Military and CIA Order Military Docs: Do Some Harm to Terror Suspects Via Torture

More reporting from the ethical and moral horror show of America's "war on terror," via the UK Guardian:

Doctors and psychologists working for the US military violated the ethical codes of their profession under instruction from the defence department and the CIA to become involved in the torture and degrading treatment of suspected terrorists, an investigation has concluded.

Foter.com / CC BY-SAFoter.com / CC BY-SA

The report of the Taskforce on Preserving Medical Professionalism in National Security Detention Centres concludes that after 9/11, health professionals working with the military and intelligence services "designed and participated in cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and torture of detainees".

Medical professionals were in effect told that their ethical mantra "first do no harm" did not apply, because they were not treating people who were ill.

The report lays blame primarily on the defence department (DoD) and the CIA, which required their healthcare staff to put aside any scruples in the interests of intelligence gathering and security practices that caused severe harm to detainees, from waterboarding to sleep deprivation and force-feeding.

The two-year review by the 19-member taskforce, Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the War on Terror, supported by the Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) and the Open Society Foundations, says that the DoD termed those involved in interrogation "safety officers" rather than doctors. Doctors and nurses were required to participate in the force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strike, against the rules of the World Medical Association and the American Medical Association. Doctors and psychologists working for the DoD were required to breach patient confidentiality and share what they knew of the prisoner's physical and psychological condition with interrogators and were used as interrogators themselves. They also failed to comply with recommendations from the army surgeon general on reporting abuse of detainees....

"Putting on a uniform does not and should not abrogate the fundamental principles of medical professionalism," said IMAP president David Rothman. "'Do no harm' and 'put patient interest first' must apply to all physicians regardless of where they practise."The taskforce wants a full investigation into the involvement of the medical profession in detention centres. It is also calling for publication of the Senate intelligence committee's inquiry into CIA practices and wants rules to ensure doctors and psychiatrists working for the military are allowed to abide by the ethical obligations of their profession; they should be prohibited from taking part in interrogation, sharing information from detainees' medical records with interrogators, or participating in force-feeding, and they should be required to report abuse of detainees.

The full report can be downloaded here.

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  • Pro Libertate||

    As the great Tim Tebow once said, "Horror and moral terror are your friends."

  • Lord Humungus||

    USA! USA! USA!

  • Rod Flash||

    Do they really spell "Defense" "Defence" in the UK?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    They're the worst.

  • Almanian!||

    worse than Hitler - too bad he didn't beat them in dubya dubya TWO. posers.

  • Zeb||

    Now I'm not sure how we spell it in the US.

  • Being Waterboarded||

    I recognise this is the centre of our problem with the UK. It is the fibre of their being and the colour of their humour that turns us, their western neighbour, off. I apologise for this manoeuvre, but in my defence, I have a licence to blabber on as much as I bloody well please.

  • pmains||

  • Cytotoxic||

    LOL. Is Dopeherty going to complain about a battle medic shooting an attacker because of his oath?

    Humane torture protocols like waterboarding are as much a legit part of war as snipers and tanks.

  • Almanian!||

    Humane torture protocols

    It's an oxymoron AND an excellent name for a rock and roll band! Thanks, Cyto!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Uh, even if we think torture (and the death penalty, to take another example) are OK, it's a separate question whether doctors should take part in it.

  • tarran||

    The sad thing is Cytotoxic isn't constructing a strawman...

    He's a pretty typical example of how jihadis actually think.

  • ||

    I thought he was a typical example of how Canadian Objectivist sociopathic virgins with really hard WAR BONERS think. I mean, can't it be both?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Down to babbling nonsense in one post.

  • tarran||

    Imagine you were so pathetic that you were simultaneously in the following loser sets:

    * Objectivist
    * Canadian
    * Post adolescent virgin
    * War-worshipper

    The self-loathing would naturally drive you to seek the oblivion of a heroic death for a great cause. The pathetic thing is that Cytotoxic's religion explicitly denies the existence of an afterlife and condemns altruism.

    So it denies him the outlet that Al Queda gives its crop of losers. I'll warrant that he's reduced to masturbating furiously to grainy videos of American hellfire missiles used as anti-personnel weapons, hating himself all the more because of the inferiority complex all nationalist Canadians get when confronted with U.S. military might.

    I'll bet his garbage can is full of kleenex impregnated with a salty mixture of semen and tears, and the trash collectors have a hilarious name for his house.

  • Cytotoxic||

    More babble! Can we convert babble into alternate energy? Or better yet convert tarran's sophistry into energy? We'd power half the country!

  • Aresen||

    Just one more reason for Alberta and BC to secede.

    Then seal 110 W Longitude.

  • Warty||

    Hey kiddo, do you remember how awesome it was that one time you got laid? Oh. My bad.

  • Les||

    Humane torture protocols like waterboarding are as much a legit part of war as snipers and tanks.

    Citation needed.

    It takes a leftist's love and faith in government to believe in something like "humane" torture protocols.

  • tarran||

    Cytotoxic isn't a leftist.

