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 International Committee of the Red Cross, that there was medical monitoring of waterboarding sessions. We know from the CIA inspector general's report that a 2004 letter from a Justice Department official reauthorizing the use of waterboarding specified a maximum of two two-hour sessions per day, with both a doctor and a psychologist present.”

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 APA and international law."

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.