When President Obama signed an Executive Order on his second day in office mandating a uniform standard for all US interrogations, the human rights community was relieved and gratified. Years of advocacy to end torture and abuse of detainees had finally paid off.
Salon.com's Mark Benjamin recently covered PHR's analysis of US government torture and interrogation policy documents, declassified since President Obama took office. In his review of documents, PHR Medical Advisor Scott Allen, MD, found alarming evidence of bad applications of scientific knowledge and gross ethical misconduct by medical personnel in interrogations of terror suspects in US custody.
The newly released report by the Department of Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility shows not only that John Yoo and Jay Bybee created disgracefully flawed legal analysis but also that they tried to justify that reasoning by using bad science.
PHR Research on Impact of Torture on Detainees Used in Brief to Support Findings of Involuntary Confession in Domestic Death Penalty Case
In recent years, Physicians for Human Rights has done considerable research on the impact of psychological torture techniques used by US personnel on terrorist suspect detainees. Now, that work is being put to an important new use in the context of the deplorable treatment of a domestic inmate.
In today's New York Times, former Air Force interrogator Matthew Alexander highlights a problem that most Americans have missed: The Obama Administration has not fully outlawed abusive interrogation techniques.