Tag Archives | Torture

Torture Permanently Damages Perception of Pain

Goya_-_La_seguridad_de_un_reo_no_exige_tormento_(The_Custody_of_a_Criminal_Does_Not_Call_for_Torture)A study of Israeli soldiers captured and tortured during the 1973 Yom Kippur war revealed that their perception of pain has been changed permanently.

Via NeuroScience News:

Forty years later, research by Prof. Ruth Defrin of the Department of Physical Therapy in the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University shows that the ex-prisoners of war (POWs), continue to suffer from dysfunctional pain perception and regulation, likely as a result of their torture. The study — conducted in collaboration with Prof. Zahava Solomon and Prof. Karni Ginzburg of TAU’s Bob Shapell School of Social Work and Prof. Mario Mikulincer of the School of Psychology at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya — was published in the European Journal of Pain.

“The human body’s pain system can either inhibit or excite pain. It’s two sides of the same coin,” says Prof. Defrin. “Usually, when it does more of one, it does less of the other.

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Medical, Military, and Ethics Experts Say Health Professionals Designed and Participated in Cruel, Inhumane, and Degrading Treatment and Torture of Detainees

The documentary “Doctors of the Dark Side” revealed the issues highlighted in the report.

The Institute on Medicine as a Profession’s press release, below, summarizes the report “Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the War on Terror” that is causing a massive stir in the media. Let’s hope it ends up affecting policy…

New York, NY — An independent panel of military, ethics, medical, public health, and legal experts today charged that U.S. military and intelligence agencies directed doctors and psychologists working in U.S. military detention centers to violate standard ethical principles and medical standards to avoid infliction of harm. The Task Force on Preserving Medical Professionalism in National Security Detention Centers (see attached) concludes that since September 11, 2001, the Department of Defense (DoD) and CIA improperly demanded that U.S. military and intelligence agency health professionals collaborate in intelligence gathering and security practices in a way that inflicted severe harm on detainees in U.S.

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DoD, CIA Required Military Doctors to Breach Ethics in Dealing With Detainees

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Well, I know this is old news, but it’s heartening to see more and more professionals addressing the issue. In this case, The Institute on Medicine as a Profession. If you can stand a deeper look at the topic you might be interested in our documentary “Doctors of the Dark Side“. Trailer below the cut.

Via Eureka Alert:

An independent panel of military, ethics, medical, public health, and legal experts today charged that U.S. military and intelligence agencies directed doctors and psychologists working in U.S. military detention centers to violate standard ethical principles and medical standards to avoid infliction of harm. The Task Force on Preserving Medical Professionalism in National Security Detention Centers (see attached) concludes that since September 11, 2001, the Department of Defense (DoD) and CIA improperly demanded that U.S. military and intelligence agency health professionals collaborate in intelligence gathering and security practices in a way that inflicted severe harm on detainees in U.S.

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Beheadings For Breakfast?

18xx Richtblock und Richtbeil anagoriaFacebook struck what it thought was a blow for freedom of expression: It is now going to allow beheadings to be seen in its news feeds.

Said the house of the billionaire Zuckerberg,

“since some people object to graphic video of this nature, we are working to give people additional control over the content they see. This may include warning them in advance that the image they are about to see contains graphic content.”

I am sure this oh-so-reasonable distinction without a difference is being celebrated at this very moment in some cave in Afghanistan by the crazies who delight in chopping off heads as acts of terror.

They do it so that their handywork will be seen. Facebook is ready to oblige them in the name of giving their members more control over the means of shocking others.

How nice.

Earlier, when their decision was roundly condemned, they qualified their pro-gore fatwa in this age of Zombie lovers everywhere, and just in time for Halloween, to put a liberal face on decision that makes chopping off faces more visible.… Read the rest

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Pretending One Can Dissociate Torture From War is the Lie of the Powerful

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larcenet_6One of the most amazing aspects of the resource wars is that within their own countries, most western powers have been able to stifle opposition for their participation, not to mention being able to suppress any real criticism of how they conduct themselves based on the laws of war.

