Behavioral Science Consultation Team

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Guantanamo guards receiving a Behavioral Science briefing.

The Behavioral Science Consultation Teams (BSCTs, pronounced “biscuits”) are groups of medical doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists who study detainees in American extrajudicial detention.[1]

The groups were being officially authorized by the US Department of Defense in mid 2002, following the advice of General Michael E. Dunlavey, later chief interrogator at Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The BSCTs proposed a three step pattern for harsh interrogations including sleep deprivation and psychologial pressure:

"Additional detention conditions they believed would further assist intelligence-gathering operations. These included using fans and generators to create white noise as a form of psychological pressure; restricting 'resistant' detainees to no more than four hours of sleep a day; depriving them of 'comfort items' such as sheets, blankets, mattresses, and washcloths; and controlling their access to the koran. 'All aspects of the [detention] environment,' they argued, 'should enhance capture shock, dislocate expectations, foster dependence, and support exploitation to the fullest extent possible.'"[2]

The teams are controversial because some critics consider their participation in what is called enhanced interrogation of detainees in the war on terror a breach of medical ethics.[3] Such was the consternation of the American Psychological Association that it released the "Reaffirmation of the American Psychological Association Position Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and Its Application to Individuals Defined in the United States Code as “Enemy Combatants" to make clear that any torture and other cruel, Inhuman, or degrading treatment was unethical, whatever the situation.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shanita Simmons (January 4, 2008). "Hard work of BSCT validated by peers". The Wire (JTF-GTMO). p. 4. Retrieved 2008-02-10.  mirror
  2. ^ Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the War on Terror. Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) and Open Society Foundations (OSF). Columbia University, 2013, p. 29. [1]
  3. ^ Katherine Eban (July 17, 2007). "The War on Terror: Rorschach and Awe". Vanity Fair magazine. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  4. ^ "Reaffirmation of the American Psychological Association Position Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and Its Application to Individuals Defined in the United States Code as "Enemy Combatants"". American Psychological Association. August 19, 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-02.