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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Do No Harm: The American Psychological Association wavers on its detainee policy

Susan Greene
The Colorado Independent
Originally published August 04, 2016

The American Psychological Association is wavering on a year-old policy designed to prevent psychologists from working with military or national security detainees.

Meeting in Denver for its annual convention, the nation’s largest professional association of psychologists this week considered and then postponed a decision on whether to allow members of the profession back to work at Guantanamo Bay, other military detention centers and CIA sites.
After a vote planned for Wednesday and then today, the group’s 173-member governing council tabled the discussion until February.

The debate stems from psychologists’ controversial role assisting the U.S. military and intelligence agencies in so-called “enhanced interrogation” efforts during George W. Bush’s administration. The post-9/11 program tried to squeeze information out of terror suspects detained at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, Guantánamo in Cuba and other sites by waterboarding, isolation and sleep deprivation – methods that international law deems to be torture. Bush’s justice officials were able to legally justify the interrogations on grounds that doctors’ mere presence assured that the tactics were safe.

The updated article is here.