[ACTION] Strip Dr. Gerald Koocher of Deanship over DePaul’s College of Science and Health.
November 30, 2015   By:    action, Dr. Gerald Koocher, human rights   Comments are off   //   1492 Views

PLEASE click HERE to sign petition!

“On July 30, Koocher weighed in on the recent media reports and Thomas’s points on human rights standards. Koocher does not mince words about his disdain for documents such as the Geneva Conventions and the U.N. Convention Against Torture, noting that he had ‘zero interest in entangling APA with the nebulous, toothless, contradictory, and obfuscatory treaties that comprise “international law.”‘ ” (Hoffman Report, 326).

Dr. Gerald Koocher is currently serving as Dean of DePaul’s College of Science and Health. Prior to his current position, he served as President of the American Psychological Association (APA) and was the liaison for the Psychological Ethics and National Security (PENS) task force, which was a partnership between the APA and Department of Defense (DoD).

The Hoffman Report, a detailed report of the activities conducted by the PENS task force, has shed light on the APA’s and DoD’s collusion in creating guidelines for enhanced interrogation methods used at detainment facilities and Dr. Koocher’s key role. “The Hoffman Report is the informal name for the 2015 investigation into the American Psychological Association’s (APA) practices regarding its relaxing of ethical standards for psychologists involved in torture interrogations. The full name for the report is, Independent Review Relating to APA Ethics Guidelines, National Security Interrogations, and Torture. It was authored by attorneys David Hoffman, Danielle Carter, Cara Viglucci Lopez, Heather Benzmiller, Ava Guo, Yasir Latifi and Daniel Craig of the law firm, Sidley Austin, LLP” (psychcentral.com).

I encourage anyone interested to look up the report and findings online or click the link below:

http://pro.psychcentral.com/the-hoffman-report-the-american-psychological-association-apa-investigation

Or read the following summary:

https://www.change.org/p/college-of-science-and-health-depaul-university-strip-dr-gerald-koocher-of-deanship-over-depaul-s-college-of-science-and-health/u/13706208

Excerpts from the Hoffman Report:

“The DoD members suggested that they agreed in principle with the Geneva Convention provisions but said they could not accept a position that varied from the requirements of U.S. law. (‘[I] cannot take a public stand opposed to the U.S. government,’ said one.) In other words, as DoD officials they could not agree to be bound by constraints on their behavior that went beyond the constraints set by U.S. law. While this position may have been understandable as a statement of U.S. governmental  policy (as opposed to APA policy), APA President-Elect Koocher also attacked the idea of the APA tapping into international law definitions in crafting ethical guidance, calling it a ‘distraction’ to draw international law into APA’s ethics guidance. As a result of this opposition the report rejected the use of or reference to international law, except to the extent it was incorporated into and consistent with U.S. law (as then defined, including through the DOJ memos)” (23).

“In his criticism of Wessells, Koocher also called the head of the rival American Psychiatric Association ‘an idiot full of sound and fury’ (quoting Shakespeare), and months later attacked Arrigo for having ‘personal biases’ and a ‘troubled upbringing…’ ” (26).

“The New York Times had run an article on Friday, June 24, the first day of the task force meeting, reporting that ‘[m]ilitary doctors at Guantanamo have aided interrogators in conducting and refining coercive interrogations of detainees, including providing advice about how to increase stress levels and exploit fears.’ The article quoted both Behnke and the ethics committee chairman of the American Psychiatric Association and compared the positions of the two organizations: ‘While the American Psychiatric Association has guidelines that specifically prohibit the kinds of behaviors described by the former interrogators for their members who are medical doctors, the rules for psychologists are less clear. . . ‘. [I]n a statement issued in December, the American Psychological Association said the issue of involvement of its members in ‘national security endeavors’ was new.” APA President Levant worried that the article made APA look bad because it ‘portrayed APA as unsure of where the ethical boundaries lie.’ To Levant and Koocher, managing APA’s image required it to show that the task force report was more than simply a set of high-level, ‘loose’ statements that might be justified as a tentative ‘initial step,’ but was instead a clear and ‘strict’ statement of the actual ethical boundaries. The fact that the PENS report was nothing of the sort did not stand in the way of their strategic attempt to create the best possible media response” (33).

“There had been two trips to Guantanamo by APA Presidents after the PENS report, accompanied by Behnke on one of them. In October 2005, DoD invited APA President Ron Levant as well as the President of the American Psychiatric Association and others to a half-day visit at Guantanamo, as later reported in the press. And in November 2006, APA President Gerald Koocher and Behnke went on a similar trip to Guantanamo. For the Levant trip, Behnke arranged for Banks and Dunivin to provide a phone briefing and talking points to Levant so that he would be ‘on message’ during and after his trip. Behnke similarly had Banks brief Koocher before his 2006 trip. Both trips consisted of meetings with Guantanamo leaders who provided positive information about the facility and detainee treatment. The trips were mostly PR trips for DoD, but after the 2005 trip, Assistant Secretary of Defense Winkenwerder and Surgeon General Kiley had a dinner with the group to discuss their observations and any concerns. Koocher told us that he found the opportunity to see the actual Guantanamo facility and receive in-person briefings helpful. Upon his return, Koocher prepared an extensive power point presentation with many photos provided to him by DoD showing the detention center and detainee facilities. The presentation was very positive about the Guantanamo facility and its value, including a slide that highlighted the ‘interrogation yield.’ Koocher said that the slides simply represented what DoD had told the group, and that he would orally provide this caveat when he gave the presentation. But on its face, the presentation is an uncritical, highly positive presentation of Guantanamo” (39).

The approach that Behnke and Koocher (principally) recommended and that APA took was to deliberately avoid probing or inquiring into the widespread indications that had surfaced about harsh interrogation techniques being conducted by the CIA and DoD, even though they knew that psychologists were involved in CIA and DoD interrogations” (67).

“On the other hand, Behnke, Koocher and others at APA insisted that it would have been impossible to determine definitively whether these
allegations were true, because the information relating to the interrogation programs and the specific interrogations was classified. It is very likely true that information about specific interrogations was classified. However, it is notable that APA did not make any effort in this regard. And given their contacts in the CIA and DoD, they may well have been able to learn some significant information that would have helped them assess the likelihood that the problem had occurred or was still occurring, and the risk that it would occur in the future. But it is also appropriate to note that this is not the typical ‘deliberate avoidance’ situation in which an individual could likely have learned the relevant knowledge by asking questions of people he had access to. Here, there was both a deliberate and strategic attempt not to inquire, and an accurate (albeit strategically convenient) claim that gathering full information would have been extremely difficult in light of the classified nature of the underlying activities” (67).

Adding to this system of porous constraints was the ‘third-party beneficence’ rationalization articulated by psychologists ranging from Jim Mitchell to Gerald Koocher, which posited that harm to one individual (a detainee) must be weighed against the benefits to third parties (the public) that would result if, for instance, information from the detainee stopped a terrorist attack. Those taking this position would argue that strict ethical constraints on psychologists in this situation would therefore be inappropriate. But even if, for the sake of argument, one accepts the legitimacy of this subjective harm-balancing rationale, it is notable that no limits whatsoever were placed on it, meaning that it provided another gaping hole in the already porous wall of ethical and legal constraints that might have prohibited intentional harm to detainees.” (70).

