• Jack O’Brien

    Why not invite graduate and undergraduate students to a Q&A as well? Accountability should extend to all members of the college.

    • DPU Alum

      Accountability should extend to all members of the university community, for that matter.

      Faculty, staff, students, and alumni are all concerned about this issue, and most do not have a save forum for voicing their concerns.

      • Jack O’Brien

        I couldn’t agree more with your sentiment. I’ve contacted other news sources as well in the hopes of increasing awareness and adding more voices to the conversation.

        Everyone in the DePaul community should have a vested interested in holding our university to the values it stands for. Your concerns should absolutely be heard and taken into account. I think a written statement from Alum, which would allow for a degree of anonymity, would be powerfully persuasive in ensuring this issue is handled with the utmost integrity and transparency.

    • GAvrason

      Thanks for speaking up Jack, Students have a lot of say on this issue. After all, you pay for Koocher’s VERY substantial salary.

      • Jack O’Brien

        Thank you, I think so too! Hopefully more people will speak out moving forward.

  • Ofwa

    Today, there seems to be a new spirit in the Catholic Church, as evidenced by Pope Francis and Archbishop Blase Cupich: a spirit of protecting the poor, of protecting the disadvantaged and the helpless.

    The practice of torture is anathema to this new spirit, i.e.: the willful and methodical hurting, in unspeakable ways, of those helpless in captivity.

    DePaul seems to be woefully out of step of this new spirit.

    If a Catholic university won’t take a stand against torture,

    who will?

  • Steve Miles

    I am a scholar of the war on terror interrogations and first wrote about the corrupted role of the American Psychological Association’s PENS Task Force in 2006. Since then I have published many papers on the collaboration of medicine with the interrogation.
    The reported response of DePaulia leaders to this controversy is thus far disappointing.
    1. It is strange for the Provost to essentially refute the Hoffman report with regard to Dr. Koocher’s central role during and outside of the committee hearings given that the Provost claims no first hand knowledge and his comments contradict the voluminous Hoffman Report, the Appendices and the APA ratification of that report. It is noteworthy that the APA’s corrections (on their website) to the Hoffman Report do not amend the primary report’s characterization of Dr. Koocher’s central role.
    2. The Provost’s statements “that people should be very careful to look at what was known and what was not known at the time,” and “It’s very easy to in hindsight to look back and say, ‘well, this should have happened and that should have happened.’are difficult to reconcile with history. The PENS Task Force was formed because a controversy about the use of doctors and psychologists during abusive interrogations was widely reported in the New York Times, Atlantic, Washington Post, New Yorker, The Lancet (a prominent British medical journal), and New England Journal of Medicine among others.
    Dr. Koocher did not authorize torture. However, he did play a central role in a collaboration between the government’s intelligence officials and the APA. The thrust of that collaboration was to asser that interrogational psychologists’ clients primary loyalties was with the interrogational command–rather than to the mental health of prisoners. This view eroded a health professional ethic that served as a check and balance inside a prison as those prisons became a site for abusive interrogations. Dr. Koocher was dismissive of international law–an inapt rejection of the standards for conduct of civil society. The PENS task force was condemned by other health societies in the US and psychological societies abroad. Dr. Koocher also did not take care to ensure that the interrogational psychologists were informed of research showing the inutility of abusive interrogations.
    In Dr. Koocher’s response to the Hoffman report, he says “No direct communication was made with government officials regarding the PENs Report.” And yet, the controlling majority of PENS were members of military intelligence.
    Steven Miles, MD
    Professor of Medicine
    University of Minnesota

  • Jack O’Brien
  • There is an interesting list of organizations and individuals who called for the APA to annul the PENS Task Force Report.
    The organizational signers include, among others: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU),
    Center for Constitutional Rights, Human Rights USA, National Lawyers Guild and
    Physicians for Human Rights.
    There are many notable individual signers.

    The complete list can be found at http://ethicalpsychology.org/pens/signers.php