Political Polling

It is hard to imagine elections without systematic polling of various segments of the electorate using sampling tech- niques as predictors of election outcomes. Polling for many other purposes by Gallup, Roper, and other opinion polling agencies has become big business. Readers might be sur- prised to learn that psychologist Hadley Cantril (1991) pioneered in conducting research into the methodology of polling in the 1940s. Throughout World War II, Cantril provided President Roosevelt with valuable information on American public opinion. He also established the Office of Public Opinion Research, which became a central archive for polling data.

Criminal Justice

Cognitive and social psychologists have shown that eye- witness testimony is surprisingly unreliable. Their research reveals the ease with which recall of criminal events is biased by external influences in interrogations and police line-ups. The seminal work of Beth Loftus (1975, 1979, 1992) and Gary Wells (Wells & Olson, 2003), among others, has been recognized by the U.S. Attorney General’s office in drawing up national guidelines for the collection of accurate and unbiased eyewitness identification (see Malpass & Devine, 1981; Stebley, 1997).

The Stanford Prison Experiment has become a classic demonstration of the power of social situational forces to negatively impact the behavior of normal, healthy partici- pants who began to act in pathological or evil ways in a matter of a few days (Zimbardo, Haney, Banks, & Jaffe, 1973). It added a new awareness of institutional power to the authority power of Stanley Milgram’s (1974) blind obedience studies (see Blass, 1999; Zimbardo, Maslach, & Haney, 1999). The lessons of this research have gone well beyond the classroom. In part as a consequence of my testimony before a Senate judiciary committee on crime and prisons (Zimbardo, 1974), its committee chair, Senator Birch Bayh, prepared a new law for federal prisons requir- ing juveniles in pretrial detention to be housed separately from adult inmates (to prevent their being abused). Our participants were juveniles in the pretrial detention facility of the Stanford jail. A video documentary of the study, “Quiet Rage: The Stanford Prison Experiment,” has been used extensively by many agencies within the civilian and military criminal justice system as well as in shelters for abused women. I recently discovered that it is even used to educate role-playing military interrogators in the Navy SEAR (survival, evasion, and resistance) program about the dangers of abusing their power against others role- playing pretend spies and terrorists (Annapolis Naval Col- lege psychology staff, personal communication, September 18, 2003). TheWeb site for the Stanford Prison Experiment gets more than 500 visitors daily and has had more than 13 million unique page views in the past four years (www Those surprising figures should be telling us that we must focus more effort on utilizing the power of the Web as a major new medium for disseminating psy- chology’s messages directly to a worldwide audience.


Among the many examples of psychology at work in the field of education, two of my favorites naturally have a social psychological twist. Elliot Aronson and his research team in Austin, Texas, dealt with the negative conse- quences of desegregated schools by creating “jigsaw class- rooms.” Prejudice against minority children was rampant, those children were not performing well, and elementary school classes were marked by high degrees of tension. But when all students were taught to share a set of materials in small learning teams where each child has one set of information indispensable to the rest of the team, and on which tests and grades depend, remarkable things hap- pened. All kids started to listen to the other kids, especially minority kids who they used to ignore or disparage, because such attention and cooperation is essential to getting a good grade. Not only did the self-esteem of the minority children escalate, but so did their academic performance, as prejudice and discrimination went down. The techniques of the jigsaw classroom are inexpensive for teachers to learn and to operationalize, so it is no wonder that Aronson’s simple concept is now being incorporated into the curricula of hundreds of schools in many states, with similarly impressive results (Aronson, 1990; Aronson, Blaney, Stephan, Sikes, & Snapp, 1978; Aronson & Gonzalez, 1988; Aronson & Patnoe, 1997). Teaching young children interpersonal cognitive problem solving skills, known as ICPS, reduces physical and verbal aggression, increases coping with frustrations, and promotes positive peer relationships. This research program developed by Myrna Shure and George Spivak (1982) over the past several decades is a major violence prevention approach being applied in schools and family agencies in programs called “Raising a Thinking Child” and by the U.S. Department of Education’s “I Can Problem Solve” program.


Environmental health is threatened by a host of toxic sub- stances, such as lead, mercury, solvents, and pesticides. Experimental psychologists, behavioral analysts, and psy- chometricians have helped create the field of behavioral toxicology that recognizes the nervous system as the target for many toxins, with defects in behavior and mental pro- cesses as the symptomatic consequences. Pioneering work by psychologist BernardWeiss (1992, 1999) and others has had a significant impact on writing behavioral tests into federal legislation, thereby better regulating the use of a wide range of neurotoxins in our environment. That re- search documents the vulnerability of children’s develop- ing brains to chemicals in the environment.

Among the many negative consequences of America’s involvement in the Vietnam War was the explosion of the phenomenon of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many veterans were experiencing this debilitating disorder that was uncovered during their psychotherapy treatments. The more we discovered about this delayed, persistent, intense stress reaction to violence and trauma, the more we realized that veterans of earlier wars had also experienced PTSD, but it was unlabeled. That was also the case with many civilian victims of trauma, among them rape victims and those who had experienced child abuse. PTSD has become a well-recognized and publicly acknowledged phe- nomenon today because it was one of the mental health consequences of the monumental trauma from the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, in New York City and Washington, DC. Credit for the early recognition, identifi- cation, measurement, and treatment of PTSD goes to the programs of research funded by the Veteran’s Administra- tion, which was pioneered by the research team of clinical psychologist Terry Keane (Keane, Malloy, & Fairbank, 1984; Weathers, Keane, & Davidson, 2001).


CHAPTER TWELVE Investigating Social Dynamics: Power, Conformity, and Obedience I believe that in all men's lives at certain periods, and in many men's lives at all periods between infancy and extreme old age, one of the most dominant elements is the desire to be inside the local Ring and the terror of being left outside.... Of all the pas sions the passion for the Inner Ring is most skilful in making a man who is not yet a very bad man do very bad things. —C. S. Lewis, "The Inner Ring" ( 1 9 4 4 )1 Motives and needs thatordinarily serve us well can lead us astray when theyare aroused, amplified, or manipulated by situational forces that we fail to recognize as potent. This is why evil is so pervasive. Its temptation is just a small turn away, a slight detour on the path of life, a blur in our sideview mirror, leading to disaster. In trying to understand the character transformations of the good young men in the Stanford Prison Experiment, I previously outlined a number of psy chological processes that were pivotal in perverting their thoughts, feelings, per ceptions, and actions. We saw how the basic need to belong, to associate with and be accepted by others, so central to community building and family bonding, was diverted in the SPE into conformity with newly emergent norms that enabled the guards to abuse the prisoners.2 We saw further that the basic motive for consis tency between our private attitudes and public behavior allowed for dissonant commitments to be resolved and rationalized in violence against one's fellows.3 I will argue that the most dramatic instances of directed behavior change and "mind control" are not the consequence of exotic forms of influence, such as hypnosis, psychotropic drugs, or "brainwashing," but rather the systematic ma nipulation of the most mundane aspects of human nature over time in confining settings,4 It is in this sense, I believe what the English scholar C. S. Lewis proposed— that a powerful force in transforming human behavior, pushing people across the boundary between good and evil, comes from the basic desire to be "in" and not "out." If we think of social power as arrayed in a set of concentric circles from the most powerful central or inner ring moving outward to the least socially significant outer ring, we can appreciate his focus on the centripetal pull of that central circle. Lewis's "Inner Ring" is the elusive Camelot of acceptance into some special group, some privileged association, that confers instant status and enhanced identity. Its lure for most of us is obvious—who does not want to be a member of the "in-group"? Who does not want to know that she or he has been tried and found worthy of inclusion in, of ascendance into, a new, rarifled realm of social acceptability? Peer pressure has been identified as one social force that makes people, espe cially adolescents, do strange things—anything—to be accepted. However, the quest for the Inner Ring is nurtured from within. There is no peer-pressure power without that push from self-pressure for Them to want You. It makes people will ing to suffer through painful, humiliating initiation rites in fraternities, cults, so cial clubs, or the military. It justifies for many suffering a lifelong existence climbing the corporate ladder. This motivational force is doubly energized by what Lewis called the "terror of being left outside." This fear of rejection when one wants acceptance can crip ple initiative and negate personal autonomy. It can turn social animals into shy introverts. The imagined threat of being cast into the out-group can lead some people to do virtually anything to avoid their terrifying rejection. Authorities can command total obedience not through punishments or rewards but by means of the double-edged weapon: the lure of acceptance coupled with the threat of rejec tion. So strong is this human motive that even strangers are empowered when they promise us a special place at their table of shared secrets—"just between you and me."5 A sordid example of these social dynamics came to light recently when a forty-year-old woman pleaded guilty to having sex with five high school boys and providing them and others with drugs and alcohol at weekly sex parties in her home for a full year. She told police that she had done it because she wanted to be a "cool mom." In her affidavit, this newly cool mom told investigators that she had never been popular with her classmates in high school, but orchestrating these parties enabled her to begin "feeling like one of the group."6 Sadly, she caught the wrong Inner Ring. Lewis goes on to describe the subtle process of initiation, the indoctrination of good people into a private Inner Ring that can have malevolent consequences, turning them into "scoundrels." I cite this passage at length because it is such an eloquent expression of how this basic human motive can be imperceptibly per verted by those with the power to admit or deny access to their Inner Ring. It will set the stage for our excursion into the experimental laboratories and field settings of social scientists who have investigated such phenomena in considerable depth. To nine out of ten of you the choice which could lead to scoundrelism will come, when it does come, in no very dramatic colors. Obviously bad men, obviously threatening or bribing, will almost certainly not appear. Over a drink or a cup of coffee, disguised as a triviality and sandwiched between two jokes, from the lips of a man, or woman, whom you have recently been getting to know rather better and whom you hope to know better still—just at the moment when you are most anxious not to appear crude, or naive or a prig—the hint will come. It will be the hint of something, which is not quite in accordance with the technical rules of fair play, something that the public, the ignorant, romantic public, would never un derstand. Something which even the outsiders in your own profession are apt to make a fuss about, but something, says your new friend, which "we"—and at the word "we" you try not to blush for mere pleasure— something "we always do." And you will be drawn in, if you are drawn in, not by desire for gain or ease, but simply because at that moment, when the cup was so near your lips, you cannot bear to be thrust back again into the cold outer world. It would be so terrible to see the other man's face— that genial, confidential, delightfully sophisticated face—turn suddenly cold and contemptuous, to know that you had been tried for the Inner Ring and rejected. And then, if you are drawn in, next week it will be something a little further from the rules, and next year something further still, but all in the jolliest, friendliest spirit. It may end in a crash, a scandal, and penal servitude; it may end in millions, a peerage and giving the prizes at your old school. But you will be a scoundrel. RESEARCH REVELATIONS OF SITUATIONAL POWER The Stanford Prison Experiment is a facet of the broad mosaic of research that re veals the power of social situations and the social construction of reality. We have seen how it focused on power relationships among individuals within an institu tional setting. A variety of studies that preceded and followed it have illuminated many other aspects of human behavior that are shaped in unexpected ways by situational forces. Groups can get us to do things we ordinarily might not do on our own, but their influence is often indirect, simply modeling the normative behavior that the group wants us to imitate and practice. In contrast, authority influence is more often direct and without subtlety: "You do what I tell you to do." But because the demand is so open and bold-faced, one can decide to disobey and not follow the leader. To see what I mean, consider this question: To what extent would a good, ordinary person resist against or comply with the demand of an authority figure that he harm, or even kill, an innocent stranger? This provocative question was put to experimental test in a controversial study on blind obedience to authority. It is a classic experiment about which you have probably heard because of its "shocking" effects, but there is much more of value embedded in its procedures that we will extract to aid in our quest to understand why good people can be induced to behave badly. We will review replications and extensions of this classic study and again ask the question posed of all such research: What is its ex ternal validity, what are real-world parallels to the laboratory demonstration of authority power? Beware: Self-Serving Biases May Be at Work Before we get into the details of this research, I must warn you of a bias you likely possess that might shield you from drawing the right conclusions from all you are about to read. Most of us construct self-enhancing, self-serving, egocentric biases that make us feel special—never ordinary, and certainly "above average."7 Such cognitive biases serve a valuable function in boosting our self-esteem and protect ing against life's hard knocks. They enable us to explain away failures, take credit for our successes, and disown responsibility for bad decisions, perceiving our sub jective world through rainbow prisms. For example, research shows that 86 per cent of Australians rate their job performance as "above average," and 90 percent of American business managers rate their performance as superior to that of their average peer. (Pity that poor average dude.) Yet these biases can be maladaptive as well by blinding us to our similarity to others and distancing us from the reality that people just like us behave badly in certain toxic situations. Such biases also mean that we don't take basic precau tions to avoid the undesired consequences of our behavior, assuming it won't happen to us. So we take sexual risks, driving risks, gambling risks, health risks, and more. In the extreme version of these biases, most people believe that they are less vulnerable to these self-serving biases than other people, even after being taught about them.8 That means when you read about the SPE or the many studies in this next section, you might well conclude thatyou would not do what the majority has done, that you would, of course, be the exception to the rule. That statistically un reasonable belief (since most of us share it) makes you even more vulnerable to situational forces precisely because you underestimate their power as you over estimate yours. You are convinced that you would be the good guard, the defiant prisoner, the resistor, the dissident, the nonconformist, and, most of all, the Hero. Would that it were so, but heroes are a rare breed—some of whom we will meet in our final chapter. So I invite you to suspend that bias for now and imagine that what the major ity has done in these experiments is a fair base rate for you as well. At the very least, please consider that you can't be certain of whether or not you could be as read ily seduced into doing what the average research participant has done in these studies—if you were in their shoes, under the same circumstances. I ask you to recall what Prisoner Clay-416, the sausage resister, said in his postexperimental interview with his tormenter, the "John Wayne" guard. When taunted with "What kind of guard would you have been if you were in my place?" he replied modestly, "I really don't know." It is only through recognizing that we are all subject to the same dynamic forces in the human condition, that humility takes precedence over unfounded pride, that we can begin to acknowledge our vulnerability to situational forces. In this vein, recall John Donne's eloquent framing of our common interrelatedness and interdependence: All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated. . . . As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all. . . . No man is an island, entire of itself... any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. (Meditations 27) Classic Research on Conforming to Group Norms One of the earliest studies on conformity, in 1 9 3 5 , was designed by a social psy chologist from Turkey, Muzafer Sherif.9 Sherif, a recent immigrant to the United States, believed that Americans in general tended to conform because their democracy emphasized mutually shared agreements. He devised an unusual means of demonstrating conformity of individuals to group standards in a novel setting. Male college students were individually ushered into a totally dark room in which there was a stationary spot of light. Sherif knew that without any frame of reference, such a light appears to move about erratically, an illusion called the "autokinetic effect." At first, each of these subjects was asked individually to judge the movement of the light. Their judgments varied widely; some saw move ment of a few inches, while others reported that the spot moved many feet. Each person soon established a range within which most of his reports would fall. Next, he was put into a group with several others. They gave estimates that varied widely, but in each group a norm "crystallized" wherein a range of judgments and an average-norm judgment emerged. After many trials, the other partici pants left, and the individual, now alone, was asked again to make estimates of the movement of the light—the test of his conformity to the new norm estab lished in that group. His judgments now fell in this new group-sanctioned range, "departing significantly from his earlier personal range." Sherif also used a confederate who was trained to give estimates that varied in their latitude from a small to a very large range. Sure enough, the naive sub ject's autokinetic experience mirrored that of the judgments of this devious con federate rather than sticking to his previously established personal perceptual standard. Asch's Conformity Research: Getting into Line Sherif's conformity effect was challenged in 1 9 5 5 by another social psychologist, Solomon Asch,1 0 who believed that Americans were actually more independent than Sherif's work had suggested. Asch believed that Americans could act au tonomously, even when faced with a majority who saw the world differently from them. The problem with Sherif's test situation, he argued, was that it was so am biguous, without any meaningful frame of reference or personal standard. When challenged by the alternative perception of the group, the individual had no real commitment to his original estimates so just went along. Real conformity re quired the group to challenge the basic perception and beliefs of the individual— to say that X was Y, when clearly that was not true. Under those circumstances, Asch predicted, relatively few would conform: most would be staunchly resistant to this extreme group pressure that was so transparently wrong. What actually happened to people confronted with a social reality that con flicted with their basic perceptions of the world? To find out, let me put you into the seat of a typical research participant. You are recruited for a study of visual perception that begins with judging the relative size of lines. You are shown cards with three lines of differing lengths and asked to state out loud which of the three is the same length as a comparison line on another card. One is shorter, one is longer, and one is exactly the same length as the comparison line. The task is a piece of cake for you. You make few mistakes, just like most others (less than 1 percent of the time). But you are not alone in this study; you are flanked by a bunch of peers, seven of them, and you are number eight. At first, your answers are like theirs—all right on. But then un usual things start to happen. On some trials, each of them in turn reports seeing the long line as the same length as the medium line or the short line the same as the medium one. (Unknown to you, the other seven are members of Asch's re search team who have been instructed to give incorrect answers unanimously on specific "critical" trials.) When it is your turn, they all look at you as you look at the card with the three lines. You are clearly seeing something different than they are, but do you say so? Do you stick to your guns and say what you know is right, or do you go along with what everyone else says is right? You face that same group pressure on twelve of the total eighteen trials where the group gives answers that are wrong, but they are accurate on the other six trials interspersed into the mix. If you are like most of the 123 actual research participants in Asch's study, you would yield to the group about 70 percent of the time on some of those criti cal, wrong-judgment trials. Thirty percent of the original subjects conformed on the majority of trials, and only a quarter of them were able to maintain their in dependence throughout the testing. Some reported being aware of the differences between what they saw and the group consensus, but they felt it was easier to go along with the others. For others the discrepancy created a conflict that was resolved by coming to believe that the group was right and their perception was wrong! All those who yielded underestimated how much they had conformed, recalling yielding much less to the group pressure than had actually been the case. They remained independent—in their minds but not in their actions. Follow-up studies showed that, when pitted against just one person giving an incorrect judgment, a participant exhibits some uneasiness but maintains inde pendence. However, with a majority of three people opposed to him, errors rose to 32 percent. On a more optimistic note, however, Asch found one powerful way to promote independence. By giving the subject a partner whose views were in line with his, the power of the majority was greatly diminished. Peer support de creased errors to one fourth of what they had been when there was no partner— and this resistance effect endured even after the partner left. One of the valuable additions to our understanding of why people conform comes from research that highlights two of the basic mechanisms that contribute to group conformity.11 We conform first out of informational needs: other people often have ideas, views, perspectives, and knowledge that helps us to better navi gate our world, especially through foreign shores and new ports. The second mechanism involves normative needs: other people are more likely to accept us when we agree with them than when we disagree, so we yield to their view of the world, driven by a powerful need to belong, to replace differences with similarities. Conformity and Independence Light Up the Brain Differently New technology, not available in Asch's day, offers intriguing insights into the role of the brain in social conformity. When people conform, are they rationally deciding to go along with the group out of normative needs, or are they actually changing their perceptions and accepting the validity of the new though erro neous information provided by the group? A recent study utilized advanced brain-scanning technology to answer this question.12 Researchers can now peer into the active brain as a person engages in various tasks by using a scanning de vice that detects which specific brain regions are energized as they carry out vari ous mental tasks. The process is known as functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI). Understanding what mental functions various brain regions control tells us what it means when they are activated by any given experimental task.Here's how the study worked. Imagine that you are one of thirty-two volunteers recruited for a study of perception. You have to mentally rotate images of three-dimensional objects to determine if the objects are the same as or different from a standard object. In the waiting room, you meet four other volunteers, with whom you begin to bond by practicing games on laptop computers, taking photos of one another, and chatting. (They are really actors—"confederates," as they are called in psychology—who will soon be faking their answers on the test trials so that they are in agreement with one another but not with the correct responses that you generate.) You are selected as the one to go into the scanner while the others outside look at the objects first as a group and then decide if they are the same or different. As in Asch's original experiment, the actors unanimously give wrong answers on some trials, correct answers on others, with occasional mixed group answers thrown in to make the test more believable. On each round, when it is your turn at bat, you are shown the answers given by the others. You have to decide if the objects are the same or different—as the group assessed them or as you saw them? As in Asch's experiments, you (as the typical subject) would cave in to group pressure, on average giving the group's wrong answers 41 percent of the time. When you yield to the group's erroneous judgment, your conformity would be seen in the brain scan as changes in selected regions of the brain's cortex dedi cated to vision and spatial awareness (specifically, activity increases in the right intraparietal sulcus). Surprisingly, there would be no changes in areas of the fore- brain that deal with monitoring conflicts, planning, and other higher-order men tal activities. On the other hand, if you make independent judgments that go against the group, your brain would light up in the areas that are associated with emotional salience (the right amygdala and right caudate nucleus regions). This means that resistance creates an emotional burden for those who maintain their independence—autonomy comes at a psychic cost. The lead author of this research, the neuroscientist Gregory Berns, con cluded that "We like to think that seeing is believing, but the study's findings show that seeing is believing what the group tells you to believe." This means that other people's views, when crystallized into a group consensus, can actually af fect how we perceive important aspects of the external world, thus calling into question the nature of truth itself. It is only by becoming aware of our vulnera bility to social pressure that we can begin to build resistance to conformity when it is not in our best interest to yield to the mentality of the herd. Minority Power to Impact the Majority Juries can become "hung" when a dissenter gets support from at least one other person and together they challenge the dominant majority view. But can a small minority turn the majority around to create new norms using the same basic psy chological principles that usually help to establish the majority view? A research team of French psychologists put that question to an experi mental test. In a color-naming task, if two confederates among groups of six female students consistently called a blue light "green," almost a third of the naive majority subjects eventually followed their lead. However, the members of the majority did not give in to the consistent minority when they were gathered together. It was only later, when they were tested individually, that they re sponded as the minority had done, shifting their judgments by moving the bound ary between blue and green toward the green of the color spectrum.13 Researchers have also studied minority influence in the context of simulated jury deliberations, where a disagreeing minority prevents unanimous acceptance of the majority point of view. The minority group was never well liked, and its per suasiveness, when it occurred, worked only gradually, over time. The vocal mi nority was most influential when it had four qualities: it persisted in affirming a consistent position, appeared confident, avoided seeming rigid and dogmatic, and was skilled in social influence. Eventually, the power of the many may be under cut by the persuasion of the dedicated few. How do these qualities of a dissident minority—especially its persistence— help to sway the majority? Majority decisions tend to be made without engaging the systematic thought and critical thinking skills of the individuals in the group. Given the force of the group's normative power to shape the opinions of the fol lowers who conform without thinking things through, they are often taken at face value. The persistent minority forces the others to process the relevant infor mation more mindfully.14 Research shows that the decisions of a group as a whole are more thoughtful and creative when there is minority dissent than when it is absent.15 If a minority can win adherents to their side even when they are wrong, there is hope for a minority with a valid cause. In society, the majority tends to be the defender of the status quo, while the force for innovation and change comes from the minority members or individuals either dissatisfied with the current sys tem or able to visualize new and creative alternative ways of dealing with current problems. According to the French social theorist Serge Moscovici,16 the conflict between the entrenched majority view and the dissident minority perspective is an essential precondition of innovation and revolution that can lead to positive social change. An individual is constantly engaged in a two-way exchange with society—adapting to its norms, roles, and status prescriptions but also acting upon society to reshape those norms. BLIND OBEDIENCE TO AUTHORITY: MILGRAM'S SHOCKING RESEARCH "I was trying to think of a way to make Asch's conformity experiment more hu manly significant. I was dissatisfied that the test of conformity was judgments about lines. I wondered whether groups could pressure a person into performing an act whose human import was more readily apparent; perhaps behaving aggressively toward another person, say by administering increasingly severe shocks to him. But to study the group effect... you'd have to know how the sub ject performed without any group pressure. At that instant, my thought shifted, zeroing in on this experimental control. Just how far would a person go under the experimenter's orders?" These musings, from a former teaching and research assistant of Solomon Asch, started a remarkable series of studies by a social psychologist, Stanley Milgram, that have come to be known as investigations of "blind obedience to authority." His interest in the problem of obedience to authority came from deep personal concerns about how readily the Nazis had obediently killed Jews during the Holocaust. "[My] laboratory paradigm . . . gave scientific expression to a more general concern about authority, a concern forced upon members of my generation, in particular upon Jews such as myself, by the atrocities of World War II.... The im pact of the Holocaust on my own psyche energized my interest in obedience and shaped the particular form in which it was examined."1 7 I would like to re-create for you the situation faced by a typical volunteer in this research project, then go on to summarize the results, outline ten important lessons to be drawn from this research that can be generalized to other situations of behavioral transformations in everyday life, and then review extensions of this paradigm by providing a number of real-world parallels. (See the Notes for a de scription of my personal relationship with Stanley Milgram.18 ) Milgram's Obedience Paradigm Imagine that you see the following advertisement in the Sunday newspaper and decide to apply. The original study involved only men, but women were used in a later study, so I invite all readers to participate in this imagined scenario. A researcher whose serious demeanor and gray laboratory coat convey scientific importance greets you and another applicant at your arrival at a Yale University laboratory in Linsly-Chittenden Hall. You are here to help scientific psychology find ways to improve people's learning and memory through the use of punishment. He tells you why this new research may have important prac tical consequences. The task is straightforward: one of you will be the "teacher" who gives the "learner" a set of word pairings to memorize. During the test, the teacher gives each key word, and the learner must respond with the correct association. When right, the teacher gives a verbal reward, such as "Good" or "That's right." When wrong, the teacher is to press a lever on an impressive-looking shock apparatus that delivers an immediate shock to punish the error. The shock generator has thirty switches, starting from a low level of 15 volts and increasing by 15 volts at each higher level. The experimenter tells you that every time the learner makes a mistake, you have to press the next higher voltage switch. The control panel indicates both the voltage level of each of the switches and a corresponding description of the level. The tenth level ( 1 5 0 volts) is "Strong Shock"; the 13th level (195 volts) is "Very Strong Shock"; the 17th level (255 volts) is "Intense Shock"; the 21st level (3 1 5 volts) is "Extremely Intense Shock"; the 25th level (375 volts) is "Danger, Severe Shock"; and at the 29th and 30th levels (435 and 4 5 0 volts) the control panel is simply marked with an ominous XXX (the pornography of ultimate pain and power). You and another volunteer draw straws to see who will play each role; you are to be the teacher, and the other volunteer will be the learner. (The drawing is rigged, and the other volunteer is a confederate of the experimenter who always plays the learner.) He is a mild-mannered, middle-aged man whom you help es cort to the next chamber. "Okay, now we are going to set up the learner so he can get some punishment," the researcher tells you both. The learner's arms are strapped down and an electrode is attached to his right wrist. The shock genera tor in the next room will deliver the shocks to the learner—if and when he makes any errors. The two of you communicate over the intercom, with the experi menter standing next to you. You get a sample shock of 45 volts, the third level, a slight tingly pain, so you now have a sense of what the shock levels mean. The ex perimenter then signals the start of your trial of the "memory improvement" study. Initially, your pupil does well, but soon he begins making errors, and you start pressing the shock switches. He complains that the shocks are starting to hurt. You look at the experimenter, who nods to continue. As the shock levels in crease in intensity, so do the learner's screams, saying he does not think he wants to continue. You hesitate and question whether you should go on, but the experi menter insists that you have no choice but to do so. Now the learner begins complaining about his heart condition and you dissent, but the experimenter still insists that you continue. Errors galore; you plead with your pupil to concentrate to get the right associations, you don't want to hurt him with these very-high-level, intense shocks. But your concerns and motivational messages are to no avail. He gets the answers wrong again and again. As the shocks intensify, he shouts out, "I can't stand the pain, let me out of here!" Then he says to the experimenter, "You have no right to keep me here! Let me out!" Another level up, he screams, "I absolutely refuse to answer any more! Get me out of here! You can't hold me here! My heart's bothering me!" Obviously you want nothing more to do with this experiment. You tell the ex perimenter that you refuse to continue. You are not the kind of person who harms other people in this way. You want out. But the experimenter continues to insist that you go on. He reminds you of the contract, of your agreement to participate fully. Moreover, he claims responsibility for the consequences of your shocking actions. After you press the 300-volt switch, you read the next keyword, but the learner doesn't answer. "He's not responding," you tell the experimenter. You want him to go into the other room and check on the learner to see if he is all right. The experimenter is impassive; he is not going to check on the learner. In stead he tells you, "If the learner doesn't answer in a reasonable time, about five seconds, consider it wrong," since errors of omission must be punished in the same way as errors of commission—that is a rule. As you continue up to even more dangerous shock levels, there is no sound coming from your pupil's shock chamber. He may be unconscious or worse! You are really distressed and want to quit, but nothing you say works to get your exit from this unexpectedly distressing situation. You are told to follow the rules and keep posing the test items and shocking the errors. Now try to imagine fully what your participation as the teacher would be. I am sure you are saying, "No way would I ever go all the way!" Obviously, you would have dissented, then disobeyed and just walked out. You would never sell out your morality for four bucks! But had you actually gone all the way to the last of the thirtieth shock levels, the experimenter would have insisted that you repeat that XXX switch two more times, for good measure! Now, that is really rubbing it in your face. Forget it, no sir, no way; you are out of there, right? So how far up the scale do you predict thatyou would you go before exiting? How far would the av erage person from this small city go in this situation? The Outcome Predicted by Expert Judges Milgram described his experiment to a group of forty psychiatrists and then asked them to estimate the percentage of American citizens who would go to each of the thirty levels in the experiment. On average, they predicted that less than 1 per cent would go all the way to the end, that only sadists would engage in such sadis tic behavior, and that most people would drop out at the tenth level of 1 5 0 volts. They could not have been more wrong! These experts on human behavior were totally wrong because, first, they ignored the situational determinants of behav ior in the procedural description of the experiment. Second, their training in tra ditional psychiatry led them to rely too heavily on the dispositional perspective to understand unusual behavior and to disregard situational factors. They were guilty of making the fundamental attribution error (FAE)! The Shocking Truth In fact, in Milgram's experiment, two of every three (65 percent) of the volun teers went all the way up the maximum shock level of 4 5 0 volts. The vast ma jority of people, the "teachers," shocked their "learner-victim" over and over again despite his increasingly desperate pleas to stop. And now I invite you to venture another guess: What was the dropout rate after the shock level reached 3 3 0 volts—with only silence coming from the shock chamber, where the learner could reasonably be presumed to be unconscious? Who would go on at that point? Wouldn't every sensible person quit, drop out, refuse the experimenter's demands to go on shocking him? Here is what one "teacher" reported about his reaction: "I didn't know what the hell was going on. I think, you know, maybe I'm killing this guy. I told the ex perimenter that I was not taking responsibility for going further. That's it." But when the experimenter reassured him that he would take the responsibility, the worried teacher obeyed and continued to the very end.1 9 And almost everyone who got that far did the same as this man. How is that possible? If they got that far, why did they continue on to the bitter end? One reason for this startling level of obedience may be related to the teacher's not knowing how to exit from the situation, rather than just blind obedience. Most participants dissented from time to time, saying they did not want to go on, but the experimenter did not let them out, continually coming up with reasons why they had to stay and prodding them to continue testing their suffering learner. Usually protests work and you can get out of unpleasant situations, but nothing you say affects this impervious experimenter, who insists that you must stay and continue to shock errors. You look at the shock panel and realize that the easiest exit lies at the end of the last shock lever. A few more lever presses is the fast way out, with no hassles from the experimenter and no further moans from the now- silent learner. Voilà! 4 5 0 volts is the easy way out—achieving your freedom with out directly confronting the authority figure or having to reconcile the suffering you have already caused with this additional pain to the victim. It is a simple mat ter of up and then out. Variations on an Obedience Theme Over the course of a year, Milgram carried out nineteen different experiments, each one a different variation of the basic paradigm of: experimenter/teacher/ learner/memory testing/errors shocked. In each of these studies he varied one social psychological variable and observed its impact on the extent of obedience to the unjust authority's pressure to continue to shock the "learner-victim." In one study, he added women: in others he varied the physical proximity or remote ness of either the experimenter-teacher link or the teacher-learner link; had peers rebel or obey before the teacher had the chance to begin; and more. In one set of experiments, Milgram wanted to show that his results were not due to the authority power of Yale University—which is what New Haven is all about. So he transplanted his laboratory to a run-down office building in downtown Bridgeport, Connecticut, and repeated the experiment as a project, ostensibly of a private research firm with no apparent connection to Yale. It made no difference; the participants fell under the same spell of this situational power. The data clearly revealed the extreme pliability of human nature: almost everyone could be totally obedient or almost everyone could resist authority pres sures. It all depended on the situational variables they experienced. Milgram was able to demonstrate that compliance rates could soar to over 90 percent of people continuing the 450-volt maximum or be reduced to less than 10 percent—by in troducing just one crucial variable into the compliance recipe. Want maximum obedience? Make the subject a member of a "teaching team," in which the job of pulling the shock lever to punish the victim is given to another person (a confederate), while the subject assists with other parts of the procedure. Want people to resist authority pressures? Provide social models of peers who rebelled. Participants also refused to deliver the shocks if the learner said he wanted to be shocked; that's masochistic, and they are not sadists. They were also reluctant to give high levels of shock when the experimenter filled in as the learner. They were more likely to shock when the learner was remote than in proximity. In each of the other variations on this diverse range of ordinary American citizens, of widely varying ages and occupations and of both genders, it was possible to elicit low, medium, or high levels of compliant obedience with a flick of the situational switch—as if one were simply turning a "human nature dial" within their psyches. This large sample of a thousand ordinary citizens from such varied backgrounds makes the results of the Milgram obedience studies among the most generalizable in all the social sciences. When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find far more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have been committed in the name of rebellion. —C. P. Snow, "Either-Or" (1961) Ten Lessons from the Milgram Studies: Creating Evil Traps for Good People Let's outline some of the procedures in this research paradigm that seduced many ordinary citizens to engage in this apparently harmful behavior. In doing so, I want to draw parallels to compliance strategies used by "influence professionals" in real-world settings, such as salespeople, cult and military recruiters, media ad vertisers, and others.2 0 There are ten methods we can extract from Milgram's paradigm for this purpose: 1. Prearranging some form of contractual obligation, verbal or written, to control the individual's behavior in pseudolegal fashion. (In Milgram's ex periment, this was done by publicly agreeing to accept the tasks and the procedures.) 2. Giving participants meaningful roles to play ("teacher," "learner") that carry with them previously learned positive values and automatically ac tivate response scripts. 3. Presenting basic rules to be followed that seem to make sense before their actual use but can then be used arbitrarily and impersonally to justify mindless compliance. Also, systems control people by making their rules vague and changing them as necessary but insisting that "rules are rules" and thus must be followed (as the researcher in the lab coat did in Mil- gram's experiment or the SPE guards did to force prisoner Clay-416 to eat the sausages). 4. Altering the semantics of the act, the actor, and the action (from "hurting victims" to "helping the experimenter," punishing the former for the lofty goal of scientific discovery)—replacing unpleasant reality with desirable rhetoric, gilding the frame so that the real picture is disguised. (We can see the same semantic framing at work in advertising, where, for example, bad-tasting mouthwash is framed as good for you because it kills germs and tastes like medicine is expected to taste.) 5. Creating opportunities for the diffusion of responsibility or abdication of responsibility for negative outcomes; others will be responsible, or the actor won't be held liable. (In Milgram's experiment, the authority figure said, when questioned by any "teacher," that he would take responsibility for anything that happened to the "learner.") 6. Starting the path toward the ultimate evil act with a small, seemingly in significant first step, the easy "foot in the door" that swings open subse quent greater compliance pressures, and leads down a slippery slope.21 (In the obedience study, the initial shock was only a mild 15 volts.) This is also the operative principle in turning good kids into drug addicts, with that first little hit or sniff. 7. Having successively increasing steps on the pathway that are gradual, so that they are hardly noticeably different from one's most recent prior ac tion. "Just a little bit more." (By increasing each level of aggression in gradual steps of only 15-volt increments, over the thirty switches, no new level of harm seemed like a noticeable difference from the prior level to Milgram's participants.) 8. Gradually changing the nature of the authority figure (the researcher, in Milgram's study) from initially "just" and reasonable to "unjust" and de manding, even irrational. This tactic elicits initial compliance and later confusion, since we expect consistency from authorities and friends. Not acknowledging that this transformation has occurred leads to mindless obedience (and it is part of many "date rape" scenarios and a reason why abused women stay with their abusing spouses). 9. Making the "exit costs" high and making the process of exiting difficult by allowing verbal dissent (which makes people feel better about themselves) while insisting on behavioral compliance. 1 0 . Offering an ideology, or a big lie, to justify the use of any means to achieve the seemingly desirable, essential goal. (In Milgram's research this came in the form of providing an acceptable justification, or rationale, for en gaging in the undesirable action, such as that science wants to help peo ple improve their memory by judicious use of reward and punishment.) In social psychology experiments, this tactic is known as the "cover story" because it is a cover-up for the procedures that follow, which might be challenged because they do not make sense on their own. The real-world equivalent is known as an "ideology." Most nations rely on an ideology, typically, "threats to national security," before going to war or to suppress dissident political opposition. When citizens fear that their national secu rity is being threatened, they become willing to surrender their basic free doms to a government that offers them that exchange. Erich Fromm's classic analysis inEscape from Freedom made us aware of this trade-off, which Hitler and other dictators have long used to gain and maintain power: namely, the claim that they will be able to provide security in exchange for citizens giving up their freedoms, which will give them the ability to control things better.22 Such procedures are utilized in varied influence situations where those in authority want others to do their bidding but know that few would engage in the "end game" without first being properly prepared psychologically to do the "un thinkable." In the future, when you are in a compromising position where your compliance is at stake, thinking back to these stepping-stones to mindless obedi ence may enable you to step back and not go all the way down the path—their path. A good way to avoid crimes of obedience is to assert one's personal authority and always take full responsibility for one's actions.2 3 Replications and Extensions of the Milgram Obedience Model Because of its structural design and its detailed protocol, the basic Milgram obe dience experiment encouraged replication by independent investigators in many countries. A recent comparative analysis was made of the rates of obedience in eight studies conducted in the United States and nine replications in European, African, and Asian countries. There were comparably high levels of compliance by research volunteers in these different studies and nations. The majority obedi ence effect of a mean 61 percent found in the U.S. replications was matched by the 66 percent obedience rate found across all the other national samples. The range of obedience went from a low of 31 percent to a high of 91 percent in the U.S. studies, and from a low of 28 percent (Australia) to a high of 88 percent (South Africa) in the cross-national replications. There was also stability of obedi ence over decades of time as well as over place. There was no association between when a study was done (between 1 9 6 3 and 1985) and degree of obedience.24 Obedience to a Powerful Legitimate Authority In the original obedience studies, the subjects conferred authority status on the person conducting the experiment because he was in an institutional setting and was dressed and acted like a serious scientist, even though he was only a high school biology teacher paid to play that role. His power came from being perceived as a representative of an authority system. (In Milgram's Bridgeport replication described earlier, the absence of the prestigious institutional setting of Yale re duced the obedience rate to 47.5 percent compared to 65 percent at Yale, al though this drop was not a statistically significant one.) Several later studies showed how powerful the obedience effect can be when legitimate authorities ex ercise their power within their power domains. When a college professor was the authority figure telling college student vol unteers that their task was to train a puppy by conditioning its behavior using electric shocks, he elicited 75 percent obedience from them. In this experiment, both the "experimenter-teacher" and the "learner" were "authentic." That is, col lege students acted as the teacher, attempting to condition a cuddly little puppy, the learner, in an electrified apparatus. The puppy was supposed to learn a task, and shocks were given when it failed to respond correctly in a given time interval. As in Milgram's experiments, they had to deliver a series of thirty graded shocks, up to 4 5 0 volts in the training process. Each of the thirteen male and thir teen female subjects individually saw and heard the puppy squealing and jump ing around the electrified grid as they pressed lever after lever. There was no doubt that they were hurting the puppy with each shock they administered. (Although the shock intensities were much lower than indicated by the voltage labels ap pearing on the shock box, they were still powerful enough to evoke clearly dis tressed reactions from the puppy with each successive press of the shock switches.) As you might imagine, the students were clearly upset during the experi ment. Some of the females cried, and the male students also expressed a lot of dis tress. Did they refuse to continue once they could see the suffering they were causing right before their eyes? For all too many, their personal distress did not lead to behavioral disobedience. About half of the males (54 percent) went all the way to 4 5 0 volts. The big surprise came from the women's high level of obedi ence. Despite their dissent and weeping, 100 percent of the female college stu dents obeyed to the full extent possible in shocking the puppy as it tried to solve an insoluble task! A similar result was found in an unpublished study with adoles cent high school girls. (The typical finding with human "victims," including Mil- gram's own findings, is that there are no male-female gender differences in obedience.25 ) Some critics of the obedience experiments tried to invalidate Milgram's find ings by arguing that subjects quickly discover that the shocks are fake, and that is why they continue to give them to the very end.2 6 This study, conducted back in 1972 (by psychologists Charles Sheridan and Richard King), removes any doubt that Milgram's high obedience rates could have resulted from subjects' dis belief that they were actually hurting the learner-victim. Sheridan and King showed that there was an obvious visual connection between a subject's obedi ence reactions and a puppy's pain. Of further interest is the finding that half of the males who disobeyed lied to their teacher in reporting that the puppy had learned the insoluble task, a deceptive form of disobedience. When students in a comparable college class were asked to predict how far an average woman would go on this task, they estimated 0 percent—a far cry from 1 0 0 percent. (However, this faulty low estimate is reminiscent of the 1 percent figure given by the psychia trists who assessed the Milgram paradigm.) Again this underscores one of my central arguments, that it is difficult for people to appreciate fully the power of situational forces acting on individual behavior when they are viewed outside the behavioral context. Physicians' Power over Nurses to Mistreat Patients If the relationship between teachers and students is one of power-based authority, how much more so is that between physicians and nurses? How difficult is it, then, for a nurse to disobey an order from the powerful authority of the doctor— when she knows it is wrong? To find out, a team of doctors and nurses tested obe dience in their authority system by determining whether nurses would follow or disobey an illegitimate request by an unknown physician in a real hospital setting.2 7 Each of twenty-two nurses individually received a call from a staff doctor whom she had never met. He told her to administer a medication to a patient im mediately, so that it would take effect by the time he arrived at the hospital. He would sign the drug order then. He ordered her to give his patient 20 milligrams of the drug "Astrogen." The label on the container of Astrogen indicated that 5 milliliters was usual and warned that 10 milliliters was the maximum dose. His order doubled that high dose. The conflict created in the minds of each of these caregivers was whether to follow this order from an unfamiliar phone caller to administer an excessive dose of medicine or follow standard medical practice, which rejects such unauthorized orders. When this dilemma was presented as a hypothetical scenario to a dozen nurses in that hospital, ten said they would refuse to obey. However, when other nurses were put on the hot seat where they were faced with the physician's immi nent arrival (and possible anger at being disobeyed), the nurses almost unani mously caved in and complied. All but one of twenty-two nurses put to the real test started to pour the medication (actually a placebo) to administer to the patient—before the researcher stopped them from doing so. That solitary disobedient nurse should have been given a raise and a hero's medal. This dramatic effect is far from isolated. Equally high levels of blind obedience to doctors' almighty authority showed up in a recent survey of a large sample of registered nurses. Nearly half (46 percent) of the nurses reported that they could recall a time when they had in fact "carried out a physician's order that you felt could have had harmful consequences to the patient." These compliant nurses at tributed less responsibility to themselves than they did to the physician when they followed an inappropriate command. In addition, they indicated that the primary basis of social power of physicians is their "legitimate power," the right to provide overall care to the patient.28 They were just following what they construed as le gitimate orders—but then the patient died. Thousands of hospitalized patients die needlessly each year due to a variety of staff mistakes, some of which, I assume, include such unquestioning obedience of nurses and tech aides to physicians' wrong orders. Deadly Obedience to Authority This potential for authority figures to exercise power over subordinates can have disastrous consequences in many domains of life. One such example is found in the dynamics of obedience in commercial airline cockpits, which have been shown to lead to many airline accidents. In a typical commercial airline cockpit, the captain is the central authority over a first officer and sometimes a flight engi neer, and the might of that authority is enforced by organizational norms, the military background of most pilots, and flight rules that make the pilot directly re sponsible for operating the aircraft. Such authority can lead to flight errors when the crew feels forced to accept the "authority's definition of the situation," even when the authority is wrong. An investigation of thirty-seven serious plane accidents where there were sufficient data from voice recorders revealed that in 81 percent of these cases, the first officer did not properly monitor or challenge the captain when he had made errors. Using a larger sample of seventy-five plane accidents as the context for evaluating destructive obedience, the author of this study concludes, "If we as sume that both monitoring and challenging errors are due to excessive obedi ence, we may conclude that excessive obedience may cause as many as 2 5% of all airplane accidents."29 Administrative Obedience to Authority In modern society people in positions of authority rarely punish others with physi cal violence as in the Milgram paradigm. What is more typical is, mediated vio lence, where authorities pass along orders to underlings who carry them out or the violence involves verbal abuse that undercuts the self-esteem and dignity of the powerless. Authorities often take actions that are punitive and whose consequences are not directly observable. For example, giving hostile feedback to some one that knowingly will disrupt their performance and adversely affect their chances of getting a job qualifies as a form of such socially mediated violence. A team of Dutch researchers assessed the extension of authority-based obe dience to such a situation in a series of ingenious experiments involving twenty- five separate studies of nearly 500 participants from 1982 to 1985 at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.30 In their "administrative obedience paradigm" the experimenter told the research participant, acting as administrator, to make a series of fifteen "stress remarks" to a job applicant (a trained accomplice) in the next room. Specifically, the subjects were instructed to administer a job selection test to the applicant—if he passed the test, he would get the job; if he failed, he would remain unemployed. They were also instructed to disturb and stress the applicant while giving him the test. These fifteen graded remarks were critical of his test performance and also denigrated his personality, such as "That was really stupid of you." As the participant-administrators delivered these ever-more-hostile remarks, they "placed the applicant under such intense psychological strain that he did not per form satisfactorily and consequently failed to get the job." In addition, they were told by the researchers to continue despite any protests from the applicant. Any dissent by the participant-administrators was countered with up to four prods by the experimenter to continue the hostile remarks before they were finally permit ted to stop if they were adamant. Finally, and most significantly, the subjects were informed that the ability to work under stress wasnot an essential job require ment, but the procedure had to be followed because it assisted the experimenter's research project, which was studying how stress affects test performance. Caus ing distress and hurting another person's job chances had no further use than the researcher's collection of some data. In the control condition, subjects could stop making the stress remarks at any point they chose. When asked to predict whether they would make all the stress remarks under these circumstances, more than 90 percent of a separate set of comparable Dutch respondents said they would not comply. Again, the "outsider's view" was way off base: fully 91 percent of the subjects obeyed the authoritative experiment to the very end of the line. This same degree of extreme obedience held up even when personnel officers were used as the subjects despite their professional code of ethics for dealing with clients. Similarly high obedience was found when subjects were sent advance information several weeks before their appearance at the labo ratory so that they had time to reflect on the nature of their potentially hostile role. How might we generatedisob edienc e in this setting? You can choose among several options: Have several peers rebel before the subject's turn, as in Milgram's study. Or notify the subject of his or her legal liability if the applicant-victim were harmed and sued the university. Or eliminate the authority pressure to go all the way, as in the control condition of this research—where no one fully obeyed. Sexual Obedience to Authority: The Strip-Search Scam "Strip-search scams" have been perpetrated in a number of fast-food restaurant chains throughout the United States. This phenomenon demonstrates the perva siveness of obedience to an anonymous but seemingly important authority. The modus operandi is for an assistant store manager to be called to the phone by a male caller who identifies himself as a police officer named, say, "Scott." He needs their urgent help with a case of employee theft at that restaurant. He insists on being called "Sir" in their conversation. Earlier he has gotten relevant inside infor mation about store procedures and local details. He also knows how to solicit the information he wants through skillfully guided questions, as stage magicians and "mind readers" do. He is a good con man. Ultimately Officer "Scott" solicits from the assistant manager the name of the attractive young new employee who, he says, has been stealing from the shop and is believed to have contraband on her now. He wants her to be isolated in the rear room and held until he or his men can pick her up. The employee is detained there and is given the option by the "Sir, Officer," who talks to her on the phone, of either being strip-searched then and there by a fellow employee or brought down to headquarters to be strip-searched there by the police. Invariably, she elects to be searched now since she knows she is innocent and has nothing to hide. The caller then instructs the assistant manager to strip search her; her anus and vagina are searched for stolen money or drugs. All the while the caller insists on being told in graphic detail what is happening, and all the while the_video surveillance cam eras are recording these remarkable events as they unfold. But this is only the be ginning of a nightmare for the innocent young employee and a sexual and power turn-on for the caller-voyeur. In a case in which I was an expert witness, this basic scenario then included having the frightened eighteen-year-old high school senior engage in a series of increasingly embarrassing and sexually degrading activities. The naked woman is told to jump up and down and to dance around. The assistant manager is told by the caller to get some older male employee to help confine the victim so she can go back to her duties in the restaurant. The scene degenerates into the caller insist ing that the woman masturbate herself and have oral sex with the older male, who is supposedly containing her in the back room while the police are slowly wending their way to the restaurant. These sexual activities continue for several hours while they wait for the police to arrive, which of course never happens. This bizarre authority influence in absentia seduces many people in that situation to violate store policy, and presumably their own ethical and moral prin ciples, to sexually molest and humiliate an honest, churchgoing young employee. In the end. the store personnel are fired, some are charged with crimes, the store is sued, the victims are seriously distressed, and the perpetrator in this and similar hoaxes—a former corrections officer—is finally caught and convicted. One reasonable reaction to learning about this hoax is to focus on the dispo sitions of the victim and her assailants, as naive, ignorant, gullible, weird indi viduals. However, when we learn that this scam has been carried out successfully in sixty-eight similar fast-food settings in thirty-two different states, in a half- dozen different restaurant chains, and with assistant managers of many restau rants around the country being conned, with both male and female victims, our analysis must shift away from simply blaming the victims to recognizing the power of situational forces involved in this scenario. So let us not underestimate the power of "authority" to generate obedience to an extent and of a kind that is hard to fathom. Donna Summers, assistant manager at McDonald's in Mount Washington, Kentucky, fired for being deceived into participating in this authority phone hoax, expresses one of the main themes in our Lucifer Effect narrative about situational power. "You look back on it, and you say, I wouldn't a done it. But unless you're put in that situation, at that time, how do you know what you would do. You don't."31 In her book Making Fast Food: From the Frying Pan into the Fryer, the Canadian sociologist Ester Reiter concludes that obedience to authority is the most valued trait in fast-food workers. "The assembly-line process very deliberately tries to take away any thought or discretion from workers. They are appendages to the machine," she said in a recent interview. Retired FBI special agent Dan Jablonski, a private detective who investigated some of these hoaxes, said, "You and I can sit here and judge these people and say they were blooming idiots. But they aren't trained to use common sense. They are trained to say and think, 'Can I help you?' "3 2 THE NAZI CONNECTION: COULD IT HAPPEN IN YOUR TOWN? Recall that one of Milgram's motivations for initiating his research project was to understand how so many "good" German citizens could become involved in the brutal murder of millions of Jews. Rather than search for dispositional tendencies in the German national character to account for the evil of this genocide, he believed that features of the situation played a critical role; that obedience to authority was a "toxic trigger" for wanton murder. After completing his research, Milgram extended his scientific conclusions to a very dramatic prediction about the insidious and pervasive power of obedience to transform ordinary American citizens into Nazi death camp personnel: "If a system of death camps were set up in the United States of the sort we had seen in Nazi Germany, one would be able to find sufficient personnel for those camps in any medium-sized American town."3 3 Let us briefly consider this frightening prediction in light of five very different but fascinating inquiries into this Nazi connection with ordinary people willingly recruited to act against a declared "enemy of the state." The first two are class room demonstrations by creative teachers with high school and grade school children. The third is by a former graduate student of mine who determined that American college students would indeed endorse the "final solution" if an au thority figure provided sufficient justification for doing so. The last two directly studied Nazi SS and German policemen. Creating Nazis in an American Classroom Students in a Palo Alto, California, high school world history class were, like many of us, not able to comprehend the inhumanity of the Holocaust. How could such a racist and deadly social-political movement have thrived, and how could the average citizen have been ignorant of or indifferent to the suffering it imposed on fellow Jewish citizens? Their inventive teacher, Ron Jones, decided to modify his medium in order to make the message meaningful to these disbelievers. To do so, he switched from the usual didactic teaching method to an experiential learning mode. He began by telling the class that they would simulate some aspects of the German experience in the coming week. Despite this forewarning, the role- playing "experiment" that took place over the next five days was a serious matter for the students and a shock for the teacher, not to mention the principal and the students' parents. Simulation and reality merged as these students created a to talitarian system of beliefs and coercive control that was all too much like that fashioned by Hitler's Nazi regime.3 4 First, Jones established new rigid classroom rules that had to be obeyed with out question. All answers must be limited to three words or less and preceded by "Sir," as the student stood erect beside his or her desk. When no one challenged this and other arbitrary rules, the classroom atmosphere began to change. The more verbally fluent, intelligent students lost their positions of prominence as the less verbal, more physically assertive ones took over. The classroom movement was named "The Third Wave." A cupped-hand salute was introduced along with slogans that had to be shouted in unison on command. Each day there was a new powerful slogan: "Strength through discipline"; "Strength through community"; "Strength through action"; and "Strength through pride." There would be one more reserved for later on. Secret handshakes identified insiders, and critics had to be reported for "treason." Actions followed the slogans—making banners that were hung about the school, enlisting new members, teaching other students mandatory sitting postures, and so forth. The original core of twenty history students soon swelled to more than a hundred eager new Third Wavers. The students then took over the assignment, making it their own. They issued special membership cards. Some of the brightest students were ordered out of class. The new authoritarian in-group was delighted and abused their former classmates as they were taken away. Jones then confided to his followers that they were part of a nationwide movement to discover students who were willing to fight for political change. They were "a select group of young people chosen to help in this cause," he told them. A rally was scheduled for the next day at which a national presidential can didate was supposed to announce on TV the formation of a new Third Wave Youth program. More than two hundred students filled the auditorium at Cub- berly High School in eager anticipation of this announcement. Exhilarated Wave members wearing white-shirted uniforms with homemade armbands posted ban ners around the hall. While muscular students stood guard at the door, friends of the teacher posing as reporters and photographers circulated among the mass of "true believers." The TV was turned on, and everyone waited—and waited—for the big announcement of their next collective goose steps forward. They shouted. "Strength through discipline!" Instead, the teacher projected a film of the Nuremberg rally; the history of the Third Reich appeared in ghostly images. "Everyone must accept the blame— no one can claim that they didn't in some way take part." That was the final frame of the film and the end of the simulation. Jones explained the reason to all the as sembled students for this simulation, which had gone way beyond his initial in tention. He told them that the new slogan for them should be "Strength through understanding." Jones went on to conclude, "You have been manipulated. Shoved by your own desires into the place you now find yourselves." Ron Jones got into trouble with the administration because the parents of the rejected classmates complained about their children being harassed and threat ened by the new regime. Nevertheless, he concluded that many of these young sters had learned a vital lesson by personally experiencing the ease with which their behavior could be so radically transformed by obeying a powerful authority within the context of a fascistlike setting. In his later essay about the "experi ment," Jones noted that "In the four years I taught at Cubberly High School, no one ever admitted to attending the Third Wave rally. It was something we all wanted to forget." (After leaving the school a few years later, Jones began working with special education students in San Francisco. A powerful docudrama of this simulated Nazi experience, titled "The Wave," captured some of this transforma tion of good kids into pseudo Hitler Youth.3 5 ) Creating Little Elementary School Beasties: Brown Eyes Versus Blue Eyes The power of authorities is demonstrated not only in the extent to which they can command obedience from followers, but also in the extent to which they can de fine reality and alter habitual ways of thinking and acting. Case in point: Jane El liott, a popular third-grade schoolteacher in the small rural town of Riceville, Iowa. Her challenge: how to teach white children from a small farm town with few minorities about the meaning of "brotherhood" and "tolerance." She decided to have them experience personally what it feels like to be an underdog and also the top dog, either the victim or the perpetrator of prejudice.36 This teacher arbitrarily designated one part of her class as superior to the other part, which was inferior—based only on their eye color. She began by informing her students that people with blue eyes were superior to those with brown eyes and gave a variety of supporting "evidence" to illustrate this truth, such as George Washington's having blue eyes and, closer to home, a student's fa ther (who, the student had complained, had hit him) having brown eyes. Starting immediately, said Ms. Elliott, the children with blue eyes would be the special "superior" ones and the brown-eyed ones would be the "inferior" group. The allegedly more intelligent blue-eyes were given special privileges, while the inferior brown-eyes had to obey rules that enforced their second-class status, including wearing a collar that enabled others to recognize their lowly status from a distance. The previously friendly blue-eyed kids refused to play with the bad "brown- eyes," and they suggested that school officials should be notified that the brown-eyes might steal things. Soon fistfights erupted during recess, and one boy admitted hitting another "in the gut" because, "He called me brown-eyes, like being a black person, like a Negro." Within one day, the brown-eyed children began to do more poorly in their schoolwork and became depressed, sullen, and angry. They described themselves as "sad," "bad," "stupid," and "mean." The next day was turnabout time. Mrs. Elliott told the class that she had been wrong—it was really the brown-eyed children who were superior and the blue- eyed ones who were inferior, and she provided specious new evidence to support this chromatic theory of good and evil. The blue-eyes now switched from their previously "happy," "good," "sweet," and "nice" self-labels to derogatory labels similar to those adopted the day before by the brown-eyes. Old friendship patterns between children temporarily dissolved and were replaced by hostility until this experiential project was ended and the children were carefully and fully debriefed and returned to their joy-filled classroom. The teacher was amazed at the swift and total transformation of so many of her students whom she thought she knew so well. Mrs. Elliott concluded. "What had been marvelously cooperative, thoughtful children became nasty, vicious, discriminating little third-graders. . . . It was ghastly!" Endorsing the Final Solution in Hawaii: Ridding the World of Misfits Imagine that you are a college student at the University of Hawaii (Manoa cam pus) among 5 7 0 other students in any of several large evening school psychology classes. Tonight your teacher, with his Danish accent, alters his usual lecture to reveal a threat to national security being created by the population explosion (a hot topic in the early 1 9 7 0 s ) .5 7 This authority describes the emerging threat to society posed by the rapidly increasing number of people who are physically and mentally unfit. The problem is convincingly presented as a high-minded scientific project, endorsed by scientists and planned for the benefit of humanity. You are then invited to help in "the application of scientific procedures to eliminate the mentally and emotionally unfit." The teacher further justifies the need to take action with an analogy to capital punishment as a deterrent against violent crime. He tells you that your opinions are being solicited because you and the others as sembled here are intelligent and well educated and have high ethical values. It is flattering to think that you are in this select company. (Recall the lure of C. S. Lewis's "Inner Ring.") In case there might be any lingering misgivings, he pro vides assurances that much careful research would be carried out before action of any kind would be taken with these misfit human creatures. At this point, he wants only your opinions, recommendations, and personal views on a simple survey to be completed now by you and the rest of the students in the auditorium. You begin answering the questions because you have been per suaded that this is a new vital issue about which your voice matters. You dili gently answer each of the seven questions and discover that there is a lot of uniformity between your answers and those of the rest of the group. Ninety percent of you agree that there will always be some people more fit for survival than others. Regarding