Army Doctors Implicated in Abuse
Medical Workers Helped Tailor Interrogations of Detainees, Report Finds
By Joe Stephens
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 6, 2005; Page A08
U.S. Army doctors violated the Geneva Conventions by helping intelligence
officers carry out abusive interrogations at military detention centers,
perhaps participating in torture, according to a report in today's edition
of the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.
Medical personnel helped tailor interrogations to the physical and mental
conditions of individual detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the
U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, according to the report. It
says that medical workers gave interrogators access to patient medical
files, and that psychiatrists and other physicians collaborated with
interrogators and guards who, in turn, deprived detainees of sleep,
restricted them to diets of bread and water and exposed them to extreme
heat and cold.
"Clearly, the medical personnel who helped to develop and execute
aggressive counter-resistance plans thereby breached the laws of war,"
says the four-page article labeled "Perspective."
"The conclusion that doctors participated in torture is premature, but
there is probable cause for suspecting it."
The article is the most recent criticizing the medical treatment of
detainees. In July, an essay in the New England Journal of Medicine urged
U.S. military doctors to come forward with any evidence of recent abuse.
In August, the British medical journal the Lancet charged that medical
workers at Abu Ghraib had falsified death certificates and did not report
injuries from beatings. After an inspection at Guantanamo Bay last summer,
the International Committee of the Red Cross charged that methods used
there were tantamount to torture.
The Washington Post reported in June that military interrogators at
Guantanamo Bay had been given access to the medical records of individual
prisoners despite repeated objections from the Red Cross, a breach of
patient confidentiality that ethicists said violated international medical
standards. The report in the New England Journal of Medicine says that
interrogators in Iraq also had access to prisoners' medical files.
US abuse 'went on until July'
From correspondents in Los Angeles
January 05, 2005
SEXUAL and physical abuse of Iraqi prisoners continued at least three
months after the Abu Ghraib scandal was revealed, according to accounts
by alleged victims published today in the latest issue of Vanity Fair
Vanity Fair writer Donovan Webster, in a report on 60 hours of
interviews he conducted with 10 former detainees including a 15-year-old
boy, quoted several accounts of mistreatment that included Iraqi
prisoners being sexually assaulted by American soldiers or being hooded,
beaten, subjected to electric shock and kept in cages or crates.
One man said he was hung naked from handcuffs in a frigid room while
soldiers threw buckets of ice water on him.
Webster said that several of the people he interviewed said their
mistreatment took place in July, three months after the Abu Ghraib
prisoner abuse scandal broke in late April.
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