The Conundrum of Fighting Terrorism Is, If We Become Them, They Win
I guess I’m dating myself but I remeber when being a medical doctor was considered a higher calling. With the rise of the HMO concept in the medical profession 30 years ago, doctors became just like any other professional – patent attorneys or tax accountant only richer.
Now the medical profession appears to have suffered its worst black eye since the days of Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor who performed horrendous experiments on prisoners in concentration camps, including children.
The charge, which comes from both the Red Cross and former detainees, is that doctors and other medical professionals in the employ of the United States military used their medical training to soften up suspected terrorists during questioning at Guantanamo and in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now the Pentagon has investigated itself and – big surprise here – found that nothing of the kind ever happened:
Releasing the results of a new Army study, the Pentagon on Thursday denied charges that military health workers complied in alleged widespread abuse of terrorism suspects jailed in Cuba, Iraq and Afghanistan. But [a Pentagon spokesman] conceded that the five-month study did not include interviews with the International Committee of the Red Cross or detainees, who have complained of abuse by interrogators and charged that doctors helped in pressure tactics at the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and elsewhere.
He said an Army team questioned 1,000 medical personnel and found 32 cases of alleged failure to report interrogation abuse, or of actions by medical workers such as “dropping a stretcher a little too roughly, or withholding pain medication until the very last second.” But the study, which was completed in April, found that doctors, nurses and medical aides generally followed proper rules of conduct, Kiley added.
“The majority of medical personnel interviewed did not observe any abuse and, with few exceptions, those medical personnel who did observe suspected abuse reported it,” the general told reporters.
The charges first surfaced in The Lancet, a British medical journal, in an article last year by a University of Minnesota professor that said some U.S. military doctors falsified death certificates to cover up killings and hid evidence of beatings.
It said U.S. military medics revived a detainee who had collapsed after a beating so abuse could continue.