July 17, 2007

Tortured logic

Big Vanity Fair piece reveals new details about the role that psychologists have played in creating and enabling illegal and ineffective interrogation techniques. Two nuggets:

"...psychologists weren't merely complicit in America's aggressive new interrogation regime. Psychologists, working in secrecy, had actually designed the tactics and trained interrogators in them while on contract to the C.I.A."

"In late 2005, as Senator John McCain was pressing the Bush administration to ban torture techniques, one of the nation's top researchers of stress in SERE trainees claims to have received a call from Samantha Ravitch, the deputy assistant for national security in Vice President Dick Cheney's office. She wanted to know if the researcher had found any evidence that uncontrollable stress would make people more likely to talk."

Photo from Flickr user lapata under a Creative Commons license.