7 November 2013 — Democracy Now!
A new report says medical professionals working under U.S. military orders have been complicit in the abuse of terrorism suspects. The Task Force on Preserving Medical Professionalism concluded that medical staff who worked with the CIA and Pentagon “designed and participated in cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and torture of detainees” at Guantánamo Bay and at secret prisons overseas.
The two-year study cites doctors for breaching patient confidentiality and advising interrogators on how to exploit prisoners’ fears and crush their will to resist. The task force is calling for a full investigation of the medical profession’s role in U.S. torture and an overhaul to ensure doctors involved in interrogations follow ethical standards. Both the CIA and the Pentagon have rejected the report’s findings. We are joined by two guests: retired brigadier general Dr. Stephen Xenakis, a military psychiatrist who advised the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on military mental health issues; and by Leonard Rubenstein, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and co-author of the report, “Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the ‘War on Terror.'”