Torturing in Our Name

I find it distressing that former President George W. Bush can openly confess to torturing prisoners without an avalanche of public outcry. I mean, what the hell happened to you America? When did torture become acceptable?

I wonder if this will get any more reaction from an America still, seemingly, catatonic with a lingering case of post-9/11 PTSD?

In the course of trying to prove that its "enhanced" interrogation program was legal, the Bush administration may have broken the law, according to a new report (PDF) by Physicians for Human Rights. The watchdog group claims that in an attempt to establish that brutal interrogation tactics did not constitute torture, the administration ended up effectively experimenting on terrorism detainees. This research, PHR alleges, violated an array of regulations and treaties, including international guidelines on human testing put in place after the Holocaust.

The thirty page report (pdf) is well worth reading. This comes from the executive summary:

The human subject research apparently served several purposes. It increased information on the physical and psychological impact of the CIA’s application of the “enhanced” interrogation techniques, which previously had been limited mostly to data from experiments using US military volunteers under very limited, simulated conditions of torture. It served to calibrate the level of pain experienced by detainees during interrogation, ostensibly to keep it from crossing the administration’s legal threshold of what it claimed constituted torture. It also served as an attempt to provide a basis for a legal defense against possible torture charges against those who carried out the interrogations, since medical monitoring would demonstrate, according to the Office
of Legal Counsel memos, a lack of intent to cause harm to the subjects of interrogations.

These are extremely serious charges that, if proven true, warrant a trial for either war crimes or crimes against humanity. I’m still willing and able to pitch-in for some one-way tickets to The Hague….

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