Torture is Okay, Says American Psychological Association
A new report shows that the American Psychological Association played a key role in justifying the legality of the Central Intelligence Agency's torture program.
The New York Times reports that statements made by members of the APA were used in secret court hearings to determine the legality of the torture program. This validated the torture and allowed it to continue after photographic evidence from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq shocked the world in 2004.
The APA wrote guidelines that closely mirrored the internal legal recommendations of the CIA for the torture program which saw prisoners physically, emotionally, and sexually abused.
After the images of abuse at Abu Ghraib were released, the CIA suspended the torture program and ordered an internal review to determine if it was the proper course of action.
Shortly after that review began, a high-ranking APA member invited particular members of the association that were also working in the US government to discuss the matter. Among the participants were CIA psychologists. A year after that discussion, the APA said that it was fine for its members to monitor the torture sessions.
Making this all the more troubling for the APA is the fact that in 2003, a full year before the review, a high-ranking CIA official e-mailed a high-ranking member of the APA and strongly insinuated that the agency was up to something nefarious in its interrogations.
One author of the report says that member of the Bush administration even wrote some of the policies that the APA published to regulate its members participation in secret government interrogations.
The US Senate recently declassified a report about the torture program that ran to several hundred pages. No one has been arrested or charged with any crime in relation to the program.