Torture

Torture
The United Nations Convention against Torture (1987) developed the most widely used definition of torture, stating that torture is ?any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person, information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.?
An Enduring Relationship between Psychology and the United States Government Begins
According to Routh (1997), the field of psychology began to expand enormously after World War II. This is no coincidence, as psychology has been linked to the United States government and the military since the Second World War as a means of symbiotic gain (Summers, 2008).
Several subspecialties of psychology were needed and thus created during World War II (Summers, 2008), and each contributed to the war efforts in a different manner. During the war, psychologists facilitated the success of the Allies by screening and classifying potential servicemen (Mangelsdorff, 2006), searching for a system to break group and individual resistance (Herman, 1995), and conducting research investigations on several topics including leadership, aggression, and gun sight designs (Summers, 2008). Psychologists also wrote a series entitled The American Soldier, which demonstrated that United States servicemen were similar to servicemen in other countries in that they were all trying to avoid physical trauma and attempting to gain promotions in the ranks (Stouffer, 1949). By far, psychologists? most substantial contribution to the war was their research on captives and analyses of Nazi documents and speeches, all directed at destroying detainees? spirits (Summers, 2008). Psychologists also conducted the Strategic Bombing Survey (Leighton, 1949) with the breakthrough discovery that physical threats must be accompanied by the use of psychological strategies during interrogations.
In 1945, the Department of Defense began funding psychologists as reimbursement for their efforts during World War II (Summers, 2008). The Office of Naval Research, followed by the National Science Foundation, and soon other major service branches including the Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences began employing psychologists to do research as well as funding the field of psychology, which contributed to its growth in size, both in interest and in research subspecialties (Summers, 2008). The Department of Defense was the largest institutional sponsor of psychological research after the war, devoting nearly its entire social science research budget on psychology (Summers, 2008).
The field of psychology grew exceedingly following World War II due to funding by the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Office of Strategic Services, which became the CIA in 1947 (Summers, 2008). APA membership numbers flew from 2,739 in 1940 to 30,839 in 1970, a 1,100% increase, to 75,000 in 1993, a 250% increase (Herman, 1995), whereas the American Psychiatric Association membership status rose from 2,423 in 1940 to 18,407 in 1970, a 760% increase, to 38,000 in 1993, a 25% increase (Herman, 1995). These numbers only illustrate the impact that World War II and the military had on the growth of psychology.
After the war, psychologists continued to contribute to the military through the aid and therapy of servicemen in need of treatment (Summers, 2008). Psychology was so deeply involved in the war cause and efforts due to a shortage of psychiatrists, which is also why unprepared and untrained psychologists assumed psychotherapeutic roles (Herman, 1995), leading to the founding of a clinical psychology training program at Brooke General Hospital (Menninger, 1948). Also due to the lack of psychiatrists after World War II to treat the war casualties at the Veterans Administrations Hospitals (VA), the VA in conjunction with the United States Public Health Service began funding the training of clinical psychologists by providing job opportunities, supervisors and personnel, clerkships, internships, training facilities, and funds (Summers, 2008), and by 1947 had 59 training and research grants to clinical psychology programs established in 22 universities on VA training grants (Raimy, 1950). Due to the pervasiveness of mental illness in the VA,
Also, Congress passed the Mental Health Act of 1946, which established the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and granted money to states for mental health service trainees and psychological research (Summers, 2008). NIMH soon replaced the military as the top source of funding for psychological research and training, although the military did remain a major source of funding (Summers, 2008). Personnel and mission statements overlapped between NIMH and the DOD, so differentiating between the two agencies was difficult (Summers, 2008). The shift in the field of psychology from academia and research to clinical work was and is due mainly to the military, as the demand for applications of psychological research continues to grow because of the large number of veterans returning from war in need of practitioners (Summers, 2008).
The Origins of Torture in the United States Government
As the Cold War began, the CIA began to develop a program to research coercive interrogations (Soldz, 2008). The study of torture began as a defense mechanism (Soldz, 2008) when unfounded concern promoted by the CIA and the APA (Summers, 2008) spread about the use of opponent interrogation strategies at the end of the Korean War ended due to conspicuously false confessions of detainees held captive by the Communists (Otterman, 2007). Research showed that communists used mainly sleep deprivation, forced standing (Greenfield, 1977), total environmental control, and DDD (Farber, Harlow, &ump; West, 1957). As the CIA accumulated information on resistance to brainwashing and international interrogation methods, it soon began to implement torture as an offensive strategy as well as a defensive mechanism through the study of the effects drug administration, sensory deprivation, and hypnosis may have on the effectiveness of obtaining desired information (Fein, 2006).
In addition, the United States military promoted designed the Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) program (Soldz, 2008). The military first used SERE techniques to train servicemen to withstand torture and interrogations (Otterman, 2007). Implementation of SERE began in 1953 to torture the United States? own servicemen, and the techniques were then shared in the late 1950s with United States allies (Otterman, 2007). The strategy was soon turned outward, not only used to train United States servicemen, but also to retrieve information from detainees (Otterman, 2007). SERE operated by attacking victims psychologically but not physically, until 1983 when the CIA incorporated physical damage, sensory deprivation, and sexual humiliation into the program as well, with the development of a new guidebook entitled Human Resources Exploitation Training Manual (Otterman, 2007).
In 1950, the CIA sought external sources to aid in torture research (McCoy, 2006), which further linked psychology to the United States government (Soldz, 2008) when the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the CIA negotiated a contract for $300,000 with a psychology department of a university (McCoy, 2006). This research first involved mind control techniques, which existed for twenty-five years under several names (McCoy, 2006), with the objectives of forcing prisoners of war to reveal desired information and of developing effective interrogation techniques (Marks, 1991).
