Tuesday, July 4, 2017
This blog posted earlier about the psychologists who developed and promoted "enhanced interrogation techniques" at the request of the US government. We last reported that the suit survived a motion to dismiss. The suit is now in the discovery process, and depositions have begun. What is becoming clear is the perversion that has been used in both applying the torture and the use of shaming views of masculinity to coerce interrogators into using the techniques. One prisoner was placed underground in a plastic bag. Waterboarding, sleep deprivation, nudity, stress positions, placing men in small boxes for long periods of time and use of insects were some of the implemented tortures that yielded no useful or new information.
Those forced to implement the torture were themselves subjected to psychological abuse. Some soldiers conducting the torture were told that a nuclear bomb was about to be dropped on the United States and obtaining information was urgent. When one soldier resisted, after seeing the effects of the torture, he was called a p___y.
The defendant psychologists are claiming the defense of never having met those who were tortured. They claim that despite recommending the use of torture, they never designated the specific individuals to be subject to the torture. How then could they be liable to these men and to the estate of one man who died?
The case raises no new theories of liability but does speculate on whether the defendants will succeed in their use of Nuremberg-style defenses when the psychologists were not soldiers acting under military orders. The trial is scheduled to begin on September 5th in Spokane, Washington. You may click here to access The Daily podcast on this topic.