Saturday, July 31, 2004

Medical personnel in Iraq complicit in torture and Gitmo prisoners subjected to medical experiments? 

The New England Journal of Medicine is reporting that “U.S. doctors, nurses, and medics have been complicit in torture and other illegal procedures in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay.”

Then there is the matter of two French citizens, Mourad Benchellali and Nizar Sassi, recently returned to France after being held for more than two years in the US military prison in Guantanamo. According to their lawyer, Jacques Debray, both men told him, “We have emerged from hell.”

Debray told Reuters that both men have concerns about the “interrogation techniques and medical experiments” at Guantanamo. He said that Sassi, in a letter, claimed “bizarre” medicines had been given to inmates at night and that one had caused some prisoners to break out in rashes.

Dr. Josef Mengele may be dead, but his playbook is still being used with the blessing of those compassionate conservatives squatting at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC.

Now what were Rummy and and Lt. Gen. Paul T. Mikolashe, the Army inspector general, saying about the use of torture not being a systemic problem; that it all was the work of a “few bad apples” who suffered from poor training, slapdash organization and outmoded policies? That isn't saying much about the mighty US military, is it?

And from all that has come oozing out, despite Rummy's efforts to force it back in the tube, torture—which he insists on calling “abuse”—wasn't among the outmoded policies. Nor have the Bushies been able to make those damning memos disappear—the one cooked up in the Pentagon on March 6, 2003, and the Bybee Memo of August 1, 2002, on how to circumvent the laws, national and international, prohibiting torture.

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