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Terrorism

Behavioral Experts Denounce Interrogation Abuse

Posted Aug 20, 2007 10:06 AM CDT
By Molly McDonough

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The nation's largest group of behavioral experts ruled on Sunday that its members cannot be associated with interrogation techniques that the government has used on terrorism detainees.

In making its decision at its annual meeting over the weekend, the American Psychological Association said that psychologists who are witness to mock executions, simulated drowning and certain other interrogation techniques must intervene or report the activity to superiors, the Washington Post reports.The APA, however, rejected a proposal that would have banned psychologists from taking party in any interrogations, according to the Associated Press.

The resolution condemns and "includes and absolute prohibition against psychologists’ knowingly planning, designing, and assisting in the use of torture and any form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

Those psychologists who fail to intervene or report such activity could be stripped of their professional licensing. The APA pronouncement follows similar moves by the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association.

At its annual meeting last week in San Francisco, the ABA passed a resolution urging Congress to override a Bush administration interrogation order that would allow the CIA to use methods such as sleep deprivation and waterboarding.

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