Restored! Returned! The lost are borne
On seas of shipwreck home at last:
See! In the fire of praising burns
The dry dumb past, and we
The life-day long shall part no more.
- From Ten Songs, 1939, W.H. Auden
“In my review on the regulations on the conduct of research, I have tried to demonstrate that medical science's commitment to individual autonomy continues to remain ambiguous.Lack of Research Protections in the DoD and CIA
“The call for balancing the need to advance science for mankind's benefit and to protect the inviolability of subjects of research all too commonly tilts in favor of progress….
“As you know, I do not believe that the current federal regulations on the protection of subjects of research go far enough.”1
“In January 2004, the Director of Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E) initiated a DoD-wide review of human subjects protection policies. A Navy slide presentation at DoD Training Day (PDF)3 on Nov. 14, 2006, hinted strongly at the serious issues behind the entire review.This review was ordered in late January 2004, only a few months after the Supreme court had agreed to hear the case later known as Rasul v Rumsfeld, which would decide that the Guantanamo detainees had a right to challenge their detention. The DoD-wide review came over two years after a DoD directive authored by Paul Wolfowitz had indicated such procedures should be in place. As a result, none of the required assurances by the different Defense Department components regarding their human subjects protection policies had been filed with DDR&E. In effect, there was little or no oversight over DoD research policies at exactly the time when both DoD and CIA were engaged in an experimental torture program, or using detainee prisoners as human guinea pigs for the study of the effects of torture and harsh detention (about which more below).
“The Navy presentation framed the problem in the light of the history of U.S. governmental ‘non-compliance’ with human subjects research protections, including ‘U.S. Government Mind Control Experiments – LSD, MKULTRA, MKDELTA (1950-1970s)’; a 90-day national ‘stand down’ in 2003 for all human subject research and development activities ‘ordered in response to the death of subjects," as well as use of "unqualified researchers.’
The Training Day presentation said the review found the Navy ‘not in full compliance with Federal policies on human subjects protection.’ Furthermore, DDR&E found the Navy had ‘no single point of accountability for human subject protections.’”
3. Engaging in potential human subjects experimentation to provide legal cover for tortureThere was no known response to this letter.
From the SSCI summary it can be inferred that the OMS officers played an active role in determining, along with the DoJ lawyers, what techniques would be considered authorised for the CIA to employ. The 2004 OMS Draft Guidelines stated “in order to best inform future medical judgments and recommendations, it is important that every application of the waterboard be thoroughly documented”. The OMS personnel analysed data previously collected from the detainees during torture to make generalized conclusions about the techniques. In 2004 and 2005, this data and analysis was provided to the DoJ’s Office of Legal Counsel to determine what techniques and applications would be legitimate under their interpretation of U.S. laws.
On at least two occasions, CIA personnel expressed concerns that this process would amount to human experimentation. Similarly, on 11 April 2005, OMS personnel expressed such concern when stating that the “OMS did not review or vet these techniques prior to their introduction, but rather came into this program with the understanding… that they were already determined as legal, permitted and safe. We see this current iteration as a reversal of that sequence”.
However, despite these concerns, the 2005 Office of Legal Counsel memos (known as the Bradbury memos) reveal that the final determinations on the legality and safety of the techniques relied heavily on OMS data and analysis.12
"It couldn't happen in America" we reassured ourselves about medical practices in Nazi Germany. But intolerable medical practices were practiced on vulnerable populations in America, without the support of the political culture or the despotic leadership that captivated Germany under the Third Reich, without any protest from the AMA, which prides itself on its ability to regulate itself.In conclusion, I ask that the NPRM changes proposed for weakening of protections on issues related to “intelligence surveillance” and “criminal justice activities,” as well as weakening protections related to Subpart C of the Common Rule relating to research protections for prisoners, be soundly rejected.
History suggests that we are as susceptible to abusing our socially and economically disenfranchised citizens as any other nation. If, as many believe, a democracy is only as strong as the respect accorded its weakest members, we must work to assure that neither these abuses nor the "conspiracy of silence" that makes them possible ever happen again. We must do this not only for the benefit of the powerless, but also for the benefit of society as a whole.17
Ex-Gitmo prisoner to remain in Moroccan jail despite assurancesThe Chekkouri case demonstrates the sham commitment to human rights practiced by the Democratic Party administration of Barack Obama. The servile Congress does nothing, or even worse, further demonizes the many innocent men still held captive in the torture prison at Guantanamo. The "alternative" political party, the Republicans, are as bad or even worse, which means the political system has left very little wiggle room for justice to even take place.
A Moroccan judge has today refused to release a former Guantanamo prisoner who has been imprisoned, despite diplomatic assurances provided to the US, since his transfer last year.
At a hearing today in Rabat – where former prisoner Younous Chekkouri has been held since his transfer out of Guantanamo in September 2015 – the judge postponed the court proceedings, and extended Younous’ detention for a fourth time, setting a new hearing date of January 26th.
