Pentagon Kicks Psychologists Out of Gitmo to Help them Stay in Business

Pentagon Kicks Psychologists Out of Gitmo to Help them Stay in Business © AP Photo/ Charles Dharapak

03:38 02.01.2016(updated 03:39 02.01.2016) Get short URL

A significant number of psychologists working with detainees at Guantanamo Bay will no longer have to show up to work due to a new set of ethics rules approved by the American Psychological Association (APA), the US Department of Defense said.

Psychologists were withdrawn from many Gitmo prisoner activities at the behest of General John F. Kelly.
The general allegedly considers the new APA ethics rules as a potential obstacle to the Pentagon’s efforts to detain and interrogate terrorism suspects outside of the traditional criminal justice system.

The order, issued some 14 days ago, is claimed to prevent violations of new rules, which could lead to the loss of the psychologists’ licenses, according to Pentagon officials.

“These psychologists are licensed for independent practice and are volunteers,” at Guantánamo, Commander Karin Burzynski of the Navy, spokeswoman for the Southern Command, said in a statement. “They are bound by their respective professional organizations’ ethical guidelines, and General Kelly will not jeopardize them losing their credentials.”

Rules approved in summer 2015 prohibit psychologists from participating in national security interrogations, and also forbid them to provide mental health services in Gitmo.

Detainees are provided with mental health treatment by experienced Navy corpsmen and nurses, who “take care” of them, according to statements by the Pentagon.

A series of lawsuits was recently filed against the psychologists who were contracted to design the CIA post-9/11 interrogation program, accusing those psychologists of torture, non-consensual human experimentation, and war crimes against CIA detainees.

Leave a Reply