Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR) released a copy of a letter they sent to the Ethics Office of the American Psychological Association (APA). The letter sharply criticizes APA for sitting seven years on an ethics complaint made against Dr. John Leso, who was a military psychologist at Guantanamo and an early member of that prison’s Behavioral Science Consultant Team (BSCT). Rather than a dust-up between psychology groups, the issue goes right to the heart of the US’s ability to conduct coercive interrogations and torture with the input of behavioral specialists.
|By: Jeff Kaye Wednesday January 29, 2014 3:42 pm|
|By: Jeff Kaye Wednesday November 7, 2012 7:13 pm|
The battle within the American Psychological Association (APA) to bring that organization into line with other human rights groups and attorney organizations in opposing the use of psychological personnel in national security interrogations accelerated last month when a prominent APA official came out strongly against a petition to annul APA’s ethics policy on national security and interrogations.
|By: Jeff Kaye Thursday August 25, 2011 5:00 pm|
A new proposed “casebook” on psychologist ethics in national security settings, written by the Ethics Committee of the American Psychological Association (APA), tells psychologists that when assessing whether an interrogation technique is abusive or not, they should consider, among other factors, whether there are “data to support that the technique is effective in gathering accurate information.” This determination, which places the needs of the military or intelligence gathering entity above that of the person the psychologist is examining, demonstrates how blatantly unethical it is for psychologists to participate in these interrogations.
While it’s shocking that APA would call upon psychologists to weigh an interrogation technique’s “effectiveness” with other ethical standards, it’s even crazier when one considers it took them six years to write this up, having been originally tasked with writing an “ethics casebook” for interrogations back in 2005.
|By: Stephen Soldz Sunday June 19, 2011 1:59 pm|
Marjorie Cohn, Professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and past president of the National Lawyers Guild, has put together this collection of 14 essays to explore facets of our country’s recent experiences with torture while placing those experiences in broader contexts – historical, legal, and moral.
|By: Jeff Kaye Saturday August 14, 2010 4:00 pm|
Psychologists for an Ethical APA have put out a press release charging the American Psychological Association with complicity in the supporting military and CIA psychologists in the development and implementation of the U.S. torture program. While the APA has released a letter ostensibly in support of a licensing complaint against CIA contractor-interrogator-torturer James Mitchell, a look at the letter itself and the context surrounding it presents a different story.
|By: Jeff Kaye Saturday June 26, 2010 5:00 pm|
On the International Day of Support of Victims of Torture, I offer an analysis of where the fight against U.S. torture currently stands, as well as a retrospective of the history of the development of U.S. torture policy. In particular, the role of U.S. behavioral scientists in the construction of torture techniques is explored.
|By: Jeff Kaye Sunday May 16, 2010 5:00 pm|
Like a modern-day Ministry of Truth, the American Psychological Association (APA) has scrubbed the webpage describing “deception scenarios” workshops that were part of a conference it conducted with the CIA and Rand Corporation on July 17-18, 2003. In addition, the APA erased the link to the page, and even all mention of its existence, from another webpage from its July 2003 Science Policy Insider News that briefly described the conference.
|By: Jeff Kaye Wednesday December 9, 2009 5:32 pm|
Stephen Soldz has published a devastating critique of the work of the FBI and Criminal Investigative Task Force (CITF) on the controversial interrogation of Guantanamo prisoner 063, the supposed “20th hijacker,” Mohammed al-Qahtani. Entitled “Ethical Interrogation”: The Myth of Michael Gelles and the al-Qahtani Interrogation, the article seriously questions claims that Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Chief Psychologist Michael Gelles, and other interrogators associated with FBI, CITF, and other agencies, had fought against the Rumsfeld/SERE-derived coercive interrogation of al-Qahtani, proposing instead a lawful and ethical approach based upon “rapport-building.”
|By: Jeff Kaye Thursday November 19, 2009 3:00 pm|
Back in May 2007, while researching the activities of the American Psychological Association (APA) in support of the U.S. government’s interrogation program, I came across evidence that the APA had engaged in a discussion of torture techniques during a workshop organized by APA and the RAND Corporation, “with generous funding from the Central Intelligence Agency [...]
|By: Jeff Kaye Monday August 31, 2009 6:30 pm|
An extraordinary article by a Harvard lecturer and former Chief of Neuropsychiatry at Guantanamo Bay made the shocking claim that “hard-core zealots” had “brains that are structurally and functionally different from us.” Furthermore, the article stated, 100,000 “zealots” within the Muslim body politic would have to be eliminated, the way “malignant [cancer] cells” are removed from a healthy body.