Against a leadership that spun, lied and collaborated with the Bush regime the membership voted 58.8% against being involved in the torture state. Full press release here @ Stephen Soldz’s blog. But as Valtin @ Invictus writes-
One thing the resolution does not mean is an immediate pullout of psychologists from sites where human rights violations take place. Psychologists like U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Diane M. Zierhoffer, a former but now resigned APA member, still staff the Behavioral Science Consultation Teams (BSCT) at Guantanamo and elsewhere. Lt. Col. Zierhoffer exercised her Fifth Amendment rights not to answer questions about her participation in the interrogation of controversial “child soldier” Guantanamo prisoner Mohammad Jawad. Her refusal to answer questions about her actions — Zierhoffer is accused of signing off on keeping Jawad in solitary confinement, despite his mental deterioration — was widely noted and condemned…
It is now incumbent upon APA as an organization to implement the policy voted upon by a notable majority of their membership via free election. The APA must notify all relevant parties — the Pentagon, the President, the CIA — that it is now the position of the APA that psychologists not be utilized at settings where detainees are not allowed rights such as habeas corpus, and where abusive conditions of detention and coercive interrogation are well documented.
More, the APA should communicate the new policy statement broadly to media, legislators and the public. This APA has previously promised to do. They must not be allowed to bury the will of the APA membership. Members who have been withholding their dues in protest of APA policy should wait to see if APA has any real intention of implementing this new policy.
I suspect that APA will continue to procrastinate, as they have done with the so-called ethics casebook called for multiple times over the years (last at the 2007 APA convention). (The deadline for submissions of suggestions for such an ethics casebook was recently extended until the end of 2008.)
The reason for all the delays? The APA is deeply enmeshed in the governmental apparatus of military and intelligence organizations, while also serving varied private consultation and “scientific” organizations, and academia, all under the auspices of serving the national security state. Hence, APA belongs to a wide-ranging set of special interests, which forms an extremely formidable opposition to those who would fundamentally change the policies and personnel responsible for the institution of a world-wide network of secret prisons and institutionalized torture.