Stephen Soldz in the Boston Globe:
Psychologists have been identified as key figures in the design and conduct of abuses against detainees in US custody at Guantanamo Bay, the CIA’s secret “black sites,” and in Iraq and Afghanistan. Psychologists should not be taking part in such practices.
Yet a steady stream of revelations from government documents, journalistic reports, and congressional hearings has revealed that psychologists designed the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” techniques, which included locking prisoners in tiny cages in the fetal position, throwing them against the wall head first, prolonged nakedness, sexual humiliation, and waterboarding.
Jane Mayer, in her new book, “The Dark Side,” reports that the central idea was the psychological concept of “learned helplessness.” Individuals are denied all control over their world, lose their will, and become totally dependent upon their captors.
More here. [Thanks to Élan Reisner.]