Martin Seligman Imitates Sgt. Schultz–He “Knew Nothing”!

[The man who wizened the Pentagon up about the strategic value of learned helplessness, opening-up the wide vista of methods to be used to destroy the will to resist within targeted populations (SEE: Weaponizing Psychology) and in torture methods that were based on instilling hopelessness in prisoners.  Bravo, Professor.  I think you do protest too much.]

A letter to the editor by Martin Seligman

Voltaire, international

by Martin Seligman*

Following the publication of Thierry Meyssan’s investigation titled « The secret behind Guantánamo », we received the following clarification from Professor Martin Seligman, denounced in the article for his role in Guantánamo.

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Explanatory remarks

The article in question recounts the torture experiments conducted by the Guantánamo medical teams not to extort confessions, but to inculcate them into the detainees. It is founded on the abundant literature existing on the subject as well as on witness accounts.

I reported on Professor Seligman’s role on the strength of a testimony provided by a witness speaking on condition of anonymity. I apologise to Martin Seligman for having divulged an accusation which I am not in a position to prove. Moreover, I take note of his strong condemnation of the application to human beings of the principles he brought to light by torturing dogs.

I further take note of his relativisation of the suffering inflicted on others when he asserts never having practiced or participated in torture, in spite of the fact that, in the 70s, he had recommended and practiced electric shock treatments on homosexual teenagers to force them to alter their behaviour.

This said, his response shows an intent of dissimulation.

- He omits to say that he was invited and remunerated by the CIA in relation to the above-mentioned conference.

- He contradicts himself when he states having given, but not administered, a course on torture resistance techniques, while asserting that he could not have spoken to his listeners about the interrogation methods applied since he was not authorised to do so.

- In fact, he feigns naiveté in affirming to have accepted the allegations of his hosts that they conducted interrogations without employing violence or brutality, when already in January 2002 the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had denounced the United States for resorting to torture methods.

- He is inelegant when he makes excuses by pointing his finger at a third party, in this case James Mitchell.

- He is ridiculous when, as former President of the American Psychological Association, he makes reference to « good » science, claiming to be horrified to discover that human knowledge can be applied for inhuman purposes.

- Finally, he is despicable when he alludes to « alleged torture programs » as if the existence of the facts that he purports to condemn still remained to be proven, just at the time when Physicians for Human Rights has released a stinging report titledExperiments in Torture.

As for Professor Seligman, his role still remains to be clarified.

Thierry Meyssan