“In an email exchange on January 4 and 5 between Koocher, Levant, and Behnke about this article, Koocher pointedly suggested that APA would never be able to obtain any ‘hard data’ about whether psychologists were committing abuses at Guantanamo Bay, and therefore as a matter of strategy, APA should simply continue to issue public statements saying it was ‘concerned’ and would look into the matter as soon as such hard data became available (knowing that it never would). Behnke responded that he agreed, and added that ‘our colleagues in Division 19 [Military Psychology] . . . are especially sensitive to (the appearance of) ethical judgments in the absence of hard data about what has actually occurred.’ Koocher responded that the concern about Division 19 sensitivity was ‘why I was trying to suggest’ the approach he had suggested in his email. After Levant agreed and added Farberman and Gilfoyle to the email, Behnke then forwarded to the group the statement APA had sent to Council on December 6 and said he did not think there was much to add. Koocher responded, ‘Right! We should probably simply [r]epeat same until ‘evidence’ of anything becomes public in 2055.’

In other words, Koocher was pointing out that since it was very unlikely that any confirmation of the alleged abuses would come out for 50 years (when classified information tends to become unclassified), APA would be safe by simply repeating the statement it had previously made—that it effectively stood ready to investigate and enforce its Ethics Code if facts emerged, and it could not make ethical assessments until ‘all the relevant facts and circumstances emerge[d]’ ” (216).

“Arrigo offered a draft set of questions for the task force meetings on May 22. She included the following questions: ‘Should APA declare the contribution of psychologists to coercive interrogation incompatible with the ethical obligations of the profession?’ and ‘Should APA exclude from membership psychologists who intentionally or negligently contribute to coercive interrogation?’ Koocher refuted Arrigo’s call to exclude members: ‘This question seems naive since APA will likely never know about such conduct, nor be in a position to investigate it.’ Koocher offered additional thoughts to Arrigo’s first question, however, about the types of questions to ask about coercive interrogations, none of which were included in the PENS report” (252-253).

Koocher also confirmed with Sidley that the purpose of PENS was to give ethical guidance to psychologists in interrogation settings and not to bar them entirely. If this framework is correct, however, then it appears APA never seriously questioned whether psychologists should be in detainee interrogation settings in the first place” (257).

“Behnke’s assertions belie what happened at PENS and with other organizations, including the military. For one, the background materials provided to each task force member included descriptions of harsh
techniques used at the time and the controversy surrounding them
(discussed earlier) , so there was an awareness that harsh techniques were occurring in detainee settings. Second, specific techniques were not discussed during PENS because participants like Newman, Banks, Koocher, and Behnke avoided addressing specifics during the PENS meetings. Other DoD members, even if they expressed an interest in having boundaries or limits on what  psychologists could do, did not promote the need for specific language in the report. Wessells, Thomas, and Arrigo’s quest to add international human rights standards within the PENS report—one way to provide specific guidance for a psychologist—was met with stiff resistance by the military majority. In addition, former Chief of Staff for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Thom Kurmel, told Sidley that the ‘key’ debate in 2005 among his DoD colleagues was ‘how far’ health professionals could go in interrogation settings and less what professional associations said about their presence. So the issue of specific techniques and what was permissible was underscored by media reports, by task force members, and by the military” (298).

“In response, Koocher wrote Goodman an open letter in late August 2007 attempting to refute many of Arrigo’s claims. Koocher claimed in his letter that Arrigo disclosed her father had committed suicide and that her ‘troubled upbringing’ explained her actions after the PENS process was complete… Koocher was incorrect in his letter when he stated that Arrigo’s father had committed suicide. Arrigo’s father was alive during the time of PENS. Koocher has insisted that Arrigo lied during the meeting about this fact, and Arrigo has insisted she never stated her father was deceased or that he committed suicide….  The overwhelming evidence shows that Koocher’s assertion that Arrigo said her father had committed suicide—part of a highly personal attack on Arrigo – was unfounded and unsupported. ” (342-343).

In response to the new draft, Koocher emailed Behnke and noted that the resolution was worth a ‘B-‘ because the ‘laundry list of torture’ remained a problem. Behnke responded to Koocher’s email and explained that he had listed specific techniques because they have been associated with the type of torture alleged to have occurred at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. Behnke added that when he spoke to Alfred McCoy earlier in 2007, he was surprised to learn that ‘there is indeed a finite list of techniques that seem consistently to recur,’ and that because the list will be immediately recognizable to groups that have been working on this issue in human rights communities, it will get a positive response from the more moderate individuals ‘[f]rom a purely strategic perspective.’ Koocher responded: ‘All I can add—these people lack imagination!’ “(418).

“Shuster believed that the Ethics Committee was ultimately more concerned about preserving psychologists’ reputations and the image of psychology than making disciplinary determinations based strictly on ethical considerations. Even former APA President, Gerald Koocher, stated during his interview that APA would not proceed on a complaint without obtaining evidence because they were ‘concerned with protecting the due process rights of accused psychologists,’ but that APA could not obtain evidence because it did not have any subpoena power—making claims that APA stood ready and willing to adjudicate complaints against psychologists involved in abusive interrogations a hollow promise” (475).

Dr. Koocher served as an enforcer for the task force and often used intimidation and belittlement to attack anyone who opposed said “guidelines” being put into place. In one such instance cited above, he lied about the suicide of the father of one of the other members of the PENS task force, and accused her of being unstable in order to discredit her vocal objections concerning psychologists aiding the government in such practices at the expense of human rights. This horrendous personal attack is inexcusable for a clinician and ethicist, regardless of what he may have believed to be true at the time. I recommend reading the article below:

http://www.theguardian.com/law/2015/jul/13/psychologist-torture-doctors-collusion-jean-maria-arrigo

There is enough information in the Hoffman report to conclude that Dr. Koocher behaved in a grossly unethical way on numerous occasions. For instance, it was found in the report that Dr. Koocher used the PENS listserv to argue in support for psychologists being involved in deaths of terrorists under certain conditions. Dr. Koocher twisted ethics through vague and obscure language, like third-party beneficence, to condone torture, bullied or belittled members who brought up valid ethical concerns on the PENS task force, obfuscated the truth in regards to information on enhanced integration practices in order to deny culpability after the fact, and aided in paving the way for one of the biggest scandals in psychology’s history. His actions hurt all members of the psychological community, and more importantly, the people who were wrongfully detained and violated.

