Workshop Website of

The Psychology and Military Intelligence Casebook

on Interrogation Ethics



The Psychology and Military Intelligence Casebook on Interrogation Ethics (PMIC) responds to the revelations that American psychologists have been instrumental in abusive interrogations of terrorist suspects in the Global War On Terror.  However, the root problems are international, and the Casebook aims for international guidelines on psychological ethics in national security setting (as explained here). Through case studies, the Casebook seeks to

    • illuminate the historical, institutional, and career contexts of participating psychologists;

    • develop moral clarity at the interface of psychological ethics and military ethics; and

    • propose practices to support moral conduct in psychologists’ collaboration with intelligence professionals.

For initial grounding of the Casebook project, a team of ten scholars and intelligence professionals met in Washington, DC, June 27-30, 2008, with briefer assistance from several specialists in military intelligence, ethics, and healthcare.  Condensed and edited transcripts of small-group sessions appear here

For inclusion in the Casebook, case narratives must reveal genuine ethical dilemmas or complexities for psychologists in national security settings, and psychologists must have direct, or relayed, contact with particular individuals in war-oriented activities. We include psychological research, training, behavior management, and clinical diagnosis and treatment, as well as career issues for psychologists themselves.  We exclude such topics as propaganda (not targeted against individuals); routine personnel management (not war-oriented); and treatment of detainees that does not meet the standard of the Army Field Manual (not a dilemma or complexity in psychological ethics). For the Casebook writers’ policy decision to use  actual case narratives versus fictional case narratives, see here.

Casebook team members are currently preparing case narratives from the session transcripts, additional testimonies, and documentary and historical sources.  Sample case narratives appear here.  The Casebook writers invite reformulation of cases, identification of additional ethical issues, and true case narratives that fill significant gaps. To contribute, contact Jean Maria Arrigo at For the second stage of the Casebook project, we are seeking military, intelligence, social science, and lastly, ethics consultations on case narratives from subject-matter experts. Consults thus far appear here.

The Psychology and Military Intelligence Casebook on Interrogation Ethics is sponsored by Psychologists for Social Responsibility and funded by the Open Society Institute and Arca Foundation.