Sunday, February 15, 2009

Gitmo Whistle-Blower

I've been reading through Spc. Brandon Neely's testimony for the CSHRA. At this point I don't have much to add beyond Scott Horton's description. The extent of the involvement of medical professionals and paraprofessionals is certainly jarring - to say that there was a breakdown of professional ethics at Guantánamo Bay is apt. Whether there will be any repercussions for those in the health professions (or mental health professions) as a result of having participated in or enabled torture remains to be seen. The involvement of health and mental health professionals in torture should, under sane conditions, be something of a career ender (e.g., professional organizations would strip those involved of their memberships, licenses and credentials would be revoked, and so on). Similarly, those responsible for shaping the conditions that facilitated torture (e.g., those occupying the White House, CIA officials, Pentagon officials, etc.) would be brought to justice. Sadly, we do not exist under sane conditions in the US, and there is a certain pessimism in Neely's testimonial regarding the extent to which anything even remotely resembling justice will ever occur. The lot of a whistle-blower is often an unhappy and thankless one: I'll give this young man some kudos for simply showing a willingness to speak out and for encouraging others to do so as well.

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