The APA have since apologized for their involvement with the DoD.”Speaking for the Board of Directors, APA’s past president Nadine Kaslow said, ‘The actions, policies and the lack of independence from government influence described in the Hoffman report represented a failure to live up to our core values. We profoundly regret, and apologize for, the behavior and the consequences that ensued. Our members, our profession and our organization expected, and deserved, better'” (apa.org). Does our DePaul community not deserve better too?

http://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2015/07/report-interrogations.aspx

Dr. Koocher’s role as Dean of the College, which mission statement includes educating socially responsible and ethical health professionals, is absolutely unacceptable. He is not worthy of such an office, and should be removed immediately. The findings in the Hoffman Report and his own correspondence from that time period clearly illustrate Dr. Koocher’s inadequacies as a leader. DePaul, a Vincentian University that emphasizes social justice and responsibility, will lose credibility if it continues to remain silent and not take action against the Dean.

Dr. Koocher and the APA’s reputations have been permanently tainted by the Hoffman report, as they should be. But it’s not too late for DePaul. Let’s show that we practice what we preach.

 ***Please consider reading Dr. Koocher’s response to the Hoffman Report before signing our petition, which can be found by clicking the link below:

http://www.bioethics.net/2015/07/dr-gerald-koochers-response-comments-on-the-hoffman-report/

***Other articles for your consideration***:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/01/us/report-says-american-psychological-association-collaborated-on-torture-justification.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/11/us/psychologists-shielded-us-torture-program-report-finds.html

http://www.theguardian.com/law/2015/jul/10/us-torture-doctors-psychologists-apa-prosecution

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2015/07/11/the-hoffman-report-after-years-of-lies-who-holds-the-apa-accountable/

http://arpapsych.com/analysis-of-apa-hoffman-report-good-governance-by-linda-woolf/

http://www.democracynow.org/2007/8/20/apa_interrogation_task_force_member_dr

Here are the DePaulia’s articles:

http://depauliaonline.com/news/2015/08/21/depaul-dean-gerald-koocher-apa-torture/

http://depauliaonline.com/news/2015/08/28/depaul-committee-aware-dean-koochers-ties-torture-guidelines/

http://depauliaonline.com/news/2015/09/14/criticism-mounts-depaul-responds-dean-koocher/

http://depauliaonline.com/news/2015/09/20/depaul-community-concerns-grow-over-dean-koocher/

http://depauliaonline.com/news/2015/10/01/coalition-depaul-dean-gerald-koocher-removal-press-conference/

http://depauliaonline.com/news/2015/10/12/depaul-students-excluded-dean-koocher-town-hall/

http://depauliaonline.com/news/2015/10/15/depaul-president-holtschneider-responds-koocher-concerns/

http://depauliaonline.com/opinions/2015/10/19/depaul-appears-tone-deaf-while-skirting-dean-koocher-issue/

“The university derives its title and fundamental mission from St. Vincent de Paul, the founder of the Congregation of the Mission, a religious community whose members, Vincentians, established and continue to sponsor DePaul. Motivated by the example of St. Vincent, who instilled a love of God by leading his contemporaries in serving urgent human needs, the DePaul community is above all characterized by ennobling the God-given dignity of each person. This religious personalism is manifested by the members of the DePaul community in a sensitivity to and care for the needs of each other and of those served, with a special concern for the deprived members of society. DePaul University emphasizes the development of a full range of human capabilities and appreciation of higher education as a means to engage cultural, social, religious, and ethical values in service to others” (DePaul’s Office of Mission & Values).

Tactical silence in the face of a human rights issue dishonors our mission, and the lack of accountability and action by our university is a violation of our touted ethical values. Let’s honor the teachings of St. Vincent de Paul by standing by our Vincentian values and asking our university leaders to do the same. All supporters are welcome, regardless of personal beliefs or affiliation with DePaul.

Relevant updates to the petition will be posted and can be found below this petition description and above the reasons for signing section.

 

Letter to
President of DePaul University Dennis H. Holtschneider
Strip Dr. Gerald Koocher of Deanship over DePaul’s College of Science and Health.

Updates


  1. 4 weeks ago
    Petition update

    Making a Choice: APA Reform or Business as Usual?
    Dear Supporters, There have been some encouraging developments over the last week that merit sharing. The APA notified federal officials of policy changes…

     

0 comments

  • psychologytoday.com
  • 1 month ago
    Petition update

    Vincentians Against Torture Coalition
    Dr. Steven Miles, doctor of medicine and an accomplished scholar on the war on terror, interrogation, and health professionals involvement, wrote the…

     

0 comments

  • m.facebook.com
  • 1 month ago
    Petition update

    DePaul appears tone deaf while skirting Dean Koocher issue
    http://depauliaonline.com/opinions/2015/10/19/depaul-appears-tone-deaf-while-skirting-dean-koocher-issue/

     

0 comments

  • depauliaonline.com
  • 1 month ago
    Petition update

    Dear Supporters, As some of you may be aware, DePaul’s President Rev. Holtschneider, C.M., sent an email this week to DePaul’s faculty regarding his opinion of Dean Gerald Koocher and his involvement in the…

     
  • 2 comments
  • 2 months ago
    Petition update

    Suit targets psychologists in CIA torture program - CNNPolitics.com
    Worth reading: http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/13/politics/lawsuit-cia-torture-black-sites-aclu/

     

0 comments

  • cnn.com
  • 2 months ago
    Petition update

    Dear supporters, Today is the faculty and staff town hall meeting with the Provost to discuss Dean Koocher and the implications in the Hoffman Report. The town hall meeting is meant to address the DePaul community’s…

