Monday, September 21, 2015

Book Review - Michael Kearns & Richard Solomon's novel about torture & drones, "Broken"

The following is reproduced from my review of the novel Broken, taken from its posting at I've been able to add some links here that are not allowed in Amazon reviews.


Michael Kearns and Ronald Solomon have written one of the most important books of the year, and one of the most entertaining. Drawing on Kearns' experience in the military, especially his years training military personnel, intelligence agents, and other government employees in the Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape, or SERE, program for the Pentagon's Joint Personnel Recovery Agency, Kearns and Solomon have constructed a thriller about a high-tech, drone-enabled takeover of America that seems all too real, chiseled out of the headlines we read every day. And just as scary!

Kearns' extensive knowledge is on display, whether it's a low-approach parachute jump, reading satellite maps, or teaching others how to withstand torture. The book provides a close-up look at how the SERE school psychologists and trainers interacted and worked with CIA and Special Ops as integral parts of their operations. It is easier to see after reading this book how SERE psychologists became embroiled with the government's torture plans. And it is with torture that the book is largely concerned (although you could make an argument that the growing reliance by the U.S. on drone surveillance and killing is just as important thematically). The book's primary villain, Breskin, seems to be based on real-life CIA contractor James Mitchell, identified as one of the primary architects of the CIA's "enhanced interrogation program."

"Broken" posits more research on high-tech torture than we've been told exists, but its vision of mechanized torture is not far off from the kinds of research done on torture by the CIA and the Pentagon. The book is, via its hero Chauncey, unashamedly anti-torture, and it's refreshing to see that in a culture whose mainstream news sources find the existence of "torture" itself to be reducible to a hypothesis, even when the torture is waterboarding.

Kearns, whose alter-ego is Chauncey, has contributed in the past to the anti-torture discussion in this country, and he released notes from Mitchell's associate Bruce Jessen that were later published in a 2011 article at Truthout by myself and journalist Jason Leopold. Those notes were the basis for the SERE class SV-93, which is mentioned in "Broken." So while you may consider this review slightly biased, I can tesitfy that Kearns is someone who, like Chauncey, though perhaps not as dramatically, puts his anti-torture beliefs to the test of public exposure of government wrongs.

But "Broken" is not merely political. Its characters are well-drawn and interesting. Unlike other action heroes and villains, they suffer. They get PTSD. They break. They drink to forget traumatic memories forged in the service of their country, or blasted into them at the tip of an inhumane drone campaign to find "terrorists" and assassinate them. Indeed, there were some portions of the book that were so intense I had to put it down for a bit, to catch my breath, look around and normalize my surroundings.

Kearns and Solomon want you to feel the emotional reality of what their characters suffer, and they do an excellent job! In many ways the characters are broken in the way the nation's soul has been "broken" by its turn to undemocratic and inhumane policies like torture and burgeoning Panopticon-style surveillance and assassination. In such a world, Kearns and Solomon seem to be saying, no one is immune from being broken like this.

Finally, on the level of a pure "read," the book is full of twists and turns, and as entertaining as a Ludlum yarn. There's a reason it's getting lots of great reviews. I'm hoping for a sequel!

[Postscript: Since I've mentioned that I've had some professional and personal contact with Kearns in the past, I want to state for the record this review was not written for any compensation, and my review was based on my own personally purchased Kindle copy of the book.]

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

APA Torture & Ethics Scandal Highlights Fact No Medical Professionals Have Been Held to Account for Torture

In her very interesting analysis of the American Psychological Association's new policy calling for withdrawal of psychologists from national security interrogations and sites identified with torture and abuse, such as Guantanamo, Deborah Popowski ("The APA’s Watershed Move to Ban Psychologists’ Complicity in Torture," August 11) writes:
I predict that ultimately, this resolution [Motion 23B passed by APA's Council of Representatives] will be more powerful than its AMA and American Psychiatric Association counterparts precisely because it took years of dogged advocacy to achieve. The APA’s bad behavior was a mobilizing force for psychologists of conscience. The organization now faces a savvy group of reformers that understand its playbook and will keep pressing for enforcement. I look forward to seeing how they ride this wave of momentum.
I think this is a good point, but it, like most of the analysis on the APA's new interrogations policy has a certain unreal character, as its analysis exists outside of the realities of the Department of Defense justifies its use of health professionals, including psychologists and psychiatrists, in interrogations.

DoD and the American Psychiatric Association "Ban" on Psychiatrists in Interrogations

Popowski mentions AMA and the American Psychiatric Association (APsyA) because both of these practitioner groups previously issued policies forbidding their members to participate in interrogations. Such participation is unethical, they said, although the psychiatrist's group did allow their members to "provide training to military or civilian investigative or law enforcement personnel... on the possible medical and psychological effects of particular techniques and conditions of interrogation..."

But what these powerful organizations condemn and how they enforce these policies are two different things. In addition, how the Pentagon chooses to interpret the policies of these organizations is yet another thing.

In a September 2008 letter to then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, the APsyA president, Dr. Nada Stotland, quoted an article by George Annas, who noted, "The DOD's new position that its physicians not follow nationally and internationally accepted medical ethics represents a major policy change." Stotland was complaining about how the Pentagon continued to train psychiatrists for interrogation despite the APsyA's opposition to the their participation. It is not known if or how Gates replied, but DoD's policy in the matter itself never changed.

But the psychiatrist association itself never put any teeth in their policy. It never moved to sanction any member for participation in interrogations, which is done under the auspices of the Pentagon's Behavioral Science Consultation (BSC) program. Later, then-APA president Gerald Koocher would use APsyA's stated preference not to bring any such charges as an example of the rightness of APA's own policy. (See "President's Column," APA Monitor, July/August 2006)

Indeed, no doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, nurse, medical technician, or any medical professional involved in interrogations has ever been brought up on charges by any medical or professional association. Attempts to bring charges by state licensing agencies were undertaken by private individuals -- attempts with which Ms. Popowski has assisted -- and such attempts universally failed (thus far), though not for trying.

But as important as the attempts to get at the torturers via licensing board complaints are, is a strategy aimed at prosecution via state licensing agencies really going to be effective? As one state licensing agency official told me, "How do you expect us to prosecute these cases when the U.S. government will not do so?" It would indeed take a great deal of courage to buck the federal government. There is also the issue that legal actions against health professionals would be subject to "graymail" defenses, in that defendants will argue that (supposedly, or potentially) exonerating evidence is classified and highly unlikely to be made available from the government. What happens then?

Applicable DoD policy on BSCs goes back to the 2006 DoD Instruction 2310.08E, "Medical Program Support for Detainee Operations." This policy allows DoD to use psychiatrists or physicians with the approval of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, despite the policy by the American Psychiatric and American Medical associations.
E2.2 As a matter of professional personnel management, physicians are not ordinarily assigned duties as BSCs, but may be so assigned, with the approval of ASD(HA), in circumstances when qualified psychologists are unable or unavailable to meet critical mission needs.
In case some might think this old Bush-era instruction is not in force, it is. The most current policy, DoD Directive 3115.09, "DoD Intelligence Interrogations, Detainee Debriefings, and Tactical Questioning" (in its most up-to-date version of 11/15/13) references the 2006 DoD 2310.08E instruction as "reference (r)", i.e., for policy on BSCs.

Manipulation of Phobias

It's worth noting, 3115.09 has also made allowance for the ongoing use of SERE techniques, as they are used in the Army Field Manual, which I pointed out some time back. The only recent change in 3115.09 has to do with BSC manipulation of detainee phobias, a change that has not been publicly noted before: "Behavioral science consultants may not be used to determine detainee phobias for the purpose of exploitation during the interrogation process." That appears to be the one concession made by the Obama administration to criticisms of its interrogation policy. The reference was to phobias as addressed in Army Field Manual 2-22.3 in its description of the "Fear Up" approach. Before this change was made in 2012, BSCs were allowed to manipulate or create phobias in prisoners in a style of coercive interrogation that an earlier version of the Field Manual noted some nations -- though not the United States -- would find illegal.

The fact is, the opponents of existing policy at APA, not to mention officers at AMA, APsyA, and a number of human rights watchdog groups are aware of current Pentagon policy on using physicians in interrogations in lieu of psychologists, and despite the opposition on paper of physicians organizations, but nothing is ever said about it. One has to ask why this is. Psychologists, who still have a fight on their hands in making the new APA policy enforceable within APA, have not mentioned DoD's policy on such use, about which nothing has changed since the days of the Bush administration.

The Enforcement Question

Except for an Aug. 8 article in Al Jazeera America, no news accounts have noted that when APA opponents of the old interrogation policy were putting forth their motion to ban members from participation in interrogations or at sites where human rights abuses take place, the first draft of that motion had a strong enforcement proviso, which stated, "Be it resolved that the APA will direct staff to contact the licensing boards of all states and territories informing them that it is the sense of the Council of Representatives that any complaint against a psychologist who refuses to comply with the call to leave Guantanamo be reviewed ‘with prejudice’."

The final version of the motion that passed, and is hailed as a victory, omitted that provision. Such a step back from enforcement does not bode well for the future effectiveness of the APA action.

