American Samizdat

Thursday, November 30, 2006. *

The second resolution condemns not only the use of torture by the Bush administration, but it denounces the use of anthropological knowledge in torture and extreme interrogations. The AAA's statement stands in stark contrast with the American Psychological Association's ambivalent policies which provides psychologists working in military and intelligence settings with some cover should they wish to assist in extreme interrogations or torture. One of the concerns underlying this resolution comes from reports by Seymour Hersh that CIA interrogators consulted anthropological works such as Raphael Patai's book, The Arab Mind, to better design culture-specific means of torture and interrogation. This resolution passed unanimously with little debate.

Also see, But We're at War...
The Association of Social Anthropologists has kicked off their new Ethics blog with a sharp critique of PRISP, the Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholars Program, backed by anthropologist and unreformed cold warrior Felix Moos. PRISP offers funding to students in the social sciences, on the condition that they do summer internships and other activities with the CIA and other intelligence agencies, essentially serving as a recruitment tool for US intelligence services. I have posted about PRISP here before, voicing concern about the loss of autonomy this cozying up to the state may engender in the long run, and these concerns are shared by John Gledhill at the ASA:
posted by Uncle $cam at 5:30 AM
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