That’s the title (the second part) of a New York Times editorial from April 4. Considering the American Psychological Association’s (APA) stance on torture, this has considerable significance for psychologists. Psychologists are not completely banned from engaging in torture in the current APA ethics code. One argument is that psychologists in the military must follow orders. This is particularly important when it has been shown that psychologists have taken an active role in developing and overseeing interrogations for the military.
Here’s an excerpt from the beginning of the article:
You can often tell if someone understands how wrong their actions are by the lengths to which they go to rationalize them. It took 81 pages of twisted legal reasoning to justify President Bush’s decision to ignore federal law and international treaties and authorize the abuse and torture of prisoners.
Eighty-one spine-crawling pages in a memo that might have been unearthed from the dusty archives of some authoritarian regime and has no place in the annals of the United States. It is must reading for anyone who still doubts whether the abuse of prisoners were rogue acts rather than calculated policy.
Kalea Chapman, Psy.D.