According to his own statements, Louisiana psychologist and retired U.S. Army colonel Dr. Larry C. James played an influential role in both the policy and day-to-day operations of interrogations and detention at the prison camps. Publicly-available information shows that while Dr. James was at Guantanamo, abuse in interrogations was widespread, and cruel and inhuman treatment was official policy. Allegations of abuse during Dr. James’s January to May 2003 deployment include beatings, religious and sexual humiliation, rape threats and painful body positions.
As for the psychiatrists, they are a different kettle of fish completely. Any trained psychiatrist is aware that terror is as much torture as physical harm, and any psychiatrist who knows the history of his discipline also knows that terror has been used against the insane as a cock-and-bull “cure” since at least the Middle Ages. I suspect the design of torture techniques used at Guantanamo (techniques known or still unknown to us) came from psychiatrists, and if that’s true, it’s the psychiatrists who should bear the full brunt of public condemnation.
According to a Psychology Today hit piece written by psychologist John Gartner, people prone to thinking that powerful men might actually get together and plan to maintain and advance their power are borderline psychotics who are a danger to society. In reality, hundreds of years of history has taught us that psychologists routinely aid authoritarian regimes in enforcing tyrannical and inhumane policies while helping them crush political opposition by defining suspicion of authorities as a mental illness.
My book, The C.I.A. Doctors, is based on 15,000 pages of documents I received from the CIA through the Freedom of Information Act and dozens of papers published in medical journals.