APA alerts federal officials to new policy on interrogations
Association sends letters to White House, DoD, CIA and others.
APA has notified President Obama and other key federal
officials of its new policy that includes a prohibition against
psychologists’ participation in national security interrogations.
APA President Barry S. Anton, PhD, and APA CEO Norman
B. Anderson, PhD, sent letters asking these officials to safeguard
psychologists from involvement in any national security
interrogations or detention settings that would risk placing
them in conflict with APA’s Ethics Code and policies related to
“APA requests that military psychologists be protected
from actions that might pose a conflict with the APA Ethics
Code and that they be withdrawn from any role in national
1) Participate in national security
security interrogations or conditions of confinement that
might facilitate such interrogations,” the letters state. “They
may provide general consultation on policy related to
humane information-gathering methods that are not related
to any specific national security interrogation or detention
Sending these letters was the first major step in the
implementation of the new policy, adopted by APA’s governing
Council of Representatives at its meeting in August. Recipients
of the letters were: President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary
Ashton Carter, CIA Director John Brennan, Director of
National Intelligence James Clapper, Director of High-Value
Detainee Interrogation Group Frazier
Thompson IV, Attorney General Loretta
Lynch and the chairs and ranking members
of the House and Senate Armed Services,
Intelligence and Judiciary Committees.
Under the new policy, psychologists may
interrogations or conditions of
confinement that might facilitate such
2) Work at detention settings operating
in violation of the U.S. Constitution or
international law (as deemed by specific U.N.
authorities), including the Guantanamo Bay
detention facility, unless providing treatment
to military personnel or working directly
for the detainees or for an independent
third party to protect human rights. APA
asked that any such psychologists be offered
The letters note that “through their
— Kim I. Mills
professional work, psychologists in national
security roles strive to achieve, and are
responsible to uphold, the highest levels of
competence and ethics in their field.”
The letters also reaffirm APA’s
commitment to human rights and urge the
federal officials to “take affirmative steps to
ensure that national security detainees in U.S.
custody are treated fairly and humanely.”
In the latest issue of gradPSYCH
APA’s magazine for graduate students is
• Navigating the power differential.
open and free to all at www.gradpsych-
digital.org/gradpsych. Articles in the
January issue include:
How to have difficult conversations with
mentors in graduate school.
• Do you fear missing out? In
academic environments, there are plenty
of opportunities to miss out on, but no
one graduate student can do it all. Here’s
how to avoid academic fear of missing
• Make your resume stand out. If you’re thinking of a job outside
academia, you’ll likely need a resume instead of a CV. Here’s how to
pull together a resume that outshines the rest.
• Secrets for securing research funding. Apply early — and
often — for better success in funding your research as a graduate
student, experts say.
• Is it OK to cry? Patients aren’t the only ones to tear up during
therapy — sometimes therapists do, too.
• An app a day keeps the doctors away. Andreas Michaelides is
using his skills in psychology and technology to create apps that
help people lose weight, defeat diabetes and more.
• Student and star. Through her research and on the silver
screen, grad student Angel Giuffria is raising awareness about the
stigma surrounding amputees.