There's an old joke about why psychologists are turning from lab rats to lawyers as test subjects. It turns out there are some things rats won't do.
It's no longer funny.
I was disgusted by the behavior of the bush lawyers who wrote the memos purporting to legalize torture. As I've said before, some of them oughtta lose their license to practice law.
I was disgusted, but not exactly surprised.
This, however, from yesterday's WaPo, both surprises and disgusts me:
When the CIA began what i t called an "increased pressure phase" with captured terrorism suspect Abu Zubaida in the summer of 2002, its first step was to limit the detainee's human contact to just two people. One was the CIA interrogator, the other a psychologist.
During the extraordinary weeks that followed, it was the psychologist who apparently played the more critical role. According to newly released Justice Department documents, the psychologist provided ideas, practical advice and even legal justification for interrogation methods that would break Abu Zubaida, physically and mentally.
Extreme sleep deprivation, waterboarding, the use of insects to provoke fear -- all were deemed acceptable, in part because the psychologist said so.
"No severe mental pain or suffering would have been inflicted," a Justice Department lawyer said in a 2002 memo explaining why waterboarding, or simulated drowning, should not be considered torture.
The role of health professionals as described in the documents has prompted a renewed outcry from ethicists who say the conduct of psychologists and supervising physicians violated basic standards of their professions.
That's just the lede.
Here's the rest.
It's ugly as all hell.