Other arguments regarding the efficacy of enforcing the APA's new policy were raised by psychologist John Grohol at his blog PsychCentral last week. Grohol quoted an August 18, 2015 email from APA’s Associate General Counsel Jesse Raben to psychologist and ethics exert Ken Pope, who resigned from APA in 2008 over APA's slippery ethics policies.
With regards to 23B (and therefore with the 2008 [member-initiated] resolution [banning psychologists from interrogation at human rights violating sites]) while this new Council resolution invokes Ethical Principle A to “take care to do no harm,” it does not amend the Ethics Code and is not enforceable as a result [emphasis added]. However, Council’s implementation plan for the new policy requests that the Ethics Committee consider a course of action to render the prohibition against national security interrogations enforceable under the Ethics Code.
Grohol's article must have made some impact, because Nadine Kaslow and Susan McDaniel, both members of the Special Committee for the Independent Review by David Hoffman that excoriated APA's connivance with the Department of Defense on interrogation issues, responded to Grohol's charges in an email to APA's Division 48, The Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict, and Violence. (Kaslow is also an APA past president, while McDaniel is the organization's president-elect.)

APA Officials Respond

Kaslow and McDaniel's full reply is not online, but what follows is an edited version of the high points. The two APA officials sympathized with Grohol's skepticism, but felt "that this reaction is misplaced at this time in the history of APA."
The authority and processes regarding policy development and modifications to the APA Ethics Code are stipulated in APA’s Bylaws and Association Rules. The first very important step is for a policy, such as the national security interrogation prohibition, to be passed by Council. For those policies with ethical aspects such as this one, the next step is for it to be considered by the Ethics Committee. The independence of the Ethics Committee is important, as described in the Hoffman Report. According to our Bylaws and Association Rules, the Ethics Committee has authority for formulating the Ethics Code, overseeing the process for changing the Ethics Code (which involves governance review and public comment), and for enforcing it. The movers of New Business Item #23B -- Scott Churchill, Jean Maria Arrigo, and Frank Farley, supported by Steven Reisner and Dan Aalbers -- were well aware of the necessary process. They successfully achieved the policy change, the all-important first step to achieving their ultimate goal of an enforceable prohibition, in keeping with the American Medical Association. (The American Psychiatric Association's policy is not part of their Ethics Code.)

.... The movers also included a provision in the implementation section of the resolution for Council to request that the Ethics Committee "consider pursuing an appropriate course of action in as expeditious a manner as possible to incorporate into the Ethics Code the prohibitions surrounding psychologist participation in national security interrogations, as set forth in this policy." The next step is for the Ethics Committee to carry out this recommendation. An amendment to the Ethics Code will provide the necessary “teeth” for the policy to be enforced. In the interim, I would like to point out that the Ethics Committee considers APA policies, guidelines, and other documents when interpreting the Standards of the Ethics Code.

.... As noted above, although the 2013 policy is not enforceable under the Ethics Code, it provides valuable guidance to the Ethics Committee in this regard....

Changing policy, aspects of the Ethics Code, and creating a culture that is transparent and trustworthy in all parts of the organization will take time and considerable effort. But it is a commitment we feel deeply in support of our public, our discipline, and our members....
Reading Kaslow and McDaniel's email, I think Ms. Popowski may have a point about the sanguinary effect of the new APA policy. From my own standpoint, I believe it was a huge step forward for the new APA policy to bring the recondite and legal struggle against the U.S. Reservations to the UN Convention Against Torture treaty out into the open, and put the imprimatur of a huge medical and professional organization behind the goal of removing those reservations, which in action eviscerated enforcement of that treaty in the U.S., and which were used by John Yoo, Jay Bybee and Steven Bradbury to alibi torture in their infamous OLC memos on interrogation.

Loopholes on Unethical Research to Remain

But there are also giant holes in APA's new policy, particularly as it pertains to psychologist research for the military and intelligence agencies. Since that is really where the bulk of federal money to psychologists and psychology programs go, that means the haze of unreality around these issues is a veritable fog of obfuscation. APA ethics code 8.05 allows psychologists to suspend informed consent -- which is the bedrock of ethical research on human subjects -- "where otherwise permitted by law or federal or institutional regulations." In addition, ethics code 8.07 allows psychologists to use deception in research on "prospective participants," unless such deception would be "reasonably expected to cause physical pain or severe emotional distress." The emphasis on "severe" emotional distress is a weakening of earlier language, and allows great discretion for research using deception that would allow, say, "moderate" levels of emotional distress. Indeed, a section of the Hoffman report contains a section on the research issue, and I will examine it more fully in the near future.

Nevertheless, when it comes to interrogations or psychologists presence at national security detention sites, the APA policy is much more stringent that that passed by APsyA or AMA, and demands that psychologists not even involved in interrogations at sites such as Guantanamo be transferred out. But will DoD listen to that? And if psychologists continue to work in such secret circumstances, how will APA or anyone else know? And what if anything will happen about that? I don't imagine anyone in DoD is losing much sleep over this... yet.

There is also the force of moral suasion, which if not terribly powerful, does play some role in historical circumstances. The leaders of the fight against APA's previous torture policy, and against an APA leadership that worked with government forces to allow torture and abuse of prisoners during interrogation and detention, are to be congratulated. I know from private conversations they are aware that more battles lie ahead. I suggest those battles lie directly with the Obama administration itself, and the leadership of other medical professional and human rights organizations to hold the administration's metaphoric feet to the fire, and end the use of all medical professionals in interrogations and under cruel conditions of confinement at so-called national security detention sites that are known to abuse prisoners, like Guantanamo.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

On the 70th Anniversary of Hiroshima: "The Atomic Victims as Human Guinea Pigs"

Transcribed below is the entire text of Japanese historian Shingo Shibata's 1996 essay in Seisen Review, "The Atomic Victims as Human Guinea Pigs." I've posted on it before, including a link to a photocopy of the entire essay. The text was transcribed independently by Wikispooks, and the copy I used below is based upon it (with some quiet corrections and formatting changes). (Wikispooks did not transcribe Shibata's Bibliography, but it can be found on pages 11-12 of the online version directly below.)

The medical condition of the Japanese atomic bomb survivors, or Hibakusha, for years was the subject of censorship by the Occupation forces of the U.S. and later Japanese censorship. It is still effectively so, by media and scholarly neglect rather than government order.

The Hibakusha were studied and examined by U.S. doctors and scientists organized as the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC), in conjunction with staff from the Japanese National Institute of Health (JNIH)., In the course of their research, medical treatment was withheld from the atomic bomb victims, arguably because it interfered with their research goals.

Researcher Susan Lindee wrote about these topics in her excellent (and out-of-print) 1994 book, Suffering Made Real: American Science and the Survivors at Hiroshima (Univ. of Chicago Press). Amazingly, U.S. refusal to offer medical care to the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was because U.S. authorities believed "that medical treatment of the survivors by the ABCC would constitute atonement for the use of atomic weapons."

"From the beginning," a 1955 report to the Atomic Energy Commission stated, US researchers of the effects of the atom bomb on civilians were "not permitted to attempt medical therapy of the patients who had been injured by the two bombs.... to do so would have given confirmation to the anti-American propagandists... [who would] insist that such treatment should be an act of atonement for having used the weapons in the first place." (Lindee, pgs. 134-135.)

The U.S. has never apologized for the use of atomic weapons. Indeed, the policy of the U.S. is to frighten and terrorize the world with its awful arsenal.

One might ask, what did the Japanese Government do to aid the Hibakusha? In his essay, Shingata replies, "I am ashamed to say that the Japanese government did nothing to help the Hibakusha either."

Stop U.S. Plan to Modernize and Replace Nuclear Arsenal

In October 2009, President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize in part because of his supposed position in favor of nuclear disarmament. But since then, Obama has moved to increase spending on nuclear weapons, stating the supposed need to modernize weaponry and spent hundreds of millions of dollars to revitalize a nuclear weapons plant in Kansas City, Missouri.

New estimates made by Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a Washington D.C.-based think tank, and reported at Al Jazeera America, say U.S. plans to modernize its nuclear arsenal will cost nearly $1 trillion dollars over the next 30 years.

In an August 5 press release by Peace Action, formerly SANE/Freeze, on the 70th Anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Japan (August 6th and 9th), Paul Kawika Martin, the policy and political director of Peace Action, and a guest of one of Japan's largest peace groups, Ginsuikin, commented from the official commemoration in Hiroshima:
“Here in Hiroshima, on the 70th Anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of this city and Nagasaki, we remember the hundreds of thousands of casualties caused by the most basic of nuclear weapon designs and know that we never want another populace to suffer from such a bomb. Even worse, today’s nuclear weapons are several to hundreds of times more destructive.

Clearly, these horrific weapons are no asset to any country. The current U.S. plan to waste $1 trillion over the next thirty years modernizing, maintaining and replacing delivery systems must be stopped.

President Obama should heed his Prague speech and live up to U.S. obligations under the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) by significantly reducing America’s 7,100 nuclear warheads.

Additionally, the agreement reached with Iran will verifiably block it from getting a nuclear weapon, making it paramount that the U.S. Congress support the accord.”
The issues above are amplified and expanded in Professor Shingo Shibata's essay below. I encourage readers to email or tweet or post on Facebook or otherwise send this article far and wide, as an action YOU can take on this, the 70th anniversary of the great crime of the atomic bombings, in the hopes it will aid in stopping atomic weapons from being used again.
The Atomic Victims as Human Guinea Pigs


In connection with the Smithsonian flap. the United States Senate Resolution 257 was passed on 22 September 1994. It reads: "...The role of the Enola Gay during World War II was momentous in helping to bring World War II to a mercy end, which resulted in saving the lives of Americans and Japanese." (emphasis added) Further, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki it was repeatedly contended that President Truman was right when be ordered the use of the atomic bombs because thereby numberless lives of not only American soldiers but also Japanese were saved. But such an argument has been proved groundless by some leading researchers. (Blackett, 1949; Alperovitz, 1965, 1985 and 1995; Tachibana, 1979)

What aim did the U.S. government have in carrying out the atomic bombing?

