CIA medical professionals accused of committing war crimes

Federal investigators in the United States should considering weighing whether or not health workers involved in the interrogation tactics highlighted in the recent CIA torture port should be charged with war crimes, a group said this week.

Physicians for Human Rights, a New York-headquartered organization that examines instances of atrocities and severe human rights violations within the medical field, released a report [PDF] on Tuesday urging for federal authorities in the US to open up a probe concerning revelations contained in the so-called “torture report” released last week by the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence after a nearly four-year-long investigation.

“The torture report’s executive summary describes in detail the acts and omissions of CIA health professionals who violated their professional ethics, undermined the critical bond of trust between patients and doctors and broke the law,” PHR said in a statement that accompanied the release of this week’s report. “PHR calls for a federal commission to investigate, document and hold accountable all health professionals who participated in the CIA torture program.”

According to the Senate committee’s findings contained in the executive summary released last week in which the full report is described, CIA agents stationed overseas after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks participated in a program wherein foreign suspects were detained and subjected to “enhanced interrogation techniques,” or EITs, that included waterboarding and sleep deprivation. Additionally, the Senate committee concluded, detainees were routinely force-fed rectally, according to the Senate’s investigation, despite officials having not found any medical necessity in doing as much. As RT reported previously, the Senate panel noted that, as a result, detainees suffered from rectal prolapses and other after-effects, and that such tactics appeared to be conducted to coerce prisoners into disclosing intelligence. Ultimately, the Senate concluded that the EITs used by CIA agents failed to directly provide any critical terrorism-related intelligence.

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