APA Bans Psychologist Involvement in National Security Interrogations

Posted August 11, 2015 at 5:00am

“The American Psychological Association on Friday overwhelmingly approved a new ban on any involvement by psychologists in national security interrogations conducted by the United States government, even noncoercive interrogations now conducted by the Obama administration,” The New York Times reports.  

“The vote followed an emotional debate in which several members said the ban was needed to restore the organization’s reputation after a scathing independent investigation… found that some officers of the association and other prominent psychologists colluded with government officials during the Bush administration to make sure that association policies did not prevent psychologists from involvement in the harsh interrogation programs conducted by the C.I.A. and the Pentagon.”  

“Just before Friday’s vote, the measure’s supporters agreed to change some of the ban’s language, which may have won over some wavering council members… The ban passed on Friday says that ‘psychologists shall not conduct, supervise, be in the presence of, or otherwise assist any national security interrogations for any military or intelligence entities, including private contractors working on their behalf, nor advise on conditions of confinement insofar as these might facilitate such an interrogation.’ The measure’s backers added language on Friday that stated that psychologists may consult with the government on broad interrogation policy, but may not get involved in any specific interrogation or consult on the specific detention conditions for detainees.”