     
  • 0 comments
  • 2 months ago
    Petition update

    August 15, 2015   The American Psychological Association is in crisis, confronting evidence of collusion between its officers and staff and the George W. Bush administration to develop, legitimize and defend the use of torture in detainee interrogations. Psychologists and others have pressured the APA for years to acknowledge and renounce its support of abusive interrogations, and several events in the past year and a half increased that pressure. The organization defended until recently what it had dubbed a "policy of engagement" in national security operations and dismissed criticisms as unsubstantiated allegations. In November 2014 the APA appointed an outside investigator, former Chicago inspector general and federal prosecutor David Hoffman, to review the charges. The "Hoffman Report," released in July 2015, found the central charges against APA to be true, changing the dialogue dramatically. Events Leading Up to the Hoffman Report In late 2013, the APA Ethics Committee closed without action the last of four investigations of military psychologists accused of participating in abusive interrogations (APA December 31, 2013 and February 20, 2014). A surge of protest followed, and APA's inaction on member-initiated ethics complaints was detailed in the press (see, e.g., Ackerman January 22, 2014). Over the next several months criticism converged from several directions. A book about the excesses of the war on terror (Risen October 2014), the Senate "torture report" (Senate Select Committee on Intelligence December 5, 2014), a comprehensive investigation by psychologists, physicians and human rights researchers (Soldz et al. April 2015), and a front page story in the New York Times (Risen April 30, 2015) combined to present a compelling case that the APA colluded with the Bush administration to protect a program of coercive and abusive interrogation. Critics asserted that the APA aggressively promoted the role of psychologists in interrogations, supported the actions of two psychologists who were central in designing and directing abusive techniques used by the CIA, and tailored its ethical code to assure the continued participation of psychologists in coercive interrogations. That participation was in turn essential to the White House counsel's position that the interrogations were legal. These allegations were not new, but reports based on internal emails among APA, CIA and military figures (Risen 2014; Soldz et al. 2015) demonstrated the collusion that APA had consistently and vociferously denied. The APA denounced Risen's book (APA October 16, 2014), but then, citing members' concerns, decided to retain an outside investigator (APA November 12, 2014). When the Senate Torture report was released the association announced support of the report while denying any association with the two CIA psychologists named in it (APA December 9, 2014, Kaslow 2014). After another New York Times article (Risen April 30, 2015) APA dismissed what it termed "re-circulated allegations" but said it would withhold further comment until the report by the independent investigator was released. (APA April 30, 2015). Among psychologists who had pressed APA's to withdraw support of psychologist participation in abusive interrogations, speculation and concern were intense in the period leading up to the report. Some feared a whitewash consistent with APA's prolonged cover-up, some noted Hoffman's conservative credentials and questioned how independent the investigation would be, and there was discussion about whether APA would make the report public. On July 2, 2015 the Hoffman report was given to APA leadership which, in a departure from previous actions, invited dissident leaders Steven Reisner and Stephen Soldz to read the report and address the APA board of directors prior to a planned release July 20. On July 10 the report appeared in the New York Times (Risen July 10, 20150 and the APA released a statement immediately stating that the report contained "previously unknown and troubling instances of collusion" that represent a "failure to live up to our core values" (APA July 10, 2015). The report is a blunt denunciation of APA actions, a refutation of years-long APA denials, and a validation of the charges by APA critics. Background: How Did This Happen? The APA's entanglement with torture resulted from the interaction of several factors: the association's historic relationship with the military, the collective shock and pain of 9/11, preexisting policy aims of the Bush administration, and a so-called "war" that kept the collective level of fear high, with the effect of encouraging paranoid nationalism and suppressing dissent. Psychology's Historic Alliance with Defense-Intelligence Entities The field of psychology has had a symbiotic relationship with military and intelligence interests for a century (Summers 2008). In both world wars the Defense Department's interest in psychological science and methods elevated the status of what had been a small academic field. The military helped psychology gain entry into the field of psychotherapy (which in the US had been the exclusive domain of physicians), funded graduate programs in clinical psychology and established clinical internships in Veteran's Administration hospitals. More recently the armed services have advanced the cause of prescription privileges for psychologists (Welch 2008). While the average clinical psychologist may not feel a particular alliance with national defense or intelligence services, at the top levels of the APA this relationship has remained close and unquestioned. The Hoffman report reviews the history of the relationship between psychology, the US Army, and the CIA (and its precursors) since before WWI, likening the DoD to a "rich, powerful uncle to APA, helping it in important ways throughout APA’s life" (Hoffman 2015 pp. 72-73). Psychological Aftermath of 9/11 The terrorist attacks that demolished the World Trade Center and destroyed part of the Pentagon were deeply shocking. Americans felt nothing of this magnitude had ever happened before, were confused about its causes and for a time profoundly apprehensive. At the same time there was a strong feeling of national pride and patriotic unity. The Hoffman report acknowledges "the strong and widespread feelings and perceptions from that time regarding the attacks themselves and the threat of future harm" (p. 2). Bush Administration's Pre-existing Agendas Even before 9/11 the Bush administration sought to dismantle restrictions on intelligence operations, broaden secret surveillance programs, and remove human rights protections imposed by treaties and international law. It wanted to oust Saddam Hussein and planned to increase the presidential powers relative to those of congress and the courts. (See, e.g., Mayer 2008; Gellman 2008.) Public Rhetoric The pervasive atmosphere of shock, fear and anger was intensified by Bush administration rhetoric pushing patriotism toward aggressive nationalism. President Bush referred to "this crusade, this war on terrorism," said "If you're not with us, you're against us," and implied that almost any response by the US was justified. Vice President Cheney's assertion that "we will have to go to the dark side" was met with little protest or contradiction. A White House spokesman said people should "watch what they say" and dissent became extremely unpopular for an extended period of time (see Sontag 2001; Carter and Barringer 2001). Psychologists, Torture and the APA Immediately after 9/11 the APA began to work to ensure psychology's central role in a promising expansion of opportunities for employment, status and program funding in the Bush administration's so-called war on terror. It is difficult to pinpoint when APA's efforts to suppress criticism of this "war" began, but at least one early investigation of the psychic dangers of a constant state of fear was subverted by the APA President and Board of Directors (Welch 2009). "Almost from the beginning, APA staff and governance worked to undermine the task force’s efforts." PR Director Farberman said the report could harm APA's image if it seemed too critical of Bush administration policy (Hoffman p.189-190). The report was eventually published elsewhere (Kimmel et al. 2006). Priorities - A Place at the Table As early as 2002 the APA, FBI and CIA cosponsored invitation-only conferences on how psychologists could aid the antiterrorism effort (APA 2002). The Hoffman report found that ". . . immediately after 9/11, APA staff and governance began to identify ways that psychologists and psychological science could contribute to efforts to cope with the aftermath of the attacks and the nation’s efforts to combat terrorism." (p. 153). APA's Science Directorate announced "Since 9/11 psychologists have searched for opportunities to contribute to the nation's counter terrorism and homeland security agenda," (APA January 2005) and celebrated its successes in that endeavor in the APA Monitor (Mumford 2005). While the APA later disavowed any