killing of the unfit: 79 percent wanted one person to be responsi ble for the killing and another to carry out the act; 64 percent preferred anonymity for those who pressed the button with only one button causing death though many were pressed; 89 percent judged that painless drugs would be the most efficient and humane method of inducing death. If required by law to assist, 89 percent wanted to be the one who assisted in the decisions, while 9 percent preferred to assist with the killings or both. Only 6 percent of the studentsrefused to answer. Most incredibly, fully 91 percent of all student respondents agreed with the conclusion that "under extreme circumstances it is entirely just to eliminate those judged most dangerous to the general welfare"! Finally, a surprising 29 percent supported this "final solution" even if it had to be applied to their own families!58 So these American college students (night school students and thus older than usual) were willing to endorse a deadly plan to kill off all others who were judged by some authorities to be less fit to live than they were—after only a brief presentation by their teacher-authority. Now we can see how ordinary, even intel ligent Germans could readily endorse Hitler's "Final Solution" against the Jews, which was reinforced in many ways by their educational system and strength ened by systematic government propaganda. Ordinary Men Indoctrinated into Extraordinary Killing One of the clearest illustrations of my exploration of how ordinary people can be made to engage in evil deeds that are alien to their past history and moral values comes from a remarkable discovery by the historian Christopher Browning. He re counts that in March 1 9 4 2 about 80 percent of all victims of the Holocaust were still alive, but a mere eleven months later about 80 percent were dead. In this short period of time, theEndlosung (Hitler's "Final Solution") was energized by means of an intense wave of mobile mass murder squads in Poland. This genocide required mobilization of a large-scale killing machine at the same time that able- bodied German soldiers were needed on the collapsing Russian front. Because most Polish Jews lived in small towns and not large cities, the question that Browning raised about the German high command was "where had they found the manpower during this pivotal year of the war for such an astounding logisti cal achievement in mass murder?"39 His answer came from archives of Nazi war crimes, which recorded the activi ties of Reserve Battalion 1 0 1 , a unit of about five hundred men from Hamburg, Germany. They were elderly family men, too old to be drafted into the Army; they came from working-class and lower-middle-class backgrounds, and they had no military police experience. They were raw recruits sent to Poland without warn ing of, or any training in, their secret mission—the total extermination of all Jews living in the remote villages of Poland. In just four months they shot to death at point-blank range at least 3 8 , 0 0 0 Jews and had another 4 5 , 0 0 0 deported to the concentration camp at Treblinka. Initially, their commander told them that this was a difficult mission that must be obeyed by the battalion. However, he added that any individual could refuse to execute these men, women, and children. The records indicate that at first about half the men refused and let the other police reservists engage in the mass murder. But over time, social modeling processes took over, as did guilt- induced persuasion by those reservists who had been doing the shooting, along with the usual group conformity pressures of "how would they be seen in the eyes of their comrades." By the end of their deadly journey, up to 90 percent of the men in Battalion 1 0 1 were blindly obedient to their battalion leader and were per sonally involved in the shootings. Many of them posed proudly for photographs of their up-close and personal killing of Jews. Like those who took photos of the pris oner abuse at Abu Ghraib Prison, these policemen posed in their "trophy photos" as proud destroyers of the Jewish menace. Browning makes it clear that there was no special selection of these men, nor self-selection, nor self-interest or careerism that could account for these mass murders. Instead, they were as "ordinary" as can be imagined—until they were put into a novel situation in which they had "official" permission and encourage ment to act sadistically against people who were arbitrarily labeled as the "enemy." What is most evident in Browning's penetrating analysis of these daily acts of human evil is that these ordinary men were part of a powerful authority system, a political police state with ideological justifications for destroying Jews and intense indoctrination of the moral imperatives of discipline and loyalty and duty to the state. Interestingly, for the argument that I have been making that experimental re search can have real-world relevance, Browning compared the underlying mecha nisms operating in that far-off land at that distant time to the psychological processes at work in both the Milgram obedience studies and our Stanford Prison Experiment. The author goes on to note, "Zimbardo's spectrum of guard behavior bears an uncanny resemblance to the groupings that emerged within Reserve Po lice Battalion 1 0 1 " (p. 1 6 8 ) . He shows how some became sadistically "cruel and tough," enjoying the killing, whereas others were "tough, but fair" in "playing the rules," and a minority qualified as "good guards" who refused to kill and did small favors for the Jews. The psychologist Ervin Staub (who as a child survived the Nazi occupation of Hungary in a "protected house") concurs that most people under particular cir cumstances have a capacity for extreme violence and destruction of human life. From his attempt to understand the roots of evil in genocide and mass violence around the world, Staub has come to believe that "Evil that arises out of ordinary thinking and is committed by ordinary people is the norm, not the exception.... Great evil arises out of ordinary psychological processes that evolve, usually with a progression along the continuum of destruction." He highlights the signifi cance of ordinary people being caught up in situations where they can learn to practice evil acts that are demanded by higher-level authority systems: "Being part of a system shapes views, rewards adherence to dominant views, and makes deviation psychologically demanding and difficult."40 Having lived through the horrors of Auschwitz, John Steiner (my dear friend and sociologist colleague) returned for decades to Germany to interview hun dreds of former Nazi SS men, from privates to generals. He needed to know what had made these men embrace such unspeakable evil day in and day out. Steiner found that many of these men were high on the F-Scale measure of authoritari anism, which attracted them to the subculture of violence in the SS. He refers to them as "sleepers," people with certain traits that are latent and may never be ex pressed except when particular situations activate these violent tendencies. He concludes that "the situation tended to be the most immediate determinant of SS behavior," rousing "sleepers" into active killers. However, from his massive inter view data Steiner also found that these men had led normal—violence-free—lives both before and after their violent years in the concentration camp setting.41 Steiner's extensive experience with many of the SS men at a personal and scholarly level led him to advance two important conclusions about institutional power and the role enactment of brutality: "Institutional support for roles of vio lence has apparently far more extensive effects than generally realized. When im plicit, and especially explicit, social sanctions support such roles, people tend to be attracted to them who may not only derive satisfaction from the nature of their work but are quasiexecutioners in feeling as well as action." Steiner goes on to describe how roles can trump character traits: "[It] has be come evident that not everyone playing a brutal role has to have sadistic traits of character. Those who continued in roles originally not conducive to their person ality often changed their values (i.e., had a tendency to adjust to what was ex pected of them in these roles). There were SS members who clearly identified with and enjoyed their positions. Finally there were those who were repulsed and sick ened by what they were ordered to do. They tried to compensate by helping in mates whenever possible. (This writer's life was saved by SS personnel on several occasions.)" It is important to acknowledge that the many hundreds of thousands of Ger mans who became perpetrators of evil during the Holocaust were not doing so simply because they were following the orders given by authorities. Obedience to an authority system that gave permission and reward for murdering Jews was built on a scaffold of intense anti-Semitism that existed in Germany and other European nations at that time. This prejudice was given direction and resolve by the German chain of command to ordinary Germans, who became "Hitler's will ing executioners," in the analysis by the historian Daniel Goldhagen.42 Although it is important to note the motivating role of Germans' hatred of Jews, Goldhagen's analysis suffers from two flaws. First, historical evidence shows that from the early nineteenth century on there was less anti-Semitism in Ger many than in neighboring countries such as France and Poland. He also errs in minimizing the influence of Hitler's authority system—a network that glorified racial fanaticism and the particular situations created by the authorities, like the concentration camps, which mechanized genocide. It was the interaction of personal variables of German citizens with situational opportunities provided by a System of fanatical prejudice that combined to empower so many to become will ing or unwilling executioners for their state. THE BANALITY OF EVIL In 1 9 6 3 , the social philosopher Hannah Arendt published what was to become a classic of our times, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. She provides a detailed analysis of the war crimes trial of Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi figure who personally arranged for the murder of millions of Jews. Eichmann's defense of his actions was similar to the testimony of other Nazi leaders: "I was only following orders." As Arendt put it, "[Eichmann] remembered perfectly well that he would have had a bad conscience only if he had not done what he had been ordered to do—to ship millions of men, women, and children to their death with great zeal and the most meticulous care" (p. 2 5 ) .4 3 However, what is most striking in Arendt's account of Eichmann is all the ways in which he seemed absolutely ordinary: Half a dozen psychiatrists had certified him as "normal"—"More normal, at any rate, than I am after having examined him," one of them was said to have exclaimed, while another had found that his whole psychological outlook, his attitude toward his wife and children, mother and father, brothers, sisters, and friends, was "not only normal but most desirable" (pp. 2 5 - 2 6 ) . Through her analysis of Eichmann, Arendt reached her famous conclusion: The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the viewpoint of our legal insti tutions and our moral standards of judgment, this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together, for it implied . . . that this new type of criminal... commits his crimes under circumstances that make it well-nigh impossible for him to know or feel that he is doing wrong (p.2 7 6 ) . It was as though in those last minutes [of Eichmann's life] he was summing up the lesson that this long course in human wickedness had taught us—the lesson of the fearsome, word-and-thought-defying ba nality of evil (p. 2 5 2 ) . Arendt's phrase "the banality of evil" continues to resonate because geno cide has been unleashed around the world and torture and terrorism continue to be common features of our global landscape. We prefer to distance ourselves from such a fundamental truth, seeing the madness of evildoers and senseless violence of tyrants as dispositional characters within their personal makeup. Arendt's analysis was the first to deny this orientation by observing the fluidity with which social forces can prompt normal people to perform horrific acts. Torturers and Executioners: Pathological Types or Situational Imperatives? There is little doubt that the systematic torture by men of their fellow men and women represents one of the darkest sides of human nature. Surely, my col leagues and I reasoned, here was a place where dispositional evil would be mani fest among torturers who did their daily dirty deeds for years in Brazil as policemen sanctioned by the government to get confessions by torturing "subver sive" enemies of the state. We began by focusing on the torturers, trying to understand both their psy ches and the ways they were shaped by their circumstances, but we had to expand our analytical net to capture their comrades in arms who chose or were assigned to another branch of violence work: death squad executioners. They shared a "common enemy": men, women, and children who, though citizens of their state, even neighbors, were declared by "the System" to be threats to the country's na tional security—as socialists and Communists. Some had to be eliminated effi ciently, while others, who might hold secret information, had to be made to yield it up by torture, confess to their treason, and then be killed. In carrying out this mission, these torturers could rely in part on the "crea tive evil" embodied in torture devices and techniques that had been refined over centuries since the Inquisition by officials of the Catholic Church and later of many nation-states. However, they had to add a measure of improvisation when dealing with particular enemies to overcome their resistance and resiliency. Some of them claimed innocence, refused to acknowledge their culpability, or were tough enough not to be intimidated by most coercive interrogation tactics, ft took time and emerging insights into human weaknesses for these torturers to become adept at their craft. By contrast, the task of the death squads was easy. With hoods for anonymity, guns, and group support, they could dispatch their duty to coun try swiftly and impersonally: "just business." For a torturer, the work could never be just business. Torture always involves a personal relationship: it is essential for the torturer to understand what kind of torture to employ, what intensity of tor ture to use on a certain person at a certain time. Wrong kind or too little—no con fession. Too much—the victim dies before confessing, In either case, the torturer fails to deliver the goods and incurs the wrath of the senior officers. Learning to determine the right kind and degree of torture that yields up the desired informa tion elicits abounding rewards and flowing praise from one's superiors. What kind of men could do such deeds? Did they need to rely on sadistic impulses and a history of sociopathic life experiences to rip and tear the flesh of fellow beings day in and day out for years on end? Were these violence workers a breed apart from the rest of humanity, bad seeds, bad tree trunks, and bad flow ers? Or is it conceivable that they could be ordinary people, programmed to carry out their deplorable acts by means of some identifiable and replicable training programs? Could we identify a set of external conditions, situational variables, that had contributed to the making of these torturers and killers? If their evil actions were not traceable to inner defects but rather attributable to outer forces acting on them—the political, economic, social, historical, and experiential com ponents of their police training—we might be able to generalize across cultures and settings and discover some of the operative principles responsible for this re markable human transformation. The sociologist and Brazil expert Martha Huggins, the Greek psychologist and torture expert Mika Haritos-Fatouros, and I interviewed several dozen of these violence workers in depth at various venues in Brazil. (For a summary of our methods and detailed findings about these violence workers, see Huggins, Haritos-Fatouros, and Zimbardo44). Mika had done a similar, earlier study of tor turers trained by the Greek military junta, and our results were largely congruent with hers.4 5 We found that sadists are selected out of the training process by trainers because they are not controllable, get off on the pleasure of inflicting pain, and thus do not sustain the focus on the goal of extraction of confessions. Thus, from all the evidence we could muster, torturers and death squad execu tioners were not unusual or deviant in any way prior to practicing their new roles, nor were there any persisting deviant tendencies or pathologies among any of them in the years following their work as torturers and executioners. Their transformation was entirely explainable as being the consequence of a number of situational and systemic factors, such as the training they were given to play this new role; their group camaraderie; acceptance of the national security ideology; and their learned belief in socialists and Communists as enemies of their state. Other situational influences contributing to the new behavioral style included being made to feel special, above and better than their peers in public service by being awarded this special assignment; the secrecy of their duties being shared only with comrades in arms; and the constant pressure to produce results regard less of fatigue or personal problems. We reported many detailed case studies that document the ordinariness of the men engaged in these most heinous of acts, sanctioned by their government, and secretly supported by the CIA at that point in the Cold War ( 1 9 6 4 - 1 9 8 5 ) against Soviet communism. The account Torture in Brazil, by members of the Catholic Archdiocese of Säo Paulo, provides detailed information of the extensive involvement of CIA agents in the torture training of Brazilian police.46 Such in formation is consistent with all that is known of the systematic instruction in in terrogation and torture offered at the "School of the Americas" to operatives from countries sharing a common enemy in communism.4 7 However, my colleagues and I believe that such deeds are reproducible at any time in any nation when there is an obsession with threats to national security. Before the fears and excesses engendered by the recent "war against terrorism," there was the nearly perpetual "war against crime" in many urban centers. In New York City's police department, that "war" spawned "the commandos of the NYPD." This insular police team was given free rein to hunt down alleged rapists, robbers, and muggers as local conditions dictated. They wore T-shirts with their motto, "There is no hunting like the hunting of men." Their battle cry was "We own the night." Such a professionalized police culture was comparable to that of the Brazilian police-torturers we had studied. One of their notable atrocities was the murder of an African immigrant (Amadou Diallo, from Guinea), gunning him down with more than forty bullets while he tried to pull out his wallet to give them his ID.4 8 Sometimes "bad shit happens," but usually there are identifiable situational and systemic forces operating to make it happen. Suicide Bombers: Mindless Fanatics or Mindful Martyrs? Amazingly, what holds true for these violence workers is comparable to the trans formation of young Palestinians from students into suicide bombers intent on killing innocent Israeli civilians. Recent media accounts converge on the findings from more systematic analyses of the process of becoming a suicidal killer.49 Who adopts this fatalistic role? Is it poor, desperate, socially isolated, illiterate young people with no career and no future? Not at all. According to the results of a recent study of four hundred al-Qaeda members, three quarters of that sample came from the upper or middle class. This study by the forensic psychiatrist Marc Sageman also found other evidence of the normality and even superiority of these youths turned suicide bombers. The majority, 90 percent, came from car ing, intact families. Two thirds had gone to college; two thirds were married; and most had children and jobs in science and engineering. "These are the best and brightest of their society in many ways," Sageman concludes.50 Anger, revenge, and outrage at perceived injustice are the motivational triggers for deciding to die for the cause. "People desire death when two fundamental needs are frustrated to the point of extinction," according to the psychologist Thomas Joiner in his treatise Why People Die by Suicide. The first need is one we have pointed to as central to conformity and social power, the need to belong with or connect to others. The second need is the need to feel effective with or to influ ence others.5 1 Ariel Merari, an Israeli psychologist who has studied this phenomenon extensively for many years, outlines the common steps on the path to these explo sive deaths.52 First, senior members of an extremist group identify young people who appear to have an intense patriotic fervor based on their declarations at a public rally against Israel or their support of some Islamic cause or Palestinian ac tion. Next, they are invited to discuss how seriously they love their country and hate Israel. They are asked to commit to being trained. Those who do commit be come part of a small secret cell of three to five youths. They learn the tricks of the trade from their elders: bomb making, disguise, and selecting and timing targets. Finally, they make public their private commitment by making a videotape, declaring themselves to be "the living martyr" for Islam("al-shahid-al-hai"). In one hand they hold the Koran, in the other a rifle; the insignia on their headband declares their new status. This video binds them to the final deed, because it is sent to their families. The recruits are also told the Big Lie that not only will they earn a place beside Allah, but their relatives will also be entitled to a high place in Heaven because of their martyrdom. The suicidal pie is sweetened with a sizable financial incentive, or a monthly pension, that goes to their family. Their photo is emblazoned on posters that will be put on walls everywhere in the community the moment they succeed in their mission—to become inspira tional models for the next round of suicide bombers. To stifle their concerns about the pain from wounds inflicted by exploding nails and other bomb parts, the re cruits are assured that before the first drop of their blood touches the ground they will already be seated at the side of Allah, feeling no pain, only pleasure. The die is cast; their minds have been carefully prepared to do what is ordinarily unthink able. Of course, the rhetoric of dehumanization serves to deny the humanity and innocence of their victims. In these systematic ways a host of normal, angry young men and women become transformed into heroes and heroines. Their lethal actions model self- sacrifice and total commitment as true believers to the cause of the oppressed. That message is sent loud and clear to the next cadre of young suicide bombers in waiting. We can see that this program utilizes a variety of social psychological and motivational principles to assist in turning collective hatred and general frenzy into a dedicated, seriously calculated program of indoctrination and training for individuals to become youthful living martyrs. It is neither mindless nor sense less, only a very different mind-set and with different sensibilities than we have been used to witnessing among young adults in most countries. For his new film, Suicide Killers, the French filmmaker Pierre Rehov inter viewed many Palestinians in Israeli jails who were caught before detonating their bombs or had abetted would-be attacks. His conclusion about them resonates with the analyses presented here: "Every single one of them tried to convince me it was the right thing to do for moralistic reasons. These aren't kids who want to do evil. These are kids who want to do good.... The result of this brainwashing was kids who were very good people inside (were) believing so much that they were doing something great."53 The suicide, the murder, of any young person is a gash in the fabric of the human family that we elders from every nation must unite to prevent. To encour age the sacrifice of youth for the sake of advancing the ideologies of the old must be considered a form of evil that transcends local politics and expedient strategies. "Perfect 9/11 Soldiers" and "Ordinary British Lads" Are Bombing Us Two final examples of the "ordinariness" of mass murderers are worth mentioning. The first comes from an in-depth study of the 9 / 1 1 hijackers, whose suicidal terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., resulted in the deaths of nearly three thousand innocent civilians. The second comes from the London police reports of suspected suicide bombers of London's Underground and a double-decker bus in June 2 0 0 5 that resulted in scores of deaths and serious injuries. The carefully researched portraits of several of the 9 / 1 1 terrorists by the re porter Terry McDermott in Perfect Soldiers underscores just how ordinary these men were in their everyday lives.54 His research led McDermott to an ominous conclusion: "It is likely that there are a great many more men just like them" out there throughout the world. One review of this book takes us back to Arendt's banality-of-evil thesis, updated for our new era of global terrorism.The New York Times' reviewer Michiko Kakutani offers us a scary postscript: "Perfect Soldiers re places the caricatures of outsize 'evil geniuses' and 'wild-eyed fanatics' with por traits of the 9/11 plotters as surprisingly mundane people, people who might easily be our neighbors or airplane seatmates."55 That frightening scenario was played out in the subsequent coordinated at tacks on London's transit system by a team of suicide bombers, "mundane mur derers," who anonymously rode a subway train or a bus. To their friends, relatives, and neighbors in the northern England city of Leeds, these young Mus lim men were "ordinary British lads."56 Nothing in their past history would mark them as dangerous; indeed, everything about them enabled these "ordinary lads" to fit in seamlessly in their town, at their jobs. One was a skilled cricket player who gave up drinking and women to lead a more devout life. Another was the son of a local businessman who ran a fish-and-chips shop. Another was a counselor who worked effectively with disabled children and had recently become a father and moved his family into a new home. Unlike the 9/11 hijackers, who had raised some suspicions as foreigners seeking flight training in the United States, these young men were homegrown, flying well below any police radar. "It's completely out of character for him. Someone must have brainwashed him and made him do it," reflected a friend of one of them. "The most terrifying thing about suicide bombers is their sheer normality," concludes Andrew Silke, an expert on the subject.5 7 He notes that in all the foren sic examinations of the bodies of dead suicide bombers there have never been traces of alcohol or drugs. Their mission is undertaken with a clear mind and dedication. And as we have seen, whenever there has been a student shooting in a school, as in Columbine High School in the United States, those who thought they knew the perpetrators typically report, "He was such a good kid, from a re spectable family... you just can't believe he would do it." This harkens back to the point I raised in our first chapter—how well do we really know other people?— and its corollary—how well do we know ourselves to be certain of how we would behave in novel situations under intense situational pressures? THE ULTIMATE TEST OF BLIND OBEDIENCE TO AUTHORITY: KILLING YOUR CHILDREN ON COMMAND Our final extension of the social psychology of evil from artificial laboratory ex periments to real-world contexts comes to us from the jungles of Guyana, where an American religious leader persuaded more than nine hundred of his followers to commit mass suicide or be killed by their relatives and friends on November 2 8 , 1978. Jim Jones, the pastor of Peoples Temple congregations in San Francisco and Los Angeles, set out to create a socialist utopia in this South American na tion, where brotherhood and tolerance would be dominant over the materialism and racism he loathed in the United States. But over time and place Jones was transformed from the caring, spiritual "father" of this large Protestant congrega tion into an Angel of Death—a truly cosmic transformation of Luciferian propor tions. For now I want only to establish the obedience to authority link between Milgram's basement laboratory in New Haven and this jungle-killing field.58 The dreams of the many poor members of the Peoples Temple for a new and better life in this alleged utopia were demolished when Jones instituted extended forced labor, armed guards, total restriction of all civil liberties, semistarvation diets, and daily punishments amounting to torture for the slightest breach of any of his many rules. When concerned relatives convinced a congressman to inspect the compound, along with a media crew, Jones arranged for them to be murdered as they were leaving. He then gathered almost all of the members who were at the compound and gave a long speech in which he exhorted them all to take their lives by drinking poison, cyanide-laced Kool-Aid. Those who refused were forced to drink by the guards or shot trying to escape, but it appears as though most obeyed their leader. Jones was surely an egomaniac; he had all of his speeches and proclama tions, and even his torture sessions tape-recorded—including this last-hour sui cide drill. In it Jones distorts reality, lies, pleads, makes false analogies, appeals to ideology and to transcendent future lives, and outright insists that they follow his orders, as his staff is efficiently distributing the deadly poison to the more than nine hundred members gathered around him. Some excerpts from that last hour convey a sense of the death-dealing tactics he used to induce total obedience to an authority gone mad: Please get us some medication. It's simple. It's simple. There's no convul sions with it [of course there are, especially for the children].... Don't be afraid to die. You'll see, there'll be a few people land out here. They'll tor ture some of our children here. They'll torture our people. They'll torture our seniors. We cannot have this.... Please, can we hasten? Can we has ten with that medication? You don't know what you've done. I tried. . . . Please. For God's sake, let's get on with it. We've lived—we've lived as no other people lived and loved. We've had as much of this world as you're gonna get. Let's just be done with it. Let's be done with the agony of it. [Applause.]. . . . Who wants to go with their child has a right to go with their child. I think it's humane. I want to go—I want to see you go, though.... It's not to be afeared. It is not to be feared. It is a friend. It's a friend... sitting there, show your love for one another. Let's get gone. Let's get gone. Let's get gone. [Children crying.]. . . . Lay down your life with dignity. Don't lay down with tears and agony. There's nothing to death.... it's just stepping over to another plane. Don't be this way. Stop this hyster ics. ... No way for us to die. We must die with some dignity. We must die with some dignity. We will have no choice. Now we have some c h o i c e.... Look children, it's just something to put you to rest. Oh, God. [Children crying.]. . . . Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, please. Mother, please, please, please. Don't—don't do this. Don't do this. Lay down your life with your child. [The full transcript is available online; see the Notes.59] And they did, and they died for "Dad." The power of charismatic tyrannical leaders, like Jim Jones and Adolf Hitler, endures even after they do terrible things to their followers, and even after their demise. Whatever little good they may have done earlier somehow comes to dominate the legacy of their evil deeds in the minds of the faithful. Consider the example of a young man, Gary Scott, who fol lowed his father into the Peoples Temple but was expelled for being disobedient. In his statement as he called the National Call-in following the broadcast of the NPR show "Father Cares: The Last of Jonestown," by James Reston, Jr., Gary describes how he was punished for an infraction of the rules. He was beaten, whipped, sex ually abused, and forced to endure his worst fear of having a boa constrictor crawling all over him. But, more important, listen to the articulation of his endur ing reaction to this torment. Does he hate Jim Jones? Not one bit. He has become a "true believer," a "faithful follower." Even though his father died in Jonestown at that poison fount, and he himself was brutally tortured and humiliated, Gary publically states that he still admires and even loves his "dad"—Jim Jones. Not even George Orwell's omnipotent1984 Party could honestly claim such a victory. Now we need to go beyond conformity and authority obedience. Powerful as these are, they are only starters. In the confrontation of potential perpetrators and vic tims, like guard and prisoner, torturer and sufferer, suicide bomber and civilian victims, there are processes that operate to change the psychological makeup of one or the other. Deindividuation makes the perpetrator anonymous, thereby re ducing personal accountability, responsibility, and self-monitoring. This allows perpetrators to act without conscience-inhibiting limits. Dehumanization takes away the humanity of potential victims, rendering them as animallike, or as nothing. We will also inquire about conditions that make bystanders to evil be come passive observers and not active intruders, helpers, or whistle-blowing heroes. That slice of the evil of inaction is really a cornerstone of evil because it al lows perpetrators to believe that others who knew what was going on accepted and approved it even if only by their silence. A fitting conclusion to our investigation of the social dynamics of conformity and obedience comes from the Harvard psychologist Mahrzarin Banaji: What social psychology has given to an understanding of human nature is the discovery that forces larger than ourselves determine our mental life and our actions—chief among these forces [is] the power of the social situation.60 CHAPTER THIRTEEN Investigating Social Dynamics: Deindividuation, Dehumanization, and the Evil of Inaction The historical account of humans is a heap of conspiracies, re bellions, murders, massacres, revolutions, banishments, the very worst effects that avarice, faction, hypocrisy, perfidious- ness, cruelty, rage, madness, hatred, envy, lust, malice, and am bition could produce.... I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth. —Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels (1727) 1 PerhapsJ o n a t h a nS w i f t ' s total condemnation of our humanr a c e — o f us Yahoos—is a bit extreme, but consider that he wrote this critique several hundred years before the advent of genocides throughout the modern world, before the Holocaust. His views reflect a basic theme in Western literature that "Mankind" has suffered a great fall from its original state of perfection, starting with Adam's act of disobedience against God when he succumbed to Satan's temptation. The social philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau elaborated this theme of the corrupting influence of social forces by envisioning human beings as "noble, primitive savages" whose virtues were diminished by contact with corrupting society. In stark opposition to this conception of human beings as the innocent victims of an all-powerful, malignant society is the view that people are born evil—genetic bad seeds. Our species is driven by wanton desires, unlimited appetites, and hostile impulses unless people are transformed into rational, rea sonable, compassionate human beings by education, religion, and family, or con trolled by the discipline imposed upon them by the authority of the State. Where do you stand in this ages-old debate? Are we born good and then corrupted by an evil society or born evil and redeemed by a good society? Before casting your ballot, consider an alternative perspective. Maybe each of us has the capacity to be a saint or a sinner, altruistic or selfish, gentle or cruel, dominant or submissive, perpetrator or victim, prisoner or guard. Maybe it is our social cir cumstances that determine which of our many mental templates, our potentials, we develop. Scientists are discovering that embryonic stem cells are capable of be coming virtually any kind of cell or tissue and ordinary skin cells can be turned into embryonic stem cells. It is tempting to expand these biological concepts and what is now known about the developmental plasticity of the human brain to the "plasticity" of human nature.2 What we are is shaped both by the broad systems that govern our lives— wealth and poverty, geography and climate, historical epoch, cultural, political and religious dominance—and by the specific situations we deal with daily. Those forces in turn interact with our basic biology and personality. I have argued ear lier that the potential for perversion is inherent in the complexity of the human mind. The impulse toward evil and the impulse toward good together comprise the most fundamental duality in human nature. This conception offers a com plex, richer portrait of the pride and puzzles in human actions. We have examined the power of group conformity and obedience to authority that can dominate and subvert individual initiative. Next, we add insights from research into the domains of deindividuation, dehumanization, and bystander apathy, or the "evil of inaction." This information will complete the foundation for us to fully appreciate how ordinary, good individuals—perhaps even you, gen tle reader—can be led at times to do bad things to others, even bad deeds that violate any sense of common decency or morality. DEINDIVIDUATION: ANONYMITY AND DESTRUCTIVENESS William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies asks how a simple change in one's external appearance can trigger dramatic changes in overt behavior. Good British choirboys are transformed into murderous little beasts by simply painting their faces. When food runs out on their desert island, a group of boys, led by Jack Mer- ridew, try to kill a pig—but they can't complete the act because killing has been inhibited by their Christian morality. Then Jack decides to paint his face into a mask, and as he does, a frightening metamorphosis occurs as he sees his reflec tion in the water: He looked in astonishment, no longer at himself but at an awesome stranger. He spilt the water and leapt to his feet, laughing excitedly. Beside the pool his sinewy body held up a mask that drew their eyes and appalled them [the other boys]. He began to dance and his laughter became a blood thirsty snarling. He capered toward Bill, and the mask was a thing on its own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness. After the other boys in Jack's gang also disguise themselves with painted masks, they are readily able to "Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood."3 Once that alien deed of killing another creature is accomplished, they then relish the fun of killing both animals and their human enemies, notably the intellectual boy nicknamed "Piggy." Might makes right, and all hell breaks loose as Ralph, the good-boy leader, is hunted down by the herd. Is there any psychological validity to the notion that disguising one's external appearance can drastically infect behavioral processes? I attempted to answer that question with a set of studies that helped stimulate a new field of inquiry on the psychology of deindividuation and antisocial behavior.4 The Shocking Behavior of Anonymous Women The basic procedure in this first experiment involved having female college stu dents believe they were delivering a series of painful electric shocks to other women, under the guise of a believable "cover story." They would have multiple opportunities to shock each of two other young women whom they saw and heard from behind a one-way mirror. Half of the student volunteers were randomly assigned to a condition of anonymity, ordeindividuation, half to a condition where their identity was made salient, orindividuation. The four college student subjects, in each of the ten separately tested deindividuation groups, had their appearance concealed by hoods and loose, oversized lab coats, their names replaced by numbers, one to four. The experimenter treated them as an anonymous group, not as individuals. These procedures were performed allegedly to mask their non verbal behavior so that others could not detect their reactions. The comparison group, by contrast, was given name tags that helped to make them feel unique, but everything else was the same for them as for those in the deindividuated groups. Both the deindividuated and the comparison subjects were in four- woman groups, and both were asked to repeatedly shock each of two women "victims" over the course of twenty trials. The cover story was that the target women were subjects in a study of crea tivity under stress. The job of our participants was to stress them by administer ing painful electric shocks while I, as the experimenter in the next room, also behind the mirror, administered the creativity test. Unlike in the Milgram paradigm, there was no authority directly pressuring them to act aggressively by delivering these painful shocks because I did not inter act with them at all during the shock episodes. The students could see me through the observation window along with each of the two women in the alleged crea tivity study. In addition, there was no group conformity pressure exerted on them because they did not interact with one another, being in separate cubicles adja cent to one another. Finally, there was not even pressure on them to perform the task in order not to violate the rationale for the study. If any one of the four group members delivered a shock, the target woman would act hurt, so there would be sufficient stress induced to impact her creativity. Thus, not shocking would be neither disobedient nor confrontational—one could be merely a passive ob server of teammates' shocking instead of an active perpetrator. The behavior of interest was theduration of shock administered—how long each student continued to hold down the shock button after the shock-ready signal appeared. Their decision was not whether to press the shock switch but how quickly to pull their finger off the switch or to keep pressing it down and deliver longer shocks to the victims. Of course, they could choose not to follow the in structions and refuse to even press the shock switch at all (no one ever did that). One of the complicit women had been portrayed as very nice, the other as "bitchy," in their tape-recorded interviews. This was done to create divergent attitudes toward them in the minds of their "stress inducers." Actually, they were both research confederates, trained to act as though they were in pain when a shock light lit up and to give a convincing performance that the students in the other room could witness. Before the experiment began, each of the students in the study was given a sample of the painful shock (of 75 volts) so they knew that it would hurt—but of course, no shock was actually given in the experiment. For each of twenty trials, the women had to decide whether and for how long they would administer this standard level of painful shock to a woman who was seemingly suffering in pain from their actions. Then, after the first target woman left, she was replaced by the second target woman for yet another round of twenty shock trials. Because each member of the four-person experimental and comparison groups was tested in adjacent individual cubicles, their "teammates" could not directly influence their behavior. Nevertheless, they had a sense of being in a group from having been to gether initially while they listened together to the tape recordings. It is important to note that except for the manipulation of anonymity versus identifiability, everything in the study was identical for both groups. The results were clear: The women in the deindividuation condition delivered twice as much shock to both victims as did the comparison women who had been randomly assigned to the individuated condition. Moreover, the women who were anonymous shocked both victims equally, the one they had previously rated as pleasant and the other they had rated as unpleasant. It did not matter what they had previously felt about them once they had their finger on the trigger. They also increased shock time for both over the course of the twenty trials, holding their finger down ever longer on the shock switch as their victims twisted and moaned right before them. In contrast, the individuated women discriminated between the likeable and unpleasant targets, shocking the pleasant woman less over time than they did the unpleasant one. That the anonymous women ignored their previous liking or disliking of the two target women when they had the chance to harm them speaks to a dramatic change in their mentality when in this psychological state of deindividuation. The escalation of shock, with repeated opportunities to administer its painful consequences, appears to be an upward-spiraling effect of the emotional arousal that is being experienced. The agitated behavior becomes self-reinforcing, each action stimulating a stronger, less controlled next reaction. Experientially, it comes not from sadistic motives of wanting to harm others but rather from the energizing sense of one's domination and control over others at that moment in time. This basic paradigm has been repeated with comparable results in a host of laboratory and field studies, using deindividuating masks, administering white noise, or throwing Styrofoam balls at the target victims, and with military per sonnel from the Belgian Army as well as with schoolchildren and a variety of col lege students. Similar escalations of shock over time were also found in a study where teacher-shockers were supposed to be educating their pupil-victims—they too delivered increasing levels of shock across training sessions.5 The Stanford Prison Experiment, as you recall, relied on the deindividuating silver reflecting sunglasses for the guards and staff along with standard military- style uniforms. One important conclusion flows from this body of research: any thing, or any situation, that makes people feel anonymous, as though no one knows who they are or cares to know, reduces their sense of personal account ability, thereby creating the potential for evil action. This becomes especially true when a second factor is added: if the situation or some agency gives them permission to engage in antisocial or violent action against others, as in these research settings, people are ready to go to war. If, instead, the situation conveys merely a reduction of self-centeredness with anonymity and encourages prosocial behav ior, people are ready to make love. (Anonymity in party settings often makes for more socially engaging parties.) So William Golding's insight about anonymity and aggression was psychologically valid—but in more complex and interesting ways than he depicted. Sure, this robe of mine doth change my disposition. —William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale Anonymity can be conferred on others not only with masks but also by the way that people are treated in given situations. When others treat you as if you are not a unique individual but just an undifferentiated "other" being processed by the System, or your existence is ignored, you feel anonymous. The sense of a lack of personal identifiability can also induce antisocial behavior. When a researcher treated college student research volunteers either humanely or as "guinea pigs" in an experiment, guess who ripped him off when he wasn't looking? Later on, these students found themselves alone in the professor-researcher's office with the opportunity to steal coins and pens from a bowl full of them. Those who were in the anonymity condition stole much more often than did the humanely treated students.6 Kindness can be more than its own reward. Halloween Aggression by Schoolchildren What happens when children go to an unusual Halloween party where they put on costumes and are given permission by their teacher to play aggressive games for prizes? Will anonymity plus opportunity to aggress lead children to engage in more aggression over time? Elementary school children attended a special, experimental Halloween party given by their teacher and supervised by a social psychologist, Scott Fraser.7 There were many games to play, and the children could win tokens for each game they won. These tokens could be exchanged for gifts at the end of the party. The more tokens you won, the better the toys you could get, so the motivation to win as many tokens as possible was high. Half the games were nonaggressive in nature, and half involved confrontations between two children to reach the goal. For example, a nonaggressive game might have individual students trying to speedily retrieve a beanbag in a tube, while a potentially aggressive game would entail two students competing to be the first one to get that one beanbag out of the tube. The aggression observed typi cally involved the competitors' pushing and shoving each other. It was not very extreme but was characteristic of first-stage physical encounters between children. The experimental design used only one group, in which each child served as his or her own control. This procedure is known as the A-B-A format—pre-baseline/ change introduced/post-baseline. The children first played the games without costumes (A), then with costumes (B), then again without costumes (A). Initially, while the games were played, the teacher said the costumes were on the way so they would start the fun while they waited for them to arrive. Then, when the cos tumes arrived, they were put on in different rooms so the children's identities were not known to each other, and they played the same games but now in cos tume. In the third phase, the costumes were removed (allegedly to be given to other children in other parties) and the games continued as in the first phase. Each phase of the games lasted about an hour. The data are striking testimony to the power of anonymity. Aggression among these young schoolchildren increased significantly as soon as they put the costumes on. The percentage of the total time that these children played the ag gressive games more than doubled from their initial base level average, up from 42 percent (in A) to 86 percent (in B). Equally interesting was the second major result: aggression had a high negative payoff. The more time a child spent en gaged in the aggressive games, the fewer tokens she or he won during that phase of the party. Being aggressive thus cost the children a loss of tokens. Acting in the aggressive games took more time than the nonaggressive games and only one of two contestants could win, so overall, being aggressive lost valued prizes. How ever, that did not matter when the children were costumed and anonymous. The smallest number of tokens won was during the second, anonymity B, phase, where aggression was highest: only an average of 31 tokens were won, compared to 58 tokens in the A phase. A third important finding was that there was no carryover of aggressive be havior from the high level in the B phase to the last A-phase level, which was com parable to the initial A phase. The percentage of aggressive acts dropped to 36 percent, and the number of tokens won soared to 7 9 . Thus, we can conclude that the behavior change brought on by anonymity did not create a dispositional, in ternal change, but only an outward response change. Change the situation, and behavior changes in lockstep fashion. The use of this A-B-A design also makes ap parent that perceived anonymity was sufficient to dramatically alter behavior in each time frame. Anonymity facilitated aggression even though the conse quences of that physical aggression were not in the child's best immediate inter est of winning tokens exchangeable for fine prizes. Aggression became its own reward. Goals that were distant took a backseat to "the fun and games" of the pre sent moment. (We will see a similar phenomenon operating in some of the Abu Ghraib abuses.) In a related field study, Halloween trick-or-treaters visiting local homes in their own costumes were more likely to steal goodies when they were anonymous than when identifiable. Friends of the researchers put out bowls filled with can dies and others with coins, each of which was labeled "Take one." Going beyond that limit constituted a transgression, stealing. Some children arrived alone, oth ers in groups of friends. In the anonymous condition, the homeowner made it evi dent that he or she could not tell who they were. With their identities concealed by their costumes, the majority of those in groups stole the candy and money (just as did those college students in the study where they were treated as "guinea pigs"). This was in contrast to the nonanonymous condition, wherein the adult host had first asked them to reveal their identity behind their masks.8 Among the more than seven hundred children studied in this natural situation, more transgressions were found when they were in anonymous groups (57 percent) than when anonymous and alone (21 percent). Fewer transgressions oc curred when nonanonymous children were alone (8 percent) than when they were in groups of other nonanonymous trick-or-treaters (21 percent). Even when alone and identifiable, the temptation of easy money and delicious treats was too great for some children to pass up. However, adding the full-anonymity dimen sion turned that singular temptation into an overwhelming passion for most chil dren to take all the goodies they could. Cultural Wisdom: How to Make Warriors Kill in War but Not at Home Let's leave the laboratory and the games at children's parties to go back to the real world, where these issues of anonymity and violence may take on life-and-death significance. Specifically, let's look at the differences between societies that go to war without having young male warriors change their appearance and those that always include ritual transformations of appearance by painting faces and bodies or masking the warriors (as in Lord of the Flies). Does a change in external appearance make a significant difference in how warring enemies are then treated? A cultural anthropologist. R. J. Watson,9 posed that question after reading my earlier work on deindividuation. His data source was the Human Relations Area Files, where information on cultures around the world is archived in the form of reports of anthropologists, missionaries, psychologists, and others. Watson found two pieces of data on societies in which warriors did or did not change their ap pearance prior to going to war and the extent to which they killed, tortured, or mutilated their victims, a decidedly deadly dependent variable—the ultimate in outcome measures. The results are striking confirmation of the prediction that anonymity pro motes destructive behavior—when permission is also given to behave in aggres sive ways that are ordinarily prohibited. War provides the institutionally approved permission to kill or wound one's adversaries. This investigator found that, of the twenty-three societies for which these two data sets were present, in fifteen war riors changed their appearance. They were the societies that were the most de structive; fully 80 percent of them (twelve of fifteen) brutalized their enemies. By contrast, in seven of eight of the societies in which the warriors didnot change their appearance before going into battle, they did not engage in such destructive behavior. Another way to look at this data is that 90 percent of the time when vic tims of battle were killed, tortured, or mutilated, it was by warriors who had first changed their appearance and deindividuated themselves. Cultural wisdom dictates that a key ingredient in transforming ordinarily nonaggressive young men into warriors who can kill on command is first to change their external appearance. Most wars are about old men persuading young men to harm and kill other young men like themselves. For the young men, it becomes easier to do so if they first change their appearance, altering their usual external façade by putting on military uniforms or masks or painting their faces. With the anonymity thus provided in place, out go their usual internal compassion and concern for others. When the war is won, the culture then dic tates that the warriors return to their peacetime status. This reverse transforma tion is readily accomplished by making the warriors remove their uniforms, take off their masks, wash away the paint, and return to their former personae and peaceful demeanor. In a sense, it is as though they were in a macabre social ritual, unknowingly using the A-B-A paradigm of Fraser's Halloween experiment. Peaceful when identifiable, murderous when anonymous, peaceful again when returned to the identifiable condition. Certain environments convey a sense of transient anonymity in those who live or behave in their midst, without changing their physical appearance. To demonstrate the impact of the anonymity of place in facilitating urban vandal ism, my research team did a simple field study. Recall from chapter 1 that we abandoned cars on the streets near the uptown campus of New York University in the Bronx, New York, and near Stanford University's campus in Palo Alto, California. We photographed and videotaped acts of vandalism against these cars, which were clearly abandoned (license plates removed, hoods raised). In the anonymity of the Bronx setting, several dozen passersby, on the street or in cars, stopped to vandalize the car within forty-eight hours. Most were reasonably weldressed adults, who stripped the car of any valuable items or simply destroyed it— all in the daytime. By contrast, over a week's time, not a single passerby engaged in any act of vandalism against the car abandoned in Palo Alto. This demonstra tion was the only empirical evidence cited in support of the "Broken Windows Theory" of urban crime. Environmental conditions contribute to making some members of society feel that they are anonymous, that no one in the dominant community knows who they are, that no one recognizes their individuality and thus their humanity. When that happens, we contribute to their transformation into potential vandals and assassins. (For full details of this research and Broken Windows Theory, see our Lucifer Effect website.) Deindividuation Transforms Our Apollonian Nature into a Dionysian Nature Let's assume that the "good" side of people is the rationality, order, coherence, and wisdom of Apollo, while the "bad" side is the chaos, disorganization, irra tionality, and libidinous core of Dionysus. The Apollonian central trait is con straint and the inhibition of desire; it is pitted against the Dionysian trait of uninhibited release and lust. People can become evil when they are enmeshed in situations where the cognitive controls that usually guide their behavior in so cially desirable and personally acceptable ways are blocked, suspended, or dis torted. The suspension of cognitive control has multiple consequences, among them the suspension of: conscience, self-awareness, sense of personal responsibil ity, obligation, commitment, liability, morality, guilt, shame, fear, and analysis of one's actions in cost-benefit calculations. The two general strategies for accomplishing this transformation are: (a) reducing the cues of social accountability of the actor (no one knows who I am or cares to) and (b) reducing concern for self-evaluation by the actor. The first cuts out concern for social evaluation, for social approval, doing so by making the actor feel anonymous—the process of deindividuation. It is effective when one is functioning in an environment that conveys anonymity and diffuses personal responsibility. The second strategy stops self-monitoring and consistency moni toring by relying on tactics that alter one's state of consciousness. This is accom plished by means of taking alcohol or drugs, arousing strong emotions, engaging in hyperintense actions, getting into an expanded present-time orientation where there is no concern for past or future, and projecting responsibility outward onto others rather than inward toward oneself. Deindividuation creates a unique psychological state in which behavior comes under the control of immediate situational demands and biological, hor monal urges. Action replaces thought, seeking immediate pleasure dominates de laying gratification, and mindfully restrained decisions give way to mindless emotional responses. A state of arousal is often both a precursor to and a conse quence of deindividuation. Its effects are amplified in novel or unstructured situa tions where typical response habits and character traits are nullified. One's vulnerability to social models and situational cues is heightened; therefore, it be comes as easy to make love as to make war—it all depends on what the situation demands or elicits. In the extreme, there is no sense of right and wrong, no thoughts of culpability for illegal acts or Hell for immoral ones.1 0 With inner re straints suspended, behavior is totally under external situational control; outer dominates inner. What is possible and available dominates what is right and just. The moral compass of individuals and groups has then lost its polarity. The transition from Apollonian to Dionysian mentalities can be swift and un expected, making good people do bad things, as they live temporarily in the ex panded present moment without concerns for the future consequences of their actions. Usual constraints on cruelty and libidinal impulses melt away in the ex cesses of deindividuation. ft is as if there were a short circuit in the brain, cutting off the frontal cortex's planning and decision-making functions, while the more primitive portions of the brain's limbic system, especially its emotion and aggres sion center in the amygdala, take over. The Mardi Gras Effect: Communal Deindividuation as Ecstasy In ancient Greece, Dionysus was unique among the gods. He was seen as creating a new level of reality that challenged traditional assumptions and ways of living. He represented both a force for the liberation of the human spirit from its staid confinement in rational discourse and orderly planning, and a force of destruction: lust without limits and personal pleasure without societal controls. Diony sus was the god of drunkenness, the god of insanity, the god of sexual frenzy and battle lust. Dionysus' dominion includes all states of being that entail the loss of self-awareness and rationality, the suspension of linear time, and the abandon ment of the self to those urges in human nature that overthrow codes of behavior and public responsibility. Mardi Gras has its origins as a pagan, pre-Christian ceremony now recog nized by the Roman Catholic Church as occurring on the Tuesday (Fat Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday) just before Ash Wednesday. That holy day marks the start of the Christian liturgical Season of Lent with its personal sacrifices and abstinence leading to Easter Sunday, forty-six days later. Mardi Gras celebrations begin on the Twelfth Night Feast of the Epiphany, when the three kings visited the new born Jesus Christ. In practice, Mardi Gras celebrates the excess of libidinous pleasure seeking, of living for the moment, of "wine, women, and song." Cares and obligations are for gotten while celebrants indulge their sensual nature in communal revelries. It is a Bacchanalian festivity that loosens behavior from its usual constraints and reason-based actions. However, there is always the preconscious awareness that this celebration is transitory, soon to be replaced by even greater than usual lim its on personal pleasures and vices with the advent of Lent. "The Mardi Gras effect" involves temporarily giving up the traditional cognitive and moral constraints on personal behavior when part of a group of like-minded revelers bent on having fun now without concern for subsequent consequences and liabilities. It is deindividualization in group action. DEHUMANIZATION AND MORAL DISENGAGEMENT Dehumanization is the central construct in our understanding of "man's inhu manity to man." Dehumanization occurs whenever some human beings consider other human beings to be excluded from the moral order of being a human person. The objects of this psychological process lose their human status in the eyes of their dehumanizers. By identifying certain individuals or groups as being outside the sphere of humanity, dehumanizing agents suspend the morality that might typically govern reasoned actions toward their fellows. Dehumanization is a central process in prejudice, racism, and discrimina tion. Dehumanization stigmatizes others, attributing to them a "spoiled identity." For example, the sociologist Erving Goffman11 described the process by which those who are disabled are socially discredited. They become not fully human and thus tainted. Under such conditions, it becomes possible for normal, morally upright, and even usually idealistic people to perform acts of destructive cruelty. Not responding to the human qualities of other persons automatically facilitates inhumane actions. The golden rule then becomes truncated: "Do unto others as you would." It is easier to be callous or rude toward dehumanized "objects," to ignore their de mands and pleas, to use them for your own purposes, even to destroy them if they are irritating.12 A Japanese general reported that it had been easy for his soldiers to brutally massacre Chinese civilians during Japan's pre-World War II invasion of China, "because we thought of them asth ings, not people like us." This was obviously so during the "Rape of Nanking" in 1937. Recall the description (in chapter 1) of the Tutsis by the woman who orchestrated many of the rapes of them—they were nothing more than "insects," "cockroaches." Similarly, the Nazi genocide of the Jews began by first creating through propaganda films and posters a national per ception of these fellow human beings as inferior forms of animal life, as vermin, as voracious rats. The many lynchings of black people by mobs of whites in cities throughout the United States were likewise not considered crimes against hu manity because of the stigmatization of them as only "niggers."13 Behind the My Lai massacre of hundreds of innocent Vietnamese civilians by American soldiers was the dehumanizing "gooks" label that GIs had for all of those different-looking Asian people.14 Yesterday's "gooks" have become today's "hajjis" and "towel heads" in the Iraq War as a new corps of soldiers derogates these different-looking citizens and soldiers. "You just sort of try to block out the fact that they're human beings and see them as enemies," said Sergeant Mejia, who refused to return to action in what he considered an abominable war. "You call them 'hajis', you know? You do all the things that make it easier to deal with killing them and mistreating them."1 5 That such labels and their associated images can have powerful motivating effects was demonstrated in a fascinating controlled laboratory experiment (men tioned in chapter 1, elaborated here). Experimental Dehumanization: Animalizing College Students My Stanford University colleague Albert Bandura and his students designed a powerful experiment that elegantly demonstrates the power of dehumanizing la bels to foster harm against others.1 6 Seventy-two male volunteers from nearby junior colleges were divided into three-member "supervisory teams" whose task was to punish the inadequate decision making of other college students who were allegedly serving as a group of decision makers. The real subjects of the study were, of course, the students playing the role of supervisors. On each of twenty-five bargaining trials, the supervisors heard the decision making team (reported to be in an adjacent room) supposedly formulating collec tive decisions. The supervisors were given information they used to evaluate the adequacy of the decision on each trial. Whenever a bad decision was made, it was the job of this supervisory team to punish the error by administering a shock. They could choose the shock intensity from a mild level of 1 to a maximum level of 10 on any trial, which all the members of the decision-making team would receive. The supervisors were told that participants from different social back grounds were included in this project to increase its generality, but each group of decision makers was composed of people with similar attributes. This was done so that the positive or negative labels soon to be applied to them would hold for the entire group. The researchers varied two features of this basic situation: how the "vic tims" were labeled and how personally responsible the supervisors were for the shocks they administered. The volunteers were randomly assigned to three condi tions of labeling—dehumanized, humanized, or neutral—and two conditions of responsibility—individualized or diffused. Let's first consider how the labeling was imposed and its effects. Then we will see how the responsibility variations operated. After settling into the study, each group of participants believed they were overhearing an interchange over the in tercom between the research assistant and the experimenter about the question naires the decision makers had allegedly completed. The assistant remarked in a brief aside that the personal qualities exhibited by this group confirmed the opin ion of the person by whom they had been recruited. In thedeh um anized condition, the decision makers were characterized as "an animalistic, rotten bunch." By contrast, in thehum anized condition, they were characterized as a "perceptive, understanding, and otherwise humanized group." No evaluative references were made about those in the third,neutral condition. It should be made clear that the participants never interacted with their shock victims and therefore could not make such evaluations personally or eval uate their adequacy. The labels were secondhand attributions made about other young college men, supposedly also volunteers functioning in an assigned role in this situation. So did the labels have any effect on how these college students pun ished those they were allegedly supervising? (There were, in fact, no actual "oth ers," only standardized tape feedback.) Indeed, the labels stuck and had a big impact on the extent to which the students punished their supervisees. Those labeled in the dehumanizing way, as "animals," were shocked most intensively, and their shock level increased linearly over ten trials. It also climbed higher and higher over trials, up to an average of 7 out of the maximum of 10 for each group of participants. Those labeled "nice" were given the smallest amount of shock, while the unlabeled, neutral group fell in the middle of these two extremes. Further, during the first trial, there was no difference at all between the three experimental treatments in the level of shock administered—they all adminis tered the same low level of shock. Had the study ended then, the conclusion would have been that the labels made no difference. However, with each succes sive trial, as the errors of the decision makers allegedly multiplied, the shock lev els of the three groups diverged. Those shocking the so-called animals shocked them more intensely over time, a result comparable to the escalating shock level of the deindividuated female college students in my earlier study. That rise in aggressive responding over time, with practice, or with experience illustrates a self- reinforcing effect. Perhaps the pleasure is not so much in inflicting pain as in the sense of power and control one feels in such a situation of dominance—giving others what they deserve to get. The researchers point to the disinhibiting power of labeling to divest other people of their human qualities. On the plus side in this study, that same arbitrary labeling also resulted in others being treated with greater respect if someone in authority had labeled them positively. Those perceived as "nice" were harmed the least. Thus, the power of humanization to counteract punitiveness is of equal theoretical and social sig nificance as the phenomenon of dehumanization. There is an important message here about the power of words, labels, rhetoric, and stereotyped labeling, to be used for good or evil. We need to refashion the childhood rhyme "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never harm me," to alter the last phrase to "but bad names can kill me, and good ones can comfort me." Finally, what about the variations inresponsib ility for the level of shock that was being administered? Significantly higher levels of shock were given when participants believed that the shock level was an average response of their team rather than when it was the direct level of each individual's personal decision. As we have seen before, diffusion of responsibility, in any form it takes, lowers the in hibition against harming others. As one might predict, the very highest levels of shock—and anticipated harm—were administered both when participants felt less personally responsible and when their victims were dehumanized. When Bandura's research team evaluated how the participants had justified their performance, they found that dehumanization promoted the use of self- absolving justifications, which in turn were associated with increasing punish ment. These findings about how people disengage their usual self-sanctions against behaving in ways that are detrimental to others led Bandura to develop a conceptual model of "moral disengagement." Mechanisms of Moral Disengagement This model begins by assuming that most people adopt moral standards because of undergoing normal socialization processes during their upbringing. Those standards act as guides for prosocial behavior and deterrents of antisocial behav ior as defined by their family and social community. Over time, these external moral standards imposed by parents, teachers, and other authorities become in ternalized as codes of personal conduct. People develop personal controls over their thoughts and actions that become satisfying and provide a sense of self- worth. They learn to sanction themselves to prevent acting inhumanely and to foster humane actions. The self-regulatory mechanisms are not fixed and static in their relation to a person's moral standards. Rather, they are governed by a dy namic process in which moral self-censure can be selectively activated to engage in acceptable conduct; or, at other times, moral self-censure can be disengaged from reprehensible conduct. Individuals and groups can maintain their sense of moral standards by simply disengaging their usual moral functioning at certain times, in certain situations, for certain purposes, ft is as if they shift their morality into neutral gear and coast along without concern for hitting pedestri ans until they later shift back to a higher gear, returning to higher moral ground. Bandura's model goes further in elucidating the specific psychological mechanisms individuals generate to convert their harmful actions into morally accept able ones as they selectively disengage the self-sanctions that regulate their behavior. Because this is such a fundamental human process, Bandura argues that it helps to explain not only political, military, and terrorist violence but also "everyday situations in which decent people routinely perform activities that fur ther their interests but have injurious human effects."17 It becomes possible for any of us to disengage morally from any sort of de structive or evil conduct when we activate one or more of the following four types of cognitive mechanisms. First, we can redefine our harmful behavior as honorable. Creating moral justification for the action, by adopting moral imperatives that sanctify violence, does this. Creating advantageous comparisons that contrast our righteous behavior to the evil behavior of our enemies also does this. (We only torture them; they behead us.) Using euphemistic language that sanitizes the reality of our cruel ac tions does this as well. ("Collateral damage" means that civilians have been bombed into dust; "friendly fire" means that a soldier has been murdered by the stupidity or intentional efforts of his buddies.) Second, we can minimize our sense of a direct link between our actions and its harmful outcomes by diffusing or displacing personal responsibility. We spare ourselves self-condemnation if we do not perceive ourselves as the agents of crimes against humanity. Third, we can change the way we think about the actual harm done by our actions. We can ignore, distort, minimize, or disbelieve any negative conse quences of our conduct. Finally, we can reconstruct our perception of victims as deserving their pun ishment, by blaming them for the consequences, and of course, by dehumanizing them, perceiving them to be beneath the righteous concerns we reserve for fellow human beings. Understanding Dehumanization Is Not Excusing It It is important once again to add here that such psychological analyses are never intended to excuse or make light of the immoral and illegal behaviors of perpetra tors. By making explicit the mental mechanisms people use to disengage their moral standards from their conduct, we are in a better position to reverse the process, reaffirming the need for moral engagement as crucial for promoting em pathic humaneness among people. However, before moving on it is important to make concrete the notion that people in positions of power and authority often reject attempts at causal situa tional analyses in matters of great national concern. Instead, at least in one re cent instance, they have endorsed simplistic dispositional views that would have made Inquisition judges smile. