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Thursday, June 10, 2010

I looked into the mirror and realized it is we who are the MONSTERS

PHR Library
June 7, 2010

Evidence Indicates that the Bush Administration Conducted
Experiments and Research on Detainees to Design Torture Techniques and
Create Legal Cover

Illegal Activity Would Violate Nuremberg Code and Could Open Door to Prosecution

Media Contacts:

Benjamin Greenberg
bgreenberg [at] phrusa [dot] org
Tel: 617-301-4237
Cell: 617-510-3417

Valerie Holford
Cell: 301-926-1298

Download the report, learn more and take action(Cambridge, MA) In the most comprehensive investigation to date of

health professionals' involvement in the CIA's "enhanced" interrogation
program (EIP), Physicians For Human Rights has uncovered evidence that
indicates the Bush administration apparently conducted illegal and
unethical human experimentation and research on detainees in CIA
custody. The apparent experimentation and research appear to have been
performed to provide legal cover for torture, as well as to help
justify and shape future procedures and policies governing the use of
the "enhanced" interrogation techniques. The PHR report, Experiments in
Torture: Human Subject Research and Evidence of Experimentation in the
'Enhanced' Interrogation Program, is the first to provide evidence that
CIA medical personnel engaged in the crime of illegal experimentation
after 9/11, in addition to the previously disclosed crime of torture.

This evidence indicating apparent research and experimentation on
detainees opens the door to potential additional legal liability for
the CIA and Bush-era officials. There is no publicly available evidence
that the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel determined
that the alleged experimentation and research performed on detainees
was lawful, as it did with the "enhanced" techniques themselves.

"The CIA appears to have broken all accepted legal and ethical
standards put in place since the Second World War to protect prisoners
from being the subjects of experimentation," said Frank Donaghue, PHR's
Chief Executive Officer. "Not only are these alleged acts gross
violations of human rights law, they are a grave affront to America's
core values."

Physicians for Human Rights demands that President Obama direct the
Attorney General to investigate these allegations, and if a crime is
found to have been committed, prosecute those responsible.
Additionally, Congress must immediately amend the War Crimes Act (WCA)
to remove changes made to the WCA in 2006 by the Bush Administration
that allow a more permissive definition of the crime of illegal
experimentation on detainees in US custody. The more lenient 2006
language of the WCA was made retroactive to all acts committed by US
personnel since 1997.

"In their attempt to justify the war crime of torture, the CIA
appears to have committed another alleged war crime – illegal
experimentation on prisoners," said Nathaniel A. Raymond, Director of
PHR's Campaign Against Torture and lead report author. "Justice
Department lawyers appear to never have assessed the lawfulness of the
alleged research on detainees in CIA custody, despite how essential it
appears to have been to their legal cover for torture."

PHR's report, Experiments in Torture, is relevant to present-day
national security interrogations, as well as Bush-era detainee
treatment policies. As recently as February, 2010, President Obama's
then director of national intelligence, Admiral Dennis Blair, disclosed
that the US had established an elite interrogation unit that will
conduct "scientific research" to improve the questioning of suspected
terrorists. Admiral Blair declined to provide important details about
this effort.

"If health professionals participated in unethical human subject
research and experimentation they should be held to account," stated
Scott A. Allen, MD, a medical advisor to Physicians for Human Rights
and lead medical author of the report. "Any health professional who
violates their ethical codes by employing their professional expertise
to calibrate and study the infliction of harm disgraces the health
profession and makes a mockery of the practice of medicine."

Several prominent individuals and organizations in addition to PHR
will file a complaint this week with the US Department of Health and
Human Services' Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) and call
for an OHRP investigation of the CIA's Office of Medical Services.

The PHR report indicates that there is evidence that health
professionals engaged in research on detainees that violates the Geneva
Conventions, The Common Rule, the Nuremberg Code and other
international and domestic prohibitions against illegal human subject
research and experimentation. Declassified government documents
indicate that:

  • Research and medical experimentation on detainees was used to
    measure the effects of large- volume waterboarding and adjust the
    procedure according to the results. After medical monitoring and
    advice, the CIA experimentally added saline, in an attempt to prevent
    putting detainees in a coma or killing them through over-ingestion of
    large amounts of plain water. The report observes: "'Waterboarding 2.0'
    was the product of the CIA's developing and field-testing an
    intentionally harmful practice, using systematic medical monitoring and
    the application of subsequent generalizable knowledge."
  • Health professionals monitored sleep deprivation on more
    than a dozen detainees in 48-, 96- and 180-hour increments. This
    research was apparently used to monitor and assess the effects of
    varying levels of sleep deprivation to support legal definitions of
    torture and to plan future sleep deprivation techniques.
  • Health professionals appear to have analyzed data, based on
    their observations of 25 detainees who were subjected to individual and
    combined applications of "enhanced" interrogation techniques, to
    determine whether one type of application over another would increase
    the subject's "susceptibility to severe pain." The alleged research
    appears to have been undertaken only to assess the legality of the
    "enhanced" interrogation tactics and to guide future application of the

Experiments in Torture: Human Subject Research and Experimentation
in the 'Enhanced' Interrogation Program is the most in-depth expert
review to date of the legal and medical ethics issues concerning health
professionals' involvement in researching, designing and supervising
the CIA's "enhanced" interrogation program. The Experiments in
Torture report is the result of six months of investigation and the
review of thousands of pages of government documents. It has been
peer-reviewed by outside experts in the medical, biomedical and
research ethics fields, legal experts, health professionals and experts
in the treatment of torture survivors.

The lead author for this report was Nathaniel Raymond, Director of
the Campaign Against Torture, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) and the
lead medical author was Scott Allen, MD, Co-Director of the Center for
Prisoner Health and Human Rights at Brown University and Medical
Advisor to PHR. They were joined in its writing by Vincent Iacopino,
MD, PhD, PHR Senior Medical Advisor; Allen Keller, MD, Associate
Professor of Medicine, NYU School of Medicine, Director, Bellevue/NYU
Program for Survivors of Torture; Stephen Soldz, PhD, President-elect
of Psychologists for Social Responsibility and Director of the Center
for Research, Evaluation and Program Development at the Boston Graduate
School of Psychoanalysis; Steven Reisner, PhD, PHR Advisor on Ethics
and Psychology; and John Bradshaw, JD, PHR Chief Policy Officer and
Director of PHR's Washington Office.

The report was extensively peer reviewed by leading experts in
related medical, legal, ethical and governmental fields addressed in
the document.