Friday, January 13, 2006

More on the unhinged executive

Chris Floyd comes up with yet another good article, this time on doctors' illegal involvement in force feeding. He argues that the doctors in Guantanamo are cooperating in "torture lite":
News of the hunger strike has been trickling out -- in obscure dribs and drabs - from the ever-incurious U.S. media for months. Indeed, Pentagon warlord Donald Rumsfeld even joked about prisoners "going on a diet." But the full scope of the strike - and the unethical methods being used to quash it - only emerged this week in The Observer, which obtained legal affidavits from the Army doctors involved in this "torture lite." The strike, which began last August with a handful of captives, has now spread to 81 prisoners trying to starve themselves to death.

...So the strikers are being strapped down and force-fed by tubes shoved through their noses and crammed down into their stomachs. This daily process leaves them bleeding and retching, according to sworn testimony from the concentration camp's hospital chief, Captain John Edmondson.

The good doctor defended the practice as humane, noting that his medicos always grease the captives' nostrils with lubricant, and use only "soft and flexible" 3mm hoses - a benevolent amelioration of their previous technique: stuffing 4.8mm hard-rubber tubes down nose and gullet in order to pump gruel into a prisoner's belly more quickly. Yet despite the Christ-like tenderness of this treatment, Edmondson is now being sued in California, his native state, for unprofessional conduct. It seems that U.S. doctors are legally bound by the 1975 World Medical Association Tokyo Declaration, which explicitly forbids force-feeding under any circumstances.
Floyd also provides yet another indication that the Bush regime's fascination with the torture of children has left the realm of theory:
In 2003, the CIA grabbed the sons - age 7 and 9 - of accused terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Pakistan and flew them to the U.S. for "interrogation," in a bid to force their father to talk, as the Daily Telegraph and New York Times reported. In this case, the interrogators claimed to have handled the children with "kid gloves" - although the choice of sartorial materials would hardly prevent a gloved hand from crushing someone's testicles...
Meanwhile, a prominent Straussian and Harvard professor of political theory offers a defense of the constitutionality of absolute presidential power and is promptly and thoroughly smacked down by a colleague at Georgetown (via Leiter Reports).

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