I just read about another complicit party to the Bush
administration’s use of torture: doctors and psychologists.
Apparently, “a new report by Physicians for Human Rights assembles the evidence and reaches a sickening but inescapable conclusion: ‘Health professionals played central roles in developing, implementing and providing justification for torture.’”, which I read in Eugene Robinson’s column in the Washington Post today.
It’s a scary thought, and I was naïve to think
accountability for torture was limited in scope to those who gave the orders
and those who carried those orders out.
Robinson explains, “We know that medical doctors were asked
to sign off on the "enhanced" techniques. We know from detainees
themselves, as quoted by the
Of course, this “revelation” if you will, is not a
reflection of the medical community in general. There were certain, and
hopefully few, individual doctors and psychologists who were complicit.
Interrogations techniques are seen by the American Psychological Association’s
President James Bray, as "tantamount to torture as defined by
Furthermore, “The American Medical Association's code of ethics "forcefully states medicine's opposition to torture or coercive interrogation and prohibits physician participation in such activities," according to a letter AMA officials sent President Obama in April. AMA guidelines state that "physicians must neither conduct nor directly participate in an interrogation," and that doctors "must not monitor interrogations with the intention of intervening in the process, because this constitutes direct participation."”
Unfortunately, there were exceptions.
So the pool of individuals that contributed to torture, that we know of, grows larger. I’ve learned from my naiveté. The ACLU is continuing to demand for greater transparency and accountability. You can take action too, by clicking here.