Sunday, November 13, 2005

NYT: "Guantanamo Tour Focuses on Medical Ethics" (Neil A. Lewis)

Troubled by news accounts of medical participation in coercive interrogations at Guantanamo Bay and the resulting unease in the professional medical community, the Pentagon led an intense one-day tour of the detention camp last month, several participants said in recent days.
The purpose of the trip, some of the participants said, was for the military leadership to convince the ethicists, psychiatrists, psychologists and others who visited the detention camp at the United States Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, that what was occurring there did not violate medical ethics and was necessary to strengthen the nation's security.
But many participants seem not to have been convinced. Dr. Steven S. Sharfstein, the president of the American Psychiatric Association, who went on the trip, said that the group's members' assembly voted unanimously on Saturday to recommend a strict code against participation in some of the activities described in news reports. Dr. Sharfstein said that the recommendation was certain to be adopted by the association's board next month, making it official policy.
He said the main concern was the use of military psychiatrists as members of Behavioral Science Consultation Teams, known as biscuit teams, to advise interrogators at Guantanamo.

The above is from Neil A. Lewis's "Guantanamo Tour Focuses on Medical Ethics" in this morning's New York Times. This is the spotlight story, the one you need to know about.

You should refer to Jane Mayer's "The Experiment" which is summarized here and which is available online in full here. I'm going to bite my tongue here. Reason? We're still working on The Third Estate Sunday Review. We're polishing up one piece and then doing the editorial whose topic was already Guantanamo. Since Elaine will be participating in that and since she's noted her opinion of the people in her field "assisting" at Guantanamo, this will probably be addressed in the editorial there. (To read Elaine's most recent comments on this click here. And remember she addressed at Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude while she was filling in for the vacationing Rebecca.)

Robert Pear's caught Lyle's attention this morning with "Confusion Is Rife About Drug Plan as Sign-Up Nears" which, as Lyle notes, doesn't even mention the donought hole that the elderly who sign up will go into after the first couple of thousands and before they approach $6,000 in costs. During that period, they'll have to cover medical expenses out of their own pockets.

Instead of addressing that, Pear prefers to peer into the souls of the Republican Congress and the Bully Boy by telling us what they "firmly believe in." He's not living in their heads but they may be living in his if he thinks he can read their minds. Call him The Times Whisperer -- but pray he stays away from Love-Hewitt's crop-tops.

Lyle notes that Cedric offered more this week than all the useless chatter Pear offers. Yes, and Cedric actually spoke to the people he referred to. (Check out the end credits on Pear's article.)

Gloria Steinem and Holly Near will be on Sunday's The Laura Flanders Show. It was my mistake and my apologies. No member e-mailed to complain (I haven't checked the public e-mail account) and I'll assume that's because a) they heard Flanders announce the guests for Sunday's show and b) no member would consider three hours of Flanders (regardless of the guests) a waste of time. So we'll consider yesterday our "Gloria Steinem drill." And now that we know we're all prepared, we can enjoy Sunday's The Laura Flanders Show.

Remember you can listen to The Laura Flanders Show via broadcast radio (if there's an AAR in your area), via XM Satellite Radio (channel 167) or listen online. And the show podcasts as well so use the link if you're interested in more information on that.

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