Apr 27 2011

The Guantanamo Papers and What They Do Not Say About Torture

gitmoThe whistleblowing website Wikileaks, in tandem with the New York Times, this week published another treasure trove of classified government documents. The documents are part of the large cache obtained last year by Wikileaks. This latest release focused on Defense Department documents about nearly 800 men detained at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo, Cuba. The documents include detailed information about the prisoners including personal information, photos, health information, how and where they were captured, intelligence that was gleaned from them, reasons for their continued detention, and more. Wikileaks has published complete information on 151 prisoners as of today, promising to publish more documents daily in the coming month. The Guantanamo prison was established under the Bush administration ostensibly to house prisoners captured in the so-called “war on terror,” who would be exempted from constitutional protections. President Barack Obama pledged to shut down Guantanamo during his campaign but has so far failed to do so. Currently there are still more than a 100 prisoners remaining at the facility. Despite the incredible light that has finally been shone on this modern-day Gulag, what the Wikileaks documents do not cover is the extent of torture that the detainees suffered, euphemistically referred to “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Just yesterday, the online journal PLoS Medicine published a paper by two experts independently reviewing for the first time the detailed medical records of nine Guantanamo prisoners. The authors concluded that “the specific allegations of torture and ill treatment were highly consistent with and supported by physical and psychological evidence observed in all cases.”

GUESTS: Vincent Iacopino, Senior Medical Advisor to Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), Adjunct Professor of Medicine with the University of Minnesota Medical School, first author of the paper “Neglect of Medical Evidence of Torture in Guantanamo Bay: A Case Series, Jeremy Varon, Organizer with Witness Against Torture, Associate Professor of History at the New School for Social Research in New York

Find out more at www.phrusa.org and www.witnesstorture.org.

Read the Guantanamo papers on Wikileaks at www.wikileaks.ch/gitmo.

Read the paper here: http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/
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