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is a Stanford University professor of political science with a specialization in the Soviet military. Her training should have made her sensitive to systems-level analyses of complex political problems. However, not only was that perspective missing during an interview with Jim Lehrer on hisN ewsHour (July 2 8 , 2 0 0 5 ) , but instead she championed a dogmatic, simplistic dispositional view. In response to her interviewer's question about whether U.S. foreign policy is promoting rather than eliminating terrorism, Rice attacked any such thinking as "excuse mongering," as she makes it clear that ter rorism is simply about "evil people": "When are we going to stop making excuses for the terrorists and saying that somebody is making them do it? No. these are simply evil people who want to kill. And they want to kill in the name of a per verted ideology that really is not Islam, but they somehow want to claim that mantle to say that this is about some kind of grievance. This isn't about some kind of grievance. This is an effort to destroy, rather than to build. And until everybody in the world calls it by name—the evil that it is—stops making excuses for them, then I think we're going to have a problem." I Am More Human than You: The Infrahumanization Bias Beyond perceiving and derogating others in the "out-group" with animallike qualities, people also deny them any "human essence." Out-group infrahumaniza tion is a newly investigated phenomenon in which people tend to attribute uniquely human emotions and traits to their in-group and deny their existence in out-groups. It is a form of emotional prejudice.18 However, we go further in declaring that the essence of humanness resides primarily in ourselves, more so than in any others, even our in-group members. While we attribute infrahumaness to out-groups, as less than human, we are mo tivated to see ourselves as more human than others. We deny uniquely human traits and even human nature to others, relative to our own egocentric standard. This self-humanization bias is the complement of the other-infrahumanization bias. These tendencies appear to be rather general and multifaceted. A team of Australian researchers concluded their investigation into the perception of hu manness with a variant of the famous quote by the ancient Roman writer Terence. He proudly proclaimed, "Nothing human is alien to me." Its ironic twist notes, "Nothing human may be alien to me, but something human is alien to you."1 9 (It is unlikely that such an imperial "I" exists among members of collec- tivist cultures, but we await new research to inform us of the limits of such ego- centrism.) Creating Dehumanized Enemies of the State Among the operational principles we must add to our arsenal of weapons that trigger evil acts by ordinarily good men and women are those developed by nation-states to incite their own citizens. We learn about some of these principles by considering how nations prepare their young men to engage in deadly wars while also preparing citizens to endorse engaging in wars of aggression. A special form of cognitive conditioning through propaganda helps accomplish this diffi cult transformation. "Images of the enemy" are created by national media propa ganda (in complicity with governments) to prepare the minds of soldiers and citizens to hate those who fit the new category "your enemy." Such mental condi tioning is a soldier's most potent weapon. Without it, he might never put another young man in the crosshairs of his gun sight and fire to kill him. It induces a fear of vulnerability among citizens who can imagine what it would be like to be dom inated by that enemy.20 That fear becomes morphed into hatred and a willingness to take hostile action to reduce its threat. It extends its reaches into a willingness to send our children to die or be maimed in battle against that threatening enemy. In Faces of the Enemy, Sam Keen2 1 shows how archetypes of the enemy are created by visual propaganda that most nations use against those judged to be the dangerous "them," "outsiders," "enemies." These visual images create a consensual societal paranoia that is focused on the enemy who would do harm to the women, children, homes, and God of that nation's way of life, destroying its fun damental beliefs and values. Such propaganda has been widely practiced on a worldwide scale. Despite national differences in many dimensions, it is still possi ble to categorize all such propaganda into a select set utilized by "homo hostilis. " In creating a new evil enemy in the minds of good members of righteous tribes, "the enemy" is: aggressor, faceless, rapist, godless, barbarian, greedy, criminal, tor turer, murderer, an abstraction, or a dehumanized animal. Scary images reveal one's nation being consumed by the animals that are most universally feared: snakes, rats, spiders, insects, lizards, gigantic gorillas, octopi, or even "English pigs." A final point on the consequences of adopting a dehumanized conception of selected others is the unthinkable things that we are willing to do to them once they are officially declared different and undesirable. More than 6 5 , 0 0 0 Ameri can citizens were sterilized against their will during an era ( 1 9 2 0 s - 1 9 4 0 s ) when eugenics advocates used scientific justifications to purify the human race by rid ding it of all those with undesirable traits. We expect that view from Adolf Hitler but not from one of America's most revered jurists, Oliver Wendell Holmes. He ruled in a majority opinion (1927) that compulsory sterilization laws, far from being unconstitutional, were a social good: It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate off spring for crime, or let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. Three genera tions of imbeciles are enough.22 Please recall the research cited in chapter 12 on students at the University of Hawaii who were willing to endorse the "final solution" to eliminate the unfit, even their own family members if necessary. Both the United States and England have had a long history of involvement in the "war against the weak." They have had their fair share of vocal, influential proponents of eugenics advocating and scientifically justifying plans to rid their nation of the misfits while enhancing the privileged status of the most fit.23 THE EVIL OF INACTION: PASSIVE BYSTANDERS The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. —British statesman Edmund Burke [W]e must learn that passively to accept an unjust system is to cooperate with that system, and thereby to become a participant in its evil. —Martin Luther King, J r. Our usual take on evil focuses on the violent, destructive actions of perpetrators, but the failure to act can also be a form of evil, when helping, dissent, disobedi ence, or whistle-blowing are required. One of the most critical, least acknowl edged contributors to evil goes beyond the protagonists of harm to the silent chorus who look but do not see, who hear but do not listen. Their silent presence at the scene of evil doings makes the hazy line between good and evil even fuzzier. We ask next: Why don't people help? Why don't people act when their aid is needed? Is their passivity a personal defect of callousness, of indifference? Alter natively, are there identifiable social dynamics once again at play? The Kitty Genovese Case: Social Psychologists to the Rescue, Belatedly In a major urban center, such as New York City, London, Tokyo, or Mexico City, one is surrounded by literally tens of thousands of people. We walk beside them on the streets, sit near them in restaurants, movies, buses, and trains, wait in line with them—but remain unconnected, as if they do not really exist. For a young woman in Queens, they did not exist when she most needed them. For more than half an hour, 38 respectable, law-abiding citizens in Queens [New York] watched a killer stalk and stab a woman in three sepa rate attacks in Kew Gardens. Twice the sound of their voices and the sud den glow of their bedroom lights interrupted him and frightened him off. Each time he returned, sought her out and stabbed her again. Not one per son telephoned the police during the assault; one witness called the police after the woman was dead. [The New York Times, March 1 3 , 1 9 6 4 ] A recent reanalysis of the details of this case casts doubt upon how many people actually saw the events unfolding and whether they really comprehended what was happening, given that many were elderly and had awoken suddenly in the middle of the night. Nevertheless, there seems to be no question that many residents of this well-kept, usually quiet, almost suburban neighborhood heard the chilling screams and did not help in any way. Kitty died alone on a staircase, where she could no longer elude her crazed murderer. Yet only a few months later, there was an even more vivid and chilling depic tion of how alienated and passive bystanders can be. An eighteen-year-old secre tary had been beaten, choked, stripped, and raped in her office. When she finally broke away from her assailant, naked and bleeding, she ran down the stairs of the building to the doorway screaming "Help me! Help me! He raped me!" A crowd of about forty persons gathered on the busy street and watched as the rapist dragged her back upstairs to continue his abuse. No one came to her aid! Only the chance arrival of passing police prevented her further abuse and possible murder{The New York Times, May 6, 1964). Researching Bystander Intervention Social psychologists heeded the alarm by initiating a series of pioneering studies on bystander intervention. They countered the usual slew of dispositional analy ses about what is wrong with the callous New York bystanders by trying to under stand what in thesituation freezes the prosocial actions of ordinary people. At the time, both Bibb Latané and John Darley2 5 were professors at New York City universities—Columbia and NYU, respectively—so they were close to the heart of the action. Their field studies were done in a variety of New York City venues, such as on subways and street corners, and in laboratories. Their research generated a counterintuitive conclusion: the more people who witness an emergency, theless likely any of them will intervene to help. Being part of a passively observing group means that each individual assumes that others are available who could or will help, so there is less pressure to initiate action than there is when people are alone or with only one other observer. The mere presence of others diffuses the sense of personal responsibility of any indi vidual to get involved. Personality tests of participants showed no significant rela tionship between any particular personality characteristics and the speed or likelihood of intervening in staged emergencies.26 New Yorkers, like Londoners or others from big cities around the world, are likely to help and will intervene if they are directly asked or when they are alone or with a few others. The more people present who might help in an emergency situation, the more we assume that someone else will step forward, so we do not have to become energized to take any personal risk. Rather than callousness, fail ure to intervene is not only because one fears for one's life in a violent scenario, but also because one denies the seriousness of the situation, fears doing the wrong thing and looking stupid or worries about the costs of getting involved in "someone else's business." There is also an emergent group norm of passive non action. Want Help? Just Ask for It A former student of mine, Tom Moriarity, conducted a convincing demonstration that a simple situational feature can facilitate active bystander intervention among New Yorkers.27 In two scenarios, Tom arranged for a confederate to leave her purse on a table in a public, busy restaurant or her radio on a blanket at a crowded beach. Then another member of his research team would pretend to steal the purse or the radio as Tom recorded the actions of those near the scene of the simulated crime. Half the time virtually no one intervened and let the crimi nal escape with the goods. However, the other half of the time virtually everyone stopped the criminal in his tracks and prevented the crime. What made the difference? In the first case, the woman merely asked the person nearby for the time making minimal social contact, before leaving the scene temporarily. However, in the second case, she made a simple request to a nearby person to keep an eye on her purse or her radio until she returned. That direct request created a social obligation to protect this stranger's property—an obligation that was honored fully. Want help? Ask for it. Chances are good that you will get it, even from al legedly callous New Yorkers or other large-city folks. The implications of this research also highlight another theme we have been developing, that social situations are created by and can be modified by people. We are not robots acting on situational demand programs but can change any programming by our creative and constructive actions. The problem is that too often we accept others' definition of the situation and their norms, rather than being willing to take the risk of challenging the norm and opening new channels of behavioral options. One interesting consequence of the line of research on pas sive and responsive bystanders has been the emergence of a relatively new area of social psychological research on helping and altruism (well summarized in a monograph by David Schroeder and his colleagues).28 How Good Are Good Samaritans in a Hurry? A team of social psychologists staged a truly powerful demonstration that the fail ure to help strangers in distress is more likely due to situational variables than to dispositional inadequacies.29 It is one of my favorite studies, so let's role-play with you once again as a participant. Imagine you are a student studying for the ministry at Princeton University's Theological Seminary. You are on your way to deliver a sermon on the Good Samaritan so that it can be videotaped for a psychology experiment on effective communication. You know the passage from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 10, quite well. It is about the only person who stopped to help a victim in distress on the side of the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. The Gospel tells us that he will reap his just rewards in Heaven for having been the Good Samaritan on Earth—a bib lical lesson for all of us to heed about the virtues of altruism. Imagine further that as you are heading from the Psychology Department to the videotaping center, you pass a stranger huddled up in an alley in dire distress, on the ground moaning, clearly in need of some aid. Now, can you imagine any conditions that would make younot stop to be that Good Samaritan, especially when you are mentally rehearsing the Good Samaritan parable at that very moment? Rewind to the psychology laboratory. You have been told that you are late for the appointed taping session and so should hurry along. Other theology students were randomly assigned to conditions in which they were told that they had a lit tle time or a lot more time to get to the taping center. But why should time pres sure on you (or the others) make a difference if you are a good person, a holy person, a person thinking about the virtue of intervening to help strangers in distress, as did that old-time Good Samaritan? I am willing to wager that you would like to believe it wouldnot make a difference, that in that situation you would stop and help, no matter what the circumstances. And so would the other seminary students come to the aid of the victim in distress. Guess again: if you took the bet, you lost. The conclusion from the point of view of the victim is this: Don't be a victim in distress when people are late and in a hurry. Almost every one of those seminary students—fully 90 percent of them—passed up the immediately compelling chance to be a Good Samaritan be cause they were in a hurry to give a sermon about it. They experienced the clash in task demands: to help science or to help a victim. Science won, and the victim was left to suffer. (As you would now expect, the victim was an acting confederate.) The more time the seminarians believed they had, the more likely they were to stop and help. Thus, the situational variable oftime pressure accounted for the major variations in who helped and who were passive bystanders. There was no need to resort to dispositional explanations about theology students being cal lous, cynical, or indifferent, as the nonhelping New Yorkers were assumed to be in the case of poor Kitty Genovese. When the research was replicated, the same re sult occurred, but when the seminarians were on their way to fulfill a less impor tant task, the vast majority did stop to help. The lesson from this research is to not askwho does or does not help but ratherwhat the social and psychological fea tures of that situation were when trying to understand situations in which people fail to help those in distress.30 The Institutionalized Evil of Inaction In situations where evil is being practiced, there are perpetrators, victims, and survivors. However, there are often observers of the ongoing activities or people who know what is going on and do not intervene to help or to challenge the evil and thereby enable evil to persist by their inaction. It is the good cops who never oppose the brutality of their buddies beating up minorities on the streets or in the back room of the station house. It was the good bishops and cardinals who covered over the sins of their predatory parish priests because of their overriding concern for the image of the Catholic Church. They knew what was wrong and did nothing to really confront that evil, thereby en abling these pederasts to continue sinning for years on end (at the ultimate cost to the Church of billions in reparations and many disillusioned followers).31 Similarly, it was the good workers at Enron, WorldCom, Arthur Andersen, and hosts of similarly corrupt corporations who looked the other way when the books were being cooked. Moreover, as I noted earlier, in the Stanford Prison Ex periment it was the good guards who never intervened on behalf of the suffering prisoners to get the bad guards to lighten up, thereby implicitly condoning their continually escalating abuse. It was I, who saw these evils and limited only physical violence by the guards as my intervention while allowing psychological vio lence to fill our dungeon prison. By trapping myself in the conflicting roles of re searcher and prison superintendent, I was overwhelmed with their dual demands, which dimmed my focus on the suffering taking place before my eyes, I too was thus guilty of the evil of inaction. At the level of nation-states, this inaction, when action is required, allows mass murder and genocide to flourish, as it did in Bosnia and Rwanda and has been doing more recently in Darfur. Nations, like individuals, often don't want to get involved and also deny the seriousness of the threat and the need for immedi ate action. They also are ready to believe the propaganda of the rulers over the pleas of the victims. In addition, there often are internal pressures on decision makers from those who "do business there" to wait it out. One of the saddest cases I know of the institutional evil of inaction occurred in 1 9 3 9 , when the U.S. government and its humanitarian president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, refused to allow a ship loaded with Jewish refugees to embark in any port. The SS St. Louis had come from Hamburg, Germany, to Cuba with 9 3 7 Jew ish refugees escaping the Holocaust. The Cuban government reversed its earlier agreement to accept them. For twelve days these refugees and the ship's captain tried desperately to get permission from the U.S. government to enter a port in Miami, which was in clear view. Denied permission to enter this or any other port, the ship turned back across the Atlantic. Some refugees were accepted in Britain and other countries, but many finally died in Nazi concentration camps. Imagine being so close to freedom and then dying as a slave laborer. When incompetence is wedded to indifference and indecision, the outcome is the failure to act when action is essential for survival. The Katrina hurricane dis aster in New Orleans (August 2 0 0 5 ) is a classic case study in the total failure of multiple, interlocking systems to mobilize the enormous resources at their disposal to prevent the suffering and deaths of many citizens. Despite advance warn ings of the impending disaster of the worst kind imaginable, city, state, and national authorities did not engage in the basic preparations needed for evacua tion and for the safety of those who could not leave on their own. In addition to the municipal and state authority systems failing to communicate adequately (because of political differences at the top), the response from the Bush adminis tration was nil, too late, and too little when it did come, Incompetent, inexperi enced heads of the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) and of the Department of Homeland Security failed to engage the National Guard, Army reserve units, Red Cross, state police, or Air Force personnel to provide food, water, blankets, medicine, and more for the hundreds of thousands of survivors living in squalor for days and nights on end. A year later, much of the city is still in shambles, with entire neighborhoods decimated and deserted, thousands of homes marked for destruction, but little help has been forthcoming. Touring these desolate areas was heartbreaking for me. Critics contend that the systems' failed response can be traced to class and racial issues, because most of the sur vivors who could not evacuate were lower-class African Americans. This evil of inaction has been responsible for the deaths, despair, and disillusion of many cit izens of New Orleans. Perhaps as many as half of those who did finally leave may never come home again.3 2 Et tu, Brute? Each of us has to wonder if, and hope that when the time comes, we will have the courage of our convictions to be a responsive bystander who sounds the alarm when our countrymen and -women are violating their oath of allegiance to country and to humanity. However, we have seen in these chapters that pressures to conform are enormous, to be a team player, not to rock the boat, and not to risk the sanctions against confronting any system. Those forces are often coupled with the top-down power of authority systems to convey expectations indirectly to employees and underlings that unethical and illegal behavior is appropriate under special circumstances—which they define. Many of the recently uncovered scandals at the highest levels of government, in the military, and in business in volve the toxic mix of unverbalized authority expectations conveyed to subordi nates who want to be accepted in the "Inner Ring," with the tacit approval of a horde of knowingly silent partners. "Toxic leaders cast their spell broadly. Most of us claim we abhor them. Yet we frequently follow—or at least tolerate—them, be they our employers, our CEOs, our senators, our clergy, or our teachers. When toxic leaders don't appear on their own, we often seek them out. On occasion, we even create them by pushing good leaders over the toxic line." In Jean Lipman-Blumen's penetrating analysis of the dynamic relationship between leaders and followers in The Allure of Toxic Leaders, we are reminded that recognizing the early signs of toxicity in our leaders can enable us to take preventive medicine, not passively imbibe their seductive poison.33 Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph. —Haile Selassie, former emperor of Ethiopia WHY SITUATIONS AND SYSTEMS MATTER It is a truism in psychology that personality and situations interact to generate be havior; people are always acting within various behavioral contexts. People are both products of their different environments and producers of the environments they encounter.34 Human beings are not passive objects simply buffeted about by environmental contingencies. People usually select the settings they will enter or avoid and can change the setting by their presence and their actions, influence others in that social sphere, and transform environments in myriad ways. More often than not, we are active agents capable of influencing the course of events that our lives take and also of shaping our destinies.35 Moreover, human behavior and human societies are greatly affected by fundamental biological mechanisms as well as by cultural values and practices.36 The individual is the coin of the operating realm in virtually all of the major Western institutions of medicine, education, law, religion, and psychiatry. These institutions collectively help create the myth that individuals are always in con trol of their behavior, act from free will and rational choice, and are thus person ally responsible for any and all of their actions. Unless insane or of diminished capacity, individuals who do wrong should know that they are doing wrong and be punished accordingly. Situational factors are assumed to be little more than a set of minimally relevant extrinsic circumstances. In evaluating various contributors to any behavior of interest, the dispositionalists put the big chips on the Person and the chintzy chips on the Situation. That view seemingly honors the dignity of individuals, who should have the inner strength and will power to resist all temptations and situational inducements. Those of us from the other side of the conceptual tracks believe that such a perspective denies the reality of our human vulnerability. Recognizing such common frailties in the face of the kinds of situational forces we have reviewed in our journey thus far is the first step in shoring up resistance to such detrimental influences and in developing effective strategies that reinforce the resilience of both people and communities. The situationist approach should encourage us all to share a profound sense of humility when we are trying to understand "unthinkable," "unimaginable," "senseless" acts of evil—violence, vandalism, suicidal terrorism, torture, or rape. Instead of immediately embracing the high moral ground that distances us good folks from those bad ones and gives short shrift to analyses of causal factors in that situation, the situational approach gives those "others" the benefit of "attributional charity." ft preaches the lesson that any deed, for good or evil, that any human being has ever done, you and I could also do—given the same situational forces. Our system of criminal legal justice over-relies on commonsense views held by the general public about what things cause people to commit crimes—usually only motivational and personality determinants, It is time for the legal justice sys tem to take into account the substantial body of evidence from the behavioral sci ences about the power of the social context in influencing behavior, criminal actions as well as moral ones. My colleagues Lee Ross and Donna Shestowsky have offered a penetrating analysis of the challenges that contemporary psy chology poses to legal theory and practice. Their conclusion is that the legal sys tem might adopt the model of medical science and practice by taking advantage of current research on what goes wrong, as well as right, in how the mind and body work: The workings of the criminal justice system should not continue to be guided by illusions about cross-situational consistency in behavior, by er roneous notions about the impact of dispositions versus situations in guid ing behavior, or by failures to think through the logic of "person by situation" interactions, or even comforting but largely fanciful notions of free will, any more than it should be guided by once common notions about witchcraft or demonic possession.37 Situated Identities Our personal identities are socially situated. We arewh ere we live, eat, work, and make love. It is possible to predict a wide range of your attitudes and behavior from knowing any combination of "status" factors—your ethnicity, social class, education, and religion and where you live—more accurately than by knowing your personality traits. Our sense of identity is in large measure conferred on us by others in the ways they treat or mistreat us, recognize or ignore us, praise us or punish us. Some people make us timid and shy; others elicit our sex appeal and dominance. In some groups we are made leaders, while in others we are reduced to being fol lowers. We come to live up to or down to the expectations others have of us. The expectations of others often become self-fulfilling prophecies. Without realizing it, we often behave in ways that confirm the beliefs others have about us. Those subjective beliefs can create new realities for us. We often become who other peo ple think we are, in their eyes and in our behavior.38 Can You Be Judged Sane in an Insane Place? Situations confer their social identities on us even when it should be obvious that it is not our true personal identity. Recall in the "mock ward" study at Elgin State Mental Hospital (chapter 12) that hospital staff mistreated the "mental patients" on their ward in a variety of ways; however, they were not actually patients but fellow staff members dressed as and playing the role of patients. Similarly, in the Stanford Prison Experiment, everyone knew that the guards were college kids pre tending to be guards and that the prisoners were college kids pretending to be prisoners in that mock prison. Did it matter what their real identity was? Not really, as you saw; not after a day or so. They became their situated identities. In addition, I too became The Prison Superintendent in walk, talk, and distorted thought—when I was in that place. Some situations "essentialize" the roles people are assigned; each person must be what the role demands when he is on that stage set. Image, if you will, that you are a totally normal person who finds yourself hospitalized in a psychi atric ward in a mental hospital. You are there because a hospital admissions offi cer mistakenly labeled you as "schizophrenic." That diagnosis was based on the fact that you complained to him about "hearing voices," nothing more. You be lieve that you do not deserve to be there and realize that the way to be released is to act as normal and as pleasant as you can. Obviously the staff will soon realize there has been some mistake, you are not a mentally ill patient, and send you back home. Right? Don't count on this happening if you were in that setting. You might never be released, according to a fascinating study conducted by another of my Stanford colleagues, David Rosenhan, with the wonderful title "On Being Sane in Insane Places." 3 9 David and seven associates each went through the same scenario of making an appointment with a different mental hospital admissions officer and com plaining of hearing voices or noises, "thuds," but giving no other unusual symp toms. Each of them was admitted to their local mental hospital, and as soon as they were dressed in the patient's pajamas and scuffles, they behaved in a pleas ant, apparently normal fashion at all times. The big question was how soon the staff would catch on, realize they were really sane, and bid them adieu. The simple answer in every one of the eight cases, in each of the eight men tal wards, wasN ever! If you are in an Insane Place, you must be an Insane Person because Sane People are not Patients in Insane Asylums—so the situated-identity reasoning went. To be released took a lot of doing, after several weeks, and only with help from colleagues and lawyers. Finally, after the suitably sane Eight were checked out, written across each of their hospital charts was the same final evaluation: "Patient exhibits schizophrenia in remission." Meaning that, no mat ter what, the staff still believed that their madness could erupt again some day— so don't throw away those hospital scuffles! Assessing Situational Power At a subjective level, we can say that you have to be embedded within a situation to appreciate its transformative impact on you and others who are similarly situ ated. Looking in from the outside won't do. Abstract knowledge of the situation, even when detailed, does not capture the affective tone of the place, its nonverbal features, its emergent norms, or the ego involvement and arousal of being a par ticipant. It is the difference between being an audience member at a game show and being the contestant onstage. It is one reason that experiential learning can have such potent effects, as in the classroom demonstrations by Ms. Elliott and Ron Jones we visited earlier. Do you recall that when forty psychiatrists were asked to predict the outcome of Milgram's experimental procedure, they vastly underestimated its powerful authority impact? They said that only 1 percent would go all the way up to the maximum shock level of 4 5 0 volts. You have seen just how far off they were. They failed to appreciate fully the impact of the social psychological setting in making ordinary people do what they would not do ordinarily. How important is situational power? A recent review of 100 years of social psychological research compiled the results of more than 2 5 , 0 0 0 studies includ ing 8 million people.40 This ambitious compilation used the statistical technique ofm eta-analysis, which is a quantitative summary of findings across a variety of studies that reveals the size and consistency of such empirical results. Across 3 2 2 separate meta-analyses, the overall result was that this large body of social psy chological research generated substantial effect sizes—that the power of social situations is a reliable and robust effect. This data set was reanalyzed to focus only on research relevant for under standing the social context variables and principles that are involved when ordi nary people engage in torture. The Princeton University researcher Susan Fiske found 1,500 separate effect sizes that revealed the consistent and reliable impact of situational variables on behavior. She concluded, "Social psychological evi dence emphasizes the power of the social context, in other words, the power of the interpersonal situation. Social psychology has accumulated a century of knowledge across a variety of studies about how people influence each other for good or ill."4 1 LOOKING AHEAD TO APPLES, BARRELS, WHEELERS, AND DEALERS Now the time has come to collect our analytical gear and move our journey to the far-off foreign land of Iraq to try to understand an extraordinary phenomenon of our times: the digitally documented abuses of Iraqis detained in the prison at Abu Ghraib. Revelations of these violations against humanity moved out from that se cret dungeon in Tier 1A, that little shop of horrors, to reverberate around a shocked world. How could this happen? Who was responsible? Why had pho tographs been taken that implicated the torturers in the act of committing their crimes? These and more questions filled the media for months on end. The presi dent of the United States vowed "to get to the bottom of this." A host of politicians and pundits knowingly proclaimed that it was all the work of a few "bad apples." The abusers were nothing more than a band of sadistic "rogue soldiers." Our plan is to reexamine what happened and how it happened. We are now adequately prepared to contrast this standard dispositional analysis of identifying the evil perpetrators, the "bad apples," in the otherwise presumably good barrel, with our search for situational determinants—the nature of that bad barrel. We will also review some of the conclusions from various independent investigations into these abuses that will take us beyond situational factors to implicate the System—military and political—in our explanatory mix. CHAPTER FOURTEEN Abu Ghraib's Abuses and Tortures: Understanding and Personalizing Its Horrors The landmark Stanford study provides a cautionary tale for all military detention operations.... Psychologists have attempted to understand how and why individuals and groups who usu ally act humanely can sometimes act otherwise in certain cir cumstances. —Schlesinger Independent Panel report1 Washington,D.C., April 2 8 , 2 0 0 4 . I was in the nation's capital representing the American Psychological Association at a meeting of the Council of Scientific So ciety Presidents. Except when I am traveling, I rarely have time to watch TV news midweek. When I began flipping through channels in my hotel room, I came across something that froze me. Unbelievable images were flashing across the screen from CBS's program 60 Minutes II. 2 Naked men were stacked high in a pyramid, and American soldiers stood grinning over their prisoner pile. A female soldier was leading a naked prisoner around by a dog leash tied around his neck. Other prisoners looked horrified as they seemed on the verge of being attacked by vicious-looking German shepherd dogs. On and on they went, like a pornographic slide show: naked prisoners were made to masturbate in front of a cigarette- smoking female soldier who stood giving a high-five approval salute; prisoners were made to simulate fellatio. It seemed inconceivable that American soldiers were tormenting, humiliat ing, and torturing their captives by forcing homoerotic poses upon them. Yet here they were. Still other unbelievable images buzzed by: prisoners standing or bent over in stress positions with green hoods or women's pink panties covering their heads. Were these the fine young men and women sent overseas by the Pentagon on the glorious mission of bringing democracy and freedom to an Iraq recently liberated from the tyrant/torturer Saddam Hussein? It was amazing to see that in many of the images in this horror show the per petrators themselves appeared along with their victims. It is one thing to do evil deeds, quite another to document one's culpability in graphic, enduring photos. What had they been thinking as they made their "trophy photos"? Finally, the soon-to-be-iconic image of psychological torture appeared. A hooded prisoner was precariously perched on a cardboard box with his arms outstretched and electric wires attached to his fingers. He had been led to believe (by Sgt. Davis) that if his legs gave way and he fell off the perch, he would be electrocuted. His hood was lifted briefly to see the wires leading from the wall to his body. They were false electrodes that aimed at inducing anxiety, not physical pain. How long he shud dered in absolute fear for his life we don't know, but we can readily imagine the trauma of his experience and empathize with this hooded man. At least a dozen images swept across the screen; I wanted to turn off the TV but could not look away because I was captured by the vivid power of the pictures and their violation of expectation. Before even beginning to entertain hypotheses about what could possibly have induced such behavior in these soldiers, I was as sured, along with the rest of the nation, that the torture was the work of only a few "bad apples." General Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a television interview declared his surprise at these allegations and astonishment at the images of criminal abuse. However, he said, he was certain that there was no evidence that the abuses were "systemic." To the contrary, he asserted that they were the isolated work of a handful of "rogue soldiers." According to this authoritative military spokesperson, fully 99.9 percent of American soldiers were performing in exemplary fashion overseas—meaning that there was no need to be alarmed at the less than 1 percent of them who were defective soldiers carrying out these abominable abuses. "Frankly, I think all of us are disappointed by the actions of the few," said Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, interviewed on the 60 Minutes II show. "Every day we love our soldiers, but frankly, some days we're not always proud of our sol diers." It was comforting to know that only a few rotten soldiers, serving as prison guards in America's many military prisons, were engaged in such unthinkable acts of wanton torture.3 Wait a minute. How could General Myers know that this was an isolated in cident before having conducted a thorough investigation of his system of military prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Cuba? The exposé had just been revealed; there had not been sufficient time for anyone to have done a thorough investigation in order to make such an assertion. There was something troubling about this authoritative declaration to absolve the System and blame the few at the bottom of the barrel. His claim was reminiscent of what police chiefs tell the media when ever police abuse of criminal suspects is revealed—blame the few rotten-apple- bad-cops—to deflect the focus away from the norms and usual practices in the back rooms of police stations or the police department itself. This rush to attribute a "bad-boy" dispositional judgment to the few offenders is all too common among the guardians of the System. In the same way, school principals and teachers use that device to blame particularly "disruptive" students instead of taking the time to evaluate the alienating effects of boring curricula or poor classroom practices of specific teachers that might provoke such disruptions. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld denounced the acts as "terrible" and "inconsistent with the values of our nation." "The photographic depictions of U.S. military personnel that the public has seen have unquestionably offended and outraged everyone in the Department of Defense," he said. "Any wrongdoers need to be punished, procedures evaluated, and problems corrected." Then he added a statement that obliquely took the heat off the military for their lack of ap propriate training and preparation of Army Reserve Military Police for such a dif ficult mission: "[I]f someone doesn't know that doing what is shown in those photos is wrong, cruel, brutal, indecent, and against American values, 1 am at a loss as to what kind of training could be provided to teach them."4 However, Rumsfeld was also quick to redefine the nature of these acts as "abuse" and not "torture." He said, "What has been charged so far is abuse, which I believe techni cally is different from torture. I'm not going to address the 'torture' word."5 Time out for another pause in this narrative: To what technicality is Rumsfeld referring?6 As media carried these images worldwide on prime-time TV, on the front pages of newspapers, in magazines, and on websites for days on end, President Bush launched an immediate and unprecedented damage control program to protect the reputation of his military and his administration, especially his secre tary of defense. He dutifully declared that he would form independent investiga tions that would get to the "bottom of this." I wondered if the president would also order investigations that might get to the "top" of this scandal so that we could see the full picture and not just its frame? ft would seem so, given that his deputy director for coalition operations in Iraq, Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, publicly declared, "I'd like to sit here and say that these were the only prisoner abuse cases that we're aware of, but we know that there have been some other ones since we've been here in Iraq." (Doesn't this contradict General Myers's as sertion that it was an isolated incident and not systemic?) In fact, there have been so many cases of abuse, torture, and homicide un covered since the Abu Ghraib scandal blew the lid off that by April 2 0 0 6 more than four hundred separate military investigations had been launched into such allegations, according to Lieutenant Colonel John Skinner, U.S. Department of Defense. Two other public reactions to the abuse photos are worthy of our notice, one by a famous media personality, another expressing the "outrage" of a United States congressman. To the archconservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, the photos, such as the one of a pyramid of naked prisoners, seemed little more than a college prank: "This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones [a Yale University secret society] initiation, and we're going to ruin people's lives over it, and we're going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them [the accused soldiers] because they had a good time. You know these people are being fired at every day. I'm talking about people having a good time, these people. You ever heard of emotional release? You heard of need to blow some steam off?"7 Torture as emotional release? Catharsis for the stressed soldiers? Having a good time by just blowing off a little steam? Those were the justifications by this influential celebrity for terrible acts of torture. One slight difference between the fraternity "hell night" scene and the Abu Ghraib torture scene is, of course, that fraternity pledges have the choice of whether to endure hazing as a testament of their commitment to joining a college society. They are not forcibly subjected, without their prior consent, to such humiliation and torment by a hostile, enemy occupation force. Senator James Inhofe (Republican, Oklahoma), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, before which Secretary Rumsfeld had testified, was outraged. However, he avowed that he was "more outraged by the outrage" caused by the photographs than by what they depicted. He blamed the victims for deserving their abuse and the media for publicizing the images. "These prisoners, you know they're not there for traffic violations. If they're in Cellblock 1-A or 1-B, these prisoners, they're murderers, they're terrorists, they're insurgents. Many of them probably have American blood on their hands, and here we're so concerned about the treatment of those individuals." He continued his attack by arguing that the media were provoking further violence against Americans around the world by publicizing the outrage caused by showing the photos.8 The Pentagon used similar reasoning in its effort to block the release of these images. However, Major General Donald Ryder's internal Army report challenged the view that these prisoners were violent, noting that some Iraqis were held for long periods simply because they had expressed "displeasure or ill will" toward U.S. forces. Other accounts make it evident that many of the inmates were "inno cent civilians" (according to the prison superintendent, Brigadier General Janis Karpinski). They had been picked up in military sweeps of towns where insurgent activity had occurred. In these sweeps, all the male family members, including young boys, were incarcerated in the nearest military prison and then often taken to Abu Ghraib for questioning. Although I have seen many horrifying images of extreme abuse in conduct ing research on torture in Brazil and in preparing lectures on torture, something at once struck me as being different and yet familiar about the images that were emerging from the exotically named Abu Ghraib Prison. The difference had to do with the playfulness and shamelessness displayed by the perpetrators. It was just "fun and games," according to the seemingly shameless Private Lynndie England, whose smiling face belied the chaos going on around her. Nevertheless, a sense of the familiar was haunting me. With a shock of recognition, I realized that watch ing some of these images made me relive the worst scenes from the Stanford Prison Experiment. There were the bags over prisoners' heads; the nakedness; the sexually humiliating games that entailed camels humping or men leapfrogging over each other with their genitals exposed. These comparable abuses had been imposed by college student guards on their college student prisoners. In addition, just as in our study, the worst abuses had occurred during the night shift! More over, in both cases the prisoners were being held in pretrial detention. It was as though the worst-case scenario of our prison experiment had been carried out over months under horrendous conditions, instead of in our brief, rel atively benign simulated prison, I had seen what could happen to good boys when they were immersed in a situation that granted them virtually absolute power in dealing with their charges. In our study, the guards had had no prior training for their roles and been given only minimal staff supervision to curtail their psycho logical abuse of prisoners, Imagining what could happen when all the constraints that operated in our experimental setting were removed, I knew that in the Abu Ghraib Prison, powerful situational forces must have been in play, and even more dominating systemic forces had to have been at work. How could I ever know the truth about the behavioral context in that far-off situation or uncover any truth about the System that had created and maintained it? ft was apparent to me that the System was now struggling mightily to conceal its own complicity in torture. MAKING SENSE OF SENSELESS ABUSES The design of the Stanford Prison Experiment made it evident that initially our guards were "good apples," some of whom became soured over time by powerful situational forces. In addition, I later realized that it was I, along with my research team, who was responsible for the System that made that situation work so effec tively and so destructively. We failed to provide adequate top-down constraints to prevent prisoner abuse, and we set an agenda and procedures that encouraged a process of dehumanization and deindividuation that stimulated guards to act in creatively evil ways. Further, we could harness the System's power to terminate the experiment when it began to spin out of control and when a whistle-blower forced recognition of my personal responsibility for the abuses. In contrast, in trying to understand the abuses that took place at Abu Ghraib, we are starting at the end of the process, with documented evil deeds. Therefore, we have to do a reverse analysis. We have to determine what these guards might have been like as peopleb efore they were assigned to guard the prisoners on those tiers of that Iraqi prison. Can we establish what pathologies, if any, the guards might have brought into the prison in order to separate their dispositional tenden cies from what that particular situation might have brought out in them? Next, can we uncover what the behavioral context into which they were thrust was like? What was the social reality for the guards in that particular setting at that particular time? Finally, we must discover something about the power structure that is re sponsible for creating and sustaining the working and living conditions of all the inhabitants of that dungeon—Iraqi prisoners and American guards alike. What justification can the System provide for using this particular prison to house "detainees" indefinitely without legal recourse and to interrogate them using "coercive tactics"? At what levels was the decision made to suspend the safeguards of the Geneva Conventions and the military's own rules of conduct regarding prisoners, namely, banning any actions that are cruel, inhuman, and degrading in the treatment of them? Those regulations provide the most basic standards of con duct in the treatment of prisoners in any democracy whether in times of war or peace. Nations put them into practice not so much out of charitable goodwill but to ensure the decent treatment of their own soldiers should they be captured as prisoners of war. Not trained as an investigative reporter and not having the means to travel to Abu Ghraib or to interview the key participants in these abuses, I had little reason to expect that I would be able to get to the top or to the bottom of this intriguing psychological phenomenon. It would be a shame not to be able to bring to bear an understanding of this seemingly senseless violence based on my unique, "insider" knowledge from having been the superintendent of the Stanford prison. What I learned from the SPE paradigm about investigating institutional abuses is the need to evaluate various factors (dispositional, situational, and systemic) that lead to the behavioral outcome we want to understand. I was also curious as to who it was who had shined the spotlight on the abuses going on in that prison dungeon. Joe Darby, Heroic Whistle-Blower, Ordinary Guy The young soldier who blew the whistle on that "little shop of horrors" and ex posed its dark deeds to public scrutiny was a twenty-four-year-old Army Reservist, Joe Darby. That young man is a hero because he forced the military officials to ac knowledge the existence of such abusive practices and act to rein them in in all their prisons. Darby was in the same 372nd Military Police Company as the Military Police on night shift duty in the prison, but he was not working on that assignment. One day, his buddy Corporal Charles Graner gave Darby a CD filled with hun dreds of digital images and video clips that he and the other guards had taken. A few of the images had already made the rounds in their unit; some were even dis played on computer screen savers. Darby was at first amused looking at the pic tures, thinking it was "pretty funny" to see a pile of naked Iraqis in a pyramid showing their asses. But the more he looked, the more distressed he felt at what he saw. "It didn't sit right with me," he said. He felt it was wrong for Americans to be doing such terrible things to other people even if they were foreigners imprisoned in a war zone. "I couldn't stop thinking about it. After about three days, I made a decision to turn the pictures in," Darby reported. He agonized over that decision, torn between loyalty to his friends and the urging of his moral conscience. Darby had known Lynndie England since basic training. Nevertheless, he said, what he saw "violated everything I personally believed, and all I'd been taught about the rules of law." So on that day in January 2004, Joe Darby made a giant leap for moral mankind by first handing over a copy of the CD, with an anonymous note in a manila envelope, to an agent at the Criminal Investigation Division (CID). He later confided to Special Agent Tyler Pieron (U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Com mand at Abu Ghraib Prison) that he was the one who put the CD in the envelope and was willing to talk to CID more fully. Darby wanted to remain anonymous as long as he continued working at Abu Ghraib, for fear of retaliation for having rat ted on his buddies in this way.9 It took enormous personal courage for Darby to blow the whistle so loudly, knowing that it would surely make trouble for his buddies in the 372nd who ap peared on the CD. Nevertheless, when others were doing the wrong thing, Darby did the right thing. We must also take into account that his military status was at the bottom rung, a specialist in the Army Reserve. He was openly challenging what was going on in a military-run prison—a prison, as I later discovered, a section of which was a special interrogation center created by the secretary of defense him self to elicit "actionable intelligence from terrorists and insurgents." It took forti tude for Darby to challenge the system.1 0 Apple Blossom Time in the Nation's Capital Chance suddenly sent good fortune my way. A former Stanford student, working at National Public Radio in Washington, D.C., recognized the parallels between the photos of Abu Ghraib and those I had shown in my course lectures about the Stanford Prison Experiment. He tracked me down in my D.C. hotel to do an NPR interview shortly after the story surfaced. The main point of my interview was to challenge the administration's "bad apple" excuse with an alternative "bad bar rel" metaphor that 1 derived from the similarity between the Abu Ghraib situation and the Stanford Prison Experiment. Many other TV, radio, and newspaper inter views soon fed off this first NPR interview to provide neat sound bites about as sorted Apples and sordid Barrels. My commentary was sought by the media because it could be dramatized by vivid video and still footage from our experimental prison. This national publicity, in turn, reminded Gary Myers, counsel for one of the MP guards, that my research was relevant in highlighting the external determi nants of his client's alleged abusive behavior. Myers invited me to be an expert witness for Staff Sergeant Ivan "Chip" Frederick II, the military policeman who was in charge of the night shift on Tiers 1A and 1B. I agreed, in part so that I could have access to all the information I needed to fully understand the role of the triadic elements in the attributional analysis of this alien behavior: the Per son, the Situation, and the System that had put this person in that place to com mit such crimes. With that background information, I hoped to more fully appreciate the dynamic transactions that had fueled these aberrations. In the process, I agreed to offer appropriate assistance to Myers's client. However, I made it clear that my sympathies were more with Joe Darby, who had been brave enough to expose the abuses, than with anyone involved in perpetrating them.1 1 Under these condi tions, I then joined Staff Sergeant Frederick's defense team and embarked on a journey into this new heart of darkness. Let's begin our analysis by getting a better sense of what that place was like, that Abu Ghraib Prison—geographically, historically, politically, and in its recent operational structure and function. Then we can move on to examine the soldiers and prisoners in their behavioral context. THE PLACE: THE ABU GHRAIB PRISON Twenty miles (32 kilometers) west of Iraq's capital city, Baghdad, and a few miles from Fallujah lies the Iraqi city of Abu Ghraib (or Abu Ghurayb), where the prison is located. It lies within the Sunni triangle, the center of violent insurgency against the American occupation. In the past, the prison was designated by the Western media "Saddam's Torture Central" because it was the place where, dur ing the reign of the Ba'athist government, Saddam Hussein arranged for the tor ture and murder of "dissidents" in twice-weekly public executions. There are allegations that some of these political and criminal prisoners were used in Nazi like experiments as part of Iraq's chemical and biological weapons program. At any one time, as many as fifty thousand people were held in the sprawling prison complex, whose name could translate into "House of Strange Fathers" or "Father of the Strange." It had always had an unsavory reputation because it had served as an insane asylum for severely disturbed inmates in the pre-Thorazine era. Built by British contractors in 1 9 6 0 , it covered 2 8 0 acres (1.15 square kilometers) and had a total of twenty-four guard towers encircling its perimeter. It was a sprawling small city, partitioned into five walled compounds each meant to hold particular kinds of prisoners. In the center of its open yard stood a huge 400-foot tower. Unlike most American prisons, which are built in remote rural areas, Abu Ghraib is located within sight of large apartment houses and offices (perhaps built after 1960). Inside, its cells were jammed with as many as forty people confined in a 12-foot-square (4-meter-square) space and living under vile conditions. Colonel Bernard Flynn, Commander, Abu Ghraib Prison, described just how close the prison was to those attacking it: "It's a high-visibility target because we're in a bad neighborhood. All of Iraq is a bad neighborhood. . . . There's one tower where it's built so close to the neighborhood that we can look into the bed rooms, you know, right there on the porches. There were snipers on those roofs and on those porches firing at the soldiiers who were up there on the towers. So we're constantly on guard and trying to defend this and trying to keep the insur gents away from coming inside."12 After the U.S. forces overthrew Saddam's government in March 2003, the name of the prison was changed from Abu Ghraib—to dissociate it from its unsa vory past—to the Baghdad Central Confinement Facility (BCCF)—initials seen in many of the investigative reports. When Saddam's regime collapsed, all prisoners, including many criminals, were released, and the prison was looted; whatever could be removed was stolen—doors, windows, bricks: you name it and someone stole it. Incidentally—and not reported in the media—the Abu Ghraib city zoo was also opened and all the wild animals released. For a time, lions and tigers roamed the streets until they were captured or killed. A former CIA bureau chief, Bob Baer, described the scene he witnessed at this notorious prison: "I visited Abu Ghraib a couple of days after it was liberated, ft was the most awful sight I've ever seen. I said, 'If there's ever a reason to get rid of Saddam Hussein, it's because of Abu Ghraib.' " His grim account adds, "There were bodies that were eaten by dogs, torture. You know, electrodes coming out of the walls, ft was an awful place."1 3 Although senior U.K. officials recommended that the prison be demolished, U.S. authorities decided to rebuild the prison as quickly as possible so that it could be used to detain all those who were suspected of vaguely defined "crimes against the Coalition," suspected insurgency leaders, and assorted criminals, In charge of this motley group of detainees were Iraqi guards of dubious character. Many of those held in security were blameless assorted Iraqi civilians who had been picked up in random military sweeps or at highway checkpoints for "suspicious activity." They included whole families—men, women, and adolescents—to be interrogated for information they might have about the unanticipated growing insurgency against the Coalition. Once arrested and found innocent after interrogation, they were not released because the military feared that they would then join the insur gency, or because nobody wanted to take the reponsibility for making such decisions. The Towering Target of Mortar Attacks The imposing four-hundred-foot tower in the center of the prison soon became the sighting focus of almost nightly mortar attacks that were launched from the tops of nearby buildings. In August 2 0 0 3 , a mortar attack killed eleven soldiers who were sleeping in tents outside in the yard on the "soft site." In another attack, an explosive ripped through a tent filled with soldiers, among them Colonel Thomas Pappas, the head of one of the military intelligence brigades stationed at the prison. Although Pappas was unharmed, the young soldier who was his driver was shredded and died, along with other soldiers. Pappas was so affected by this sudden horror that he never again took off his flak jacket. It was reported to me that he always wore his jacket and hard helmet even while showering. He was later declared "not combat fit" and relieved of his duties. His deteriorating mental condition did not permit him to provide the vitally necessary supervision of his soldiers working in the prison. After the terrifying mortar attack, Pappas housed most of his soldiers inside the prison walls on the "hard site," which meant that they were usually sleeping in small prison cells, just like those of the prisoners. Stories of their comrades' deaths and the constant continuing sniper. grenade, and mortar attacks created an ambient sense of fear among everyone assigned to the prison, which came under hostile attack as many as twenty times a week. Both American soldiers and Iraqi prisoners and detainees were killed by this hostile fire. Over time, the attacks destroyed some of the prison complex and left buildings burned out and debris everywhere in sight. The mortar shelling was so frequent that it became part of the surreal sur rounding of the Abu Ghraib madness. Joe Darby recalls discussions with buddies as they tried to figure out the size and location of the mortar after hearing the boom of its launch; whether it was 60 or 80 mm. or even big enough to be a 1 2 0 mm. explosion. However, that psychic numbness in the face of death did not last forever. Darby confesses that "a few days before my unit left Abu Ghraib, all of a sudden people started worrying about mortar attacks for the first time. It was weird. They'd be huddling against the wall together. I found myself crouched in a corner, praying. The numbness was wearing off. That's one of the things you have to keep in mind when you look at the pictures. We all got numb in different ways." According to one high-ranking informant who worked there for several years, the prison remained a very dangerous place in which to work or be housed. In 2 0 0 6 , the military command finally decided to abandon it, but a bit too late to undo the damage caused by its earlier decision to resurrect it.* Compounding the woes of the soldiers, the war-torn Abu Ghraib Prison had no sewage system—only holes in the ground and porta-potties. Even so, there were not enough outside porta-potties to accommodate all the prisoners and sol diers. Because they were not regularly emptied, they overflowed, and in the extreme summer temperatures, the stench was horrible for everyone all the time. There was also no adequate shower system; water was rationed; there was no soap; electricity went down regularly because there were no reliably operating generators. The prisoners stank, as did the whole facility that enclosed them. Under the heavy rains of summer, when temperatures soared well above 1 1 0 de grees F. (45 C ) , the prison became a baking oven, or sauna. During a windstorm, fine dust participles got into everyone's lungs, causing congestion and viral infections. After it was decided to demolish the tall tower in order to eliminate it as a sighting target for insurgents, mortar attacks were on target less frequently, but that huge demolition added to the permanent debris in and degradation of the prison site. *Abu Ghraib Prison was officially closed as of August 15, 20 0 6, and all remaining prisoners shipped to Camp Cropper, near the Baghdad airport. Nor did the quality of the food make up for the other deficiencies in the accommodations. Even though this large facility had recently been renovated by the U.S. Army, there were no mess halls. For more than two years after the occupation of Abu Ghraib. soldiers assigned to duty there were obliged to eat T-Rations and MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) out of containers. A mess hall was finally constructed in December 2 0 0 3 . In summary. I cannot express the scene better than did a war rant officer in charge of military investigations there who told me just how terri ble it was to work in such a place "that for a long time resembled hell on earth."1 4 Eighty Acres of Hell American history buffs will remind us at this point that an even more hellish prison was created and maintained by the U.S. military during and after the Civil War. Camp Douglas was the prison a few miles outside of Chicago where thou sands of captured Confederate prisoners were sent for safekeeping, ft was poorly conceived on reclaimed swampland, with inadequate resources, indecisive and lax leadership, no clear guidelines for dealing with POWs, and great hostility against these Confederate "traitors" on the part of local civilians and the small battalion of guards who supervised as many as five thousands prisoners. Camp Douglas became known as "eighty acres of Hell" because thousands of prisoners died there, as slave laborers, from starvation, brutal beatings, torture, willful mis treatment, and a host of contagious diseases and viral disorders. The equivalent Hell on Earth in the South for captured Union soldiers was the better-known An- dersonville Prison.1 5 The New Commander Arrives On-site, But Sight Unseen In June 2003 a new officer was put in charge of the Iraqi prison disaster. Army Reserve Brigadier General Janis Karpinski was made commander of the 800th Military Police Brigade, which operated Abu Ghraib Prison and was in charge of all other military prisons in Iraq. The appointment was strange for two reasons: Karpinsky was the only female commander in the war zone, and she had ab solutely no experience in running any kind of prison system. Now she was sup posed to command three large jails, seventeen prisons throughout Iraq, eight battalions of soldiers, hundreds of Iraqi guards, and thirty-four hundred inexpe rienced Army Reservists, as well as the special Interrogation Center in Tier 1 A. It was an overwhelming demand to be put on the shoulders of such an inexperi enced Army Reserve officer. According to several sources, Karpinski soon abandoned her post at Abu Ghraib because of its dangers and awful living conditions and retreated to the safety and security of Camp Victory, near the Baghdad airport. Because Karpinski was off-site much of the time, traveling often to Kuwait, there was no top-down authoritative supervision of the facility on a day-to-day basis. Moreover, she claims that those higher up in the chain of command told her that Tier 1A was a "special site" and was not under her direct supervision—so she never visited it. Having a woman who was only nominally in charge also encouraged sexist attitudes among the soldiers that led to a breakdown in ordinary military disci pline and order. "General Karpinski's subordinates at Abu Ghraib at times disre garded her commands and didn't enforce codes on wearing uniforms and saluting superiors, which added to the lax standards that prevailed at the prison," said one member of the brigade. The soldier, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, also said that commanders in the field routinely ignored General Karpinski's orders, saying that they didn't have to listen to her because she was a woman."1 6 One task she did perform, after a fashion, consisted of weekly "scrubs," where she made decisions about which prisoners should be released either be cause they were not dangerous or because they probably had no useful informa tion and were neither insurgents nor criminals. However, I was told that Karpinski played it safe by releasing relatively few detainees, while many new prisoners were being brought in daily; therefore, the prison population continued to swell. To make matters worse, though few were leaving, there was a constant influx of new prisoners from other prisons, as, for example, when Camp Bucca was overcrowded. As the prison population swelled to more than ten thousand during the first six months of Karpinski's tenure, there were, among those imprisoned, thirty ju veniles, ages ten to seventeen. For these children not only were there no educa tional programs, but there were also no separate facilities. "It was heartbreaking to see the conditions under which these young children were living for months on end," said one observer. In addition, nothing was done to provide separate arrangements for prisoners who were mentally ill or were suffering from a variety of contagious diseases, like TB. It is curious, then, that given the terrible conditions at Abu Ghraib, General Karpinski would give a thumbs-up report in an interview with the St. Petersburg Times in December 2 0 0 3 . She said that for many of the Iraqis imprisoned at Abu Ghraib, "living conditions now are better in prison than living at home." She added. 'At one point we were concerned that they wouldn't want to leave." How ever, at that very moment, as General Karpinski was giving such a cheery pre- Christmas interview, Major General Antonio Taguba was conducting an investigation of reports of numerous incidents of "sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses" perpetrated by her Army Reserve soldiers in the 372nd Military Police Company, from the night shift on Tier 1 A. General Karpinski was later admonished, suspended from duty, officially rep rimanded, and removed from this command. She was also demoted to the rank of colonel and retired from the service. She was the first officer to be found blame worthy in the investigation of prisoner abuses, for her sins of omission and ignorance—not for anything she did, but for what she did not do. In her autobiography, One Woman's Army, Karpinski tells her side of the story.17 She recounts the visit of an Army team from Guantânamo, headed by Major General Geoffrey Miller, who told her, "We're going to change the nature of the interrogation at Abu Ghraib." That meant "taking off the kid gloves." to stop being so soft on these suspected insurgents, and to start using tactics that would get "actionable intelligence" needed in the war against terrorists and insurgents. Miller also insisted that the official name of the prison cease to be the Baghdad Central Confinement Facility (BCCF) and return to its original designation, which was still feared among the Iraqi population: Abu Ghraib Prison. She also notes that Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, repeated the theme that General Miller had laid down about prisoners and detainees being nothing more than "like dogs," and the need to get tougher in dealing with them. In Karpinski's view, her superior officers, Generals Miller and Sanchez, set a new agenda for dehumanization and torture at Abu Ghraib.18 THE PERSON: I'D LIKE TO INTRODUCE "CHIP" FREDERICK I first met Chip Frederick on September 30, 2 0 0 4 , when his legal counsel, Gary Myers, arranged for me to spend a day with him and his wife, Martha, in San Fran cisco. While we engaged in an in-depth, four-hour interview, Martha did a bit of sightseeing, after which we had lunch at my home in Russian Hill. Since that time I have had an active correspondence with Chip Frederick, and I have been in phone and e-mail contact with Martha and with Chip's older sister, Mimi Frederick. After having examined all of his records and all available reports about him, I arranged to have a military clinical psychologist (Dr. Alvin Jones) conduct a full psychological assessment of Frederick in September 2 0 0 4 .1 9 I reviewed those data as well as the independent blind evaluation of the MMPI testing that had been done by an assessment expert. In addition, I administered a measure of psy chological burnout at the time of our interview, and an expert on job stress inde pendently evaluated its results. Let's start with some general background, add some personal input from family and some of Frederick's recent self-evaluations, and then review the formal psychological assessments. Chip was thirty-seven years old at that time, the son of a seventy-seven-year-old West Virginia coal miner father and a seventy-three-year-old homemaker mother. He grew up in the small town of Mt. Lake Park, Maryland. He describes his mother as very supportive and caring and his father as very good to him. One of his favorite memories is working on vehicles in the garage alongside his father. His older sister, Mimi, forty-eight, is a registered nurse. He married Martha in Vir ginia in June 1999; they met when she was a trainer at the correctional facility where he worked. He has become the stepfather of her two grown daughters. All his life, Chip has attended Baptist Church services regularly, at least every other Sunday. He considers himself a moral and spiritual person, even after his in volvement in the abuses at Abu Ghraib. Before going to Iraq, he attended the local community college and went on to take courses at Allegheny College in Maryland but did not finish his degree. He was an average-C student, never failed a course, and liked to learn new skills. Chip, however, is more a jock than an intellectual; he played basketball, baseball, football, and soccer in high school. As an adult, he continued to play softball as a left fielder, hitting for a good average rather than distance. His main hobbies are hunting and fishing. He is also a "people person" who has a great many close longtime friends with whom he has stayed in touch over the years. He is very close to these friends, who are, he said, the kind of peo ple "that you would die for." Chip indicated that he also has close relations with his niece and nephew. In general, he is a family man; he counts on his family, and they have always been able to count on him. He loves his wife, Martha, whom he describes as "perfect" and a "very strong woman," and he loves her daughters "as if they were my own." Chip is in good health and is physically fit. He has never had surgery, psycho logical counseling, or medication for mental problems. His only run-in with the law came when he was nineteen as a "disturbing the peace" arrest that carried a fine of $ 5.00, which he received for hollering too loud and long at a night game of "hide-and-seek." He rarely smokes, drinks only a few beers a week, and has never used illegal drugs. Chip describes himself in the following way: "very quiet, sometimes shy, down to earth, softhearted, very agreeable, an overall good person."20 However, it is important for us to note some additional self-descriptions: Chip usually fears being rejected by others, and so, in any disagreement, he often gives way in order to be accepted: he changes his mind to accommodate others so that they will not be "mad at me or hate me." Others can influence him even when he believes that he has made up his mind. He does not like to be alone: he likes to be around oth ers, and he becomes depressed when he is alone for any length of time. Some of my research on shyness provides empirical support for this shyness- conformity link. We have found that shy college students were likely to give in to and agree with others whose opinions were discrepant from their own when they believed they might have to defend their point of view openly, whereas they did not conform when they did not have to fear a public confrontation.21 The man is superpatriotic—every day he flies the American flag in his front yard and takes it down at sunset. He gives the flag as a gift to friends and family. "I bought several flags to give to family, my place of business, and I flew them in Kuwait, every one of them. I think I had nine or ten, I flew them when I was in Baghdad, and I'd send them to my wife," he said during our interview. Chip Frederick gets "goose bumps" and "teary-eyed" when he hears the National Anthem. He wrote to me recently from his prison cell, "I am proud to say that I served most of my adult life for my country. I was very prepared to die for my country, my family and friends. ... I wanted to be the one to make a difference."22 (I must admit that such feelings seem a bit over the top to someone with my more cautious brand of patriotism.) His sister, Mimi, has this to say about her kid brother: Growing up with Chip was a delight for me. I am 3 months shy of being 11 years older than he is. Chip was a quiet person. He was considerate of his peers. Chip always was thoughtful of others' feelings and was never a vengeful type person. Chip was ornery and liked practical jokes. He would always feed the dog peanut butter and would laugh so hard he would be on the ground rolling! Chip played sports and was a team player. His philoso phy of life is fairness, and he still has a strong belief in that, responsibility and accountability, he was taught good morals and values by our parents. I remember watching him go off to the army at the young age of 17, just a kid, only to return a young man all grown up and demonstrating these same skills that he values so much. Chip likes to hunt and fish in his spare time. He enjoys sports, NASCAR, motorcycling and spending time with his family.23 Frederick's Corrections and Army Service Record Before being activated for duty in Iraq. Chip Frederick worked as a correctional offi cer in a small, medium-security prison, the Buckingham Correctional Center, in Dillwyn, Virginia, for five years from December 1 9 9 6 . He was a floor officer in charge of supervising 60 to 1 2 0 inmates at any given time. While he was in institu tional training, he met Martha, who was his trainer. The only blemish on his record is a reprimand he received for once wearing the wrong uniform. However, that is balanced by a citation he received for preventing an inmate's suicide. Before becom ing a correctional officer, Frederick worked making eyeglasses at Bausch & Lomb. I was able to review many of his performance evaluations, which had been conducted annually by the Virginia Department of Corrections. A summary of key observations by various evaluating officers provides a sense of how well Chip progressed through probationary training to become a corrections officer. He typically exceeded expectations on almost all specific performance dimensions. "C/O Frederick has been proficient in performing this[sic ] assigned duties for this probationary period. Has met all established performance standards." "Offi cer Frederick shows initiative and does a very good job." (April 1 9 9 7 ) One negative blemish on his performance record with the Virginia Depart ment of Corrections reads: "Employee needs to be more consistent on post assign ments and enforce standing counts." (November 1997) On all other six dimensions, he is rated as "Meets expectations" but as only "Fair, but needs improvement" on the dimension of initiating and completing count procedures. (Recall the count procedure ordeal of the SPE?) Otherwise, the comments are uniformly positive: "He is a very good officer and shows leadership abilities." "His appearance exceeds expectations." (Novem ber 1 9 9 8 ) (This was also true of his handling keys and equipment. All the rest of the dimensions "meet expectations.") "Officer Frederick meets all criteria and has the potential to be an excellent of ficer." "Officer Frederick does an excellent job in controlling the custody, control, and safety of inmates." "Officer Frederick is always neat and clean, shoes polished and appears that he takes pride in his uniform." (November 1 9 9 9 ) "Officer Frederick operates and maintains post in a safe, secure and clean manner. When assigned to special housing he keeps his area clean and prepared for inspections." "Officer Frederick is always dressed properly for his shift assign ment. He maintains his professional appearance." "He works well with both his co-workers and inmates. He has a thorough knowledge of the work to be done and established policies and procedures. He has no problem assisting others in completing their job assignments." (October 2 0 0 0 ) Overall, these evaluations are increasingly positive up to the point that Chip Frederick's performance "exceeds expectations." However, it is instructive to note a key conclusion in one of these final reports: "There were no factors beyond the employee's control which affected his performance." It is important to keep this in mind precisely because I will argue that "situational factors beyond his control" did undermine his performance at Abu Ghraib. In the final evaluations of Frederick, in May 2 0 0 1 , his ratings were high: "Of ficer Frederick does a very good job as the floor officer. He communicates well with the inmates in his area and on the strike force." "Officer Frederick displays a high standard of professional conduct and appearance." "Officer Frederick does a very good job enforcing all written policies." "Officer Frederick does a very good job taking counts." It is obvious that Chip Frederick became a valuable corrections officer who was highly effective when he had explicit procedures and written policies to follow. He clearly learned on the job and benefited from the surveillance and feed back of his supervisors. He is also someone for whom appearance and grooming is important, as is maintaining a professional demeanor. Those qualities, which are central in Chip's personal identity, would be under assault by the horrible con ditions we have noted existed at Abu Ghraib Prison and were even worse on the night shift on Tier 1 A. Chip joined the armed forces in 1 9 8 4 for the money and the experience, and to be with friends. It also seemed the patriotic thing to do at that time. He served for more than eleven years in the National Guard in a combat engineer unit and added to that service ten more years in the Military