Moral Low Ground


Study: Pentagon Doctors Ignored & Cocealed Evidence of Torture, Rape of Guantanamo Detainees

US military doctors and psychologists charged with caring for detainees imprisoned in the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp ignored and concealed evidence of horrific torture, a new study reveals. According to Agence France-Presse, the shocking findings, published in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS Medicine, were authored by a retired US Army brigadier general and Dr. Vincent Iacopino of Physicians for Human Rights, an advocacy group.

According to the study, American military doctors, bound by the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm, heard stories of rape, documented broken bones, contusions and lacerations, but did nothing to question how the detainees ended up in such condition. “The medical doctors and mental health personnel who treated the detainees… failed to inquire and/or document causes of the physical injuries and psychological symptoms they observed,” the study claims.

Other times, military medical personnel simply told detainees that they needed to “relax” when they’re being tortured.

The active role played by CIA doctors and psychologists and “non-clinical” health personnel in the torture of Guantanamo detainees is already well documented. But this new study focuses on Pentagon doctors and psychologists, who until now have evaded scrutiny. “There has been no information to date on the role of those health professionals in turning a blind eye, as the paper has indicated, until this time,” Dr. Iacopino told AFP.

The study does not name names; the doctors’ identities had been redacted from the documentary evidence.

Also revealed in the study of nine GITMO detainees are “unauthorized” acts of detainee abuse– torture– that went above and beyond the “enhanced interrogation techniques” approved by the Bush administration. These include: “severe beatings, often associated with loss of consciousness and/or bone fractures, sexual assault and/or the threat of rape, mock execution, mock disappearance, and near asphyxiation from water or being choked. Other allegations included forcing the detainee’s head into the toilet, being used as a human sponge to wipe the floor, and desecration of the Koran.”

Of course, the Pentagon claims that GITMO detainees receive only the very best medical care. “DoD personnel working in detention facilities operate under a high level of scrutiny and consistently provide the most human and safe care and custody of individuals under their control,” a Defense Department statement said. “The Joint Medical Group is committed to providing unconditional appropriate comprehensive medical care to all detainees. The healthcare provided to detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay rivals that provided in any community in the United States.”

Only the very best medical care for America's enemies.


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