The Case Against Psychological Torture

The Dark Side by Jane Mayer

In the past, some psychologists were hired as consultants to interrogate detainees including those in Guantanamo and other places. Those who carry out attacks on innocent civilians should be condemned and their actions and attacks are despicable. However, so is torture. It is important to note that studies have shown there are many who were tortured and were found to be innocent. Mostly, no evidence was ever found that they carried or were planning to carry out any attacks. The use of torture by govt’s. has been documented by investigative reports, people in the military as well as NGO’s and the detainees themselves. This included psychological ‘torture’. The practice should have ended a long time ago, because torture itself is a reprehensible act. The vote by the American Psychological Association’s vote to prohibit consultation regarding detainees at Guantanmo is a step towards the right direction.

Members of the American Psychological Association have voted to prohibit consultation in the interrogations of detainees held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, or so-called black sites operated by the Central Intelligence Agency overseas, the association said on Wednesday.

The vote, 8,792 to 6,157 in a mail-in balloting concluded Monday, may help to settle a long debate within the profession over the ethics of such work. Psychologists have helped military and C.I.A. interrogators evaluate detainees, plan questioning strategy and judge its psychological costs. The association’s ethics code, while condemning a list of coercive techniques adopted in the Bush administration’s antiterrorism campaign, has allowed some consultation “for national security-related purposes.”

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Filed under American Politics, Middle East Politics

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