association with two psychologists named in the press, the Senate torture report and Risen's book, one of them, James Mitchell, was among the invited attendees at an APA-sponsored conference. Emails show that APA officials valued the assistance of Mitchell and his associate Bruce Jessen as recently as 2005. (See Risen 2014; Soldz et al. 2015.) Reverse-Engineering SERE The United States has denounced torture since the American revolution, when George Washington wrote of British captives in American hands, "Treat them with humanity, and let them have no reason to complain of our copying the brutal example of the British Army in their treatment of our unfortunate brethren who have fallen into their hands" (Horton 2007). Since that time the United States has been party to numerous treaties and laws prohibiting torture including the 1864 First Geneva Convention, the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the 1984 United Nations Convention Against Torture, and the 1996 US War Crimes Act. During the Korean War, the US Air Force devised training for pilots at risk of capture in a program called Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape, or SERE (the Army, Navy and Marines now have similar programs). As a Senate committee report states, military personnel are exposed to torture techniques that might be used "by enemies that did not abide by the Geneva Conventions . . . to elicit false confessions." The training includes forced nudity, stress positions, hooding, sleep deprivation, noise bombardment, extreme temperatures, and waterboarding. (Senate Armed Services Committee 2008). In the wake of 9/11, the Bush administration, Defense Department and CIA decided that that the same techniques, re-named enhanced interrogation, would result in useful intelligence rather than false confessions, would not inflict lasting harm, and thus, according to White House lawyers, would not constitute torture and could be considered legal. In the press much attention was given to the CIA's interrogation regimen, suggesting that the CIA, under criticism for not having prevented the 9/11 attacks and with little institutional experience in interrogation, was swayed by the assertions of SERE psychologists "with a title and a shingle," (Warrick and Finn April 18 2009) that the torture techniques used in military resistance training could now be implemented effectively against detainees. The Hoffman report describes widespread adoption of SERE techniques as early as 2002, when both DoD and CIA drew on SERE trainers to develop enhanced interrogation programs (Hoffman pp. 124-148). Not only were SERE psychologists influential in developing CIA and DoD interrogations, psychologists' participation in implementing these techniques became critical to the entire interrogation program. Behavioral Science Consultation Teams The Department of Defense used Behavioral Science Consultation Teams (BSCTs, comprised of psychologists, psychiatrists and other medical health specialists) before 9/11 in a variety of capacities related to military personnel management (Miles 2009). In 2002 BSCTs at Guantanamo, staffed by non-clinical psychologists, were utilized within the Navy Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) under psychologist Michael Gelles to help with the cultural challenges in determining which detainees at Guantanamo might be prosecuted. However, The composition and purpose of these teams were changed by Guantanamo commander Michael Dunlavey, who kept the BSCT terminology but used clinical psychologists and psychiatrists to work directly with interrogators to break through detainees' defenses in order to obtain information. Initial confusion about BSCT roles was followed by a decision by Dunlavey and Morgan Banks to give BSCT team members SERE training (Eban 2007), after which psychologists and other mental health workers collaborated with interrogators in implementing SERE-based techniques of enhanced interrogation. APA Code of Ethics In 2002 the APA Ethics committee adopted two significant changes to its ethical code. One alteration allowed psychologists faced with a conflict between ethics and orders to "adhere to the requirements of the law, regulations, or other governing legal authority." Critics have pointed out that this was equivalent to the infamous Nuremburg defense disallowed during post-WWII Nazi war crimes trials (Pope and Guthiel June 2009). Another revision relaxed the requirements for informed consent in human subjects research (Coalition for an Ethical Psychology January 2012), a change that became relevant when plans to research effectiveness of interrogation techniques came to light (Raymond et al. 2010). The Hoffman report acknowledges that these changes were under consideration prior to 9/11, but notes that they provided ethical cover to psychologists involved in interrogations, calling it a "striking oversight not to grapple with concerns about the Nuremburg defense" (p. 115). The PENS Report Negative media attention was a catalyst for what would become the APA's Psychological Ethics and National Security (PENS) report. The Abu Ghraib scandal broke in April 2004 (CBS April 2004), and graphic evidence of US military personnel abusing detainees in an Iraqi prison shifted the national and international discourse toward mounting criticism of administration policies. In June a leaked White House "torture memo" revealed the administration's reliance on psychologists' definitions in claiming enhanced interrogations were not torture (Priest and Smith 2004), and disturbing details of interrogation methods approved by the Secretary of Defense came to light (Bravin 2004). As more information became public, APA came under pressure from opposite sides. Outsiders and APA members pressed the APA to condemn psychologists' participation in abusive interrogations, while military and intelligence agency psychologists wanted the APA to support them more assertively. The Hoffman report describes APA as dismissive of the first group and responsive to the second, working closely with DoD while treating dissent as a problem to be managed. Lead-Up to PENS A year before PENS, APA convened an unpublicized "Ethics and National Security Forum." Like the PENS task force a year later, the group was dominated by military and intelligence representatives and its deliberations were focused on ensuring the continued involvement of psychologists in interrogations (Hoffman pp. 199-202). Following the July 2004 forum military psychologists continued to pressure APA to take a public stand supporting their concerns, as media coverage of abusive interrogation and psychologists' participation continued (Hoffman, pp. 191-205). A report in the medical journal Lancet (Miles 2004) criticized the use of mental health workers in abusive interrogations. A New York Times article in November revealed that the Red Cross had found interrogations at Guantanamo to be torture and that psychologists were sharing information from detainees' medical records with interrogators in order to facilitate breaking down prisoners' psychological defenses (Lewis November 30 2004). The Hoffman called the Times article a "watershed moment for the APA, forcing the association to take action and make a public stand on psychologists’ participation in interrogations in the national security context" (p. 205). The idea of a task force, which had not been considered seriously before, now gained traction within APA. DoD and other national security representatives communicated directly to APA who they wanted on the task force and what they wanted the task force report to say—members should be experts with firsthand knowledge of national security operations, and the report should contain loose, high-level recommendations that would not affect current operations. The discussions at APA echoed that position. The Hoffman report shows the influence of DoD personnel (and to a somewhat lesser extent CIA interests) on the design and result of the task force. Conflict of Interest Discussions about the fact that Russ Newman, "the powerful (and aggressive) Executive Director of the Practice Directorate" (Hoffman p. 218), is married to Deborah Dunivin, a top BSCT psychologist at Guantanamo, were raised internally but not addressed. Instead of excluding Newman from developing policy that would determine ethical guidelines for BSCT psychologists, APA gave both Newman and Dunivin (then a member of APA's Council of Representatives) significant access to the PENS planning, meetings and final report. That enabled Dunivin's boss, Army special operations psychologist Morgan Banks, through Dunivin (and later directly to Newman) to play a central role in the PENS process. Early on, for example, Banks suggested Newman soften the language in APA discussions (use "investigation," not "interrogation," strike the word "coercive," add the word "effective" in describing acceptable techniques). The wording Banks proposed remained in the final PENS report. Col. Banks, APA President Anton told the Hoffman team, seemed to have been the "head of the whole thing" (Hoffman