Firstly, by demonstrating the enormous destructive power of the atomic bomb, it wanted to establish U.S. hegemony over the world after World War II.

Secondly, it aimed to make mass experiments of the uranium bomb on Hiroshima and the plutonium bomb on Nagasaki to test numberless humans as guinea pigs and thereby to obtain data on its effects in order to make use of them for development of nuclear weaponry.

In this paper I am going to demonstrate my conception of the atomic bombing as being human experimentation.


What did U.S. Military Forces do after the Atomic Bombing?

First of all, I would like to examine the post-bombing policy of the U.S. Forces.

The first order of the U.S. Forces immediately after the occupation was to ban all publication of reports concerning the genocide and destruction caused by the atomic bombs. Thus they wanted to monopolize all information on the bombing. Until the end of the occupation on 28 April 1952, Japanese journalists, writers, cameramen, novelists and scientists were prohibited from reporting on the real situations of the atomic destruction. If they dared to do so, they were threatened with trial before the military tribunals of the Occupation Forces. Many books, including novels, poems and accounts of the events, were censored and often confiscated by American authorities. (Braw, 1986; Horiba, 1995a and 1995b) As a result, the urgent necessity to give medical and other social aid to the atomic victims (the “Hibakusha” in Japanese) was not reported even among Japanese.

Their second step was to prohibit all doctors in Japan from communicating and exchanging, even among themselves, the records of clinical experience and research on the Hibakusha. At that time they, especially in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, tried to do their best to find ways to cure the unheard-of terrible burns and internal disorders caused by atomic heat and radiation. The U.S. Forces further confiscated the samples of burnt or keloid skins, internal organs and blood and the clinical records of the dead and living Hibakusha. (Committee, 1981)

Their third step was to force the Japanese government to refuse any medical aid offered by the International Red Cross.

If a laboratory animal were cured, it would be utterly useless from the standpoint of medical scientific observers. Maybe it was by the same reasoning that the U.S. authorities did their utmost to prevent any medical treatment given to the Hibakusha. “As far as medical aid is concerned, the less the better” was their policy.

Their fourth step was to establish the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC) as two institutions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the purpose of observing, not curing, of the hibakusha. Thus, almost all Hibakusha have been treated as if they were only human guinea pigs. Suppose that an assailant continues only to observe a wounded victim for many years after an assault. There is no doubt that such observance itself is nothing but an infringement on human rights.

What did the Japanese Government do to aid the Hibakusha?

I am ashamed to say that the Japanese government did nothing to help the Hibakusha either.

Firstly, its bureaucrats did their utmost to cooperate with the above policy of the U.S. Army toward the Hibakusha. Only two months after the atomic bombing they dissolved the governmental hospitals in charge of medical treatment of the Hibakusha in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As a result, many Hibakusha were left on the streets of the devastated cities without any medical treatment, compounding the many difficult post-war economic and social conditions they had to contend with.

Secondly, by orders of the General Head Quarters (GHQ) of the U.S. Occupation Forces, on 21 May 1947, the Japanese National Institute of Health (JNIH, YOKEN in Japanese abbreviation) was founded with half of the staff of the Institute of Infectious Diseases (IID) attached to the University of Tokyo.

During the period of the Japanese invasion of China from 1931 to 1945, the IID had fully cooperated with the notorious Unit 731, that is, the Army unit for bacteriological warfare. (Williams & Wallace, 1989; Harris, 1994) Most of the staff of the JNIH transferred from the University of Tokyo to the Health and Welfare Ministry were medical scientists who had intimately cooperated with the network of Unit 731 in China and Singapore as well as the Laboratory for Infectious Disease Control (LIDC) attached to the Imperial Army's Medical College. The LIDC in Toyama, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, was the headquarters for the network of the bacteriological warfare program and its institutions, including most of the medical schools of many universities.

The officially declared aims of the JNIH were to make research on pathogens and vaccines and also to screen the safety of biological products (vaccines, blood products and antibiotics), and thereby to contribute toward preventive medicine and public health under the control of the GHQ. However, there were two hidden objectives of the JNIH. The first was to cooperate with the ABCC. The second was to continue, under the guidance and control of the U.S. Army 406th Medical Laboratory,[1] some uncompleted studies of biological warfare program as schemed up by Unit 731. (Shibata, 1989 and 1990)

As for the first hidden objective, only 13 days after the establishment of the JNIH the GHQ asked it to help the ABCC. Dr. Saburo Kojima, then the first Vice-Director and later the second Director of the JNIH, in his commemorative essay, “Memories on the Past Ten Years of the JNIH,” looking back on its initial stage of cooperation with the ABCC, wrote, “We, the intelligent scientists had equally thought that we must not miss this golden opportunity” [2] to record the medical effects of the A-bomb on humans. He was reportedly one of the leading medical scientists who committed vivisection on Chinese prisoners as human guinea pigs in the network of Unit 731 in China. [3] As such a scientist, very positively appreciating the proposal of the GHQ, he never showed humanistic sentiments towards the Hibakusha, still less a counter-proposal for medical treatment of them. He only betrayed such cold-blooded and calculating words as is cited above.

It is clearly reported in the 1948 Annual Report of the JNIH how eagerly and positively the staff of the JNIH, following the directive of the ABCC, drafted and submitted the “Atomic Bomb Casualty Research Program" to the GHQ. [4] At that time the JNIH branches were set up in the same rooms of the ABCC buildings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The directors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Branches of the JNIH served the vice-directors of the ABCC in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some of the directors of the ABCC were American high ranking military officers (e.g. colonels). 
The JNIH staff intimately helped and cooperated with the staff of the ABCC as a kind of branch of the U.S. Military Forces to check up on conditions of the Hibakusha, doing follow-up research. The staff of the ABCC-JNIH went around threatening the Hibakusha that they would be on trial before the military tribunal of the U.S. Forces if they would not cooperate. With such threats they took the Hibakusha to the ABCC buildings and took off their clothes to photograph them in the nude, took x-rays, collected blood samples, so they could record the relationship between the quantity of radiation and the after-effects of the atomic bomb. (Hiroshima City Council against A and H Bombs, 1966; Chugoku Shimbun, 1995) 
They did not respect the human dignity of the Hibakusha. They treated them as human guinea pigs and recorded them as “samples.” When the Hibakusha died, the ABCC-JNIH staff put pressure on the bereaved to consent to autopsies, and their inner organs, burnt skins and other parts were dissected and taken away.

In such cold and inhumane sentiments, Dr. Keizo Nakamura, the third Director of the JNIH, proudly wrote that the ABCC could not have attained their objective without the cooperation of the JNIH. [5] The information thus collected about the atomic mass experiment on humans was never made public in Japan. It was secretly reported to the U.S. Department of Defense, the Atomic Energy Commission (later the Department of Energy) and other military institutions to be utilized for the improvement of nuclear weapons and reactors.

The post-war Responsibilities of the Japanese Government and the JNIH in Violation of Human Rights of the Hibakusha

Some may excuse the Japanese government and the JNIH under the pretext that they were only forced by the authoritarian power of the GHQ. But this was not the case, because the positive cooperation of the JNIH with the ABCC continued for 28 years from 1947 through to 1975. In 1975 the ABCC had to reorganize itself, and the JNIH was also forced to divorce itself from the former in the face of increasing denunciation on the part of the Hibakusha and the Japanese people. The ABCC was reorganized and renamed the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF), funded by both U.S. and Japanese governments. Of course, their character and tasks are almost the same. Their main operations have been and are the follow—up research on the Hibakusha and the renewed cooperation with U.S. military institutions and the nuclear industry.

Thus the physical sufferings and mental agony of the Hibakusha were and have been aggravated by the post-war policy of the U.S. and Japanese governments toward them.

Of course, the Japanese government is to blame for its aggressive wars against Asian countries and then the first-strike on Pearl Harbor. [6] However, this doesn’t justify the U.S. atomic bombing. The nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should be denounced as the unheard-of cruel genocide and destruction as well as the most serious violation of international law. (NHK, l977: Committee, 1981) The further misery of the Hibakusha has also been aggravated by the nature of the atomic bombing as a massive test on innocent men and women, young and old.

Someone may still try to justify the atomic bombing on the pretext that it saved a number of lives. Even if true, such a pretext could never justify the fact that the U.S. government, supported by the Japanese government, has done so much to leave the Hibakusha abandoned, uncared-for and uncured after the end of the war. If the above pretext had been true, why didn't it do the best to give medical and other social aid to victims produced by an act of “mercy”? Its post-bombing and post-war policies themselves have demonstrated what so-called “mercy” of the atomic bombing was in reality.

For over fifty years since the bombing, both governments have arrogantly continued to treat and alienate the Hihakusha as human guinea pigs. It is evident that such a political attitude itself deprived them of the feeling of human dignity. If the Japanese government had resisted the U.S. government policy of neglecting the Hibakusha and had done their best to provide them with medical and other social aid immediately after the bombing, the life span of the dead Hibakusha would have been much longer. Their will to live would not have diminished.

The Japanese government and the JNIH should feel deeply responsible in this respect. Why don’t the prime ministers and the directors of the JNIH apologize for their negligence toward the Hibakusha? Why don't they try, in this way, to restore the feeling of human dignity which for almost a half century they have denied these people?

