Psychologist behind Gitmo interrogations faces ethics complaint


By Eric W. Dolan
April 4, 2011

On Wednesday, the New York State Supreme Court will consider whether the state must investigate an ethics complaint filed against a New York State-licensed psychologist and major in the U.S. Army who allegedly co-authored, implemented, and monitored an abusive interrogation program at Guantánamo Bay.

The Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) and the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) asked the court to direct the New York State Office of Professional Discipline (OPD) to investigate a misconduct complaint against Dr. John Francis Leso, who led the first Behavioral Science Consultation Team at Guantánamo Bay.

The OPD is responsible for regulating the ethical conduct of all New York-licensed psychologists, but has refused to investigate Dr. Leso’s alleged role in the use of abusive interrogation techniques at Guantánamo Bay.

The office is accused of failing to investigate Leso’s misconduct, despite being presented with numerous documented allegations of Leso’s violations of professional standards.

According to the CJA, Leso violated professional standards for New York psychologists by recommending physically and psychologically abusive interrogation techniques to be used against detainees. He is also accused of personally supervising interrogations where his techniques were being used and participating in the interrogations himself.

The CJA said the techniques were adapted from illegal methods used by the Chinese and North Korean governments against U.S. prisoners of war.

“By refusing to even investigate the actions of Dr. Leso, the State of New York has indicated that it will immunize medical professionals who violate the most fundamental precepts upon which good medicine is practiced, including the bedrock principle that a doctor shall do no harm,” said Dr. Steven Reisner, a New York psychologist and longtime anti-torture advocate who originally filed the complaint against Dr. Leso.

“I believe that granting blanket immunity from investigation to medical professionals who design, justify and inflict pain and abuse is contrary to our core common values, professional medical principles, and New York law,” Reisner added.

Leso is a member of the American Psychological Association and his New York State-license is valid through July 2012. He has not yet been reprimanded for his conduct at Guantánamo by the military, the American Psychological Association, or the state of New York.


Previous article9/11 Suspects to Face Military Tribunal, Not NYC Trial
Next articleMilitary Tribunal May Hide 9/11 Motives

Since 2004, 911Truth.Org has educated the public about the suppressed realities of the September 11 attacks.

We worked with the 9/11 Families to pressure the Bush administration to convene an investigation into the deadliest attacks on US soil since Pearl Harbor. We attended many of the commission hearings and questioned commissioners and bird-dogged elected officials to get answers to the Unanswered Questions that remain so to this day.

We reported the contradictions, lies and omissions on the public record. 911Truth.Org staff have given hundreds of interviews on radio and mainstream network TV.

We cover a wide range of 9/11-related issues in publishing academic papers, original research, and opinion pieces.

We wish to thank our donors who have kept us on the web since 2004! We appreciate your continued support!

We continue to update the website to make the nearly 3000 articles easier to find, read and share. Thanks for visiting us!