Police of the Army Reserve. The only negative mark on his record was one he got for being late for formation early in his career. After being activated, his first tour of duty was in Kuwait in May 2003, and then in a small town, Al-Hillah, south of Baghdad, where he served with half a dozen close buddies in the 372nd MP Company. He was an op eration sergeant charged with sending out patrols.24 The mission was great, the locals loved us. There were no major incidents or injuries. It was peaceful till we left [and Polish Coalition forces took over]. I made it a point to learn about the culture, 1 learned a little Arabic, and I made sure I interacted with the people. I sent packets full of candies to my kids [in that village]. My kids were always cheering for me. Frederick also reported that he continues to be proud that he was able to make those children smile just by listening to them and taking the time to play with them.2 5 During that time, he was able to satisfy his overwhelming desire for neatness by "semipressing" his uniform. This meant that after washing and drying his uni form, he put it under a plywood board underneath his mattress and slept on it for a week. He was the only soldier who had creases in his pants, and he was ragged for it, but he didn't care, "because that's just me: 1 don't like to be sloppy." He de scribes himself as a perfectionist who always likes things to be "nice, neat and clean." His penchant for being neat was so extreme that it would sometimes "drive his wife crazy." Unfortunately, there was little time and no reason for such neatness in Abu Ghraib Prison, where he arrived early in October 2 0 0 3 . One indication of Chip Frederick's exemplary service as a soldier for his na tion comes from a review of the many awards he has earned over the years. They include: Army Achievement Medal (awarded three times); Army Reserve Compo nents Medal (awarded four times); National Defense Medal (awarded twice); Armed Forces Reserve Medal with "M" Device; Noncommissioned Officer's Pro fessional Development Ribbon; Army Service Ribbon; Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon (awarded twice); Global War on Terrorism Medal; and Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. He was also about to re ceive a Bronze Star for the effective way he had dealt with a shooting incident with a Syrian detainee in Abu Ghraib, but which was not awarded after the abuse revelations surfaced. These are some rather impressive credentials as far as I am concerned, especially for someone later alleged to be a "rogue soldier." Psychological Assessments2 6 Chip's IQ falls in the average range on the combined measures of verbal and per formance intelligence on standard tests. Three measures of personality and emotional functioning contain validity scales that assess how the person being tested portrays him or herself across all test items, picking up lying, defensiveness, and falsifying answers. Chip showed no tendency to present himself in either an overly positive or overly negative light in regard to psychological functioning. However, it is important to highlight the conclusion: "Validity scales indicate the patient presented himself as a morally virtuous individual," according to the military psychologist conducting the as sessment. In addition, these standardized test results indicate that Chip Frederick has "no sadistic or pathological tendencies." That conclusion strongly suggests that the "bad apple" dispositional attribution of blame made against him by mili tary and administration apologists has no basis in fact. Test results suggest a core motivation for the patient to obtain and main tain nurturance and supportive relationships. He is expected to be oblig ing, docile, and placating, while seeking relationships in which he can lean on others for emotional support, affection, nurture, and security. His temperament will likely be pacifying and he will try to avoid conflict. In this regard, he will have a general tendency to hesitate in expressing nega tive feelings for fear of alienating others. He will exhibit an excessive need for both security and attachment and to be taken care of, and he will likely feel uneasy when alone. This underlies, in part, his tendency to submit to the wishes of others in order to maintain security.27 The independent evaluation of Chip Frederick's personality assessment by an expert clinical psychologist, Dr. Larry Beutler, indicates substantial agreement with the conclusions by the Army clinical psychologist. First, he notes that "The results of the assessment can be considered reasonably reliable and valid indica tors of his [Frederick's] current functioning."28 Dr. Beutler goes on to say, in bold type, "It should also be noted that there is no evidence of gross pathology.... [He] is not manifesting serious personality or Axis 1 pathology." This means that Chip shows no evidence at all of a psychopathic personality that would predispose him to be abusive without guilt in his work setting. He also falls into the "normal, healthy range" with regard to schizophrenia, depression, hysteria, and all other major forms of psychological pathology. However. Dr. Beutler also says that in his considered opinion a syndrome of underlying psychological traits raises concerns about Chip's leadership in com plex, demanding situations, such as those he encountered at Abu Ghraib: These symptoms [of Frederick's] are likely to impede his ability to respond to new situations and may reduce his flexibility and ability to adapt to change. He is likely to be indecisive, insecure and to rely on others to help him make decisions.... He seeks assurance of his worth and acknowledg ment of his efforts, and is quite dependent on others to help him set and keep an agenda or make decisions.... He is easily led by others and in spite of his best efforts to "do what is right," is likely to be over controlled by cir cumstances, authorities, and peer pressures. These reports make evident that Staff Sergeant Chip Frederick would make a good "social-emotional leader" but not as good a "task leader," a distinction that researchers on leadership use to distinguish two contrasting leadership styles. A social-emotional leader is sensitive to the needs of those in his organization and engages in activities that will promote a positive quality of group membership. On the other hand, a task leader focuses on the more formal aspects of leadership, setting agendas and standards, providing assignments, and giving informational feedback to achieve the group's goals. Ideally, a group leader should possess both traits, but often the job is divided among several leaders, each of whom is best at one or the other set of attributes. Groups need effective task leaders more than they do good social-emotional ones in situations that are ambiguous, that involve shifting demands, and that lack explicit objectives—a classic example of the night shift job setting on Tier 1 A. As good as Chip may have been in previous leadership or correctional circumstances, he was simply the wrong person for the complex job of leader on that shift at that time in that place. Chip Frederick also completed the primary assessment of an individual's ex tent and type of psychological burnout within an organizational setting. He did so by imaging his work situation as it was when he was at Abu Ghraib. The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) identifies three aspects of a person's relationship with a specific work setting: emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and personal efficacy. It was developed by Christina Maslach (recall the heroine of the Stanford Prison Ex periment). The measure was later refined and extended in her research with Dr. Michael Leiter, who provided a "blind" analysis of Frederick's reactions (that is, he was unaware of who the "client" was and of his specific work setting).29 According to Dr. Leiter, Chip's scores reveal an unusual profile of burnout on these three dimensions. Ordinarily, a high degree of exhaustion, elevated cyni cism, and a reduced sense of personal effectiveness at work go together in charac terizing job burnout. However, Chip showed few signs of cynicism or a negative evaluation of his personal work effectiveness. Nonetheless, he does show extreme emotional exhaustion: The profile indicated a person experiencing extreme exhaustion, which is the defining quality of burnout. Specifically, the assessment indicates a person who is emotionally drained and chronically tired. His recovery cycles are not providing sufficient rest or relief from work to permit him to replenish his energy, leading to a condition of chronic weariness. It is evi dent that his current state is contrary to the individual's identity: He thinks of himself as capable of managing serious demands, but is over whelmed in his current circumstances.... Overall, this profile indicates a person experiencing job burnout that is specific to the work situation in question. The profile suggests that under different work circumstances, he could be a productive and enthusiastic contributor. Research in cognitive psychology shows that performance on a variety of tasks is undermined by conditions, such as chronic stress and multitasking, that impose an excessive load on a person's cognitive resources. Memory and problem solving, as well as judgment and decision making, all suffer when the mind's usual capacity is overextended.30 I will argue that Chip's ordinary level of cogni tive capacities was indeed overwhelmed by the inordinate load imposed on him by the situational demands he faced nightly at his new, overwhelming job. With these clues in mind, let us now turn our focus on the "work circum stance" alluded to in Dr. Leiter's report. From Chip's perspective, what was it like to work on Tier 1A during the night shift? I invite you, the reader, to assume the same mind-set that you used earlier in our journey, when you imagined that you were a participant, or a subject, in various social psychological experiments. Try walking in Chip Frederick's boots for a few months, from October to December 2003. A Bad Apple or a Chip off the Best Block? Before we leave our dispositional analysis to consider the situational forces at play, we must keep in mind that this young man broughtn o pathology into that situa tion. There is absolutely nothing in his record that I was able to uncover that would predict that Chip Frederick would engage in any form of abusive, sadistic behavior. On the contrary, there is much in his record to suggest that had he not been forced to work and live in such an abnormal situation, he might have been the military's All-American poster soldier on its recruitment ads. He could have been used honestly in place of the military's fabricated psuedoheroes. Privates Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman.3 1 The military could have used Staff Sergeant Ivan Frederick as a superpatriot who loved his country and was ready to serve it to the last drop of his blood. He could have been the best of apples in their good barrel. In a sense, Chip Frederick also could have been one of the participants in our Stanford Prison Experiment, who we knew were good young men, normal and healthy—before they went down into that prison basement. Although he does not share their intelligence level or middle-class background, Chip can be com pared with them in starting out as a tabula rasa, a clean slate, which would soon become boldly etched upon by a pathological prison setting. What was the Situa tion that brought out the worst in this otherwise good soldier? How could it have indelibly etched itself on him, distorting his usual mental and behavioral func tioning? What was the nature of the "barrel" into which this once "good apple" was dropped? THE SITUATION: NIGHTMARES AND NIGHT GAMES ON TIER 1A Because he had prior experience in corrections, Staff Sergeant Frederick was as signed to be in charge of a small group of other Army Reserve Military Police on the night shift at Abu Ghraib. He had to oversee activities on four tiers in the "hard site," that is, inside the concrete structure rather than outside in the tent camps surrounded by barbed wire. One of those camps was Camp Vigilant (later changed to Camp Redemption), which had four separate compounds. Within Tier 1A (Alpha) was a special facility designed for inmate, or "detainee," interroga tions. They were usually conducted by civilian contract interrogators, some aided by translators (hired by the Titan Corporation) and only loosely supervised by military intelligence, the CIA, and other service branches. At first, Staff Sergeant Frederick was responsible for about four hundred pris oners. That was in early October 2 0 0 3 , when his 372nd Military Police Army Re serve Company (based in Cresaptown, Maryland) replaced the 72nd Military Police National Guard Company. Initially, he was able to handle the complex assignments handed to him, even though it was an escalation from the hundred or so medium-security prisoners he had had under his command back home. How ever, not long after President Bush had declared "mission accomplished," instead of the Iraqi citizenry being supportive, all hell broke loose. Insurgency and foreign terrorism against the U.S. and Coalition occupation surged out of control. No one had anticipated how extensive, coordinated, and deadly it would be and would continue to grow out of control. Revenge for the deaths of so many soldiers mixed freely with fear and uncer tainty about how to contain this eruption. Orders were sent out to round up all likely suspects in towns where any insurgent violence had erupted. That meant widespread arrests of whole families, especially adult males. The detention sys tem was not able to process this new load adequately. Record keeping on detainees and their likely interrogation value fell by the wayside, and basic resources be came completely inadequate under the pressure of an inmate population that doubled in November and nearly tripled to more than a thousand by December. Chip was required to be in charge of all of them and, in addition to being in charge of a dozen or so MPs, to oversee the fifty to seventy Iraqi police who were guarding more than 1,000 Iraqis imprisoned on various criminal charges. The Iraqi police, who worked Tiers 2, 3, and 4, were notorious for smuggling in weapons and other contraband to inmates for a fee. Although the average age of the prisoners was in the range of twenty, there were also up to fifty adolescents, as well as children as young as ten years old and seniors in their sixties—all housed together in huge cells. Female prisoners, prostitutes, and the wives of generals and men who had been important leaders in Saddam's party were housed in Tier 1B (Bravo). Each of the Alpha and Bravo tiers held about fifty prisoners at any one time. In short, being in charge of this complex facility without adequate resources and a suddenly erupting foreign prisoner population placed a heavy burden upon someone whose prior experience had been limited to policing a small number of medium-security civilian prisoners in a small town in Virginia. Training and Accountability Zimbardo: "Please tell me about your training to be a guard, a guard leader, in this prison."32 Frederick: "None. No training for this job. When we mobilized at Fort Lee, we had a cultural awareness class, maybe it was about forty-five minutes long, and it was basically about not to discuss politics, not to discuss religion, and not to call 'em Aayrabs,' don't call 'em 'Camel Jockeys,' 'Towel Heads,' or not to call 'em 'Rag Heads, Aayrabs.' " Z: "How would you describe the supervision you received and the account ability you felt you had toward your superior officers?" Frederick: "None." Z: "Who was your direct superior officer to whom you reported?" Frederick: "Sergeant First Class Snyder. I was in charge of the four tiers, and he was in charge of me and it keeps going up the chain. Next in line is Captain Brinson. Above Captain Brinson is Captain Reese; above Reese is Lieutenant Colonel Phillabaum." Frederick's shift began at 4P . M. and lasted for twelve hours, until 4A . M . He went on to report that few of these officers were ever present on Alpha Tier at night or made even brief appearances early in the shift. He had no supervision from Sergeant Snyder because his superior had no professional training in correc tions. However, at various times Chip did offer suggestions and recommended changes to Snyder, Brinson, and Reese. Z: "You would make recommendations?" Frederick: "Yes, about operation of the facility. Not to handcuff prisoners to cell doors, should not have prisoners nude except for self-mutilators, can't handle prisoners with mental conditions. . . . One of the first things that I asked for as soon as I got there was regulations, operating procedures. . . . I was housing juve niles, men, women, and mentally ill prisoners all in the same thing, it's a violation of the military code." Z: "So you would try to get up the chain of command?" Frederick: "I would tell anybody that would come in who I thought had some ranking. . . . Usually they would tell me, 'Just see what you can come up with, keep up the good work,' this is the way Military Intelligence wants it done." At other times, Chip said that he would be scoffed at or reprimanded by higher-ups for complaining. Given the combat zone conditions, they told him, he would have to make do as best possible. He was surely not in Kansas or the Dill- wyn, Virginia, Prison. There would never be any clear written procedures, no for mal policies, and no structured guidelines. There was none of the procedural support that Chip Frederick needed to follow in order to be the kind of leader he hoped to be in this most important mission in his life. He was on his own, without any support system upon which he could rely. This was exactly the worst working condition for him, given Chip Frederick's basic needs and values, which we have just reviewed from his assessments, ft was a sure recipe for failure. And that was only the beginning. Nonstop Night Work Not only did this soldier work half around the clock, he did so seven days a week with not a single day off for a full forty days! Then he had only one day off, fol lowed by two more solid weeks on, before he could get a regular day off after four nights on. I can't imagine any job where such a work schedule would not be seen as inhumane. Given the shortage of trained corrections personnel and perhaps the failure of his superiors to appreciate the extent of this overwhelming daily workload, there was no recognition of or concern for Chip Frederick's job stress and burnout potential. He had to do what they wanted him to do and simply stop complaining to his superiors. Where did he go at 4A . M . when his long twelve-hour shift was over? He simply went to sleep in another part of the prison—in a prison cell! He slept in a six- by-nine-foot prison cell that had no toilet but did have plenty of rodents running around it. ft was dirty because there were not enough cleaning supplies and not enough water to clean it up. Chip Frederick told me during our interview, "I couldn't find supplies to keep the facilities clean. The plumbing was bad. Shit was backed up in the porta-potties. There was trash and mold everywhere.... It was nasty in there. There were human body parts in the facility.... There was a pack of wild dogs running around [still present from the days when prisoners executed by Saddam were buried in part of the prison and wild dogs would dig up their re mains]. You know I was so mentally drained when I got off in the morning, all I wanted to do is sleep." He missed breakfast, lunch, often had only one meal a day, which consisted of T-rations and not-so-tasty MREs—the Army-issue meals ready to be eaten out of containers. "Portions were small due to the large number of soldiers that had to be fed. I ate a lot of cheese and crackers," Chip reported. Other emerging health problems for this athletic, socially minded young man were that he stopped exer cising because he was always tired and he was not able to socialize with buddies because of work schedule conflicts. More and more his life revolved entirely around his prison supervision and the MP Reservists working there under his command. They soon became what social psychologists refer to as his "reference group," a new in-group that would come to have a big influence on him. He was enmeshed in a "total situation," of the kind that the psychologist Robert Jay Lifton had earlier described as facilitating mind control in cults and in the North Korean prisoner-of-war camps. Many Others on the All-Night Scene The two MP reservists who served most often on the night shift in Alpha Tier were Corporal Charles Graner, Jr., and Specialist Megan Ambuhl. Graner was put in di rect charge of Tier 1A during the night shift, given that Chip had to move around to supervise the other tiers. When they were off duty. Specialist Sabrina Harman replaced them. Sometimes Sergeant Javal Davis would fill in. Private First Class Lynndie England was a file clerk who was not assigned to this duty but visited often to be with her boyfriend, Charles Graner. She celebrated her twenty-first birthday on the tier. Specialist Armin Cruz, of the 3 2 5 th Military Intelligence Bat talion, was also frequently around that tier. There were also "dog handlers," soldiers who came on the tier to use their dogs either to intimidate prisoners into talking or to force prisoners out of their cells if they were suspected of having weapons, or just for a show of force. Five such teams were sent to Abu Ghraib in November 2 0 0 3 , having had practice at the Guantânamo Bay Prison. (Two of these dog handlers, who were later found guilty of prisoner abuse, were Sergeant Michael Smith and Staff Sergeant Santos Cardona.) Nurses and medics also visited on occasion, when some special medical problem arose. Also present were a number of civilian contractors from the Titan Corporation, who did the interrogation of those detainees suspected of having in formation about insurgency activities or knowledge of terrorist activities. They often required translators to assist them in their interactions with the detainee- suspects. FBI, CIA, and military intelligence personnel were also around at times for special interrogations. As might be expected, high-ranking military visitors were rarely around in the middle of the night. Commander Karpinski never visited Tiers 1 A/B during the months that Chip was on duty, except once when giving a TV tour. One re servist in that unit reported seeing Karpinski only twice in the five months he was at Abu Ghraib. A few other officers made brief appearances in the late afternoon. Chip used those rare occasions to report problems with the facility and to suggest changes he hoped could be made; none ever was. Various other people, who were not in uniform and had no identification, came and went to and from these two tiers. No one was supposed to ask to see their credentials, so they operated in total anonymity. Against the rules of military conduct, civilian contractors gave orders to the MP guards about things they wanted done to prepare particular prisoners for interrogation. Soldiers on duty are not supposed to take orders from civilians. This line has become increasingly blurred with the rise in use of civilian contract personnel to fulfill roles previously handled by military intelligence. Chip's letters and e-mail messages home clearly told that a key function that he and the other MP reservists on Tier 1 Alpha served was to help the interrogators do their job more effectively. "Military intelligence has encouraged and told us, 'Great job.' " "They usually don't allow others to watch them interrogate. But since they like the way I run the prison, they have made an exception." He was proud to report that his men were good at doing what they were asked to do, soft ening up detainees so they would give up the information interrogators wanted. "We help getting them to talk with the way we handle them. . . . We've had a very high rate with our style of getting them to break. They usually end up breaking within hours." Chip's messages home repeatedly noted that military intelligence teams, which included CIA officers and linguists and interrogators from private defense contractors, dominated all of the action that occurred in that dungeon facility of Abu Ghraib. He told me that he could not identify any of these interrogators be cause they had deliberately made themselves anonymous. They rarely gave their names and had no IDs on their uniform; in fact, most of them did not even wear a military outfit. Chip's account squares with media accounts about the climate created by General Sanchez's insistence that the best way to get actionable intelli gence from detainees was by extreme methods of interrogation and secrecy. Some rules for U.S. military personnel at the prison made it easy for people to duck responsibility for their actions, a factor that may also have opened the door to abuse. According to an undated prison memo titled "Operational Guidelines," which covered the high-security cell block (Tier 1A), the acronym "MI [Military Intelligence] will not be used in the area." 'Additionally, it is recommended that all military personnel in the segregation area reduce knowledge of their true identities to these specialized detainees. The use of sterilized uniforms [cleansed of all identification] is highly suggested and personnel should NOT address each other by true name and rank in the seg regation area."3 3 The Army's own investigations revealed the truth of Frederick's descriptions about the extreme strategies that were employed in the prison. They found that interrogators had encouraged MP reservists working in the prison to prepare Iraqi detainees for questioning, physically and mentally.34 The traditionally estab lished line between MPs dealing only with detention procedures and military in telligence personnel working on intelligence gathering was blurred when these reservists were recruited to assist in prepping detainees for coercive interrogation. Military intelligence agents were also guilty of some of the worst abuses. For ex ample, in order to obtain information from one Iraqi general, interrogators soaked down his sixteen-year-old son, smeared him with mud, and then drove him naked out into the cold. Sergeant Samuel Provenance (Alpha Company, 302nd Military Intelligence Battalion) reported to several news agencies that two of the interrogators had sexually abused a female teenager and that other person nel were aware of this abuse. We will see in the next chapter that much worse abuses were committed by any number of soldiers and civilians, in addition to those by Chip Frederick's MP night shift crew. "I hope the investigation [of inmate abuses] is including not only the people who committed the crimes, but some of the people that might have encouraged these crimes as well," said Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, deputy director for Coalition operations in Iraq, in an interview with Dan Rather on 60 Minutes II. "Because they certainly share some level of responsibility as well." (We will note that the System has been slow in accusing and investigating its own officials.) Chip Frederick also had general custody of fifteen to twenty "ghost de tainees," prisoners who were listed only as OGA—Other Government Agency— property. Because they were assumed to be high-ranking officials who had valuable information to give, the interrogators were given latitude to use all means necessary to extract that actionable information. These detainees were "ghosts" because there was no official record of them ever having been at that site, never officially listed, without any ID. During our interview, Chip confided, "I saw one of them after he was killed by Delta Force soldiers. They killed this guy. I got the impression that nobody cared. Nobody cared what happened in there."3 5 That "guy" was a ghost detainee who had been severely beaten by a Navy SEALs unit, then hung on a rack during interrogation by a CIA agent, suffocated to death, then packed in ice and put into a body bag with an IV inserted in his arm (by a medic) so that his murderers could pretend he was sick and being taken to the hospital in the morning. Before he was dumped somewhere by a cab driver, some of the MPs (Graner and Harman) on the night shift had their pictures taken with him as souvenirs, just for the record. (We will revisit this case in more detail in the following chapter.) However, the effect of the MPs on night shift witnessing these and other instances of grim abuse by a variety of visitors to their Tier 1A was certainly to establish a new social norm of abuse acceptability. If it were pos sible to get away with murder, what harm was there in just smacking around some resistant detainees or embarrassing them by making them take humiliating positions? they reasoned. The Fear Factor There was much to fear within those prison walls—not only for the prisoners but also for Chip Frederick and all the other guards. As is the case in most prisons, prisoners with time on their hands and ingenuity will fashion weapons out of vir tually anything available to them. Here their weapons were made from metal bro ken off from beds or windows, broken glass, and sharpened toothbrushes. With less ingenuity and some money, prisoners could bribe the Iraqi guards to supply them with guns, knives, bayonets, and ammunition. For a fee. these guards would also transfer notes and letters to and from family members. Frederick had been warned by guys in the 72nd MP Company, which his unit replaced, that many of the Iraqi guards were very corrupt—they even assisted escape attempts by provid ing security information, facility maps, clothes, and weapons. They also smuggled in drugs to the detainees. Although Frederick was nominally in charge of these guards, they would refuse to make rounds of the tiers, and usually they just sat around on tables outside the tier smoking and talking. This must be added to all the other sources of Chip Frederick's constant frustrations and stress in running a secure facility. Prisoners regularly assaulted the guards verbally and physically; some threw feces at them, and others used their long fingernails to scratch the guards' faces. One of the most frightening and unexpected series of events on the tier happened on November 2 4 , 2 0 0 3 , when Iraqi police smuggled a handgun, ammo, and bay onets into the cell of a suspected Syrian insurgent. Chip's small force had a shoot out with him, and they were able to subdue him without killing him. However, that event raised the bar for everyone in that place to be eternally vigilant and even more fearful of lethal attacks against them. Prisoner riots occurred over the poor quality of the food, which was often inedible and insufficient. Riots were also likely to erupt when mortar attacks ex ploded nearby in Abu Ghraib's "soft site." As noted earlier, the facility was under daily bombardment, and both guards and prisoners were wounded and some killed by these mortar attacks. "I was always fearful," Chip confessed to me. "The mortar and rocket attacks and the firelights were very scary for me. I had never been in a combat zone before Iraq." Nevertheless, he had to suck it up and act brave, given his position of authority over the detainees, his fellow MPs, and the Iraqi police. The situation demanded that Chip Frederick pretend not to be afraid but instead to appear calm, cool, and collected. This conflict between his outer, seemingly composed manner and his inner turmoil worsened as more inmates were constantly added to the ranks and demands from higher-ups escalated to get more "actionable intelligence" from the detainees. In addition to his bottled-up fear, Chip Frederick endured the stress and ex haustion generated by the excessive demands of this complex new job, for which he was totally unprepared and untrained. Consider, too, the wide discrepancy be tween his core values—order, neatness, and cleanliness—and the chaos, filth, and disorder that surrounded him all the time. Although he was supposed to be in charge of the entire compound, he reported that he had felt "weak" because "no one would work with me. I couldn't make any changes about how to run this place." He also began to feel anonymous because "no one was listening to my po sition. It was clear that there was no accountability." Moreover, the physical set ting in which he found himself conferred total anonymity by its barren ugliness. Anonymity of place combined with anonymity of person, given that it became the norm to stop wearing their full military uniforms while on duty. And all around them, most visitors and the civilian interrogators came and went un named. No one in charge was readily identifiable, and the seemingly endless mass of prisoners, wearing orange jumpsuits or totally naked, were also indistinguish able from one another. It was as extreme a setting for creating deindividuation as I can imagine. Parallels with the Guards in the Stanford Prison Experiment Now that we have surveyed the work setting, we can begin to see parallels be tween the psychological states experienced by Chip Frederick and his fellow guards with those of the guards in the Stanford Prison Experiment. Deindividua tion processes created by anonymity of person and anonymity of place are evi dent. Dehumanization of prisoners is apparent by virtue of their sheer numbers, enforced nakedness, and uniform appearance, as well as by the guards' inability to understand their language. One of the night shift MPs, Ken Davis, reported in a later television documentary about how dehumanization had been bred into their thinking: "We were never trained to be guards. The higher-ups said, 'Use your imagination. Break them. We want them broke by the time we come back.' As soon as we'd have prisoners come in, sandbags instantly on their head. They would flexicuff 'em; throw 'em down to the ground; some would be stripped. It was told to all of us, they're nothing but dogs [familiar phrase?]. So you start breeding that picture to people, then all of a sudden, you start looking at these people as less than human, and you start doing things to 'em that you would never dream of. And that's where it got scary."36 Boredom operated in both prison settings, bred by long shift hours on those nights when everything was under control. Boredom was a potent motivator to take actions that might bring some excitement, some controlled sensation seek ing. Both sets of guards decided on their own initiative "to make things happen" that they thought would be interesting or fun. All this was aggravated, of course, by the lack of mission-specific training for a difficult and complex job and the lack of oversight by a supervisory staff, which rendered accountability unnecessary. In both prisons, the system's operatives gave permission for the guards to maintain total power over the prisoners. In addition, the guards feared that the prisoners would escape or riot, as did our Stan ford guards, although of course with less deadly consequences. Obviously, Abu Ghraib Prison was a far more lethal environment than our relatively benign prison at Stanford. However, as the experiment showed, the abusiveness of guards and their aggression toward the prisoners escalated nightly, culminating in a se ries of sexual, homophobic acts imposed upon the prisoners. The same was true, in even more perverse and extreme ways, on Tier 1A. Moreover, in both cases, the worst abuses occurred during the night shift, when the guards felt that the authorities noticed them least; thus, free from their elemental constraints. It should be made clear that such situational forces as those described here did not directly prod the guards into doing bad things, as in the Milgram research paradigm. Except for the encouragement given by some civilian interrogators to "soften up" detainees in order to render them vulnerable, it was the situational forces at Abu Ghraib—as in the Stanford prison—that createdfreedom from the usual social and moral constraints on abusive actions. It became apparent to both sets of night shift guards that they could get away with many taboo behaviors be cause responsibility was diffused; no one challenged them when newly emergent norms made acceptable once unthinkable behavior. It is the phenomenon of "when the cat's away, the mice will play." It is reminiscent of Golding's Lord of the Flies, where supervising grown-ups were absent as the masked marauders cre ated havoc. It should also remind you of the research on anonymity and aggres sion reported in the previous chapter. It is instructive to note some of the conclusions reached by the independent panel headed by James Schlesinger that compared the two prison situations. I was surprised to discover the parallels drawn in that report between our simulated prison conditions at Stanford and the all-too-real prison conditions at Abu Ghraib. In a three-page Appendix (G), the report describes psychological stressors, the bases for inhumane treatment of prisoners, and the social psychological fac tors that are involved when ordinarily humane people behave inhumanely toward others: The potential for abusive treatment of detainees during the Global War on Terrorism was entirely predictable based on a fundamental understanding of social psychology principles coupled with an awareness of numerous known environmental risk factors. [Most of the leaders were unac quainted with these risk factors.] Such conditions neither excuse nor absolve the individuals who engaged in deliberate immoral or illegal behaviors [even though] certain condi tions heightened the possibility of abusive treatment. Findings from the field of social psychology suggest that the conditions of war and the dynamics of detainee operations carry inherent risks for human mistreatment, and therefore must be approached with great caution and careful planning and training. [The] landmark Stanford study . . . provides a cautionary tale for all mili tary detention operations, which were relatively benign. In contrast, in military detention operations, soldiers work under stressful combat condi tions that are far from benign. Psychologists have attempted to understand how and why individuals and groups who usually act humanely can sometimes act otherwise in certain circumstances. Among the social psychological concepts identified by the Schlesinger in vestigation that help explain why abusive behaviors occur include deindividuation. dehumanization, enemy image, groupthink, moral disengagement, and social facilitation. We have discussed all of these processes earlier with regard to the Stanford Prison Experiment, and they were operating as well in Abu Ghraib, with the exception of "groupthink." I do not believe that this biased way of thinking (that promotes a group's consensus with the leader's position) was at play among the night shift guards, because they were not systematically planning their abuses. "Groupthink" is a concept developed by my former Yale teacher, the psy chologist Irving Janis to account for bad decisions made in groups composed of intelligent people. Such groups suppress dissent in the interest of group harmony, when they are an amiable, cohesive group that does not include dissenting view points and has a directive leader. The disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba (1961) is a prime example of groupthink by President John Kennedy's cabinet. More recently, groupthink was at work in the shared belief within the American intelligence community (IC) and the Bush cabinet that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (which, in turn, led to the war against Iraq): "IC personnel in volved in the Iraq WMD issue demonstrated several aspects of groupthink: examining few alternatives, selective gathering of information, pressure to conform within the group or withhold criticism, and collective rationalization." The back ground for this conclusion by the Senate Intelligence Committee is available on line; see the Notes.37 In an independent analysis published in the journalSc ienc e, the social psy chologist Susan Fiske and her colleagues supported the position taken by the Schlesinger investigation. They concluded that "Abu Ghraib resulted in part from ordinary social processes, not just extraordinary individual evil." Among the so cial processes identified are conformity, socialized obedience to authority, dehu manization, emotional prejudices, situational stressors, and gradual escalation of abuses from minimal to extreme.3 8 A former soldier in Iraq offers further documentation of the relevance of the SPE to understanding the behavioral dynamics at work in Iraq military prisons, and also why strong leadership is crucial. Professor Zimbardo, I was a soldier [lead counterintelligence agent] in the unit that estab lished Camp Cropper, the first detention facility set up in Baghdad after the Baath Regime fell. I can definitely relate the lessons from your prison study to my observations on the ground in Iraq. I dealt extensively with both the Military Police and detainees throughout my tour and saw many examples of the situations you described from the study. However, unlike the soldiers at Abu Ghraib our unit had very com petent leadership and things never got anywhere near the level as at Abu Ghraib. Our leaders knew the rules, set the standards, and super vised to ensure that the rules were followed. Infractions of the rules were investigated and when appropriate, violators were punished. Detention missions are dehumanizing for everyone involved. I think I went numb after the first two weeks. Active involvement by our leaders kept us from forgetting who we were and why we were there. Anyhow. I enjoyed reading the summary of your experiment; it brought more clarity to my thinking. Sincerely, Terrence Plakias3 9 Sexual Dynamics on Tier lA One of the unusual features of the night shift staff on Alpha Tier was the mixture of young female and male guards. It is noteworthy that, in this culture of unsu pervised young adults, the women were quite attractive. Add to this emotionally charged mix young Lynndie England, who hung out with that shift to be with her new boyfriend, Charles Graner. England and Graner soon began engaging in tor rid sexual escapades, which they documented in digital photos and videos. Even tually she became pregnant and subsequently gave birth to his child. However, there must have been something else going on between Graner and the twenty- nine-year-old MP guard Megan Ambuhl, because they later got married—after he was sentenced to prison. The media, which focused on the England-Graner-Ambuhl triangle, gave lit tle coverage to the fact that there were prostitutes among the Iraqi criminal prisoners, who are seen posing with bared breasts for the Army Reservists who took their pictures. In addition, there were scores of naked Iraqi male detainees, partly because of the humiliation strategy imposed upon them by orders from higher authorities and partly because there were not enough orange prison suits to go around. Ironically, some of the prisoners had to wear women's pink panties in stead of male underwear because of a mistake in the supply order. It was a short step down to force some prisoners to wear them over the head as a funny form of humiliation. Despite Chip Frederick's requests to separate young and adult detainees, a group of Iraqi prisoners allegedly raped a fifteen-year-old boy who had been housed with them. Specialist Sabrina Harman marked one of these men on his leg with a Sharpie pen, "I am a Rapeist"[sic ]. On another of them, a lipstick face was drawn around his nipples with his prison ID number also marked with lipstick across his bare chest. The sexual atmosphere was explosive. There is evidence that one MP sodomized a male detainee with a chemical light and perhaps with a broomstick as well. Male detainees were frequently threatened with rape by cer tain guards. Other evidence implicates a male MP in raping a female detainee. It was becoming ever more like a porn palace than a military prison. James Schlesinger, who headed one of the many independent investigations, described what he saw and heard about that night shift's nightly activities: "It was like Animal House" (the movie). It was a Situation spiraling out of the control of any person. Chip Frederick remembers that the abuses occurred in the following clus tered chronological order: 1-10 October 2 0 0 3 : Nudity, handcuffing to cell doors, wearing women's un derwear. This was carried over from the relief in place with the 72nd MP Company. 1 October to 25 October. Sexual poses (in presence of MI—handcuffed to gether naked). Also an unknown soldier who was there claimed he was from GITMO and showed Graner some stress positions that were used at GITMO. 8 November. Riot at Ganci compound [one of the separate compounds within Abu Ghraib Prison]. Seven detainees being moved to the hard site (Tier 1 A). Were in possession of multiple weapons and was planning to take an MP Hostage and kill the MP. This was the night of the pyramid, assaults, sexual poses and masturbation. Dogs came around this time. Following a thorough investigation, General Antonio Taguba's report item izes a long set of abuses and torture practices attributed to various members of this MP unit on Tiers 1A and 1B. The charges in his damning report include the following: a. Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees; b. Threatening detainees with a charged 9mm pistol; c. Pouring cold water on naked detainees; d. Beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair; e. Threatening male detainees with rape; f. Allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell; g. Sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broomstick; h. Using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, who in one instance actually bit a detainee. Intentional abuse of detainees by military police personnel included the following acts: a. Punching, slapping, and kicking detainees; jumping on their naked feet; b. Videotaping and photographing naked male and female detainees; c. Forcibly arranging detainees in various sexually explicit positions for pho tographing; d. Forcing detainees to remove their clothing and keeping them naked for several days at a time; e. Forcing naked male detainees to wear women's underwear; f. Forcing groups of male detainees to masturbate themselves while being photographed and videotaped; g. Arranging naked male detainees in a pile and then jumping on them; h. Positioning a naked detainee on a MRE Box, with a sandbag on his head, and attaching wires to his fingers, toes, and penis to simulate electric tor ture; i. Placing a dog chain or strap around a naked detainee's neck and having a female soldier pose for a picture; j. A male MP guard having sex with a female detainee; k. Using military working dogs (without muzzles) to intimidate and frighten detainees, and in at least one case biting and severely injuring a detainee; 1. Taking photographs of dead Iraqi detainees. "These findings are amply supported by written confessions provided by sev eral of the suspects, written statements provided by detainees, and witness state ments." concludes General Taguba.4 0


Cautionary Notes

It would seem that such a list of military infractions and crimes would close the case on the accused. However, in that same report, General Taguba concludes that these MPs were set up to engage in some of these abuses by higher-ups. He states that "Military Intelligence (MI) interrogators and other US Government agency's interrogators actively requested that MP guards set physical and mental conditions for favourable interrogation of witnesses." Major General George Fay's investigative report goes even further in provid ing a more damning statement about the active role that MI personnel played in these abuses. His report notes that for a period of seven months, "Military intelli gence personnel allegedly requested, encouraged, condoned or solicited Military Police personnel [the Army Reserve night shift guards] to abuse detainees, and/or participated in detainee abuse, and/or violated established interrogation proce dures and applicable law."41 We will review both generals' reports more fully in the next chapter to highlight our focus on system failures and command com plicity in the abuses. The Night of October 25, 2003 Around midnight on Tier1 A, three Iraqi detainees were dragged from their cells, made to crawl on the floor naked, chained together, and forced into simulated sexual acts. One of the abuse photos shows this cluster of prisoners surrounded by about seven soldiers looking down on them. The key protagonists were an in terrogator, Ramon Kroll, and MI Specialist Armin Cruz. Among those identified as a passive observer was MP Ken Davis. He watched it all and just walked away from it (forever sorry now that he did not intervene immediately). Another ob server was MI Reservist Israel Rivera, who described it as a Lord of the Flies inci dent. He also did not intervene, but the next day Rivera blew the whistle on Cruz and Kroll. They were subsequently court-martialed, with Cruz getting eight months in prison and Kroll ten months in detention. Cruz's father had been the first Cuban to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Graner was also reported to have taken part in this incident but was not singled out as one of the abusers. The trigger of this particular abuse was the rumor circulating that these pris oners had raped a boy detainee, and this was payback for that offense. Frederick also noted that he too had been upset by this incident because he had complained to superiors that such rapes would happen if youths were housed with adult pris oners. Ironically, a subsequent military investigation indicated that the rumor was false, or at least that these three prisoners had not been involved in any rape. A powerful documentary about this event as an example of the night shift abuses was aired by the Canadian Broadcast Company's Fifth Estate television news (November 16, 2 0 0 5 ) . The full story, with moving testimonies and detailed background, is available from its website (see Notes).42 The Graner Catalyst Reserve Corporal Charles Graner is to the Abu Ghraib Prison night shift what our "John Wayne" guard was to the night shift in the Stanford prison. Both were cata lysts for making things happen. "John Wayne" went far beyond the margins of the role assigned him as he concocted "little experiments" of his own. Corporal Graner far exceeded his role in abusing prisoners both physically and psychologi cally. Significantly, both Graner and "John Wayne" are charismatic characters who radiated confidence and a tough-nosed, no-nonsense attitude that influ enced others on their shift. Although Staff Sergeant Frederick was his military su perior, Graner really took charge of Tier 1A even when Chip was present. It seems as though the original idea of taking the photos came from him, and many of the photos were made with his digital camera. Graner, a member of the Marine Corps Reserve, had served as a prison guard in the Persian Gulf War—without incident. During Operation Desert Storm he worked the largest prisoner-of-war camp for about six weeks, again without inci dent. "He was one of the guys who kept our spirits up," a member of that com pany recalled. Another buddy remembered Graner as "a funny guy, outgoing, and quick to crack a joke." He added. "From what I saw, he did not have a ma levolent side." However, according to another member of Graner's unit, a poten tially violent confrontation between him and some other soldiers with Iraqi prisoners was averted solely by field commanders who took charge and directed the unit's well-disciplined soldiers to take over. A longtime neighbor who had known Graner for thirty years added to the positive evaluation: "He was a real good guy. I have nothing but good things to say about Chuck. Never once did he give anyone a problem." His mother recorded her pride in his high school yearbook: "You have always made your father and me proud of you. You are the best."4 3 However, on the other side of the ledger is a Graner who is reported to have physically abused his wife, who finally divorced him. Media accounts indicate that he was also disciplined several times when he worked as a maximum-security prison corrections officer. On the Tier 1A night shift, all external constraints on Graner's antisocial be havior were gone with the wind. Chaos and casual intimacies replaced military discipline; any semblance of a strong authority structure was nowhere in sight; and with the constant encouragement by military intelligence and civilian con tract interrogators for him to "soften up" detainees prior to interrogation, Graner was readily led into temptation. Charles Graner was totally sexualized in that permissively volatile setting. He was having a sexual affair with Lynndie England, documenting it in many pho tos. He made an Iraqi women prisoner expose her breasts and genitals while he photographed her. It is reported that Graner forced group masturbation among the prisoners and ordered naked male prisoners to crawl around on the ground "so that their genitalia had to drag along the floor," while he shouted at them that they were "fucking fags."44 In addition, Graner was the one who first thought of piling naked prisoners in a pyramid. And when a group of naked prisoners with bags over their heads was forced to masturbate in front of male and female sol diers, Graner jokingly told Lynndie England that "the line of masturbating de tainees was a gift for her birthday."45 After his trial, Chip Frederick wrote to me about Graner, "I don't put all the blame on him. He just had a way about him to get you to think that everything was Okay. I am very sorry for my actions and if I could go back to Oct 2 0 0 3 , I would do things differently.... I wish that I could have been stronger.. . "4 6 Specialist Matthew Wisdom, who first reported the abuses to his superiors in November 2 0 0 3 (though his complaint was ignored), gave testimony in Graner's trial. He said that Graner enjoyed beating inmates and moreover that he had laughed, whistled, and sung while abusing them. When Specialist Joe Darby asked Graner about a shooting that had taken place on the tier, Graner handed him two CDs filled with the incriminating photographs. Upset at the immorality of the scenes they depicted. Darby asked Graner what they signified to him. Graner replied, "The Christian in me says it's wrong, but the corrections officer in me says, I love to make a grown man piss himself." Chip Frederick still regrets coming under Graner's influence. Here is one in stance where there was predictive validity of Chip's personality tendencies to con form and comply. Recall the conclusions from his psychological assessment: Chip usually fears being rejected by others, and so in any disagreement, he often gives way in order to be accepted; he changes his mind to accommodate others so that they will not be "mad at me or hate me." Others can influence him even when he believes that he has made up his mind. Sadly, his mind was undermined by stress, fear, exhaustion, and Graner's influence. An Alternative Take on Charles Graner In Akira Kurosawa's classic Japanese movieRashom on, the same event is de scribed in very different ways by a group of people who all experienced it. I have mentioned that that was the case with the Stanford Prison Experiment. Guard "John Wayne" and Prisoner Doug-8612 later told the media that they had only been "acting" sadistic or pretending to go crazy, respectively. More recently, for mer Guard Hellmann, gave yet another version of his actions: At the time, if you had questioned me about the effect I was having, I would say, well, they must be a wimp. They're weak or they're faking. Be cause I wouldn't believe that what I was doing could actually cause some body to have a nervous breakdown. It was just us sorta getting our jollies with it. You know. Let's be like puppeteers here. Let's make these people do things.47 Other SPE prisoners and guards reported that it was either a terrible experi ence or no big deal. Reality, to some extent, is in the mind of the beholder. How ever, at Abu Ghraib, people's lives were dramatically impacted by the reality consensus of the military, the military court, and the media. Charles Graner was portrayed from the outset of the investigation as the true "bad apple," in the bunch—sadistic, evil, engaging in wanton abuses against de tainees. His past record of trouble in a previous corrections facility in the United States was presented as evidence that he had brought a violent, antisocial nature into Tier 1 A. It was irresponsible media hype. To the contrary, an examination of Graner's performance file from the Cor rections Institute in Greene County, Pennsylvania, reveals that he hadnever been accused, suspected of, or disciplined for any offense or maltreatment of any in mate. An even more dramatic contrast between Graner as irresponsible monster and Graner as good soldier is found in his performance evaluation during the key month of the prisoner abuses. On November 1 6 , 2 0 0 3 , in a Developmental Coun seling Form ( 4 8 5 6 ) given to Graner by the platoon leader Captain Brinson, he is singled out for the fine job he has been doing: Cpl. Graner, you are doing a fine job in Tier 1 of the BCF as the NCOIC of the "MI Hold" area. You have received many accolades from the MI units here and specifically from LTC [blackened: likely Lt. Col. Jordan]. Continue to perform at this level and it will help us succeed at our overall mission. He is then cautioned to wear his military uniform and to maintain proper military appearance (which no one on that tier had been doing). A second caution recognizes the high stress level that he and others have been operating under on that tier. Graner is asked to be aware of effects that such stress might have on his behavior, specifically with regard to the use of force in dealing with a particu lar detainee. However, Graner's version of the appropriate use of forces is ac cepted by this officer. "I 1 0 0 percent support your decision when you believe you must defend yourself," adds the officer. (A PDF file of this counseling statement is available; see the Notes, p. 5 1 8 .4 8 ) MP Reservist Ken Davis recently gave a surprisingly supportive account of an interaction he had with Graner: One evening, after he got off of his shift, he [Graner] was hoarse. And I said: "Graner, are you getting sick?" And he goes, "No." And I said, "Well, what's going on?" And, he said, "Well, I'm havin' to yell, and do other things to de tainees that I feel are morally and ethically wrong. What do you think I should do?" I said, "Then don't do 'em." And he goes, "I don't have a choice." And I said, "What do you mean?" He says, "Every time a bomb goes off outside the wire, or outside the fence, they come in, and they tell me, that's another American losin' their life. And unless you help us, their blood's on your hands as well."49 Given this awareness of the high stress levels on Tier 1 A, one might assume that some mental health personnel would be called in to help the soldiers in deal ing constructively with the turmoil. A psychiatrist was assigned to Abu Ghraib for several months, but he did not treat or counsel any of the MPs who needed such expertise or work with any of the mentally ill detainees. Instead, it is reported that his main function was to assist military intelligence in making its interrogations more effective. Megan Ambuhl has asserted that "There were no credible claims of sodomy, or rape, nor were there pictures or videos of such, at least not by any of the 7 MP's involved in this investigation." She continued, "I have all the pictures and videos from the beginning of the investigation. I spent almost 13 hours a day on that block. No rapes or sodomy occurred."50 Will we ever know what really hap pened there, and who and what was to blame for the horrors of Abu Ghraib? THE "TROPHY PHOTOS": DIGITALLY DOCUMENTED DEPRAVITY In wars between nations and in confrontations with criminals, soldiers, police, and prison guards have often been brutal in their abuse, torture, and murder of their "enemies," suspects, or captives. Such actions are to be expected (but not ac cepted) in war zones, when lives are risked in the line of duty and when "foreign ers" conduct the abuse against our soldiers. We do not expect or accept such behavior by agents of democratic governments when there is no imminent threat to their lives and when captives are vulnerable and unarmed. Accordingly, many Americans were distressed some years back, in March 1 9 9 1 , when a televised videotape showed a group of Los Angeles police officers (LAPD) repeatedly beating an unarmed African-American motorist, Rodney King. More than fifty blows of their nightsticks were inflicted upon him as he lay on the ground helpless, while two dozen law enforcement officers watched the beating, and some of them assisted in holding King down by placing their feet on his back. In her analysis of the power of visual images in modern society, novelist Susan Sontag wrote: For a long time—at least six decades—photographs have laid down the tracks of how important conflicts are judged and remembered. The West ern memory museum is now mostly a visual one. Photographs have an in superable power to determine what we recall of events, and it now seems probable that the defining association of people everywhere with the war that the United States launched pre-emptively in Iraq last year will be pho tographs of the torture of Iraqi prisoners by Americans in the most infa mous of Saddam Hussein's prisons, Abu Ghraib.51 Sontag went on to highlight the content of those images as indicative of the worst excesses of a culture grownsh am eless as its citizens are exposed daily to TV shows like Jerry Springer's and others where participants are vying to humiliate themselves publicly. She indicts American culture as one that admires unrestrained power and dominance. Sontag illustrates its shamelessness further with reference to the Pentagon's "Shock and Awe" label of its assault against Baghdad in March 2 0 0 3 in advance of the battle. (Since then, some critics have proposed an alternative of "Shame and Awful" to characterize what has been done since then to Iraq by the military and irresponsible civilian corporations.) The digital images coming out of Abu Ghraib had a unique impact on people throughout the world. Never before had we seen such visual evidence of sexual abuse and torture by prison guards or of men and women apparently enjoying their heinous deeds and then having the audacity to pose themselves and re cord their brutal actions. How could they have done it? Why did they give these abuses their personal visual signatures? Let's consider some possible explanations. Digital Power One simple answer is that new digital technology makes everyone an instant pho tographer. It provides immediate feedback and no development waiting time, and its images can easily be readily shared online without being censored by film- developing laboratories. Because these cameras are conveniently small in size, large in capacity, and relatively inexpensive, they are so ubiquitous that it is easy for anyone to take hundreds of photos on the spot. Just as Web logs (blogs) and personal webcasts allow ordinary people to experience unedited moments of fleeting fame, so too does "owning" unusual photo images that can be distributed worldwide via a host of websites gives others their moment of glory. Consider the fact that one amateur porn site encouraged its male viewers to submit nude images of their wives and girlfriends to be posted in exchange for free access to the porn videos it made available.52 Soldiers were invited also to ex change war zone photos for the same free access to porn, and many did. A "gore" warning was put on some of those images, such as the one of a group of Ameri can soldiers smiling and giving high fives in front of the burned remains of an Iraqi, with the caption "Burn Baby Burn." Trophy Photos from Other Eras Such images are reminiscent of the "trophy photos" of black men and women being lynched or burned alive in the United States between the 1 8 8 0 s and 1930s as onlookers and perpetrators posed for the camera. We saw in the last chapter that such images are emblematic of dehumanization at its worst, because, in ad dition to depicting the torture and murder of black Americans for often spurious "crimes" against whites, the photos that documented these unholy events were made into postcards to be bought and sent to friends and relatives. Some of the images included smiling young children brought along by their parents to wit ness the torment of black men and women being violently murdered. A docu mentary catalogue of many of these postcards is found in the recent book Without Sanctuary. 53 Other such trophy photos were taken by German soldiers during the Second World War of their personal atrocities against Polish Jews and Russians. We noted in the previous chapter that even "ordinary men," old reserve German policeman who had initially resisted shooting to death families of Jews, over time came to document their murderous deeds as executioners.54 Still other visual repositories exist of such executions with their executioners, as can be seen in Janina Struk's Photographing the Holocaust. 55 The Turks' massacre of Armenians is also docu mented in photographs contained in a website devoted to that genocide.56 Another genre of trophy photos common in pre-animal-rights eras is that of big-game hunters and sports fishermen exulting over their marlin, tigers, or griz zly bears. I recall seeing a photo of Ernest Hemingway in such a pose. However, the classic iconic image of the fearless safari hunter is that of the American pres ident Teddy Roosevelt proudly standing behind a huge rhino that he had just bagged. Another shows the former president and son Kermit sitting atop a water buffalo in a nonchalant pose with legs crossed, big gun in hand.5 7 Such trophy photos were public statements of man's power and mastery over nature's mighty beasts—overcome by his skill, courage, and technology. Curiously, in those pho tos, the victors appear rather grim, rarely are they smiling: they are victors in a battle against formidable adversaries. In a sense, they pose like the young David with his slingshot before the fallen giant Goliath. Exhibitionists Performing for Voyeurs The grinning faces of many of the night shift guards at Abu Ghraib suggest a dif ferent dimension of trophy photos: the exhibitionistic. Some photos seem as though the abuses were merely available props for the exhibitionists to document the extremes to which they could go in that unusual setting. These exhibitionists also seem to anticipate an audience of eager voyeurs who would enjoy the sight of these antics. However, they failed to realize that file sharing and easy distribution would make the digital images independent of the photographers; they would lose control over who would get to view them—and thus they were caught red- handed by the authorities. With the exception of the iconic image of torture of the hooded man with electrodes on his hands and the photos of dogs menacing prisoners, most of the other trophy pictures are sexual in nature. The link between torture and sexuality gives them a pornographic quality that is disturbing, yet fascinating, for many viewers. We are all invited down into that sadomasochistic dungeon to get a close look at these excesses in action. Though it is horrible to view these abuses, people keep looking at them. I was surprised to discover the extent of voyeurism that is now being satisfied via the World Wide Web. A website named simplyw w w . v o y e u r w e b . c o m claims to attract 2.2 million unique visitors daily to its free amateur porn site for Web surfers. Complex Motives and Social Dynamics Human behavior is complex, so there is often more than one reason for any given act, and in Abu Ghraib, I believe these digital images were the product of multiple motives and interpersonal dynamics in addition to the sexuality and exhibition ism. Status and power, revenge and retaliation, deindividuation of the helpless— it is likely that all were involved in the abuses and the photo taking. In addition, we must consider that some of them were actually condoned and staged by the in terrogators. Staged Photos Used to Threaten Detainees There is one simple reason for the trophy photos at Abu Ghraib: the MPs were told to pose for them by the interrogators, civilian, and military. One version of the story, according to retired officer Janis Karpinski and reported earlier by some of the accused soldiers, was that initially the idea for taking the posed photos was to use them as threats to aid interrogations. "They set those photos up to get confes sions, 'to cut to the chase,' " said Karpinski on May 4, 2 0 0 6 , during a panel held at Stanford University. "They would take out the laptops, show the photos, and tell the prisoners, 'Start talking or tomorrow you are at the bottom of the pile.' It was done intentionally, methodically."58 Surely, some of the photos are clearly posed for someone's camera, with MPs smiling for the camera, giving high fives, and pointing at something to notice in the scene. The dehumanizing photo of Lynndie England dragging a detainee on the ground with a dog leash around his neck is most likely of that origin. It is un likely she went to Iraq with a dog leash in her duty bag. However, all that was necessary for social facilitation to take over was for any official to give the MPs permission to take even one such photo of abuse. That permission opened the doors to this new nightly activity of ever more scenes of creative evil at work. Once started, there was no end in sight because it was relieving the MPs' boredom, getting revenge, demonstrating mastery, and having fun and sex games—until Joe Darby blew the whistle and shut down the show. Abu Ghraib Photos Comparative literature professor Judith Butler invites us to reconsider the sig nificance of the Abu Ghraib photographs not as coming from the whims of the particular MPs taking them. Rather, she argues that the MPs were "embedded photographers" whose images reflected the basic values of their military— homophobia, misogyny, and dominance over all enemies.5 9 Gaining Status, Getting Revenge Let's acknowledge the generally low status of Army Reservists within the military hierarchy, which was further degrading for a reservist MP assigned to the night shift in a horrible prison. They realized that they were at the bottom of the barrel, working under awful conditions, taking orders from civilians, and without re course to authorities who cared enough to check out what was going on there. The only ones on the scene with lower status were the prisoners themselves. Therefore, the nature of the abuses as well as their documentation served to establish the unequivocal social dominance of every guard over all of their pris oners through this downward comparison. The torture and abuse were an exer cise of pure power for the sake of demonstrating their absolute control over their inferiors. The photos were needed by some of these guards to convince themselves of their superiority, as well as to broadcast their dominant status to their peers. The photos gave them "bragging rights." It is also likely that racism was involved to some extent, with generally negative attitudes toward Arabs as a very different "other." This was a carryover of hostility from the September 1 1 , 2 0 0 1 , terrorist attacks against all brown-skinned men of any Arabic background. A more immediate motive shared by many soldiers was revenge for fellow sol diers who had been killed or seriously wounded by Iraqi insurgents. It is apparent that revenge led to retaliation against inmates who had rioted or who had al legedly raped a boy. For example, the seven prisoners arrayed in the pyramid had been sent to Tier 1A after rioting in Camp Ganci and hurting a female MP in the process. Humiliating and beating them up was "teaching them a lesson" about the consequences of getting out of control. For instance, the only prisoner Chip Frederick ever hit was the one he punched hard in the chest because he allegedly threw a rock that hurt the female MP. Forcing detainees to simulate fellatio or to masturbate in public in front of women soldiers and then documenting this hu miliation was more than just a tactic of embarrassment. It was the MPs' sexual scenarios as payback for detainees they felt had gone over the line. Deindividuation and the Mardi Gras Effect Nevertheless, how do we account for Lynndie England's conception that it was all just "fun and games"? In this case, I believe,deindividuation is involved. The anonymity of person and place that we noted earlier can create an altered state of mind, which, when combined with diffused responsibility for one's actions, in duces deindividuation. Actors become immersed in their high-intensity physical actions without rational planning or regard for consequences. The past and fu ture give way to an immediate-present, hedonistic time perspective. It is a mind space in which emotion rules reason, and constraints on passion are loosened. It is the "Mardi Gras effect" of living for the moment behind a mask that con ceals one's identity and gives vent to libidinous, violent, and selfish impulses that are ordinarily contained. Behavior then erupts in response to immediate situa tional demands, without planned conspiracy or malicious forethought. We saw what happened when this Lord of the Flies phenomenon was brought into my NYU laboratory as deindividuated women gave ever-increasing shocks to inno cent victims. It was also re-created by some of the guards in our Stanford prison. In these situations, as in Abu Ghraib, standard social constraints against aggres sion and antisocial action were suspended as people experienced extended lati tudes of behavioral freedom. Just as I did not encourage my guards to act sadistically, neither did the military encourage its guards to engage in sexual abuse against prisoners. Nevertheless, in both situations a general norm of permissiveness prevailed that created a sense that the guards could do pretty much whatever they felt like doing be cause they were not personally accountable and could get away with anything because no one was watching. In that context, traditional moral reasoning is di minished, actions speak louder than old learned lessons, and Dionysian impulses suppress Apollonian rationality. Moral disengagement operated then to change the mental and emotional landscape of those caught up in its web. Comparable Abuses by British and Elite U.S. Soldiers If the social psychological principles that I argue were operating on that Tier 1A night shift are not person-specific but situation-specific, we should find similar abuses in other similar settings perpetrated by very different soldiers in that same combat zone. Indeed, there are at least two verified instances of such behavior— both of which were hardly noticed by the U.S. media. British soldiers stationed at the Basra Prison in Iraq also sexually abused their captives, forcing them to simulate sodomy on each other after stripping them naked. Their photos shocked the British public, who could not believe that their young men would ever do such terrible deeds and then even document them. The fact that one of the abusers was a decorated hero from earlier combat was an even greater violation of the British public's expectations. Even worse and more to the point was what BBC News reported on June 2 9 , 2 0 0 4 : "UK troops swapped abuse photos." The subtitle added, "British soldiers have swapped hundreds of photos showing brutality against Iraqi captives." Several soldiers who were serving as members of the elite Queen's Lancashire Regiment gave some of the images to the Daily Mirror,one of which showed a hooded prisoner being struck with a rifle butt, urinated on, and with a gun held to his head. The soldiers claimed that there were many more pictures of such abuse that they shared in a "culture of trading pictures." However, their Army commanders destroyed them when they were found in their luggage as they were leaving Iraq. On the May 12, 2 0 0 4 , edition of60 Minutes II, CBS's Dan Rather ran a home video made by an American soldier that revealed what conditions were like at both Camp Bucca and Abu Ghraib. The video segment shows a young soldier's disdain for the Iraqi prisoners. She says: "We've already had two prisoners die . . . but who cares? That's two less for me to worry about." Several other soldiers who were at Camp Bucca and are accused of abusing prisoners there told Rather that "the problems began with the chain of command—the same chain of command that was in charge of Abu Ghraib when the pictures of torture and abuse were taken."6 0 Another documented instance of this loss of control involved U.S. soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division who were stationed at the forward operating base (FOB) Mercury, near Fallujah. It was the place where insurgents and other captives were temporarily imprisoned before being shipped off to Abu Ghraib. "The murderous maniacs" is what they [Fallujah citizens] called us because they knew that if they got caught by us and detained by us before they went to Abu Ghraib then it would be hell to pay." This sergeant's account goes on to describe how they would "fuck a PUC" (Person under Control) by beating him or torturing him severely. He goes on to report that "Everyone in camp knew if you wanted to work out your frustration you show up at the PUC tent. In a way it was sport." Another sergeant from the same unit elaborated on his motives for the abuse, which included breaking detainees' legs with a metal baseball bat. "Some days we would get bored, so we would have everyone sit in a corner and then make them get into a pyramid. This was before Abu Ghraib but just like it. We did it for amuse ment." Army Captain Ian Fishback, an officer in this "elite unit," also testified to Human Rights Watch in September 2 0 0 5 about the extensive prisoner abuse that was going on in that prison setting. He revealed that his soldiers had also docu mented their terrible deeds in digital images. "[At FOB Mercury] they said that they had pictures that were similar to what happened at Abu Ghraib, and because they were so similar to what happened at Abu Ghraib, the soldiers destroyed the pictures. They burned them. The exact quote was, 'They [the soldiers at Abu Ghraib] were getting in trouble for the same things we were told to do, so we de stroyed the pictures.' "6 1 We will meet the captain again in the next chapter, where his detailed de scription of the abuses perpetrated by his unit matches those in Tier 1 A. with the exception of the sexual abuse. PUTTING SERGEANT IVAN FREDERICK ON TRIAL The team of military investigators and prosecutors invested considerable zeal in preparing the cases against each of the seven accused MPs. (Had the military com mand responsible for Abu Ghraib invested a fraction of that attention, concern, and resources in oversight and maintenance of discipline, there would have been no need for these trials.) Their game plan was simple and compelling: After gath ering sufficient evidence and testimonies, they worked out plea bargain deals with each of the defendants whereby the most extreme sentences possible would be re duced if they pled guilty and testified against their fellow MPs. The trials began with those most minimally involved, such as Specialist Jeremy Sivits, to "give it up" on each of the others, working up to the big three: Frederick, Graner, and England. Five charges were leveled against Frederick. In a Stipulation of Fact, as part of his plea bargain, the accused accepted them as true, susceptible to proof, and also admissible in evidence: Conspiracy to Maltreat Detainees.Conspiracy charges are usually difficult to prove in civilian courts without hard evidence, in writing or in audio- or videotape of the planning. However, in this case the MPs' conspiracy consisted of entering into a "nonverbal agreement" with other MPs on Tier 1A of the hard site. That means a "wordless conspiracy" existed among the accused and with Davis, Graner, Am buhl, Harman, Sivits, and England. They are alleged to have agreed as a group "to engage in specific acts which served to maltreat detainees (subordinates), which is a violation of Article 93 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice" (Stipulation of Fact, p. 3). Does that mean by a wink and a nod or hand gestures? Alternatively, does it mean that they engaged in these documented activities in concert and therefore, in retrospect, there must have been an a priori conspiracy? Dereliction of Duty. As the noncommissioned officer in charge, Frederick "had a duty to treat all detainees with dignity and respect and to protect detainees and prisoners in his presence from illegal abuse, cruelty, and maltreatment" (Stipula tion of Fact, p. 6). He was derelict in all these duties. Maltreatment of Detainees. This refers to the hooded prisoner with electrodes at tached to his fingers, who was led to believe