U.S. torture doctors and psychologists

Additional Resources

This list for in-depth exploration of health care ethics and dual loyalty challenges focuses on national security situations and controversies about prisoner treatment. Priority has been given to major works that can be read or viewed online and key books. The sources include extensive reading lists, complex but readable timelines, and online documentaries about the U.S. torture program. See also the quotes in the left columns of the Study Guide for more key authors and articles.


Report of the Independent Reviewer and Related Materials [known as the Hoffman Report] 2015 http://www.apa.org/independent-review/
The American Psychological Associations, faced with breaking news about the collusion of APA officials and psychologists in the Department of Defense and CIA regarding psychologists assisting abusive interrogations, agreed to an independent investigation by a Chicago law firm. After seven months of intense interviewing and document study, the Hoffman Report was released and led to a major shake-up of the largest psychology association in the world.


All the President's Psychologists: The American Psychological Associations’ Secret Complicity with the White House and US Intelligence Community in Support of the CIA’s “Enhance” Interrogation Program. 2015 https://www.transcend.org/tms/2015/05/all-the-presidents-psychologists/ The authors, Stephen Soldz, Nathaniel Raymond and Steven Reisner, had access to 600 emails between officials of the APA, the Department of Defense (DoD), and psychologists working in the CIA that demonstrated how intensely the APA worked to secure roles for psychologists in national security and adapt the Ethics Codes to what the DoD needed as legal cover for "enhanced interrogation techniques" used on detainees after 9/11.


Steven H. Miles, Doctors Who Torture: the Pursuit of Justice. 2015. An analysis of the global patterns of accountability and impunity for medical complicity in torture, it is the follow up to Dr. Miles' landmark study of medical complicity in detainee torture within US detention sites.


Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the War on Terror, November, 2013. A major report of the Institute on Medicine as a Profession and the Open Society Foundations by a task force of medical, military, and ethics experts on how health professionals designed and assisted in degrading treatment and torture of detainee. Includes steps to assure adherence to ethical principles. http://www.imapny.org/medicine_as_a_profession/interrogationtorture-and-dual-loyaly.


Miles, Steven H. Oath Betrayed: America’s Torture Doctors, Second Edition. University of California Press, 2009. http://www.amazon.com/Oath-Betrayed-Americas-Torture-Doctors/dp/0520259688


The Report of the Constitution Project’s Task Force on Detainee Treatment. A 554-page report placed online April 16, 2013 and prepared by “an independent, bipartisan, blue-ribbon panel charged with examining the federal government’s policies and actions related to the capture, detention and treatment of suspected terrorists during the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations.” http://detaineetaskforce.org/ with a chapter devoted to the role of medical professionals http://detaineetaskforce.org/pdf/Chapter-6_Role-of-Medical-Professionals.pdf


Doctors Who Torture Accountability Project, 2013. A website with world map and countries data on medical complicity in prisoner torture and accountability patterns since 1946. It has graphic and source information on those countries that show a) evidence of prison torture but no or insufficient evidence of medical complicity, b) evidence of torture and medical complicity but no physician accountability, c) evidence of torture and token cases of accountability for physicians complicit in it, and d) no or insuffiencient evidence of prison torture. This project directed by Dr. Stephen Miles welcomes updates and is designed to encourage medical societies, individuals and country tribunals to hold complicit doctors accountable. http://www.doctorswhotorture.com


Mindy Roseman & Ryan Goodman (eds.) Interrogations, Forced Feedings, and the Role of Health Professionals: New Perspectives on International Human Rights, Humanitarian Law and Ethics. Cambridge, MA: Human Rights Program and Harvard Law School. 2008. http://www.amazon.com/Interrogations-Forced-Feedings-Health-Professionals/dp/0979639522


Dual Loyalty & Human Rights In Health Professional Practice: Proposed Guidelines & Institutional Mechanisms. An initiative of Physicians for Human Rights and the University of Cape Town, Health Sciences Faculty, this report drew on a large conclave of medical ethicists and human rights experts. https://s3.amazonaws.com/PHR_Reports/dualloyalties-2002-report.pdf


Pont, Jörg, Stöver, Heino, and Wolff, Hans. “Dual Loyalty in Prison Health Care.” American Journal of Public Health, 2012, Vol. 102, No. 3: pp. 475-480. http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.2011.300374


The Psychology and Military Intelligence Casebook on Interrogation Ethics. Based on a project funded by the Open Society Institute, this website contains a series of real case narratives involving ethical dilemmas in training, research, assessment or treatment in national security contexts. HYPERLINK "http://www.pmicasebook.com/PMI_Casebook/Home.html" http://www.pmicasebook.com/PMI_Casebook/Home.html.


