By: Ramola D, Intellihub News |
This article was originally published on Intellihub News on April 18, 2016.
Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR), the group which led the call to end the involvement of American psychologists in the CIA Torture program at Guantanamo and took the American Psychological Association (APA) to task last summer for their “highly permissive” ethics through which the APA had colluded with the Department of Defense “to preserve unethical detention and interrogation practices,” is calling now for psychologists to look closer at Cruel, Inhumane, and Degrading Treatment (CIDT), torture, and abuse ongoing currently within the US Criminal Justice system and undertaken “with the consent and acquiescence of public officials.”
In a statement issued last week titled “PsySR Statement on Torture, Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Racial Injustice in the United States” they highlighted the important role psychologists and other health professionals within the criminal justice system play in exposing and addressing abuse, injustice, and human rights violations.
“Professionals need to look seriously at our ethical obligation to beneficence and nonmaleficence. We need to recognize when we are rightly and actively resisting abuse and when we are instead complicit in maintaining abusive systems.”
Communities of color, they note, mentioning the Black Lives Matter movement, are a focus of particular concern as they call for psychologists to pay close attention to incidences of torture and abuse they might come across, such as electric shock treatment, prolonged solitary confinement (“a psychologically destructive practice that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture has called on all nations to abolish”) and “police beatings and racially discriminatory killings, sexual assault, medical neglect, and abuses within prisons, jails, and detention centers.”
Recognizing grassroots organizations such as We Charge Genocide of Chicago and Anti Police-Terror Project of Oakland, they urge psychologists to continue to build coalitions and alliances and advocate for systemic change. Psychologists must actively resist participation in abusive practices of torture and report all forms of abuse, they advise.
Particular circumstances they cite include “forced segregation, mass incarceration, private for-profit prisons, solitary confinement, the school-to-prison pipeline, and other correlates of inhuman and degrading treatment.”
Psychologists Must Choose Whether to Oppose HR Violations or Act as Bystanders
Pyschologists must seek accountability of abusive institutions and protection for whistleblowers, they urge, to increase awareness of cultural climates that permit abuse and to take definitive action such as press for alternatives to incarceration, write articles on witnessed abuse, and work collaboratively to end practices such as solitary confinement and mass incarceration.
“Under international law, the United States is obligated to stop and prevent torture and CIDT. Social scientists and health professionals, bound by their professional ethics and values, also bear a serious responsibility to face and stop these abuses. Many of us work within institutions where CIDT and torture occur, and thus we have a choice whether to oppose these human rights violations or, as bystanders, to perpetuate them. Too often, our participation in these settings supports existing structures of racial injustice, already so widespread they can appear commonplace and “normal.””
The whole statement can be found here.
Many Forms of Torture and Abuse Rampant in US, Including Covert Harassment
This call to action addressed to psychologists comes at a time when Chicago grieves the new loss of a young teenager, Pierre Loury, to impetuous police shooting, when recent probes into Homan, the Chicago black site reveals a culture of violent abuse, with 7000 “disappeared” over the last decade, and when awareness mounts of a new kind of covert operation of torture in the USA, through the use of electronic and directed-energy weapons in secretive and repressive programs of surveillance, harassment, and abuse on watchlisted and targeted individuals who are neither guilty of nor charged with crime, but appear to be either assaulted for their activism or/and are being rolled into classified, non-consensual programs of Military/Intelligence experimentation as random subjects.
In a letter sent to the Psychologists for Social Responsibility (and shared with this writer), one targeted individual, a former reporter and blogger who wrote in support of Wikileaks, and who in 1998 sued a political supporter of the President, points to documentation of such abuses by many who have been “extra-judicially targeted for stalking and ‘touchless torture’ with covertly used directed-energy weapons, electromagnetic fields, microwaves, and manipulated electric wires.”
Stating that she has Bio-MEMs (Biomedical Micro Electro Mechanical devices) covertly implanted in her by doctors affiliated with Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, she emphasizes that “the medical field is deeply complicit in this abuse,” that professionals in hospital settings help by implanting individuals with Bio-MEMs, RFIDs (Radio Frequency Identifying Devices), and other inserts which aid in the electronic harassment of individuals.
