'Doctors used' to test effectiveness of waterboarding
Monday 07 June 2010
A prominent physicians group claimed today that medical personnel were used to test and refine the effectiveness of "waterboarding" and other harsh interrogation techniques for terror detainees in US custody.
Physicians for Human Rights outlined the allegations stemming from a Bush-era interrogation programme and called on the White House to investigate. Its report was based on a re-examination and new interpretation of records that had been previously released.
US government officials denounced the report, saying the government did not conduct human research on detainees. The officials said that such charges and documents have already been made public and were examined by multiple government investigations.
The author of the report, Nathaniel Raymond, said the declassified documents had never been examined with an eye on laws including the Nuremberg Code, established to ban Nazi Germany's medical experimentation.
"We're not writing the indictment here," Mr Raymond said. "We're saying there needs to be a search warrant. If the White House does not act on this, it's turning its back on something that could be perceived as a war crime."
According to the report: "Medical personnel were required to monitor all waterboarding practices and collect detailed medical information that was used to design, develop and deploy subsequent waterboarding procedures."
The report said doctors recommended adding salt to the water used for waterboarding so the patient wouldn't experience hyponatremia, a condition of "low sodium levels in the blood caused by free water intoxication".
The report interpreted that doctor-recommended practice of using saline solution as "Waterboarding 2.0".
It also said information was gathered on the pain inflicted when various techniques were used in combination. Mr Raymond said the purpose was to see if the pain caused violated Bush administration definitions of torture, rather than as a safeguard of the detainees' health.
Medical personnel, the report said, also monitored sleep deprivation, with sleepless stints from 48 hours to 180 hours - again to make sure it did not cause prolonged physical and mental suffering, as per those Bush administration definitions, rather than to watch out for harm to the detainee.
CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano flatly rejected the claims: "The CIA did not, as part of its past detention programme, conduct human subject research on any detainee or group of detainees."
The report also raised questions about the Obama administration's new high-value detainee investigation group, known as the HIG. Part of its role is to research new methods of interrogation. The physicians group demanded clarification, asking whether this meant learning by doing.
Wendy Morigi, spokeswoman for the national intelligence director, said this part of the HIG would look at "scientific research that would allow for a refinement of current best practices" and "in no way was suggesting research on the detainees themselves".
Physicians for Human Rights, a Massachusetts-based non-profit organisation, says its mission is, in part, to investigate human rights abuses.
- 1 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
Top 20 misconceptions people believe are true
Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
Nepal earthquake: More than 1,100 killed across four countries and in Mount Everest avalanche
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...
Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...
£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...