detainees" JAMA. 2010;304(5):569-570. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1057
Secrecy has restricted scrutiny of the role of physicians and other medical personnel in the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA’s) "enhanced" interrogation program, begun in 2002. The program, also labeled "physical and psychological pressure," was designed to "psychologically ‘dislocate’ the detainee, maximize his feelings of vulnerability and helplessness, and reduce or eliminate his will to resist" efforts to obtain intelligence.1-3(appendix F) In 2009, the Obama Administration released guidelines on enhanced interrogation written in 2003 and 2004 by the CIA Office of Medical Services (OMS).1-3(appendix F) The OMS guidelines, even in redacted form, and opinions from the US Department of Justice's (DOJ’s) Office of Legal Counsel show that CIA physicians, psychologists, and other health care personnel had important roles in enhanced interrogation.

Doctors Who Aid Torture. New York Times (June 7, 2010)
Disturbing new questions have been raised about the role of doctors and other medical professionals in helping the Central Intelligence Agency subject terrorism suspects to harsh treatment, abuse and torture.

The Red Cross previously documented, from interviews with “high-value” prisoners, that medical personnel helped facilitate abuses in the C.I.A.’s “enhanced interrogation program” during the Bush administration. Now Physicians for Human Rights has suggested that the medical professionals may also have violated national and international laws setting limits on what research can be performed on humans.... 
It found that the Bush administration used medical personnel — including doctors, psychologists and physician assistants — to help justify acts that had long been classified by law and treaty as illegal or unethical and to redefine them as safe, legal and effective when used on terrorism suspects. The group’s report focused particularly on a few issues where medical personnel played an important role — determining how far a harsh interrogation could go, providing legal cover against prosecution and designing future interrogation procedures. The actual monitoring data are not publicly available, but the group was able to deduce from the guidelines governing the program what role the health professionals played, assuming they followed the rules.




  1. Sadly civilizations turn people into criminals. That is why no political arrangement works for long as it is supposed to and degenerates into tyranny of one sort or another. I don't believe there is any fix for this.

  2. yep its twisted and sociopathic


  4. Indeed, the sociopaths can rise to the top, with no super ego (conscience) to constrain them or to put telling body language into their lies.

    Once you spot and confirm a sociopath, never give them quarter, never second guess them.

    1. I meant always second guess them....they lie as a method of operation, even if the lie doesn't help them.

      Never second guess yourself in terms of your determination on their sociopathy!


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