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Saturday, February 23, 2013

From Guantanamo to Mizzou?

By Colleen Flaherty
Inside HigherEd
Originally published February 12, 2013

Retired Col. Larry James, a former Army psychologist, went into both Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to address and correct known human rights violations – hence the name of his 2008 book, Fixing Hell: An Army Psychologist Confronts Abu Ghraib.

“This is very, very important conversation to have in a variety of venues, and it’s very important to understand what went wrong at these awful places,” said James – now dean of the School of Professional Psychology at Wright State University – of why he wrote the memoir. “If we keep things in secret we’re destined to repeat it again.”

But some of the revelations in Fixing Hell are being levied against him as he tries to secure an administrative post at at the University of Missouri at Columbia. An on-campus protest was held earlier this month as James’s name surfaced as one of two finalists for the position, division executive director in the College of Education. As such, he’d oversee 60 faculty and 29 staff members in three units, including the Department of Educational, School and Counseling Psychology.

Aamer Trambu, a business graduate student and member of the Muslim Student Organization, attended the protest, along with members of the St. Louis Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Mid-Missouri Fellowship of Reconciliation, an interfaith peace group. He also attended a Mizzou forum last week at which James answered questions for more than an hour. A petition against James’s candidacy with at least 60 names was turned over to university administrators. (The American-Islamic relations council chapter also launched an online petition. Leaders did not respond to requests for comment.)

The entire article is here.

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