In very good news, the American Psychological Association has finally banned participation in any kind of torture by its members. This comes after many psychologists helped the CIA develop torture techniques after 9/11, making huge amounts of money in the process.
They call themselves “the dissidents.” Officially, they are the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology. In reality, they’re just six psychologists united by a shared moral outrage at their profession’s involvement in torture.
Last month, these tenacious rebels were vindicated by a damning independent report, which concluded that the American Psychological Association (APA) colluded with the Pentagon to allow psychologists to help U.S. military interrogators employing brutal methods on terrorist suspects.
On Friday morning, amid emotional scenes, the APA’s governing Council of Representatives overwhelmingly backed the dissidents’ proposal to ban psychologists from taking part in national security interrogations…
The coalition came together in the wake of the APA’s Task Force on Psychological Ethics and National Security (PENS), which issued the 2005 report that has thrown psychology into crisis. Arrigo was a member, but quickly came to the view that the task force was a sham.
It came up with no firm rules to prohibit psychologists from being involved in interrogations using the harsh methods — including sleep deprivation, isolation, and painful “stress positions” — that were being used at CIA “black sites” and the U.S. military’s detention camp at Guantánamo.
“I was manipulated into the task force and then lied to with the result that I became complicit,” Arrigo told the APA meeting on Wednesday. “Even though I’m an introvert and would rather be reading poetry, I had to take this moral stand.”
And listen to this dishonest, self-serving defense of torture:
Larry James, formerly chief psychologist at Guantánamo, led the opposition, arguing that the ban would put psychologists employed by the federal government in a “dire” position by putting international law above the U.S. Constitution.
“I think we need to slow down and think very carefully,” he told the council.
Absolute nonsense. Torture is illegal under the Constitution as well. We are not only a signatory of the UN Convention Against Torture, we led the campaign to pass it under Reagan. And the Constitution says that treaties are part of the “supreme law of the land.” James is a rather shameless liar.