Vaughn Bell, looking at the recent reports on torture, finds unsettling information about the participation of psychologists and physicians:
The Washington Post has an article exploring recently released ‘war on terror’ interrogation memos, showing that “psychologists, physicians and other health officials” played a key part in interrogations widely condemned as torture.
It’s an interesting revelation because during the long debates, and some say heal-dragging, over whether the American Psychological Association should ban its members from participation, one of their main arguments was that psychologists should participate to prevent any unethical behaviour.
Instead, it looks like the presence of psychologists and other health officials was used to justify the interrogations as reasonable, despite the fact that the Red Cross’s condemnation of techniques as “tantamount to torture” has now been justified by the release of official documents.
The American Psychological Association underwent a lot of contortions on this issue. It’ll be interesting to see it responds to this.