As a professor of Hiroshima University, I have for many years been involved in the sociological, philosophical and ethical study of the agony of the Hibakusha. In this chapter as a result of my research, I tried to shed new light on one of the most important, but hitherto overlooked, aspects of the atomic bombing and the sufferings of the Hibakusha.

As explained, there is no doubt that the Japanese government is responsible for its post-war policy of negligence toward the Hibakusha as well as its violation of their human rights. If the government feels responsible for them, there must he no objection to legislation providing state compensation for the Hihakusha.


In the previous chapter I submitted my thesis mainly on the basis of the analysis of the post-bombing and post-war policies of the U.S. government toward Hibakusha, especially the no-treatment policy of the ABCC-JNIH. 
As for the prebombing policy of the U.S. government, I don't think that all the principle characters at that time, including Truman, had a conscious intention to use the A-bombs as a means of experimenting on humans from the military and scientific viewpoints.

However, I am convinced there were surely some leading people who, with the cool eyes of an " experimental observer, "viewed the bombing as an experiment on human beings from the military and scientific points of view.

From the Military Standpoint

I checked the following main documents of the Manhattan Project (MP): 
---- Captain W.R. Parson's memorandum "Notes on Initial Meetings of Target Committee" to Rear Admiral W.R. Purnell (l2/12/1944);
---- Brigadier General L. Norstad’s memorandum to Director, Joint Target Group (28/ 4/45);
---- Dr. J. R. Oppenheimer’s memorandum to Brigadier General T.F. Farrell ( 11/5/45);
---- Major J.A. Derry's and Dr. N.F. Ramsey's memorandum to Major General L.R. Groves (12/5/45);
---- Brigadier General L. Norstad's memorandum "Notes of the Interim Committee" to Commanding General, XXI Bomber Command (29/5/45).

Having examined these documents (Yamagiwa, Tachibana & Okada, 1993), I came to the conclusion that the U.S. Armed Forces deliberately planned not only to use the A-bombs on civilians to make the destruction most effective, but also to gain as much information as possible about the “ effects" of the bombs. I think that my thesis is proved by the very quick organization of the Manhattan survey teams going to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (Jones, 1985, pp. 543f.)

I cannot but conclude that the atomic bombings were nothing but a kind of massive experiment on human beings from the military point of view.

From the Standpoint of the Manhattan Scientists

I was shocked to learn about one terrible scheme of Oppenheimer in the Manhattan Project (MP). He had a plan to produce radioactively contaminated foods "sufficient to kill half a million men." (Oppenheimer’s letter to Fermi, 25/5/43 ) Such a plan should surely have needed a series of human experiments.

It seems to me that it was in this atmosphere that a number of scientists, in their studies on the effects of radioactivity on the human body. deliberately injected plutonium into humans, including children, hospital patients, veterans, and other people.

According to an important source (The Albuquerque Tribune and Hirose, 1994), Dr. D. L. Hempelman, a leading scientist in the Health Department, Los Alamos Laboratory, sent a plan for human experiments to Oppenheimer on 29/8/44.

Dr. Stafford Warren, chairman of the Radiology Department at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, who was a consultant to the MP, also proposed a program of experiments to compare the effects of radioactivity on human beings and mice.

In March 1945, medical scientists of the MP had a meeting in Los Alamos to make a program of experiments to inject plutonium into patients hospitalized at the University of Rochester and University of Chicago. In a letter of 29/3/45 Oppenheimer assured Stafford Warren that he would help with his plan of human experiments.

As a result, on 10/4/45 Ebeneezer Cade (HP-12), who was hospitalized in the hospital attached to the MP at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, became the first victim injected with plutonium. It was the first plutonium experiment committed by the MP staff.

On 26/4/45 Arthur B. Hubbard (CHI-1) was injected with plutonium at the hospital attached to the University of Chicago. He died on 3/l0/45. Two other patients were also injected with plutonium.

On 14/5/45 Albert Stevens (CAL-1) was injected with plutonium at the hospital of University of California, San Francisco.

As for plutonium experiments on Americans performed after August 1945, I would be able to add a long list of many who were made human guinea pigs, including several hundred thousand "atomic soldiers." (Rosenberg, 1980) 
It is noteworthy that the leading scientists of the MP systematically committed the crime of human experiments even during the pre-bombing period. They sacrificed many fellow Americans as human guinea pigs.

It seems therefore that it would be reasonable for us to assume that these MP scientists also observed “Japs" in atom-bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki as human guinea pigs from their scientific point of view.

It was also interesting and not accidental that Dr. Warren, one of the pioneering scientists of human experiments in the MP, was one of two leading American scientists who later strongly recommended the establishment of the ABCC. Another person who also recommended setting up the ABCC was Dr. Shields Warren. The two Warrens were not related by family. (Lindee, 1994)

In the Light of other Facts

I submitted my conception of the atom bombings as human experiments in the light of the pre- and post-bombing policies of the United States government and the MP scientists toward Americans and Hibakusha. Their post-bombing policies toward the latter were assisted by the Japanese government as well, especially the JNIH.

I appreciate Lindee’s description of the inferiority of the JNIH very much. I think that she accurately describes the no-treatment policy of the ABCC-JNIH. I have to stress the fact that the U.S. government, assisted by the Japanese government, not only applied its no-treatment policy to Hibakusha, but also did their utmost to obstruct Hibakusha from receiving care as proved.

Why? In my opinion it can be explained only when we look at the bombings as human experiments. I would like to reinforce my argument by submitting some additional facts.

1. In the light of the above mentioned mentality and morals of some leading American scientists in the period of the pre-bombing, it seems that it was natural for them to see the bombing as such. In this context, the opinion of J.B. Koepfli, scientific advisor to the State Department, deserves to be cited. He wrote the following in a letter to Shield Warren, Director, Division of Biology and Medicine, AEC on 1/6/51:

"The atomic bomb casualty areas in Japan constitute an unparalleled natural laboratory and a unique opportunity particularly for pursuing certain long phases of the studies." (emphasis added). [7]

It seems to me that such an opinion represented a common understanding among most of the MP and ABCC-JNIH scientists.

2. According to a 5/2/93 story from the Kyodo News Agency at Los Angeles the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were described as "experiments" or "tests" in the official records of the nuclear tests issued by the Nevada Office, Department of Energy (DOE).

Every year since the beginning of the 1980s, the revised version of these records, supplemented with the record of new tests, has been published for the mass media and researchers by this Nevada office. Since the first version, the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings have been recorded as the second and third "tests," following the first one at Alamogordo, New Mexico. The bombings have been counted as the second and third as a part of the subsequent test series that included the blasts on the Bikini Atoll, the Nevada site and others from 1945 through to the 1990s.

These facts were reported on 7/2/93 in a major article in the Ciwgoku Shimbun. This is an influential local newspaper with a circulation of 700,000 in Hiroshima Prefecture. It is important to recognize that even the Nevada Office, DOE, understood the bombings to be "tests."


Someone might disagree with me because I might have committed a mistake of confusing post-bombing curiosity about the A-bombs’ effects with pre-bombing motives. But I think that I have reconsidered and proved my thesis on the basis of the analysis of not only the post-bombing but also the pre-bombing policies of the U.S. government.

In connection with the above critical comment, I would like to cite my concept of history:

“What is history? History is a process in which, when the past is looked back on, the implication of the past becomes the present, and its historic significance is revealed. History is also a process in which the implication of the past is re-examined and re-written from the standpoint of the present, thereby making clearer the truth about the past, in which process the historic conception of both past and present is changed. This can be said about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the ‘damage’ of those events. The historic implication of this is found in the fact that its truth has been revealed in the process of history." (Shibata, 1982)

I applied this concept of history to the bombings and argued one of the motives of their being carried out was human experimentation.

ln this context, it is further noteworthy that Professor S. Harris submitted an important thesis toward the critique of all kinds of human experimentation in our age. [8] I would say the implication of my concept of the bombings might well be interpreted and understood in the light of his thesis. lt is also ironical that the ABCC was assisted by the JNIH as one of the heirs of the tradition of the medical scientists who committed experiments on humans in the Japanese biological warfare program. Their crimes were covered-up by the American Forces. I fully agree with Professor Susan Lindee, when she characterizes the ABCC and the JNIH as the "colonial science." (Lindee, 1994. Chapter Two)

Not only Japanese but also Americans, including soldiers who were affected by the atomic blast, were treated as guinea pigs. (Sternglass, 1972; Rosenberg. l9B0; Freeman, 1981; Saffer & Kelly, 1982; Wasserman, et al, 1982; Haruna, 1985; Lifton & Mitchell. 1995)

A pioneering American, Hermann Hagedorn had an admirable insight into the atomic bombing i.r1 his poem. (l-lagedorn, 1946) He pointed out that the bombs were dropped not only on Japanese but also on Americans. Another pioneering American philosopher. John Somerville coined the word “ omnicide. " According to him. a nuclear war is no longer a kind of war, but an "omnicide." (Somerville, 1980) This was already proved by the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The victims of nuclear destruction are humanity as a whole, including the so-called enemy as well as friends and allies.

It is in this context that Albert Einstein warned us, "If mankind is to survive, then we need a completely new way of thinking." I hope that those who have tried to justify the Truman argument and supported the Senate Resolution 257 cited at the beginning of this paper will listen to Einstein and reconsider the implication of the nuclear age from the new way of thinking.