Detainee Interrogation, Physicians, & Psychologists http://kspope.com/interrogation/index.php A list of over 300 articles and books about health care professionals and the torture controversy, with special attention to the role of doctor involvement in detainee interrogations. See also http://kspope.com/ethcodes/index.php with links to over 100 ethics codes and practice guidelines for Assessment, Therapy, Counseling, & Forensic Practice.


10-Year Timeline on Psychology, Torture, and the APA prepared by Roy Eidelson and Steven Reisner of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology. A detailed and easy to read chronicle of the U. S. “War on Terror” and how US health professional complicity in torture became embedded within it: http://ethicalpsychology.org/timeline/


Coalition for an Ethical Psychology Statements 2006-20012. Collectively, these papers are a comprehensive account of the dispute over the interrogation policy of the American Psychological Association presented from the point of view of opponents. http://ethicalpsychology.org/resources/coalition.php


American Psychological Association Ethics and Interrogation documents. 189 APA statements, correspondence, and articles related to torture, professional ethics, and the defense of the APA policy of psychologists assisting detainee interrogation.
http://search.apa.org/search?query=ethics%20interrogation&facet=&offset=19&sort=
The seminal document in this collection is the Report of the American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Psychological Ethics and National Security (PENS Report) http://www.apa.org/pubs/info/reports/pens.pdf.


Arrigo, Jean Maria, Eidelson, Roy J., and Bennet, Ray. “Psychology Under Fire: Adversarial Operational Psychology and Psychological Ethics.” In this essay published in Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, the authors distinguish between "adversarial operational psychology" which they argue is not supported by the APA Ethics Code and has little evidence of military necessity from "collaborative operational psychology" which optimizes personnel performance and is ethical.
http://ethicalpsychology.org/materials/Psychology-Under-Fire--Arrigo-Eidelson-Bennett-2012.pdf


Pope, Kenneth. S. “Are the American Psychological Association's Detainee Interrogation Policies Ethical and Effective? Key Claims, Documents, and Results.” Published in Zeitschrift fur Psychologie/Journal of Psychology, 2011, 219(3), 150-158 and available on the author’s website at http://kspope.com/apa/detainee.php.


Interrogation Psychologists: The Making of a Professional Crisis. A 45 minute documentary made in 2008 by Martha Davis on the development and backlash to the psychologists-in-interrogation policy of the American Psychological Association. http://focusreframed.com/?p=99


On the Development of the U.S. Torture Program


Mayer, Jane. The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals. Doubleday, 2008. http://www.amazon.com/The-Dark-Side-Inside-American/dp/0385526393/


The Torture Question, a PBS Frontline program on the evolution of the torture program with a focus on Abu Ghraib. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/torture/view/
Available free online, this 90 minute video has an excellent teaching guide. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/teach/torture/


Torturing Democracy produced by Washington Media Associates, a history of the U.S. torture program available free online. The website also includes Timeline Information, a Discussion Guide, and Key Documents. http://www.torturingdemocracy.org/


On Solitary Confinement as Abuse in Domestic and Military Prisons


ACLU National Prison Project Briefing Paper, The Dangerous Overuse of Solitary Confinement in the United States, http://www.aclu.org/files/pdfs/prison/stop_solitary_briefing_paper.pdf


Center for Constitutional Rights Report, Current Conditions of Confinement at Guantanamo - Still in Violation of the Law, February 23, 2009. http://ccrjustice.org/newsroom/press-releases/current-conditions-confinement-guantánamo-still-violation-law


Interim Report of Juan Mendez, Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on Torture, presented to the 66th session of the United Nations, 2012. Pages 7-27 on Solitary Confinement outline when extreme isolation is torture and should be banned. http://solitaryconfinement.org/uploads/SpecRapTortureAug2011.pdf