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Larisa Alexandrovna Headshot

Unspeakable Abuse at Gitmo -- We Need the Names of These "Medical Personnel"

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Scott Horton has a fantastic read up at Harper's about a Gitmo guard who has now come forward to blow the whistle. Army Private Brandon Neely speaks of the unspeakable at the hands of "medical personnel."

Neely describes the arrival of detainees in full sensory-deprivation garb, he details their sexual abuse by medical personnel, torture by other medical personnel, brutal beatings out of frustration, fear, and retribution, the first hunger strike and its causes, torturous shackling, positional torture, interference with religious practices and beliefs, verbal abuse, restriction of recreation, the behavior of mentally ill detainees, an isolation regime that was put in place for child-detainees, and his conversations with prisoners David Hicks and Rhuhel Ahmed. It makes for fascinating reading.

Child detainees? Yes. But we knew this of course, even though our government has denied it for years. We knew, did we not?

Now for something far more sinister. The medical staff engaged in this, including doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, all violated their oath and should have their medical licenses revoked. I want names. Why? Well let me ask you. Do you want to take your child to a doctor who has spent the last several years engaged in the torture of other children? Would you take your elderly mother to see a doctor who was involved in torturing people to death, as we now know?

I don't want these people in our community and in a position to abuse the most weak among us: the sick, the elderly, and children. Unless you think that someone can walk away from this type of evil and not become a monster? I don't. I do not believe people can engage in this type of brutality, that goes entirely against everything their profession stands for (or should), and walk away mentally and ethically in tact. I don't want these people "practicing" medicine "on" our citizens.

Here is another snip from Horton's piece. I suggest you read the whole thing, including Neely's account. I also suggest that you have a stiff drink before you do:

Third, the Nelly account shows that health professionals are right in the thick of the torture and abuse of the prisoners--suggesting a systematic collapse of professional ethics driven by the Pentagon itself. He describes body searches undertaken for no legitimate security purpose, simply to sexually invade and humiliate the prisoners. This was a standardized Bush Administration tactic-the importance of which became apparent to me when I participated in some Capitol Hill negotiations with White House representatives relating to legislation creating criminal law accountability for contractors.

The Bush White House vehemently objected to provisions of the law dealing with rape by instrumentality. When House negotiators pressed to know why, they were met first with silence and then an embarrassed acknowledgment that a key part of the Bush program included invasion of the bodies of prisoners in a way that might be deemed rape by instrumentality under existing federal and state criminal statutes. While these techniques have long been known, the role of health care professionals in implementing them is shocking.