Saturday, April 18, 2009

Torture by the United States Government

This past week the Obama Administration released the infamous "torture memos," which have been referenced for several years but previously kept confidential.

The biggest news surrounding the release of the memos has been the disclosure that psychologists and other physicians played a role in "enhanced interrogation techniques" by periodically assessing the prisoners and then giving the "ok" for the interrogations to continue. An article in today's Post talks specifically about the role of psychologists in the "increased pressure phase" against Abu Zubaida.

CIA chief Leon Panetta is reiterating that the CIA will take the position that the actions of CIA employees -- whether they are described as torture or not -- were legal under then-current US policy.

A number of medical/physicians' groups have strongly condemned the individuals who participated, saying that they violated applicable codes of ethics. Frank Donaghue of Physicians for Human Rights states "All psychologists and physicians found to be involved in the torture of detainees must lose their license and never be allowed to practice again."

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