News-site, The Hill, is reporting that we will be hearing the CIA’s long awaited report on U.S. Torture or “enhanced interrogation” practices on Monday. Investigative journalist for VICE news, Jason Leopold, has had an outstanding Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Obama administration that the government was due to respond to however; in a Tweet today Leopold states,
The report we will have access to is not the full 6000-page document, but instead a 500-page summary. In a piece written for VICE in November, Leopold said,
The Senate Intelligence Committee first completed its study in December 2012 and voted to approve the executive summary for declassification and public release. The report is more than 6,000 pages, contains 37,000 footnotes, and cost more than $40 million to produce; the public will eventually see less than 10 percent of the document when the 500-page executive summary is released. According to the Congressional Record, the report is divided into three volumes with different focuses: a comprehensive history of the interrogation program; the value of the intelligence it revealed; and the claims about its nature and effectiveness made by the CIA to Congress, the Justice Department, and the media.
This is not the only report of Bush torture policies we are waiting on. Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist, James Risen, of the NY Times, recently wrote a book called, “Pay Any Price: Greed, Power and Endless War“; the book is making an impact that could affect future policy. The American Psychological Association (APA) is now reviewing their Bush-era endorsement of our nation’s torture policy.
In recent developments, brought on by an allegation in Riser’s book, the APA first refuted Risen’s claims in a statement on October 16 however; in more recent statements on their website the APA now says,
We believe that APA’s October 16th statement refuting Risen’s assertion was a fair and accurate response. However, the allegation made by Mr. Risen is highly charged and very serious. His book has created confusion for the public and APA members. This confusion, coupled with the seriousness of the allegation, requires a definitive, independent and objective review of the allegation and all relevant evidence.
Toward that end, and to fulfill its values of transparency and integrity, the APA Board has authorized the engagement of David Hoffman of the law firm Sidley Austin to conduct an independent review of whether there is any factual support for the assertion that APA engaged in activity that would constitute collusion with the Bush administration to promote, support or facilitate the use of “enhanced” interrogation techniques by the United States in the war on terror.
While the APA still speaks with hubris of their “fair and accurate” response to Risen’s allegation they also continue to cling to terms like, “enhanced” interrogation techniques” instead of calling it what it is, torture.
The APA Board of Directors — 2014 APA President Dr. Nadine Kaslow, 2015 President- Elect Dr. Susan McDaniel and APA CEO Dr. Norman Anderson will coordinate the independent review and be assisted by APA General Counsel Nathalie Gilfoyle.
The review will focus on, but not be limited to, three main issues:
1) Whether APA supported the development or implementation of “enhanced” interrogation techniques that constituted torture.
2) Whether changes to Section 1.02 of the APA Code of Ethics in 2002 or the formation and/or report of the APA Presidential Task Force on Psychological Ethics and National Security (PENS Task Force) were the product of collusion with the government to support torture or intended to support torture.
3) Whether any APA action related to torture was improperly influenced by government-related financial or policy considerations, including government grants, contracts or adoption of government policy regarding prescription privileges for psychologists serving in the military.
The APA review process is expected to be completed within the first quarter of 2015*. It will be interesting to see if or how these two independent reports — the CIA’s and the APA’s will correlate with one another and which policies will be deemed inhumane and illegal.
*The APA encourages anyone having information they believe reviewer should be aware of is asked to contact Mr. Hoffman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information can also be shared with Mr. Hoffman via a special phone line for this purpose: (312) 456-8468.
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