Psychologists' effort to end aid to military interrogations falls short

APA failed to ban interrogation aiding, but gathered enough support to bolster efforts further

By Natasha Lennard

Published February 23, 2014 7:22PM (EST)

An effort from within the American Psychological Association to see an end to members aiding in military interrogations fell just short of success late last week. If successful, the ban would have meant the immediate removal of APA members from Guantanamo Bay.

A resolution brought to the APA's legislative body garnered 53 percent of representative support -- too short of the two-thirds threshold required to see the ban implemented. The resolutions' supporters see its considerable backing as a strong indicator that further efforts on this issue may succeed in future.

The Guardian reported:

[T]he simple majority showing prompted Nadine Kaslow, the APA president, to express her openness to adding consideration of the proposed ban to the body’s next meeting...

The issue of US psychologists’ involvement in military interrogations has roiled the APA for nearly a decade. Activists on Friday acknowledged the fatigue confronting APA members.

“There’s a sense in APA of ‘We’ve already done enough, why are we still talking about it, we always get bad press’,” said Dan Aalbers, who helped draft the resolution, which, among other things, calls for the immediate removal of psychologists from Guantanamo Bay.

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email

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American Psychological Association Apa Gitmo Guantanamo Bay Interrogations Military Psychology