Article ID: CBB995010938

A military/intelligence operational perspective on the American Psychological Association’s weaponization of psychology post-9/11 (2022)


We examine the role of the American Psychological Association (APA) in the weaponization of American psychology post-9/11. In 2004, psychologists’ involvement in the detention and interrogation of terrorist suspects generated controversy over psychological ethics in national security (PENS). Two signal events inflamed the controversy. The 2005 APA PENS Report legitimized clinical psychology consultation in support of military/intelligence operations with detained terrorist suspects. An independent review, the 2015 Hoffman Report, found APA collusion with the US Department of Defense in producing the APA PENS Report and subsequent policies. Ongoing activities within APA to weaponize psychology sharpened the controversy. The authors—two psychologists and four former military/intelligence professionals—bring a military/intelligence operational perspective to detail two neglected areas of collateral damage. The first is the toll on psychology as a scientific enterprise. The second is covert influence on professional associations for incompatible security-sector objectives. We establish epistemic, historical, institutional, legal, and operational foundations for evaluation of these damages, as well as implications for APA and related professional associations in the ongoing Global War on Terror.

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Article Nadine Weidman (2022) Introduction: The Hoffman Report in historical context. History of the Human Sciences (pp. 3-6). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Crooks, Roderic N.
Galloway, Gerard E., Jr.
Allison J. Lazard
Brittany Duncan
Gilbert, Robert B.
Krista L. Rodkey
The Bridge: Journal of the National Academy of Engineering
History of the Human Sciences
Science, Technology, and Human Values
Science Communication
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine
Cornell University Press
OR Books
Air University Press
University of Chicago Press
The MIT Press
American Psychological Association
Psychology and war
Military technology
Professional ethics
Drones (aircraft)
Boyd, John Richard
Weil, Vivian
Whitbeck, Caroline
Reagan, Ronald
Time Periods
21st century
20th century, late
20th century
United States
American Psychological Association
United States. Department of Defense
United States Air Force (USAF)
United States Space Force (USSF)
United States. Central Intelligence Agency
National Cancer Institute (U.S.)

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