Wednesday, May 8, 2013

“America happens to be my client”

The short documentary Doctors of the Dark Side does a better job of documenting the history of health care professionals involved in torture since 9/11 than of examining their mentality, but one featured quotation does stand out. It’s from a 2009 NPR interview with Dr./Capt. Bryce Lefever, Joint Special Forces Psychologist in Afghanistan and majority member of the American Psychological Association’s PENS Task Force, which approved members’ participation in interrogations.*
America happens to be my client. America is- and Americans are who I care about. I have no fondness for the enemy, and I don’t feel like I need to take care of their mental health needs. Producing some pain just seems to be - you know, at first you blush – something that would be wrong, because we ‘do no harm’. But if it does the most good for the most people it’s, it’s entirely ethical. And to do otherwise would be unethical.
* This was later overturned by the organization:

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