Friday, March 31, 2006


read this today and had to wonder about a couple of things...first, talk about utilizing human science to inform interventions; second, you know that these folks are collecting data on the outcomes of these strategies — I wonder if anyone will ever see the results? right? i mean, if they are doing this in the name of science (and i can't imagine someone with a behavioral science background NOT being at least VERY tempted to collect data), where do they publish the findings? seriously, if anyone knows, i would love to read about this; curious to see how they frame their ethics and their humanistic philosophy. hmmm, something tells me that they didn't have to get IRB approval to gather these data, either, if that is indeed what they are doing (in addition to the interventions, I mean).

i just wonder what some of the article titles would be...

"On the efficacy of extreme illicitation of fear response as a means of extracting information from unwilling subjects" or something of that nature; seems like the title alone would belie the violation of scientific ethics.

brief summary of what they are doing from the referenced (above) article:

"Now, just in case you've been living on Pluto for the past year or so, BISCUITS - Behavioral Science Consultation Teams - consist of military psychiatrists, psychologists, behavioral scientists, and other health care professionals. Their role, it has been charged by former Guantánamo interrogators, is to advise the military on ways of increasing psychological duress on detainees, sometimes using their medical records to find ways of exploiting their fears and phobias, to make them more cooperative and willing to provide information. In one example, published in the New York Times, 'interrogators were told that a detainee's medical files showed he had a severe phobia of the dark and suggested ways in which that could be manipulated to induce him to cooperate.'"

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