Does the CIA Have a Modern Day Mengele in Their Midst?

No-Bid Military Contract Winner Martin Seligman and His Response to Allegations on His Connection to Torture

By Kevin Gosztola |OpEdNews

A report dated August 31, 2009 by the Physicians for Human Rights states: "In fact, on at least two occasions, Seligman presented his learned helplessness research to CIA contract interrogators referred to in the Inspector General's report." Seligman calls this report false.

The news of this award caught my attention because I earned the honor just over a year ago of being someone who received an automated letter from Seligman. The letter entered my inbox because I brought attention to his connection to CIA torture and human experimentation on detainees and the reality that psychologists had been complicitly involved.

The article Seligman responded to was titled, “Doctors Aided CIA Interrogators, Human Experimentation.” It was a piece on the PHR report, “Aiding Torture,” which mentioned Seligman. Seligman took issue primarily with this section, where I detailed PHR’s claim that Seligman’s “learned helplessness” research helped CIA develop torture techniques:

“Confinement in a box was devised as a direct appropriation of Martin Seligman’s research on “learned helplessness.” In fact, on at least two occasions, Seligman presented his learned helplessness research to CIA contract interrogators referred to in the Inspector General report. In Seligman’s experiment, dogs were confined to boxes in which they discovered that familiar mechanisms of control would no longer have an effect in avoiding pain”

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