Thursday, September 25, 2008

Psychologists reject torture

One of the disturbing features of America's policy of torture is the way it has co-opted medical professionals in serious human rights abuses. Every torture session is monitored by a Behavioral Science Consultation Team which recommends techniques and sets limits to ensure the victim is not tortured to death. Unsurprisingly, many medical professionals regard this enabling of torture as a gross violation of professional ethics (not to mention US and international law), and both the American Psychiatric Association and American Medical Association have banned their members from participating in interrogations. Now, the American Psychological Association has joined them, with its members passing a referendum banning participation in torture in the face of a leadership willing to collaborate with torturers. Members violating the ban could face disciplinary action - which is the least they deserve.

Now, if only the American people would impose similar restrictions on their government and military. Oh, that's right - they already have. The problem is enforcing it on a government which considers itself above the law.