“To this date, targeted individuals have no public health group advocating on their behalf. Conversely, many psychologists and psychiatrists are witting or unwitting accomplices in these hidden abuses by ignoring or dismissing the complaints of individuals being shot at, microwaved, or radiated with the military’s new ‘neuroweapons.’
I urge you to speak out in defense of these victims of horrific abuses by the U.S. government agencies including the CIA, the FBI, the DOJ and the DHS. The ACLU has abdicated its responsibilities to defend the afflicted. Targeted individuals need you to stand up for their rights.”
Carole Smith, a psychoanalyst and researcher, pointed out in a 2003 article titled On the Need for New Criteria of Diagnosis of Psychosis in the Light of Mind Invasive Technology in the Journal of Psycho-Social Studies that new technologies to silently attack humans’ brains and bodies have been developed:
“We have failed to comprehend that the result of the technology that originated in the years of the arms race between the Soviet Union and the West, has resulted in using satellite technology not only for surveillance and communication systems but also to lock on to human beings, manipulating brain frequencies by directing laser beams, neural-particle beams, electro-magnetic radiation, sonar waves, radio-frequency radiation (RFR), soliton waves, torsion fields and by use of these or other energy fields which form the areas of study for astrophysics. Since the operations are characterized by secrecy, it seems inevitable that the methods that we do know about, that is, the exploitation of the ionosphere, our natural shield, are already outdated as we begin to grasp the implications of their use.”
Acknowledging that people are being experimented on in extremely abusive ways, she spelled out the complicity of psychiatrists and psychologists in aiding military/Intelligence experimenters:
“The only witnesses who are speaking about this terrible technology with its appalling implications for the future, are the victims themselves, and those who are given the task of diagnosing mental illness are attempting to silence them by classifying their evidence and accounts as the symptoms of schizophrenia, while the dispensers of psychic mutilation and programmed pain continue with their work, aided and unopposed.”
These atrocious human rights abuses appear to be in place as both covert government harassment masquerading as “electronic surveillance” and military/Intelligence experimentation.
Confirmation from a NSA Whistleblower
In recent conversations with various reporters and writers, new NSA whistleblower Karen Stewart has come forward to confirm these accounts of covert abuse being reported by thousands of Americans, and others, worldwide:
“I had originally thought, based on my experience (2006-2009), that only NSA Security used this harassment technique on NSA whistleblowers, journalists, or anti-NSA activists, which was bad enough by itself. But then I met a whistleblower from the Department of Justice who knew NSA was involved in her being targeted for slander and stalking harassment as well, so I realized how broadly the Federal government was using criminal harassment with NSA more than happy to help with its ever increasing network of compromised or gullible law enforcement officials and ready-to-roll civilian stalking groups. In the last year, the DOJ whistleblower has reported to me that she is now also being targeted for electronic harassment.”
Dubious Ethics of Dependency on Military and Intelligence Agencies for Funding
In July 2015, in a press release addressing an investigation of the APA’s actions in the matter of psychologists assisting the CIA in torture, PsySR urged psychologists to work toward “changes to ethical and other policies so as to meet standards appropriate for a profession of scientists, health professionals, and educators rather than the priorities of the Department of Defense or CIA,” and noted:
“Psychologists have a duty to recognize and examine how decades of dependency on the military and intelligence agencies for employment, funding, and stature have influenced our entire profession, in ways that have never been adequately examined.”
As psychologists begin to speak openly of issues of ethic in extant tortures and abuses within the US Criminal Justice system, it is to be hoped that they will address as openly and as urgently the issues of covert targeting, implantation, electronic harassment, and brain/behavior control experimentation being experienced today by thousands of Americans, and others, worldwide, in which also it seems health professionals, psychologists, and psychiatrists are complicit.
You can follow Ramola D on Twitter: @EccEveryday
Ramola D is a writer with a background in science and literature researching issues in science, technology, and ethics relevant to our times, including issues related to Intelligence, Surveillance, Security, and Defense. She runs a solutions journalism site at everydayconcerned.net, and edits the online literary quarterly, Delphi Quarterly. Her literary journalism, fiction, and poetry have been published widely. You can follow her online at @EccEveryday, or at The Everyday Concerned Citizen on Facebook.