“Everyone must be entitled to benefit from fundamental judicial guarantees. No one must be sentenced without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court. No one must be held responsible for an act he has not committed. No one must be subjected to physical or mental torture, corporal punishment or cruel or degrading treatment.”

Let’s take France as an example since it appears to have the backing of its citizens in taking the lead role in the recent wars which are set to determine the future of Africa.

To have a full appreciation for the magnitude of the folly of France’s decision to attempt a “total reconquest of Mali” by getting involved in what David Cameron has predicted to be a multi-decade conflict, all we need to do is recap a little history and extrapolate to the present.… Read the rest

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Grant Morrison’s ‘Doom Patrol': Mr. Nobody: a Savior, a Monster, an Act of Sacrilege, Dada

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One of the major players in the realm of comic books has been the United Kingdom, and one of its most important periods occurred in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s with the British Invasion of American comics. This period saw the influx of British creators, most of whom initially worked for DC Comics, creators such as Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Warren Ellis, Simon Bisley, Dave McKean, Peter Milligan, and Scottish writer Grant Morrison. It is Morrison and his work that we will be sampling in this post, specifically, the brilliant and explosive introduction of Mr. Nobody - “the spirit of the twenty-first century” – which occurred in Doom Patrol #26. The issue was published in 1989 during the beginning stages of Morrison’s epic run in the series (#19-63).
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Abu Ghraib Victims to Pay Their Torturers | Heroes and Villains

Abby Martin calls out Judge Gerald Bruce Lee as the day’s villain, for ruling in favor of the defense contractor CACI International in a lawsuit brought by former Abu Ghraib torture victims, citing the two tiered justice of forcing torture victims to pay their torturers for legal fees.

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We Don’t Torture People

Psychologists for Social Responsibility is an independent, non-profit organization that applies psychological knowledge and expertise to promote peace, social justice, human rights, and sustainability. Members are psychologists, students, and other advocates for social change in the United States and around the world. Appalled by the torture program at Guantanamo Bay, they are appealing to other health care professionals to join them in signing a letter of protest addressed to President Obama (below).

One of the main signatories is Martha Davis, director of Doctors of the Dark Side, who has just released this video of actress Mercedes Ruehl and attorney Kristine Huskey in a reprise of ex-CIA Director George Tenet’s extraordinary argument about torture with Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes:

Dear Colleagues,

Attached and pasted below is a letter to President Obama that is being sponsored by Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR).

Because the hunger strike at Guantanamo is a medical emergency, and the result of intolerable delays in closing the detention facility, health care professionals and human rights advocates bring a special voice to this crisis.

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The Rapper Formerly Known As Mos Def Undergoes Force-Feeding In Protest Of Guantanamo

The pressure is being mounted on President Obama to take steps to end the force-feeding of hunger-striking prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Wondering just how brutal force-feeding is? Yasiin Bey (better known as Mos Def) collaborated with the human rights organization Reprieve and filmmaker Asif Kapadia to document himself actually undergoing the procedure, in accordance with the standard operating guidelines found in leaked military documents. The resulting four-minute film is extremely disturbing:
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Guantanamo Bay Recommends Using Drug With Severe Neurological Effects On Detainees

Metoclopramide_ampuleAs if torturing the seemingly permanent detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were not bad enough, it has now been revealed by Al-Jazeera that an official manual recommends use of Reglan, a drug known to cause neurological disorders, to hunger striking detainees:

A new policy for force feeding hunger strikers at the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay includes the recommended use of a controversial drug that may cause serious neurological disorders, including one that mimics Parkinson’s disease.

The UK-based human rights group, Reprieve, filed an incident report this week with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) demanding an immediate investigation into the use of the brain-altering drug, and asking the agency “to take all possible measures to prevent further use of metoclopramide in force-feeding at Guantanamo”.

Al Jazeera first documented the use of metoclopramide last month in an exclusive report about the government’s revised Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to deal with a massive hunger strike entering its fifth month.

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