In November 2014, the Board of Directors of the American Psychological Association engaged our Firm to conduct an independent review of allegations that had been made regarding APA’s issuance of ethical guidelines in 2002 and 2005, and related actions. These ethical guidelines determined whether and under what circumstances psychologists who were APA members could ethically participate in national security interrogations. The gist of the allegations was that APA made these ethics policy decisions as a substantial result of influence from and close relationships with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and other government entities, which purportedly wanted permissive ethical guidelines so that their psychologists could continue to participate in harsh and abusive interrogation techniques being used by these agencies after the September 11 attacks on the United States. Critics pointed to alleged procedural irregularities and suspicious outcomes regarding APA’s ethics policy decisions and said they resulted from this improper coordination, collaboration, or collusion. Some said APA’s decisions were intentionally made to assist the government in engaging in these “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Some said they were intentionally made to help the government commit torture.
On April 3, 2014, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence voted to send the Findings and Conclusions and the Executive Summary of its final Study on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program to the President for declassification and subsequent public release. This action marked the culmination of a monumental effort that officially began with the Committee’s decision to initiate the Study in March 2009, but which had its roots in an investigation into the CIA’s destruction of videotapes of CIA detainee interrogations that began in December 2007. The full Committee Study, which totals more than 6,700 pages, remains classified but is now an official Senate report. The full report has been provided to the White House, the CIA, the Department of Justice, the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in the hopes that it will prevent future coercive interrogation practices and inform the management of other covert action programs.
A manual produced by the DoD’s Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA) and used by instructors in the JPRA’s Survival Evasion Resistance Escape (SERE) courses to train participants for the potential experience of detention. According to Jason Leopold and Jeffrey Kaye of Truthout, the manual was reportedly consulted during high-level discussions in the Bush administration regarding potential “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Several techniques described in the manual are mentioned in a series of controversial memos commonly referred to as the “Torture memos” authored by Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel attorney John Yoo.
19. The Agency faces potentially serious long-term political and legal challenges as a result of the CTC Detention and Interrogation Program, particularly its use of EITs and the inability of the u.s. Govenunent to decide what it will ultimately do with terrorists,detained by the Agency.