p. 241). Army Policy. As the PENS task force plans were developing, the Army Surgeon General's office was working on its own policy for psychologists' activities in national security operations. Banks and Dunivin shared their draft of that policy with APA, and crafted the "safe, legal, ethical and effective" language that ended up in both the PENS report and in the Army's policy governing BSCT teams (Department of Defense 2006). That language dovetailed with the Bush administration's legal stance allowing coercive interrogation techniques as long as they were "safe, effective, legal and ethical" (Welch 2010). APA top staff met to discuss their task force composition as well as the policy being developed by the Army Surgeon General's office. At this point two parallel tasks became intertwined: assembling the task force and coordinating APA's report with the Army Surgeon General's report. The APA wanted the Army to secure roles for psychologists in Army BSCTs, the Army wanted an APA policy that protected enhanced interrogation programs by allowing psychologists to stay involved, and both documents achieved those ends (Soldz et al. 2015). Task Force Membership On the last day of the year another New York Times article described the role of psychologists in abusive interrogations at Guantanamo (Lewis December 2004), and in January 2005 a New England Journal of Medicine article (Bloche and Marks 2005) charged that mental health professionals' activities at interrogation sites breached professional ethics. Discussions within APA about the membership, purpose and product of a task force intensified, and by March the members had been selected (Hoffman p. 237). The final task force included six members affiliated with the Department of Defense, including Morgan Banks, and four non-military members, one of whom was the non-voting chair. The non-DoD members were selected to give an appearance of balance, internal emails reveal. APA president-elect Gerald Koocher and board member Barry Anton "were named Board liaisons to the task force, and Koocher, in particular, took aggressive and vocal positions against the three non-DoD members: thus, the split was effectively 7 - 3 while Koocher was at the meeting" (Hoffman p. 18). The task force members were not named when the report was released and the uneven composition favoring military representation did not come to light until a year later (Benjamin 2006). Task Force Process Task force deliberations took place over a single weekend and, as others have charged and the Hoffman report confirms, were orchestrated by Army Col. Banks and APA's Stephen Behnke with support from Koocher and Newman. The task force's listserv archive, released later by non-DoD task force member Jean Maria Arrigo, demonstrates the degree to which the language of the report had been determined behind the scenes and how the civilian members of the task force, arguing for more specific restrictions as well as reference to international law in the report, were pressured to accept vague and permissive wording (Larson 2006). Behnke and other APA leaders argued that the report needed to be completed immediately and promised that more specific guidelines would be contained in a casebook to follow soon after. The casebook was never produced and, after realizing the extent of this manipulation, all three of the non-DoD task force members dissociated themselves from the report, denouncing both the manner in which the task force was conducted and the content of the report (Goodman and Goodman 2008). Public Relations Throughout this period APA staff, in discussions coordinated by ethics director Behnke (Hoffman p. 208-209), considered how to manage public relations. The agreed-on message coalesced around these points: APA is concerned about allegations but does not have facts; APA is an ethical organization; the association will consider thoughtfully whether any further ethical guidance is needed. These were the themes used in response to individual members, to expressions of concern by various APA Divisions and in communications to APA's Council of Representatives. Internal discussions emphasized the need not to "cast a shadow" on the work of national security psychologists or appear critical of the Bush administration, and to continue stressing the need for facts while privately acknowledging that classified details of interrogations were likely to remain secret for decades. APA leaders discussed keeping its military psychology division happy while managing concerns raised in other APA divisions (Hoffman p. 16). The PENS Report On July 5, 2005 APA announced the Presidential Task Force on Psychological Ethics and National Security report ". . . affirming the adequacy of the current APA Ethics Code in addressing the ethical dimensions of psychologists' involvement in national security-related activities and affirming APA's continuing central role and commitment to developing policies that address the role of psychology and psychologists in investigations related to national security." (APA July 5, 2005). The Hoffman report describes at length (about one-third of the 542-page document) the forces and motivations leading up to and shaping the PENS report (pp. 183-344). True Purpose of PENS. APA presented the PENS task force and its report as a response to allegations of abuse, positioning APA as primarily concerned with preventing torture. However, as critics have long charged and the Hoffman report shows, its real function was to allow psychologists' involvement in interrogations to continue without ethical impediments, enhance the job security of military psychologists, cement the alliance between government and APA, and provide cover to the Bush administration's interrogation program. The Torture Memos:Safe, Effective, Legal and Ethical Soon after release of the PENS report, more White House "torture memos" came to light and were seen to contain language interwoven with wording included in the APA's report: Interrogations that are "safe, effective and ethical" were held to be legal in the torture memos; methods that "safe, effective and legal" were held to be ethical in the PENS report. Assurances of safety and efficacy rested on opinions of psychologists conducting interrogations, and the presence of those psychologists made enhanced interrogations not torture. While the Hoffman report cites no evidence that APA leaders discussed this coordination of reasoning, the coincidence has been noted by others (see, e.g., Welch 2010). Press reports highlighted the fact that PENS did not prohibit psychologists from participating in interrogations (Lewis July 6, 2005), and that the "enhanced" techniques included methods that constituted torture by pre-9/11 definitions (what the Hoffman report calls "torture properly defined," p. 67). Articles appeared in the press and professional journals highlighting the contradictions between APA's rhetoric and psychologists' continued presence at interrogation sites (Bloche & Marks July 2005). Other Professions Step Away from Interrogations As the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association and American Bar association issued statements that their members could no longer be employed at interrogation sites operating outside international law, the Defense Department announced that they would henceforth "try to use only psychologists, and not psychiatrists, to help interrogators devise strategies to get information from detainees at places like Guantánamo Bay, Cuba," (Lewis June 7, 2006). This may have been a "victory for those who were focused on growing opportunities for employment and influence for psychologists, especially compared to psychiatrists" (Hofman p. 346) but for many APA members the publicity was a new low. Even proponents of cooperation with DoD realized this did not make the profession look good; Steven Behnke said "statements like yesterday’s can stir up a hornet nest. . ." (Hoffman p. 365). APA Turns on its Members During this period APA's attitude toward critics, including its own members, became increasingly belligerent. APA President Koocher made startling public statements, dismissing critics as "opportunistic commenters masquerading as scholars" (Koocher February 2006). He made a public, highly personal and false attack on PENS task force member Jean Maria Arigo, who had openly criticized the task force's process and report (Kaye 2007; Hoffman pp. 342-343). These responses led to more APA member protests, withheld dues, resignations and other actions. Protests, Efforts to Change APA and APA's Resistance Tactics Moratorium Resolutions and Substitute Resolutions. APA member Neil Altman proposed a resolution at the 2006 APA meetings, to be voted on the following year (Altman 2006), that would remove psychologists from interrogations . Throughout 2006 and 2007 Behnke and others within APA resisted the moratorium resolution, pressing Altman to weaken the wording, coordinating resistance by other psychologists, and recommending to the Council of Representatives that the resolution be rejected. Army psychologist Col. Larry