Dangerous Ideas

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Psychologists and Torture: Video and Petition

Concerned psychologists and human rights advocates oppose the PENS Report.

Concerned psychologists and human rights advocates have recently initiated a petition drive calling upon the American Psychological Association (APA) to rescind its 2005 "PENS Report." Compelling evidence documents that psychologists have tragically acted as planners, consultants, researchers, and overseers to abusive and torturous interrogations of national security detainees at Guantanamo Bay, CIA "black sites," and elsewhere. Nevertheless, the PENS Report promotes the contrary view that psychologists are needed to keep such interrogations "safe, legal, ethical, and effective."

The Coalition for an Ethical Psychology has created a brief video (below) to illuminate some of the troubling links between this APA report and the Bush Administration's defense of waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation techniques" that violate international human rights standards. "Psychologists and Torture: Annul the APA's PENS Report" includes clips of former U.S. Army Surgeon General Kevin Kiley, former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and current Director of the APA's Ethics Office Stephen Behnke. 

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The petition effort to annul the PENS Report has already been endorsed by over 20 organizations -- including the American Civil Liberties Union, Psychologists for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Human Rights, and the National Religious Campaign Against Torture -- and over 1,000 health professionals, social scientists, human rights scholars and activists, and concerned military and intelligence professionals. 

After watching the video, please read the petition and consider adding your signature at www.ethicalpsychology.org/pens.

 

 

Roy Eidelson, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist, president of Eidelson Consulting, and a past president of Psychologists for Social Responsibility.

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