Praise Association’s Decision Not to Take Part in Torture

apa20101

Target: Mr. Norman B. Anderson, CEO of the American Psychological Association

Goal: Praise decision disallowing members from taking part in interrogations.

In a recent, and nearly unanimous decision, the American Psychological Association voted to disallow its members from taking part in national security interrogations. This vote comes on the heels of a report that revealed that APA psychologists had allegedly worked with the CIA and the Pentagon to develop unethical interrogation techniques that could be construed as torture. Thankfully, that can never happen again and the organization deserves to be commended for owning up to their mistakes and drawing a line in the sand of ethics.

The contents of the report on the APA are chilling. It alleges that the CIA and Pentagon consulted the APA in an attempt to bend the definition of torture so that what they were doing could not technically be called torture. Some of the organization’s top officials were consulted on interrogation techniques, including but not limited to: waterboarding, sexual humiliation, and sleep deprivation. The officials then changed their guidelines and kept them in line with what these organizations were doing to people.

To the APA’s credit, the report that exposed all of this unethical practice was investigated, written, and released by the organization itself. The organization denied their involvement for years, but once the report shed light on the truth, it immediately took responsibility and has now taken action to make sure something like what happened post 9/11 can never happen again. They have also fired a number of their top ranking officials, fittingly including their ethics director.

This is a fantastic step towards ensuring that the Federal Government doesn’t torture any more people and the APA’s members deserve to be applauded for taking a moral stand. It may take some time to restore true confidence in the organization, but this is a great step in the right direction. Sign here to commend this ban and to voice your discontent with a nation that tortures its prisoners.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Anderson,

I am writing to thank you and your organization for banning all of your association’s members from taking part in national security interrogations. I understand that in the past your organization has been involved with the CIA and the Pentagon in regards to interrogation techniques that could be construed as torture and I am thrilled that you are now fully distancing yourself from those policies.

There is no reason to torture any prisoner, regardless of what they may know. Statistics show that confessions made during torture are weak, forced, and usually completely made up. There is no ethical basis to torture another human being and no good has ever come of it in all our history.

Thank you for taking the first step in rebuilding public confidence in your organization and please continue to ensure that you follow your own basic ethical principles.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: The American Psychological Association

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