Skip

Psychologists Protest APA's Position On Interrogations
February 8, 2008 11:21 AM   Subscribe

Citing the organization's "sharp shift in values and direction," Ken Pope, prominent member of the American Psychological Association (and a former chair of its Ethics Committee), resigned his membership on February 6. He's the latest of a growing number of professional psychologists who have quit APA in protest of its position on the use of psychologists in government interrogations in the "War on Terror."
posted by Rykey (19 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Don't mind me. I'm just commenting so that I can see this thread every day for the next month.
posted by roll truck roll at 11:36 AM on February 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Perhaps those quitters could join the religious guys who attend executions in prison, or with the religious guys that serve in the military.
posted by Postroad at 11:41 AM on February 8, 2008


Or those religious guys in the Spanish Inquisition, say.
posted by Rumple at 11:47 AM on February 8, 2008


It's nice to have some accountability in society. Unfortunately we've effectively allowed it to be removed from the government in exchange.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:57 AM on February 8, 2008


I wish the number were larger. The APA has not been nearly strident enough in drawing a clear line about when it's unacceptable for psychologists to engage in torture or psychological pressure.
posted by OmieWise at 12:03 PM on February 8, 2008


History is not going to be kind to this era in the United States. Some very bad things are going down. (Can I start screaming and running hysterically in circles yet?)
posted by nzero at 12:07 PM on February 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think a couple of you may have this backwards? The quitters are doing so because the APA isn't taking a hard line against torture. The quitters are the white hats.
posted by tula at 12:10 PM on February 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think a couple of you may have this backwards?

Nope, we just have pro-torture idiots in our midst.
posted by DU at 12:14 PM on February 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


No I get it. Postroad is trolling. The shocking thing is this is even news. The Am Anthropology Assoc has been through similar issues around Anthropologists being used in psyops, etc. I can't believe the APA, of all organizations, is not crystal clear on this issue.
posted by Rumple at 12:20 PM on February 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ah, well then. Carry on.
posted by tula at 12:22 PM on February 8, 2008


(Can I start screaming and running hysterically in circles yet?)

And ruin a perfectly good future response to your inevitable Taser-brand tasering?
posted by joe lisboa at 12:27 PM on February 8, 2008


Studying for the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) was torture and I still have flashbacks. When Mike Tyson snacked on Evander Holyfield's ear, he was forced to take the same psychological test. It came back "normal." So, as a fellow cannibalistic pugilist (although I enjoyed my ear with Wild Turkey) I'm just as normal or so say the psychologist. I still eat my M&M's one by one with a glass of water, old habits die hard.
posted by Rancid Badger at 1:01 PM on February 8, 2008


The APA has not been nearly strident enough in drawing a clear line about when it's unacceptable for psychologists to engage in torture or psychological pressure.

It looks worse than that. From the PDF at the other end of the position link:
Strong public protests over the PENS Report [which condoned psychologists participating in interrogations, without mentioning torture or other abuse] prompted the APA Divisions for Social Justice and others to craft a new resolution prohibiting psychologists from participating in abusive detainee interrogations. In August 2006, after much discussion and debate, the APA’S Council of Representatives passed a Resolution Against Torture, Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment. However, the version published by the APA differed from the version discussed and passed by the Council, in at least one significant respect: in the document reviewed by Council, psychologists were instructed to look to the United Nations Principles of Medical Ethics and international instruments for definitions of unethical behavior and "torture, cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment." In the published document, the definition of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment instead was taken from the 5th, 8th and 14th amendments to the US Constitution, precisely the same definitions that had been used by the CIA, the DoD and the Bush Administration to assert that the abusive interrogation techniques in use at Guantánamo, CIA black sites, and elsewhere were not "torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment."
Somebody high up in the APA seems to be on board with the Bush Administration's policies.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:02 PM on February 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


And ruin a perfectly good future response to your inevitable Taser-brand tasering?

:( Not happy.
posted by nzero at 2:46 PM on February 8, 2008


No I get it. Postroad is trolling.

It's not trolling if you believe it. Not sure which is preferable though.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 3:17 PM on February 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Postroad isn't trolling, nor is he a pro-torture numbskull. He is being what is known as "facetious" in the real world, or, on the internet, "confusing."
posted by synaesthetichaze at 5:41 PM on February 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


This has been a big topic on psychology listservs over the last year or so. I think the OP should have linked to APA itself, in the interests of fairness (but ignore the fact that the president looks *exactly* like PeeWee Herman). FWIW, I think APA is a mostly useless organization, and I stopped being a member years ago.
posted by jasper411 at 6:30 PM on February 8, 2008


I think the OP should have linked to APA itself

Good point. Thanks!
posted by Rykey at 6:56 PM on February 8, 2008


So, uhhh... does this mean we can boycott APA style?
posted by k8t at 5:07 PM on February 20, 2008


« Older Computer thief foiled   |   The Washington Indpendent Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post