This decision comes amid speculation over the Obama Administration’s efforts to close Guantanamo, which is a process dependent on diplomatic agreements between the US and recipient countries. By the time of the next hearing, Younous will have been held for 129 days longer than was stipulated in the US-Moroccan assurances.
Younous spent 13 years at Guantanamo without charge or trial, and was cleared for release in 2010 by six US federal agencies, including the CIA and the FBI. The Department of Justice has admitted to Younous’ lawyers at the human rights organization Reprieve – who have been barred from seeing him since his transfer – that some years ago, it “withdrew all reliance” on evidence that now appears to be the basis of his detention in Morocco. Despite this, it appears the Moroccan court may still decide to bring charges against Younous on the basis of the discredited former US allegations.
In the course of US court proceedings, the US government is refusing to provide Younous' lawyers with documents that could help secure his release. Last month, the Obama Administration submitted a secret filing to the court, which it is refusing to share with Younous' Reprieve lawyers. Reprieve has said, in a recent submission to the court, that the government “should be working in an open and cooperative manner to correct a manifest injustice” in Younous’ case.
Commenting, Joe Pace, one of Younous’ Reprieve attorneys, said: "Its hard to take seriously President Obama's stated commitment to righting the wrongs of Gitmo when the Administration hasn't lifted a finger to enforce the Moroccans' assurances that Younous would not be detained at length. The US government has known for years that the allegations underlying Younous' detention in Morocco are baseless, and they could secure his release with a simple phone call. It's bad enough that the US took 13 years of Younous' life at Gitmo without a shred of credible evidence justifying his detention; now the government seems content to let him languish in a Moroccan jail indefinitely."
12 years of agony. I live like a frightened child or an animal waiting for the unknown. I pray from my heart that my sadness and anxiety will come to an end. I pray to see my wife again, and to be able to tell her everything that I have kept bottled up in my heart for more than a decade.
I dare not believe that I will ever see my sweetheart again. There is only one face that comes to me in my dreams. It is her face, the one who has been crying day and night, waiting for me to hug her and say “Don’t worry my love, it was all a nightmare and now it’s over”.
In every letter I write to her, I tell her that we will never be apart again. I don’t know if she believes me or not, but I imagine her eyes shining and her lips parting in her magical smile. I do know that neither of us ever imagined we would be in this situation. Destiny is a very strange thing.
President Obama and his wife have adorable children, whose future they guard jealously. I’m sure the President’s greatest fear is that he will be apart from his wife or children. Well, I have just the same feeling because I’m human just like them.
I do not blame President Obama though for these long years, I don’t blame anyone. I want no vengeance for the 12 years I have spent in Guantánamo, never having committed any crime. I want only to feel human again, to hug my soulmate and tell her that we will never again be apart.
The United States military has sharply curtailed the use of psychologists at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in response to strict new professional ethics rules of the American Psychological Association, Pentagon officials said.Risen's article relates a statement by SOUTHCOM spokeswoman, Navy Cmdr. Karin Burzynski, which explains that the removal of psychologists was due to APA's new policy about psychologists and national security interrogations, and the military was concerned about possible licensing or ethics board charges for military psychologists.
Gen. John F. Kelly, the head of the United States Southern Command, which oversees Guantánamo, has ordered that psychologists be withdrawn from a wide range of activities dealing with detainees at the prison because of the new rules of the association, the nation’s largest professional organization for psychologists. The group approved the rules this past summer.
"... [FBI] officers said, "Don't lie to us -- we know everything about you. We will finish your family -- first your wife and then your two kids..."In a separate affidavit, another Kenyan national, Idris Magondu, who also was renditioned to Uganda and interrogated by both Ugandan police and FBI, wrote, "after the Court appearance at which I was not represented by legal Counsel, I was ordered to be remanded to Luzira Upper Prison where the FBI officers interrogated me several times... during the interrogations, the FBI officers shouted and threatened me, telling me that President Museveni had ordered his army to kill me, and the officers were banging on the table and were very aggressive."
"... one (1) FBI officer, with blue eyes, cocked his gun as if he were going to shoot me, saying that there was a bullet inside with my name on it.... the same officer told me he would kill me or leave me to rot in Luzira."
"... I was severely ill-treated during interrogation, including having an FBI officer standing behind me hitting me on the back of the head with his fist... when the FBI wanted to do their dirty work, they would ask the Ugandans to leave, and by dirty work I mean beating, forcing me to sign papers and threatening me...."
"... during interrogation, if I refused to do something, I would be hooded for 30 minutes to an hour, during which time FBI officers would cock their guns as if they were about to shoot me..."
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Guantanamo has forged a place in the world’s consciousness as synonymous with torture. The world’s largest military force exerted its power ...