L. Morgan Banks, Ph.D. Debra Dunivin, Ph.D., ABPP Larry C. James, Ph.D., ABPP, and Russ Newman, Ph.D.
Respond to the Hoffman Report
When the American Psychological Association (APA) announced that it had engaged a law firm to conduct an independent review of the controversies surrounding psychologists’ involvement in national security interrogations, we looked forward to a thorough and careful report that would lay out the facts objectively, undistorted by the strong opinions of those involved in the controversies. Even more than others, we were eager for the full truth to be uncovered, given our unstinting opposition to torture, our efforts to eliminate abusive interrogation tactics and harsh detention conditions, and our commitment over many years to uphold the highest standards of professional practice. We were therefore shocked to read a report that, far from being objective, is written as a rhetoric-laden prosecutorial brief. It repeatedly ignores or distorts key facts, draws inferences that are contradicted by the evidence or based on guesswork about motives, fails to include contrary analyses and conclusions reported by other sources, commingles several charges on the assumption that the combination will be persuasive even when the evidence supports none of them, and imposes its own views and opinions about policy issues.