Skip to comments.Psychologists Weigh Interrogation Ban
Posted on 08/19/2007 2:21:19 AM PDT by bruinbirdman
SAN FRANCISCO - Stung by reports implicating mental health specialists in prisoner abuse scandals at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, the nation's largest group of psychologists is considering banning its members from interrogations of terror suspects.
The American Psychological Association, which is holding its annual meeting in San Francisco, is scheduled to vote Sunday on two competing measures concerning its 148,000 members' participation in military interrogations at Guantanamo Bay and other U.S. military detention centers.
One measure would bar members from any involvement in interrogations at U.S. detention facilities where foreigners are held. The moratorium would not be backed by sanctions, but it would carry the APA's "moral authority," said psychologist Neil Altman, who wrote the proposed resolution.
The other proposal, which is backed by APA's board of directors, would reaffirm the group's opposition to torture and prohibit members from taking part in more than a dozen specific practices, including forced nakedness, mock executions and simulated drowning.
An APA member who violates the torture resolution could be expelled from the Washington-based organization, which could lead to the loss of the professional's state license to practice, said spokeswoman Rhea Farberman.
The association's vote follows reports that mental health specialists were involved in prisoner abuse scandals at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Among other things, psychiatrists and psychologists are accused of helping interrogators increase prisoners' stress levels by exploiting their fears.
A recently declassified Defense Department report said that since psychiatrists and psychologists have helped military interrogators develop new techniques to extract information from detainees.
Military interrogation has become a dominant issue at this year's meeting of the APA, which represents most of the nation's psychologists.
Psychologists for an Ethical APA, which supports the moratorium, rallied Friday outside the Moscone Center, where the conference is being held. Supporters wore buttons that read "Do No Harm" and carried signs condemning torture. A person in an orange jumpsuit and black hood stood in the middle of the crowd.
Moratorium backers say psychologists should not assist with interrogations where foreigners are held indefinitely and could be tortured because their involvement discredits the profession.
"We will not be satisfied until we get a resolution that says psychologists cannot be part of interrogations at sites where detainees' human rights are being violated," said New York psychologist Steven Reisner.
Supporters of the moratorium say they want the APA to follow the examples of the American Medical Association and American Psychiatric Association, which have said their members have no legitimate role in interrogations at detention centers like Guantanamo. The U.S. military has indicated it would favor using psychologists, who are not affected by the other groups' policies.
Critics of the moratorium say the presence of psychologists helps ensure interrogations are not abusive.
APA spokeswoman Farberman said psychologists help interrogators build rapport with detainees, so they don't have to resort to abusive behavior.
"We want to stay engaged in the discussion about appropriate and effective interrogation techniques," Farberman said.
Left wing psychobabble.
Like they would know if one of their members worked with the CIA.
Maybe superduper-secret agent Valerie Plame’s husband will help out them too.
The APA whores also don’t think that Man-Boy love is harmful in some cases or that homosexuals should receive counseling.
It rubs me the wrong way when groups like this declare allegence to the worlds leading terrorists, and refuse to help our nation fend them off.
When they essentially blackmail psycholigsts from helping the government on penalty of losing their ability to practice, it seems actionable to me.
So who needs ‘em?
Maybe they should ban having sex with their patients first, then worry about torture.
Does this surprise you? This is from the same bunch that won’t let the Defense Dept, the biggest employer of psychologists in the country, advertise jobs in any of their publications until it stops the ban on gays in the military.
The military experience of almost all of these folks is limited to buying a GI Joe for their children. Yet for some reason they believe they are uniquely situated to set military policy. It would be funny if it werent so serious.