At its recent annual convention, the American Psychological Association finally began to confront its shameful history of “war on terror” collusion with the U.S. military and intelligence establishment. Of particular note, an important, newly adopted policy now prohibits psychologists from participating in national security interrogations. But the damage caused by the APA’s failure to defend the profession’s do-no-harm ethics is extensive, and meaningful repair will require a comprehensive and ongoing commitment to transparency, accountability, and reform. This brief essay offers a review and critical assessment of the current moment, the disturbing past, and the uncertain future. Specific challenges and obstacles the APA faces in pursuing redemption are identified and discussed.
Keywords: Psychology, torture, interrogation, mental health, national security, ethical principles.