James addressed the Council at the August 2007 convention, arguing that if psychologists were removed from interrogations "people will die" (Vedantam, 2007). As a result of this orchestration the APA Board's resolution was substituted for Altman's "much harsher policy that would have caused problems for Behnke’s partners in DoD" (Hoffman p. 424). None of APA's anti-torture resolutions, although rhetorically impressive, changed APA policy or psychologists' participation in coercive interrogations. (See, e.g., APA 2006, 2007). The Hoffman report observes that these resolutions attempted "to manipulate and water down Council resolutions to minimize the effect on DoD" (p. 342). Protest Coalition, APA Presidential Candidate. An organized protest coalition of psychologists emerged, supporting the candidacy of psychologist Steven Reisner for APA president (Soldz 2007), running on a platform to remove psychologists from abusive detention sites. Reisner gained more nominating signatures than any other candidate, but his bid failed. A candidate with the fewest nomiinations, a last-minute write-in supported by APA leaders, won the election (Kaye 2008). The Petition Resolution. An unprecedented grassroots petition launched in May 2008, to bar psychologists from detention sites such as Guantanamo gained enough signatures to be submitted to a membership vote in August and passed in September 2008. APA bylaws required that the resolution be adopted and implemented, and a letter from the APA President to President Bush indicated it had been (Kazdin 2008). Briefly, this seemed to be a victory for APA's internal critics, but the resolution was never implemented. The Hoffman report details the ways in which APA insiders, who had tried to prevent the petition from passing initially, prevented it going into effect (pp. 429-449). Ethics Charges. As more details of interrogation abuses came to light, APA's public response continued to emphasized the absence of "facts." APA President Koocher said repeatedly that critics had never provided any "names and circumstances" about "alleged abuses" (Koocher February 2006, June 2006). Beginning in 2005 individual APA members filed ethics charges against three psychologists (James Mitchell, Larry James and John Leso) who had been named in public reports. The APA did not sanction any of the three and to date no psychologist has been sanctioned for directing or participating in abusive interrogations. The Hoffman report details the many ways in which APA's ethics office (coordinated by Behnke) suppressed charges against military psychologists charged with ethics violations in assisting interrogations before and after 9/11 (pp. 464-522). While critical of these manipulations, the Hoffman report notes that the evolution of APA ethics management, away from enforcement and toward education, began before 9/11, and that Behnke had been hired in part to oversee a “kinder, gentler” adjudications process that was “clearly not going to have a prosecutorial mindset” (p. 465). After Hoffman The Hoffman report found that criticisms of APA's involvement in enhanced interrogation were well-founded and that APA leadership had colluded with the Bush Administration to protect its program of coercive detainee interrogation. APA Response APA's public stance has changed dramatically since release of the Hoffman report. The decision to invite Steven Reisner and Stephen Soldz to see the report before its release and to address the board, as well as much of the official response to the report when it was leaked, seem to show an altered view of APA's recent history and a more respectful attitude toward its critics. APA's initial announcement on July 10, the day the New York Times leaked the report, said the report found "previously unknown and troubling instances of collusion," and acknowledged that "the 2005 PENS report became a document based at least as much on the desires of the DoD as on the needs of the psychology profession and the APA's commitment to human rights." (McDaniels, in APA press release July 10 2015). "We profoundly regret, and apologize for, the behavior and the consequences that ensued." Four individuals whom the report named in connection with the flawed PENS process have left APA. CEO Norman Anderson, Deputy CEO Michael Honaker, and publication relations director Rhea Farberman have resigned. APA's announcement praised each of them for their long service to the association, stating that their departures were voluntary and intended to facilitate APA's "organizational healing" and "provide a fresh start . . . as it grapples with the problems identified by the Hoffman report." (APA July 14 2015). Former Ethics Director Stephen Behnke has also left the APA. It is not known if he resigned or was fired. Statements by Psychologists Named in Report Other current and former APA leaders have made public statements expressing some regret for their roles. After an early defensive and highly critical statement (Koocher and Levant 2015), Gerald Koocher (APA President 2006) later wrote : "Mistakes were made, and I own responsibility for several of them. Only by reflecting on past errors, can we move forward without being doomed to repeat them." (Koocher July 26, 2015). Ron Levant (APA President 2005) wrote to APA Division heads, "It is clear to me now that serious mistakes were made, and I accept responsibility for those that I have made." Levant takes responsibility for not taking "the warnings from the Coalition for Ethical Psychology seriously during 2005-2006," and being part of a dangerous "group think" dynamic, but also writes "APA staff, not the elected leadership, frequently controlled the data and the dialogue and, with regard to PENS, deliberately misled us." (Levant 2015) Barry Anton (2015 APA President who was on APA Board in 2005 and participated in PENS process) wrote July 31, 2015 that upon reading the Hoffman report he was "shocked and dismayed" and now agrees that "The process by which members of the PENS Task Force were selected was clearly flawed. . .. This staff driven selection process was common practice at APA, but clearly should not have been." The Newman-Dunivin connection, he stated, ". . . was a clear conflict of interest that I simply did not know about." (Anton 2015) Stephen Behnke has made no public statement but has hired a former head of the FBI to defend him. Louis Freeh "rejected [the Hoffman report] as a political smear job," (Ackerman 2015) and intimated possible legal retaliation on Behnke's part. Russell Newman, who left APA in 2007, has resigned as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Alliant International University (Bartlett 2015). Several others named in the report have attacked Hoffman and the report. Retired Army Colonel and APA Council member Larry James wrote a letter denouncing Hoffman and calling the report "a defamatory insult to our military." He accused current APA leaders Kaslow, McDaniel and the APA Board of directors of trying "brilliant and decent military psychologists . . . in the public court called the Council of Representatives . . .," decried those who "lump CIA psychologists together with military psychologists. . .," and said of the ethics charges against himself "some misguided and evil people . . . . sought to destroy me and end my career without any clear facts that I had harmed anyone." (James 2015) Morgan Banks, Debra Dunivin, Larry James and Russ Newman wrote a joint response to the Hoffman report, accusing Hoffman of bias and inaccuracy, calling the report politically motivated and indirectly threatening legal action. (Banks et al. 2015) APA Convention August 2015 On the first day of the APA's annual convention in Toronto, eight years after another convention was marked by angry protests and behind-the-scenes control of policy by APA insiders, PENS whistle-blower and key protestor Jean Maria Arrigo was awarded an APA Presidential Citation "for being the ethical and moral conscience of APA." The next day, APA's Council of Representatives approved by a nearly unanimous vote, and to a standing ovation, a broad ban on psychologists' involvement in "any national security interrogations for any military or intelligence entities. . . ." (APA August 7 2015). Most psychologists who have protested and criticized the APA for years welcome these developments as evidence of real change and hope for a healthier and more democratic association. It is impossible to know the extent to which the APA's institutional character will change in the wake of these events. Such evolution, in organizations as in individuals, is necessarily a lengthy and painful process. The fact that the Hoffman report was commissioned, as well as reactions by APA officials and Council of Representatives to its unwelcome results, seem to show that transformation may have begun." data-render="true" data-view="components/ellipsis">Dear Supporters, As we are heading into the weekend, I thought I would share the following paper with all of you. Dr. Irene Landsman, a clinical psychologist and member of the APA before resigning in 2007, has written…

