In 2009, in the Russian Press, Thierry Meyssan accused Professor Martin Seligman of having designed torture techniques which he tested at Guantánamo in his rôle as ex-President of the American Psychological Association . Mr. Seligman then united a cabinet of lawyers to put pressure on Mr. Meyssan and obtain a public retraction, which Mr. Meyssan refused to provide.
Finally, in November 2014, at the end of a long controversy - including the distribution of the English version of the article during an APA congress, and the publication of Pay Any Price : Greed, Power, and Endless War by James Risen in October 2014 - the American Psychological Association commissioned lawyer David Hoffman and the cabinet of Sidley Austin to carry out an investigation.
Their report, which has just been published, attests that the association was indeed engaged in torture during the Bush administration.
« The process by which the Presidential task-force on Psychological Ethics and National Security (PENS) was created, the composition of its members, the contents of its report and ulterior activities linked to the report were influenced by collusion between a small number of members of the American Psychological Association and representatives of government », declared Dr. Susan McDaniel, member of the internal Inquiry Commission.
The Inquiry Commission has established that the whole affair did indeed begin in a meeting between the CIA and Professor Seligman, at his home, in December 2001. Eighteen personalities attended. But she was unable to determine what Professor Seligman knew or did not know about the tortures that were being inflicted on his advice.
Mr. Seligman persists in affirming that he had never known that his theories were used by the CIA for its experimental torture programme, and that he had never been to Guantánamo, but the Inquiry Commission concludes that « it is difficult to believe that he did not suspect that the CIA would be interested by his theories, at least in part, for their torture programme. »
It took six years before the information published by Odnako in Russia caused a scandal in the United States, before the American Psychological Association reacted to the story and that an inquiry report was published. This process would certainly been much swifter if the US Press had accepted to publish Mr. Meyssan’s article.