    He's a jihadist who ran into an imam spreading the word of Ayn Rand before he encountered one spreading the word of Muhammad.... luckily for girls living in his neighborhood which attend school.

  • SugarFree||

    Better a thousand girls get acid thrown in their face than a single cosmotarian go to a cocktail party.

  • waffles||

    At least someone gets it.

  • Cytotoxic||

    LOL. You're wrong because JIHADIST. I accept your defeat with grace.

  • Cytotoxic||

    "Citation needed"

    Um. All of human history?

    It takes a leftist's love and faith in government to believe in something like "humane" torture protocols.

    No it doesn't. Pouring water down somebody's nose is humane, amputation is not. Maximum discomfort minimal actual damage.

  • Les||

    Pouring water down somebody's nose is humane, amputation is not. Maximum discomfort minimal actual damage.

    So, you're all for rape as an interrogation tool as long as it's thoroughly lubricated rape.

  • Brian D||

    Is humane torture anything like benevolent tyranny?

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    "Humane torture protocols"

    That's all I have to say.

  • Rasilio||

    Would that be making them listen to the Celine Dion discography on repeat?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Uh, what part of 'humane' did you miss.

  • RyanXXX||

    Yea, holy shit. At this point I think he's just egging us on

  • ||

    The greatest danger in combating evil is becoming what you are trying to defeat. C'mon Cyto, you are smarter than that.

    Twisting a bayonet in a guys leg on the battle field to find out where the enemy positions are is one thing. Institutionalizing torture into the system and having doctors violate their oaths is another. This is shades of Dr. Mengele.

  • ||

    And to everyone, this is one thread that it is completely justifiable to Godwin.

  • Seamus||

  • Warty||

    You think Psycho is smarter than this? I thought you were smarter than that.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    It's "I thought you were smarter than that" all the way down.

  • ||

    I commented too fast. I went back and read his comment again and then let it soak in. Jesus.

  • tarran||

    C'mon Cyto, you are smarter than that.

    No, he really isn't.

  • Cytotoxic||

    So far I'm smarter than everyone here, which is no surprise to me.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Twisting a bayonet in a guys leg on the battle field to find out where the enemy positions are is one thing. Institutionalizing torture into the system and having doctors violate their oaths is another.

    Um. The latter involves pouring water down people's noses and other highly controlled techniques. The former sounds way more sadistic and I'm actually more queasy about it.

  • Cytotoxic||

    LOL. I raise a point, not one of the dozen replies can lay a finger on it. I win.

    It is completely ridiculous that, in war, it's normal to blow someone's head off from half a Km away but pouring water down someone's nose is The Sum of All Evil. I think you people subconsciously understand this and that is why none of you even attempted a counterpoint. PWND

  • Warty||

    PWND

    You know how stupid you are? You're too stupid to even understand the board's memes. Hint: this one is used to mock the self-righteous when they claim victory. That's pretty fucking stupid. PWND

  • Cytotoxic||

    I was being cheeky...although I still did pwn this thread.

  • Les||

    There's a name for people with an opinion about reality shared by no one but themselves.

  • KPres||

    I thought he made a good point.

  • RyanXXX||

    If you don't see the difference between shooting a target on a battlefield (even if he is a long ways away and doesn't know you're there) and strapping someone to a table to slowly fuck them up, you are beyond help.

    "Hey, why is it ok to lethally inject a dog but not skin it alive? Huh? Why don't you peacenik animal lovers explain THAT!!"
    ^Cyto logic

  • Cytotoxic||

    Skinning alive is not the 'humane torture' I am talking about so you're attacking a strawman. How unsurprising.

    The difference between shooting a battlefield target and waterboarding him is that he former is lethal THE LATTER IS NOT.

  • Redmanfms||

    WTF is "humane torture?"

    I would dearly love to see where in either the Hague or Geneva Conventions "humane" is attached to the word "torture." Unless you can prove that your whole "legit part of war" argument falls apart.

    On a side note, stating that you "pwned" a thread is a sure sign that you were made to look like an ass.

  • FreeToFear||

    The difference, cyto, is that the collective notions of military ethics stipulate that once captured, either by force or surrender, the prisoner is no longer a combatant. They are no longer a part of the war, since they can't do anything to further the cause of their side. So at that point, it is not justifiable to treat them as a combatant- either by torture or by execution. Certainly we wouldn't argue that opposing civilians are off limits - a POW is effectively a civilian

  • hotsy totsy||

    What the fuck is wrong with people.

  • Almanian!||

    People just suck. Why isn't it everyone? I dunno. I just work live here.

  • hotsy totsy||

    There's ads on television of abandoned animals, and demonstrations against keeping chickens penned up and geese force fed to make fois gras....and we're going to somehow justify "humane" torture?

  • Almanian!||

    The picture of that....table....is....disturbing.

    OTOH, as Lord H noted, USA! USA! USA!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Hmmm...why would the establishment have an interest in undermining medical ethics? They want the voters to think this will only apply to evil terrorists. Wait until some old guy in the hospital is being pressured to "volunteer" for doctor-assisted suicide.

