John Leso

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John Francis Leso (born August 13, 1966)[1] is an American psychologist and a major in the United States Armed Services, who is reported to have aided JTF-GTMO interrogators in their interrogations.[2] Leso consulted on the interrogation of Mohammed al-Qahtani, the alleged 20th 9/11 hijacker. Information on Al-Qahtani's interrogation became public when a classified interrogation log was leaked to Time. The identity of the whistleblower remains unknown. Leso's name was included in the leaked log, which triggered debate in the medical community about the role of psychologists in supporting military interrogations. Debate is ongoing about the effectiveness and ethics of the interrogation techniques used with Al-Qhatani, as many consider them torture. Although some activist psychologists have criticized Leso for "directing" the interrogation of Al-Qhatani, scrutiny of public sources on the matter reveals that Leso's actual role and duties remain unclear.

Academic career[edit]

Leso attended Johns Hopkins University, where he was enrolled in the ROTC.[3] Upon complettion of his undergraduate degree Leso was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. He received a Ph.D. in psychology from SUNY, in Albany New York, in 1995.

Professional career[edit]

Behavioral Science Consultation Team JTF-GTMO

Leso was a member of the Behavioral Science Consultation Team responsible for assisting the interrogation of Mohammed al Qahtani.[2][3]

Staff Psychologist at Walter Reed

In 2003 Leso was a staff psychologist at the Walter Reed Medical Center, in Maryland.[4]

Austrian Embassy

On August 24, 2005 a newsletter from the Albany University Psychology Department stated: "...and John Leso left Walter Reed and is now working in the U.S. Embassy in Austria."[5]

See also[edit]


  • James, L.C. (2008) Fixing Hell: An Army Psychologist Confronts Abu Ghraib. Grand Central Publishing.


  1. ^ U.S. Public Records Index, Vols. 1 & 2 (Provo, UT: Operations, Inc.), 2010.
  2. ^ a b Steven H. Miles (July 9, 2006). "Medical Oaths Betrayed". Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-05-29.
  3. ^ a b Trudy Bond (April 14, 2007). "How Psychologists Became the Pentagon's Bitches: Shrinks, Lies and Torture". CounterPunch. Archived from the original on May 21, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-29.
  4. ^ "Medical Service Corps Mentoring Survey Analysis". Archived from the original on July 16, 2007. Retrieved May 29, 2007.
  5. ^ mlf, ddt (August 24, 2005). "Doctoral Program NOTES and NEWS". SUNY. Retrieved May 29, 2007.[dead link]

External links[edit]