Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Today's the 60th Anniversary of the GENEVA Conventions: Read US Military letter to the APA: Drop the Nuremberg Defense from psychologist ethics code
The First Nuremberg Trial: Nuremberg Defendents
Find more photos here
The International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) celebrates the 60th anniversary of 4 Geneva Conventions signed 60 years ago today on August 12, 1949
In keeping with this spirit, please read this letter but first see this revealing brief video: No Place to Hide: Torture, Psychologists and the APA here by Roy Eidelson, Psychologist
Also see the new related items which have just come from Center for Constitutional Rights at CCR Justice dot org
To know the background of this letter Go here
The Military Letter
Capt. Lawrence Rockwood (ret.), the author of Walking Away from Nuremberg: Just War and the Doctrine of Command Responsibility,has organized the following letter from military figures to the American Psychological Association. The Letter expresses dismay by these military people to the inclusion of ethics standard 1.02 — the Nuremberg “just following orders” Defense — in the APA ethics code. [See attorney Scott Horton's comments on 1.02 at his Harpers blog as well as Stephen Soldz' related posts.]
The military letter was sent to President Bray and the members of the APA Council of Representatives:
August 4, 2009
To President James A. Bray and the Council of Representatives of the American Psychological Association:
We write as concerned, veteran military and intelligence professionals. If the American Psychological Association (APA) retains Section 1.02 in its Ethics Code, the APA will place itself in opposition to some of the best traditions of the American military profession. Section 1.02 of the APA Ethics Code undermines not only the good order and discipline of military and intelligence professionals who happen also to be psychologists, but also their responsibilities under official military doctrine and professional military ethics. This section of the APA code entails an exemption that a psychologist can follow an order from a government employer even if it is otherwise contraindicated by the APA code. This section of the APA code disregards the Nuremberg Principles as recognized in 1950 by UN General Assembly Resolution 177 and incorporated into American military doctrine in the 1956 publication of Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Armed Conflict.
The Nuremberg Principles were drafted in the United States War Department during the last year of the Second World War. Two major themes of the Nuremberg Principles have been incorporated into American military doctrine: (1) commanders and government officials are responsible for the criminal acts of their subordinates, and (2) that a person acts in response to an order from a government or of a superior does not relieve him or her from personal criminal responsibility. In the case of the prosecution for the massacre of unarmed civilians in My Lai in Vietnam in March 1968, a military court categorically ruled out the so-called Nuremberg Defense in a defense of an accused war criminal who claimed an order(s) from superiors sanctioned an otherwise criminal act.
The professional normative standards of the military professional as a whole are binding on psychologists within the military. We therefore ask that the APA remove Section 1.02, or any equivalent statement, in the APA Ethics Code and any other APA policy inconsistent with official military doctrine, professional military ethics, and the standards of international humanitarian law.
Lawrence P. Rockwood, PhD, Former Captain, US Army Counterintelligence
Author: Walking Away from Nuremberg: Just War and the Doctrine of Command Responsibility in the American Military Profession, 2007, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2007.
David C. MacMichael, Ph.D., former senior estimates officer, National Security Council, former captain, USMC
Terrence Karney, Former Staff Sergeant, US Army: Interrogator, and Interrogation Instructor
Peter Weiss, Sergeant, Military Intelligence, 1945, served as interrogator
of high-value German detainee in Nuremberg
Matthew Alexander, former senior interrogator for the U.S. military in Iraq,
Author: How to Break a Terrorist, 2008. New York: Free Press.
David DeBatto, U.S. Army Counterintelligence Special Agent (ret.)
C.B. Scott Jones, Ph.D. Commander, USN Retired. South Asia Naval Intelligence, J-2 U.S. European Command, Scientific and Technical Intelligence Analyst
Virenda Verma, M.Sc., Col., Indian Army Intelligence Retired. Visiting Fellow – Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi. India-Pakistan Soldiers Initiative for Peace, Founder. Tibet Study Group, Founder and General Secretary.
Herbert Ely, Retired from Department of the Army, Senior Intelligence Analyst
Here is a helpful letter which you can also send to AG Eric Holder and edit as you wish:
And here is another URGENT letter suggestion JUST IN from Center for Constitutional Rights:
News reports are now saying the Attorney General is close to appointing a Special Prosecutor, but it doesn't look like good news. Insiders say Eric Holder wants to limit the scope of the prosecutor's investigation to low-level CIA operatives and let those who ordered, designed, and justified the torture program off the hook. Before it's too late, please write Holder today, and tell him not to tie the Prosecutor's hands but to let the investigation go as far up the chain of command as the facts lead.
This is a key opportunity for us to put the Obama administration on the right track, because it is currently in violation of U.S. law: Dick Cheney admitted his role in waterboarding and said he would do it again; the new Attorney General, Eric Holder, said that waterboarding is torture; and the Convention Against Torture, which is U.S. law, requires the administration to initiate a meaningful criminal investigation when torture occurs.
Should Eric Holder limit the scope of the Special Prosecutor's investigation to focus on "just a few bad apples" he would be allowing high level government officials to shield themselves with the very torture memos they created to break the law in the first place. And what about the lawyers like John Yoo, Jay Bybee and David Addington who tried to rig the law to justify their bosses' actions? They must be investigated, too.
President Obama has told us and the world that no one is above the law. Prosecuting the high-level former officials responsible for torture can give a measure of justice to the victims and provide the strongest deterrent against future administrations going down this dark path again. Prosecution will also be a clear signal to countries around the world that the U.S. has drawn the line at torture. No executive order, policy change or new legislation will have that same power.
Stand with CCR in the fight for justice. Tell the Attorney General to appoint an independent Special Prosecutor to hold the entire Torture Team accountable.
(SIGN or write your own)
Here is my version to Attorney General - Eric Holder - yet I plan to write another one still which is completely in my own words:
TODAY is the 60th Anniversary of the Geneva Conventions. We are glad to hear reports that you are seriously considering a special prosecutor to independently investigate torture and other abuses. At the same time, we urge that you go ALL the way in implementing the complete investigation s so critical to restoring the reputation of the Justice Department as an independent agency that upholds the rule of law.Such an investigation should not be limited. This effort should be politically independent and allow the facts to determine where the investigation leads. The investigation should not only include those who carried out torture. This investigation need to include those who developed the policy and facilitated it through legal memoranda and other actions.
The Justice Department reputation for independence cannot be restored without a full investigation, including holding DOJ officials responsible for their actions.
Please help restore the United States Constitution fully and our standing in the world community.
WE OWE A MUCH BETTER LEGACY TO OUR CHILDREN!
Sincerely,Connie L. Nash and 30 or so members of Transylvanians for Peace
Although I am one who seeks to help end all wars peacefully and seek other options for solving differences of which there are many. At the same time, I admire the courage and the distinction these military show in their well-written letter. We need many more leaders who show the same unity and speak out now and ALL of us need to speak out now! This is NO time for silence on such grave matters.
Posted by CN at 6:19 AM