American Psychological Association Complicit in CIA Torture

Traces of Reality
December 18, 2014


“American Psychological Association Complicit in CIA Torture” with Dr. Roy Eidelson

On this edition of Demanufacturing Consent: Guillermo is joined by Dr. Roy Eidelson, a clinical psychologist, president of Eidelson Consulting, and member of Psychologists for Social Responsibility and the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology.

In response to the Senate’s release of their executive summary on the CIA’s interrogation program, Dr. Eidelson explains the role of psychologists, and the complicity of the American Psychological Association, in CIA torture. We discuss the two principal contract psychologists who developed the CIA’s torture program, Bruce Jessen and James Mitchell, and how APA leadership not only fostered their relationship with the CIA but actively worked to hide and protect their involvement.

Dr. Eidelson describes the various psychological techniques Jessen and Mitchell employed, including induced “learned helplessness” — a theory developed by Martin Seligman, who personally presented his methods to the CIA contract psychologists.

Lastly, we discuss the manipulation of language (“enhanced interrogation techniques,” “EITs,” etc.) and the role of the media and pop culture in the normalization of torture, and why no one has yet been held accountable.

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