My wonder about this topic is if there is any form of the SERE project still in use today. The process uses physical and psychological abuse to render the prisoner helpless and breaks their willingness to resist (Fink,2009). In the wake of the police brutality and lack of help from the government, is there a potential that we are psychologically isolated while being physically beaten? My intent in sharing this is to promote the necessity of this topic and its potential application to resolve a potential current issue. The psychologist who participated in the exercise mentioned that there was no previous standard operating procedure for them to follow (Shinkman, 2014). This poses a question of whether this was an unethical experiment on prisoners, who the military assumed no one cared about.
What if? Roberts (2007) mentions the fictional officer’s defense of the torture is the declassification of the human status of the tortured to promote the treatment as benevolent. We were and still are “less than”. As a race, we have been placed outside the consideration of humanity. The constitutional consideration of the African Americans was that they are three-fifths of a man. The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1868, granted citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United States—including formerly enslaved people—and guaranteed all citizens “equal protection of the laws. This constitution repeals the three-fifth compromise, but only for those who are born or naturalized. Although the 14th amendment granted citizenship, did it change the perspective that we are less than human? If the perspective has not changed, then homicidal behavior is justified and acceptable. Therefore, the jury is acquitting murders of the innocent.
Ironically, the same psychologist who warned the government of the ineffectiveness and danger of the SERE reverse engineering techniques were the ones who helped to develop the same interrogation policies and exercises. They informed the government that the technique did not produce intelligence and likely resulted in false results, deeming the exercise ineffective (Shinkman, 2014). However, these psychologists may have felt the high level of political pressure of the military and were cohered into assisting them with making the war tactic (Koocher & Keith-Spiegel, 2016). The plan is backfiring as the prisoner is fighting back in numbers. Our current society is the result of the once perceived controlled chaos that is now out of control, due to a shift in power and societal structure.
Fink's article (2009) asked, “Does it matter if they raised objections to the system of interrogation but cooperated with it anyway?” Yes, it matters. Psychologists are held under the APA code of ethics. A major code violation is to use psychology to cause someone harm (APA, 2017). The psychological practices had the intent to torture the individual. The APA code of ethics does not discriminate against human life, so do not harm a person goes for all people, regardless of status or purpose. The unethical additive is the continuous covering up of important details that convict the acts of torture as inhumane. However, if a person of color was not considered human, then it is ethical. One form of torture is the loss of rights of convicted felons. A convicted felon loses the following rights:
The right to bear arms or own guns.
Employment in certain fields
Public social benefits and housing
One-third of black men are convicted felons. In fact, the number of black men with felony convictions has significantly increased over the past 30 years, American Indian and Alaska Native jail counts have doubled since the late 1990s.
With one in seven African Americans are not allowed to vote, at least 2,939,300 African Americans do not have a voice and choice in who serves their communities and country. If African Americans are killed (Physical Abuse) and their voice and choice is disabled (Psychological Abuse), they will be subjected to submission through helplessness and will not resist government control. My belief is the power that we have obtained is part of the tactic. Make people that look like them police them under our rules and procedures. Give them leaders that desire prosperity over purpose. Create a successful mindset in entrainment and sports, where the succession rate is limited and scarce. Put drugs and alcohol in the streets to keep them sedated. Lock them up. This is controlled chaos.
This is our America. Trump made America great again. Mission ACCOMPLISHED.
American Psychological Association. (2017). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct (2002, amended effective June 1, 2010, and January 1, 2017). http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.html
Fink, S. (2009). The Reluctant Enablers of Torture. Salon. https://www.salon.com/2009/05/05/torture_20/
Koocher, G.P., & Keith-Spiegel, P. (2016). Ethics in Psychology and the Mental Health Professions: Standards and Cases. (4th ed.). Oxford
Nellis, A., & Mistrett, M. (2017, October 10). Race & Justice News: One-Third of Black Men Have Felony Convictions. The Sentencing Project. https://www.sentencingproject.org/news/5593/.
Roberts, D. (2007). Torture and the Biopolitics of Race. University of Miami Law Review, 62(2), 229–248.
Shinkman, P. D. (2014). Senate Releases Highly-Anticipated CIA 'Torture Report' | US News. U.S. News World Report. https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/12/09/senate-releases-highly-anticipated-cia-torture-report.