Gitmo ‘torture’ doc now in the hot seat

The practices of a New York-licensed psychologist will be reviewed by a state Supreme Court judge today, after he was accused of creating U.S. interrogation techniques at Guantanamo Bay that some decry as torture.

This landmark hearing will be the first time a U.S. court will consider whether a psychologist’s involvement in alleged torture violates medical ethics or the Hippocratic oath: First, do no harm.

Dr. John Francis Leso was in charge of the “Behavioral Science Consultation Team” at Guantanamo Bay, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union. President Barack Obama famously promised to close Gitmo after it became synonymous with alleged torture of inmates, many of whom are suspected 9/11 terrorists.

As the ranking psychologist at Gitmo, Leso allegedly was the mastermind of the entire framework of interrogation techniques meant to psych-out prisoners.

The NYCLU filed a petition in November asking the state Supreme Court to investigate Leso. The doctor, who was last recorded as living in Alabama, completed his training and residency at Bellevue Hospital here in Manhattan.

The New York Office of Professional Discipline, which monitors licensed professions, argued that there was “no legal basis” for investigating Leso.

Questioning or torture?

What kind of interrogation techniques is Leso accused of devising?

» Hooding prisoners
» Leaving detainees without food for 24 hours
» Putting prisoners in isolation for 30 days
» Using scenarios designed to convince the detainee he might experience a painful or fatal outcome


Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter at
@AlisonatMetro.


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