US psychology body declines to rebuke member in Guantánamo torture case
Complaint dropped against John Leso, involved in brutal interrogation of suspected 9/11 hijacker Mohammed al-Qahtani
• APA: ‘We cannot proceed with formal charges’ – full letter
Spencer Ackerman in Washington
Wednesday 22 January 2014 09.10 EST

America’s professional association of psychologists has quietly declined to rebuke one of its members, a retired US army reserve officer, for his role in one of the most brutal interrogations known to have to taken place at Guantánamo Bay, the Guardian has learned.

The decision not to pursue any disciplinary measure against John Leso, a former army reserve major, is the latest case in which someone involved in the post-9/11 torture of detainees has faced no legal or even professional consequences.

In a 31 December letter obtained by the Guardian, the American Psychological Association said it had “determined that we cannot proceed with formal charges in this matter. Consequently the complaint against Dr Leso has been closed.”

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One Comment to “American Psychological Ass’n is OK with torture by psychologists”

  • The APA has been influenced by the CIA for years and it has watered down it’s ethical guidelines when most people weren’t paying attention. In 2002 while Philip Zimbardo was president of the APA they decided on new guidelines which were much weaker than the previous ones and eliminated a “Social responsibility” responsibility clause. The new code became effective on June 1, 2003 before some of these activities took place so he may have been violating the older stricter code. Susan Linn later expressed outrage since these guidelines also weakened the guidelines for marketing to children in addition to torture. Philip Zimbardo’s early work was funded by the Office of Navel Research which according to Alfred McCoy might act as a front for the CIA at times. A close look at his work indicates that it could be used to develop these tactics as well as improve boot camp indoctrination tactics. For more on this see the accompanying link in my name.

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