Psychologists divided over interrogations

Aug. 16, 2008 at 2:14 PM
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BOSTON, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. psychologists are expressing divergent views over the role their profession should play in military and intelligence interrogations.

Members of the American Psychological Association are considering whether to make any involvement in military interrogations a violation of their ethics code, The New York Times reported Saturday.

The newspaper reported that psychologists have had a role in the military and CIA interrogations of people suspected of being enemy combatants in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The issue has been thrust into the spotlight at the American Psychological Association's annual convention this week in Boston.

"It's really a fight for the soul of the profession," said Brad Olson, a psychologist at Northwestern University, who has circulated a petition among APA members to place a moratorium on psychologists being involved in interrogations.

William Strickland, who represents the Society for Military Psychology before the association, said psychologists know their ethical bounds.

"The vast majority of military psychologists know the ethics code and know exactly what they can and cannot do," Strickland said. "This is a fight about individual psychologists' behavior, and we should keep it there."

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