APA org Psychology Today
Source: Linda M. Woolf
On July 2, 2015, David Hoffman and colleagues submitted the Independent Review Relating To APA Ethics Guidelines, National Security Interrogations, And Torture to the Board of Directors of the American Psychological Association (APA). If all of the elements of the Hoffman Report are accurate—and I have no reason to believe this Report is not accurate—then, several key points are quite clear:
- Before 2001, there was a push for the Ethics Office to be less aggressive in pursuing ethics policy and adjudication of ethics complaints. The failure of APA to maintain a rigorous Ethics policy paved the path for psychologist collusion in torture and other prisoner abuses.
- Key APA leaders/staff actively endeavored to weaken anti-torture Resolutions/Referendums through a pattern of manipulation, misdirection, and misinformation.
- Key APA leaders/staff engaged in a pattern of deception to hide their complicity in torture and abusive interrogation practices from other APA leaders, members volunteering in the Association, the broader membership, as well as the wider population.
- The fox appeared to be guarding the chicken coop. Under current APA procedures, all ethics- related policy and adjudication of ethics complaints must be coordinated with and through the Ethics Office. Yet, Dr. Stephen Behnke, Director of the APA Ethics office, was at times also on the Department of Defense (DoD) payroll. The Ethics Office should serve the membership of the APA and use the full resources of that office to maintain and promote ethics and the protection of human welfare and human rights. Unfortunately, it now appears that Dr. Behnke used that office to maintain and promote the goals of the DoD and, by extension, the government’s abusive interrogation policies.