1. The US. Army 406th Medical Laboratory was to be a research unit for preparation of biological warfare in Asia. lt was set up in Yokohama and then in Tokyo immediately after the beginning of the occupation. Later it moved to Sagamihara City near Tokyo and existed there until around 1965. I have no space here to deal with the second hidden aim. 
2. The 1956 Annual Report of the NIH, Tokyo. 1957. p. 30, emphasis added, in Japanese. 
3. See the documentary report entitled "The Unit [or Bacteriological Warfare still Exists," Monthly Shinsu (Truth), N0, 40, April 1959. in Japanese; Williams, P. & Wallace, D. 1989, p. 238. 
4. The 1948 Annual Report of the NIH, Tokyo. 1949. pp. 58-61, in Japanese. 
5. NIH and ABCC, 20 Years of the ABCC, Tokyo, 1966, p. 1, in Japanese. 
6. When we Japanese declare, “No More Hiroshimas!”, Americans very often reply, "Remember Pearl Harbour”. We completely understand and support Americans when they do so. ln fact, Americans and Japanese have to remember Pearl Harbor forever, firstly because those who committed the war crimes in the invaded Asian and Pacific countries including Pearl Harbor have not always been punished, secondly because the bombing of Pearl Harbor was nothing but the first-strike. Nevertheless, it is the U.S. government that has continued to support these Japanese war criminals including Shiro Ishii, the Commander of the infamous Unit 731 and Nobusuke Kishi who was one of the then ministers of the Tojo government. Ishii was later hired and Kishi supported by the U.S. government. It is also strange to see that the U.S. government still sticks to the first-strike policy in a possible nuclear war. Isn't it another Pearl Harbor in a nuclear war, more correctly a global nuclear omnicide? 
7. I am grateful to Mr. Kazuo Yabui, a reporter of the Chugoku Shimbun, who kindly provided me with a copy of this letter. 
8. His thesis deserves to be cited: "Most distressing is the tact that the ultimate disclosures in the mid to late l940s of Japanese biological warfare human experimentation did not appall those individuals who were apprised of these criminal acts. Instead, the disclosures whetted the appetites of scientists and military planners among both the victors and the vanquished. Rather than being motivated to abandon such actions, research using involuntary or uninformed subjects has proliferated over the past fifty years. Scientists in the United States alone conducted at least several hundred tests with human subjects who were not informed of the nature of the experiments, or of the danger to their health." (Harris, 1995, p. x) 
 [The Bibliography goes here in the document. See link to original or embedded version above.] 
Postscript and Acknowledgment

The original version of the chapter I of this paper was written in 1994. A condensed text of it was published in Japanese in the Evening edition of the Mainichi Shimbun, 6/9/1994. Its condensed but longer text in English in the Mairtichi Daily News, 11/11/1994.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, August 1995. I had an opportunity to meet Dr. Klaus Gottstein, Emeritus Professor at the Max Planck Institute in Munich, and gave him a copy of the paper for his comment. He kindly paid much attention to my paper and sent it to Professor Barton Bernstein at Stanford University, Stanford, California, and asked him to make a comment on it. The kind comments of Professors Gottstein and Bernstein, scientists of international repute, meant a great deal and honor to me. It motivated me to reconsider my thesis and to write a long letter to reinforce my argument as a reply to them. This letter was rewritten and incorporated as Chapter II of this paper. This text is a new enlarged one with added references. I am grateful to both of them for their warm and sincere comments.

I am also grateful to Professor Seiitsu Tachibane, Dr. David Tharp and Mr. David Jordan for their kind and informative suggestions.

When I almost completed this paper for the Seisen Review, Dr Rosalie Bertell, the editor of the International Perspectives in Public Health, Toronto, kindly told me that she would like to print its original text in this journal. It is a great honor to me. However. needless to say, I don’t like to see the old text published in any journal. In this context I asked her to print this new text in her journal as well. I hope the readers of the Seisen Review kindly understand the present paper would soon be printed in the International Perspectives in Public Health, too.

Communication to the author should be addressed : 1-18-6 Toyame, Shinjuku-ku, Toyko 162....
I would add that this copy of Dr. Shingata's essay is reproduced as a public service and under fair use criteria. No money is, has, or will be received for this publication, which is published here to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Additional reading:
"Japanese Biomedical Experimentation During the World-War-II Era" by Sheldon Harris, Ch. 16 of Military Medical Ethics, Vol. 2

"The Pentagon and the Japanese Mengele: The Abominable Dr. Ishii" by Christopher Reed, published at Counterpunch, May 27, 2006

Commission and Omission of History in Occupied Japan (1945-1949) by Stephen Buono, Journal of History, SUNY Binghamton, no date (Accessed 12/8/2012)

Promoting Health in American-Occupied Japan: Resistance to Allied Public Health Measures, 1945-1952 by Sey Nishimura, PhD (see especially the section, ""Suppression of Reports on Medical Effects of Atomic Bombs")

The Atomic Bomb Suppressed: American Censorship in Japan, 1945-1948, by Monica Braw

"Medical Censorship in Occupied Japan, 1945-1948" by Sey Nishimura, Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 58, No. 1 (Feb., 1989), pp. 1-21.

Commission and Omission of History in Occupied Japan (1945-1949) by Stephen Buono, Binghamton University website

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Soldz & Reisner's "Comments" to APA on Hoffman Report, with My Initial Thoughts on the Report

As can be seen from the introductory material below, the following material has been granted wide release by its authors. I am reproducing it here with general formatting from the original. A few typos have been quietly corrected.

The "Comments" by Stephen Soldz and Steven Reisner concern the July 10 release of the APA-initiated Hoffman report, "Independent Review Relating to APA Ethics Guidelines, National Security Interrogations, and Torture," conducted by David H. Hoffman of the law firm Sidley Austin LLP. A PDF of the lengthy report can be found here. APA's own press release and their own recommended actions related to the report's release is linked here. An index to the exhibits in the report and five binders of supplementary materials used in the report are posted at APA's website.

Previously, I cited what I believed to be serious questions regarding conflict of interest issues regarding Hoffman and CIA and the RAND Corporation (see here and here). I still believe those were relevant questions to ask, and until I absorb the full report, I cannot say for certain what effect any relationship in particular between Hoffman and the CIA or RAND had in the final version of the report.

In this report, Hoffman stated that he could not get the full story on how the APA interacted with CIA, primarily due to classification issues. Regarding the issue, for instance, of participation of past APA presidents with the CIA, Hoffman had this to say in a key paragraph:
As to the actions and knowledge of the former APA officials listed above (Fox, Gravitz, Matarazzo, and Seligman), some of them were clearly brought closer to the circle of knowledge through important interactions with Hubbard and Mitchell, as described further below. But we did not find evidence that there was a significant link between APA and their interactions or communications with the CIA. It is a fair question whether important interactions between these very prominent former APA officials also entailed, led to, or were connected to important interactions between APA and CIA. Except for very limited instances, we did not see any evidence of this in our examination of APA emails and other documents, and in our interviews, despite having found a very substantial amount of email and documentary evidence establishing important interactions between APA and government officials in other contexts, as set out above and below. On the one hand, this makes sense, since prominent psychologists who are former APA Presidents and Board members would not necessarily think that their interactions with the CIA about these issues would call for them to contact the APA, unless the CIA had specifically requested something from APA. On the other hand, we keenly recognize that in investigating activities involving the CIA, an agency that trains people to keep things secret for a living, we are especially limited in our ability to determine definitively what occurred, and therefore we are aware that our conclusions can only be based on the evidence available to us. This is especially true when the interactions are between CIA officials and individuals who were not APA officials or employees at the time, since their emails would not necessarily have been within APA’s system. [pg. 46 of report]
Furthermore, there are various points were evaluations of the evidence seems unwarranted, or based on interviews and evaluations of credibility that cannot be independently assessed, as in the assertion that "APA did not have the same close and longstanding relationship with the CIA as it did with DoD..." I also believe that Hoffman's dismissal of the import of the 2003 APA-CIA-RAND meeting, and the roles of Kirk Hubbard, Charles "Andy" Morgan, Kirk Kennedy, Susan Brandon, Philip Zimbardo, Martin Seligman, and others, may not be accurate. But I hesitate to say more until I have more fully examined the evidence, particular what has been posted in the over 600 MB of binder material at APA's Hoffman-related webpage.

There is also the significant problem that the entire issue of the controversy over the use of Behavioral Science Consultants in interrogations is posed as something in the past. In fact, as I've made clear recently, the passing of the Feinstein-McCain amendment to the National Authorization Act, which made use of the Army Field Manual a lawful requirement by government interrogators, including the CIA, means that use of BSCs have now the force of law. Much worse, and related, is the fact that the Army Field Manual on interrogations itself contains many abusive and torture-like "techniques" like isolation, sleep and sensory deprivation, use of fear and inducing "hopelessness and helplessness" in detainees, such that it has been condemned by the UN and various human rights organizations. The Hoffman report never references anything in relation to this.

Despite these concerns, and any others I may yet find, the report has provided a wealth of material that is useful to those who oppose unethical use of medical professionals in interrogations, as well as those who oppose torture in general and are trying to unwind the entire story of U.S. involvement in torture. For that I am grateful. The report helps fill in many gaps in our knowledge of how APA interacted with the Department of Defense, both in sidestepping and sabotaging critics, and in managing how APA ethics practice could be made congruent with DoD (and CIA) needs. I agree, however, with Hoffman, that evidence shows that changes to the APA ethics code itself, made in 2002, were not in response to the need to alibi torture, at least not in their inception.

