Human rights group wants former Guantanamo psychologist's license revoked

July 7, 2010

COLUMBUS — A human rights group has asked the Ohio Board of Psychology to revoke the license of Larry James, dean of the school of professional psychology at Wright State University and a retired Army psychologist, for his alleged involvement in the abuse of detainees during his time at Guantanamo Bay.

The 54-page complaint was filed Wednesday, July 7, in Columbus by the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School on behalf of four complainants, including Trudy Bond, a Toledo psychologist who has filed similar complaints against James both in Ohio and his native state of Louisiana.

The complaint alleges that James turned a blind eye to abusive interrogation techniques while he was the team commander for psychologists at Gitmo and used his training to aid and justify the abuse. His alleged offenses included tipping off interrogators about prisoners’ phobias.

James could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon but has said repeatedly that he never witnessed abuse of detainees involving health care professionals during his time at Gitmo and that the worst abuses there, including waterboarding and stripping detainees, occurred in 2002 before his two stints in 2003 and 2007-2008.

Bonds’ earlier complaint filed with the Ohio licensing board in July 2008 was dismissed without an investigation against James. The Louisiana Board of Examiners also declined to investigate a similar complaint Bond filed against James last year.

Bonds’ attorney, Linn Freedman of Nixon Peabody of Providence, R.I., appealed to the Louisiana State Court of Appeals, which said in June it couldn’t review the case because the examining board had not made a formal decision to review. Bond and her attorney have until Friday to decide whether to take the case to the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Bond said the complaint filed Wednesday in Columbus contains new evidence against James, both from classified documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union and from James’ own book about his time at Gitmo, Fixing Hell, which was published last year.

Source: Jim DeBrosse, "Human rights group wants Wright State psychology dean’s license revoked," Dayton Daily News, July 7, 2010.


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