Sunday, May 29, 2011

Guantanamo Cover Up

Thomas Riggins

On April 26, 2011 ScienceDaily reported the results of a new study made of the medical records of GTMO prisoners ("Medical Evidence of Torture Neglected in Guantanamo Bay Detainees, Suggests Review of Records"). The study was first reported in the online journal PLoS Medicine. The researchers, Vincent Iacopino (Physicians for Human Rights) and Stephen Xenakis, a retired US Army brigadier general, found that the medical personnel responsible for looking after the GTMO prisoners neither documented nor asked the causes for either the physical or mental injuries of the people they were supposed to "care" for. The researchers only had access to nine case files but the evidence they uncovered was considered "compelling" with respect to this dereliction of duty.

The GTMO prisoners described treatment by the US soldiers and other personnel that is torture according to the UN Convention Against Torture. The US says it doesn't torture prisoners and so uses a narrower definition than the UN and calls its techniques "enhanced interrogation." And Saddam Hussein didn't "gas" people, they were victims of "enhanced atmospheric pollution."

Here is what the US did, call it what you will. The prisoners were beaten really severely, bones were fractured, they were sexually assaulted, some were told they would be raped, they were water boarded to the point of asphyxiation, they were taken to be executed then spared at the last moment, they were "disappeared" then returned, they were not allowed to sleep, they were subject to extreme temperatures, they were put in stress positions, and forced to be nude. This last, by the way, is now used on the mainland --e.g, Pvt. Manning.

All these injuries, and the psychological results were in the medical records, without saying how they occurred, and the injuries are all CONSISTANT with torture techniques the prisoners reported being subject to. The Department of Defense medical personal failed to document any of the causes of the prisoners injuries and any psychological problems resulting from torture they attributed to "personality disorders" or "routine stressors of confinement" according to SD.

This evidence shows that the government's medical personnel FAILED both professionally and personally in their duty to their patients. It appears to me that they were complicit in covering up crimes against humanity in the treatment of these prisoners and in violations of basic human rights. And not only to me. The editors of PLoS wrote:"This paper adds new evidence that will bolster calls for further investigation into the complicity of medical personnel in torture at Guantanamo Bay, which clearly breaches fundamental human rights."

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