that if he fell off the box he was forced to stand on, he would be electrocuted. Frederick attached one of those wires to the prisoner's left hand and took a photo of it as a "souvenir." (Also mentioned in this charge as background is the reason that this detainee, nicknamed "Gilligan," was made to stand on the box for long periods in a stress position. He was being kept "awake as part of a sleep management program. Sleep management nor mally includes rigorous physical exercise to keep a detainee awake before being interrogated" [Stipulation of Fact, p. 6]). There are other specifications of maltreatment of several detainees in the human pyramid and putting a detainee, nicknamed "shitboy" (because he covered himself with feces), between two med ical litters (in an attempt to get him to stop defecating) and then Frederick had his photo taken sitting on top of the detainee. (It should be mentioned that the medics advised this treatment of putting the mentally unstable detainee strapped be tween two litters to keep him from harming himself; it was not Frederick's idea but rather following medical protocol.) Assault Consummated by Battery.Frederick once punched a detainee in the chest "with enough force to cause the detainee to have difficulty breathing" (Stipula tion of Fact, p.8 ) . (This detainee was one of the rioters brought to Tier 1A after their attempted escape and battery against a female MP at Camp Ganci.) Indecent Acts with Another. This refers to the accused forcing several detainees to masturbate in front of male and female soldiers and other detainees, while they were being photographed. "Under the circumstances, the conduct of the accused was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces and was prejudicial to good order and discipline." the stipulation goes on. "These photographs and other images captured by the accused and his co-conspirators were taken for personal reasons. The images were saved on personal computers and not for official pur poses" (Stipulation of Fact, p. 9). The Trial Frederick's trial was held in Baghdad on October 20 and 2 1 , 2 0 0 4 , despite the de fense counsel's motion for a change of venue to the United States. Since I refused to go to such a dangerous place, I went instead to the naval base in Naples, Italy, where I gave my testimony in a videoconference in a highly secured room. It was a difficult setting because, first, my testimony was being disrupted by delayed audio feedback, and second, the images of the trial on the video screen sometimes froze. Compounding the difficulty was the fact that I was talking to a TV screen and not interacting directly with the judge. To make it even more difficult, I was told not to use notes during my testimony, which meant that I had to recall from memory the hundreds of pages of the five investigative reports that I had carefully read plus all the other background information I had amassed on Frederick and the Tier 1A conditions. Given that Frederick had already entered a guilty plea, my testimony was fo cused entirely on specifying the situational and systemic influences on his behav ior that had been induced by the impact of an abnormal setting on a very normal young man. I also outlined the psychological assessment results, the positive as pects of his background before he was assigned to Tier 1 A, and highlights from my interview with him. This was done in an effort to support the conclusion that Frederick had brought no pathological tendencies into that behavioral context. Rather, I argued that thesituation had brought out the aberrant behaviors in which he engaged and for which he is both sorry and guilty. I also made clear that, in trying to understand how Frederick's actions were impacted by situational social dynamics, I was engaging not in "excusiology" but rather in a conceptual analysis that is not usually considered seriously enough in sentencing decisions. In addition, in giving my credentials and rele vance to this case, I outlined the main features and findings and some parallels between the Stanford Prison Experiment and the environment of abuse at Abu Ghraib Prison. (My full testimony appears on pages 2 9 4 to 3 3 0 of "Ivan 'Chip' Frederick's Trial Transcripts," October 2 0 0 4 . Unfortunately, it is not available online.) The prosecutor, Major Michael Holley, dismissed the thrust of my situational argument. He argued that Frederick knew right from wrong, had adequate mili tary training for the job, and essentially had made a rational decision to engage in the immoral, detrimental behaviors with which he was charged. Thus he put all the blame on Frederick's disposition to knowingly do evil, while pushing any situational or systemic influences out of consideration by the court. He also im plied that the Geneva Conventions was in effect and that these soldiers should have known its constraints. That is not true, as we will see in the next chapter: Presi dent George Bush and his legal advisers changed the definition of these detainees and of torture in a set of legal memos that rendered the Geneva Conventions ob solete during this "war on terror." The Verdict The military judge, Colonel James Pohl. took only one hour to return his verdict of guilty as charged on all counts. Frederick's prison sentence was set at eight years. My testimony apparently had a minimal effect on the severity of his sentence, as did the eloquent plea of his attorney, Gary Myers. All of the situational and sys temic factors that I detailed were worth little on the international public relations stage that had been established by the military and the Bush administration chains of command. They had to show the world and the Iraqi people that they were "tough on crime" and would swiftly punish these few rogue soldiers, the "bad apples" in the otherwise good U.S. Army barrel. Once all of them had been tried, sentenced, and jailed, only then might this stain on the American military fade away.62 Charles Graner refused to plead guilty and got a ten-year sentence. Lynndie England, in a complicated series of trials, was sentenced to three years in prison. Jeremy Sivits got one year, while Javal Davis got six months. Sabrina Harman got off with a light sentence of six months based on evidence of her prior kind ness to Iraqis before she was assigned to Abu Ghraib. Finally, Megan Ambuhl was discharged without any prison time. Some Relevant Comparisons There is no question that the abuses engaged in by Chip Frederick brought physical and emotional suffering to prisoners under his charge and enduring humilia tion and anger to their families. He pled guilty, was found guilty as charged and given a stern sentence. From the Iraqis' perspective it was too lenient; from my perspective it was too severe, given the circumstances that had precipitated and sustained the abuses. However, it is instructive to compare his sentence to that of another soldier in another war who was found guilty of capital offenses against civilians. One of the earlier stains on the pride of the U.S. military came during the Vietnam War, when soldiers in Charlie Company invaded the village of My Lai in search of Viet Cong fighters. None were found there, but the chronic stresses, frustrations, and fears of these soldiers erupted in unimaginable fury against the local civilians. More than five hundred Vietnamese women, children, and elderly people were murdered in close-up machine-gun barrages or burned alive in their huts, and many women were raped and disemboweled. Some of them were even scalped! Terrifying descriptions of these cruelties were voiced in a matter-of-fact way by some of the soldiers in the film, Interviews with My Lai Vets. Seymour Hersh provided a detailed account of the atrocities in his book, My Lai 4, which publicly exposed them for the first time a year later. Only one soldier was found guilty for these crimes. Lieutenant William Calley, Jr. His senior officer. Captain Ernest Medina, who was on site during this "search-and-destroy mission," and reported to be personally firing at the civil ians, was acquitted of all charges and he resigned from service. Captain Medina, nicknamed "Mad Dog," had been really proud of his men in Charlie Company, claiming, "We had become the best company in the battalion." Perhaps this was a premature rush to judgment. Lieutenant Calley was found guilty of the premeditated murder of more than a hundred Vietnamese civilians at My Lai. His original life sentence was reduced to three and a half years, which he served in the barracks under house arrest, never spending a day in prison. Most people don't know that he subsequently re ceived a pardon for these mass murders and returned to his community to be come a paid after-dinner speaker and honored businessman. Might it have been different if Calley had been just an enlisted man and not an officer? Might it have also been different if "trophy photos" had been taken by the soldiers of Charlie Company that would have made vivid and real what words about such brutal atrocities failed to convey? I think so. Another set of relevant comparisons comes from lining up some of these night shift MPs against other soldiers who have been recently charged and sen tenced by military courts for various crimes. It becomes apparent that though convicted for similar or even worse crimes, the sentences handed down to these other soldiers were much more lenient. Staff Sergeant Frederick's maximum sentence for his crimes was 10 years in prison, dishonourable discharge (DD), and reduction to the lowest rank, E l . With his plea bargain, he received 8 years in prison, DD, demotion to E l , and forfeiture of all pay and allowances, including 22 years of his saved retire ment income. Corporal Berg was found guilty of negligent homicide, self-injury, and false statements. Maximum sentence: 11 years in prison. Received: 18 months and El. Sergeant First Class Price was found guilty of assault, maltreatment, and ob struction of justice. Maximum sentence: 8 years in prison, DD, and E l . Re ceived: reduction in rank to SSG, no prison time, no DD. Corporal Graner was found guilty of assault, maltreatment, nonverbal con spiracy, indecent acts, and dereliction of duty. Maximum sentence: 15 years in prison, DD, and E l . Received: 10 years in prison, DD, E l , and a fine. Private Brand was found guilty of assault, maltreatment, false swearing, and maiming. Maximum sentence: 16 years in prison, DD, and E l , Received: only reduction in rank to E l . Sergeant (name withheld) was found guilty of assault, unlawful dischargeo f firearm, robbery, and dereliction of duty. Maximum sentence: 24.5 yearsi n prison, DD, and E l . Received: only a letter of reprimand. Private England was found guilty of conspiracy, maltreatment, and indecent act. Maximum sentence: 10 years in prison, DD, and E l . Received: 3 years in prison. Sergeant First Class Perkins was found guilty of aggravated assault, assault and battery, and obstruction of justice. Maximum sentence: 11.5 years in prison, DD, and El. Received: 6 months in prison and reduction in rank to staff sergeant. Captain Martin was found guilty of aggravated assault, assault, obstruction of justice, and conduct unbecoming of an officer. Maximum sentence: 9 years in prison. Received: 45 days in prison. Clearly, then, the scales of military justice were not even balanced for these comparable crimes. I believe it was the trophy photos that added considerable weight to bias the legal decisions against the night shift MPs. For a fuller set of such comparisons and a listing of sixty soldiers who have been court-martialed and their dispositions, as well as other clarifications to the record on the Abu Ghraib abuses, please see the interesting websitew w w . s u p p o r t m p s c a p e g o a t s . c o m. THE TRANSFORMATION OF PRISON GUARD IVAN FREDERICK INTO PRISONER NUMBER 789689 Our focus in attempting to describe the Lucifer Effect has been on understand ing transformations of human character. Perhaps one of the most extremea n d rare transformations imaginable takes place in someone going from a positiono f power as a prison guard to a position of total powerlessness as a prisoner. That is sadly so in the case of this once fine corrections officer, dedicated soldier, and lov ing husband. He has been battered and nearly broken by the verdict against him from the military court and his subsequent cruel treatment in confinement.Chip Frederick is now reduced to a number—789689—as an inmate on "Warehouse Road" in theU.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth. After beings e n  tenced in Baghdad, Chip was shipped off to Kuwait, where he was put in solitary confinement, even though he posed no danger to himself or others. He describes conditions there as being reminiscent of his tiers at Abu Ghraib, but his situation got worse when he was imprisoned at Fort Leavenworth. Chip had been given medications for the insomnia, depression, and anxiety attacks that he suffered in the year since the scandal broke. However, in the Kansas prison he was denied all meds, forced to "go cold turkey." That meant not sleeping and being under constant stress. "I don't think I can do it, I don't think that I can take it anymore," he wrote to me on Christmas 2 0 0 4 .6 3 He was put in a small, cold cell, given only two thin blankets and no pillow, and forced to wear dirty, worn socks and underwear with fecal and urine stains. His subhuman treat ment was extended when he went to Texas for the trial of a fellow MP. The military publically stripped his uniform of the nine honor medals and ribbons he had won over twenty years of military service while he watched in tears. Moreover, to rub salt into his wounds, he was brought in front of the courthouse so that the media could see him in his shackles. He is reminded daily that you do not do things that humiliate the U.S. Army without suffering payback. Now that all the trials of the "Abu Ghraib Seven" are over, Chip Frederick's treatment has improved. He is going to barber school in the prison to learn a new trade because he can never serve as a corrections officer again. "I would love to be reinstated back into the Army to go back over there and prove myself. I was the one to never give up on anything and that it was me that could make a difference. ... I was very prepared to die for my country, my family and my friends. I wanted to be the one to make a difference I am proud that I served much of my adult life for my country."64 Do you see the parallel with Stew-819, the SPE prisoner who insisted on going back into our prison to show his mates that he was not a bad prisoner? It is also reminiscent of a classic social psychological experiment that showed greater loyalty to one's group the more severe was the initiation into it.6 5 Martha Frederick's life has also been shattered by these trials and tribula tions. You may recall that she is a corrections officer in the Pennsylvania prison where they met. "Abu-Iraq is the pit of inhumanity and Abu has become the graveyard where my life as I know it was laid to rest 'Uncle P h il.'... Normal life as I once knew it will NEVER be again. Life has become a constant struggle to rise above the rubble of that place financially and mentally."66 Another side effect of this sad story is Martha's recent decision to divorce Chip because of the financial and emotional burdens she has had to endure. The decision has been yet another devastating blow to him. However, she remains steadfast in her support of him. She wrote me, "I have stood beside him, in front of him and behind him through all that has occurred. And I will continue to do so even separate from the bonds of marriage. But I just can't go on living in this vacuum."6 7 Finally, there is another sad answer to the question of whether the abusive interrogations were worth it. Did they yield the actionable intelligence being sought by the military and civilian command? Perhaps, but no, not likely, maybe a bit, but hardly worth justifying the irrefutable damage to America's moral image, or the suffering of those interrogated and the lasting psychological impact on the interrogators. Of course, administration sources will say that they did get what they were looking for. but it is classified so they can never tell us how much the coercive interrogations helped in their war on terror and secondary war on insurgents. They are not immune to lying to cover their tracks. However, most ex perts on torture and on police interrogations agree that such physical abuse com mitted with humiliating and degrading tactics rarely yields trustworthy evidence. You get confessions and admissions by building rapport not by bullying, by earn ing trust not by fostering hatred. We have seen earlier the negative reactions of some of the soldiers who participated in these military interrogations. Too many innocents were detained who had no useful information to offer; too few trained interrogators, fewer trained translators, and too great a demand from top down to get information immediately—no questions asked. Political scientist and torture expert Darius Rejali has gone on record doubting the reliability of such interrogation proce dures used throughout military bases in Iraq, Gitmo, and Afghanistan. He con tends there is a consensus that people will say anything under conditions of physical coercion. You will find statements to this effect from official U.S. govern ment documents, including the U.S. Army Field Manual for Interrogation (FM 30-15), the CIA Kubark Manual (1963), and the Human Resources Exploitation Manual ( 1 9 8 5 ) . In one of his essays onS a l o n . c o m, Rejali asserts that torture may have a dark allure, giving the interrogator a druglike rush while immersed in the process, but leaving a legacy of destruction that takes generations to undo.6 8 FINAL NOTES In the next chapter, we will move from our focus on individual soldiers caught up in an inhuman behavioral setting to consider the role that the System played in creating the conditions that fostered the abuses and tortures at Abu Ghraib and in many other military prisons. There we will examine the complexities of systemic influences that operated to create and sustain a "culture of abuse." First, we will review highlights of the many independent military investigations into these abuses. That will allow us to measure the extent to which those investigations im plicate System variables, such as leadership failures, little or no mission specific training, inadequate resources, and interrogation-confession priorities, as major contributors to what occurred on that night shift in Abu Ghraib. Then we will ex amine reports from Human Rights Watch of other comparable—and some even worse—abuses reported by officers in the Army's elite 82nd Airborne Division in Iraq. We will broaden our search to investigate the ways in which military and government chains of command created similar situations in other military pris ons to facilitate their "war on terrorism" and "war on insurgency." We will do so with the help of interviews and analyses reported in a PBSF rontline documen tary, "A Question of Torture" (October 18, 2 0 0 5 ) , which details the role of the Bush administration and the military's chain of command in first sanctioning such torture in Guantanamo Bay Prison and then transporting it to Abu Ghraib and beyond. I will shift roles from behavioral scientist turned pyschological investigative reporter in the current chapter to that of prosecutor in the next. I will charge se lected members of the military chain of command with misusing their authority to make torture operational at Guantânamo Bay Prison and then exporting those tactics to Abu Ghraib. They gave permission to the Military Police and military in telligence to employ these torture tactics—under sanitized terms—and failed to provide the leadership, oversight, accountability, and mission-specific training necessary for the MPs on the night shift on Tier 1 A. I will argue that they are thus guilty of sins of both commission and omission. In putting the System on hypothetical trial, we end by putting President Bush and his advisers in the dock for their role in redefining torture as an acceptable, necessary tactic in their ubiquitous and nebulous war on terror. They are also charged with exempting captured insurgents and all "foreigners" under military arrest from the safeguards provided by the Geneva Conventions. Secretary of De fense Rumsfeld is charged with creating the interrogation centers where "de tainees" were subjected to a host of extremely coercive "abuses" for the dubious purpose of eliciting confessions and information. He is probably also responsible for other violations of American moral standards, such as "outsourcing the tor ture" of high-value detainees to foreign countries in the government's "extraordi nary rendition" program. I intend to show that the System, from Bush to Cheney to Rumsfeld and down the hierarchy of command, laid the foundation for these abuses. If so, then we, as a democratic society, have much to do to ensure that future abuses are prevented by insisting that the System modify the structural features and operational poli cies of its interrogation centers. We will end the next chapter on an upbeat note because in fact, a plan was put into place at Abu Ghraib to better train MPs, MI personnel, and interrogators in the exercise of their power. My psychologist colleague Colonel Larry James was sent to that prison recently (May 2 0 0 4 ) to install a new set of operational proce dures intended to deter the kind of violence we have examined in this chapter. Of special interest is the provision that all MPs and other relevant personnel view the DVD of the Stanford Prison Experiment as part of their training. How that came about and what effects it is having will be part of the good news to come out of this bad-news place. That positive outlook will then carry us into the final chapter. There, I will try to balance some of the negativity with which we have been dealing in our long journey by offering two encouraging perspectives on learning ways to resist un wanted influences and on celebrating heroes and heroism. Finally, I recognize that it may seem a stretch to some readers that I empha size parallels between our little Stanford experiment in a simulated prison and the dangerous realities of a combat zone prison. It is not the physical dissimilarities that matter but the basic psychological dynamics that are comparable in both.6 9 I would point out further that several independent investigators have made such comparisons, as in the Schlesinger report (quoted at the start of this chapter) and in a report by former Naval Cryptologist Alan Hensley. In his analysis of the de fendants charged with the abuses, he concluded: In the case of Abu Ghraib, a model described in detail in the Zimbardo Study, constructed of virtually identical factors, and resulting empirical evidence existed beforehand to predict with utmost certainty this chain of events would occur without conscious deliberation on the part of the par ticipants."70 I want to end this phase of our journey with the analysis ofN ewsweek maga zine's Baghdad bureau chief, Ron Nordland, about what he thinks went wrong in a war that began with good intentions: What went wrong? A lot, but the biggest turning point was the Abu Ghraib scandal. Since April 2 0 0 4 , the liberation of Iraq has become a des perate exercise in damage control. The abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib alienated a broad swatch of the Iraqi public. On top of that it didn't work. There is no evidence that all the mistreatment and humiliation saved a single American life or led to the capture of any major terrorist, despite claims by the military that the prison produced "actionable intelligence."71 CHAPTER FIFTEEN Putting the System on Trial: Command Complicity Army prosecutor Major Michael Holley's patriotic closing statement in the trial of Sergeant Ivan Frederick helps set the stage for our analysis of the use of torture on "unlawful combatants" and detainees imprisoned in military prisons in Iraq. Afghanistan, and Cuba: And I would remind you, sir, that the enemy fights on morale like we do, and this can form a rallying point for our enemies now and in the fu ture. And I would also ask you to think about enemies who might surren der in the future. That's what we ideally want. We want them to be so intimidated by the combat power of the United States Army that they sur render. But if a prisoner—or an enemy, rather, believes that he will be hu miliated and subjected to degrading treatment, why wouldn't he continue to fight until [his] last breath? And in fighting, might he not take the lives of soldiers, lives that might not otherwise be spent. This type of behavior [of the accused MPs] has long-term impact including, and lastly, it has the impact on soldiers, our soldiers and sailors and marines, airmen, who may be captured in the future and their treatment, and I'll leave it at that. The prosecutor continues to make evident that what is at stake in this and the other trials of the "Abu Ghraib Seven" is nothing less than the Honor of the Military: Finally, sir. the honor of our United States Army is both precious and per ishable. We have a sacred trust in the United States Army, of all armies, but in particular, our Army, is that we bear this great responsibility and power, the power to impose force on others. And the only thing that sepa rates us imposing power unjustly and becoming a rival, a mob, a group of thugs, is that we have this sense of honor that we do what's right, we follow those orders that are given to us and we do the honorable thing, and this behavior [the Abu Ghraib Prison abuses and torture] degrades that. And we also, just like any other Army, we need a moral high ground, as well, to rally ourselves.1 My closing statement in the Frederick trial was spontaneous and unscripted. It foreshadowed some key arguments that will be developed in this chapter, which provides fuller scope for the theses that powerful situational and systemic forces were operating to cause these abuses. Moreover, in the time since that trial (Octo ber 2 0 0 4 ) , further evidence has emerged that clearly shows the complicity of a host of military commanders in the abuses and torture on Tier 1 A, Abu Ghraib Prison. Here is the text of my statement: The Fay Report, the Taguba Report indicate that this [abuse] could have been prevented had the military put in any of the resources or any of the concern that they're putting into these trials—Abu Ghraib never would have happened. But Abu Ghraib was treated with indifference. It had no priority, the same low priority in security as the archaeological museum in Baghdad [whose treasures were looted after Baghdad was "liberated" while soldiers passively watched]. These are both low-priority [military] items, and this one happened to erupt under these unfortunate circum stances. So I think that the military is on trial, particularly all of the offi cers who are above Sergeant Frederick who should have known what was going on, should have prevented it, should have stopped it, and should have challenged it. They are the ones who should be on trial. Or, if Sergeant Frederick is responsible to some extent, whatever his sentence is, has to be, I think, mitigated by the responsibility of the whole chain of command.2 In this chapter, our path will follow several different directions that should lead us to draw out from behind the dark screen of concealment the central role of many key players in the drama at Abu Ghraib—the directors, scriptwriters, and stage managers who made this tragic play possible, In a sense, the MPs were merely bit actors, "seven characters in search of an author," or a director. Our task is to determine what were the systemic pressures that existed out side of the situation that existed inside Abu Ghraib's hard site of interrogation. We need to identify the particular parties involved at all levels in the chain of com mand for creating the conditions responsible for the implosion of human charac ter in those MPs. In presenting the chronology of these intertwined forces, I will switch roles from that of defense expert to that of prosecutor. In that capacity, I introduce a new kind of modern evil, "administrative evil," that constitutes the foundation of complicity of the chain of political and military command in these abuses and tortures.3 Both public and private organizations, because they operate within a legal framework, not an ethical framework, can inflict suffering, even death, on people by following cold rationality for achieving the goals of their ide ology, a master plan, a cost-benefit equation, or the bottom line of profit. Under those circumstances, their ends always justify efficient means. INVESTIGATIONS OF ABU GHRAIB ABUSES EXPOSE SYSTEM FAULTS In response to numerous reports of abuse, not only at Abu Ghraib but also at mili tary prisons throughout Iraq, Afghanistan, and Cuba, the Pentagon has con ducted at least a dozen official investigations. I closely reviewed half of them in preparation for my role in the defense of Sergeant Ivan Frederick. In this section, I will outline chronologically some of those key reports and highlight their con clusions with exact quotes from them. Doing so will give us a sense of how high- ranking officers and government officials evaluated the causes of torture and abuse. Because all but one of these investigations were ordered by the military with specific instructions to focus on perpetrators, most of them failed to indict military and political leaders for their roles in creating conditions conducive to these abuses. The only exception was the Schlesinger Report, ordered by Secre tary Rumsfeld. By looking down rather than up the chain of command, these reports are limited in scope and neither as independent nor as nonpartisan as one would wish. However, they provide us with a starting point in our case against the mili tary and administration chains of command that we will then supplement with additional media and agency reports complemented by firsthand testimonies of soldiers involved in torture. (For a full chronology of the Abu Ghraib abuses and investigative reports, please see the website in the Notes.4) The Ryder Report Was the First to Send Up Warning Signals The Army's chief law enforcement officer, Provost Marshal Donald Ryder, a major general, prepared the first report (November 6, 2003) by order of General Sanchez. Ryder was appointed in August to head an assessment team, as re quested by the Army criminal investigation unit. That unit is identified as CJTF-7— Combined Joint Task Force 7, a multiservice and Department of Defense (DoD) task force that included Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and DoD civilian staff.This document reviewed the entire prison system in Iraq and recommended ways to improve it. At the end, Ryder concluded that there had been serious human rights violations, as well as training and manpower inadequacies that were "system-wide." His report also raised concerns about the fuzzy boundaries between the MPs, who were supposed only to guard prisoners, and the military intelligence (MI) teams assigned to interrogate prisoners. It noted that the Mis tried to enlist the MPs to engage in activities that would "prepare" detainees for interrogation. This MI-MP tension dated back to the Afghanistan War, during which MPs worked with MIs to "set favorable conditions for subsequent interviews," a euphemism for breaking the will of prisoners. Ryder called for the establishment of procedures "to define the role of military police soldiers . . . clearly separating the actions of the guards from those of the military intelligence personnel." His report should have put on notice all those in charge of the military's prison systems. Despite this valuable contribution, "Ryder undercut his warning," according to the journalist Seymour Hersh, "by concluding that the situation had not yet reached a crisis point. Though some procedures were flawed, he said, he found 'no military police units purposely applying inappropriate confinement practices.' " Remember that this report appeared at the height of the most flagrant abuses going on in Tier 1A during the fall of 2 0 0 3 but before Specialist Joe Darby's ex posé (January 13, 2004). Hersh's New Yorker magazine article (May 5, 2004), which broke open the scandal, concluded about the Ryder report that "His inves tigation was at best a failure and at worst a coverup."5 The Taguba Report Is Thorough and Tough6 Once the notorious photos surfaced among military higher-ups and the criminal investigating team in January 2 0 0 4 , General Sanchez was forced to move beyond Ryder's whitewash job. He assigned Major General Antonio M. Taguba to do a fuller investigation into allegations of detainee abuse, undocumented prisoner es capes, and widespread failures in discipline and accountability. Taguba did an ad mirable job in a detailed, extensive investigation that was published in March 2 0 0 4 . Although it was intended to remain classified because it made direct accu sations of officer dereliction of duty, leveled other strong charges against fellow officers, and contained as evidence some of "The Photos," it was too juicy not to be leaked to the media (probably for big bucks). The Taguba Report was leaked to The New Yorker, where its main findings and the photos were published in Hersh's story, but this occurred only after the photos were also leaked to the producers of 60 Minutes II and shown in its April 2 8 , 2 0 0 4 , broadcast. (You will recall that this was what started me on this adventure.) Taguba wasted no time in refuting his fellow general's report. "Unfortu nately, many of the systemic problems that surfaced during [Ryder's] assessment are the very same issues that are the subject of this investigation," he wrote. (Ital ics added for emphasis.) "In fact, many of the abuses suffered by detainees oc curred during, or near to, the time of that assessment." The report continued. "Contrary to the findings of MG [Major General] Ryder's report, I find that person nel assigned to the 372nd MP Company, 800th MP Brigade were directed to change facility procedures to 'set the conditions' for MI interrogations." His re port made it clear that Army intelligence officers. CIA agents, private contractors, and OGAs [other government agencies] "actively requested that MP guards set physical and mental conditions for favorable interrogation of witnesses." In support of this assertion, Taguba cited sworn statements from several guards about the complicity of the military intelligence personnel and of the in terrogators. SPC [Specialist] Sabrina Harman, 372nd MP Company, stated in her sworn statement regarding the incident where a detainee was placed on a box with wires attached to his fingers, toes, and penis, "that her job was to keep detainees awake." She said that MI was talking to CPL [Corporal] Grainer[sic ]. She stated, "MI wanted to get them to talk. It is Grainer [sic] and Frederick's job to do things for MI and OGA to get these people to talk." Taguba presented testimony from Sergeant Javal Davis about what he ob served regarding the influence of military intelligence and OGAs on the MP guards: "I witnessed prisoners in the MI hold section, wing 1A, being made to do various things that I would question morally. In Wing 1A we were told that they had different rules and different SOP [standard operating proce dures] for treatment. I never saw a set of rules or SOP for that section just word of mouth. The Soldier in charge of 1A was Corporal Granier[sic ]. He stated that the Agents and MI Soldiers would ask him to do things, but nothing was ever in writing he would complain[sic ]." When asked why the rules in 1A/1F3 were different than those in the rest of the wings, Sergeant Davis stated: "The rest of the wings are regular prisoners and 1A/B are Military Intelligence (MI) holds." When asked why he did not inform his chain of command about this abuse, Sergeant Davis stated: "Be cause I assumed that if they were doing things out of the ordinary or outside the guidelines, someone would have said something. [Observe the evil of inaction at work again.] Also the wing belongs to MI and it ap peared MI personnel approved of the abuse." Sergeant Davis also stated that he had heard MI insinuate to the guards to abuse the inmates. When asked what MI said he stated: "Loosen this guy up for us." "Make sure he has a bad night." "Make sure he gets the treatment." He claimed these comments were made to CPL Granier[s i c ] and SGT Frederick. Finally, SGT Davis stated that [sic] "the MI staffs to my understanding have been giving Granier[sic ] compliments on the way he has been handling the MI holds. Examples being statements like. 'Good job, they're breaking down real fast. They answer every question. They're giving out good information, Fi nally,' and Keep up the good work. Stuff like that." Reminiscent of my SPE guards' taking away the prisoners' mattresses, sheets, clothes, and pillows for rule violations is the statement made to Taguba by Specialist Jason Kennel, 3 72nd MP Company: "I saw them nude, but MI would tell us to take away their mattresses, sheets, and clothes." He could not recall who in MI had instructed him to do this, but commented that, "if they wanted me to do that they needed to give me paperwork." He was later informed that "We could not do any thing to embarrass the prisoners." This is just one example of the continuous inconsistencies between the reality of the abusive situation and the unofficial encouragement of the MPs to abuse de tainees by MIs and other agents on that tier. As they gave orders for abuse spoken from one side of the mouth, the official public statement from the other side of the mouth insisted that "We do not condone prisoner abuse or anything but their hu mane treatment." Such an approach created the case for plausible deniability later on. Also of passing interest in establishing parallels with the SPE is the Taguba Report's emphasis on the need for uniformity in the "counts." Recall the central role that the "counts" came to play as occasions for abuse of our SPE prisoners. "There is a lack of standardization in the way the 320th MP Battalion conducted physical counts of their detainees." The report goes on to complain of the lack of count standardization: Each compound within a given encampment did their headcounts differ ently. Some compounds had detainees line up in lines of 10, some had them sit in rows, and some moved all the detainees to one end of the com pound and counted them as they passed to the other end of the com pound. The Taguba Report specifies that top military leaders who were made aware of extreme detainee abuse had recommended court martial, but they never fol lowed through. Their inaction, given their awareness of the abuses, thereby strengthened the impression that there would be no payback for abusing prisoners: Another obvious example of the Brigade Leadership not communicating with its Soldiers or ensuring their tactical proficiency concerns the incident of detainee abuse that occurred at Camp Bucca, Iraq, on May 12, 2 0 0 3. . . . An extensive CID [Criminal Investigative Division] investiga tion determined that four soldiers from the 320th MP Battalion had kicked and beaten these detainees following a transport mission from Talil Air Base.... Formal charges under the UCMJ were preferred against these Soldiers and an Article-32 Investigation conducted by LTC [Lieutenant Colonel] Gentry. He recommended a general court martial for the four accused, which BG [Brigadier General] Karpinski supported. Despite this docu mented abuse, there is no evidence that BG Karpinski ever attempted to remind 800th MP Soldiers of the requirements of the Geneva Conventions regarding detainee treatment or took any steps to ensure that such abuse was not repeated. Nor is there any evidence that LTC(P) Phillabaum, the commander of the Soldiers involved in the Camp Bucca abuse incident, took any initiative to ensure his Soldiers were properly trained regarding detainee treatment. What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate, to Educate, and to Provide Leadership Taguba offers many instances of ways in which the soldiers and Army Reserve MPs were not properly trained and were not given the resources and information they needed to perform their difficult functions as guards in Abu Ghraib Prison. The report states: There is a general lack of knowledge, implementation, and emphasis of basic legal, regulatory, doctrinal, and command requirements within the 800th MP Brigade and its subordinate units The handling of detainees and criminal prisoners after in-processing was inconsistent from detention facility to detention facility, compound to compound, encampment to encampment, and even shift to shift throughout the 800th MP Brigade AOR (Area of Responsibility). [Italics added to em phasize shift differences from day to night on Tier 1 A.] The report also states: The Abu Ghraib and Camp Bucca detention facilities are significantly over their intended maximum capacity while the guard force is undermanned and under resourced. This imbalance has contributed to the poor living conditions, escapes, and accountability lapses at the various facilities. The overcrowding of the facilities also limits the ability to identify and segre gate leaders in the detainee population who may be organizing escapes and riots within the facility. The report goes on to identify one of the problems raised by Chip Frederick in policing his tier, that of numerous unidentified civilians and unknown others coming and going, and giving orders to him and his staff. In general, US civilian contract personnel (Titan Corporation, CACI, etc.), third country nationals, and local contractors do not appear to be properly supervised within the detention facility at Abu Ghraib. During our on-site inspection, they wandered about with too much unsupervised free access in the detainee area. Having civilians in various outfits (civilian and DCUs [Desert Camouflage Units]) in and about the detainee area causes confu sion and may have contributed to the difficulties in the accountability process and with detecting escapes. Taguba documents many instances of prisoners escaping and rioting and de scribes lethal encounters between MPs and detainees. In every case, the report re peats its conclusion: "No information on findings, contributing factors, or corrective action has been provided to this investigation team." The report also takes note of one major prisoner riot that had lethal consequences, one of those that Chip Frederick mentioned as a prelude to a transfer to his Tier 1A of the riot ringleaders, who were then abused there: 24 November 0 3 - Riot and shooting of 12 detainees . . . Several detainees allegedly began to riot at about 1 3 0 0 in all of the compounds at the Ganci encampment. This resulted in the shooting deaths of 3 detainees, 9 wounded detainees, and 9 injured US Soldiers. A 15-6 investigation by COL Bruce Falcone (220th MP Brigade, Deputy Commander) concluded that the de tainees rioted in protest of their living conditions, that the riot turned vio lent, the use of non-lethal force was ineffective, and, after the 320th MP Battalion CDR [Commander] executed "Golden Spike," the emergency containment plan, the use of deadly force was authorized. What or who was to blame for this riot and the use of deadly force to contain it? Taguba concludes that a host of problems were involved. He notes: Contributing factors were lack of comprehensive training of guards, poor or non-existent SOPs, no formal guard-count conducted prior to shift, no rehearsals or ongoing training, the mix of less than lethal rounds with lethal rounds in weapons, no AARs [after action reports] being conducted after incidents, ROE [rules of engagement] not posted and not understood, overcrowding, uniforms not standardized, and poor communication between the command and Soldiers. Taguba was especially concerned that the obviously inadequate training of the MP brigade, well-known by military command, was never corrected: I find that the 800th MP Brigade was not adequately trained for a mission that included operating a prison or penal institution at Abu Ghraib Prison Complex. As the Ryder Assessment found, I also concur that units of the 800th MP Brigade did not receive corrections-specific training during their mobilization period. MP units did not receive pinpoint assignments prior to mobilization and during the post mobilization training, and thus could not train for specific missions. The training that was accomplished at the mobilization sites were[sic ] developed and implemented at the com pany level with little or no direction or supervision at the Battalion and Brigade levels, and consisted primarily of common tasks and law enforcement training. However, I found no evidence that the Command, although aware of this deficiency, ever requested specific corrections training from the Commandant of the Military Police School, the US Army Confinement Facility at Mannheim, Germany, the Provost Marshal General of the Army, or the US Army Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.... This investigation indicates that BG Karpinski and her staff did a poor job allocating resources throughout the Iraq JOA [Joint Operations Area]. Abu Ghraib (BCCF [Baghdad Central Confinement Facility]) normally housed between 6 0 0 0 and 7 0 0 0 detainees, yet it was operated by only one battalion. In contrast, the HVD [High Visibility Detainees] Facility main tains only about 1 0 0 detainees, and is also run by an entire battalion.... In addition to being severely undermanned, the quality of life for Sol diers assigned to Abu Ghraib (BCCF) was extremely poor. There was no DFAC [dining facility], PX [post exchange], barbershop, or MWR [morale, welfare, and recreation] facilities. There were numerous mortar attacks, random rifle and RPG [rocket-propelled grenade] attacks, and a serious threat to Soldiers and detainees in the facility. The prison complex was also severely overcrowded and the Brigade lacked adequate resources and per sonnel to resolve serious logistical problems. Finally, because of past asso ciations and familiarity of Soldiers within the Brigade, it appears that friendship often took precedence over appropriate leader and subordinate relationships. Taguba Targets Derelict, Deficient Commanders One of the exceptional features of General Taguba's report, compared with all the other investigations into the Abu Ghraib abuses, is its willingness to identify the commanders who failed to exercise their military leadership—and who deserve some form of military punishment. It is worth our time to lay out some of the rea sons that the general targeted many military leaders for their roles in creating a command that was a mockery rather than a model of military leadership. These were the leaders who were supposed to provide the disciplinary structure for the hapless MPs: With respect to the 800th MP Brigade mission at Abu Ghraib (BCCF), I find that there was clear friction and lack of effective communication be tween the Commander, 205th MI Brigade, who controlled FOB [Forward Operations Base] Abu Ghraib (BCCF) after 19 November 2003, and the Commander, 800th MP Brigade, who controlled detainee operations in side the FOB. There was no clear delineation of responsibility between commands, little coordination at the command level, and no integration of the two functions. Coordination occurred at the lowest possible levels with little oversight by commanders.... The 320th MP Battalion was stigmatized as a unit due to previous de tainee abuse which occurred in May 2 0 0 3 at the Bucca Theater Intern ment Facility (TIF), while under the command of LTC (P) Phillabaum. Despite his proven deficiencies as both a commander and leader, BG Karpinski allowed LTC (P) Phillabaum to remain in command of her most troubled battalion guarding, by far, the largest number of detainees in the 800th MP Brigade.... Numerous witnesses stated that the 800th MP Brigade S-l, MAJ Hinzman and S-4, MAJ Green, were essentially dysfunctional, but that de spite numerous complaints, these officers were not replaced. This had a detrimental effect on the Brigade Staff's effectiveness and morale. More over, the Brigade Command Judge Advocate, LTC James O'Hare, appears to lack initiative and was unwilling to accept responsibility for any of his ac tions. LTC Gary Maddocks, the Brigade XO (Executive Officer) did not prop erly supervise the Brigade staff by failing to lay out staff priorities, take overt corrective action when needed, and supervise their daily functions In addition, numerous officers and senior NCOs have been reprimanded/disciplined for misconduct during this period. From my reading of Taguba's analysis, I must conclude that Abu Ghraib was an "animal house" at theoffic er level, as well as among the night shift Army Re serve MPs on Tier 1 A. Twelve officers and NCOs were reprimanded or disciplined (mildly) for their misconduct, dereliction of duty, lack of leadership, and alcohol abuse. One glaring example involved Captain Leo Merck, commander of the 870th MP Company, who was alleged to have taken nude photographs of his own female soldiers without their knowledge. A second example involved NCOs who were found derelict in duty for fraternizing with junior commissioned officers and for gratuitously shooting off their M-16 rifles while exiting their cars, uninten tionally and negligently blowing up a fuel tank! Taguba recommended that a dozen of the individuals in command positions, who should have been positive role models for the ordinary soldiers and reservists functioning under them, deserved to be relieved from command or relieved from Duty and given a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand. His report cites many specific instances of failure of leadership for each of the following principals: Brigadier General Janis L. Karpinski, Commander, 800th MP Brigade; Colonel Thomas M. Pappas, Commander, 205th MI Brigade; Lieutenant Colonel (P) Jerry L. Phillabaum, Commander, 320th MP Battalion: Lieutenant Colonel Steven L. Jordan, former director. Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center, and liaison officer to 2 0 5 t h MI Brigade: Major David W. DiNenna, S-3, 320th MP Bat talion; and Captain Donald J. Reese, commander, 3 72nd MP Company. Other lower-level officers also cited by Taguba are important for their posi tions in Tier 1 A. They include: First Lieutenant Lewis C. Raeder, Platoon Leader, 372nd MP Company; Sergeant Major Marc Emerson, operations Sergeant Major 320th MP Battalion; First Sergeant Brian G. Lipinski. 372nd MP Company; and Sergeant First Class Shannon K. Snider, platoon sergeant, 372nd MP Company. The Taguba Report issued a common justification for reprimanding those who should have been in charge of operations at Tier 1A: Reese, Raeder, Emerson, Lipinski, and Snider. Each of them was charged with one or more of the following: • Failing to ensure that Soldiers under his direct command knew and under stood the protections afforded to detainees in the Geneva Convention Rela tive to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. • Failing to properly supervise his Soldiers working and "visiting" Tier 1 of the Hard-Site at Abu Ghraib (BCCF). • Failing to properly establish and enforce basic soldier standards, profi ciency, and accountability. • Failing to ensure that Soldiers under his direct command were properly trained in Internment and Resettlement Operations. Here, then, is further support for the pleadings made by Chip Frederick and other MP guards on his shift that they were essentially clueless as to what was appropriate and what was not acceptable when preparing detainees for interrogation. However, culpability lay not just with the military. This investigation also shows that several civilian interrogators and interpreters who wrongly involved the MPs in their interrogation of detainees on Tier 1A were personally implicated in the abuse. Among them, the Taguba Report identifies the following culprits: Steven Stephanowicz, contract U.S. civilian interrogator, CACI, 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, and John Israel, contract U.S. civilian interpreter, CACI, However, culpability lay not just with the military. This investigation also shows that several civilian interrogators and interpreters who wrongly involved the MPs in their interrogation of detainees on Tier 1A were personally implicated in the abuse. Among them, the Taguba Report identifies the following culprits: Steven Stephanowicz, contract U.S. civilian interrogator, CACI, 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, and John Israel, contract U.S. civilian interpreter, CACI, 2 0 5 t h Military Intelligence Brigade. Stephanowicz is accused of having "Allowed and/or instructed MPs, who were not trained in interrogation techniques, to facilitate interrogations by 'set ting conditions' which were neither authorized and[sic ] in accordance with ap plicable regulations/policy. He clearly knew his instructions equated toph y sic al abuse."(Italics added for emphasis.) That is exactly what Frederick and Graner re ported that they had been encouraged to do by these civilians who seemed to be in charge of the main action of Tier 1A: to get actionable intelligence through de tainee interrogation by any means necessary. The effect of the negative modeling of the "evil of inaction" is also revealed by Taguba's admonition of Sergeant Snider for "Failing to report a Soldier, who under his direct control, abused detainees by stomping on their bare hands and feet in his presence." Before we leave the Taguba Report to move on to some of the findings in sev eral other independent investigations, we must note its powerful conclusion about the culpability of some military officers and civilian workers who have not yet been tried, or even charged, for the abuses at Abu Ghraib: Several US Army Soldiers have committed egregious acts and grave breaches of international law at Abu Ghraib/BCCF and Camp Bucca, Iraq. Furthermore, key senior leaders in both the 800th MP Brigade and the 205th MI Brigade failed to comply with established regulations, policies, and command directives in preventing detainee abuses at Abu Ghraib (BCCF) and at Camp Bucca during the period August 2 0 0 3 to February 2004.... Specifically, I suspect that COL Thomas M. Pappas, LTC Steve L. Jor dan, Mr. Steven Stephanowicz, and Mr. John Israel were either directly or indirectly responsible for the abuses at Abu Ghraib (BCCF) and strongly rec ommend immediate disciplinary action as described in the preceding paragraphs as well as the initiation of a Procedure15 Inquiry to deter mine the full extent of their culpability. [Italics added for emphasis.] The Milolashek Report Blames Only the Few Lieutenant General Paul T. Milolashek, Army inspector general, reviewed ninety- four confirmed cases of detainee abuse in Afghanistan and Iraq and the conditions contributing to these violations of U.S. military policy; (the report was issued on February 10, 2004). Even though the report identifies the many instances of flawed decisions by senior commanders and military officers that contributed to the abuses, General Milolashek concluded that the abuses did not result from any militarypolic y , nor were they the fault of any senior officers. Instead, he turned his blame laser on only low-ranking soldiers for committing these abuses. Let Milo- lashek's record show that these ninety-four cases of detainee abuse in military prisons in Afghanistan and Iraq were due simply to the "unauthorized actions taken by a few individuals." Thus, the inspector general cleanly absolved the entire chain of command of any responsibility for the damages. The ninety-four cases of abuse also go far beyond the confines of the night shift on Tier 1 A. This top-level "whitewash" should be packaged with the Ryder Report as a Tweedledee-Tweedledum boxed set. However, before moving on, it is valuable to set this general's conclusion of no top dogs responsible against inconsistencies in his report's other findings. The report notes that troops received "ambiguous guidance from command on the treatment of detainees" and, further, that estab lished interrogation policies were "not clear and contained ambiguity." It also notes that the decision by senior commanders in Iraqi prisons to rely on the Guan- tânamo Bay Prison ("Gitmo") guidelines was wrong. The detainees at Gitmo were considered high value "alien combatants" who may have had actionable intelligence necessary to extract in order to combat terrorism and insurgency. Secretary Rumsfeld outlined a set of stiff interrogation tactics to be used on those detainees; however, they were somehow transported overseas to Iraq prisons and to run-of- the-mill detainees. Milolashek's report states that this action by senior military of ficers "appears to contradict the terms of Rumsfeld's decision, which explicitly stated that the guidelines were applicable only to interrogations at Guantânamo; and this led to the use of 'high risk' interrogation techniques that left considerable room for misapplication, particularly under high-stress combat conditions." The Fay/Jones Report Scales the Blame Upward and Outward? Lieutenant General Anthony R. Jones assisted Major General George R. Fay in leading an investigation of allegations that the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade was involved in detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib. They also investigated whether any organizations or personnel higher than that brigade command were involved in those abuses in any way.8 Although their report advances the stan dard dispositional attribution of putting the blame on the individual perpetrators of the abuses—once again that "small groups of morally corrupt soldiers and civilians"—it does extend the causation to situational and systemic factors in re vealing ways. "The events at Abu Ghraib cannot be understood in a vacuum," is the Fay/Jones lead-in to outlining how the "operational environment" contributed to those abuses. Compatible with the social psychological analysis that I have been proposing, their report goes on to detail both the powerful situational and sys temic forces operating within and around the behavioral setting. Consider the sig nificance of the following three paragraphs extracted from the final report: LTG Jones found that while senior level officers did not commit the abuse at Abu Ghraib they did bear responsibility for lack of oversight of the facility, failing to respond in a timely manner to the reports of the In ternational Committee of the Red Cross and for issuing policy memos that failed to provide clear, consistent guidance for execution at the tactical level.MG Fay has found that from 25 July 2003 to 6 February 2004. twenty-seven 205 MI BDE [Brigade] Personnel allegedly requested, en couraged, condoned or solicited Military Police (MP) personnel to abuse detainees and/or participated in detainee abuse and/or violated established interrogation procedures and applicable laws and regulations during in terrogation operations at Abu Ghraib. [Italics added for emphasis.] The leaders from units located at Abu Ghraib or with supervision over Soldiers and units at Abu Ghraib failed to supervise subordinates or pro vide direct oversight of this important mission. These leaders failed to properly discipline their Soldiers. These leaders failed to learn from their mistakes and failed to provide continued mission-specific training.... The absence of effective leadership was a factor in not sooner discovering and taking actions to prevent both the violent/sexual abuse incidents and the misinterpretation/confusion incidents.. . . Abuses would not have occurred had doctrine been followed and mission training conducted.[Italics added for emphasis.] The joint report of these generals summarizes multiple factors that they found as having contributed to the abuses at Abu Ghraib. Seven factors are iden tified as primary contributors to the abuses: • "Individual criminal propensities" (the alleged dispositions of the reserve MPs) • "leadership failures" (systemic factors) • "dysfunctional command relationships at brigade and higher echelons" (systemic factors) • "multiple agencies/organizations involvement in interrogation operations at Abu Ghraib" (systemic factors) • "failure to effectively screen, certify, and then integrate contractor inter rogators/analysts/linguists" (systemic factor) • "lack of a clear understanding of the MP and MI roles and responsibilities in interrogation operations" (situational and systemic factors) • "lack of safety and security at Abu Ghraib" (situational and systemic factors) The Fay/Jones Report thus specifies six of seven contributing factors to the abuses as traceable to systemic or situational factors, and but one to dispositional factors. It then proceeds to expand on this overview by highlighting numerous systemic failures that played key roles in facilitating the abuses: Looking beyond personal responsibility, leader responsibility and command responsibility, systemic problems and issues also contributed to the volatile environment in which abuse occurred. The report lists several dozen spe cific systemic failures ranging from doctrine and policy concerns to leader ship and command and control issues to resource and training issues. Cooperating with Illegal CIA Activities as "Teamwork" I was surprised to discover in this report open, public criticism of the CIA's role in the abusive interrogations, which was supposed to be clandestine: The systematic lack of accountability for interrogator actions and de tainees plagued detainee operations at Abu Ghraib. It is unclear how and under what authority the CIA could place prisoners like DETAINEE-28* in Abu Ghraib because no memorandums of understanding existed on the subject between the CIA and CJTF-7. Local CIA officers convinced COL Pappas and LTC Jordan that they should be allowed to operate outside the es tablishedloc alrulesandproc edures.[ I t a l i c sa d d e dfor emphasis.] Let's pause for a moment to let that statement resonate before considering how this matter of the military's links with the CIA was resolved. Fay/Jones noted that "When COL Pappas raised the issue of CIA use of Abu Ghraib with COL Blotz. *We will have more to say about this detainee. Manadel al-Jamadi. later on. COL Blotz encouraged COL Pappas to cooperate with the CIA because everyone was all one team. COL Blotz directed LTC Jordan to cooperate [as well]." Creating an Unhealthy Work Environment The way in which such "above and beyond the law" undercover work by CIA op eratives contributed to a cancerous environment is elaborated in Fay/Jones with a psychological analysis: The death of DETAINEE-28 and incidents such as the loaded weapon in the interrogation room, were widely known within the US community (MI and MP alike) at Abu Ghraib. Speculation and resentment grew out of a lack of personal responsibility, of some people being above the laws and regulations. The resentment contributed to the unhealthy environment that existed at Abu Ghraib. The death of DETAINEE-28 remains unre solved. The operational use of anonymity as a protective shield to get away with murder is noted in passing: "CIA officers operating at Abu Ghraib used alias[sic ] and never revealed their true names." When the Self-Serving Claims of the MPs Turn Out to Be True The Fay/Jones investigation offers support for the claims by Chip Frederick and other night shift MPs that many of their abusive actions were encouraged and supported by a variety of individuals working for military intelligence in their unit:The MPs being prosecuted claim that their actions came at the direction of MI. Although self-serving, these claims do have some basis in fact. The en vironment created at Abu Ghraib contributed to the occurrence of such abuse and the fact that it remained undiscovered by higher authority for a long period of time.What started out as nakedness and humiliation, stress and physi cal training [exercise], carried over into sexual and physical assaults by a small group of morally corrupt and unsupervised Soldiers and civilians. [Italics added for emphasis.] These investigating generals repeatedly make evident the major roles played by systemic and situational factors in the abuses. However, they cannot give up the dispositional attribution of the perpetrators as the few "morally corrupt" in dividuals, the so-called bad apples in an otherwise flawless barrel filled to the brim with "the noble conduct of the vast majority of our Soldiers." Decent Dogs Doing Dirty Deeds The Fay/Jones Report was one of the first to detail and fault some of the "ac cepted" tactics used to facilitate effective interrogations. For example, it notes that the use of dogs was imported by Major General Geoffrey Miller from Gitmo prison in Cuba, but the report adds, "The use of dogs in interrogations to 'fear up' de tainees was utilized without proper authorization." Once muzzled dogs were officially made available to induce fear in prisoners, it did not take long to unofficially unmuzzle them in order to rev up the fear factor. The Fay/Jones Report identifies a civilian interrogator [number 2 1 , a private CACI employee] who used an unmuzzled dog during an interrogation and who yelled to MPs where a dog was being used against a detainee to "take him home." To show that the dogs could chew things up, that dog had just torn apart the detainee's mattress. Another interrogator (Soldier 17, 2nd MI Battalion) is accused of fail ing to report the improper use of dogs that he saw when the handler allowed the dog to "go nuts" in scaring two juvenile detainees by sending an unmuzzled dog into their cell. This interrogator also failed to report the dog handlers discussing their competition to scare detainees to the point that they would defecate in their pants. They claimed to have already made several detainees urinate on themselves when threatened by their dogs. Naked Prisoners Are Dehumanized Prisoners The use of nudity as an incentive to maintain detainee cooperation was imported from prisons in Afghanistan and Guantanamo. When it came time to use that tac tic at Abu Ghraib, the Fay/Jones Report noted "the lines of authority and the proper legal opinions blurred. They simply carried forward the use of nudity into the Iraqi theater of operations. The use of clothing as an incentive [nudity] is significant in that it likely contributed to an escalating 'de-humanization' of the detainees and set the stage for additional and more severe abuses to occur [by the MPs]." When Segregation Becomes Isolation Although Lieutenant General Sanchez had approved the tactic of "isolation" over extended periods of time for specific detainees, it appears that he really meant "segregation" of them from fellow prisoners. However, at the Abu Ghraib hard site, Sanchez was taken at his word, and many detainees were totally isolated and completely removed from all outside contact, as in solitary confinement, "other than the required care and feeding by MP guards and interrogation by MI." The Fay/Jones Report notes that "These cells had limited or poor ventilation, no light, and were often made excessively hot or cold. Use of isolation rooms in the Abu Ghraib Hard Site was not closely controlled or monitored. Lacking proper train ing, clear guidance, or experience in this technique, both MP and MI stretched the bounds into further abuse; sensory deprivation and unsafe or unhealthy living conditions." Assigning Blame: Officers, Ml, Interrogators, Analysts, Interpreters, Translators, and Medics The Fay/Jones Report concludes by declaring as culpable all those its investigation found responsible for detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib—fully twenty-seven individuals by name or identity code. What is significant to me is the number of peo ple who knew of the abuses, witnessed them, even participated in them in various ways and did nothing to prevent, stop, or report them. They provided "social proof" to the MPs that it was acceptable to continue doing whatever they wanted to do. Their smiling, silent faces provided social support from the surrounding network of the general interrogation team that gave thumbs up to abuses that should have received reprimands. Once again, we see the evil of inaction facilitat ing the evil of action. Medics and nurses often were guilty of not helping victims in distress, of ob serving brutality and looking the other way, and worse. They signed off on false death certificates and lied about the nature of wounds and broken limbs. They violated their Hippocratic oath and "sold their souls for dross," according to pro fessor of medicine and bioethics Steven H. Miles, in his book Oath Betrayed. 9 At the top of the Fay/Jones blame list is again the inept Colonel Pappas, with twelve separate charges against him, and again Lieutenant Colonel Steven Jordan (director of the Joint Interrogation Debriefing Center). The following officers, not on Taguba's hit list, are singled out by Fay and Jones as also culpable: Major David Price (operations officer at that center), Major Michael Thompson (deputy opera tions officer at that center), and Captain Carolyn Wood, officer in charge of Inter rogation Control Element (ICE) at that center. Before reviewing some of the reprehensible actions of the lower-level cast of characters who played both directors and audience for the "Abu Ghraib Seven" perpetrators, it is well to stop for a moment to consider the fate of Captain Carolyn Wood. As leader of the 519th Military Intelligence Brigade when she was only a lieutenant, Wood had an important role to play, but she misplayed it badly. At Bagram Prison in Afghanistan, Wood authorized new, tougher interrogation guidelines that somehow ended up in detainees being severely beaten; one was killed, and a female detainee was sexually assaulted by three of her MI interroga tors. The Fay/Jones Report notes that "CPT Wood should have been aware of the potential for detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib," given her knowledge of prior abuses by her MI soldiers. However, Wood received a Bronze Star for Valor after her duty in Afghanistan and another Bronze Star, along with a promotion, following reve lation of the abuses in Abu Ghraib.1 0 If such leadership wins high distinctions, what, then, constitutes bad leadership in that military corps? Failures of bystander intervention by numerous observers of the abuse on Tier 1A helped to perpetuate that abuse. Among those who were identified as wit nessing abuses and doing nothing about them were the following: • Soldier 15, MI interrogator, and Soldier 22 (who also heard MPs say they were using detainees as "practice dummies" by striking them unconscious) • Soldier 24, intelligence analyst (present during abuse of detainees in many photographs) • Soldier 2 5 , interrogator (who "thought it was funny" when dog handlers scared detainees into running into their cells as dogs attacked; she was also present when a pyramid of naked prisoners was formed) • Soldier 2 0 , Medic (who witnessed prisoner abuse and saw photos of the naked pyramid) • Soldier 0 1 , Medic (she also saw the human pyramid when called to provide medical treatment). Also included are those mentioned earlier who watched the dog attacks and never challenged the dog handlers or reported the abuses. Not content to observe in silence, many others eagerly joined the fray. One Army analyst (Soldier 10) threw water on three naked detainees; one interroga tor (Soldier 19) actively participated in the abuse of three detainees depicted in the photographs, threw foam balls at their genitals, poured water over them, and gave instructions to MPs to abuse a detainee who was later found "naked and hooded on the floor whimpering." The Fay/Jones Report identifies another personally involved interrogator: "Soldier-29 saw Graner slap a detainee; she saw a computer screen saver with the image of seven naked detainees in a human pyra mid; she saw the photos being taken; she knew that MPs gave a detainee a cold shower, made him roll in dirt, and then forced him to stand in the cold until he was dry; she stripped a prisoner naked and walked him outside in the cold on a winter night." Most tellingly in support of Chip Frederick's defense, this female interrogator is charged with giving MPs instructions to mistreat and abuse detainees. It was proven that she told that to SSG Frederick when detainees had not cooperated in an interrogation—which "appeared to result in [their] subsequent abuse" (ac cording to Fay and Jones). This thorough investigation by two Army generals should lay to rest any claims that the MPs on the night shift of Tier 1A abused and tortured the prison ers solely out of their personally deviant motivations or sadistic impulses. Instead, the picture that is emerging is one of complex multiple causality. Many other sol diers and civilians are identified and implicated in various ways in the torture and abuse process. Some were perpetrators, some facilitators, and some observers who failed to report abuses. In addition, we see that a legion of officers is also fin gered as responsible for these abuses by their failures of leadership, and by creat ing the chaotic, impossible situation in which Chip Frederick and those serving under him found themselves enmeshed. However, General Sanchez was not directly implicated in any wrongdoing by this investigation. Yet, he was not entirely off the hook, according to General Paul J. Kern, who told reporters, "We did not find General Sanchez culpable but we found him responsible for what did or did not happen."11 Now, that is really elegant wordplay: General Sanchez is not "culpable" but merely "responsible for" every thing! We will not be as charitable to this officer. Next we turn to a special investigation ordered by Rumsfeld and headed not by another general, but by former defense secretary James Schlesinger. This com mittee did not conduct new, independent investigations; rather, they interviewed top military and Pentagon leaders, and their report offers us many important fea tures for the case we are building. The Schlesinger Report Identifies Culpability12 This is the final investigative report we will present. It offers valuable evidence to our case for the situational and systemic influences contributing to the abuses at Abu Ghraib. Of special interest are its specification of many shortfalls in the de tention center operation, its pointing out leadership and command culpabilities, and its revelation of the cover-up of the photos of abuse by the military after Joe Darby took the photo CD to a military criminal investigator. What struck me as most unexpected, and what was much appreciated in this report, is the section devoted to detailing the relevance of social psychological re search to understanding the abuses at Abu Ghraib. Unfortunately, it is tucked away in an Appendix (G) and is therefore likely not to be widely read. This addendum to the Schlesinger Report also presents the apparent parallels between the Abu Ghraib situation and the abuses that occurred during the Stanford Prison Experiment. Widespread Military Abuses First, the report notes the widespread nature of "abuse" across all U.S. military fa cilities. (The term "torture" is never used.) At that time, November 2 0 0 4 , there were three hundred incidents of alleged detainee abuse in joint operation areas, with sixty-six established as "abuse" by forces at Guantânamo and in Afghanistan, and fifty-five more in Iraq. A third of these incidents were related to interrogation, and at least five deaths of detainees were reported as having hap pened during interrogation. Two dozen additional cases of detainee deaths were still under investigation at that time. This grim account seems to fill up the "vac uum" that Fay and Jones referred to in their report about the abuses on Tier 1 A. Albeit they were the most visible instance of the abuses perpetrated by soldiers, they may have been less horrible than the murders and mayhem in other military detention facilities that we will visit later. Major Problem Areas and Exacerbating Conditions The Schlesinger Report identified five areas as major problems that fed into the context of the abuses. They are: • Inadequate mission-specific training of MPs and MI soldiers • Equipment and resources shortfalls • Pressure on interrogators to produce "actionable intelligence" (with inexperienced, untrained personnel and detainees who were in custody for as long as ninety days before being interrogated) • Leadership that was "weak," inexperienced, and operating within a con fused, overly complex structure • The CIA operating under its own rules, without accountability to anyone in the military command structure The report also specifies a number of prevailing conditions that exacerbated the difficult task facing the soldiers in the Abu Ghraib Prison, notably those on the hard site in Tier 1 A. It lists the following conditions that impacted the MPs and MIs on that tier: • The fear besetting MPs given that the facility was under frequent hostile fire from mortar and rocket-propelled grenades • Detainee escape attempts were numerous • Several riots in the prison • MI and MP seriously underresourced • MI and MP lack of unit cohesion and midlevel leadership • Reserve MI and MP units had lost senior NCOs and other personnel through rotation back to the United States and/or reassignment • 3 72nd MP soldiers were not trained for prison guard duty • Thinly stretched in dealing with the large number of detainees • 800th MP was among the lowest units in priority and did not have the capability to overcome the shortfalls it confronted • Lack of discipline and standards of behavior were not established or en forced • No clear delineation of responsibility between commands and little coordi nation; lax and dysfunctional command structure • Weak and ineffective leaders; top leaders failed to ensure that subordinates were properly trained and supervised • Some medical personnel failed to report detainee abuses that they had wit nessed and provided tacit approval as bystanders • "Secretary Rumsfeld publicly declared he directed one detainee be held se cretly at the request of the Director of Central Intelligence." That action provided a model of deception at the highest levels of command, which was emulated in various ways by others in command at Abu Ghraib. What We Have Here Is Again a Failure of Leadership Again and again, this report makes evident the total failure of leadership at every level and its contribution to the abuses by the MPs on the notorious night shift: The aberrant behavior on the night shift in cell block 1 at Abu Ghraib would have been avoided with proper training, leadership, and oversight. These abuses . . . represent deviant behavior and a failure of leadership and discipline. There were other abuses not photographed during interrogation ses sions and abuses during interrogation sessions elsewhere than Abu Ghraib. Still, the abuses were not just the failure of some individuals to follow known standards. And they are more than the failure of a few leaders to enforce proper discipline.There is both institutional and personal responsibil ity at higher levels.[Italics added for emphasis.] At the tactical level, we concur with the Jones/Fay investigations con clusion that military intelligence personnel share responsibility for the abuses at Abu Ghraib. The unclear command structure at Abu Ghraib was further exacer bated by the confused relationships up the chain. The unclear chain of command established by CJTF-7 combined with the poor leadership and lack of supervision contributed to the atmosphere at Abu Ghraib that allowed the abuses to take place. At the leadership level there was friction and a lack of communica tion between the 800th MP Brigade and the 205th MI Brigade through the summer and fall of 2 0 0 3.... There was a lack of discipline and standards of behavior were not established or enforced. A lax and dysfunctional command climate took hold. There were serious lapses of leadership in both units from junior non commissioned officers to battalion and brigade levels. The commanders at both brigades knew, or should have known, abuses were taking place and taken measures to prevent them. By not communicating standards, policies, and plans to soldiers, their leaders conveyed a tacit approval of abusive behaviors toward prisoners. Weak and ineffectual leadership of the Commanding General of the 800th MP Brigade, and the Commanding Officer of the 2 0 5 MI Brigade, allowed the abuses at Abu Ghraib. We concur with the Jones finding that LTG Sanchez and MG Woj- dakowski failed to insure proper staff oversight of detention and interrogation operations. The Independent Panel finds BG Karpinski's leadership failures helped set the conditions at the prison which led to the abuses. Cover-up of the Abuse Photos The Schlesinger Panel also mentions in passing how the military responded to the revelation of abuse and torture in the "trophy photos." Interestingly, the committee uses language that takes all the officials off the hook for negligence and malfeasance. There was an attempt at a cover-up by downplaying the meaning and significance of this damning photographic evidence of torture and abuse:

