A PsySR Video: "I Approve This Resolution"

VIDEO: "I Approve This Resolution"...Vote "Yes" and Say "No" to Torture

If you’re an APA member, you should have recently received a petition ballot in the mail. The resolution proposes that psychologists may not work in settings like Guantanamo Bay and CIA “black sites” where persons are held outside of, or in violation of, either International Law or the US Constitution--unless the psychologists are working directly for the persons being detained or for an independent third party working to protect human rights.

Psychologists for Social Responsibility strongly encourages you to vote “I APPROVE,” and to return your ballot before the September 15th deadline. Our brief video above explains why, and the text of the resolution is below. If you misplaced your ballot you can obtain another by emailing Garnett Coad at gcoad@apa.org. For more background on the petition, frequently asked questions about its purposes and intent, and the list of original sponsors, please see the website of Psychologists for an Ethical APA.


FULL TEXT OF THE RESOLUTION

Whereas torture is an abhorrent practice in every way contrary to the APA's stated mission of advancing psychology as a science, as a profession, and as a means of promoting human welfare.

Whereas the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Mental Health and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture have determined that treatment equivalent to torture has been taking place at the United States Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. [1]

Whereas this torture took place in the context of interrogations under the direction and supervision of Behavioral Science Consultation Teams (BSCTs) that included psychologists. [2, 3]

Whereas the Council of Europe has determined that persons held in CIA black sites are subject to interrogation techniques that are also equivalent to torture [4], and because psychologists helped develop abusive interrogation techniques used at these sites. [3, 5]

Whereas the International Committee of the Red Cross determined in 2003 that the conditions in the US detention facility in Guantánamo Bay are themselves tantamount to torture [6], and therefore by their presence psychologists are playing a role in maintaining these conditions.

Be it resolved that psychologists may not work in settings where persons are held outside of, or in violation of, either International Law (e.g., the UN Convention Against Torture and the Geneva Conventions) or the US Constitution (where appropriate), unless they are working directly for the persons being detained or for an independent third party working to protect human rights [7].

Footnotes

[1] United Nations Commission on Human Rights. (2006). Situation of detainees at Guantánamo Bay. Retrieved March 4, 2008, from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/16_02_06_un_guantanamo.pdf The full title of the ‘Special Rapporteur on Mental Health’ is the ‘Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health’.

[2] Miles, S. (2007). Medical ethics and the interrogation of Guantanamo 063. The American Journal of Bioethics, 7(4), 5. Retrieved March 4, 2008, from http://ajobonline.com/journal/j_articles.php?aid=1140

[3] Office of the Inspector General, Department of Defense: Review of DoD-Directed Investigations of Detainee Abuse. Retrieved March 4, 2008, from http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/dod/abuse.pdf

[4] Council of Europe Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights (2007). Secret detentions and illegal transfers of detainees involving Council of Europe member states: second report. Retrieved March 4, 2008, from http//assembly.coe.int//Main.asp?link=http://assembly.coe.int/Documents/WorkingDocs/Doc07/edoc11302.htm

[5] Eban, K. (2007). Rorschach and Awe. Vanity Fair. Retrieved March 4, 2008, from http://www.vanityfair. com/politics/features/2007/07/torture200707

[6] Lewis, N. A. (2004, November 30). Red Cross Finds Detainee Abuse in Guantánamo. Retrieved March 4, 2008, from http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/30/politics/30gitmo.html? oref=login&adxnnl=1&oref=login&adxnnlx=1101831750-

[7] It is understood that military clinical psychologists would still be available to provide treatment for military personnel.