  • SugarFree||

    While I deplore torture and medical personnel participating in it, how is this all that different than the DEA doing what it can to make sure people in pain get sub-optimal amounts or no pain meds at all by threatening doctors? Infliction of pain for abstract political nonsense is infliction of pain for abstract political nonsense...

  • ||

    You have a lot of nerve taking this position, considering the pain you inflict on this board with your writing all the time. Also, sir, may I please have another?

  • Pro Libertate||

    He deplores physical torture. Well, some kinds of physical torture. Sometimes. It really depends.

  • ||

    Yes, NutraSweet does wear Depends. We already knew this. He's incontinent. What's your point?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I thought he rechanneled that somehow.

  • SugarFree||

    Depends? I just rubberband a condom on real tight, then throw them out the car window after I fill them, sometimes two when I pass the park while Booty Burn Boot Camp is in progress.

  • ||

    You're a funny guy, NutraSweet. Everybody knows that they don't make condoms small enough for you to do that.

  • SugarFree||

    You're just mad that you got caught pooping in condoms in public.

  • ||

    At least they were Magnums, asshole!

  • SugarFree||

    Yes. You need very big condoms for your butt. Because your butt is like the gaping mouth of a giant retard.

  • ||

    You would know. I mean about being a giant retard, not how gaping my asshole is. How did you know about that? Are you a wizard?

  • SugarFree||

    Yes. I am a wizard. That's how I know you're so reamed out a marching band could fit up your ass, including the rifle team.

  • Zeb||

    Shows what you know. His prolapsed rectum is plenty big to hold onto a condom.

  • Rasilio||

    Aren't most people incontinent for life following an encounter with Warty?

  • Ted S.||

    I thought everybody scrolled past his romance novel précis whenever he posts them.

  • Warty||

    As long as it's you doing the suffering, I'm all for it.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    While I deplore torture

    This from the beast which created Warty Hugeman.

  • SugarFree||

    I did not create Warty Hugeman. I'm doing you a service in warning you about him.

  • Aloysious||

    I would say it is a distinction without a difference.

    Different gov. departments engaging in the business of inflicting pain.

    But that's just me.

  • Slammer||

    Torturers= "Safety Officers". Fucking classic.

  • Matthew Brown||

    I see NewSpeak is alive and well.

  • Warty||

    "Don't fight it son. Confess quickly. If you hold out too long, you could jeopardize your credit rating."

  • ||

    "Medical professionals were in effect told that their ethical mantra "first do no harm" did not apply, because they were not treating people who were ill."

    I keep going back and reading that again. Anyone who bought that should have their license yanked.

  • ||

    It's a good thing we have government, otherwise we wouldn't have anyone to yank the license!

  • Cytotoxic||

    Can a medical professional never do any harm under any context? They can shoot someone in self-defense off the job. So just change their job title to Torture Technician/Specialist/Whatever and wipe your hands clean.

  • Being Waterboarded||

    If you ever go to the doctor, don't ever say "You know, I think I'm actually feeling a little better..."

    BOOM! The doc can club the side of your head for fun since their ethical mantra did not apply once you started feeling better.

  • Cytotoxic||

    ...LOLWUT?

  • Being Waterboarded||

    This is what I am picturing running through the doctor's minds as they are told:

    "...that their ethical mantra "first do no harm" did not apply, because they were not treating people who were ill."

    Then I picture them rubbing their hands together whispering "Exxxcelleeentt" with Montgomery Burns' voice from the Simpsons.

  • ||

    Unless I missed it there seems to be no time period mentioned. Does anyone know if this occurred only under the evil Bush, or if the Lightbringer was in charge during any of this?

  • tarran||

    The lighbringer claims torture ended during his reign.

    My guess is that it continues. And he'll be angry when he 'finds out' about it by reading the newspapers.

  • Cytotoxic||

    What difference, at this point, does it make?

  • ||

    Wow, nice rack!

  • Aresen||

    + 39D

  • Sigivald||

    "Doctors and nurses were required to participate in the force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strike, against the rules of the World Medical Association and the American Medical Association. Doctors and psychologists working for the DoD were required to breach patient confidentiality and share what they knew of the prisoner's physical and psychological condition with interrogators and were used as interrogators themselves. They also failed to comply with recommendations from the army surgeon general on reporting abuse of detainees."

    None of those are "torture", or indeed "Doing harm" in the Hippocratic sense.

    ("Failing to compy with ... the army surgeon general" on reporting abuse, it at least a real problem, but it's still not doctors torturing anyone.)

    Nor do medical trade groups make binding laws or moral judgments - indeed, I suspect some doctors would very much disagree with the AMA about the morality of force-feeding someone trying to starve themselves.

    Weak sauce, bad headline. Next, Guardian?

    (I'd say I expect better from Reason, but this is one of the topics on which I sadly don't.)

  • ||

    And of course we're all equally outraged at physicians performing abortions and surgeries, assisting suicides, and charging for medical school - all violations of the Hippocratic oath. Nothing's more sacrosanct than medical ethics.

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