This post originally appeared on Psychology Today in July, 2015.
Earlier this month, a 542-page report was released, concluding that top officials of the American Psychological Association, including its ethics director, contorted and altered the association’s ethics policies so the psychologists on the Pentagon’s payroll could use their expertise to refine and expand methods of torture. The new “ethics light” guidelines concluded that it was appropriate for psychologists to remain involved with “enhanced” interrogations, to make sure they remained “safe, legal, ethical and effective.” Kind of like having physicians preside over lynchings to ensure they are done humanely. Groucho Marx once sneered, “Those are my principles. If you don’t like them, well…I have others.” He described the APA’s position on its own “other” ethical principles.