American Imperialism’s Military Chaplains Rev. William Alberts

A recent report has documented the collusion of the American Psychological Association (A.P.A.) with the Department of Defense (D.O.D.) in the torture of apprehended suspects, which aided the George W. Bush administration’s so-called “global war on terrorism.” The A.P.A.’s leadership cozied up to the Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency, and compromised the organization’s ethical standards to help legitimize torture and maximize its own bottom line: “the growth of the profession,” ended a New York Times story on the 542-page report. (‘TORTURE EFFORTS WERE PROTECTED BY PSYCHOLOGISTS,’ By James Risen, July 11, 2015) “The growth of the profession” is seen in a Boston Globe story, which states that the Defense Department “is one of the largest employers of psychologists and provides millions of dollars in grants and contracts for them across the country, a generous benefactor that investigators likened to a ‘rich, powerful uncle.’” (”Report on interrogation tactics roils academics,” By Tracy Jan, July 20, 2015) It is about selling one’s psychological soul to get a share of the market.

Then there are the military chaplains who serve American imperialism. Even worse than torture is the Bush administration’s launching of the “war on terrorism” that fueled torture– and the ensuing criminal wars against Afghanistan and Iraq. With renowned political commentator and social justice activist Noam Chomsky calling the invasion of Iraq “the worst war crime of the 21st century, easily.” (“Noam Chomsky Talks US Militarism and Capitalism, at Home and Abroad,” By Laura Flanders, Truthout/Interview,, Dec. 9, 2014) Nevertheless, like psychologists and torture, military chaplains, and those who train them, have accommodated these imperialistic wars by wanting a piece of the action in that “market.” The prostituting of one spiritual soul in the service of American imperialism.

I’m treading on “sacred” ground here. Surely, on the battlefield especially, U.S. servicemen and women deserve to receive spiritual care from clinically trained chaplains. After all, our military personnel are willing to sacrifice their lives to protect America’s security.

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