Larry C. James

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Larry C. James is an American psychologist, author and former officer in the United States Army.[1][2] James is notable for serving as Joint Task Force Guantanamo's chief psychologist in 2003, and as Abu Ghraib's chief psychologist in 2004.

Military career[edit]

Walter Reed Served as the Chief of the Department of Psychology for five years.
2001 The Pentagon Chief Psychologist for the Mental Health Task Force
2003 Joint Task Force Guantanamo Chief Psychologist, Joint Intelligence Group
2004 Abu Ghraib Director, Behavioral Science Unit, Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center at Abu Ghraib


Post-military career[edit]

James has also served on the Presidential Task Force on Military Deployment Services for Youth, Families and Service Members.[4]

In 2008, James was hired as the Dean of Wright State University's School of Professional Psychology.[5]

In 2008 he published a memoir, entitled: "Fixing Hell: An Army Psychologist Confronts Abu Ghraib".[1][2] A review in the Brooklyn Rail described the book as James's defense against insinuations he was a "torture shrink", and noted:

James admits that in 2002, the year before his tenure at Guantanamo, a team of CIA psychologists came to Cuba to train soldiers in harsh interrogation methods. But by James' account, the whole point of his mission at Guantanamo, and then at Abu Ghraib, was to reverse the culture of abuse that resulted.[2]

Trudy Bond, another psychologist, requested in 2008 that the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists review the ethics of James' work in Guantanamo.[6] When the board dismissed Bond's complaint she requested the Board's actions be reviewed by the state court. State District Judge Mike Caldwell ruled he did not have jurisdiction over the Board.

In July 2010, Deborah Popowski, Terry Lodge and Tyler Giannini filed a challenge to James's right to practice psychology with the Ohio Board of Psychology.[7][8] In June 2013, the Ohio state court dismissed the case on procedural grounds and ruled that Ohio's psychology licensing board did not have a legal obligation to conduct a investigation into Dr. James.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Rollo Romig (September 2008). "The Mind of Torture: Larry C. James, Fixing Hell: An Army Psychologist Confronts Abu Ghraib (Grand Central Publishing, 2008)". Brooklyn Rail. Retrieved 2008-09-12.
  2. ^ a b c Mary Nevans-Pederson (2008-11-29). "'Fixing Hell' no easy trick". TH Online. Archived from the original on 2008-11-30. Retrieved 2008-11-29.
  3. ^ "American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Psychological Ethics and National Security". Archived from the original on 2008-06-16. Retrieved 2008-09-12.
  4. ^ "Psychological Needs Of Military Personnel And Their Families Are Increasing, Reports Task Force". Science Daily. February 26, 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-12.
  5. ^ Stephanie Gottschlich (March 14, 2008). "Military psychologist is selected dean at WSU school". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved 2008-09-12.
  6. ^ Joe Gyan Jr. (2009-07-14). "Judge: Ruling on Guantanamo psychologist can't be appealed". The Advocate. p. 5B. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
  7. ^ Cornelius Frolik (2013-02-01). "WSU dean finalist for Missouri post: Protests surround retired Army colonel for his role at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib prisons". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved 2016-04-12. The complaint, which sought to revoke James’ license to practice psychology, was filed by human rights activists and psychologists, including Deborah Popowski, a clinical instructor for the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School.
  8. ^ "Complaint Form – Larry C. James, License No. 6492" (PDF). 2010-07-07. Retrieved 2016-04-12.
  9. ^ Deborah Popowski (September 3, 2013) Ohio Court Rules Licensing Board Need Not Investigate Torture Allegations Against Local Psychologist Human Rights@Harvard Law. Retrieved May 26, 2017.

External links[edit]