"The officials who saw the photos on January 1 4 , 2 0 0 4 , not realizing their likely significance, did not recommend the photos be shown to more senior officials." Based on the interim report to CJTF-7 and CENTCOM comman ders in mid-March 2 0 0 4 , "their impact was not appreciated by these offi cers or their staff officers as indicated by the failure to transmit them in a timely fashion to more senior officials. Again, the reluctance to move bad news up the chain of command was a factor impeding notification of the Secretary of Defense. General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, tried to delay public showing of the photos by CBS Television in April 2 0 0 4 , so he must have realized that they had some "likely significance." Nevertheless, as I have mentioned previously, this top general felt free to say publicly that he knew these events were not "systematic" but rather were due to the criminal actions of a "few bad apples." The Social Psychology of Inhumane Treatment of Others Among the dozen investigations of abuses in military detention facilities, the Schlesinger Report is unique in offering a detailed consideration of the ethical is sues involved and in summarizing the psychological stressors and the situational forces operating in Abu Ghraib Prison. Unfortunately, both of these special fea tures are tucked away at the end of the report in Appendices H, "Ethics," and G, "Stressors and Social Psychology," when they should have been highlighted. Of personal relevance is the committee's identification of parallels between the Stanford Prison Experiment and the Abu Ghraib abuses. Let's briefly review the main points raised in this section of the Schlesinger Report: The potential for abusive treatment of detainees during the Global War on Terrorism was entirely predictable based on a fundamental understanding of the principle of social psychology principles[sic ] coupled with an awareness of numerous known environmental risk factors.. . . Findings from the field of social psychology suggest that the conditions of war and the dynamics of detainee operations carry inherent risks for human mis treatment, and therefore must be approached with great caution and careful planning and training. However, the report noted that most military leaders are unacquainted with such important risk factors. In addition, the Schlesinger Report made clear that understanding the psychological foundations of the abusive behaviors does not excuse the perpetrators—as I have stated previously throughout this book: "Such conditions neither excuse nor absolve the individuals who engaged in deliberate immoral or illegal behaviors" even though "certain conditions heightened the possibility of abusive treatment." The Lessons of the Stanford Prison Experiment The Schlesinger Report boldly proclaimed that the "landmark Stanford study pro vides a cautionary tale for all military detention operations." In contrasting the Abu Ghraib environment to the relatively benign environment of the Stanford Prison Experiment, the report makes it evident that "in military detention opera tions, soldiers work under stressful combat conditions that are far from benign." The implication is that those combat conditions might be expected to generate even more extreme abuses of power by military police than were observed in our mock prison experiment. The Schlesinger Report continues to explore the central issue we have been dealing with throughout our Lucifer Effect journey. "Psychologists have attempted to understand how and why individuals and groups who usually act humanely can sometimes act otherwise in certain cir cumstances." Among the concepts the report outlined to help explain why abu sive behaviors occur among ordinarily humane individuals are the following: deindividuation, dehumanization, enemy image, groupthink, moral disengage ment, social facilitation, and other environmental factors. One such environmental factor singled out was the widespread practice of stripping detainees. "The removal of clothing as an interrogation technique evolved into something much broader, resulting in the practice of groups of de tainees being kept naked for extended periods of time at Abu Ghraib." In its very sensitive analysis of why this practice of enforced nakedness played a causal role in the abuses of detainees by MPs and others in Tier 1 A, the Schlesinger Report noted that the initial intention was to make detainees feel more vulnerable and to become more compliant with interrogators. However, it describes how this tactic eventually fostered dehumanizing conditions on that tier. Over time, "this practice is likely to have had a psychological impact on guards and interrogators as well. The wearing of clothes is an inherently social practice, and therefore the stripping away of clothing may have had the unin tended consequence of dehumanizing detainees in the eyes of those who inter acted with them. . . . Dehumanization lowers moral and cultural barriers that usually preclude . . . the abusive treatment of others." Common to these investigative reports, and the others not included here, are two key elements: they specify a variety of situational and environmental contribu tors to the abuses at Abu Ghraib; they also identify many systemic and structural contributors to those abuses. However, because top military brass or the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, commissioned them, the authors of these dozen re ports stop short of attributing blame to higher levels in the chain of command. For a clearer focus on that bigger picture, we leave this evidentiary founda tion for our case and turn next to a recent report from Human Rights Watch, the largest such organization that works to defend human rights worldwide. (See HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH REPORT: "GETTING AWAY WITH TORTURE?"'3 "Getting Away with Torture?" is the provocative title of the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report (April 2 0 0 5 ) , which stresses the need for a truly independent inves tigation of the many abuses, tortures, and murders of prisoners by U.S. military and civilian personnel. It calls for an investigation of all those who were the archi tects of such policies that have led to wanton violations of human rights. We can think of the torture dungeon at Abu Ghraib and similar facilities at Gitmo and other military prisons in Afghanistan and Iraq as having been de signed by the senior "architects" Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Tenet. Next came the "justifiers," the lawyers who came up with new language and concepts that legalized "torture" in new ways and means—the president's legal counselors Al berto Gonzales, John You, Jay Bybee, William Taft, and John Ashcroft. The "fore men" on the torture construction job were the military leaders, such as Generals Miller, Sanchez, Karpinski, and their underlings. Finally, came the technicians, the grunts in charge of carrying out the daily labor of coercive interrogation, abuse, and torture—the soldiers in military intelligence, CIA operatives, civilian contract and military interrogators, translators, medics, and military police, in cluding Chip Frederick and his night shift buddies. Shortly after the photographic revelations of abuses at Abu Ghraib, Presi dent Bush vowed that the "wrongdoers will be brought to justice."1 4 However, the HRW report points out that only the lowly MPs were brought to justice and that none of those who created the policies and provided the ideology and permission for those abuses to take place ever were. "In the intervening months," the HRW report concludes: It has become clear that torture and abuse have taken place not solely at Abu Ghraib but rather in dozens of detention facilities worldwide, that in many cases the abuse resulted in death or severe trauma, and that a good number of the victims were civilians with no connection to al-Qaeda or terrorism. There is also evidence of abuse at controlled "secret locations" abroad and of authorities sending suspects to third-country dungeons around the world where torture was likely to occur. To date, however, the only wrongdoers being brought to justice are those at the bottom of the chain-of-command. The evidence demands more. Yet a wall of impunity surrounds the architects of the policies responsible for the larger pattern of abuses. As this report shows, evidence is mounting that high-ranking civilian and military leaders—including Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, former CIA Director George Tenet, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, for merly the top commander in Iraq, and Major General Geoffrey Miller, the former commander of the prison camp at Guantânamo Bay, Cuba—made decisions and issued policies that facilitated serious and widespread viola tions of the law. The circumstances strongly suggest that they either knew or should have known that such violations took place because of their ac tions. There is also mounting data that, when presented with evidence that abuse was in fact taking place, they failed to act to stem the abuse. The coercive methods approved by senior officials and widely em ployed over the last three years include tactics that the United States has repeatedly condemned as barbarity and torture when practiced by others. Even the Army field manual condemns some of these methods as torture. Although much relevant evidence remains secret, a series of revela tions over the past twelve months, brought together here, already makes a compelling case for a thorough, genuinely independent investigation of what top officials did, what they knew, and how they responded when they became aware of the widespread nature of the abuses. As upsetting as were the images of abuse and torture by the Tier 1A night shift MPs, they pale in comparison to the many murders of detainees by soldiers, CIA, and other civilian personnel. "If the United States is to wipe out the stain of Abu Ghraib, it needs to investigate those at the top who ordered or condoned abuse and come clean on what the president has authorized," said Reed Brody, special counsel for Human Rights Watch. He adds, that "Washington must repu diate, once and for all, the mistreatment of detainees in the name of the war on terror."15 Many Abusers, Few Punished, Officers Get Free Ride Let's set the record straight on the extent of abuses of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantânamo Bay, Cuba. A recent Army statement indicates that more than 6 0 0 accusations of abuse of detainees have been reported since October 2 0 0 1 . Of those, 1 9 0 have never been investigated or there is no known investigation of them—the "ghost abusers." At least 4 1 0 other accusations have been investigated with the following consequences: 1 5 0 faced disciplinary action, 79 were court-martialed, 54 were found guilty, 10 were sentenced to more than one year in prison, 30 were sentenced to less than one year, 14 got no prison time, 10 were acquitted, 15 cases are still pending or charges were dropped, 71 were administratively disciplined or nonjudicially disciplined. If one does the addition, that leaves at least 2 6 0 investigations closed or whose ongoing status was unclear as of April 2 0 0 6 , the time the report was published.16 One of the dog handlers, Sergeant Michael Smith, was sentenced to six months in prison for using his un muzzled dog to torment prisoners. He maintained that he had been "following or ders to soften up prisoners for interrogation." He is also reported to have said that "Soldiers are not supposed to be soft and cuddly," and he was not that.1 7 As of April 10, 2006, there was no evidence that the military has even attempted to prosecute a single officer under the doctrine of command respon sibility for personally directed abuses or for those of their subordinates. In the de tailed report of all investigated abuses only five officers have been criminally charged, none under the command responsibility doctrine. One Army captain was charged with dereliction of duty for the deaths of two detainees in Afghanistan; the charges were dropped. A Navy lieutenant was charged with assault and dere liction of duty in the death of a ghost detainee Manadel al-Jamadi; he was acquit ted. Three other officers, a lieutenant, a captain, and a major, were convicted at court-martial of detainee abuse, either directly participating in abusing prisoners or ordering their troops to do so; one received a sentence of only 45 days in prison, another got two months, and the third was discharged with no prison sentence at all. The military command goes soft on its errant officers by using nonjudicial hearings and administrative reprimands that are usually meant for minor offenses and carry weak sentences. This is so even in more than 70 cases of serious crimi nal abuse, including 10 homicides and 20 assault cases. Such leniency extends also to CIA operatives in at least 10 abuse cases and 20 civilian contractors work ing for the CIA or the military. Thus, it becomes evident that detainee abuse was widespread far beyond Abu Ghraib and further that there is a general failure of command responsibility in any of the many cases of abuse and torture. (See the Notes for access to the full report of the abuses and failures of prosecution of guilty officers.18) HRW Goes up the Command Chain After its detailed documentation of the widespread abuses perpetrated by soldiers in MP and MI brigades, the CIA, and civilian contractors serving as interrogators, the HRW goes nearly all the way up the chain of command in its accusation of criminal responsibility for war crimes and torture: While there are obviously steep political obstacles in the way of investigat ing a sitting defense secretary and other high-ranking officials, the nature of crimes is so serious, and mounting evidence of wrongdoing is now so voluminous, that it would be an abdication of responsibility for the United States not to push this to the next level. Unless those who designed or authorized the illegal policies are held to account, all the protestations of "disgust" at the Abu Ghraib photos by President George W. Bush and oth ers will be meaningless. If there is no real accountability for these crimes, for years to come the perpetrators of atrocities around the world will point to their treatment of prisoners to deflect criticism of their own conduct. Indeed, when a government as dominant and influential as the United States openly defies laws against torture, it virtually invites others to do the same. Washington's much-needed credibility as a proponent of human rights was damaged by the torture revelations and will be further dam aged if torture continues to be followed by complete impunity for the policy-makers.19 Stripping Away Immunity for the Architects of Illegal Policy Both U.S. and international law recognize the principle of "command responsi bility" or "superior responsibility," by which individuals in civilian or military authority may be criminally liable for crimes committed by those under their command. Three elements are required for such liability to be established. First, there must be a clear superior-subordinate relationship. Second, the superior must have known or had reason to know that the subordinate was about to com mit a crime or had already committed a crime. Third, the superior must have failed to take necessary and reasonable measures to prevent the crime or to pun ish the perpetrator. War crimes and torture are punishable under the terms of the War Crimes Act of 1996 , the Anti-Torture Act of 1 9 9 6 , and the Uniform Code of Military Jus tice (UCMJ). Human Rights Watch goes on record arguing that a prima facie case exists that warrants the opening of criminal investigations with respect to four of ficials: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, former CIA director George Tenet, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, and Major General Geoffrey Miller. Here I can only outline some of the justifications for holding each of these of ficials liable for the acts of torture and abuse committed under their watch—a full description and supporting evidence is provided in the HRW report. On Trial: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld Rumsfeld told the Senate Armed Services Committee: "These events occurred on my watch. As Secretary of Defense, I am accountable for them. I take full respon sibility."20 HRW asserts that "Secretary Rumsfeld should be investigated for war crimes and torture by US troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantânamo under the doc trine of 'command responsibility.' Secretary Rumsfeld created the conditions for troops to commit war crimes and torture by sidelining and disparaging the Geneva Conventions.21 He did so by approving interrogation techniques that vio lated the Geneva Conventions as well as the Convention against Torture and by approving the hiding of detainees from the International Committee of the Red Cross." HRW continues: From the earliest days of the war in Afghanistan, Secretary Rumsfeld was on notice through briefings, ICRC reports, human rights reports, and press accounts that troops were committing war crimes, including acts of tor ture. However, there is no evidence that he ever exerted his authority and warned that the mistreatment of prisoners must stop. Had he done so, many of the crimes committed by forces could have been avoided. An investigation would also determine whether the illegal interroga tion techniques that Secretary Rumsfeld approved for Guantânamo were actually used to inflict inhuman treatment on detainees there before he re scinded his approval to use them without requesting his permission. It would also examine whether Secretary Rumsfeld approved a secret pro gram that encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners, as alleged by the journalist Seymour Hersh. If either were true, Secretary Rumsfeld might also, in addition to command responsibility, incur liability as the instigator of crimes against detainees. Rumsfeld authorized a list of interrogation methods that violated the Geneva Convention and the Convention against Torture used on detainees at Guantâ namo, which then migrated to other military prisons in Afghanistan and Iraq. Among his directives for preparing detainees for interrogation were the following: The use of stress positions (like standing) for a maximum of four hours in iso lation up to 30 days The detainee may also have a hood placed over his head during transporta tion and questioning Deprivation of light and auditory stimuli Removal of all comfort items (including religious items) Forced grooming (shaving of facial hair, etc) Removal of clothing Using detainees' individual phobias (such as fear of dogs) to induce stress In addition, standard operating procedures advocated exposing detainees to extremes of heat, cold, light, and noise. The Department of Defense was repeatedly warned about torture and abuse of detainees by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in May and July 2003 (prior to the public exposé at Abu Ghraib) and again in February 2004. 2 2 The ICRC reported on hundreds of allegations of prisoner abuse at a number of military venues, making repeated requests to take immediate steps to correct these abuses. These concerns were ignored, the abuses worsened, and inspections by the ICRC were curtailed. In its February 2 0 0 4 report, presented confidentially to officials of the Coalition forces, the following violations against "protected per sons deprived of their liberty" during their internment by Coalition forces, the ICRC highlighted the following: • Brutality upon capture and initial custody, sometimes causing death or serious injury • Physical or psychological coercion during interrogation to secure infor mation • Prolonged solitary confinement in cells devoid of light • Excessive and disproportionate use of force resulting in death or injury during their period of internment The ICRC report concludes with a stern warning that the secretary of de fense should have heeded but apparently did not: "The practices described in this [twenty-four-page] report are prohibited under International Humanitarian Law. They warrant serious attention by CF [Correctional Facilities]. In particular, CF should review their policies and practices, take corrective action and improve the treatment of prisoners of war and other protected persons under their authority." Amnesty International has also weighed in with its own in-depth report on detention and torture in Iraq. It calls upon the Iraqi, U.S., and U.K. authorities to "take urgent, concrete steps to ensure that the fundamental human rights of all detainees in Iraq are respected. In particular, these authorities must urgently put in place adequate safeguards to protect detainees from torture or ill-treatment."23 Mark Danner, a journalism professor at the University of California, Berkeley, reviewed all the relevant documents for his book Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib and the War on Terror. Danner concludes from his detailed investigation that "When you read the documents, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was in volved very personally in approving procedures that went beyond the line of what is allowed in military law, and for that matter, in civilian law, when it comes to what can be done to prisoners."24 On Trial: Former CIA Director George Tenet HRW accuses former CIA director George Tenet of a variety of violations. Under George Tenet's direction, and reportedly with his specific authorization, the CIA tortured detainees through "waterboarding" (the near drowning of a suspect) and by withholding their medicines. Other tactics reportedly used by the CIA in clude feigning suffocation, making prisoners hold "stress positions," light and noise bombardment, sleep deprivation, and making detainees believe they are in the hands of foreign governments known to torture routinely. Under Director Tenet, the CIA "rendered" detainees to other governments, which tortured the de tainees. Under Director Tenet's direction, the CIA also put detainees beyond the protection of the law, in secret locations in which they were rendered completely defenseless, with no resource or remedy whatsoever, with no contact with the outside world, and completely at the mercy of their captors. These detainees, in long-term incommunicado detention, have effectively been "disappeared." Recall that the Fay/Jones investigation concluded that "CIA detention and interrogation practices led to a loss of accountability, abuse, reduced interagency cooperation and an unhealthy mystique that further poisoned the atmosphere at Abu Ghraib." In effect, the CIA operated under its own rules and beyond the law. Under Director Tenet, the CIA also developed the widespread practice of using "ghost detainees." How many? We will never know for sure, but General Paul Kern, the senior officer who oversaw the Fay/Jones inquiry, told the Senate Armed Services Committee, "The number [of ghost detainees] is in the dozens, perhaps up to 100." The CIA kept a number of detainees off the books at Abu Ghraib, hiding them from the ICRC. Army Lieutenant Colonel Steven Jordan, who was second in command of the intelligence-gathering effort at Abu Ghraib while the abuse was occurring, told military investigators that "other government agencies" and a secretive elite task force "routinely brought in detainees for a short period of time" and that the de tainees were held without internment numbers, with their names kept off the books. Such practices are violations of international law.25 The "Ice Man" Goeth The Fay/Jones Report mentions one of these "ghosted" cases: In November 2 0 0 3 an Iraqi detainee by the name of Manadel al-Jamadi, brought to the prison by Navy SEALs and interrogated by a CIA agent, was never formally registered. Ja- madi was "tortured to death," but the cause of his death was concealed in a most unusual way. The investigative reporter Jane Mayer has shed light on the sinister role the CIA played in this homicide and its grisly cover-up. Her fascinating account "A Deadly Interrogation" in The New Yorker magazine (November 14, 2005) raises the question "Can the CIA legally kill a prisoner?" The al-Jamadi case is especially important for us in our effort to understand the behavioral context at Abu Ghraib in which Chip Frederick and his other "rogue soldiers" worked. They were enmeshed in an environment where they ob served ghost detainees routinely being brutalized, tortured, and some even mur dered. They witnessed perpetrators literally "getting away with murder." By comparison with what happened to the ghost detainee Manadel al- Jamadi, the so-called Ice Man, what they did to the run-of-the-mill detainees must have seemed much more like just "fun and games." They knew him to have been battered, suffocated to death, and then iced away. Al-Jamadi was a so-called high-value target for interrogation because he al legedly supplied explosives to insurgents. A team of Navy SEALs captured him at his home outside Baghdad on November 4, 2 0 0 3 , at 2A . M . He ended up with a black eye, a cut on his face, and perhaps half a dozen fractured ribs following a violent struggle. The SEALs turned al-Jamadi over to CIA custody at Abu Ghraib for interrogation, led by Mark Swanner. This CIA operative, accompanied by a translator, took al-Jamadi into a holding cell in the prison, stripped him naked, and began yelling at him to tell him where the weapons were. According to Mayer's New Yorker story, Swanner told the MPs to take the pris oner to Tier 1 Alpha, into the shower room for interrogation. Two of the MPs were ordered (by this anonymous civilian) to shackle the prisoner to the wall, even though he was by now totally passive. They were told to hang him from his arms in a torture position known as "Palestine Hanging." (First practiced during the Spanish Inquisition, when it was known asstrappado.) After they left the room, one MP recalled, "we heard a lot of screaming." Less than an hour later, Manadel al-Jamadi was dead. Walter Diaz, the MP on guard duty, said that there was no need to hang him up like that, given that he was handcuffed and offered no resistance. When the MPs were told by Swanner to take the dead man down from the wall, "blood came gushing out of his nose and mouth, as if a faucet had been turned on," Diaz reported. Now the problem for the CIA was what to do with the victim's body. Captain Donald Reese, the MP commander, and Colonel Thomas Pappas, the MI comman der, were alerted to this "unfortunate incident" on their shift. They needn't have worried, because the CIA took matters into its own stealthy hands. Al-Jamadi was kept in the shower room until the next morning, packed in ice and bound with clear tape to retard decomposition of the corpse. The next day a medic inserted an IV into the "Ice Man's" arm and had him carried out of the prison on a stretcher as if he were alive but merely ill, so as not to upset the other detainees, who were told he had had a heart attack. A local taxi driver carted the corpse away to an un known destination. All evidence was destroyed, and there was no paper trail be cause al-Jamadi had never officially been registered. The Navy SEALS were exonerated for their part in manhandling al-Jamadi, the medic was not identified, and, several years later, Mark Swanner continues to work for the CIA, with no criminal charge against him! Case almost closed. Among all the other horror images in Corporal Graner's digital camera were several photos of that very same "Ice Man" that were recorded for posterity. First, there was a photo of an attractive, smiling Specialist Sabrina Harman bending over al-Jamadi's battered body with a thumbs-up sign. Then Graner got into the mix to add his approving smile to hers, before the "Ice Man" melted away. For sure, Chip and the other night shift MPs knew what had just gone down. If such things could happen and be so deftly handled, then the dungeon of Tier 1 Alpha was the "Romper Room," where anything went. Had they not taken those photos and had Darby not sounded the alarm, the world might never have learned what had happened in that once secret place. Nonetheless, the CIA continues unshackled in any way by laws that should restrain its agents from torturing and murdering people, even in its global war on terrorism. Ironically, Swanner has admitted that he obtained no useful information from this murdered ghost detainee. This involvement of the CIA in torture is nothing new and is evident in the analysis by the historian Alfred McCoy in his recent book documenting its role from the Cold War to the Terror War. According to McCoy, the shocking photographs of abuse from Abu Ghraib are nothing new. In his view: If we look closely at these grainy images, we can see the geneology of CIA torture techniques, from their origins in the 1950s to their present-day perfection. Indeed, the photographs from Iraq illustrate standard interro gation practice inside the global gulag of secret CIA prisons that have op erated, on executive authority, since the start of the war on terror. These photos, and later investigations they prompted, offer telltale signs that the CIA was both the lead agency at Abu Ghraib and the source of systematic tortures practiced in Guantanamo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. In this light, the nine soldiers court-martialed for the abuse at Abu Ghraib were simply following orders. Responsibility for their actions lies much higher, much higher, up the chain of command.2 6 On Trial: Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez Like Rumsfeld, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez also loudly acknowledged his responsibility: "As senior commander in Iraq, I accept responsibility for what hap pened at Abu Ghraib."27 However, such responsibility should bear appropriate consequences and not be employed as photo op public gesturing. Human Rights Watch includes this top commander among the big four who should stand trial for torture and war crimes. Its report states: Lt. Gen. Sanchez should be investigated for war crimes and torture either as a principal or under the doctrine of "command responsibility." Gen. Sanchez authorized interrogation methods that violate the Geneva Con ventions and the Convention against Torture. According to Human Rights Watch, he knew, or should have known, that torture and war crimes were committed by troops under his direct command, but failed to take effective measures to stop these acts. I am putting General Sanchez on trial in this book because of the fact that, in the words of the HRW report, "he promulgated interrogation rules and tech niques that violated the Geneva Conventions and the Convention against Torture, and further that he knew or should have known about torture and war crimes committed by troops under his command." Given the lack of "actionable intelligence" being gathered at Guantânamo Bay Prison despite months of interrogations, there was pressure on everyone to get the goods on the terrorists, and to do so immediately, by all means necessary. Mark Danner reported an e-mail sent by the military intelligence officer Captain William Ponce to his colleagues, urging them to provide an "interrogation wish list" by mid-August 2 0 0 3 . The captain infused his message with an ominous fore shadowing of what was to come at Abu Ghraib: "The gloves are coming off gen tlemen regarding these detainees." His message continued, "Col Boltz [the second-ranking MI commander in Iraq] has made it clear that we want these in dividuals broken. Casualties are mounting and we need to start gathering info to help protect our fellow soldiers from any further attacks."2 8 General Geoffrey Miller, then recently put in charge of the detention facilities at Gitmo, headed a visiting team of specialists to Iraq from August to September 2 0 0 3 . His mission was to spread the new get-tough interrogation policies to Gen erals Sanchez, Karpinski, and other officers. "General Miller put his finger in Sanchez' chest and told him he wanted the information," according to Karpin ski.2 9 Miller was able to push these other officers around only with obvious sup port from Rumsfeld and other high-ranking generals, based on his so-called successes at Gitmo. Sanchez formalized his rules for interrogation in a memo on September 14, 2 0 0 3 , introducing more extreme measures than had been practiced by his MPs and MIs.3 0 Some of his explicitly stated goals were to "create fear, disorient de tainees and capture shock." These newly approved techniques that came by way of Rumsfeld via Miller, included: Presence of Military Working Dog: Exploits Arab fear of dogs while main taining security during interrogations. Dogs will be muzzled and under control of . . . handler at all times to prevent contact with detainee. Sleep Management: Detainee provided minimum 4 hours of sleep per 24 hour period, not to exceed 72 continuous hours. Yelling, Loud Music and Light Control: Used to create fear, disorient detainee and prolong capture shock. Volume controlled to prevent in jury. Stress Positions: Use of physical postures (sitting, standing, kneeling, prone, etc.) for no more than 1 hour per use. Use of technique(s) will not exceed4 hours and adequate rest between use of each position will be pro vided. False Flag: Convincing the detainee that individuals from a country other than the United States are interrogating him. The Schlesinger Report indicated that a dozen of Sanchez's techniques went beyond those acceptable in Army Field Manual 34-52 and were even more ex treme than those that had been approved for Guantanamo. Sanchez's memo was released publicly in March 2 0 0 5 in response to a FDIA lawsuit. It came about a year after General Sanchez had lied to Congress in sworn testimony (in May 2004) that he had never ordered or approved the use of intimidation by dogs, sleep deprivation, excessive noise, or inducing fear. He should be tried for all the reasons outlined above. One soldier's view about the extent to which there was direct involvement of the military command in directing abuses against detainees comes from Joe Darby, our heroic whistleblower: "Nobody in command knew about the abuse, because nobody in command cared enough to find out. That was the real prob lem. The entire command structure was oblivious, living in their own little worlds. So it wasn't a conspiracy—it was negligence, plain and simple. They were fucking clueless."31 General Sanchez has been forced to retire early (November 1. 2 0 0 6 ) by the top military brass because of his role in the Abu Ghraib scandal. He admitted, "That's the key reason, the sole reason, that I was forced to retire." (Guardian Unlimited,November 2, 2006, "U.S. General Says Abu Ghraib Forced Him Out.") On Trial: Major General Geoffrey Miller Human Rights Watch asserts that "Major General Geoffrey Miller, as commander at the tightly-controlled prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should be inves tigated for his potential responsibility in the war crimes and acts of torture com mitted against detainees there." Furthermore, he "knew or should have known that troops under his command were committing war crimes and acts of torture against detainees at Guantanamo." Additionally, "Gen. Miller may have proposed interrogation methods for Iraq that were the proximate cause of the torture and war crimes committed at Abu Ghraib." General Miller was commander of Joint Task Force-Guantânamo (JTF- GTMO) from November 2 0 0 2 until April 2 0 0 4 , when he became the deputy com manding general of Detention Operations in Iraq, the position he held until 2 0 0 6 . He was sent to Gitmo to replace General Rick Baccus, who higher-ups considered was "coddling" prisoners by insisting that the Geneva Conventions guidelines be strictly followed. In short order, "Camp X-Ray" was transformed into "Camp Delta" with 6 2 5 inmates, 1,400 MIs and MPs, and lots of tension. Miller was an innovator and developed specialized interrogation teams that for the first time integrated military intelligence (MI) personnel with the military police (MP) guard force—blurring a line that had previously been impermeable in the Army. To get inside the heads of the prisoners, Miller relied on experts. "He brought in behavioral scientists, who were psychologists and psychiatrists [both civilian and military]. And they were looking for psychological vulnerabilities, soft spots, ways to manipulate the detainees to kind of get them to cooperate, and looking for sort of psychic vulnerabilities and cultural vulnerabilities."32 Using prisoners' medical records, Miller's interrogators tried to induce de pression, to disorient detainees, and to break them. The prisoners resisted: there were hunger strikes, at least fourteen prisoners committed suicide early on, and over the next few years, several hundred prisoners attempted suicide.33 Recently, three Gitmo detainees committed suicide by hanging themselves in their cells with bedsheets; none had been formally charged after having been held there for many years. Instead of recognizing such acts as signs of desperation, one govern ment spokesperson derided them as a public relations move to gain attention.34 A Navy rear admiral contended that they had not been acts of desperation but rather "an act of asymmetrical warfare against us." Miller's new interrogation teams were encouraged to get more aggressive, given Secretary Rumsfeld's official authorization of the harshest techniques ever sanctioned for use by U.S. soldiers. Abu Ghraib was to become Miller's new experi mental laboratory to test his hypotheses about the means necessary to get "ac tionable intelligence" from resistant prisoners. Rumsfeld went to Gitmo with his aide Stephen Cambone to meet with Miller and be sure they were all playing the same game. Recall that General Karpinski said that Miller told her, "You have to treat the prisoners like dogs. I f . . . they believe that they're any different than dogs, you have effectively lost control of your interrogation from the very start.... And it works. This is what we do down at Guantânamo Bay."3 5 Karpinski is also on record as saying that Miller "came up there and told me that he was going to "Gitmo-ize" the detention operation (at Abu Ghraib)."3 6 Colonel Pappas reported that Miller told him the use of dogs at Gitmo had proven effective in setting the atmosphere for getting information from prisoners and that the use of dogs "with or without a muzzle" was okay.37 To be certain that his orders were followed, Miller wrote a report and saw to it that his team left behind a compact disc with detailed instructions to be fol lowed. General Sanchez then authorized his tough new rules, which elaborated on many of the techniques being used in Guantânamo. The veteran Army gen eral Paul Kern made evident the problems created by such application of Gitmo- approved tactics to Abu Ghraib: "I think it became confusing. I mean, we found in computers in Abu Ghraib SECDEF [Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld's] memos that were written for Guantanamo, not for Abu Ghraib. And that caused confusion."38 For all the reasons outlined above, General Geoffrey Miller is added to our list of defendants on trial for their crimes against humanity.39 In its accusations. Human Rights Watch stopped short of going up to the pin nacle of system responsibility for the abuses and torture at Abu Ghraib: Vice Presi dent Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush. I will not be so hesitant. A bit later, I will add these two to our list of defendants put on trial here. They will be accused for their role in setting the agenda that redefined the nature of torture, suspended protections afforded prisoners under international law, and encour aged the CIA to engage in a series of illegal and lethal tactics because of their ob session with the so-called war on terror. However, first we need to explore further the question of whether the Tier 1A abuses were an isolated incident by those few rotten apples or whether their offen sive behavior was part of a broader pattern of tacitly approved, and widely prac ticed, abuses by many in the military and civilian cadre involved with capture, detention, and interrogation of suspected insurgents. My contention will be that this barrel of apples began rotting from the top down. TORTURE, TORTURE EVERYWHERE, WITH MAYHEM ON THE SIDE As he did on the day after the abuse photos were first revealed publicly, General Richard Myers, the Joint Chiefs chairman, continues to deny any systemwide in volvement in the abuses; instead he continues to lay all the blame on the "Abu Ghraib Seven MPs." He said publicly (on August 2 5, 2 0 0 5 ) , "I think we've had at least fifteen investigations on Abu Ghraib, and we've dealt with that. I mean, just a little snapshot—if it was only the night shift at Abu Ghraib, which it was, it was only a small section of the guards that participated in this, it's a pretty good clue that it wasn't a more widespread problem."40 Did he ever read any of those reports? From only the sections of the indepen dent investigative reports that I have summarized here, it could not be clearer that the abuses went well beyond those few MPs emerging in the images from Tier 1 A. Those investigations implicate the military leadership, civilian interrogators, military intelligence, and the CIA in creating the conditions that spawned the abuses. Even worse, they participated in other, even more deadly abuses. You will recall that the Schlesinger panel detailed fifty-five cases of detainee abuse throughout Iraq, as well as twenty instances of detainee deaths still under slow investigation. The Taguba Report found numerous instances of wanton criminal abuses constituting"system atic and illegal abuse of detainees" at Abu Ghraib (my italics). Another Pentagon report documented forty-four allegations of such war crimes at Abu Ghraib. The International Committee of the Red Cross told the government that its treatment of detainees in many of its military prisons has involved psychological and physical coercion that is "tantamount to torture." Further, it reports that such methods being used by interrogators at Abu Ghraib "appeared to be part of the standard operating procedures by military intelligence personnel to obtain confessions and extract information." And we have just re viewed the more recent statistics of more than six hundred cases of abuse re ported throughout the U.S. military prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Cuba. Does this sound like only "a few bad apples" in one bad dungeon, in one bad prison? Revelations of Widespread Prisoner Abuses Before Abu Ghraib Although both military and civilian administrative commands sought to isolate the abuses and tortures in Iraq to an aberration of a few bad soldiers working the night shift in Tier 1A in the fall of 2 0 0 3 , new Army documents belie such asser tions. On May 2 , 2 0 0 6 , the ACLU released Army documents revealing that senior government officials were aware of extreme cases of detainee abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan two weeksbefore the Abu Ghraib scandal broke. An information paper entitled 'Allegations of Detainee Abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan," dated April 2, 2 0 0 4 , detailed sixty-two ongoing investigations of abuse andh om ic ides of detainees by U.S. forces. Cases include assaults, punching, kicking and beating, mock executions, sexual assault of a female detainee, threatening to kill an Iraqi child to "send a message to other Iraqis," stripping detainees, beating them and shocking them with a blasting device, throwing rocks at handcuffed Iraqi children, choking detainees with knots of their scarves, and interrogations at gunpoint. At least twenty-six cases involved detainee deaths. Some of the cases had already gone through a court-martial proceeding. The abuses went beyond Abu Ghraib and touched Camp Cropper, Camp Bucca, and other detention centers in Mosul, Samarra, Baghdad, and Tikrit in Iraq, as well as Orgun-E in Afghanistan (see Notes for the full report by the ACLU).41 A Pentagon report of the twelfth investigation into military abuses, led by Army brigadeer general Richard Formica, noted that U.S. Special Operations troops continued to use a set of harsh, unauthorized interrogation tactics against detainees during a four-month period in early 2 0 0 4 . This was longafter the 2 0 0 3 Abu Ghraib abuses, and after approval for their use had been rescinded. Some were given only crackers and water for as long as seventeen days, kept naked, locked in cells so small they could neither stand or lie down for a week, frozen, de prived of sleep, and subjected to sensory overload. Despite these findings, none of the soldiers received even a reprimand. Formica believed the abuse was not "delib erate" or due to "personal failure," but to "inadequate policy failure." He also added to this whitewash that, based on his observations, "none of the detainees seemed to be the worse for wear because of the treatment."42Amazing! Marines Murder Iraqi Civilians in Cold Blood I have focused on understanding the nature of the bad barrel of prisons that can corrupt good guards, but there is a larger, more deadly barrel, that of war. In all wars, at all times, in every country, wars transform ordinary, even good men into killers. That is what soldiers are trained to do, to kill their designated enemies. However, under the extreme stresses of combat conditions, with fatigue, fear, anger, hatred, and revenge at full throttle, men can lose their moral compass and go beyond killing enemy combatants. Unless military discipline is strictly main tained and every soldier knows he bears personal responsibility for his actions, which are under surveillance by senior officers, then the furies are released in unimaginable orgies of rape and murder of civilians as well as enemy soldiers. We know such loss was true at My Lai and in other less well-known military mas sacres, such as those of the "Tiger Force" in Vietnam. This elite fighting unit left a seven-month-long trail of executions of unarmed civilians.43 Sadly, the brutality of war that spills over from the battlefield to the hometown has become true again in Iraq.4 4 Military experts warn that as soldiers have to fight more against elusive ene mies in asymmetrical warfare it will become increasingly difficult for them to maintain discipline under such stresses. Wartime atrocities occur in all wars and are committed by most occupying forces, even high tech ones. "Combat is about stress, and criminal behavior toward civilians is a classic combat stress symptom. If you get enough soldiers into enough combat, some of them are going to mur der civilians," according to a senior official at a Washington military think tank.4 5 We must acknowledge that soldiers are well-trained killers who have suc cessfully completed an intense learning experience in boot camp, with the battle field as their testing ground. They must learn to suppress their prior moral training guided by the commandment "thou shalt not kill." New military training that works to rewire their brains to accept killing in wartime as a natural response is known as the science of "killology." This term, coined by retired lieutenant colonel Dave Grossman, now a West Point professor of military science, is elabo rated in his book On Killing and in his website.46 However, sometimes the "science of creating killers" can get out of hand and make murder become ordinary. Consider the reactions of a twenty-one-year-old soldier who just killed a civilian in Iraq who refused to stop at a traffic check. "It was like nothing. Over here, killing people is like squashing an ant. I mean, you kill somebody, and it's like, All right, let's go get some pizza. I mean, I thought killing somebody would be this life-changing experience. And then I did it, and it was like, All right, whatever.' "4 7 On November 19, 2 0 0 5 , a roadside bomb went off in the town of Haditha, Iraq, killing a U.S. Marine and injuring two other soldiers. In the following hours, fifteen Iraqi civilians are reported to have been killed by an improvised explosive device, according to a Marine investigation. Case closed, as many Iraqis are killed in this way almost every day. However, a townsperson (Taher Thabet) made a videotape of the bullet-ridden bodies of the dead civilians and turned it over to the Time magazine bureau in Baghdad. That prompted a more serious investigation into the murders of twenty-four civilians by that Marine battalion. It appears that the Marines entered three homes and methodically killed most of the occupants, including seven children and four women, by gunshots and grenades. They also shot dead a taxi driver and four students who had stopped their taxi on the road nearby. There was clearly an attempted cover-up by senior Marine officers when they realized that these were unprovoked murders of civilians by Marines who had abandoned the rules of engagement. In March 2 0 0 6 the battalion commander and two of his company commanders were relieved of command; one said that he was a "political casualty." Several more investigations are under way at this writ ing and may even find more senior commanders culpable. It is important to add to this terrible tale that these Marines from the 3rd Platoon, Kilo Company, were ex perienced soldiers, on their second and third tour of duty. They had engaged in fierce fighting earlier in Fallujah where nearly half their buddies were killed or se riously wounded in combat. So, there was a lot of anger and feelings of revenge building up before the Haditha massacre.4 8 War is hell on soldiers, but it is always worse on civilians and especially chil dren in battle zones, when the soldiers stray off the moral path, acting cruelly against them. In another recent incident under investigation, U.S. forces killed as many as thirteen civilians in the hamlet of Ishaqi, Iraq. Some were found tied up and shot in the head, including several children. U.S. military officials, acknowl edging that "noncombatants" had been killed, called the casualties "collateral deaths" (again this is an instance of euphemistic labeling associated with moral disengagement) .4 9 Imagine what happens when a senior officer gives soldiers permission to kill civilians. Four soldiers accused of killing three unarmed Iraqi men during a house raid in the city of Tikrit, Iraq, were told by their brigade commander, Colonel Michael Steele, to "kill all the male insurgents, terrorists." The soldier who re ported this new rule of engagement was threatened by his colleagues if he told anyone about the shooting deaths.50 One of the worst horrors of war is the rape of innocent civilian women by soldiers, as was documented in the massacre of the Tutsi women by Hutu militia in Rwanda, described in chapter 1. A new allegation of similarly horrible bru tality has surfaced in Iraq, where a group of U.S. soldiers (101st Airborne Divi sion) are accused in federal court of raping a fourteen-year-old girl after killing her parents and four-year-old sister, then shooting her in the head and burning all the bodies. The evidence is clear that they intended this bloody assault by first changing out of uniform (so as not to be identified) after eyeing the young girl at their traffic checkpoint and proceeding to murder her family before abusing her. The military had initially blamed the murders on insurgents.5 1 This suspension of self-constraints against cruelty that is all too common among soldiers in combat zones is not limited to the U.S. military. British soldiers were videotaped as they beat up Iraqi youths. The cameraman, a corporal in that unit, can be heard laughing as he urges his comrades to enjoy their abuses. Obviously, the prime minister, Tony Blair, has promised a probe into what one of his military spokesmen describes as the actions limited to a "tiny number of sol diers."52 At least he had the decency not to use the "bad apples" metaphor. Let us next go beyond abstract generalizations, statistics, and military inves tigations to listen to the confessions of several U.S. Army interrogators about what they saw and what they themselves did in abusing detainees. As we will see, they go on record as reporting on the widespread abuse and patterns of torture they witnessed and which they personally practiced. We will also briefly review the recently revealed program at Gitmo that en abled young female interrogators, nicknamed "torture chicks" by the media, to employ a variety of sexual lures in their arsenal of interrogation tactics. Their presence and tactics must have been done with commanders' approval; they did not just decide to "sex out" in Cuba on their own initiative. We will learn that not only did the lowly Army Reserve MPs on Tier 1A engage in despicable acts of abuse, but even elite soldiers and military officers performed many even more brutal acts of violence against prisoners. Finally, we will see the scope of torture as virtually boundless, because the United States "outsources" torture to other countries in programs known as "ren ditions," "extraordinary renditions," and even "reverse renditions." We will dis cover that not only did Saddam torture his people, the United States did so, and the new Iraqi regime also has been torturing its countrymen and women in secret prisons throughout Iraq. One can only feel sorrow for Iraqis when their torturers come packaged in so many different guises. Next Up: Witnesses for the Prosecution S pecialist Anthony Lagouranis (retired) was an Army interrogator for five years ( 2 0 0 1 to 2 0 0 5 ) with a tour of duty in Iraq during 2 0 0 4 . Although first stationed at Abu Ghraib, Lagouranis was assigned to a special intelligence-gathering unit that serviced detention facilities throughout Iraq. When he talks about the "cul ture of abuse" that permeated interrogations throughout Iraq, his database is countrywide and not Tier lA-specific.5 3 Then there is Sergeant Roger Brokaw (retired), who worked at Abu Ghraib for six months as an interrogator, starting in spring 2 0 0 3 . Brokaw reports that few of those with whom he talked, maybe only 2 percent, were dangerous or were insurgents; most had been brought in or singled out by Iraqi police who had a grudge against somebody or simply didn't like him. Both men say that one of the reasons intelligence gathering was so ineffective was that detention facilities were overflowing with people who had no good information to give. Many had been picked up in roundups of all the males in entire families in an area of insurgent activity. Because there were relatively few trained interrogators or translators available, by the time these detainees were interviewed any information they might have had was cold and outdated. A lot of frustration arose from expending so much effort for so few solid results. That frustration also led to a lot of aggression, as the old frustration- aggression hypothesis would predict. Time was running; the insurgency was growing; pressure was building from the military commanders, who were feeling the heat from their civilian bosses up the command chain. Extraction of informa tion was vital. Brokaw:"Because they were picking up people for anything, just the drop of a hat. There was [sic] quotas, quotas on interrogating so many people per week and sending reports up the chain of command." Lagouranis:"We rarely got good intel from the prisoners, and I blame that on that we were getting prisoners who were innocent and didn't have intel to give us." Brokaw: "And ninety-eight percent of the people I talked to had no reason being in there. They would just take them at face value and go in and raid this house and pull these people out and throw them in the detention camps. Colonel Pappas [said], there was pressure from him to get information. Get information. 'Let's get this information, save another GI's life. If we have, you know, if we find these weapons, if we find these insurgents, we'll save soldiers' lives.' And I think that led to this idea of condoning whatever the interrogators or the MPs wanted to do to these people to soften them up." Brokaw also reported that the message about "taking the gloves off" spiraled down the chain of command to give meaning to that boxing metaphor.54 Brokaw: "I heard the phrase, 'We're going to take the gloves off.' Colonel Jor dan said that one night in one of our meetings. 'We're taking the gloves off. We're going to show these people, you know, that we're in charge.' And he was talking about the detainees." As the insurgency against the Coalition forces became ever more lethal and extensive, pressure on the MIs and MPs to get that elusive actionable intelligence was ever greater. An anonymous interviewee told PBSF rontline (October 18, 2005): "Most of the abuses around Iraq are not photographed, and so they'll never get any outrage out of it. And this makes it even harsher because around Iraq, in the back of a Humvee or in a shipping container, there's no camera. There are no cameras. There are [sic] no still photography. There's no video cameras. And there's no one looking over your shoulder, so you can do anything you want." Lagouranis added some details: "Now it's all over Iraq. It's—as I said, people are torturing people in their homes. The infantry units are torturing people in their homes. They were using things like, as I said, burns. They would smash peo ple's feet with the back of an axe-head. They would break bones, ribs. You know, that was—that was serious stuff." He added, "When the units would go out into people's homes and do these raids, they would just stay in the house and torture them." Brokaw witnessed some of the same abuses: "I saw black eyes and fat lips, and some of them had to be treated for bad abrasions on legs and arms." Just how far were MIs and MPs allowed to go in their quest for information? Lagouranis:"Part of it is, they were trying to get information, but part of it is also just pure sadism. You just kept wanting to push and push and push and see how far you could go. It's natural for people to reach an intense level of frustra tion when you're sitting there with somebody that you feel you have total control over and total power over, and you can't get him to do what you want. And that you do that all day, every day. And at some point, you want to start raising the stakes." What happens when you add high fear and revenge as psychological cata lysts to the volatile mix? Lagouranis: "If you're really angry because you're getting mortared all the time—I mean, rockets, they're shooting RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades] at us, there's nothing you can do. And people are dying around you because of this un seen enemy. And so you get in the interrogation booth with this guy who you think might be doing this stuff, and you know, you want to go as far as you can." How far did they actually go? Lagouranis: "I remember the chief warrant officer in charge of the interroga tion facility. He'd heard about how the SEALs were using just ice water to lower the body temperature of the prisoner. And they would give him—you know, they would take his rectal temperature to make sure he didn't die. They would keep him hovering on hypothermia." The reward for giving up the information de manded was de-icing the prisoner before he died! Social modeling, another potent psychological tactic, was put into practice when this interrogator used a similar strategy throughout the night inside a cold metal shipping container that served as the interrogation cell. Lagouranis: "So we were keeping them hovering around hypothermia in this environment of what they call 'environmental manipulation,' with the [loud blaring] music and strobe lights. And then we would bring in military working dogs and use those on the prisoners. Even though it was controlled—like, the dogs were muzzled, they were being held by a handler. But the prisoner didn't know that because he was blindfolded. These are big German shepherds. So, when I would ask the prisoner a question and I didn't like the answer, I would cue the handler, so the dog would bark and jump on the prisoner, but he wasn't able to bite him sometimes they wet their jumpsuits because they were so scared, you know? Especially because they're blindfolded. They can't figure out—you know, that's a pretty terrifying position to be in. That was something I was ordered to do, and I made the chief warrant officer sign off on every single thing that I was asked to do." Moral disengagement facilitates behaving in ways that would ordinarily be self-censured by moral people. Lagouranis: "It is because you really do feel like you're outside of normal soci ety, you know? Your family, your friends, they're not there to see what's going on. And everybody is sort of participating in this I don't know what—psychosis, or for want of a better word, this delusion about what you're doing there. And what becomes OK as you look around gets broken down, you know? And I mean, I felt it myself. I remember being in that shipping container in Mosul. You know, I'd been with a guy [an interrogated prisoner] all night long. And you just feel so iso lated, and morally isolated, that you felt like you could do whatever you want to this guy, and maybe you even want to." This young interrogator, who must live the rest of his life with the knowledge of the evil he did as part of his service to his country, describes how violence has a way of escalating, of feeding upon itself. Lagouranis:"You just kept wanting to push and push and push, and see how far you could go. And it seems like that's just part of human nature. I mean, I'm sure you've read studies conducted in American prisons where you put a group of people in charge of another group of people, and give them control over them, and pretty soon it turns into cruelty and torture, you know? So it's pretty com mon." [Can we assume that he is referring to the prison at Stanford University? If so, the SPE has assumed an urban-myth status as a "real prison."] The need for strong leadership to curtail abuse is essential: Lagouranis: "And I saw it [cruelty and abuse] in every detention facility I went to. If there wasn't really strong, strong leadership that said, 'We're not going to tolerate abuse,'... in every facility there would have been abuse. And even among people like the MPs who aren't trying to get intel—they just do it because it's something people do there, if they're not controlled either inwardly or from above." After seeing even worse cases of "abuse coming out of the Force Recon Marines in North Babel," Lagouranis couldn't take it anymore. He began writing reports about the abuses, documenting them with photos of the wounds and sworn prisoner statements, and then sent all this information through the Marine chain of command. How were his charges received? As with the complaints that Chip Frederick raised to his superiors about the dysfunctional conditions at Abu Ghraib, no one in the Marine command responded to the complaints of this inter rogator.55 Lagouranis: "Nobody ever came to look at that stuff; no one ever came to talk to me about it. I just felt like I was sending these abuse reports to nowhere. And no one was investigating them, or they had no way to investigate them, or maybe no desire." [Such official silence adds its fecal touch to all dissent.] Perhaps a reason for higher-ups failing to respond to this young interroga tor's pleas for help and redress in dealing with his assignment was the uncer tainty and conflict going on at top agency levels. There were disagreements about just how far "torture" should be allowed to go in coercive interrogations. The FBI clashed with the CIA over what it considered wrongheaded ways of dealing with suspects, especially "high-value" ones. One such critical report of CIA tactics is found in an FBI memo: To FBIHQ. I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food, or water. Most times, they had urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18 to 24 hours or more. A special case that points out just how far an interrogation team at Guanta namo Prison would go is that documented for "Prisoner 0 6 3 . " His name was Mo hammed al-Qahtani, believed to be "the twentieth hijacker" from the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He was abused in almost every imaginable way. He was made to urinate on himself, was deprived of sleep and food for days on end, and was terror ized by a fierce attack dog. His continued resistance was met with further abuse. Prisoner 0 6 3 was forced to wear a woman's bra and had a woman's thong placed on his head. Interrogators made fun of him, calling him a homosexual. They even put on a dog leash and made him do animal tricks. A female interrogator strad dled al-Qahtani in the hope of sexually exciting him and then castigated him for violating his religious beliefs. Investigative reporters forTim e magazine have re vealed in vivid detail the hour-by-hour, even minute-by-minute log book of al- Qahtani's month-long secret interrogation.56 It is a mixture of crude and brutal tactics with some sophisticated ones combined with many that are simply silly or stupid. Any experienced police detective could have gotten more out of this pris oner in less time using less immoral tactics. On learning of this interrogation, Navy General Counsel Alberto Mora was appalled by what he considered unlawful practices not worthy of any military or a government that condones it. In an eloquent statement that provides the essen tial frame for appreciating what it means to condone such abusive interrogations, Mora said: If cruelty is no longer declared unlawful, but instead is applied as a matter of policy, it alters the fundamental relationship of man to government. It destroys the whole notion of individual rights. The Constitution recog nizes that man has an inherent right, not bestowed by the state or laws, to personal dignity, including the right to be free of cruelty. It applies to all human beings, not just in America—even those designated as "unlawful enemy combatants." If you make this exception, the whole Constitution crumbles. It's a transformative issue."57 What I ask you to consider now, dear reader, in your role as juror, is the com parison of some of these planned tactics with those supposedly originating from the allegedly "perverted minds" of the Tier 1A MPs as shown in their photos. In addition to the many photos of detainees with women's panties over their heads is the horrific image of Lynndie England dragging a prisoner along the ground with a dog leash around his neck. It now seems reasonable to conclude that the panties on the head, the leash, and that dehumanizing scenario were all bor rowed from their earlier use by the CIA, by General Miller's special Gitmo interro gation teams, and had become generally accepted interrogation tactics being practiced throughout the war zones. But no photography allowed! Elite Soldiers Do It: 82nd Airborne Break Bones, Burn Photos Perhaps the most impressive witness for my case against the entire command structure is Captain Ian Fishback, a decorated West Point graduate and captain of an elite airborne unit serving in Iraq. His recent letter to Senator John McCain complaining of rampant abuses being perpetrated against prisoners began: I am a graduate of West Point currently serving as a Captain in the Army Infantry. I have served two combat tours with the 82nd Airborne Division, one each in Afghanistan and Iraq. While I served in the Global War on Ter ror, the actions and statements of my leadership led me to believe that United States policy did not require application of the Geneva Conventions in Afghanistan or Iraq. During a number of interviews with Human Rights Watch, Captain Fish- back revealed in specific detail the disturbing consequences of that confusion over the legal limits imposed on interrogators. His account is supplemented by two sergeants in his unit at the Forward Operating Base (FOB) of Camp Mercury near Fallujah.58 (Although mentioned in the previous chapter, here I will provide a fuller version of and context for Captain Fishback's revelations.) In his letter to Senator McCain, Fishback testified to habitual beatings to the face and body of prisoners before interrogation, the pouring of burning chemi cals on prisoners' faces, their routine shackling in positions that led to physical collapse, and forced exercises that led them to lose consciousness. They even stacked prisoners in pyramids, à la Abu Ghraib. Such abuses occurred before, dur ing, and after the scandal erupted about the abuses at Abu Ghraib. When we were at FOB Mercury, we had prisoners that were stacked in pyramids, not naked but they were stacked in pyramids. We had prisoners that were forced to do extremely stressful exercises for at least two hours at a t i m e.... There was a case where a prisoner had cold water dumped on him and then he was left outside in the night. [Again, as Lagouranis re ported, here is the tactic of exposure to extreme elements.] There was a case where a soldier took a baseball bat and struck a detainee on the leg hard. This is all stuff that I'm getting from my NCOs [Non-Commissioned Officers]. Fishback testified that commanders directed and condoned the abuse: "I would be told, 'These guys were IED [improvised explosive device] trigger men last week.' So we would fuck them up. Fuck them up bad . . . But you gotta under stand, this was the norm." (Recall our earlier discussion of emergent norms in par ticular situations where some new practice quickly becomes the standard that must be complied with and conformed to.) One of Fishback's sergeants testified, "Everyone in camp knew if you wanted to work out your frustration you show up at the PUC tent [prisoners were called PUCs, "persons under control"]. In a way, it was sport. One day [another sergeant] shows up and tells a PUC to grab a pole. He told him to bend over and broke the guy's leg with a mini-Louisville slugger, a metal bat. As long as no PUCs came up dead, it happened. We kept it to broken arms and legs." Amazingly, Fishback reports that his soldiers also digitally documented their prisoner abuses. [At FOB Mercury] they said that they had pictures that were similar to what happened at Abu Ghraib, and because they were so similar to what happened at Abu Ghraib, the soldiers destroyed the pictures. They burned them. They [the soldiers at Abu Ghraib] were getting in trouble for the same things we were told to do, so we destroyed the pictures. Finally, Captain Fishback started a seventeen-month-long campaign of re porting his concerns and complaints to his superiors—with the same absence of reaction that Interrogator Anthony Lagouranis and Sergeant Ivan Frederick had received. He went public with his letter to Senator McCain, which helped to fortify McCain's opposition to the suspension of the Geneva Conventions by the Bush ad ministration. Of course, Fishback's heroic whistle-blowing has not endeared him to his superiors. He was brought home to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and sequestered there for interrogation by the military. However, he is unlikely to yield to their pressure, as can be inferred from the last sentence in his letter to Senator McCain: If we abandon our ideals in the face of adversity and aggression, then those ideals were never really in our possession. I would rather die fighting than give up even the smallest part of the idea that is "America." "Torture Chicks" Lap Dance Prisoners in the Gitmo Confessional Our next witness reveals a new wrinkle in depravity that the military (proba bly in alliance with the CIA) developed in its Gitmo prison. "Sex was used as a weapon to create a wedge between the detainee and his Islamic faith," reported Erik Saar, a military translator working at that prison camp. This young soldier went to Guantanamo Bay full of patriotic fervor, believing he could help in the war on terrorism. However, he soon realized that he was not helping at all; that what was happening there was all "a mistake." In a radio interview on Amy Goodman's Democracy Now show on April 4, 2005, Saar offered vivid details about the sexual tactics used against prisoners, tactics he witnessed firsthand. He elaborated on this interview in a book-length exposé, Inside the Wire: A Military Intelligence Soldier's Eyewitness Account of Life at Guantanamo. 