|PSYCHOLOGISTS FOR AN
|Latest Developments and Relevant Links
|An article on Steven Reisner appeared in the Oct. 27 issue
Psychologist Martha Davis' documentary entitled
"Interrogation Psychologists: The Making of a Professional
Crisis" is now online.
NPR's Richard Knox: "Psychiatrists Protest Pentagon
Robert Jay Lifton video in which he discusses the
implications of APA's policies for psychologists.
Steven Soldz interviewed on Oregon’s KBOO: Psychologists
Boston Globe article on psychologists' protest at the 2008
APA Convention in Boston, MA.
June 2008 Nordic Psychological Association letter to APA
President Kazdin protesting APA's current policies on the
involvement of psychologists in military interrogations.
Link to Pope and Gutheil article in Psychiatric times (vol. 25,
#8) "The American Psychological Association & Detainee
Interrogations: Unanswered Questions"
Link to video of May 2008 conference on The Role Of
Psychologists in Torture. Speakers include David Sloan-
Rossiter, co-chair of the Curriculum Committee at the
Boston Institute for Psychotherapy and Massachusetts
Insitute for Psychoanalysis, Leonard Rubinstein, President
of Physicians for Human Rights, Stephen Soldz, Boston
Graduate School of Psychoanalysis, and Eric Fair, a civilian
contract interrogator in Abu Ghraib.
Link to Frank Summers' interview on Chicago Public Radio
describing the history of the APA's involvement in
Guantanamo Bay and other illegal detention centers in
which foreign nationals are being kept. Dr. Summers is
President of Psychoanalysts for Social Responsibility and he
is on the Steering Committee of withholdAPAdues.com.
Link to the Martin Baro fund petition.
Link to archived files reporting on the 2007 Ethical APA
demonstration at the APA convention in San Francisco and
other relevant documents
Website continuing further links to articles on the APA
interrogation controversy: www.focusreframed.com
For information on the status of SJR No. 19, a bill introduced
by Senator Ridley-Thomas into the California state senate
removing all California licensed health professionals from
participating in any way in detainee interrogation practices,
click this link.
Read PHR's letter supporting the California resolution at:
A similar measure is being considered in the New York
The recent passage of the APA membership-wide Referendum banning
psychologists' work within the U.S. military chain of command in detention
facilities that operate outside of or in violation of U.S. law, international
human rights statutes, or the Geneva Conventions is historic and
precedent-setting in several respects. First, it represents the first
member-sponsored referendum brought under Article IV, section 5 of the
APA bylaws in the APA's history. Second, the Referendum was passed
with the largest voter response in APA history for any vote, including
presidential elections. Third, it represents a resounding repudiation on
the part of the full population of American psychologists of the APA's
long-standing policy of supporting psychologists' consultation in detainee
interrogations in such settings.
The APA had claimed in the past that its policies were consistent with the
attitudes, opinions, and values of its membership at large, often against
the outspoken protest of a growing number of APA members who
condemned such involvement on the part of psychologists and of the
APA, and who were deeply troubled and ashamed to find themselves
thus spoken for by the APA. The APA has made such claims while
simultaneously opposing the efforts of these groups of psychologists to
bring about changes in its policies.
Now, however, the APA can no longer claim that psychologists' work in
these detention facilities (in which, as the International Committee of the
Red Cross has noted, the very conditions of detention themselves
constitute torture) is supported by its membership. As such, it initially
shifted its tactics, and issued a press release which simultaneously
represented the Referendum as a direct extension of the APA's past
(toothless) 2007 resolution against torture (which still allowed
psychologists to remain working for the military in these sites), while
simultaneously attempting to stall the implementation of this new
Referendum until the next APA Convention (August 2009), at the earliest.
Subsequently, the APA changed course and, due to ongoing pressure
from the membership, appointed a task force to look into earlier
implementation. The result was that its President, Dr. Alan Kazdin
drafted an open letter to President Bush in which he alerted him the
APA's immediate policy change regarding interrogations. This is certainly
a milestone, and very good news for those concerned about the APA's
past interrogation policies or about torture and human rights more
broadly. However, as the American Psychiatric Association learned
recently, setting a clear policy of non-participation is one thing, and
overcoming the secrecy imposed by the military and intelligence agencies
to ensure that the policy is being adhered to in these sites is quite
another. Thus, while we certainly commend Dr. Kazdin for the letter (and
for choosing to heed the will of the majority of voters that the policies be
changed), we must continue to advocate for the enforcement of the
Referendum, meaning the immediate removal of all APA member
psychologists from the military chain of command in these extra-legal
prison camps, the gulags of our time.
Connecticut College, Guilford College, University of Rhode Island, York College of the City University of New York, the
California State University at Long Beach, Smith College, Saybrook Graduate College and Research Center, Hanover College,
Mount Holyoke, University of the District of Columbia, and Earlham College call on the APA to prohibit the participation of
psychologists directly and indirectly in interrogations in sites where foreign detainees are deprived of due process. The text
of the Earlham College resolution and letter are contained in this link. (link to Earlham College Resolution & letter)
Contact: Michael Jackson.
Links to more information about colleges and universities that have protested the APAs stance on psychologists'
involvement in illegal detention sites:
Psychology students interested in protesting against the APA can contact: Baba Singh.Online student petition seeking to ban
psychologist participation in military investigations http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/APAban
Psychologists who have withheld their 2008 dues or who intend to withhold their 2009 dues from the American Psychological
Association in protest over the APA's current ethics have created a website and listserve in order to discuss how to organize
as a group and how to maximize the impact of their decision. Website for withholdapadues
|This page carries news and recent press clippings, articles, interviews,
and videos about the ongoing protest against the APA's policies
regarding psychologists' participation in interrogations and notice of
upcoming protests, demonstrations and meetings. If you would like to
have a protest, demonstration or meeting announced on this site, or
know of a relevant article or link that you think should appear on this
page, please contact Ryan Hunt.