From Academic Politics to Real ~ Social Scientists, Torture, War, etc. ...
The Bush administration, of course, has been well stocked with representatives of my own discipline. For convenience I'll mention just one. Condi Rice, current Secretary of State, former National Security Adviser, of course, is a card-carrying political scientist. It is clear that her academic research influenced her views on how to conduct foreign policy. (In particular by treating international affairs as consisting in cold-war-like blocs of nations even as whatever terrorist threat we might actually confront arguably is posed by amorphous non-state actors.) And as I noted recently, she was a key member of the "Principal's Group" in the White House who plotted in detail how prisoners held by the U.S. would be tortured by military and intelligence agents during interrogations.
At a less exalted level, anthropologists have been recruited to help U.S. military units navigate the "human terrain" in Afghanistan and Iraq. I posted on this program here. This story continues to percolate in the news <1> <2> <3>. On Alternet lately there have been a series of stories <1> <2> on internal controversies at the American Psychological Association over the participation of members in U.S. government torture policy. As is the case among both political scientists and anthropologists, critics of psychologists for becoming accomplices in perpetrating war crimes have emerged among the psychologists too.
My point? It is not just lawyers like John Yoo who have implicated themselves in our current disaster.