Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 1 Share on Twitter 5 Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

James Risen vs. the American Psychological Association

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Roy Eidelson       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   7 comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 3   Must Read 2   News 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 10/23/14

Author 4827
Become a Fan
  (10 fans)


No-Torture-No-Collaboration
(Image by Roy Eidelson)
  Permission   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -
/p>

Place your bets everyone. In one corner stands James Risen, the distinguished New York Times investigative reporter with two Pulitzer Prizes under his belt. In the opposite corner stands the Board of the American Psychological Association, ever ready to protect APA's reputation from assault.

What brings these two into the ring is Risen's new bestseller Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War. Relying on never-before-disclosed emails involving senior officials from the APA and the CIA, Risen makes the case that the two organizations secretly colluded to craft the APA's ethics policies for psychologists, policies that provided support and cover for the Bush Administration's "enhanced interrogation" torture program.

In a response to the book's publication last week, the APA Board accused Risen of "innuendo and one-sided reporting" but offered no defense against his actual claims and evidence. The APA instead resorted to a feeble three-punch combination of misdirection (deeming as "absurd" the notion that any financial interests were at stake); Orwellian language tricks (describing secret meetings where the participants and topics were never publicly revealed as "invitation-only"); and self-righteousness (emphasizing "APA's long-standing efforts to safeguard against the use of torture"). Flailing jabs like these are unlikely to prove effective; in a recent interview Risen accurately described them as a "non-denial denial."

Eventually the APA leadership's habitual duck-and-slip strategy will also falter. They can't indefinitely elude the blunt force of an email trail revealing that the CIA played a central role in developing and selecting members for the APA's Presidential Task Force on Psychological Ethics and National Security (PENS). Most of those task force members worked for the military or intelligence agencies, and several were in chains of command where detainee abuses were reported to have taken place. Not surprisingly, the PENS report asserted that psychologists play a valuable role in keeping detention and interrogation operations "safe, legal, ethical, and effective."

- Advertisement -

In responding to Pay Any Price, the APA Board simply lacks a convincing counterpunch: for example, evidence that the Association has been resolute in pursuing ethics complaints filed against members alleged to have participated in torture or abuse. Indeed after seven years of delay, this past winter the APA's Ethics Office formally closed the most thoroughly documented case to date -- without even bringing the complaint to the full Ethics Committee for review and adjudication.

This fight is not over, but the American Psychological Association may have finally met its match. Whatever the outcome, everyone should be hoping that the truth wins out.

 

- Advertisement -

Well Said 3   Must Read 2   News 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Roy Eidelson is a psychologist who studies, writes about, and consults on the role of psychological issues in political, organizational, and group conflict settings. He is a past president of Psychologists for Social Responsibility, a member of (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Four Psychologists at the Gates of Hell

The DCCC's Mind Games and the Ballad of Roy Moore

Psychologists' Collusion in Ongoing Illegal Detentions

New Evidence Links CIA to APA's "War on Terror" Ethics

Psychology's Newest Joke: Not Very Funny

Protecting Psychologists Who Harm: The APA's Latest Wrong Turn