Scott Horton Interviews Robert Pallitto

Scott Horton, March 08, 2012

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Robert Pallitto, professor of political science and contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus, discusses his article “Psychologists and Torture, Then and Now;” post-9/11 US interrogation practices, adapted from Cold War-era techniques used for extracting false confessions; the professional psychologists who aided the CIA in coercive interrogations and torture, disregarding ethical constraints; the failure of state regulatory agencies or the APA in stripping the licenses of torture enablers; and why there is no exact torture “science” for extracting truthful statements – which is why rapport-building techniques should be used instead.

MP3 here. (19:34)

Robert Pallitto is an associate professor of political science at Seton Hall University, a former trial attorney, and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus. He is the editor of Torture and State Violence in the United States (2011).

7 Responses to “Robert Pallitto”

  1. The holy grail of mind control is Newspeak for deliberately extracting false confessions, revenge, and all the other usual reasons why torture is a time honored human activity.

    When the U.S. was fighting Philippine insurgents around the turn of the 20th C, soldiers shoved bamboo poles down their gullets, poured water in until their bellies swelled, and then jumped on their bellies. Source: Kinzer's Overthrow.

  2. When has a (heh) professional org ever gone after a member for a highly embarrassing infraction? The whole purpose of professional orgs, aka mafias, are to protect their members.

    I asked a good friend who's a therapist why they hadn't gone after members for participating in torture. A normally mentally smart, articulate guy got all tongue tied & vague.

  3. Oh pshaw. The Puritans knew whether the witch was telling the truth, for sure. If she didn't drown in the dunking, she was obviously lying and therefore had to be burned at the stake.

  4. Torture — Pain that generates more fiction then fact

    Comes now the reality that we humans can only communicate three things:

    (1) Physical facts, the physical world as it transpires in real time and real space.

    (2) Lies, illusions of good hiding misery, a liar’s pretense of good hiding an intent to be enriched upon our misery.

    (3) Truth, which is anything that exposes a lie.

  5. Correct. Like cops, lawyers, doctors, teachers, politicians, generals, etc. etc…. and on and on ad nauseum.

  6. Any nation that will approve of torturing enemy combatants, will eventually be happy to torture its own citizens.

  7. Maiolo, they already do! Its just that you did not knew about it. And perhaps still think its not happening yet.
    There are man types of torture, you and I are also victims of psychological torment and torture.
    Just watch some TV, no matter, any program.

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