Saturday, June 21, 2008

Yes Virginia, America Does Torture

"This report demonstrates that the permissive environment created by implicit and explicit authorizations by senior US officials to 'take the gloves off' encouraged forms of torture even beyond the draconian methods approved at various times between 2002 and 2004. In an environment of moral disengagement that countenances authorized techniques designed to humiliate and dehumanize detainees, it is not surprising that other forms of human cruelty such as physical and sexual assault were practiced. The fact that these unauthorized torture practices happened over extended periods of time at multiple US detention facilities suggests that a permissive command environment existed across theatres and at several levels in the chain-of-command. This climate allowed both authorized and unauthorized techniques to be practiced, apparently without consequence."
From the Executive Summary, Broken Laws, Broken Lives

This week the Physicians for Human Rights released a study entitled "Broken Laws, Broken Lives." The report details the findings of the Physicians for Human Rights' study that focused on several former inmates/insurgents who were incarcerated at Abu Graib, Iraq or Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The medical examinations revealed numerous pieces of evidence that corroborated the stories of the suspected-terrorists/torture-victims.

The wounds, excluding the obvious Post-Tramautic-Stress-Disorder with the accompanying depression, anxiety, inability to sleep, and problems controlling anger, include a permanent hole in a man's cheek (from being stabbed with a screwdriver), numerous shoulder injuries from being made to stay in stress positions, to any number of injuries sustained after mutliple beatings, kickings, and sexual violations. I encourage all Americans to read at the very least the executive summary of this important report and ask yourself if you are proud that money you supplied to your government in the form of taxes was put to this use. If you are half as appalled as I am then you need to contact you senators and representative and even your lame-duck president and insist that they follow the Geneva Conventions and stop torturing people in the name of keeping us safe from terrorism.

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