Additionally, it has not passed my notice that the report has important new details on certain stories I covered earlier, including the interrogation and abuse meted out by NCIS to Daniel King, and Stephen Behnke's work helping train the BSCTs.

Also, Hoffman examined changes made to the "Common Rule" governing government-linked human subjects research changes made by Paul Wolfowitz to DoD's own directive on such research, and stated, "it seems likely that the exceptions in the Common Rule and the definitional changes in the Wolfowitz Directive broadened opportunities for DoD to conduct research on detainees subjected to interrogations."  He added, "However, there is no evidence that APA acted to facilitate psychologists’ participation in such research, if it occurred."

Hoffman evidently drew in part upon a lengthy examination of the Wolfowitz Directive and other ethics changes which Jason Leopold and I wrote in October 2010, as he footnoted that article in a section that commented on the weakening of informed consent protections by DoD (pg. 281 of the report).

As regards the rehabilitation of the APA, I am dubious. In my Jan. 2008 public resignation from the APA, I wrote, "I view APA's shifting position on interrogations to spring from a decades-long commitment to serve uncritically the national security apparatus of the United States. Recent publications and both public and closed professional events sponsored by APA have made it clear that this organization is dedicated to serving the national security interests of the American government and military, to the extent of ignoring basic human rights practice and law. The influence of the Pentagon and the CIA in APA activities is overt and pervasive, if often hidden."

Ongoing revelations, including the material in the Hoffman report, strengthens this conclusion from seven years ago. I do not believe that, recent events otherwise, this is going to change.

Now, the U.S. is gearing up for new Cold War with Russia and China, and the use of psychologists and other medical professionals by the military and intelligence services is likely to continue. It would be utopian to believe that APA or any significant organization involved in government contracts and activities would be able to separate itself from such actions. Instead, we might see that a rejuvenated APA, supposedly made clean by a purging of elements, like Behnke, APA's former Ethics chief who was recently fired based on the Hoffman revelations, still working on many elements of strengthening imperialist armed forces aimed at war and conquest, much as medical professionals and their organizations have in the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.

It has not passed my attention, for instance, that the American Psychiatric Association and American Medical Association, both of which have stated policies against the use of their members in interrogations, have never once censored or made charges against any CIA or DoD medical professional for their actions in relation to renditions and torture. As APA proposes to make a similar ban, it is worth considering the worthlessness of how such bans have been implemented, or rather not implemented, at those organizations.

The following are the thoughts and recommendations of key opponents of APA policy on interrogations. I have not evaluated these in any depth, and present them here for public examination and as a key part of the evolving discussion around the APA torture scandal, noting that the authors note their comments are preliminary, and that they, too, have not had time to absorb the full content or import of the Hoffman report.

I thank Stephen Soldz and Steven Reisner for their willingness and dedication to transparency to make these "Opening Comments" to APA a part of the public record. (Update: Dr. Soldz has now added a link to his own posting of the "Comments.")

As you know, Steven Reisner and I met with the APA board on July 2. We agreed to confidentiality until the report was public, which happened today. We, therefore, are distributing the Opening Comments that Steven and I made at that meetings. We believe that they provide a guide with which to judge APA’s actions in the coming weeks. Feel free to distribute. [Apologies for cross-posting.] {Ed. note: square brackets in original}

Opening Comments of Stephen Soldz and Steven Reisner to the American Psychological Association Board, July 2, 2015

Last October, James Risen published allegations of American Psychological Association (APA) complicity in the Bush era torture program in his book Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War. In the wake of these allegations, the APA Board in November 2014 commissioned an independent investigation of these allegations. This allegation was conducted by Chicago attorney David Hoffman of Sidley Austin LLC and his colleagues.

In late June, 2015, as they prepared to receive the Hoffman Report, the APA Board asked to meet with us (Steven Reisner and Stephen Soldz). We presume we were asked because over the last nine years we have been leaders of the movement to remove psychologists from abusive and sometimes torturous national security interrogations. Further, we have researched and published extensively on these issues and extensively shared the results of our research with Hoffman and his team. Most recently, we were the psychologist coauthors of the report All the President’s Psychologists: The American Psychological Association’s Secret Complicity with the White House and US Intelligence Community in Support of the CIA’s ”Enhanced” Interrogation Program, which was featured in a May 1, 2015 New York Times article.

The Board requested and we agreed to keep the substance of our discussions confidential until the report became public. However, with the public release of the report, we are now free to speak. Below are our opening comments to the Board.

Stephen Soldz Comments:

Thank you for having us here. I wish it was under less disturbing circumstances. We have come to discuss with you what we believe needs to be done by the American Psychological Association (APA) in the wake of the imminent release of the Hoffman Report. The conditions of confidentiality requested by the Board and agreed to by us have precluded our being able to discuss our ideas with our colleagues who have joined us for the last decade in our attempts to unveil the web of collusion beneath APA’s policies and actions regarding psychologist participation in sometimes abusive national security interrogations. However, our ideas have benefited from hundreds of hours of discussion with colleagues regarding the steps necessary to put APA on an ethical course. We believe that these ideas reflect those of many others besides ourselves, though we also consider it vital that the voices of those many others be actively heard as we proceed.

I would like to make some opening comments, following which Steven Reisner will describe our ideas for the initial steps needed for APA to right itself and weather the storm that is just over the horizon. We would like to emphasize that these comments and ideas were put down less than 48 hours after we obtained access to the 500+ page Report. Neither of us has even read the entire report, much less absorbed it. Thus, these ideas are preliminary and may well be supplemented by others as we fully absorb the report and discuss with colleagues what should be done.

I would like to begin with a very brief summary of what we take to be the gist of this report. The report documents in exhaustive detail the existence of a years long conspiracy to engage in collusion between senior leadership in the APA and the intelligence community, including the CIA and, most notably, the Department of Defense (DOD). This collusion involves a two-pronged strategy by the APA: First, there was a concerted attempt to generate so-called “ethical” policies on psychologist involvement in interrogations that would provide no constraints whatsoever on psychologists in the military working for DOD and other agencies. The second prong consisted of an elaborate deceptive and dishonest public relations strategy to falsely portray APA policy as concerned with the protection of detainee welfare and human rights.

This collusion included the development of apparently fine-sounding policy statements that were, as the report documents, virtually always vetted directly by DOD officials; manipulation of critics of APA policy to ensure that attempts to change that policy were toothless and did not in fact challenge DOD policies or practices; a strategic decision to turn heads away from increasing evidence on torture and other detainee abuse, including homicides, and on psychologist involvement in that abuse; and the dismissal and/or failure to investigate in any serious way ethical complaints against psychologists alleged to have participated in abusive interrogations, accompanied by repeated assurances from APA officials that all complaints would be comprehensively investigated. This collusion was accompanied by systematic manipulation of APA governance procedures, the active solicitation of opposition to critics by APA staff, and even the recording, in at least two known instances, of falsely claimed “unanimous” votes.

This years-long collusion was accompanied by false statements from every Board and every elected President over the last decade denying the existence of the collusion described in such detail by Mr. Hoffman. The collusion was also accompanied by squelching of critics and, sometimes, by personal attacks upon them in the face of overwhelming evidence in the public record, including media reports and the results of multiple government investigations by Congress and other agencies. Most notable, are the vicious personal attacks upon PENS task force member and national hero Jean Maria Arrigo, who first revealed the collusion, attacks that in one case was distributed widely by the president of the Association; responses to those attacks went unanswered by that President or any other Association official. Other critics have been banned from state psychological association listservs; been attacked by an APA president in the official Monitor on Psychology as “opportunistic commentators masquerading as scholars;” been threatened with possible libel suits and ethics complaints; been disinvited from speaking to and writing for state psychological associations; been surreptitiously recorded by APA staff when having a private conversation with reporters; had venues where they were speaking criticized and even implicitly threatened with loss of accreditation; and called “clowns” in a national psychological newspaper by an individual given numerous awards by APA and its divisions and who is often in APA governance. This, sadly, is only a partial list of the attacks on critics. In none of these instances did people in APA leadership positions stand up to defend the right of critics to speak. These actions were all undertaken against those who sought to uncover the collusion that was denied by Association leadership, including this Board and the current CEO only a few months ago.

That is the background to our meeting today to discuss how the APA should respond to the crisis facing the Association, the profession, and the country. I suspect that some of you have not yet fully grasped the magnitude of this crisis. As the result of its collusion, the APA is likely to become the public face of torture. The press storm will be fierce. Editorials will condemn the Association’s actions. Congress members will weigh in. Human rights groups, frustrated with the lack of accountability for torture, will be lining up to raise money off of suing the APA. There may be a decade of lawsuits, draining the budget and staff and elected officials’ time. Members will flee and young psychologists will be even more reluctant to join. And the Association’s 501©(3) nonprofit status may be threatened.

More importantly, if not handled correctly, torture collusion will become the public face of the profession we love. There is little doubt that the APA’s actions will go down in history books next to the chapter on the Tuskegee and Guatemalan syphilis experiments. The actions we take in the coming weeks, months, and years will determine how that chapter ends.

I would like to end by outlining what I believe are the fundamental principles that should guide the APA’s actions forward. These are: contrition, accountability, transparency, inclusiveness, and genuine change. Notice that I did not list “healing” or “reconciliation.” Healing and reconciliation are needed, certainly, but this is not the time to talk of them. Before healing can start, we need painful surgery to remove the tumor that our work and the Hoffman Report demonstrate have been at the heart of the APA for the last decade.