     
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  • 2 months ago
    Petition update

    Dear supporters, We are now over 600 strong! Thank you all for getting the word out and supporting our call for Dr. Koocher’s removal as Dean, especially DePaul faculty, students, alumni, and staff. But of course, any…

     
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  • 2 months ago
    Petition update

    Press Conference: Vincentians Against Torture
    Thank you to our exceptional speakers and everyone who joined us! Please find the link for the press conference…

     

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  • youtube.com
  • 2 months ago
    Petition update

    PRESS-RELEASE-9-29-15
    LINCOLN PARK, CHICAGO, IL—Please join a coalition of DePaul students, faculty, alumni and World Can’t Wait for a press conference to demand the immediate deposition of Dean Gerald Koocher of DePaul University’s College of Science & Health. We will be joined by Dr. Frank Summers and M. Cherif Bassiouni, who will talk as experts on the PENS task force, the collusion between the American Psychological Association (APA) and Department of Defense (DoD), and torture as an international crime. "Torture is an international crime and anyone who aides and abets the commission of torture is criminally responsible. More importantly, it violates the fundamental values of humanity. And it is incumbent on all of us that believe in these values to make sure that those who violate them do not escape accountability." --M. Cherif Bassiouni on why he is participating. Over 500 DePaul students and alumni have signed a petition [chn.ge/1OLtfkf] calling for the removal of Dr. Koocher as Dean of DePaul’s prestigious College of Science & Health following the release of the 542-page Hoffman Report, detailing the APA and DoD collusion over “enhanced” interrogation tactics [http://goo.gl/Jd5KTK]. Dr. Koocher’s name is mentioned over 200 times in the report, and served as an enforcer for the joint PENS task force. It is reported he often used intimidation and belittlement to attack anyone who opposed said "guidelines" being put into place. In August, the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board spoke out [http://goo.gl/l7jZqm] against Dr. Koocher’s implications in Hoffman report allegations. Following this, articles have been published by The DePaulia [http://goo.gl/6H4sks], World Can’t Wait [http://goo.gl/ZqRKiq] and The Chicago Monitor [http://goo.gl/KsGeRp]. In September, a group of DePaul faculty successfully pressure [http://goo.gl/VSucRo] Dr. Koocher to step down from as Academic Affairs representative on the search committee to find a new dean for the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences. The press conference will be held Thursday, October 1st, at 9:00 AM at DePaul’s Lincoln Park Student Center located at 2400 N. Sheffield Avenue (SW corner), Chicago, IL 60614. The petition can be found by clicking the following link: chn.ge/1OLtfkf. -- M. Cherif Bassiouni, Emeritus Professor of Law at DePaul University where he taught from 1964-2012. He has served in numerous United Nations positions and served as the Consultant to the US Department of State and Justice on many projects. He was a founding member of the International Human Rights Law Institute at DePaul University which was established in 1990. He was co-chair of the committee that drafted the UN Convention Against Torture and author of "The Institutionalization of Torture by the Bush Administration: Is Anyone Responsible." Dr. Frank Summers, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst; Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University; and immediate past president of the Division of Psychoanalysis, American Psychological Association. -- Student Organizations: DePaul Restorative Education and Mentorship (DREAM) Feminist Front Men of Vision and Empowerment (MOVE) Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlán Trans*(formation) Students for Justice in Palestine Other supporting organizations: Uptown People’s Law Center Voices for Creative Non-Violence World Can’t Wait Anti-War Committee Chicago" data-render="true" data-view="components/ellipsis">Sep 30, 2015 — DEPAUL STUDENTS, FACULTY, ALUMNI COALITION CALL FOR REMOVAL OF DEANSHIP FROM DR. GERALD KOOCHER DePaul…

     

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  • docs.google.com
  • 2 months ago
    Petition update

    Dear Supporters, One of you recently sent me information I thought was worth posting to the petition. Dr. Koocher’s Wikipedia page was edited shortly after the creation of this petition by the username: GPKOOCHER. The…

     
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  • 2 months ago
    500 supporters
  • 2 months ago
    Petition update

    Dear Supporters, It’s a new week and we’re getting closer and closer to 500 signatures! People have been asking me if I could go more in depth in explaining the concept of, “Third-Party Beneficence,” and I wanted to…

     
  • 0 comments
  • 2 months ago
    Petition update

    Dear Supporters, As we head into this next week, I thought it’d wrap up this week’s updates with a brief post about the DePaul Student Government Association Meeting held on September 17th. During the meeting, Cindy…

     
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  • 2 months ago
    Petition update

    Sep 26, 2015 — Dear Supporters, I got up early today to finally extract some quotes about Dr. Koocher from the Hoffman Report and include them in the body of the petition. You will find the new additions in the petition itself…

     
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  • 2 months ago
    Petition update

    Dear Supporters, We have 445 signatures going into the weekend! We have only just begun and I appreciate everyone spreading the word and voicing their reasons for signing. Below you will find the concerns raised when…

     
  • 0 comments
  • 2 months ago
    Petition update

    Hello all, I have been scrolling through everyone’s reasons for signing the petition and thought I would post some below: “I am signing this petition because I am a current student in the College of Science and Health and…

     
  • 0 comments
  • 2 months ago
    Petition update

    Good Morning Supporters! I honestly thought the petition would lose momentum over the weekend but we are now 362 strong! Hopefully this influences the conversation with the faculty going to the question and…

     
  • 0 comments
  • 2 months ago
    Petition update

    http://chicagomonitor.com/2015/09/depaul-students-call-for-deposing-dean-implicated-in-guantanamo-torture-report/ Give it a read and please tweet and share!

     
  • 0 comments
  • 2 months ago
    250 supporters
  • 2 months ago
    Petition update

    Dear Supporters, We have garnered 2,700 page views and 160 signatures on the first full day of this petition being available to the DePaul community and beyond. This is a huge accomplishment, especially with the faculty…

     
  • 4 comments
  • 2 months ago
    100 supporters
  • 2 months ago
    Petition update

    Hey everyone! Dr. Koocher took the time to respond to my statements in the DePaulia today and I thought I would share his email and my response. Share if you…

     
  • 2 comments
  • 2 months ago
    Petition update

    I was just notified by change.org that the petition is official! I am currently corresponding with like minded individuals to attempt to have more of a presence on campus and in our community. Please continue to share, post…

     

 

  1. 9 comments
  2. 2 months ago
    25 supporters
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    Jack O’Brien started this petition

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I am signing this petition because I am a current student in the College of Science and Health and am mortified to learn about the past actions of our dean. As a student of the sciences, I have learned the importance of considering empirical evidence in decision-making, accounting for uncertainty, and weighing all possibilities. As our dean has himself stated, we should in fact apply this form of inquiry to the situation at hand and consider all sides. The extensive Hoffman report, dissent from previous APA members (namely, Jean Maria Arrigo), and the APA’s current acknowledgment and apology that the organization collaborated with the government to allow for “enhanced interrogation techniques” provide strong evidence that Dean Koocher contributed to human rights abuses overseas. The fact that Koocher published extensive works on ethics, denies any responsibility, and even serves exceptionally well as a dean of students does not change the evidence at hand and only distracts from the wrongdoings that occurred in that time period. This is not mere “finger-pointing,” it is a call for those in power to take accountability for their actions, past or present.

Dan Wood, Chicago, IL
2 months ago
 
Report

 

 

“Dr. Koocher and the APA’s reputations have been permanently tainted by the Hoffman report, as they should be. But it’s not too late for DePaul. Let’s show that we practice what we preach.”

Todd Bottom, Chicago, IL
2 months ago
 
Report

 

It is imperative that students and faculty be able to trust the ethics and integrity of senior academic administrators. I am not sure how anyone could read the Hoffman Report, consider all the evidence contained therein (much which directly implicates Dr. Koocher), and still look up to him as a leader and spokesperson for health equity and ethics. DePaul administration need to take this issue very seriously and act with integrity and transparency.

To quote Martin Luther King Jr, “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” Let us all speak out now.

Nev Jones, Redwood City, CA
2 months ago
 

PLEASE go HERE to sign petition!

 


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