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Tue, Nov 18

American Psychological Association names lawyer for internal investigation

The American Psychological Association (APA) last week named a former federal prosecutor to lead an investigation into its role in supporting the U.S. government’s interrogation of suspected terrorists.

A new book by reporter James Risen of The New York Times alleges that APA, the largest U.S. professional association of psychologists, bent its ethical guidelines to give psychologists permission to conduct such interrogations at the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and elsewhere. The motivation, according to Risen, was to stay in the good graces of U.S. intelligence and defense officials. APA has denied the allegations and says that it worked closely with the CIA and the Pentagon “to ensure that national security policies were well-informed by empirical science.”

David Hoffman, a lawyer with the Chicago, Illinois, law firm Sidley Austin LLP, says that APA has promised him its complete cooperation. “We will follow the evidence where it leads us,” he told ScienceInsider. He added that his full report, “without modification,” will be made public in March 2015.

Read more from ScienceInsider.