Psychologists Join Lawyers in Opposing Administration’s “Enhanced” Interrogations
A week after American lawyers declared their opposition to the Bush Administration’s “enhanced” interrogation system, psychologists struck a second blow against the program. On Sunday, The American Psychological Association banned its members from taking part in interrogations that include mock executions, simulated drowning, sexual and religious humiliation, stress positions, sleep deprivation, the exploitation of prisoners’ phobias, the use of mind-altering drugs, hooding, forced nakedness, the use of dogs to frighten detainees, exposing prisoners to extreme heat and cold, physical assault and threatening the use of such techniques against a prisoner or a prisoner’s family. This resolution is significant because the Bush Administration left the door open for the CIA to employ some of these techniques in its July 20th executive order, and the Director of National Intelligence has sought to allay concerns about the program by asserting that the “enhanced” interrogation program is being conducted “under medical supervision.” The APA voted against instituting a complete ban on participation in interrogations by its members.
A recent report by Human Rights First and Physicians for Human Rights shows that the techniques objected to on Sunday by the APA are violations of the law.