August 5th, 2009
In the lead up to the American Psychological Association convention in Toronto tomorrow, where the struggle against APA cover for psychologist participation in human rights abuses will continue for yet another year, the authors of last year’s referendum — adopted by 59% of voting members — that condemned psychologist participation in detention sites outside of or in violation of international law, have issued an appeal to the membership to prevent the referendum’s murder by committee:
Don’t let democracy die in committee
Dear APA member,
Last year you, the membership of the APA, passed the first referendum in our history. By a margin of 59 to 41, rank and file members of the APA voted to walk away from the dark side.
All the evidence has that emerged since the September vote has confirmed the soundness of the decision we made. Newly declassified memos make it crystal clear that psychologists have designed, overseen, and participated in torture sessions. Psychologists were so deeply integrated in the U.S.’s legal defense of torture that nearly any act – including those resulting in organ failure or death – was considered legal if a psychologist assured the interrogators that the action would produce information. The role that psychologists played in the U.S.’ torture program was a central one.
Yet, despite this historic vote and despite the evidence confirming the soundness of our decision, psychologists continue to work in places like Guantanamo Bay.
In the 10 months that has passed since the passage of the referendum the leadership of the APA has done very little to implement the will of its members. While the APA has received a report detailing numerous ways the referendum could be implemented, the various boards and committees of the association have not recommended taking any concrete actions.
Democracy is dying in committee – but we can change that. We are asking you to contact President Bray and your council member and ask them implement all of the items included in the Presidential Advisory Group Report (PAG report). Please also ask President Bray to immediately inform psychologists working at Guantanamo Bay and Bagram Airbase that they are violating APA policy.
You can contact President Bray at: email@example.com and you can find the contact info for your representative on this website:
Together we can change things for the better,