Now Steven will describe the preliminary steps necessary to start removing this tumor.

Steven Reisner Comments:

Following on Stephen's comments I want to reiterate: There is a cancer on the APA. You here will have to decide whether to do the necessary surgery or whether you will preside over the death of the association:

There are four issues here:

1. The APA sacrificed its reputation and independence – perhaps its 501c3 tax exempt status – to align its policies with those of the CIA and the DOD. This was an active campaign, with constant behind the scenes consultation, in order to do the bidding of these agencies, first the CIA, then the DOD.

2. There was an active campaign to undermine the will of the membership and of the council when they attempted to institute ethical restrictions on such activity. Simultaneously efforts were made to prop up and expand opposing efforts in support of such activity. Sometimes efforts were made to create opposing efforts to such activity. Thus APA ceased being a member-driven or democratic organization. The letter and spirit of the organizations by-laws were thwarted in favor of this secret agenda pushed by a staff that is supposed to be neutral and facilitative of the will of membership and governance. Instead staff manipulated the council and the membership.

3. There was a public relations campaign directed to deceive the public and to manipulate governance. To the public the PR campaign made the false claims that APA was acting independently for human rights at the behest of its membership, while in fact it was doing the opposite. Within the organization there was a campaign to influence and manipulate those who opposed the policy or were uninformed and to bully those who would not be manipulated.

4. All of this was done to advance a program of torture and abuse. It continued long after that program and the psychologists’ role in that program were public knowledge. If this level of manipulation and deception were done solely to secretly promote a government agenda, it would be a scandal; the fact that it was done to support torture and abusive monitoring of and research on detainees, is more than a scandal – it reaches the level of support for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The numbers of APA staff and members of governance involved actively in this disgrace is staggering. It began with a few and rapidly incorporated increasing numbers from top to bottom.

Before I lay out what we believe APA must do, I want to make clear what you are dealing with. If the report is released on July 20th, there will be front-page articles in every major newspaper in this country and around the world on July 21st.

The headlines will read: Report Finds APA Leadership Colluded With Bush Administration in Support of Torture.

What will the subheading read?
“Many named remain in leadership positions”
“APA removes tainted leadership in response to investigation”

This is not a PR problem. This is a survival of the association problem. And there is no good way to get through this. You will face numerous lawsuits and secondary investigations. You will face a hemorrhage of membership and the loss of public trust. And APA is going to lose its central leadership of the past decade and a half.
I will now follow on Stephen’s list of five essential categories of steps that must be taken if the association has a chance of surviving:

Genuine Change


· Let’s be clear that contrition is not a PR maneuver. Contrition requires thoroughgoing acknowledgement, remorse and change. APA must publicly acknowledge the depth and scope of this failure.

· Apology to all affected – to the people harmed (detainees), it includes the public and the congress (for not upholding public trust and deceiving them), to the profession, members, former member and non-members for undermining our ethical foundations, opening us up to ridicule and scorn, and damaging our reputation. And to Jean Maria Arrigo.

· I would like to see an op-ed written by APA leadership in the Times expressing this contrition.

Accountability and Housecleaning

· Staff involved must be fired
· Members involved must be banned from governance
· Bring ethics charges where appropriate.
· More importantly, APA must publicly recommend state ethics charges where appropriate.
· Make sure there is no hint of conflicts of interest in any part of governance or staff
· Those found to be part of the collusion should be stripped of association awards, standing and honors.
· And then you can give a special award to Jean Maria for being willing to stand up to an onslaught of power and manipulation that no one in this room was willing to stand up to.

I will start with staff. I see that some of the people who need to go are in this room. That in itself tells me that you don’t really yet understand the seriousness of your situation. I want to say that this list is possibly incomplete, because I haven’t yet read every page of the report.

Staff to be fired
Anderson, Honaker, Gilfoyle, Farberman, Garrison, Kelly, Mumford, Behnke.

Governance prohibition effective immediately
Levant, Koocher, Banks, Dunivin, Moorehead-Slaughter, James, Deleon, Gelles, Newman, Gravitz, Shumate, Breckler, Strassberger, Sternberg, Matarrazo, and Anton

Recusal for conflict of interest and investigation of role required

APA needs to recommend to Division and State Association that they do the same.

But housecleaning is a small piece of what is necessary for full accountability.
How do we hold leadership and governance itself accountable?
How do we answer the question, how did this happen and what must we do to insure it doesn’t happen again?

We must have a thoroughgoing and independent institutional review. We need to appoint a blue ribbon panel to evaluate the organizational processes, structures, procedures and culture that allowed this to happen.

The panel must recommend changes in processes, structures and procedures geared to preventing this kind of power manipulation from happening again. It must review APA’s overly close ties to military, intelligence agencies and government; it must in particular look at the potential for corruption in the directorates, in particular the ethics office, the ethics committee and the science directorate. It must investigate the APA voting processes and investigate the opaque entity that counts our votes: Intelliscan

It must further address:

· The power of staff and how it oversteps its institutional bounds
· The progressive minimization of the oversight role and authority of Council and restore its authority and responsibility
· Investigate how staff managed to impede the will of Council and prevent it from happening again (e.g., 1.02, statue of limitations).

We need a committee of ethicists to redesign APA ethics policy and procedures. It may be true that 1.02 was not changed with torture in mind – the fact that it and other standards were weakened under the influence of APAIT is a second scandal unto itself that must be investigated. We also need to reopen ethics cases closed as part of this conspiracy. And if those to be investigated are no longer members, we must recommend state board investigation.

There must be a financial accounting, including DOD, CIA and government money, awards, fellowships and quid pro quos.

We must refer this report and its findings to the FBI and we must cooperate fully in any ensuing investigation.

We must also refer the report to the appropriate Congressional committees, as per Senator Feinstein’s request. These committees include Senate Select CI, SASC, Senate Judiciary, and Senate Committee Health and human services and their counterparts in the House of Representatives. (Like the PENS report)

Policy change

All policies regarding APA and national security must be annulled, including the approval of operational psychology as a subspecialty.

Review of the ethics of national security and operational psychology:

Blue ribbon panel #2 to do a thoroughgoing independent ethical review of the role of psychologists in national security operations. JMA should be a part of such a panel, along with internationally recognized medical ethicists and human rights advocates.

Moratorium on participation in national security interrogation and detention operations during the review process.

No statute of limitation on TCID ethics charges, automatic ethics committee investigation for TCID charges when these arise in the context of national security operations, detention or interrogation activities.

We need to develop guidelines for undertaking such investigations.

For Non-members, APA has to recommend full investigation from the state boards in national security sites and offer them guidelines.


Let this be the last time that APA discussions of such import are held in secret. We need to make all such discussions transparent and easily accessible. We also need to report in plain language:
· The salaries and perks of staff
· The lobbying APA does
· Who gets to represent APA to congress and government and how such people are chosen.
· Anything else members of council, the membership, or the public wants to know or should be informed of.

We need to make all our deliberations and actions transparent, including these discussions.

We should have APA books publish the Hoffman report; The American Psychologist and the Monitor should publish the Executive Summary.

We should deposit the entire record of the Hoffman investigation deposited into the APA PENS Debate Collection at the archive of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

And we should call for a Congressional investigation into the role of health professionals and health professional organizations roles in support of the torture program and invite the other health professional organizations to do the same.


All stakeholders must be represented in these discussions. These include the broader psychological community, including those who opposed now-tainted APA actions when they occurred and the hundreds or thousands who quit the APA because they recognized this complicity while the elected leadership and staff denied it. In addition, equally important stakeholders are the medical ethics community, human rights advocates, Congress (as seen by the expressed desire of Sen. Feinstein to review the report), and the broader public, as attested to by the extensive press interest in our April report. All of these have a stake in the decisions and initiatives you and we undertake today and in the coming weeks.

Ultimately, and importantly, we must set aside a time in August for a lengthy Town Hall Meeting at the convention where we give the membership a chance to discuss these revelations

Genuine Change - ???

Stephen Soldz
Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis

Sunday, June 28, 2015

New Evidence on CIA Medical Torture: Injection "to the Bone" on Former Black Site Prisoner Majid Khan

Quite recently, U.S. authorities allowed the declassification of notes from Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) attorney Wells Dixon that described what his client, high-value detainee Majid Khan, told him about his torture at the hands of the CIA. Khan, a Pakistan citizen, is currently at Guantanamo, and awaits trial by military commission.

Dixon has described the hideous torture of his client, which comes on the heels of revelations in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence executive summary of their report on the CIA's torture program.

According to a June 2 Reuters report, Dixon described from interview notes with Khan, CIA use of solitary confinement; sexual abuse, including frequent touching of "private parts"; threats of physical harm; being hung naked from a pole for days; so-called "rectal feeding" (a form of anal rape); denial of food; water immersion and waterboarding, among other atrocities.

According to a CCR press release on Khan's torture, CIA doctors onsite were among the "worst torturers." Both Reuters and CCR have noted how doctors would check Khan's condition, ignore his appeals for help, and send him back into extreme forms of torture.

In a June 10 phone interview with Wells Dixon, Khan's attorney revealed there was more unreported material left out of the Reuters and CCR reports. In particular, Dixon revealed that Khan told him he was "also injected with a needle to the bone, and screamed in pain, then lost consciousness."

According to my research, an injection that just happens to hit a bone does not usually cause great pain. But an injection that enters the bone can. The latter is called an intraosseous or IO injection, and is used to quickly infuse drugs, particularly in instances where a person's life is at stake. It is usual medical procedure to insert lidocaine, a pain reliever, with or prior to injection because of the great pain associated with IO injections. Certain kinds of drugs can also cause great pain upon injection.