59 During the six months he served there, Saar, who is fluent in Arabic, had to translate for the prisoner what the official interrogator asked and said and then repeat the prisoner's replies to the interrogator in English. He was in a "Cyrano- type role" demanding that he use precisely the proper words to convey the exact meaning of both the interrogator's and prisoner's intentions to each other. The new trick involved the use of a seductive female interrogator. Saar reported: "The female interrogator would sexually entice prisoners being interrogated to make them feel unclean.... She would rub her breast on his back, talk about her body parts The prisoner was shocked and infuriated." Saar quit his post because he became convinced that such an interrogation strategy "was totally ineffective and not in keeping with the values of our democ racy."6 0 The New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd coined the nickname "Tor ture Chicks" for the female interrogators at Gitmo who used sexual lures on prisoners to gain information and confessions.61 Let us go "inside the wire" for fuller details of what such an interrogation was like. Saar reports one particularly dramatic encounter that could be classified under the military rubric "Invasion of Space by Female." The victim was a twenty-one-year-old Saudi of "high value" who spent a great deal of time praying in his cell. Before the procedure began, the female interrogator, "Brooke," and Saar were both "sanitized" by taping over their names on their uniforms to pre serve their anonymity. Then Brooke said, "The detainee we're going to talk to is a piece of shit and we might have to turn things up a bit" because, as she made evi dent, "I'm starting to take shit from above because he's not talking. We need to try something new tonight." This Saudi detainee was believed to have taken flight lessons with the 9/11 hijackers, so was very high value. Saar noted "that when military interrogators were questioning a detainee who was uncooperative, they very quickly wanted to 'turn up the heat': shout, be confrontational, play the bad cop, forget building rapport." Interrogator Brooke continued: "I just need to make him feel that he ab solutely must cooperate with me and has no other options. I think we should make him feel so fucking dirty that he can't go back to his cell and spend the night praying. We have to put up a barrier between him and his God."6 2 When the pris oner did not respond to her questioning, the interrogator decided to turn up the heat. "To my surprise," Saar exclaimed, "she started to unbutton her top slowly, teasingly, almost like a stripper, revealing a skin-tight brown Army T-shirt stretch ing over her chest. . . . She walked slowly behind him and began rubbing her breasts against his back." She taunted the prisoner: "Do you like these big Ameri can tits, Fareek? I see that you are starting to get hard. How do you think Allah feels about that?" She then moved around to sit right in front of him and placing her hands over her breasts, teased the prisoner with "Don't you like these big tits?" When the prisoner looked away toward Saar, she challenged his mascu linity: "Are you gay? Why do you keep looking at him?. . . . He thinks I have great tits. Don't you?" (Saar nods affirmatively.) The prisoner resists, spitting at her. Unfazed, the interrogator turns up the screw another notch. As she unbuttons her pants, she asks the prisoner: "Fareek, did you know thatI am having my period?. . . How do you feel about me touching you now?" [As she withdrew her hand from her panties, it appeared as if it were covered with her blood. She asked him one last time who told him to learn to fly, who sent him to flight school.] "You fuck," she hissed, wiping what he believed was menstrual blood on his face. . . . "What do you think your brothers will think of you in the morn ing when they see an American woman's menstrual blood on your face?" Brooke said, standing up, "By the way, we've shut off the water to your cell for tonight, so the blood will still be there tomorrow," she tossed out as we left the booth.... She had done what she thought was best to get the infor mation her bosses were asking for. . . . What the fuck did I just do? What the fuck were we doing in this place? Yes, indeed, a very good question. However, there was never a clear answer for Saar or for anyone else. Other Revelations of Gitmo Crimes and Misdemeanors Erik Saar reveals a number of other practices that were deceptive, unethical, and illegal. He and the others on the interrogation teams were under strict orders never to speak to the International Red Cross observers. He was ordered to stay away from them. Of "ghost detainees" he says, "There were a chunk of them, we had no idea how or why they came to Gitmo. There was no evidence of their cul pability. Many were despondent." He also reported, "There were also young children at Gitmo, kept outside of the main Camp Delta. They had no interrogation value, but were kept there for a long time." No one has ever reported on children prisoners at Gitmo, who had to have been brought there from Iraq and Afghanistan. "False setups" were arranged when visiting dignitaries were scheduled to visit to observe a "typical" interrogation. A fictional setting was arranged that would make the scene look normal and ordinary. It was reminiscent of the model Jewish camp created by the Nazis in their concentration camp at Teresienstadt, Czechoslovakia, where they fooled the International Red Cross observers and oth ers into believing the inmates were all happy with their relocation. Erik Saar de scribes that everything was sanitized in the "A-OK" setup: One of the things I learned when I joined the intelligence team was that when a V.I.P. visit would take place, meaning it could be a general or could be an executive from the senior government service, one of the intelli gence agencies, maybe, or even a Congressional delegation, there was a concerted effort to explain to the interrogators that they were to find a de tainee who had previously been cooperative and put him in the interroga tion booth at the time when the V.I.P. would be visiting and sitting in the observation room. Essentially, they were to find someone who had been cooperative, who they were able to sit across a table with and have a regu lar dialogue, and someone who would also had in the past provided ade quate intelligence, and then they were to replay that interrogation for the visiting VIP's. And essentially, as an intelligence professional, this was insulting. And I don't think I was alone in feeling this way, to be honest with you, be cause in the intelligence community your whole existence is in order to provide policymakers with the right information to make the right deci sions. So. that's really the existence of the intelligence community, to sim ply provide the right information. And this concept of creating this fictitious world so Gitmo [would look] like one thing to those visiting, when in reality it was something far different, completely undermined everything that we, as professionals, were trying to do in intelligence. It was possible for supervisors to watch any interrogation through a one-way mirror in each room, but "they rarely did so," according to Saar. Important ses sions with high-value detainees were supposed to be recorded on concealed video cameras. If they had been, senior officers might have been as distressed as this translator was by such sexually perverse tactics and put a stop to them. Not so, says Saar: There were also cameras in the booths, but the sessions were not recorded; General [Geoffrey] Miller thought taping could only cause legal problems. The video was simply fed to a screen in the observation room. For the over whelming majority of sessions, the only ones who ever knew what took place in the booth [were] the interrogator, the linguist, and the detainee. "Outsourcing" Torture Additional evidence of the spread of stealth torture as a means of forcing intelli gence from resistant suspects is revealed in secret CIA programs that whisked prisoners to foreign countries that had agreed to do the dirty job for the United States. In a policy known as "renditions," or "extraordinary renditions," dozens, perhaps hundreds, of "high-value terrorists" (HVTs) were taken to a number of foreign countries, often in business jets leased by the CIA.63 President Bush appar ently authorized the CIA to have detainees in custody "disappeared" or "ren dered" to countries where the use of torture is well-known (and documented by Amnesty International).64 Such prisoners were kept incommunicado in long- term secret detention facilities in "undisclosed locations." In "reverse renditions," foreign authorities arrested "suspects" in noncombat, nonbattlefield settings and transferred them into custody, usually to Guantânamo Bay Prison, without the basic legal protections afforded by international law. The president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Michael Ratner, said of this program: I call it outsourcing torture. What it really means is that in the so-called war on terror, the C.I.A. picks up people anywhere in the world that it wants, and if it doesn't want to engage in the torture itself, or in the inter rogation, whatever term you want to use, it will send them to another country that our intelligence agencies have a close relationship with. That can be Egypt, it can be Jordan.65 One CIA senior officer in charge of this rendition program was Michael Scheuer. He reports matter-of-factly: We took people to the countries of their origin in the Middle East, if those countries had a legal process outstanding for them and were willing to take them. That person would be treated according to the laws of that country, not to the laws of the United States, but to the laws of, take your pick, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan.66 Obviously, the interrogation tactics used in those countries would include torture techniques that the CIA did not want to know about, as long as there was any useful "intel" coming out of them. However, it is difficult in our high-tech era to keep such a program concealed for long. Some of America's allies have led a probe into at least thirty flights suspected of being engaged by the CIA in the outsourcing-torture program. The investigation has revealed that key suspects were transported to Soviet-era compounds in Eastern Europe.67 In my judgment, these programs of outsourcing torture indicate not that the CIA and military intelligence operatives were reluctant to torture prisoners but that they believed that agents in those countries knew how to do it better. They have been perfecting the practice of the "third degree" longer than the Americans have. I have outlined here only a small sample of the far more exten sive abuses heaped upon all sorts of detainees in American military prisons in order to refute the administration's assertion that such abuse and torture were not "systematic." Autopsies and death reports on detainees held in facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan reveal that nearly half of the forty-four deaths reported occurred during or after interrogations by Navy SEALs, military intelligence, or the CIA. These homicides resulted from abusive interrogation tactics that included hood ing, gagging, strangulation, beating with blunt objects, water boarding, sleep deprivation, and extreme temperature manipulations. The executive director of the ACLU, Anthony Romero, has made it clear that "There is no question that in terrogations have resulted in deaths. High-ranking officials who knew about the torture sat on their hands and those who created and endorsed these policies must be held accountable."68 TAKING IT TO THE TOP: HOLDING DICK CHENEY AND GEORGE W. BUSH ACCOUNTABLE As became increasingly obvious in the months after the [Abu Ghraib] pho tos came to public light, this pattern of abuse did not result from the acts of individual soldiers who broke the rules. It resulted from decisions made by the Bush administration to bend, ignore, or cast rules aside. Adminis tration policies created the climate for Abu Ghraib and for abuse against detainees worldwide in a number of ways. This summary statement by Human Rights Watch in its report "United States: Getting Away with Torture?" focuses our attention at the very top of the long chain of command—all the way up to Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush. The War on Terror Framed the Torture Paradigm Shift In line with previous presidential failures—in their "War on Nouns"—on Poverty and Drugs—the Bush administration declared a "War on Terror" following the attacks of September 11, 2 0 0 1 . The central premise of this new war was that ter rorism is the primary threat to "national security," and to the "homeland," and that it must be opposed by all means necessary. This ideological foundation has been used by virtually all nations as a device for gaining popular and military support for aggression, as well as repression. It was used freely by right-wing dictator ships in Brazil, Greece, and many other nations in the 1960s and '70s to justify torture and death-squad executions of their citizens who were positioned as the "enemies of the state."69 Italy's right-wing Christian Democrats used the "strat egy of tension" during the late 1970s to exaggerate the fear of terrorism by the Red Brigades (radical Communists) as a means of political control. Of course, the classic example is that of Hitler's labeling Jews the originators of Germany's eco nomic collapse of the 19 30s. They were the internal threat that justified an exter nal program of conquest and demanded their extermination both in Germany and in all the countries the Nazis occupied. Fear is the State's psychological weapon of choice to frighten citizens into sacrificing their basic freedoms and rule-of-law protections in exchange for the se curity promised by their all-powerful government. Fear was the linchpin that gained the majority support of the U.S. public and Congress first for a preemptive war against Iraq and later for the mindless maintenance of a variety of Bush ad ministration policies. First, fear was spread in Orwellian fashion by predicting a nuclear attack against the United States and its allies by Saddam Hussein's arse nal of "weapons of mass destruction." For example, on the eve of the congres sional vote on the Iraq War resolution, President Bush told the nation and Congress that Iraq was an "evil nation" that threatened America's security. "Knowing these realities," Bush remarked, "Americans must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof—the smoking gun—that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud."7 0 That mushroom cloud was spread over America not by Saddam but by Bush's team. Over the next several years, all key members of the Bush administration echoed such dire warnings in speech after speech. A report was prepared by the Special Investigations Division of the Committee on Government Reform for Rep resentative Henry A. Waxman on the Bush administration's public statements on Iraq. It used a public database of all such statements by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. According to the report, these five officials made 2 3 7 specific "false and mislead ing" statements on the Iraqi threat in 125 public appearances, an average of about 50 for each disciple. In the month of September 2 0 0 2 , the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration is on record as having made nearly 50 misleading and deceptive statements to the public.71 In his investigative analysis, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Suskind traces much of the Bush administration's framing of the war on terror to Cheney's statement right after 9 / 1 1 . Cheney defined it: "If there's a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al-Qaeda build or develop a nuclear wea pon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. It's not about our analysis . . . it's about our response." Suskind writes in his book The One Percent Doctrine,"So, now spoken, it stood: a standard of action that would frame events and responses from the Administration for years to come." He goes on to note that unfortunately, the vast federal government does not operate efficiently or effec tively under new forms of stress, like this war on terror, and under cognitive dis sonance from the unexpected insurgency and rebellion of captive peoples. "It has protective urges, competing agendas, rules for who does what and who represents actions to the citizenry, the sovereign, the bosses; it accomplishes a great deal, yes, but is defined often by its dysfunctions. And that means it lies and dissembles, hides what it can, and sometimes out of self-preservation, because without your trust [of citizens] it is nothing but office space."7 2 A different method of fearmongering can be seen in the politicization of the terror alarm (color code) warning system by the Bush administration's Depart ment of Homeland Security. I believe that initially its intention was to serve, as all disaster warnings do, to mobilize citizens to prepare for a threat. However, over time, the eleven vague warnings never carried any realistic advice for citizen ac tion. Warned of a hurricane, people are told to evacuate; warned of a tornado, we know that we must retreat to the storm cellar; but warned of a terrorism attack coming sometime, somewhere, we are told simply to be "more watchful." and, of course, to go about our business as usual. There was never any public explanation or debriefing when each of these many threats failed to materialize despite their alleged "credible sources." Mobilizing national forces for each rise in threat level costs at least a billion dollars a month and creates unnecessary anxiety and stress in the population. In the end. broadcasting the color-coded threat levels was less a valid warning system than the government's costly way of ensuring and sus taining the nation's fear of terrorists—in the absence of any terror attacks. French existentialist author Albert Camus has pointed out that fear is a method; terror makes fear, and fear stops people from thinking rationally. It makes people think in abstractions about the enemy, the terrorists, the insurgents who threaten us, who thus must be destroyed. Once we begin thinking of people as a class of entities, as abstractions, then they meld into "faces of the enemy," and primitive impulses to kill and torture them surface even among ordinarily peaceful people.73 I am on record with my criticism of these "phantom alarms" as dysfunc tional and dangerous, but there is evidence that increases in Bush's poll ratings were closely correlated with the sounding of these warnings.7 4 The issue here is that by arousing and sustaining fear of an enemy at our gates, the Bush adminis tration was able to position the president as the Almighty Commander in Chief of a nation at war. By calling himself "commander in chief" and vastly expanding the powers granted him by Congress, President Bush and his advisers came to believe that they were above national and international law and that therefore any of their policies were legal simply by asserting them in a newly recast official legal inter pretation. The seeds for the flowers of evil that blossomed in that dark dungeon of Abu Ghraib were planted by the Bush administration in its triangular framing of national security threats, citizen fear and vulnerability, and interrogation/torture to win the war on terror. Vice President Dick Cheney as "The Vice President of Torture" A Washington Post editorial called Dick Cheney "The Vice President of Torture" because of his efforts to defeat and finally to modify the McCain amendment to the Department of Defense's budget authorization bill.7 5 That amendment demanded the humane treatment of prisoners in American military custody. Cheney had lobbied hard to get an exception to the law granted for the CIA in order to enable it to use whatever means it deemed necessary to extract informa tion from its suspects. Cheney argued that such a bill would tie the hands of CIA operatives and expose them to potential prosecution for their efforts in the global war on terror. (And we have gotten a glimpse of how extremely brutal and lethal their efforts can be.) The legislation proposed by Senator John McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam who himself experienced the horrors of torture, bans the use of tor ture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment by any government agency. It also requires all military interrogations to conform to the Army's Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation (FM 3 4 - 5 2 ) . Not only was the bill passed 90 to 9 in the Senate, it was endorsed strongly in a personal letter to McCain by more than a dozen top military commanders from the Marines, Army, and Navy. They asserted that the Army field manual is the tried and true "gold standard" that should be followed consistently. As a postscript, these generals and admirals believe that "when agencies other than DoD [Department of Defense] detain and interrogate prisoners, there should be no legal loopholes permitting cruel and degrading treatment."76 McCain takes a broad perspective on torture and the need to right America's moral compass. In aN ewsweek magazine essay on "The Truth About Torture," McCain held that: This is a war of ideas, a struggle to advance freedom in the face of terror in places where oppressive rule had bred the malevolence that creates terror ists. Prisoner abuses extract a terrible toll on us in this war of ideas. They inevitably become public, and when they do they threaten our moral standing.... The mistreatment of prisoners harms us more than our ene mies.7 7 It is unlikely that passage of this legislation will dim Cheney's passionate sup port for the CIA's use of all the means at its disposal to get confessions and intelli gence from secretly held terror suspects. This must be so when we consider Cheney's steadfast adherence to the beliefs he expressed shortly after the 9 / 1 1 attacks. In a televised interview on NBC's Meet the Press, Cheney made a remarkable statement: We also have to work, though, sort of the dark side, if you will. We've got to spend time in the shadows in the intelligence world. A lot of what needs to be done here will have to be done quietly, without any discussion, using sources and methods that are available to our intelligence agencies, if we're going to be successful. That's the world these folks operate in, and so it's going to be vital for us to use any means at our disposal, basically, to achieve our objective.78 In an NPR interview, the former chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, charged that the Cheney-Bush team of neo- conservatives issued directives that led to the prisoner abuses by soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Wilkerson outlined the path such directives took: It was clear to me that there was a visible audit trail from the vice presi dent's [Cheney's] office through the secretary of defense [Rumsfeld] down to the commanders in the field that in carefully couched terms—that to a soldier in the field meant two things: We're not getting enough good intel ligence and you need to get that evidence—and, oh, by the way, here's some ways you can probably get it. Wilkerson also referred to David Addington, Cheney's counsel, as "a staunch advocate of allowing the president in his capacity as commander in chief to deviate from the Geneva Conventions."79 This leads us right up to the pinnacle of power. President George W. Bush as "The Commander in Chief of War" As commander in charge of an open-ended war on global terrorism, President George W. Bush has relied on a team of legal advisers to establish a legitimate basis for a preemptive war of aggression against Iraq, to redefine torture, to create new rules of engagement, to restrict citizens' freedoms through the so-called PATRIOT Act, and to authorize illegal eavesdropping, wiretapping, and spying on the phone calls of American citizens. As usual, all this is done in the name of pro tecting the sacred homeland national security in the global war against you- know-what. Bush's legal advisory team consisted of: Alberto R. Gonzalez, counsel to the president (subsequently promoted to attorney general); John You, deputy assistant attorney general, and Jay S. Bybee, assistant attorney general (both of the Department of Justice); Attorney General John Ashcroft; and William H. Taft IV. legal adviser, State Department. Alberto Gonzales offered the following legal judgment to the president (memo, January 25, 2002): "The nature of the new war places a high premium on other factors, such as the ability to quickly obtain information In my judg ment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on question ing of enemy prisoners." The Torture Memos An August 1, 2 0 0 2 , Department of Justice memo, referred to in the press as the "Torture Memo," narrowly defined "torture" in terms not of what it constitutes but only in terms of its most extreme consequences. It held that physical pain must be "equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical in jury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death." In line with this memo, in order to prosecute anyone charged with torture crimes, it is necessary that it must have been the "specific intent" of the defendant to cause "severe physical or mental pain or suffering." "Mental torture" was narrowly de fined to include only acts that would result in "significant psychological harm of significant duration, e.g., lasting for months or years." The memo went on to assert that the earlier ratification of the 1994 anti- torture statute could be considered unconstitutional because it would interfere with the president's power as commander in chief. Other guidelines from the Jus tice Department's lawyers gave the president the power to reinterpret the Geneva Conventions to suit the administration's purposes in the war on terror. Belligerents captured in Afghanistan, Taliban soldiers, al-Qaeda suspects, insurgents, and all those rounded up and taken into custody would not be considered POWs, and therefore not granted any of the legal protections to which a prisoner of war is en titled. As "enemy noncombatants," they could be held indefinitely at any facility in the world, without counsel or specific charges leveled against them. In addition, the president apparently approved the CIA's program of "disappearing" high-value terrorists. The evidence is circumstantial, but it is convincing. For example, in his book State of War: The Secret History of the C.I.A. and the Bush Administration,J a m e s Risen concludes that there is "a secret agreement among very senior administra tion officials to insulate Bush and to give him deniability" in regard to the CIA's in volvement in the extreme new interrogation tactics.8 0 A less gracious description of the relationship between President Bush and his team of legal advisers came from the legal scholar Anthony Lewis, after he had thoroughly reviewed all the available memoranda: The memos read like the advice of a mob lawyer to a mafia don on how to skirt the law and stay out of prison. Avoiding prosecution is literally a theme of the memoranda.... Another theme in the memoranda, an even more deeply disturbing one. is that the President can order the torture of prisoners even though it is forbidden by a federal statute and by the inter national Convention Against Torture, to which the United States is a party.81 Readers are invited to read all the relevant materials I have outlined here (the investigative reports, ICRC report, and more) along with all twenty-eight "torture memos" by President Bush's legal advisers, Rumsfeld, Powell, Bush, and others that prepared the way for the legitimization of torture in Afghanistan, Guantanamo, and Iraq. In a remarkable 1.249-page volume, The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib, edited by Karen Greenberg and Joshua Dratel. the full paper trail of memoranda is laid out, exposing the perversion of legal skills by government lawyers.82 It provides us with an insight into how such "skills that have done so much to protect Americans in this most legalized of countries—can be misused in the cause of evil."83 The editors conclude in no uncertain terms what the signifi cance of these documents should be for citizens to understand the motives and in tentions of their elected leaders and other government officials: While the proverbial road to hell is paved with good intentions, the inter nal government memos collected in this publication demonstrate that the path to the purgatory that is Guantanamo Bay, or Abu Ghraib, has been paved with decidedly bad intentions. The policies that resulted in rampant abuse of detainees first in Afghanistan, then at Guantanamo Bay, and later in Iraq, were the product of three pernicious purposes designed to fa cilitate the unilateral and unfettered detention, interrogation, abuse, judg ment, and punishment of prisoners: (1) the desire to place the detainees beyond the reach of any court or law; (2) the desire to abrogate the Geneva Convention with respect to the treatment of persons seized in the context of armed hostilities; and (3) the desire to absolve those implementing the policies of any liability for war crimes under U.S. and international law. Indeed, any claim of good faith—that those who formulated the policies were merely misguided in their pursuit of security in the face of what is certainly a genuine terrorist threat—is belied by the policy makers' more than tacit acknowledgment of their unlawful purpose The message that these memoranda convey in response is unmistakable: these policy makers do not like our system of justice, with its checks and bal ances, and rights and limits, that they have been sworn to uphold. That antipathy for and distrust of our civilian and military justice systems is positively un-American.84 Law Professor Jordan Paust (former captain, U.S. Army Judge Advocate Gen eral's Corps) wrote of George W. Bush's legal advisers, who prepared these justifi cations for torture against detainees, "Not since the Nazi era have so many lawyers been so clearly involved in international crimes concerning the treat ment and interrogation of persons detained during war." Heading that list of advisers is Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who helped develop a legal memo that reinterpreted "torture" as noted above. Not until the Abu Ghraib photos were disclosed did Gonzales and President Bush re pudiate this memo offering the most extreme conception of torture. Gonzales's dedication to expanding presidential powers within the framework of the war on terror has been compared to that of the influential Nazi lawyer Carl Schmitt. Schmitt's ideas about freeing the nation's executive from legal constraints in times of emergency helped suspend Germany's constitution and gave Hitler total power. Gonzales's biographer noted that Gonzales is a likable man who comes across as an "ordinary man" without sadistic or psychopathic tendencies.85 How ever, in his institutional role, Gonzales's legal memos have been responsible for suspension of civil liberties and brutal interrogation of terror suspects in viola tion of international law.86 Gitmo Interrogations Opposed by the Defense Department's Criminal Investigation Task Force According to a recent MSNBC report, leaders of the Defense Department's Crimi nal Investigation Task Force said that they had repeatedly warned senior Penta gon officials (beginning in early 2002 and continuing for years after) that the harsh interrogation techniques used by a separate intelligence team would not produce reliable information, could constitute war crimes, and would embarrass the nation when they became public knowledge. The concerns and advice of these experienced criminal investigators were largely ignored by all those in the chain of command directing the interrogations at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib in favor of their preferred intense, coercive forms of interrogation. Alberto J. Mora, the former general counsel of the Navy, has gone on record supporting the members of this task force: "What makes me intensely proud of all these individuals was that they said, 'We will not be party to this, even if we are ordered to do so.' They are heroes, and there's no other way to describe them. They demonstrated enor mous personal courage and personal integrity in standing up for American val ues and the system we all live for." In the end, these investigators were not able to stop the abuses, but only to slow them down by getting Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld to roll back some of his harshest interrogation tactics.8 7 Obsession with the War on Terror We can see that Bush's obsession with the war on terror has propelled him further down the dangerous path laid out in the late Senator Barry Goldwater's dictum "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no v i c e . . . moderation in the pursuit of jus tice is no virtue." Accordingly, President Bush has authorized domestic surveil lance of American citizens by the National Security Agency (NSA) without legally mandated warrants. In what amounts to a large data-mining operation, a huge volume of telephone and Internet traffic has been gathered by the NSA and sent to the FBI for analysis—-actually overwhelming its capacities for effective processing of such information.88 Such surveillance requires "backdoor access" to the major telecommunica tions switches on American soil that route international calls and the secret coop eration of the nation's largest telecommunications companies, according to a detailed New York Times report of January 2 0 0 6 .8 9 TheTim es' exposé has revealed the excesses inherent in vesting such power in the president without the re straints of legal or congressional checks and balances. A case has been made for comparing Bush's sense of being above the law with that of President Richard Nixon, who "unleashed the dogs of domestic surveillance in the 1970s" and de fended doing so by his assertion "When the President does it, that means it is not illegal."90 Bush now says the very same thing with the same sense of impunity. This sense of being above the law is seen also in Bush's unprecedented use of "signing statements." In the process of approving a law passed by Congress, the president affirms his prerogative not to follow the law he has just signed. President Bush has used this tactic more than any other president has in U.S. history, more than 7 5 0 times, to disobey statutes passed by Congress when they conflict with his interpretation of the Constitution. This included placing this personal re straint on the McCain Amendment against torture.91 However, President Bush's assertion of executive power has been challenged in a recent decision of the Supreme Court that limits his authority. It repudiated the Bush administration's plans to put Guantanamo detainees on trial before military commissions (tribunals), because they were unauthorized by federal statute and they violated international law. According to The New York Times, "The ruling marked the most significant setback yet for the administration's broad expansion of presidential power."92 Paradoxically, in its desire to rid the world of the evil of terrorism, the Bush administration has itself become a glaring exemplar of "administrative evil." It is an organization that inflicts pain and suffering unto death while willingly using formal, rational, and efficient procedures to disguise the substance of what it does—ignoring the means to justify what its members consider to be higher-order ends.9 3 Other examples of this mechanism of administrative evil at work include the Nazis' extermination of Jews in the Holocaust, NASA's role in theC h allenger disas ter, the promotion of addictive cigarettes by American tobacco company execu tives and their hired "scientific experts," and the deceptive business practices of Enron and other crooked companies. Administrative evil is systemic, in the sense that it exists beyond any one person once its policies are in place and its proce dures take control. Nevertheless, I would argue, organizations must have leaders, and those leaders must be held accountable for creating or maintaining such evil. I believe that a system consists of those agents and agencies whose power and values create or modify the rules of and expectations for "approved behav iors" within its sphere of influence. In one sense, the system is more than the sum of its parts and of its leaders, who also fall under its powerful influences. In an other sense, however, the individuals who play key roles in creating a system that engages in illegal, immoral, and unethical conduct should be held accountable despite the situational pressures on them. President Bush and his advisers have been able to alter the War Crimes Act (of 1996) by pushing Congress to pass the United States Military Commissions Act of 2 0 0 6 (Senate Bill 3930) that he signed on October 17. 2 0 0 6 . It was drafted in part to rebuff the Supreme Court's decision on Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that has challenged the administration's use of military tribunals in trials of detainees at Guantânamo Prison. This new Military Commissions Act provides for a host of controversial practices relating to the U.S. government's detention and treatment of"unlawful enemy combatants. " All those so designated are afforded neither the military rights of soldiers nor those of civilians in civil law. The president is given broad war-time powers to designate anyone as fitting that category, including American citizens, thereby losing their right of habeas corpus and protections provided by the Geneva Conventions. They may be imprisoned indefinitely, tried only by a military tribunal whose judge may use hearsay evidence even when ob tained without a search warrant, and whose finding of guilt requires only a two- thirds majority of tribunal members. In addition, it harbors at least two more objectionable features: permitting many interrogation tactics that qualify as only "humiliating," and retroactively protecting all government officials who may have been involved in "crimes against humanity," including the murder of inter rogated detainees by CIA operatives and others. (Thus, virtually all the abuses by the MPs at Abu Ghraib are now allowable because they would qualify as merely "humiliating," not as torture.) Upholding the War Crimes Act and the Geneva Conventions should be indis pensable for all civilized nations that choose to live by the rule of law and not by the rule of power and tyranny. The Military Commissions Act is "a tyrannical law that will be ranked with the low points in American democracy, our generation's version of the Alien and Sedition Acts," according to a New York Times editorial (September 2 8 , 2 0 0 6 ) . Where is the outrage by citizens and freedom loving peo ple everywhere?94 MEMBERS OF THE JURY, YOUR VERDICT, PLEASE You have read here the testimony of many eyewitnesses as well as key sections of the summary reports by the major independent investigative panels, along with parts of the extensive analyses by Human Rights Watch, the Red Cross, the ACLU, Amnesty International, and PBS'sF rontline about the nature of the abuse and torture of prisoners in the custody of the U.S. Military. Do you now believe that the mistreatment of detainees in Abu Ghraib's Tier 1A by Sergeant Ivan "Chip" Frederick and the other MPs on night shift duty was an aberration, an isolated incident caused solely by a few "bad apples," allegedly "rogue soldiers"? Further, do you now believe that such abuse and torture was or was not part of a "systematic" program of coercive interrogation? Did the extent of the abuses and torture in these interrogations go far deeper and well beyond the limited time, place, and set of actors in the Abu Ghraib Tier1A night shift? Given the acknowledged guilt of those MPs charged with the photographed abuses, do you now believe that there were sufficient situational forces (a "bad barrel") and system pressures ("bad barrel makers") acting on them that should have mitigated the extent of their prison sentences? Are you willing and ready to make a judgment of complicity in the abuses at Abu Ghraib and many other military facilities and secretly run CIA jails of each of the following high-ranking members of the military command: Major General Geoffrey Miller, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, Colonel Thomas Pappas, and Lieutenant Colonel Steven Jordan?9 5 Are you willing and ready to make a judgment of complicity in the abuses at Abu Ghraib and many other military facilities and secretly run CIA jails of each of the following top members of the political command: former CIA director George Tenet and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld? Are you willing and ready to make a judgment of complicity in the abuses at Abu Ghraib and many other military facilities and secretly run CIA jails of each of the following top members of the political command: Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush? The Prosecution Rests (However, you might also want to look at a note about a recent tribunal that tried the Bush administration for its "crimes against humanity."96) While you are deliberating, consider this final section about a positive attempt by the military system to acknowledge the necessity of proper guard training and effective institutional constraints on abuses of power in interrogating prisoners. Had such procedures been in place from the start, it is likely that the abuses at Abu Ghraib would not have happened. THE SPE GOES TO ABU GHRAIB AS A TRAINING GUIDE AGAINST POWER OVERLOAD AND HUMANITY OUTAGES On the long flight from Hawaii to Baghdad, Army Colonel Larry James watched the DVD of the Stanford Prison Experiment, Quiet Rage, over and over, maybe "as many as twenty-four times." "What did Zimbardo do wrong?" "What should he have done differently to prevent the abuses in his prison?" He raised these ques tions because he was en route to a special mission: Fix Abu Ghraib! Dr. James is a distinguished clinical psychologist, who for years was chair of the Department of Psychology, Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He was given this unique task in May 2 0 0 4 , at the command of Major General Geoffrey Miller, with whom he had worked in the Guantânamo Bay Prison. (Yes. the very same general whose earlier strategies and tactics had done so much damage in the prisons in both Cuba and Iraq.) As chief behavioral science director, James reported directly to Major General Miller. As one of the highest-ranking officers in the prison, James was able to get his policies and procedures enacted almost immediately. I had given James several sets of our newly made DVD when I learned he was headed to Abu Ghraib. He had suggested that I join him on the mission, but I was too fearful of the danger to go with him. I would have gladly joined him had it not been for the lethal environment that existed in that prison and throughout Iraq. I interviewed James upon his return, asking him what he had decided would be the best set of prevention strategies to safeguard against new abuses.97 In general, his goal was to set up procedures that would create and maintain good order and discipline in this prison setting and would meet the criteria of the American Correctional Association. He arranged for site visits at Abu Ghraib Prison and also at Camp Bucca by an Army lieutenant colonel who was the chief of the Behavioral Science Department, Disciplinary Barracks (Leavenworth, Kansas), and also by a site reviewer for the American Correctional Association. All of their findings and recommendations were implemented. Because of their survey of conditions, a mental health hospital was built for the prisoners and a large team of mental health professionals was detailed to Abu Ghraib to provide services to detainees—for the first time. Next, he established some basic ground rules for himself: 1.Do no harm. 2. Keep everything safe: physically and psychologically: health care should mirror the standards adopted by the American Correctional Association. 3. Keep everything legal; meet all principles of the Uniformed Code of Mili tary Justice. 4. Keep everything ethical; be sure no one is ever harmed, and continually ask, "Did I do anything to violate the ethical standards of the American Psychological Association?" 5. Make interrogations effective; create conditions that transform "interro gations" into detectivelike "interviews" of inmates that are designed to acquire the intelligence necessary to save American lives in nonabusive ways. Colonel James walked the grounds at night and at random times, talking with guards and staff, always being cognizant of abuses, wrongdoing, or conduct inconsistent with good order and discipline. He worked personally to stop prob lems or misconduct, or, if he could not resolve any issue, reported his concerns directly to the general. After examining every aspect of the prison, Colonel James established the fol lowing seven layers of Prison Oversight and Rules Governing the Treatment and Interrogation of Prisoners at Abu Ghraib Prison, presumably to be extended to other facilities: 1. There must be supervision by senior officers at all times, including night shifts. 2. "Interrogations" must be replaced by "interviews" following the model of a U.S. detective investigation at a police headquarters. One person alone must never conduct the interviews; there must be at least two present in the interview booth, the interviewer and translator, at a minimum. This way they can check on each other and have dual feedback available. 3. A written "no-go" policy must make explicit what actions are prohibited and what are permitted during these prisoner interviews, eliminating any ambiguity about what can and cannot be done or justified. 4. Mandatory "mission-specific training" must be required of all those in volved in these interviews. 5. Interview booths must be open to surveillance through one-way observa tion mirrors enabling viewing from hall corridors by officers and others, and all interviews must be videotaped for subsequent analysis and admin istrative review. 6.Military police will regularly rove the entire facility at random intervals, reporting regularly to higher-ups and making guards and interviewers aware that they are always under surveillance. (James also arranged for two military psychologists to be his "roving ambassadors" in this way.) 7. Multiple layers of supervision and oversight are required, with medical inspection of each prisoner interviewed, pre- and again postinterview, to report any signs of changed medical status as a consequence of the inter view procedure. Similarly, a military attorney must review all procedures, along with other layers of regular supervision built into the system. Although it was not part of these official procedures, Larry James encour aged the MPs to watch Quiet Rage: The Stanford Prison Experiment and discuss its message about abuse of power as it might relate to their new role of being a guard within that prison setting. Would he have been able to install such strong oversight proceduresbefore the revelation of the abuses? It's hard to say, but I think it is unlikely that anyone would have even thought to create this mission. Had this set of procedures been in place, is it less likely the abuses would have occurred? That seems certainly to be so because such conditions would have eliminated the confusion and the diffu sion of responsibility, while also making it apparent that everyone's behavior was under surveillance. (Of course, that also extends to what should have been hap pening at the SPE.) It's good that many seemingly effective practices are in place, but have they made a difference? James's answer was "My dependent variable is there have been no abuses since these rules have been put in place [as of November 2 0 0 5 ] . " Since then, the Pentagon has decided to shut down the prison at Abu Ghraib, releasing some of its detainees and transferring others to Camp Cropper, near the Baghdad airport. Britain's top legal adviser has recently called for the United States to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay (which over the years has held a total of 759 prisoners, according to the Department of Defense).98 He believes that this detention center has become an international symbol of injustice. Attor ney General Peter Goldsmith said that the reliance of that camp on military tri bunals does not meet the British commitment to the principle of "a fair trial in accordance with international standards."99 Spain's most prominent investiga tive magistrate, Baltasar Garzôn, also called on the United States to shut down this prison, as "an insult to countries that respect laws." He says Spain learned the lesson from the evils of the Inquisition that "torture and degradation do not work as investigative techniques."1 0 0 Colonel Larry James was awarded the Bronze Star for this special military service. It is a great pleasure for me to be able to end this chapter celebrating this singular accomplishment of my colleague and friend. I wish that he had been em powered to do so a few years earlier. LET THE SUNSHINE IN Well, we've made it to the end of our long journey together. I appreciate your stay ing power to continue on despite these confrontations with some of what is worse in human nature. It has been especially difficult for me to revisit the scenes of abuse in the Stanford Prison Experiment. It has also been tough to face up to my ineffectiveness in helping achieve a better resolution in the case of Chip Frederick. As a perennial optimist, facing all the evils of genocide, massacres, lynchings, tor ture, and other horrible things that people do to other people is starting to dim my positive outlook on the human condition. In the final phase of our journey, we will let the sunshine in to illuminate these dark corners of the human psyche. It is time to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. I shall do so in two ways. First, you will get some well- reasoned advice on how to resist the social influences that you don't want and don't need but that bombard you, and most of us, daily. While acknowledging the power of situational forces to influence most of us to behave badly in many con texts, I also make evident that we are not slaves to their power. It is through un derstanding how such forces operate that we can resist, oppose, and prevent them from leading us into undesirable temptation. Such knowledge can liberate us from subjugation to the mighty grasp of conformity, compliance, persuasion, and other forms of social influence and coercion. Having explored the weaknesses, frailties, and all-too-easy transformations of human character throughout our journey, we end on a most positive note by celebrating heroism and heroes. By now I hope you are willing to accept the premise that ordinary people, even good ones, can be seduced, recruited, initiated into behaving in evil ways under the sway of powerful systematic and situational forces. If so. are you also ready to endorse the reverse premise: that any of us is a potential hero waiting for a situation to arise that will enable us to show that we have "the right stuff"? Let's now learn how to resist temptation and celebrate heroes. CHAPTER SIXTEEN Resisting Situational Influences and Celebrating Heroism Every exit is an entry somewhere else. —Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead We have come to the end of our journey through the dark places that imprison the minds of our fellow travelers. We have witnessed the conditions that reveal the brutal side of human nature and have been surprised by the ease and the ex tent to which good people can become so cruel to others. Our conceptual focus has been on trying to understand better how such transformations take place. Al though evil can exist in any setting, we have looked most closely into its breeding ground in prisons and wars. They typically become crucibles, in which authority, power, and dominance are blended and, when covered over by secrecy, suspend our humanity, and rob us of the qualities we humans value most: caring, kindness, cooperation, and love. Much of our time was spent in the simulated prison that my colleagues and I created in the basement of Stanford University's Psychology Department. In just a few days and nights the virtual paradise that is Palo Alto, California, and Stan ford University became a hellhole. Healthy young men developed pathological symptoms that reflected the extreme stress, frustration, and hopelessness they were experiencing as prisoners. Their counterparts, randomly assigned to the role of guards, repeatedly crossed the line from frivolously playing that role to seri ously abusing "their prisoners." In less than a week, our little "experiment," our mock prison, receded into the background of our collective consciousness, to be replaced by a reality of prisoners, guards, and prison staff that seemed remark ably real to all. It was a prison run by psychologists rather than by the State. The detailed scrutiny that I brought to the nature of these transformations, which have never before been fully elaborated, is aimed at bringing each reader as close as possible to that special place where we can pit person power against insti tutional power. I tried to convey a sense of the unfolding processes by which a host of seemingly minor situational variables, such as social roles, rules, norms, and uniforms, came to have so powerful an impact on all those caught up in its system. At a conceptual level, I have proposed that we give greater consideration and more weight to situational and systemic processes than we typically do when we are trying to account for aberrant behaviors and seeming personality changes. Human behavior is always subject to situational forces. This context is embedded within a larger, macrocosmic one, often a particular power system that is de signed to maintain and sustain itself. Traditional analyses by most people, includ ing those in legal, religious, and medical institutions, focus on the actor as the sole causal agent. Consequently, they minimize or disregard the impact of situational variables and systemic determinants that shape behavioral outcomes and trans form actors. Hopefully, the examples and supporting information in this book will chal lenge the rigid Fundamental Attribution Error that locates the inner qualities of people as the main source of their actions. We have added the need to recognize both the power of situations and the behavioral scaffolding provided by the Sys tem that crafts and upholds the social context. We have journeyed from a make-believe prison to the nightmare reality that was Iraq's Abu Ghraib Prison. Surprising parallels emerged between the social psychological processes at work in both of those prisons, the mock one and the all-too-real one. In Abu Ghraib, our analytical spotlight focused on one young man, Staff Sergeant Ivan Chip Frederick, who made a dual transformation: from good soldier to bad prison guard and then to suffering prisoner. Our analysis re vealed, just as in the Stanford Prison Experiment, the dispositional, situational, and systemic factors that played a crucial role in fostering the abuse and torture that Frederick and other military and civilian personnel heaped on the prisoners in their custody. I moved then from my position as an impartial social science researcher to as sume the role of a prosecutor. In doing so, I exposed to you, readers-as-jurors, the crimes of the top brass in the military command and in the Bush administration that make them complicit in creating the conditions that in turn made possible such wide-ranging wanton abuse and torture throughout most U.S. military pris ons. As noted repeatedly, the view I have provided does not negate the responsibil ity of these MPs, nor their guilt; explanation and understanding do not excuse such misdeeds. Rather, understanding how the events happened and appreciat ing what were the situational forces operating on the soldiers can lead to proac tive ways to modify the circumstances that elicit such unacceptable behavior. Punishing is not enough. "Bad systems" create "bad situations" create "bad ap ples" create "bad behaviors," even in good people. For the last time, let's define Person, Situation, and System. The Person is an actor on the stage of life whose behavioral freedom is informed by his or her makeup—genetic, biological, physical, and psychological. The Situation is the behavioral context that has the power, through its reward and normative functions, to give meaning and identity to the actor's roles and status. The System consists of the agents and agencies whose ideology, values, and power create situations and dictate the roles and expectations for approved behaviors of actors within its spheres of influence. In this, the final phase of our journey, we will consider advice about how to prevent or combat negative situational forces that act upon all of us from time to time. We will explore how to resist influences that we neither want nor need but that rain upon us daily. We are not slaves to the power of situational forces. But we must learn methods of resisting and opposing them. In all the situations we have explored together, there were always a few, a minority, who stood firm. The time has come to try to expand their numbers by. thinking about how they were able to resist. If I have in some measure brought you to appreciate that under some circumstancesYou might behave in the ways that participants did in the research conditions outlined here and in the real prison of Abu Ghraib, I ask you to con sider now, could you also accept a conception ofY ou as a Hero? We will celebrate also the good in human nature, the heroes among us, and the heroic imagination in all of us. LEARNING HOW TO RESIST UNWANTED INFLUENCES People with paranoid disorders have great difficulty in conforming to, complying with, or responding to a persuasive message, even when it is offered by their well- meaning therapists or loved ones. Their cynicism and distrust create an isolating barrier that shields them from involvement in most social encounters. Because they are adamantly resistant to social pressures, they provide an extreme model for immunity to influence, though obviously at great psychic cost. At the other end of the scale are the overly gullible, unconditionally trusting people who are easy marks for any and every scam artist. Among them are the many people who fall prey to frauds, scams, and confi dence games at some time in their lives. A full 12 percent of Americans are de frauded by con-artist criminals each year, sometimes losing their life savings. It is likely that this figure is shared by people in most nations. Although the ma jority of those defrauded are over fifty years old, at a time of life when wisdom should prevail, many people of all ages are regularly duped by tricksters in tele marketing, health care, and lottery scams.1 Remember the phony authority hoax perpetrated on an innocent teenager at a McDonald's restaurant that was described in chapter 12? Surely you asked yourself, "How could she and those adults duped by this caller be so stupid?" Well, this same hoax was effective in getting many other fast-food restaurant personnel to follow that false authority blindly. How many? Recall in a dozen different restau rant chains in nearly seventy different establishments, in thirty-two states!2 We noted that one assistant manager in a McDonald's restaurant, who was totally duped by the phony caller-con man, asks us all, "Unless you are in that situation, at that time, how do you know what you would do? You don't know what you would do."3 The point is that instead of distancing ourselves from the individuals who were deceived by assuming negative dispositional attributes in them—stupidity, naivete—we need to understand why and how people like us were so completely seduced. Then we will be in a position to resist and to spread awareness of meth ods of resisting such hoaxes. The Duality of Detachment Versus Saturation A basic duality exists in the human condition of detachment versus saturation, of cynical suspicion versus engagement. Detaching ourselves from others in the fear of being "taken in" is an extreme defensive posture, but it is true that the more open we are to other people's persuasion, the more likely we are to be swayed by them. Nevertheless, open, passionate involvement with others is essential to human happiness. We want to feel strongly, to trust completely, to act sponta neously, and to feel connected to others. We want to be fully "saturated" in living. At least some of the time, we want to suspend our evaluative faculties and aban don our primitive fearful reserve. We want to dance with passion along with Zorba the Greek.4 Yet, we must regularly assess the worth of our social involvements. The challenge for each of us is how best to oscillate between two poles, immersing fully and distancing appropriately. Knowing when to stay involved with others, when to support and be loyal to a cause or a relationship rather than dismissing it, is a delicate question that we all face regularly. We live in a world in which some peo ple aim to use us. In that same world are others who genuinely want us to share what they believe are mutually positive goals. How to tell which is which? That is the question, dear Hamlet and dear Ophelia. Before we begin to deal with specific means for combating mind-controlling influences, we must consider another possibility: the old illusion of personal invul nerability.5 Them? Yes. Me? No! Our psychological journey should have convinced you to appreciate how the array of situational forces that we've highlighted can suck in the majority of people. But not You, right? It is hard to extend the lessons we have learned from an intellectual assessment to affect our own codes of con duct. What is easily applied in the abstract to "those others" is not easily applied in the concrete to oneself. We are different. Just as no two fingerprints have iden tical patterns, no two people have identical genetic, developmental, and personal ity patterns. Individual differences should be celebrated, but in the face of strong, common situational forces, individual differences shrink and are compressed. In such in stances, behavioral scientists can predict what the majority of people will do knowing nothing about the particular people who comprise a group, only the nature of their behavioral context. It should be clear that not even the best psy chology can predict how each and every individual will behave in a given situa tion; some degree of individual variance always exists that cannot be accounted for. Therefore, you may reject the lessons that we are about to learn as inapplica ble to yourself; you are the special case, the special end of the tail of the normal distribution. However, know that you do so at the cost of being caught with your defenses down and your tail twisted. My advice about what to do in case you encounter a "dirty, rotten scoundrel," disguised as a nice guy or a sweet old lady, has been accumulated over many decades from many personal experiences. As a scrawny, sickly kid trying to sur vive on the mean streets of my South Bronx ghetto, I had to learn basic street smarts; these consisted of figuring out quickly how certain people would be likely to act in certain situations. I got good enough at the skill to become a leader of the gang, the team, or the class. Then I was trained by an unscrupulous boss, a Fagin- like character in drag, on how to deceive Broadway theatergoers into checking their hats and coats when they did not want to and to manipulate them into pay ing tips to get them back, when tipping was not required. As her apprentice, I be came experienced in selling expensive show programs when free versions were available and in overdosing kids with loads of candy and drinks if their parents were not chaperoning them to our candy counter. I was also trained to sell maga zines door to door, eliciting pity from, and thereby sales to, sympathetic tenement dwellers. Later on, I studied formally the tactics police use to get confessions from suspects, that state-sanctioned torturers use to get anything they want from their victims, and that cult recruiters use in seducing the innocent into their dens. My scholarship extended to studying the mind control tactics used by the Soviets and the methods used by the Chinese Communists in the Korean War and in their massive national thought reform programs. I also studied our own homegrown mind manipulators in the CIA, the state-sponsored MKULTRA program,6 and Jim Jones's lethal charismatic power over his religious followers (described in earlier chapters). I have both counseled and learned from those who survived various cult ex periences. In addition, I have engaged in a lifetime of investigative research on persuasion, compliance, dissonance, and group processes. My writing on some of these topics includes a training manual for peace activists during the Vietnam War, as well as several basic texts on attitude change and social influence.7 These credentials are offered only to bolster the communicator credibility of the infor mation provided next. Promoting Altruism via the Virtuous Authority Experiment Let us first imagine a "Reverse-Milgram" authority experiment. Our goal is to cre ate a setting in which people will comply with demands that intensify over time to do good. The participants would be guided gradually to behave in ever-more- altruistic ways, slowly but surely moving further than they could have imagined toward ever-more-positive, prosocial actions. Instead of the paradigm arranged to facilitate a slow descent into evil, we could substitute a paradigm for a slow as cent into goodness. How could we formulate an experimental setting in which that was possible? Let us design such a thought experiment. To begin, imagine that we arrange for each participant a hierarchy of experiences or actions that range from slightly more positive acts than he or she is used to doing to ever more-extreme "good" actions. The extremes of virtue push him or her upward all the way to engaging in actions that at first seemed unimaginable. There might be a time-based dimension in the design for those busy citizens who do not practice virtue because they have convinced themselves that they just don't have time to spare for good deeds. The first "button" on the "Goodness Gen erator" might be to spend ten minutes writing a thank-you note to a friend or a get-well card to a colleague. The next level might demand twenty minutes of giv ing advice to a troubled child. Increasing the pressure in this paradigm might then entail the participant's agreeing to give thirty minutes of his time to read a story to an illiterate housekeeper. Then the altruism scale moves upward to spending an hour tutoring a needy student, then to babysitting for a few hours to allow a single parent to visit her sick mother, working for an evening in a soup kitchen, helping unemployed veterans, devoting part of a day to taking a group of orphaned children to the zoo, being available to talk with returning wounded vet erans, and on and on upward, a step-by-step commitment to giving precious time every week to ever-more-worthy causes. Providing social models along the way who are already engaged in the requested task, or who take the initiative to ante up to the next level, should work to encourage obedience to virtuous authority, should it not? It's worth a try, especially since, as far as I know, nothing like this experiment has ever been done. Ideally, our experiment in social goodness would end when the person was doing something that he or she could never have imagined doing before. Our goodness track could also include contributions to creating a healthy and sus tainable environment that might go from minimal acts of conservation or recy cling to ever more substantial activities, such as giving money, time, and personal involvement to "green" causes. I invite you to expand on this notion in a host of domains in which society would benefit as more citizens "went all the way"— doing good without any supporting ideology, for, as we know from dissonance theory, beliefs follow behavior. Get people to perform good actions, and they will generate the necessary underlying principles to justify them. Talmudic scholars are supposed to have preached not to require that people believe before they pray, only to do what is needed to get them to begin to pray; then they will come to be lieve in what and to whom they are praying. Research Supports a Reverse-Milgram Altruism Effect As noted, this reverse-Milgram experiment has never been done. Suppose we ac tually attempted to perform such an experiment in the laboratory or, better yet. in our homes and communities. Would it work? Could we use the power of authority and of the situation to produce virtue? Based on what I know about human be ings and the principles of social influence, I am confident that we could do a bet ter job of bringing about righteousness in our world, employing basic principles of social influence (see Notes for some references).8 The reverse-Milgram experiment described here combines three simple in fluence tactics that have been extensively studied and documented by social psychologists: the foot-in-the-door tactic, social modeling, and self-labeling of helpfulness. I've merely brought them together in one situation for promoting altruism. Moreover, researchers have found that these tactics can be used to pro mote all sorts of prosocial behavior—from donating one's hard-earned money to charity to increasing recycling and even to giving blood at the next Red Cross blood drive. Our "slow ascent into goodness step by step" makes use of what social psy chologists call the" foot-in-th e-door" (FITD) tactic. This tactic begins by first asking someone to do a small request (which most people readily perform) and then later on to ask them to comply with a related but much bigger request (which was the actual goal all along).9 The classic demonstration of this tactic was done more than forty years ago by Jonathan Freedman and Scott Fraser.10 They asked subur banites to put a big, ugly sign urging "Drive Carefully" in their nice suburban yard. Fewer than twenty percent of the homeowners did so. However, three fourths of the homeowners agreed to place that sign in their yards if two weeks earlier they had taken a small step and posted in their windows an unobtrusive three-inch sign urging safe driving. The same approach works with other pro- social behavior. For example, researchers have found that merely signing a peti tion leads to increased monetary support of the handicapped, filling out a brief questionnaire increases the willingness of people to donate their organs to others after death, conserving a small amount of energy induces homeowners to subse quently conserve more energy, and making a small public commitment increases the recycling of paper products.11 What is more, this FITD effect can be enhanced by chaining together a series of increasingly larger requests, putting two feet in the door—just as in our reverse-Milgram experiment on promoting altruism.12 Our reverse-Milgram experiment would also employ social models to encour age prosocial behavior. In the SPE and Abu Ghraib Prison, there was an abun dance of negative models that supported abusive behavior. Turning the power of social models around to enhance positive acts can be as effective in achieving the opposite, desirable outcomes. Researchers have found that altruistic role models increase the likelihood that those around them will engage in positive, prosocial behavior. Here is just a sampling of findings: social role models have been shown to increase donations to the Salvation Army; to promote helping a stranger with a flat tire; to lower rates of aggression and promote nonviolent responses; to re duce littering; and to increase donating money to poor children and a willingness to share one's resources with others.1 3 But one word of advice: Remember to practice what you preach. Models persuade far more effectively than words. For example, in one set of experiments, children were exposed to an adult model that preached either greed or charity to them in a persuasive sermon. However, that adult then went on to practice either greedy or charitable actions. The results showed that the children were more likely to do what the model did than what the model had said.1 4 The wisdom of the Talmudic scholars previously mentioned is consistent with another social influence principle underlying our reverse-Milgram experi ment: Give someone an identity label of the kind that you would like them to have as someone who will then do the action you want to elicit from them. When you tell a person that he or she is helpful, altruistic, and kind, that person is more likely to do helpful, altruistic, and kind behaviors for others. In the Stanford Prison Experiment, we randomly assigned young men to the roles of prisoner and guard, and they soon took on the manners and the behaviors of those roles. So, too, if we tell someone that he or she is a helpful person, he or she will take on the manners and actions consistent with that identity label. For example, researchers have found that telling someone that he or she is "a generous person" increases compliance with a request to make a large contribution to prevent multiple scle rosis: giving people feedback that they are kind makes them more likely to help someone who has dropped a large number of cards; and those given a salient identity as "blood donors" are more likely to continue to donate their own blood to a stranger whom they don't expect ever to know or meet.1 5 One of the great advantages of our species is the ability to explore and under stand our social world and then to use what we know to make our lives better. Throughout this book, we have seen the power of the situation to produce evil. I now argue that we can take those same basic principles and use the power of the situation to produce virtue. I fear for the future of humanity if my argument on this point is a failure or if I fail in making my argument acceptable to you. Might I suggest that you take a small step today in carrying out the reverse-Milgram ex periment in your own life? I think you are just the person to do it and to serve as a role model for others in transforming our world to one with a more positive fu ture. If not you, then who? A Ten-step Program to Resist Unwanted Influences If we consider some of the social psychological principles that fostered the evils we saw during the course of our journey, then once again—as we have just done in constructing the Goodness Generator example—let us use variants of those principles to get people to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative in their lives. Given the range of different types of influence, it would be necessary to tailor resistance to each type. Combating wrong dissonant commitments requires different tactics from opposing compliance-gaining strategies used on us. Con fronting persuasive speeches and powerful communicators forces us to use differ ent principles than we need for dealing with those who would dehumanize us or deindividuate us. Ways of undercutting groupthink are also different from ways of modifying the impact of intense recruiters. I have developed such a compendium for you; however, it offers more depth and specifics than is possible to deal with in this chapter. The solution is to make it all available to you free, online in the special website developed as a companion to this book:w w w . L u c i f e r E f f e c t . c o m. That way, you can read it at your leisure, take notes, check out the reference sources on which it is based, and contemplate sce narios in which you will put these resistance strategies into practice in your life. Also, after you have encountered a particular social influence tactic used on you or on others you know, you can turn to this handy guide for solutions about what to do next time around to be in a better position to master that challenge. Here is my ten-step program for resisting the impact of undesirable social in fluences and at the same time promoting personal resilience and civic virtue. It uses ideas that cut across various influence strategies and provides simple, effec tive modes of dealing with them. The key to resistance lies in development of the three Ss: self-awareness, situational sensitivity, and street smarts. You will see how they are central to many of these general strategies of resistance. "I made a mistake!" Let's start out by encouraging admission of our mistakes, first to ourselves, then to others. Accept the dictum that to err is human. You have made an error in judgment; your decision was wrong. You had every reason to be lieve it was right when you made it, but now you know you were wrong. Say the six magic words: "I'm sorry" ; "I apologize" ; "Forgive me. " Say to yourself that you will learn from your mistakes, grow better from them. Don't continue to put your money, time, and resources into bad investments. Move on. Doing so openly re duces the need to justify or rationalize our mistakes and thereby to continue to give support to bad or immoral actions. Confession of error undercuts the motiva tion to reduce cognitive dissonance; dissonance evaporates when a reality check occurs. "Cutting bait" instead of resolutely "staying the course" when it is wrong has an immediate cost, but it always results in long-term gain. Consider how many years the Vietnam War continued long after top military and administra tion officials, such as Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, knew that the war was wrong and could not be won.1 6 How many thousands of lives were lost to such wrongheaded resistance, when acknowledging failure and error could have saved them? How much good could come to all of us were our political leaders able to admit their similar errors in Iraq? It is more than a political decision to "save face" by denying errors instead of saving soldiers' and civilian lives—it is a moral imperative. "I am mindful. " In many settings smart people do dumb things because they fail to attend to key features in the words or actions of influence agents and fail to no tice obvious situational clues. Too often we function on automatic pilot, using outworn scripts that have worked for us in the past, never stopping to evaluate whether they are appropriate in the here and now.1 7 Following the advice of the Harvard researcher Ellen Langer, we must transform our usual state of mindless inattention into "mindfulness," especially in new situations.18 Don't hesitate to fire a wake-up shot to your cortex; when we are in familiar situations old habits continue to rule even though they have become obsolete or wrong. We need to be reminded not to live our lives on automatic pilot but always to take a Zen moment to reflect on the meaning of the immediate situation, to think before acting. Never go mindlessly into situations where angels and sensible people fear to tread. For the best results, add "critical thinking" to mindfulness in your resistance.19 Ask for evidence to support assertions; demand that ideologies be sufficiently elabo rated to allow you to separate rhetoric from substance. Try to determine whether the recommended means ever justify potentially harmful ends. Imagine end game scenarios of the future consequences of any current practice. Reject simple solutions as quick fixes for complex personal or social problems. Support critical thinking from the earliest times in children's lives, alerting them to the deceptive TV ads, biased claims, and distorted perspectives being presented to them. Help them become wiser and warier knowledge consumers.2 0 "I am responsible." Taking responsibility for one's decisions and actions puts the actor in the driver's seat, for better or for worse. Allowing others to compromise their own responsibility, to diffuse it, makes them powerful backseat drivers and makes the car move recklessly ahead without a responsible driver. We become more resistant to undesirable social influence by always maintaining a sense of personal responsibility and by being willing to be held accountable for our ac tions. Obedience to authority is less blind to the extent that we are aware that dif fusion of responsibility merely disguises our individual complicity in the conduct of questionable actions. Your conformity to antisocial group norms is undercut to the extent that you do not allow displacement of responsibility, when you refuse to spread responsibility around the gang, the frat, the shop, the battalion, or the corporation. Always imagine a future time when today's deed will be on trial and no one will accept your pleas of "only following orders," or "everyone else was doing it." "I am Me, the best I can be." Do not allow others to deindividuate you, to put you into a category, a box, a slot, to turn you into an object. Assert your individuality; politely state your name and your credentials, loud and clear. Insist on the same behavior in others. Make eye contact (remove all eye-concealing sunglasses), and offer information about yourself that reinforces your unique identity. Find com mon ground with dominant others in influence situations and use it to enhance similarities. Anonymity and secrecy conceal wrongdoing and undermine the human connection. They can become the breeding grounds that generate dehu- manization, and, as we now know, dehumanization provides the killing ground for bullies, rapists, torturers, terrorists, and tyrants. Go a step beyond self-individuation. Work to change whatever social conditions make people feel anonymous. In stead, support practices that make others feel special, so that they too have a sense of personal value and self-worth. Never allow or practice negative stereotyping; words, labels, and jokes can be destructive, if they mock others. "I respect just authority but rebel against unjust authority." In every situation, work to distinguish between those in authority who, because of their expertise, wisdom, seniority, or special status, deserve respect, and the unjust authority fig ures who demand our obedience without having any substance. Many who as sume the mantel of authority are pseudo-leaders, false prophets, confidence men and women, self-promoters who should not be respected but rather disobeyed and openly exposed to critical evaluation. Parents, teachers, and religious leaders should play more active roles in teaching children this critical differentiation. They should be polite and courteous when such a stance is justified, yet be good, wise children by resisting those authorities who do not deserve their respect. Doing so will reduce our mindless obedience to self-proclaimed authorities whose priori ties are not in our best interests. "7 want group acceptance, but value my independence." The lure of acceptance into a desired social group is more powerful than that of the mythical golden ring in Lord oft h e Rings. The power of that desire for acceptance will make some peo ple do almost anything to be accepted and go to even further extremes to avoid re jection by the Group. We are indeed social animals, and usually our social connections benefit us and help us to achieve important goals that we could not achieve alone. However, there are times when conformity to a group norm is counterproductive to the social good. It is imperative to determine when to follow the norm and when to reject it. Ultimately, we live within our own minds, in soli tary splendor, and therefore we must be willing and ready to declare our indepen dence regardless of the social rejection it may elicit. It is not easy, especially for young people with a shaky self-image or adults whose self-image is isomorphic with that of their job. Pressures on them to be a "team player," to sacrifice per sonal morality for the good of the team, are nearly irresistible. What is required is that we step back, get outside opinions, and find new groups that will support our independence and promote our values. There will always be another, different, better group for us. "I will be more frame-vigilant." Who makes the frame becomes the artist, or the con artist. The way issues are framed is often more influential than the persuasive arguments within their boundaries. Moreover, effective frames can seem not to be frames at all, just sound bites, visual images, slogans, and logos. They influence us without our being conscious of them, and they shape our orientation toward the ideas or issues they promote. For example, voters who favored reducing estate tax benefits for the rich were urged to vote against a "death tax"; the tax was exactly the same, but its denning term was different. We desire things that are framed as being "scarce," even when they are plentiful. We are averse to things that are framed as potential losses and prefer what is presented to us as a gain, even when the ratio of positive to negative prognoses is the same.2 1 We don't want a 40 per cent chance of losing X over Y, but we do want the 60 percent chance of gaining Y over X. The linguist George Lakoff clearly shows in his writings that it is crucial to be aware of frame power and to be vigilant in order to offset its insidious influ ence on our emotions, thoughts, and votes.22 "I will balance my time perspective." We can be led to do things that are not really what we believe in when we allow ourselves to become trapped in an ex panded present moment. When we stop relying on our sense of past commit ments and our sense of future liabilities, we open ourselves to situational temptations to engage in Lord of the Fliese xc e sse s. By not "going with the flow" when others around you are being abusive or out of control, you are relying on a temporal perspective that stretches beyond present-oriented hedonism or present-oriented fatalism. You are likely to engage in a cost-benefit analysis of your actions in terms of their future consequences. Or you may resist by being sufficiently conscious of a past time frame that contains your personal values and standards. By developing a balanced time perspective in which past, present, and future can be called into action depending on the situation and task at hand, you will be in a better position to act responsibly and wisely than when your time per spective is biased toward reliance on only one or two time frames. Situational power is weakened when past and future combine to contain the excesses of the present.23 For example, research indicates that righteous Gentiles who helped to hide Dutch Jews from the Nazis did not engage in the kind of rationalizing their neighbors did in generating reasons fornot helping. These heroes depended upon moral structures derived from their past and never lost sight of a future time when they would look back on this terrible situation and be forced to ask them selves whether they had done the right thing when they chose not to succumb to fear and social pressure.24 "7 will not sacrifice personal or civic freedoms for the illusion of security." The need for security is a powerful determinant of human behavior. We can be manip ulated into engaging in actions that are alien to us when faced with alleged threats to our security or the promise of security from danger. More often than not, influence peddlers gain power over us by offering a Faustian contract: You will be safe from harm if you will just surrender some of your freedom, either per sonal or civic, to that authority. The Mephistophelian tempter will argue that his power to save you depends upon all the people making small sacrifices of this lit tle right or that small freedom. Reject that deal. Never sacrifice basic personal freedoms for the promise of security because the sacrifices are real and immediate and the security is a distant illusion. This is as true in traditional marital arrangements as it is in the commitment of good citizens to the interests of their nation when its leader promises personal safety and national security at the cost of a col lective sacrifice of suspending laws, privacy, and freedoms. Erich Fromm's classic Escape from Freedom reminds us that this is the first step a fascist leader takes even in a nominally democratic society. "I can oppose unjust systems. " Individuals falter in the face of the intensity of the systems we have described: the military and prison systems as well as those of gangs, cults, fraternities, corporations, and even dysfunctional families. But individual resistance in concert with that of others of the same mind and resolve can combine to make a difference. The next section in this chapter will portray individuals who changed systems by being willing to take the risk of blowing the whistle on corruption within them or by constructively working to change them. Resistance may involve physically removing one's self from a total situation in which all information, rewards, and punishments are controlled. It may involve challenging the groupthink mentality and being able to document all allegations of wrongdoing. It may involve getting help from other authorities, counselors, in vestigative reporters, or revolutionary compatriots. Systems have enormous power to resist change and withstand even righteous assault. Here is one place where individual acts of heroism to challenge unjust systems and their bad barrel makers are best performed by soliciting others to join one's cause. The system can redefine individual opposition as delusional, a pair of opponents as sharing a folie à deux, but with three on your side, you become a force of ideas to be reckoned with. This ten-step program is really only a starter kit toward building individual resistance and communal resilience against undesirable influences and illegiti mate attempts at persuasion. As mentioned, a fuller set of recommendations and relevant research-based references