MIAMI (Reuters) - Health workers violated medical ethics when they helped interrogate terrorism suspects who were tortured at secret CIA prisons overseas, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.There was a time when doctors' involvement in gooberment torture would have seemed shocking. But, you know, we got used to the idea that doctors should hire out to kill inconvenient babies, and we'll get used to this, too, without much trouble; I'm sure that many of my countrymen are already on board. Makes me wonder what will be ceasing to shock us twenty years from now. Involuntary euthanasia? Post-natal abortion? ("Plan C," will we call that last thing?) Ah, the limitless future beckons.
The medical workers, thought to be doctors and psychologists, monitored prisoners while they were mistreated at CIA prisons and advised interrogators whether to continue, adjust or halt the abuse, the ICRC said in a report based on interviews with 14 prisoners in 2007.
One prisoner alleged that medical personnel monitored his blood oxygen levels while he was subjected to waterboarding, a simulated drowning designed to induce panic and widely considered to be torture, the ICRC said.
Other prisoners said that as they stood shackled with their arms chained above their heads, a doctor regularly measured the swelling in their legs and signaled when they should be allowed to sit down.
The ICRC interviewed 14 men who had been held in secret CIA prisons overseas before being sent to the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2006.
He first published excerpts last month, including a portion in which the ICRC concluded the al Qaeda captives' treatment in the CIA prisons "constituted torture" and violated international law.
The report alleges collars were placed around some prisoners' necks and used to slam their heads against the walls, and that they were forced to stand with their arms shackled above them for two or three days and left to urinate or defecate on themselves.
The prisoners told the ICRC they were beaten and kicked, left naked for long periods, subjected to sleep deprivation, loud music, cold temperatures, rape threats and forced shaving. Some said they were denied solid food unless they cooperated with interrogators and one said he was confined in a crouching position in a box too short to stand in.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
First, Do No Harm
And the hits just keep on comin':