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The Use of Coercion in Interrogations

Assignment 2: The Use of Coercion in Interrogations

The American Psychological Association (APA), the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Medical Association all oppose the use of coercion in interrogation. These organizations strictly prohibit their members from participating in interrogations in which coercion is used. These organizations claim that coercion is unethical.

The resolution of the APA (2008) on coercion in interrogation includes the following statement:

BE IT RESOLVED that the American Psychological Association affirms that there are no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether induced by a state of war or threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, that may be invoked as a justification for torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, including the invocation of laws, regulations, or orders. (para. 7)

Publicly revealed Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) transcripts and interviews with CIA employees detail that harsh methods were used to develop information from suspected terrorists. Use the key words “John Kiriakou interview with Brian Ross” on a search engine to read a CIA officer’s revelation on the methods used to develop information from a suspected terrorist.

A potential logical conclusion about the treatment of detained combatants is that coercion works and, because it works so well, it can be justified under some exceptional circumstances.

Reference:

American Psychological Association. (2008). Chapter III. Ethics: Reaffirmation of
           the American Psychological Association position against torture and other
           cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment and its application to
           individuals defined in the United States Code as “enemy combatants”
           (amended 2007 position)
. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/about/policy/
           chapter-3.aspx

Tasks:

Create a 2- to 3-page paper addressing the following:

  • Detail what the scientific literature states with regard to the use of coercion in interrogations. Include an unbiased evaluation of the use of coercion and when it may or may not be justified.
  • Include examples of coercive techniques and the purported effectiveness. You will need to address the possibility of false confessions as a result of coercive techniques.

Submission Details:

  • By Wednesday, June 25, 2014, save your paper as M2_A2_Lastname_Firstname.doc and submit it to the M2 Assignment 2 Dropbox.
Assignment 2 Grading Criteria
Maximum Points
Detailed what the scientific literature states with regard to the use of coercion in interrogations and included an unbiased evaluation of the use of coercion and when it may or may not be justified.
48
Included examples of coercive techniques and the purported effectiveness and addressed the possibility of false confessions as a result of coercive techniques.
36
Wrote in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrated ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; and displayed accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
16
Total:
100
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