can be found on the Lucifer Effect website under"Resisting Influence Guide." Before moving to the final stop in our journey, celebrating heroes and hero ism, I would like to add two final general recommendations. First, be discouraged from venal sins and small transgressions, such as cheating, lying, gossiping, spreading rumors, laughing at racist or sexist jokes, teasing, and bullying. They can become stepping-stones to more serious falls from grace. They serve as mini- facilitators for thinking and acting destructively against your fellow creatures. Second, moderate your in-group biases. That means accepting that your group is special but at the same time respecting the diversity that other groups offer. Fully appreciate the wonder of human variety and its variability. Assuming such a per spective will help you to reduce group biases that lead to derogating others, to prejudice and stereotyping, and to the evils of dehumanization. A young woman challenges an authority older than she, forcing him to recognize his complicity in reprehensible deeds that are being perpetrated on his watch. Her confrontation goes further and helps to terminate the abuse of innocent prisoners by their guards. Does her action qualify as "heroic," given that scores of others who had witnessed the prisoners' distress all failed to act against the system when they realized its excesses? We would like to celebrate heroism and heroes as special acts by special peo ple. However, most people who are held up to this higher plane insist that what they did was not special, was really what everyone should have done in the situa tion. They refuse to consider themselves "heroes." Maybe such a reaction comes from the ingrained notion we all have—that heroes are supermen and -women, a cut or more above the common breed. Perhaps more than their modesty is at work. Perhaps, rather, it is our general misconception of what it takes to be heroic. Let's now look at the best in human nature and the transformation of the or dinary into the heroic. We will examine alternative conceptions and definitions of heroism and propose a way to classify different kinds of heroic action; then elabo rate on some examples that fall into these categories; and finally design a table of contrasts between the banalities of evil and of heroism. But first, let's go back to the person and the act that started this section and ended the Stanford Prison Ex periment. Recall (from chapter 8) that Christina Maslach was a recently graduated Ph.D. from the Stanford Psychology Department with whom I had become ro mantically involved. When she saw a chain gang of prisoners being carted to the toilet with bags over their heads as guards shouted orders at them and she wit nessed my apparent indifference to their suffering, she exploded. Her later account of what she felt at the time, and how she interpreted her actions, tells us a good deal about the complex phenomenon of heroism.25 What he [Zimbardo] got was an incredibly emotional out-burst from me (I am usually a rather contained person). I was angry and frightened and in tears. I said something like,"What you are doing to those boys is a terrible thing!" So what is the important story to emerge from my role as "the Termi nator" of the Stanford Prison Experiment? I think there are several themes I would like to highlight. First, however, let me say what the story is not. Contrary to the standard (and trite) American myth, the Stanford Prison Experiment is not a story about the lone individual who defies the majority. Rather, it is a story about the majority—about how everyone who had some contact with the prison study (participants, researchers, observers, consultants, family, and friends) got so completely sucked into it. The power of the situation to overwhelm personality and the best of intentions is the key story line here. So why was my reaction so different? The answer, I think, lies in two facts: I was a late entrant into the situation, and I was an "outsider." Un like everyone else, I had not been a consenting participant in the study. Unlike everyone else, I had no socially defined role within that prison con text. Unlike everyone else, I was not there every day, being carried along as the situation changed and escalated bit by bit. Thus the situation I entered at the end of the week was not truly the "same" as it was for everyone else—I lacked their prior consensual history, place, and perspective. For them, the situation was construed as being still within the range of nor malcy; for me, it was not—it was a madhouse. As an outsider, I did not have the option of specific social rules that I could disobey, so my dissent took a different form—of challenging the situation itself. This challenge has been seen by some as a heroic action, but at the time it did not feel especially heroic. To the contrary, it was a very scary and lonely experience being the deviant, doubting my judgment of both situations and people, and maybe even my worth as a research social psychologist. Christina then raises a profound qualification. For an act of personal defi ance to be worthy of being considered "heroic," it must attempt to change the sys tem, to correct an injustice, to right a wrong: I had to consider also in the back of my mind what I might do if Phil con tinued with the SPE despite my determined challenge to him. Would I have gone to the higher authorities, the department chair, dean, or Human Subjects Committee, to blow the whistle on it? I can't say for sure, and I am glad it never came to that. But in retrospect, that action would have been essential in translating my values into meaningful action. When one com plains about some injustice and the complaint only results in cosmetic modifications while the situation flows on unchanged, then that dissent and disobedience are not worth much. She expands on a point that was raised in our discussion of the Milgram re search, where it was argued that verbal dissent was only ego balm for the "teacher," to make him feel better about the terrible things he was doing to his "learner." Behavioral disobedience was necessary to challenge authority. However, in the Milgram experiment case there was never disobedience more significant than a silent retreat as each teacher-perpetrator exited from the distressing situa tion without changing it in any meaningful way. Christina's take on what the heroic minority should have done after they opposed the authority figure has never been framed so eloquently: What did it matter to the classic original Milgram study that one third of the participants disobeyed and refused to go all the way? Suppose it was not an experiment; suppose Milgram's "cover story" were true, that re searchers were studying the role of punishment in learning and memory and would be testing about one thousand participants in a host of experi ments to answer their practical questions about the educational value of judiciously administered punishment. If you disobeyed, refused to con tinue, got paid, and left silently, your heroic action would not prevent the next 9 9 9 participants from experiencing the same distress. It would be an isolated event without social impact unless it included going to the next step of challenging the entire structure and assumptions of the research. Disobedience by the individual must get translated into systemic disobedi ence that forces change in the situation or agency itself and not just in some operating conditions. It is too easy for evil situations to co-opt the in tentions of good dissidents or even heroic rebels by giving them medals for their deeds and a gift certificate for keeping their opinions to themselves. What Is the Stuff of Heroism and Heroes? When does a person who engages in an action that qualifies as a heroic act, on the basis of criteria we will lay out next, not become a "hero"? Further, under what circumstances might her or his act be considered not heroic but cowardly? Christina's action had the positive consequence of terminating a situation that had spiraled out of control and began to do more harm than had been intended at its inception. She does not consider herself a hero because she was sim ply expressing her personal feelings and beliefs that were translated (by me as principal investigator) into the outcome she desired. She did not have to "blow the whistle" to higher authorities to intervene in order to stop the runaway experiment. Compare her condition to that of two potential heroes in that study, Prisoner Clay-416 and Prisoner "Sarge." Both of them openly defied the authority of the guards and suffered considerably for doing so. Clay's hunger strike and refusal to eat the sausages challenged the guards' complete control and should have rallied his peers to stand up for their rights. It did not. Sarge's refusal to utter public ob scenities despite the harassment by Guard "John Wayne" also should have been viewed as heroic defiance by his peers and rallied them not to yield to such abuse. It did not. Why not? In both cases, they acted alone, without sharing their values or intentions with the other prisoners, without asking for their support and recognition. Therefore, it was easy for the guards to label them "troublemakers" and to brand them as the culprits responsible for the guards' deprivations of the rest of the prisoners. Their acts could be considered heroic, but they cannot be considered heroes because they never acted to change the whole abusive system by bringing other dissidents on board. Another aspect of heroism is raised by their example. Heroism and heroic status are always social attributions. Someone other than the actor confers that honor on the person and the deed. There must be social consensus about the sig nificance and meaningful consequence of an act for it to be deemed heroic, and for its agent to be called a hero. Wait! Not so fast! A Palestinian suicide bomber who is killed in the act of murdering innocent Jewish civilians is given heroic sta tus in Palestine and demonic status in Israel. Similarly, aggressors may be con strued as heroic freedom fighters or as cowardly agents of terrorism, depending on who is conferring the attribution.26 This means that definitions of heroism are always culture-bound and time- bound. To this day. puppeteers enact the legend of Alexander the Great before children in remote villages of Turkey. In the towns where his command posts were set up and his soldiers intermarried with villagers, Alexander is a great hero, but in towns that were simply conquered on his relentless quest to rule the known world, Alexander is portrayed as a great villain, more than a thousand years after his death.2 7 What is more, to become part of any culture's history a hero's acts must be recorded and preserved by those who are literate and who have the power to write history or to pass it on in an oral tradition. Poor, indigenous, colonized, illiterate people have few widely acknowledged heroes because there is no record of their acts. Defining Heroes and Heroism Heroism has never been systematically investigated in the behavioral sciences.2 8 Heroes and heroism seem to be best explored by literature, art, myth, and cinema. Multiple data sources document the ills of human existence: homicides and sui cides, crime rates, prison populations, poverty levels, and the base rate of schizo phrenia in a given population. Similar quantitative data for positive human activities are not easy to come by. We don't keep records of how many acts of charity, kindness, or compassion occur in a community in the course of a year. Only occasionally do we learn of a heroic act. Such apparently low base rates lead us to believe that heroism is rare and that heroes are the truly exceptional. Never theless, renewed interest in the importance of addressing the good in human na ture has arisen from the new research and empirical rigor of the Positive Psychology movement. Spearheaded by Martin Seligman and his colleagues, this movement has created a paradigm shift toward accentuating the positive in human nature and minimizing psychology's long-held focus on the negative.29 Currently accepted conceptions of heroism emphasize primarily its physical risk without adequately addressing other components of heroic acts, such as no bility of purpose and nonviolent acts of personal sacrifice. Emanating from the analyses of human virtues by positive psychologists is a set of six major categories of virtuous behavior that enjoy almost universal recognition across cultures. The classification includes: wisdom and knowledge, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence. Of these, courage, justice, and transcendence are the central characteristics of heroism. Transcendence includes beliefs and actions that go beyond the limits of self. Heroism focuses us on what is right with human nature. We care about heroic stories because they serve as powerful reminders that people are capable of resisting evil, of not giving in to temptations, of rising above mediocrity, and of heeding the call to action and to service when others fail to act. Many modern dictionaries describe heroism as "gallantry" or "bravery," and these in turn are described as courage, and courage returns us, once again, to heroics. However, older dictionaries were at pains to break down the concept, of fering subtle distinctions among words used to describe heroic acts. For example, the1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary associates heroism with courage, bravery, fortitude, intrepidity, gallantry, and valor.30 As part of the entry for each of these words, the dictionary's editor tried to ensure that the reader understood how they differed. Courage is that firmness of spirit and swell of soul, that meets danger with out fear. Bravery is daring and impetuous courage, like that of one who has the re ward continually in view and displays his courage in daring acts. Fortitude has often been styled "passive courage" and consists in the habit of encountering danger and enduring pain with a steadfast and unbroken spirit. Valor is courage exhibited in war (against living opponents) and cannot be applied to single com bat; it is never used figuratively. Intrepidity is firm, unshaken courage. Gallantry is adventurous courage, which courts danger with a high and cheerful spirit. The dictionary goes on to elaborate, in footnote examples, that a man may show courage, fortitude, or intrepidity in the common pursuits of life, as well as in war. Valor, bravery, and gallantry are displayed in the contest of arms. Valor be longs only to battle; bravery may be shown in single combat; gallantry may be manifested either in attack or defense; but in the latter case, the defense is usually turned into an attack. Heroism may call into exercise all these modifications of courage. It is a contempt of danger, not from ignorance or inconsiderate levity but from a noble devotion to some great cause and a just confidence of being able to meet danger in the spirit of such a cause.3 1 Military Heroes Historically, most examples of heroism have emphasized acts of courage that in volved bravery, gallantry, and risk of serious physical injury or death. According to the psychologists Alice Eagly and Selwyn Becker, the combination of courage and nobility of purpose is more likely to result in someone being considered a hero than just courage alone.3 2 The idea of nobility in heroism is often tacit and elu sive. Generally the risk of life and limb or of personal sacrifice is much more con spicuous. The heroic ideal of the war hero has served as a theme from ancient epics to modern journalism. Achilles, commander of Greek forces in the Trojan War, is often held up as an archetypal war hero.3 3 Achilles' engagement in combat was based on his commit ment to a military code that defined his actions as gallant. Yet, while his acts were heroic, his overriding motivation was the pursuit of glory and renown that would make him immortal in the minds of men after his death. The historian Lucy Hughes-Hallett argued that "A hero may sacrifice himself so that others might live, or so that he himself may live forever in other's memo ries.... Achilles will give anything, including life itself, to assert his own unique ness, to endow his particular life with significance, and to escape oblivion."34 The desire to risk one's physical being in exchange for lasting recognition across gen erations may seem a relic from another era, yet it still warrants serious consider ation in our evaluation of modern heroic behavior. This historical view of the hero also suggests that there is something innately special about heroes. Hughes-Hallett wrote, "There are men, wrote Aristotle, so godlike, so exceptional, that they naturally, by right of their extraordinary gifts, transcend all moral judgment or constitutional control: 'There is no law which embraces men of that caliber: they are themselves law.' " One definition of hero ism arises from this Aristotelian conception: "It is the expression of a superb spirit. It is associated with courage and integrity and a disdain for the cramping compromises by means of which the unheroic majority manage their lives— attributes that are widely considered noble.... [Heroes are] capable of something momentous—the defeat of an enemy, the salvation of a race, the preservation of a political system, the completion of a voyage—which no one else [italics added] could have accomplished."35 This concept of conspicuous service that distinguishes a warrior from his peers persists to this day in our military services. The U.S. Department of Defense recognizes heroism by awarding a number of medals for acts considered to be above and beyond the call of duty. The highest of these is the Medal of Honor, which has been awarded to about 3,400 soldiers.36 Rules governing the Medal of Honor emphasize the role of gallantry and intrepidity, the willingness to enter into the heart of a battle without flinching that clearly distinguishes the indi vidual's performance from that of his fellow soldiers.37 Similarly, the British mili tary awards the Victoria Cross as its highest medal for heroism, defined as valorous conduct in the face of an enemy.38 The ideal of the military hero is clearly echoed in other contexts, and it in cludes those who routinely risk their health and lives in the line of duty, such as police officers, firefighters, and paramedics. The insignia worn by firefighters is a version of the Maltese Cross, a symbolic acknowledgment of the creed of heroic service that Knights of Malta were sworn to live by in the Middle Ages. The Mal tese Cross in its original form remains a symbol of gallantry for the military in the British Victoria Cross, and from 1 9 1 9 to 1 9 4 2 in the U.S. Navy's version of the Medal of Honor, the Tiffany Cross. Civilian Heroes If Achilles is the archetypal war hero, Socrates holds the same rank as a civic hero. His teaching was so threatening to the authorities of Athens that he be came the target of government censure and was eventually tried and sentenced to death for refusing to renounce his views. When we equate the military heroism of Achilles with the civil heroism of Socrates, it becomes clear that while heroic acts are usually made in service to others or the fundamental moral principles of a so ciety, the hero often works at the nexus of constructive and destructive forces. Hughes-Hallett suggests that "the wings of opportunity are fledged with the feathers of death." She proposes that heroes expose themselves to mortal danger in pursuit of immortality. Both Achilles and Socrates, powerful exemplars of heroism, go to their deaths in service of the divergent codes of conduct by which they chose to live. Socrates' choice to die for his ideals serves as an eternal normative reminder of the power of civil heroism. We are told that at the hour of Socrates' sentencing, he invoked the image of Achilles in defending his decision to die rather than to submit to an arbitrary law that would silence his opposition to the system he op posed. His example brings to mind the similar heroism of the U.S. Revolutionary War patriot Nathan Hale, whose defiant dying stand will later be used to illustrate one type of heroic action. Consider the daring deed of the "unknown rebel" who confronted a line of seventeen oncoming tanks that were aimed at smashing the freedom rally of the Chinese Democracy Movement at Tiananmen Square, Peking, on June 5, 1 9 8 9 . This young man stopped the deadly advance of a column of tanks for thirty min utes and then climbed atop the lead tank, reportedly demanding of its driver, "Why are you here? My city is in chaos because of you. Go back, turn around and stop killing my people." The anonymous "Tank Man" became an instant interna tional symbol of resistance; he faced the ultimate test of personal courage with honor and delineated forever the proud image of an individual standing in defi ance against a military juggernaut. The image of that confrontation was broad cast around the world and made him a universal hero. There are conflicting stories about what happened to him as a consequence of his act, some reporting his imprisonment, others his execution, others his anonymous escape. Regardless of what became of him, his status as a civil hero was acknowledged when the Tank Man was included in the list ofTim e magazine's 1 0 0 most influential people of the twentieth century (April 1998). The physical risk demanded of civilians who act heroically differs from a sol dier's or first responder's heroic acts, because professionals are bound by duty and a code of conduct and because they are trained. Thus, the standard for duty- bound and non-duty-bound physical-risk heroism may differ, but the style of en gagement and potential sacrifice the action demands is very similar. Civilian heroes who perform acts that involve immediate physical risk are recognized in awards, such as the Carnegie Hero Award in the United States and the George Cross in Britain.3 9 British and Australian authorities also recognize heroic actions that involve groups.40 For example, Australia recognized "a group of students who tackled and restrained an armed offender after a crossbow attack on a fellow student at Tomaree High School, Salamander, New South Wales" in 2 0 0 5 by awarding a group bravery citation. The citation is, "For a collective act of bravery, by a group of persons in extraordinary circumstances, that is considered worthy of recognition." Once again, a seemingly simple concept is broadened from the behavior of a solitary hero to that of a collective hero, which we will con sider shortly. Physical-Risk Heroes Versus Social-Risk Heroes One definition offered by psychologists cites physical risk as the defining feature of heroes. For Becker and Eagly, heroes are "individuals who choose to take risks on behalf of one or more other people, despite the possibility of dying or suffering se rious physical consequences from these actions."41 Other motives for heroism, such as principle-driven heroism, are acknowledged but not elaborated on. It seems curious that psychologists would promote so narrow a prototype of hero ism and exclude other forms of personal risk that might qualify as heroic acts, such as risks to one's career, the possibility of imprisonment, or the loss of status. A challenge to their definition came from the psychologist Peter Martens, who noted that it singled out only heroes who stood for an idea or principle—the nobil ity component of heroism that betokens the Aristotelian hero among the proletariat.4 2 Senator John McCain, himself a hero who resisted giving any military infor mation in spite of being subjected to extreme torture, believes that the concept of heroism might be broadened beyond physical risk and suffering. McCain con tends that "the standard of courage remains, as I think it should, acts that risk life or limb or other very serious personal injuries for the sake of others or to uphold a virtue—a standard often upheld by battlefield heroics but one that is certainly not limited to martial valor."43 Each of these descriptions of heroic behavior equates the characteristics found in physical and civil heroism while pointing out critical differences between them. The various conceptions of heroism also roughly map onto ideas of courage, justice, and transcendence that Seligman and his colleagues developed as part of their classification system for virtues and strengths. For example, the virtue of courage is erected on four character strengths that include authenticity, bravery (roughly similar to intrepidity), persistence (similar to fortitude), and zest. Justice is noted as another virtue. Fairness, leadership, and teamwork are subsumed within this virtue. In practice, the concept of service to a noble cause or ideal is often ultimately a matter of justice, for example, the abolition of slavery. Finally, transcendence is another of the virtues that touches on heroism insofar as it is the strength that forces connection to the larger universe and gives meaning to our actions and existence. While not articulated in the literature on heroism, transcendence may be related to Webster's 1 9 1 3 conception of fortitude in heroic behavior. Transcendence may allow an individual involved in a heroic act to re main detached from the negative consequences, anticipated or revealed, that are associated with his or her behavior. In order to be heroic, one must rise above the immediate risks and perils that heroism necessarily entails, either by reframing the nature of the risks or by altering their significance relevant to "higher-order" values. A New Taxonomy of Heroism Stimulated by thinking about the heroic behaviors associated with the Stanford Prison Experiment, I began a fuller exploration of this intriguing topic in dia logues with my psychology colleague Zeno Franco. We first broadened the con ception of heroic risk, then proposed an enhanced definition of heroism, and finally generated a new taxonomy of heroism. It seemed apparent that risk or sac rifice should not be limited to an immediate threat to physical integrity or death. The risk component in heroism can be any serious threat to the quality of life. For example, heroism might include persistent behavior in the face of known long- term threats to health or serious financial consequences; to the loss of social or economic status; or to ostracism. Because this broadens the definition of heroism considerably, it also seemed necessary to rule out some forms of apparent heroism that might, in fact, not be heroic but "pseudoheroic." In his book The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America, Daniel Boorstin deflates the modern confluence of heroism with celebrity. "Two centuries ago when a great man appeared, people looked for God's purpose in him; today we look for his press agent Among the ironic frustrations of our age, none is more tantalizing than these efforts of ours to satisfy our extravagant expectations of human greatness. Vainly do we make scores of artificial celebrities grow where nature planted only a single hero."4 4 Another example of what heroism isnot can be seen in a children's book on American heroes that offers fifty examples.45 Its stories of heroism actually point to a group of activities or roles that are necessary but insufficient to warrant true heroic status. All of the examples are role models upheld as worthy of emulation, but only a fraction meet the definitional requirements of hero status. Not all mav ericks, warriors, or saints are heroes. The hero must embody a combination of de liberate nobility and potential sacrifice. Sometimes individuals are accorded hero status when not deserved by their actions, but they become so for some purpose of an agency or government. These "pseudoheroes" are media creations promoted by powerful systemic forces.46 Heroes are rewarded in various ways for their heroic deeds, but if they antici pate secondary gain at the time of their act they must necessarily be disqualified from heroic status. However, if secondary gains are accrued subsequent to their act without prior anticipation of or motivation to attain them, the act still quali fies as heroic. The point is that a heroic act issoc ioc entric and not egocentric. Heroism can be defined as having four key features: (a) it must be engaged in voluntarily; (b) it must involve a risk or potential sacrifice, such as the threat of death, an immediate threat to physical integrity, a long-term threat to health, or the potential for serious degradation of one's quality of life; (c) it must be con ducted in service to one or more other people or the community as a whole; and (d) it must be without secondary, extrinsic gain anticipated at the time of the act. Heroism in service of a noble idea is usually not as dramatic as physical-risk heroism. However, physical-risk heroism is often the result of a snap decision, a moment of action. Further, physical-risk heroism usually involves a probability, not the certainty, of serious injury or death. The individual performing the act is generally removed from the situation after a short period of time. On the other hand, it might be argued that some forms of civil heroism are more heroic than physical risk forms of heroism. People such as Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Dr. Albert Schweitzer willingly and knowingly submitted to the tri als of heroic civil activity day after day for much of their adult lives. In this sense, the risk associated with physical-risk heroism is better termedperil, while the risk involved in civil heroism is considered sacrifice. Sacrifice entails costs that are not time-limited. Typically, civil heroes have the opportunity to carefully review their actions and to weigh the consequences of their decisions. Each might have chosen to retreat from the cause he champi oned because the cost of his or her actions had become too burdensome, yet they did not. Each of these individuals risked their quality of life on many levels. Their activities had serious consequences: arrest, imprisonment, torture, and risk to family members, and even assassination. Returning to Webster's 1 9 1 3 definition of heroism, we may say that uphold ing the highest civil ideas in the face of danger is the core concept of heroism. Taking physical risk is only one means of meeting the dangers that can be en countered in performing heroic acts. We are reminded that heroism "is a con tempt of danger, not from ignorance or inconsiderate levity, but from a noble devotion to some great cause [italics added], and a just confidence of being able to meet danger in the spirit of such a cause." The danger may be immediately life threatening, or it may be insidious. Consider one of Nelson Mandela's statements at the beginning of his twenty-seven-year-long imprisonment for opposing the tyranny of apartheid: During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to the struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free soci ety in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportu nities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.47 Based on this more flexible definition of heroism, Zeno Franco and I created a working taxonomy that includes twelve subcategories of heroism, distinguish ing two subcategories within the military, physical-risk heroic type and ten sub categories with the civilian, social-risk type. In addition, the taxonomy identifies discriminating characteristics of each of the dozen hero types, as well as the form of risk they encounter, and gives a few examples drawn from historical and con temporary sources. The taxonomy was developed a priori, based on reasoning and literature re views. It is neither empirically grounded nor fixed but is rather a working model that is open to modification by new research findings and readers' qualifications and additions. It will be obvious that the subcategories, definitions, risks, and ex emplars offered are all deeply culturally and temporally bound. They reflect a largely European-American, middle-class, adult, postmodern perspective. Incor porating other perspectives will surely expand and enrich it. A Sampling of Hero Profiles Putting some flesh on the bare bones of heroism both humanizes the conception and illustrates its many forms. I will profile a dozen individuals that are particu larly interesting or that I know personally. Having argued that situations make heroes, we can use some major situational markers to cluster some of them, such as apartheid, McCarthyism, Vietnam and Iraq wars, and the Jonestown mass suicides/murders. Apartheid Heroes At the vanguard of efforts to promote freedom and human dignity are special kinds of heroes who are willing to engage in lifelong battles against systemic op pression. In recent times, Mohandas Gandhi and Nelson Mandela took heroic paths that led to their engaging and dismantling two systems of apartheid. In 1 9 1 9 , Gandhi began passive resistance to Britain's authority over India. He was imprisoned for two years. Over the next twenty years, he struggled for the libera tion of India, for equal treatment of members of the Hindu class system, and for religious tolerance. World War II delayed the advent of India's self-determination, but in 1 9 4 8 the country finally celebrated its independence from Great Britain. Gandhi was assassinated shortly thereafter, but he became the exemplar of en during nonviolent resistance to oppression.48 South Africa developed a formalized, legalized apartheid structure in 1948 that prevailed until 1 9 9 4 and that virtually enslaved the native black population. Nelson Mandela was tried for inciting strikes and protest meetings and on other charges in 1 9 6 2 . He spent the next twenty-seven years incarcerated in the noto rious Robben Island prison. During the time he was imprisoned, Mandela and his fellow political prisoners used the prison system itself to create both a real and symbolic resistance situation that served to galvanize the people of South Africa and the world to end the system of apartheid. He was able to transform the self- generated identities of several generations of prisoners by leading them to under stand that they were political prisoners acting with dignity to support a just cause. But in the process of doing so, he helped to transform the attitudes and be liefs of many of the guards, and to challenge the entire prison system as well.49 Anti-McCarthyism Heroes The menace of global communism was from the 1950s until the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall what the fear of global terrorism is now: it dictated national policy, it fomented wars, and it entailed an enormous waste of resources and lives. It is important to remember McCarthyism because it was a form of repressive, authoritarian quasi-government control that occurred in a mature democracy. Those who defused the anti-Communist hysteria propelled by Senator Joe McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee in the United States never received the enduring, universal recognition that Gandhi or Mandela enjoyed. Nevertheless, their opposition to injustice meets our definitional criteria. At the height of the McCarthy era, the University of California initiated a "loyalty oath" that all faculty members were required to sign. A psychology pro fessor, Edward Tolman, refused to sign the oath and led a small group of profes sors who opposed the policy. On July 18, 1950, Tolman submitted a letter of protest to the president of the University of California, Robert Sproul. In August of that year, the Regents of the University of California fired thirty-one professors, including Tolman, for their refusal to sign the loyalty oath. Later that month, the professors filed suit for reinstatement under Tolman vs. Underhill. In 1952, the State Supreme Court found in favor of these nonsigners. During the loyalty oath dispute, Tolman encouraged other young faculty members to sign the oath and leave the fight against it to him and others who could (financially) afford to con tinue the struggle. Tolman, a soft-spoken academician with no prior history of po litical involvement, became deeply respected for his courageous stance by many professors and staff in the University of California system.50 Other heroes of the McCarthy era included investigative journalists such as George Seldes and I. F. Stone and the cartoonists Herb Block and Daniel Fitz- patrick. During this period, I. F. Stone's name was listed on a Senate Internal Se curity Subcommittee list of eighty-two "most active and typical sponsors of Communist-front organizations." As a consequence of being blacklisted, Stone was forced to sue in order to get his press card.5 1 Moving from the imaginary Communist menace that faced the United States to the palpable daily menace and cruelty of national domination by a Communist regime, we meet Vaclav Havel. Havel is extraordinary in the sense that the Dalai Lama is, and is ordinary in the sense that a former stagehand and writer is. How ever, he was the architect of the "Velvet Revolution" that toppled the Czech Com munist regime in 1989. Before finally convincing the government that its totalitarian brand of communism was destructive of all that Czechoslovakia stood for, Havel was imprisoned repeatedly for nearly five years. He was a leading figure in drafting the Charter 77 manifesto and organizing the Czechoslovak human rights movement of intellectuals, students, and workers. As a passionate supporter of nonviolent resistance, Havel is famous for having articulated the concept of "post-totalitarianism," which challenged his countrymen to believe they had the power to change a repressive regime that they inadvertently upheld by passively submitting to its authority. In letters he wrote from prison to his wife and in speeches, Havel made it evident that the first step in overthrowing an un acceptable social and political order is for citizens to realize that they are comfort ably living within a lie. This unpretentious, shy man was made president by the Federal Assembly, and when the Communist government finally yielded to the power of the people, Vaclav Havel was democratically elected the first president of the new Czech Republic. He continues now. as a famous private citizen, to oppose political injustice and to support efforts for global peace.5 2 Vietnam War Heroes Two very different kinds of military heroism under conditions of extreme duress appear in the actions of James Stockdale and Hugh Thompson. Stockdale, a for mer Stanford colleague at the Hoover Institute (and guest lecturer in my course on mind control), rose to the rank of vice admiral before his death at eighty-one in July 2 0 0 5 . He is considered by many to be one of the clearest examples of mili tary heroism in the twentieth century for having endured extreme torture ses sions repeatedly over seven years of imprisonment and never giving in to his Viet Cong captors. His key to survival was relying on his earlier training in philosophy, which enabled him to call to mind the teaching of the Stoic philosophers, notably Epictetus and Seneca. Stockdale's focus enabled him to distance himself psycho logically from the torture and pain that he could not control and galvanize his thinking around those things he could control in his prison surroundings. He cre ated a self-willed code of conduct for himself and others imprisoned with him. Survival under conditions of extreme trauma requires that one's will never be broken by the enemy, as when Epictetus was tortured by Roman rulers thousands of years earlier.53 Hugh Thompson is distinguished for his extreme courage in a nearly lethal battle—against his own soldiers! One of the most terrible events in the history of the U.S. military was the My Lai massacre, which took place on March 1 6 , 1 9 6 8 , during the Vietnam War. An estimated 504 Vietnamese civilians were rounded up and killed in Son My village (My Lai 4 and My Khe 4) by American soldiers and their Charlie Company officers, Captain Ernest Medina and Lieutenant William Calley, Jr.5 4 In response to military losses from ambushes and booby traps, the military command issued an order for the destruction of "Pinkville," a code name for a Communist Viet Cong village. Finding no enemy warriors there, the soldiers gathered up all the inhabitants of the village—elderly men, woman, children, and babies—and machine-gunned them to death (some they burned alive, raped, and scalped). While this massacre was unfolding, a helicopter, piloted by Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, Jr., which was flying overhead to provide air cover, set down to help a group of Vietnamese civilians who appeared to still be alive. As Thompson and his two-man crew returned to their helicopter after having set smoke signal markers, they saw Captain Medina and other soldiers running over to shoot the wounded. Thompson flew his helicopter back over My Lai village, where soldiers were about to blow up a hut full of wounded Vietnamese. He ordered the mas sacre to stop and threatened to open fire with the helicopter's heavy machine guns on any American soldier or officer who refused his order. Although the commissioned lieutenants outranked Thompson, he did not let rank get in the way of morality. When he ordered that civilians be taken out of the bunker, a lieutenant countered that they would be taken out with grenades. Re fusing to back down, Thompson replied, "I can do better than that. Keep your people in place. My guns are on you." He then ordered two other helicopters to fly in for medical evacuation of the eleven wounded Vietnamese. His plane returned to rescue a baby he had spotted still clinging to her dead mother. Only after Thomp son reported the massacre to his superiors were cease-fire orders given.55 For his dramatic intervention and the media coverage it received, Thompson became persona non grata in the military and for punishment was required to fly the most dangerous helicopter missions again and again. He was shot down five times, breaking his backbone and suffering lasting psychological scars from his nightmare experience. It took thirty years before the military recognized his heroic deeds and those of his companions, Glenn Andreotta and Lawrence Col- burn, with the Soldier's Medal for Heroism, the Army's highest award for bravery not involving direct contact with the enemy. Hugh Thompson died in January 2 0 0 6 . (Paradoxically, Lieutenant Calley was treated as a hero in some quarters, even with a song in his honor that crackedB illb oard's Top 40 in 19 7 1 .5 6 ) Whistle-Blowers in the Vietnam and Iraq Wars and Women on the Home Front Less dramatic forms of heroism occur when an individual verbally confronts a system with news it does not want to hear, in this case of the complicity of officers and enlisted men in the abuse and murder of civilians. Two such soldiers are Ron Ridenhour, who exposed the My Lai massacre, and Joe Darby, the Army Reservist whose heroic action exposed the Abu Ghraib abuses and tortures. Although the officers involved in the My Lai episode sought to cover up the atrocity, Ron Ridenhour, a twenty-two-year-old private newly sent to Vietnam, did all he could to uncover it. He had heard about the event from five eyewitness accounts of soldiers who had been at the bloody scene, had independently inves tigated it in Vietnam, and had continued to do so after returning home. Riden hour sent a letter to President Nixon, members of Congress, and officials within the Department of Defense and the Department of the Army arguing that a pub lic investigation of the My Lai massacre was needed. In his letter, Ridenhour made it clear that "as a conscientious citizen I have no desire to besmirch the image of American servicemen in the eyes of the world." However, he insisted that an in vestigation was essential (a year after the incident). He was largely ignored, but persisted until his righteous cause was recognized. Ridenhour demonstrates the principled heroic stance in his letters to these officials: "I remain irrevocably per suaded that if you and I do truly believe in the principles of justice and equality for every man, however humble, before the law, that form the very backbone that this country is founded on, then we must press forward a widespread and public investigation of this matter with all our combined efforts."57 Following the exposé by a young investigative reporter, Seymour Hersh. who got valuable material from Ridenhour, a major investigation was ordered and its findings fill four volumes of the Peers Report, released on March 14, 1 9 7 0 . Al though up to twenty officers and enlisted men were identified as in various ways being involved in this massacre, only Lieutenant William Calley. Jr., was convicted and sentenced for the crimes. Although given a life sentence, his punishment was limited to a light term of three and a half years under house arrest, and he was later pardoned by the Secretary of the Army.58 Incidentally, Ridenhour went on to a career as a journalist, but he told me in conversation that he always felt dis trusted by many people in Washington, D.C. for having exposed the My Lai massacre. By now we know too well the events surrounding the abuses heaped upon prisoners at Abu Ghraib's hard site, Tier 1 A, by MPs and others involved in intel ligence gathering. This scandalous behavior was brought to a sudden halt when dramatic images of the torture, humiliation, and violence were forced upon the attention of military commanders. It was a most ordinary young man who did an extraordinary thing that caused the halt to the horror. What he did took great personal fortitude, in the opinion of my military contacts, because he was a lowly Army Reserve specialist who put a superior officer on notice that something horrendous was happening on his watch. When Darby first looked at the pictures on a CD that buddy Charles Graner had given him, he thought they were pretty funny. "To me, that pyramid of naked Iraqis, when you first see it, is hilarious When it came up out of nowhere like that, I just laughed," Darby recalled in a recent interivew{sic}.59 However, as he viewed more of them—the sexually explicit ones, the ones showing the beatings, and the others—his affect shifted. "It just didn't sit right with me. I couldn't stop thinking about it. After about three days, I made a decision to turn the pictures in." It was a tough decision for Darby, because he realized fully the moral conflict facing him. "You have to understand: I'm not the kind of guy to rat somebody out But this crossed the line to me. I had the choice between what I knew was morally right and my loyalty to other soldiers. I couldn't have it both ways."6 0 Darby was afraid of retaliation against him by soldiers in his company unless he remained anonymous in this action.61 He burned another CD copy of the pic tures, typed an anonymous letter about them, put them in a plain manila enve lope, and handed it to an agent at the Criminal Investigation Division (CID), remarking simply that they were left in his office. Shortly after, Special Agent Tyler Pieron grilled him and got Darby to admit: "I'm the one who put them in there," and then he gave a sworn statement. He was able to maintain his anonymity until Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld unexpectedly "outted" Darby during the 2004 congressional hearings on these abuses—while Darby was having dinner with hundreds of soldiers in the mess hall. He was whisked away, and eventually concealed in military protective custody for the next several years. "But I don't regret any of it," Darby said recently. "I made my peace with the decision before I turned the pictures in. I knew that if people found out that it was me, I wouldn't be liked." The revelations led to a host of formal investigations into abuses in that prison and at all other military facilities where detainees were being held. Darby's actions stopped much of the torture and abuse and led to significant changes in the way the Abu Ghraib Prison was run.6 2 But not everyone thinks that what Darby did was the right thing to do. For many, even in his hometown in the Allegheny Mountains, Darby's calling atten tion to the abuses was unpatriotic, un-American, and even faintly treasonous. "Hero a Two-Timing Rat, " ran a headline in the New York Post. Even those who are not angry at his whistle-blowing are surprised that he could be a hero because he was such an ordinary kid from a poor family, an average student and even bullied in school. Darby's high school history teacher and football coach, Robert Ewing, a Vietnam veteran, eloquently summed up the mixed reactions: Some people are upset with what he did—ratting them out—and also be cause of what happened to those contractors, the beheading. They might say what the guards did pales in comparison. B u t . . . if we as a country, as a culture, believe certain values then you can't excuse that behavior. If I ever do see him again, I'll tell him I'm very proud. And as time goes on, most Americans are going to realize that, too.6 3 I helped arrange for Darby to receive a Presidential Citation from the Ameri can Psychological Association in 2 0 0 4 . He was unable to accept this honor personally because he, his wife, and his mother had to remain in military protective custody for several years in the wake of the many retaliation threats they re ceived. Darby was finally recognized as a hero nationally when he received the 2 0 0 5 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. In bestowing the award, Caro line Kennedy, president of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, said, "Indi viduals who are willing to take personal risk to further the national interest and uphold the values of American democracy should be recognized and encouraged in all parts of government. Our nation is indebted to U.S. Army Specialist Joseph Darby for standing up for the rule of law that we embrace as a nation." Challenges to authority systems are not gender-bound; women are as likely to blow the whistle against crimes and injustice as men are.Tim e magazine hon ored three such women in choosing its "Persons of the Year" ( 2 0 0 2 ) for their bold confrontation of major corporate fraud and FBI incompetence. Cynthia Cooper, an internal auditor at WorldCom, was responsible for revealing fraudulent ac counting practices that kept $ 3 .8 billion of losses off the company's books. After months of intensive investigation, often conducted during the night to avoid de tection, Cooper and her team of auditors exposed the deceptive practices, which resulted in the firing and indictment of senior company officers.64 Sherron Watkins, a vice president at the high-flying Enron Corporation, also blew the whistle on the extensive corporate corruption taking place there, which involved "cooking the books" to give the appearance of great success to cover up failure. The formerly reputable Arthur Andersen accounting firm was also impli cated in the huge scandal.6 5 An FBI staff attorney, Colleen Rowley, blew the whistle on the FBIfor its failure to follow up on pleas from her office that they check out a person whom it identified as a potential terrorist and who turned out to be one of the co-conspirators in the September 11, 2001, terror attacks. These "three woman of ordinary demeanor but extraordinary guts and sense" risked a great deal in challenging their established power base.6 6 Jonestown Heroes Debbie Layton and Richard Clark were two survivors among the 913 American citizens who died in the mass suicides and murders that took place in Jonestown, Guyana, on November 18, 1978. Debbie came from a relatively affluent, edu cated white family in Oakland, California, while Richard came to San Francisco from humble African-American origins in Mississippi. They both became my personal friends when they arrived in the Bay area after having escaped the horrors of the Jonestown nightmare. Both qualify as heroes in different ways, Debbie as a whistle-blower and Richard as a Good Samaritan. Debbie joined Reverend Jim Jones's Peoples Temple congregation as an eighteen-year-old. She was a loyal follower for many years and eventually became the Temple's finance secretary. As such, she was entrusted with moving millions of dollars out of Jonestown to deposits in secret Swiss bank accounts. Her mother and brother, Larry, were also Temple members. But over time she realized that Jonestown was more like a concentration camp than the promisedU t o pi a where racial harmony and a sustainable lifestyle would prevail. Nearly a thousand faith ful members were subjected to hard labor, semistarvation, and physical and sexual abuse. Armed guards surrounded them, and spies infiltrated their lives. Jones even forced them to practice regular suicide drills, called "White Nights," that frightened Debbie into understanding that he was actually preparing them for a mass suicide. At great personal peril, she decided to flee Jonestown and take the message of its potential destructive power to concerned relatives and to the government. She could not even alert her sick mother to her escape plan for fear that her emotional reaction that might tip off Jones. After executing a complex set of maneuvers, Debbie did escape and immediately did all she could to alert authorities to the abu sive conditions at Jonestown and to warn them of what she believed was an immi nent tragedy. In June 1978, she issued an affidavit to the U.S. government warning of a potential mass suicide. Its thirty-seven detailed points began: "RE. The Threat And Possibility Of Mass Suicide By Members Of The People's Temple. I, Deborah Layton Blakey, declare the following under penalty of perjury: The purpose of this affidavit is to call to the attention of the United States government the existence of a situation which threatens the lives of United States citizens living in Jonestown, Guyana." Six months later, her Cassandra-like prediction was eerily validated. Sadly, her pleas for aid were met by the skepticism of government officials who refused to accept that such a bizarre tale could be true. However, some concerned relatives did believe her and encouraged California Congressman Leo Ryan to investigate. Reporters, a cameraman, and some relatives accompanied Ryan on his visit. As he was about to return home with a positive evaluation of what he had been duped into believing were ideal living conditions, several families who decided to defect under his protection joined Ryan. But it was too late. Jones, by now very paranoid, believed the defectors would reveal the truth about Jonestown to the outside world. He had the congressman and some of his entourage murdered and then arranged for cyanide-laced Kool-Aid to be given to his weary followers. His infamous last-hour speech was outlined in Chapter 12; a full version is available online at the Jonestown website.67 Debbie Layton has written an eloquent account of how she and so many oth ers were trapped by the persuasive lures of this diabolical preacher man. Jim Jones's Lucifer-like transformation from benevolent religious minister to angel of death unfolds chillingly in her book, Seductive Poison. 68 I have argued elsewhere that there are remarkable parallels between the mind control tactics used by Jones and those depicted in George Orwell's classic novel1984 that might make the Jonestown phenomenon a field experiment of the most extreme mind control imaginable—and perhaps even sponsored by the CIA.6 9 I helped counsel Richard Clark and his girlfriend, Diane Louie, after they re turned to San Francisco, having escaped the mass suicide. Richard was a simple, pragmatic man. a slow-speaking but sensitive observer of people and places. He said that the moment he got to Jonestown he could detect that something was se riously wrong. No one in the Promised Land was smiling. Everyone in the sup posed land of plenty was hungry. People whispered and never laughed. Work not only came before play but also never left time for play. Jones's voice boomed out over the compound day and night, in person or on tape. The sexes were segre gated into different barracks, and sex, even among married couples, was forbid den without Jones's approval. No one could leave because no one could figure out where they were in the midst of a jungle in a foreign land thousands of miles from home. Richard Clark hatched a plan. He volunteered for a job that no one wanted in the "piggery," which was in an isolated smelly part of the sprawling compound. The place was ideal for Richard to escape Jones's mind-numbing rhetoric and to seek out a path through the jungle to freedom. Once he had slowly and carefully laid out his escape, he told Diane about it and said that when the time was ripe, they would flee together. In defiance of Jones's extensive spy system, Richard made the decidedly risky decision to tell the members of a few families about the planned escape. On the morning of Sunday, November 18, Jones ordered everyone to have a holiday in celebration of Congressman Ryan's return to America with the message about the good works being accomplished in this agricultural socialist Utopia . That was Richard's exit cue. He assembled his party of eight and, pretending they were off on a picnic, led them through the jungle to safety. By the time they reached the capital at Georgetown, every one of their friends and other family members was dead. Richard Clark died recently of natural causes, knowing that he made the right decision to trust his intuition, his street smarts, and his "discrepancy detec tors." But most of all, he was pleased that he had saved the lives of those who fol lowed him, an ordinary hero, out of the heart of darkness.70 A Four-Dimensional Model of Heroism Based on the concepts of courage and examples of heroic behavior presented here, an elementary model of heroism can be generated. Within the overall moti vational framework of a particular person, heroism can be described on three continua: Risk Type/Sacrifice: Engagement Style or Approach; and Quest. The axis of Risk Type/Sacrifice is anchored at one end by physical risk and at the other by social risk. Similarly, Engagement Style or Approach is anchored at one end by active (gallant) and, at the other end, passive (with fortitude) approaches. On the third dimension, the Quest is described as being in service of the preservation of life or in the preservation of an ideal. Although they are synonymous in some ways—the preservation of life is also a noble idea—the distinction is important within this context. The first three dimensions of this model are depicted in this il lustration. We will add a fourth later. Let's position three different types of heroes in this model space, Nathan Hale, Mother Teresa, and Richard Rescorla. The American Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale had been operating as a spy in the British ranks for some time, before he was caught. While his activities were patriotic, they were not in them selves heroic. Had his clandestine activities gone unnoticed, he would never have become an American hero. It was in the moment of his execution at the hands of the British, a death he accepted with dignity, that he became a heroic figure. "I re gret that I have but one life to give for my country" was his classic farewell. In that moment, Hale showed great fortitude, sacrificing his life in the service of a principle. A very different kind of heroism is found in the life and work of Mother Teresa. Her activities cannot be not summed up in a single act, as was Nathan Hale's defiance at his execution. Rather, her heroic acts span the course of decades. Her dedication to enable the dying poor to die in a state of grace, Catholic grace, was based on service to a principle (compassion), in which she was actively and perpetually involved, and the sacrifices she made took the ascetic path to glory: her poverty, her chastity, and her denial of herself for the sake of others. Our third hero to be placed in our multidimensional hero grid is Richard Rescorla. He was the director of security in Morgan Stanley's World Trade Center (WTC) offices in New York City at the time of the terrorist attacks of 9 / 1 1 . A decorated Vietnam veteran (Silver Star, Purple Heart, and Bronze Stars for Valor and Meritorious Service), Rescorla is credited with saving the lives of thousands of Morgan Stanley employees by his decisive actions. Rescorla defied WTC authorities in ordering the employees in his offices to evacuate rather than to follow the order to remain at their desks. During the evacuation of the forty-fourth to seventy-fourth floors of WTC Tower 2, reports indicate, Rescorla verbally calmed the employees over a bullhorn and told them to stop talking on cell phones and to keep moving down the stairs. Rescorla, two security guards whom he had trained, and three other Morgan Stanley employees died when the building imploded. Rescorla and his team are credited with saving the lives of an estimated 2,800 employees who exited WTC-2 before it collapsed.71 In contrast to the heroism of a figure like Nathan Hale, Rescorla's act was active and was performed directly in the service of preserving life, yet his glory too demanded the ultimate physical sacrifice. Nathan Hale, Richard Rescorla, and Mother Teresa represent different as pects of the heroic ideal. The distinctions among their actions illuminate the di versity of acts that meet the enigmatic standard of heroic. Their actions are mapped on to our model of heroism. A fourth dimension to be added to this model is that of Chronicity. Heroes can be made in instantaneous actions, or their heroism can accrue over time. Acute heroism, the heroism shown in a single act, is described in the martial context as bravery—an act of courage in a single combat. In contrast, chronic mili tary heroism, courage that is displayed time and again in battle, is called valor. There are not yet comparable terms to denote duration in civil heroism, perhaps because the dramatic quality of heroism that is demonstrated in perilous situations is not as easily evident in the civic sphere. Among civic heroes we might contrast a time-limited, situationally specific heroism of the moment, like that of whistle-blowers, with the chronic heroism demonstrated by an enduring engage ment in service to society, like that of Martin Luther King, Jr. Collective Heroism as a Matter of Degree The solitary heroic figure, like the brave marshal in a western movie who faces down a band of renegades, is supported, more often than not, by groups of people working in unison in emergencies, disasters, and situations that demand con certed action. The Underground Railroad, which took southern slaves to freedom in northern towns, could function only with the coordinated efforts of many peo ple who worked in peril of their lives. Similarly, first responders to disasters are typically citizen volunteers working in loosely organized teams. As the "Tank Man" was, many individuals working in collective harmony are anonymous. They brave danger without expectation of personal notoriety but for the sake of answering a call to community service. A special instance of this kind of collective heroism occurred on United Air lines flight 9 3 , which was hijacked by terrorists on September 1 1 , 2 0 0 1 . At first, passengers, believing the plane was returning to the airport, followed the norm by staying in their seats. But when some passengers were alerted by cell phone calls about the crash of other planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a new norm emerged. A small group of them gathered in the back of the plane and planned to get control of the cockpit. One of them was on the phone with a GTE operator, who heard him say, "Let's roll!" before he was disconnected. Their concerted action prevented the plane from reaching its intended target, either the White House or the Capitol. That field now stands as a memorial to col lective heroism of the highest order.72 HEROIC CONTRASTS: THE EXTRAORDINARY VERSUS THE BANAL Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil. —John Milton To the traditionally accepted notion that heroes are exceptional people, we can now add an opposing perspective—that some heroes are ordinary people who have done something extraordinary. The first image is the more romantic and is favored in ancient myth and modern media. It suggests that the hero has done something that ordinary people in the same position would not or could not have done. These superstars must have been born with a hero gene. They are the ex ception to the rule. A second perspective, which we might call "the rule is the exception," directs us to examine the interaction between situation and person, the dynamic that im pelled an individual to act heroically at a particular time and place. A situation may act either as a catalyst, encouraging action, or it may reduce barriers to ac tion, such as the formation of a collective social support network. It is remarkable that in most instances people who have engaged in heroic action repeatedly reject the name of hero, as we saw was the case with Christina Maslach. Such doers of heroic deeds typically argue that they were simply taking an action that seemed necessary at the time. They are convinced that anybody would have acted similarly, or else they find it difficult to understand why others did not. Nelson Mandela has said, "I was not a messiah, but an ordinary man who had be come a leader because of extraordinary circumstances."73 Phrases like this are used by people at all levels of society who have acted heroically: "It was nothing special"; "I did what had to be done." These are the refrains of the "ordinary" or everyday warrior, our "banal hero." Let's contrast such positive banality with what Hannah Arendt has taught us to call "the banality of evil." On the Banality of Evil This concept emerged from Arendt's observations at the trial of Adolf Eichmann, indicted for crimes against humanity because he helped to orchestrate the geno cide of European Jews. In Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, Arendt formulates the idea that such individuals should not be viewed as excep tions, as monsters, or as perverted sadists. She argues that such dispositional at tributes, typically applied to perpetrators of evil deeds, serves to set them apart from the rest of the human community. Instead, Eichmann and others like him, Arendt says, should be exposed in their very ordinariness. When we realize this, we become more aware that such people are a pervasive, hidden danger in all so cieties. Eichmann's defense was that he was simply following orders. Of this mass murderer's motives and conscience, Arendt notes: As for his base motives, he was perfectly sure that he was not what he called an innerer Schweinehund, a dirty bastard in the depths of his heart; and as for his conscience, he remembered perfectly well that he would have had a bad conscience only if he had not done what he had been or dered to do—to ship millions of men, women, and children to their death with great zeal and the most meticulous care. What is most striking in Arendt's account of Eichmann is all the ways in which he seemed absolutely normal and totally ordinary: Half a dozen psychiatrists had certified him as "normal"—"More normal, at any rate, than I am after having examined him," one of them was said to have exclaimed, while another had found that his whole psychological outlook, his attitude toward his wife and children, mother and father, brothers, sisters, and friends was "not only normal but most desirable."74 Arendt's now-classic conclusion: The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the viewpoint of our legal insti tutions and our moral standards of judgment, this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together, for it implied . . . that this new type of criminal, who is in actual fact hostis generis humani, com mits his crimes under circumstances that make it well-nigh impossible for him to know or feel that he is doing wrong.75 Then came her punch line, describing Eichmann's dignified march to the gallows: It was as though in those last minutes he was summing up the lesson that this long course in human wickedness had taught us—the lesson of the fearsome, word-and-thought-defying banality of evil.76 The notion that "ordinary men" can commit atrocities has been more fully de veloped by the historian Christopher Browning, as we noted earlier. He uncovered the systematic and personal annihilation of Jews in remote Polish villages that were committed by hundreds of men in Reserve Police Battalion 101, sent to Poland from Hamburg, Germany. These middle-aged, family men of working-class and lower-middle-class backgrounds shot thousands of unarmed Jews—men, women, the elderly, and children—and arranged for the deportation to death camps of thousands more. Yet Browning contends in his book that they were all "ordinary men." He believes that the mass-murder policies of the Nazi regime "were not aberrational or exceptional events that scarcely ruffle the surface of everyday life. As the story of Reserve Battalion 10 demonstrates, mass murder and routine had become one. Normality itself had become exceedingly abnormal."77 The psychologist Ervin Staub holds a similar view. His extensive research led him to the conclusion that "Evil that arises out of ordinary thinking and is com mitted by ordinary people is the norm, not the exception."78 Cruelty should be at tributed to its social origins more than to its "characterological" determinants or "faulty personalities," according to Zygmunt Bauman's analysis of the horrors of the Holocaust. Bauman believes further that the exception to this norm is the rare individual who has the capacity to assert moral autonomy in resisting the de mands of destructive authorities. Such a person is rarely aware that he or she pos sesses this hidden strength until put to the test.7 9 Another quality of the banality of evil ushers us into the torturers' den to consider whether such people, whose mission is to use all means necessary to break the will, resistance, and dignity of their victims, are anything other than pathological villains. The consensus among those who have studied torturers is that in general they were not distinguishable from the general population in their backgrounds or dispositions prior to taking on their sordid job. John Conroy, who studied men involved in torture in three different venues in Ireland, Israel, and Chicago, concluded that in all cases "unspeakable acts" were committed by "ordi nary people." He maintains that torturers act out the will of the community they represent in suppressing its foes.80 From her in-depth analysis of soldiers trained by the Greek military junta to be state-sanctioned torturers ( 1 9 6 7 - 1 9 7 4 ) , my colleague the Greek psychologist Mika Haritos-Fatouros concluded that torturers are not born but made by their training. "Anybody's son will do" is her answer to the question "Who will make an effective torturer?" In a matter of a few months, ordinary young men from rural villages became "weaponized" by their training in cruelty to act like brute beasts capable of inflicting the most horrendous acts of humiliation, pain, and suffering on anyone labeled "the enemy," who, of course, were all citizens of their own country.81 Such conclusions are not limited to one nation, but are common in many totalitarian regimes. We studied "violence workers" in Brazil, policemen who tortured and murdered other Brazilian citizens for the ruling military junta. They too were "ordinary men," based on all the evidence we could amass.8 2 On the Banality of Heroism 83 We may now entertain the notion that most people who become perpetrators of evil deeds are directly comparable to those who become perpetrators of heroic deeds, alike in being just ordinary, average people. The banality of evil shares much with the banality of heroism. Neither attribute is the direct consequence of unique dispositional tendencies; there are no special inner attributes of either pathology or goodness residing within the human psyche or the human genome. Both conditions emerge in particular situations at particular times when situa tional forces play a compelling role in moving particular individuals across a de cisional line from inaction to action. There is a decisive decisional moment when a person is caught up in a vector of forces that emanate from a behavioral context. Those forces combine to increase the probability of one's acting to harm oth ers or acting to help others. Their decision may or may not be consciously planned or mindfully taken. Rather, strong situational forces most often impulsively drive the person to action. Among the situational action vectors are: group pressures and group identity, the diffusion of responsibility for the action, a temporal focus on the immediate moment without concern for consequences stemming from the act in the future, presence of social models, and commitment to an ideology. A common theme in the accounts of European Christians who helped the Jews during the Holocaust could be summed up as the "banality of goodness." What is striking over and over again is the number of these rescuers who did the right thing without considering themselves heroic, who acted merely out of a sense of common decency. The ordinariness of their goodness is especially strik ing in the context of the incredible evil of the systematic genocide by Nazis on a scale the world had never before experienced.84 I have tried to show throughout our journey that the military police guards who abused prisoners at Abu Ghraib and the prison guards in my Stanford Prison Experiment who abused their prisoners illustrate a Lord of the Flies-type tempo rary transition of ordinary individuals into perpetrators of evil. We must set them alongside those whose evil behavior is enduring and extensive, tyrants such as Idi Amin, Stalin, Hitler, and Saddam Hussein. Heroes of the moment also stand in contrast to lifetime heroes. The heroic action of Rosa Parks's refusal to sit in the "colored" section in the back of an Alabama bus. of Joe Darby's exposing the Abu Ghraib tortures, or of the first responders' rush to the World Trade Center disaster are acts of bravery that occur at particular times and places. In contrast, the heroism of Mohandas Gandhi or Mother Teresa consists of valorous acts repeated over a lifetime. Chronic heroism is to acute heroism as valor is to bravery. This perception implies that any of us could as easily become heroes as per petrators of evil depending on how we are influenced by situational forces. The imperative becomes discovering how to limit, constrain, and prevent the situa tional and systemic forces that propel some of us toward social pathology. But equally important is the injunction for every society to foster a "heroic imagina tion" in its citizenry. It is achieved by conveying the message that every person is a hero in waiting who will be counted upon to do the right thing when the mo ment of decision comes. The decisive question for each of us is whether to act in help of others, to prevent harm to others, or not to act at all. We should be prepar ing many laurel wreaths for all those who will discover their reservoir of hidden strengths and virtues enabling them to come forth to act against injustice and cruelty and to stand up for their principled values. The large body of research on situational determinants of antisocial behav ior that we reviewed here, bookended by Milgram's investigations of authority power and the SPE's institutional power, reveals the extent to which normal, ordi nary people can be led to engage in cruel acts against innocent others.8 5 However, in those studies and many others, while the majority obeyed, conformed, com plied, were persuaded, and were seduced, there was always a minority who re sisted, dissented, and disobeyed. In one sense, heroism lies in the ability to resist powerful situational forces that so readily entrap most people. Are the personalities of the resisters different from those of the blindly obedi ent?8 6 Are they like Clark Kent, whose normal appearance conceals Superman's extraordinary powers? Not at all. Rather, our banality of heroism conception maintains that doers of heroic deeds of the moment are not essentially different from those who comprise the base rate of the easily seduced. There is not much empirical research on which to base such assertions. Because heroism is not a simple phenomenon that can be studied systematically, it defies clean definitions and on-the-spot data collection. Heroic acts are ephemeral and unpredictable, and appreciation of them is decidedly retrospective. Because heroes are usually interviewed months or years after their heroic behavior has occurred, there are no prospective studies of what the photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson might call the "decisive moment" of heroic action.8 7 Generally we do not know what the de cision matrix for heroes is at the time they elect to engage in risk-laden activities. What seems evident is that heroic behavior is rare enough not to be readily predictable by any psychological assessments of personality. They measure indi vidual differences between people in their usual, standard behavioral settings, not in the atypical settings that often elicit heroic deeds. Lieutenant Alexander (Sandy) Nininger is a case example of a heroic soldier who engaged in extraordinarily fearless and ferocious fighting during World War II's infamous Battle of Bataan. This twenty-three-year-old West Point gradu ate volunteered to go hunting for Japanese snipers where the fighting was most intense. With grenades, a rifle, submachine gun, and bayonet, Nininger killed many Japanese soldiers single-handedly in intense close combat, and kept fight ing although repeatedly wounded. Only after he had destroyed an enemy bunker did he collapse and die. His heroism earned him the Medal of Honor, posthu mously, the first given in that war. What makes this hero an object of our concern is that nothing from his past would have predicted that he would engage in such killing. This quiet, sensitive, intellectual young man had gone on record as saying that he could never kill any one out of hatred. Yet, he had done so repeatedly without regard for his own safety. Had he been given all available personality tests, would they have helped predict this unexpectedly violent behavior? In his review of personality testing, the author Malcolm Gladwell surmises that Nininger's file might be as thick as a phone book, but "his file will tell us little about the one thing we're most interested in. For that, we have to join him in the jungles of Bataan." In short, we have to un derstand the Person in the Situation.88 HEROISM VALIDATES THE HUMAN CONNECTION For reasons we do not yet fully understand, thousands of ordinary people in every country around the world, when they are placed in special circumstances, make the decision to act heroically. On the face of it, the perspective we take here seems to deflate the myth of the hero and to make something special into something banal. This is not so, however, because our position still recognizes that the act of heroism is indeed special and rare. Heroism supports the ideals of a community and serves as an extraordinary guide, and it provides an exemplary role model for prosocial behavior. The banality of heroism means that we are all heroes in wait ing. It is a choice that we may all be called upon to make at some point in time. I believe that by making heroism an egalitarian attribute of human nature rather than a rare feature of the elect few, we can better foster heroic acts in every com munity. According to journalist Carol Depino "Everyone has the capability of be coming a hero in one degree or another. Sometimes you might not realize it. To someone it could be as small as holding a door open and saying 'hello' to them. We are all heroes to someone."8 9 This new theme of the universality of ordinary heroes encourages us to re think about the common heroes among us, those whose daily sacrifices enrich our lives. Daniel Boorstin's earlier noted cynical view of media-crafted celebrities as heroes gives way before his deep appreciation of the everyday unsung heroes living and working among us: In this life of illusion and quasi-illusion, the person with solid virtues who can be admired for something more substantial than his well-knownness often proves to be the unsung hero: the teacher, the nurse, the mother, the honest cop, the hard worker at lonely, under-paid, unglamorous, unpubli- cized jobs. Topsy-turvily, these can remain heroes precisely because they remain unsung.90 And so, the parting message that we might derive from our long journey into the heart of darkness and back again is that heroic acts and the people who en gage in them should be celebrated. They form essential links among us; they forge our Human Connection. The evil that persists in our midst must be countered, and eventually overcome, by the greater good in the collective hearts and per sonal heroic resolve of Everyman and Everywoman. It is not an abstract concept, but, as we are reminded by the Russian poet and former prisoner in Stalin's Gulag Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: "The line between good and evil is in the center of every human heart."9 1 Thanks for sharing this journey with me. Ciao, Phil Zimbardo