Since the first pictures of Abu Ghraib, the collusion of medical personnel, including psychologists, in the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, Bagram, and CIA detention centers is no longer open to question:
Mark Benjamin, “The CIA’s Torture Teachers,” Salon.com, 12 June 2007;
Valtin, “Fact Sheet: Psychologist Participation in Torture,” Invictus, 6 July 2007;
Steven Miles, “Medical Ethics and the Interrogation of Guantanamo 063,” American Journal of Bioethics 7.4, April 2007, pp. 5-11.
The response of the American Psychological Organization, the 150,000 member national organization for psychologists, has been to reiterate the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Gonzales-Yoo doublespeak of “We do not torture!” (Trudy Bond, “APA Confab Whitewashes Torture by Shrinks,” CounterPunch 23 August 2006; Trudy Bond, “Shrinks, Lies and Torture,” CounterPunch, 14-15 April 2007) even as FOIA documents verify otherwise: United States Military Medicine in War on Terror Prisons, <www1.umn.edu/humanrts/OathBetrayed/index.html>
Fortunately and ironically, the annual meeting for the American Psychological Association is scheduled for San Francisco this year, a venue where we can join together to close down the streets of San Fran in protesting APA’s façade that results in the protection of war criminals and leads to the immense suffering and death of many. Dr. Miles has documented from the papers obtained by the national ACLU at least 160 homicides of helpless detainees, including children. There are undoubtedly many more.
In the midst of APA’s annual convention August 17-20, a protest is planned by a small group of psychologists who have protested APA’s stance for over a year: Psychologists for an Ethical APA, <www.ethicalapa.com>. The protest is scheduled for:
Saturday August 18, 2007
Noon to 1:30 PM
Plaza on Howard Street just west of 3rd Street
Please visit the website for more details, sign up your group as supporting our protest, and advertise this protest far and wide. The message APA needs to hear is two-fold:
- Psychologists must stop collaborating with and participating in the Behavioral Science Consultation Teams (BSCT) that were created to break prisoners undergoing interrogation.
- Psychologists must stop violating international law immediately and affirm their obligations under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment as ratified by the world community.
If you have any questions, please contact any of those listed on ethicalapa.com or me personally. Thank you.
Dr. Trudy Bond