Sunday, August 08, 2004

doctors and torture - abu ghraib - guantanamo bay

Prof. Robert Jay Lifton, author of "The Nazi doctors: medical killing and the psychology of genocide." New York: Basic Books, 1986, and many other works writes in the issue of The New England Journal of Medicine July 29, 2004 of the possibility that:

"There is increasing evidence that U.S. doctors, nurses, and medics have been complicit in torture and other illegal procedures in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay. Such medical complicity suggests still another disturbing dimension of this broadening scandal."
"... Physicians have served as actual torturers in Chile and elsewhere; have surgically removed ears as punishment for desertion in Saddam Hussein's Iraq; have incarcerated political dissenters in mental hospitals, notably in the Soviet Union; have, as whites in South Africa, falsified medical reports on blacks who were tortured or killed; and have, as Americans associated with the Central Intelligence Agency, conducted harmful, sometimes fatal, experiments involving drugs and mind control.
With the possible exception of the altering of death certificates, the recent transgressions of U.S. military doctors have apparently not been of this order..."
[..more.. full text article..]

Since at least 1988 medical involvement in torture and mistreatment in Iraq was commonplace under Saddam Hussein with one survey reporting that 32% of physicians had falsified death certificates, 50% had conducted nontherapeutic amputation of ears as a form of punishment and 49% had falsified medical-legal reports of torture

[Survey published in Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 291 No. 12, March 24/31, 2004 - Abstract only]

Irant over at Immanuel Rant in the comments below suggests this article by Robert Fisk on Abu Grhaib from September last year.