Archive for the ‘Pyschological torture’ category

The APA reiterates their swiss cheese prohibition on torture

November 6, 2007

In August the American Psychological Association adopted an official position that allowed professional psychologists to work at detention facilities like Guantanamo — but not participate in torture. The policy was rife with swiss cheese loopholes. As a result there were protests from psychologists across the country that the APA should have the same absolute prohibitions on participation in torture that American medical doctors and psychoanalysts have. [See earlier posts on the resolution passed by the faculty at Earlham college]

But now, the APA confronts this situation by simply sending a letter to President Bush that says they really, really, really are opposed to torture (insert metaphorical foot stomp here) — and refers in circular fashion to their earlier swiss cheese statement prohibiting torture as if anything had really changed.

Furthermore the letter from APA President Sharon Stephens Brehm contains a troubling offer

to work with your Administration and the Congress to develop policies on interrogation that provide ethical and effective means to elicit information to prevent acts of violence.

Sounds like swiss cheese still. A loophole that would allow APA members even more opportunities to be co-opted into participation in torture — purely for research, of course. Lest we forget, there were those who used that excuse in Hitler’s Germany — and Stalin’s Russia — and perhaps today’s CIA.

An extended discussion of this matter and a copy of the entire letter from Sharon Brehm can be found at


Psych prof calls for change in APA stance on interrogation

October 21, 2007

Pyschologists should not be co-opted into participating in torture. Psychological research indicates that individuals do not ordinarily become whistleblowers, but instead tend to act like sheep. Why is the American Psychological Association allowing its members to work at detention sites? Other professional associations like the AMA and the psychoanalyst group will not permit their members to be placed in this situation.

EC Psych Profs Call for APA to
Change Stance on Interrogation

Oct. 4, 2007

Michael R. Jackson

Michael R. Jackson, associate professor of psychology at Earlham, invites colleagues from across the nation to join his department’s faculty and sign the Resolution Regarding Participation by Psychologists in Interrogations in Military Detention Centers.

RICHMOND, Ind. — The psychology department at Earlham College has passed a resolution calling for a change in the interrogations policy of the American Psychological Association (APA). Breaking new ground by taking this national leadership role, the Resolution Regarding Participation by Psychologists
in Interrogations in Military Detention Centers
is the first of its kind issued by an American college or university academic unit. (more…)

Getting professional psychologists out of the torture business

October 21, 2007

The role of psychologists at sites like Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib is called into question by a psychologist at a small liberal arts college in the Midwest. Earlham College is a Quaker school and is aligned with traditional Quaker values such as peace and conflict resolution without violence.

Earlham College Psychology Department calls for APA interrogations policy change

September 28th, 2007 <!–Stephen Soldz–>

The Psychology Department at Earlham College (in Richmond, Indiana) has broken new ground by passing a resolution calling upon change in the American Psychological Association to change its policy regarding participation of psychologists in interrogations. (more…)