Did the CIA have medical need to make an IO injection, and withhold lidocaine or other pain reliever? Did CIA use the IO injection specifically to cause pain? Was a drug injected into Khan that specifically, or as side effect, caused great pain, in order to further torture him?

We don't know exactly what the CIA did with this, or any other injection, but the evidence of such forms of medical torture cannot be denied, despite recent attempts by the CIA to minimize allegations of such medical torture, such as the use of drugs in interrogation. In fact, a recent FOIA release from CIA obtained by Jason Leopold at VICE News showed that the CIA used blood thinners to prolong certain forms of torture.

It has not been easy to obtain this information. As Dixon noted in a June 22 op-ed at Al Jazeera, "The CIA has long tried to bury evidence of its crimes. When we filed a legal case challenging Majid's detention after his arrival at Guantanamo, the government prevented us from meeting with him for a year so that we would not learn about his torture."

UN Special Rapporteurs' "Letter of Allegation" to U.S. on Medical Torture and Experimentation

A new article by Adam Goldman at the Washington Post revealed that hundreds of photos from the CIA black sites exist. The fact they may be evidence at any future military commissions trial is currently being determined, as military prosecutors review the photos, which are said to include pictures of naked detainees, CIA personnel, and "photographs of confinement boxes where detainees such as Abu Zubaydah... were forced into for hours."

But it seems highly unlikely the public will see these photos, and we will have to rely on detainee testimony, and other various attempts by journalists, domestic and international bodies and organizations to pry out the information from the U.S. government. Along those lines, CCR has called for the full Senate CIA torture report and the Panetta Review to be released. A letter initiated by ACLU and signed by approximately 100 national and international rights groups on the need to ensure accountability for the U.S. CIA Torture Program was delivered to the most recent session of the UN Human Rights Council.

In another attempt to gain more information and some degree of accountability on CIA torture, last January 15 two UN Special Rapporteurs wrote a letter to U.S. officials. In the wake of the revelations in the release of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence executive summary of their report on the CIA's torture program, the rapporteurs, Dainius Puras (Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health) and Juan E. Méndez (Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment) asked the U.S. to respond to charges that doctors and other medical personnel were involved in torture and experimentation on detainees held by the CIA.

The letter was made public in relation to a periodic report submitted to the Human Rights Council earlier this year. (See this webpage, and then page 40 at document linked at A/HRC/29/50, "Communications report of Special Procedures.")

The UN officials also expressed "concern at the reported lack of investigation into these allegations."

Puras and Méndez  asked U.S. officials to respond to these charges and "explain how the role of health professionals in the CIA interrogation program is compatible with international human rights standards, including those ratified by the United States of America."
CIA health professionals played a central role in the CIA interrogation programme to an extent not understood or seen before. These health professionals designed, directed and profited from the CIA interrogation program; intentionally inflicted harm on detainees; enabled the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) lawyers to treat the interrogation practices as safe, legal and effective; engaged in potential human subjects research to provide legal cover for torture; monitored detainee torture and calibrated levels of pain; evaluated and treated detainees for purposes of torture; conditioned medical care on cooperation with interrogators; and failed to document physical and/or psychological evidence of torture.

The role and conduct of these health professionals, which included psychologists, psychiatrists, and physicians assistants, would not only imply a gross violation of medical and professional ethics but also violations of domestic and international law given the seriousness of the crime of torture, which is subject to universal jurisdiction.
Puras and Méndez also asked the U.S. to "provide details, and where available the results, of any investigation, medical examination, judicial or other inquiries carried out in relation to this case. If no inquiries have taken place, or if they have been inconclusive, please explain why."

The Special Rapporteurs gave the U.S. 60 days to reply.

State Department Kicks the Can on UN Charges

Last week I asked the State Department about the UN letter and whether the U.S. had replied. On June 24, a State Department official told me, "Our exchanges with mandate holders, such as the Special Rapporteurs, are private correspondence. We expect the mandate holders to treat these exchanges as such, and we do the same on our part."

The State Department didn't mention -- and likely does not want people to know -- that the communications are actually posted online a year after the initial communications take place. See this example of an October 2013 statement by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture on the situation of detainees held at Guantanamo, and its link at bottom to the actual communication, or "letter of allegation" to the U.S., originally sent to U.S. authorities on November 2012.

Or maybe the State Department doesn't want the public to know that many communications from the U.S. to these "letters of allegation" and "urgent appeals" from UN human rights officials go unanswered. Indeed, in the past 4 years, according to one U.N. document, 95 such communications were sent by UN officials to the United States, but the U.S. only replied to 56 of them. (Hat-tip to Jamil Dakwar, director of the ACLU's Human Rights Program, for this stat.)

Perhaps nothing portrays the weakness at present of international human rights mechanisms as the degree to which UN member states ignore these "special procedures" or communications from UN officials on human rights matters. Indeed, this is a large-scale problem. In a 2005 report summarizing statistics on these "letters of allegation" and "urgent letters" from different UN Special Rapporteurs, the overall government response rate from 137 member countries was only 46%. (The U.S. rate described above is 59%. Examples of recent non-responses by the U.S. to urgent appeals and letters of allegation from UN officials can be examined here.)

Feinstein Hiding Information on CIA Medical Experimentation

It's not only State Department officials who are reticent to engage dialogue on torture. The Senate Select Committee has determinedly stated they will not release their full report on CIA torture. As explained below, medical experimentation by the CIA is presumably included in the classified portions. Over 90% of the report remains classified.

I remembered that back in 2010, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, then chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told me that in response to a revelatory report by Physicians for Human Rights on the question of CIA experimentation on detainees she would issue further comment on the matters discussed in the PHR report after the SSCI's report was done.

"The findings of the new report from Physicians for Human Rights will be considered in our review," Feinstein said, "and I will have further comment on this when the report is completed.”

A few days ago, Feinstein's press secretary Tom Mentzer replied to my query about Feinstein's 2010 promise, "The study’s executive summary includes details about CIA medical and psychological personnel involved in the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. Any additional information included in the full report is classified. The committee did closely examine the Physicians for Human Rights report, and the senator commented on the more recent APA report here."

Mentzer's link is to an April 30, 2015 statement by Sen. Feinstein in relation to allegations of links between the American Psychological Association and the CIA torture program.

Feinstein's statement said she was "troubled" by the allegations. "I understand an independent review has been commissioned by the APA and look forward to reviewing its conclusions," she wrote. "This is a stark reminder that torture can corrode every institution it touches, including medical and psychological professions.”

I wrote back to Mentzer to ask whether Sen. Feinstein was aware of links I've made between Chicago attorney David H. Hoffman leading the supposed "independent review... commissioned by the APA" and CIA figures George Tenet and Kenneth J. Levitt, and Rand Corporation figure Newton Minow. Tenet was CIA director when the "enhanced interrogation" and "extraordinary rendition" programs were initiated.

Mentzer did not respond to my query. (An Illinois psychologist has recently written calling for the resignation of Hoffman for conflict of interest in the APA matter.)

Feinstein's reply to my recent query, to the point that "any additional information in the full report" on CIA experimentation on detainees is "classified," constitutes a cover-up of possible grave war crimes. At the very least, PHR should demand that Feinstein release all materials in the Committee's possession that bear on medical torture and human experimentation by the CIA.

As I told Mentzer in my request to Sen. Feinstein, "the issue of experimentation arises in the Executive Summary in the context of an interchange between OMS personnel and the CIA Inspector General on the feasibility of doing research on the 'effectiveness' of the CIA techniques. The PHR report, however, was concerned with specific data requested and transmitted regarding the operations of the techniques themselves, including measuring oxygen levels in waterboarding victims, and adjusting temperatures in detention settings for maximum discomfort."

It is likely that CIA experimentation went well beyond this, including new ways to measure physiological correlates of supposed deception, as well as physiological markers of being overwhelmed by the various torture techniques applied.

If, as Mentzer/Feinstein now maintain, the SSCI did take up PHR's charges of medical experimentation, the SSCI is not revealing what they found, and has no recommendations about what to do about it.

Sadly, the authors of the 2010 PHR report on CIA experimentation tried to steer public outrage into a complaint made to the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. But OHSP referred the complaints back to the CIA, as such is their policy.

The authors of the PHR report knew this was OHSP policy to begin with, but led their supporters down the dead end of OHSP "protections." In personal correspondence, one of the report authors told me they knew the appeal to OHSP was a "long shot," but that "PHR lawyers went through law journals and found evidence that OHRP could be interpreted as having jurisdiction, though the situation was ambiguous." (Because this was personal correspondence, I am not using the person's name.)

Another example of the kinds of information being kept from the public was revealed recently by Jason Leopold at VICE News, who released a letter from former Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who was himself a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, to the CIA complaining about their refusal to show him "four written passages — located in an unknown document that may still be classified — related to the agency's destruction of interrogation videotapes."

Did this information ever surface in the classified SSCI report? We don't know. Just as we don't know what the U.S. will say to UN Special Rapporteurs about charges of medical torture and illegal experimentation, or if they even bother to respond. (Actually, we will know that, but not for another six months or so.)

For now, all we have -- and it is hideous enough -- are the cries from the torture chamber itself, as witnessed and reported by the detainees' attorneys. Will such cries be loud enough to stir real action and change?

Crossposted at Firedoglake

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