The SERE program persisted beyond the conclusion of the Cold War in the 1980s, and the Reagan and Bush administrations endorsed and guaranteed the program?s survival in the CIA and the military by providing narrow definitions of torture in the United Nations Convention Against Torture (Otterman, 2007).
The SERE strategy was remarkably similar to and incorporated several aspects of the Debility, Dependence, Dread (DDD) method allegedly used by the Communists during World War II (Farber, Harlow, &ump; West, 1957). DDD was designed with the purpose of achieving total obedience in prisoners of war (Farber, Harlow, &ump; West, 1957). Debility included semi-starvation, fatigue, disease, inadequate and unclean facilities, and chronic physical pain resulting in intolerance of minor abuse and exhaustion; Dependency included deprivation of principal necessities comprising food, sleep, and social stimulation; and lastly, Dread was the resulting emotion, which was a general fear of any action the instigator might take against the captives and their loved ones (Farber, Harlow, &ump; West, 1957). The psychological component consisted of the prolonged isolation, sleep deprivation, sensory distortion, and sexual and cultural humiliation, and was often combined with self-inflicted pain, or stress positions which caused the prisoners to feel as though they were causing their own pain, thus causing the increased likelihood of their surrender (Soldz, 2008).
Psychologists and their Involvement in Torture: A History
Psychologists played a crucial role in the development of the SERE methods (Soldz, 2008). The CIA hired psychologists to form a Behavioral Science Consultation Team (BSCT) to develop new techniques, consult with interrogators, and teach the techniques developed to several CIA interrogators (Soldz, 2008). BSCTs are teams of consulting behavioral scientists on interrogations in detention facilities (Summers, 2008). SERE was initiated during the Korean war to help captured United States soldiers resist torture techniques expected to be used by the North Koreans and Communist Chinese (Summers, 2008). The United States public soon discovered that health professionals facilitated the use of torture on war prisoners, forcing professional associations to respond accordingly (Soldz, 2008). The American Psychiatric Association responded by forming a Presidential Task Force on Psychological Ethics and National Security (PENS), whose members largely consisted of psychologists linked with the military and the CIA interrogation programs (Society for the Study of Peace, 2005). The PENS report was basically a ploy to quell the public and other dissidents? objections to the position the American Psychological Association (APA) and a number of psychologists took on torture, and their active participation and involvement with torture strategies in conjunction with the United States military and the CIA. This is evident in that the ethics of psychologist participation in interrogations was never considered, and that the APA never considered the ethics of psychologist participation in interrogations, continued to approved the use of torture and psychologists? participation in it, accepted United States law as opposed to international law regarding torture (Arrigo, 2006), and did not allow for the normal procedures of electing a document for discussion and approval to be followed, but presented it directly to the APA Board of Directors before the involvement of the elected Council of Representatives (Olson, Soldz, &ump; Davis, 2008).
In June 2006, the American Medical Association made public their position that ?Physicians must neither conduct nor directly participate in an interrogation, because a role as physician-interrogator undermines the physician?s role as healer and thereby erodes trust in the individual physician-interrogator and in the medical profession? (Opinion 2.068 Physician Participation in Interrogation, http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics/opinion2068.page). The American Psychiatric Association took an identical position in their field (Soldz, 2008), yet APA vehemently maintained that psychologists play a crucial role in the prevention of atrocities during interrogations (Moorehead-Slaughter, 2006), although no records of psychologist opposition to torture exist (Soldz, 2008).
From 1950 until 1963, at the peak of the CIA?s interest in mind control with research focusing primarily on drugs, hypnosis and electroshock, several unsuspecting people were drugged to test the effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) without the desired results, and due to the destruction of the files, several facts revolving this incident will remain unknown (Summers, 2008). The CIA then moved to a behavioral approach, allowing psychologists to play a larger role in the goal of achieving reliable methods of mind control (Summers, 2008), and introduced techniques involving sensory deprivation, which led to symptoms very similar to those of schizophrenia (Farber, Harlow, &ump; West, 1957). For the next several years, the CIA focused their time and resources primarily on learning more about sensory deprivation and the effects it has on individuals, with the side effect of establishing a firm relationship between the ONR, the CIA, and experimental psychology (Summers, 2008). Several concepts students read about in psychology texts today were research studies implemented for the sake of torture research by the CIA, such as Harry Harlow?s experiments with social psychology and monkey isolation (Summers, 2008). The Kubark Manual of 1963, the handbook for CIA interrogation, became based on the notions put into effect by the Communists (Summers, 2008). A group of psychologists established the Human Resources Research Organization in 1951 for the purpose of conducting research for the United States Army, funded completely by the DOD (Summers, 2008).
Continued United States Support for Psychology?s Endeavors and Vice Versa
The DOD is the only institution that championed psychology?s pursuit of prescription privileges of psychotropic medications, doing so by beginning the Psychopharmacology Demonstration Project (PDP) in 1991, which trained psychologists to write prescriptions (Summers, 2008). Although the effort was discarded in 1997 due to psychiatrists? complaints, it still had extensive effects, now allowing for several hundreds of psychologists with prescription privileges and several states toying with the idea of instating such a program (Summers, 2008).
After the September 11 attacks in 2002, psychologists participated in conferences that aimed to engineer SERE from a defense mechanism to an offensive strategy (Summers, 2008). The techniques used at Abu Ghraib were those researched by psychologists in the 1950s, and just as psychologists had served as consultants then, they were consultants to interrogations in Iraq (Church, 2004). The Iraq War brought with it much of the same demands that World War II necessitated, including a need for mental health professionals staffing the military and treating veterans (Summers, 2008). Thus the inextricable bond between the United States government and psychology perpetuates.

Torture 7.2 of 10 on the basis of 720 Review.