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Psychologists and detainee interrogations: key decisions, opportunities lost, and lessons learned.

Authors
  • Pope, Kenneth S
Type
Published Article
Journal
Annual review of clinical psychology
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2011
Volume
7
Pages
459–481
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-032210-104612
PMID: 21219192
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

After the 9-11 terrorist attacks, U.S. psychologists faced hard choices about what roles, if any, were appropriate for psychologists in the detainee interrogations conducted in settings such as the Bagram Airbase, the Abu Ghraib Prison, and the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camps. The American Psychological Association (APA) sparked intense controversy with its policies and public statements. This article reviews APA decisions, documents, and public statements in this area, in the context of major criticisms and responses to those criticisms. The review focuses on key issues: how the APA created and reported policies in the areas of ethics and national security; transparency; psychologists' professional identities; psychologists' qualifications; ethical-legal conflicts; policies opposing torture; interpretations of avoiding harm; and effective interrogations. It suggests lessons learned, missed opportunities, and questions in need of a fresh approach.

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