Sunday, September 10, 2006

The U.S. Does Torture

Pres. Bush has unequivocally stated that the United States does not practice torture:

I want to be absolutely clear with our people, and the world: The United States does not torture. It's against our laws, and it's against our values. I have not authorized it -and I will not authorize it.

The Minnesota Monitor disagrees, in a post titled: "You're Wrong, Mr. President, the US Does Torture":

Yesterday the President admitted that the CIA had secret prisons overseas. Yet in nearly the same breath he said, "The US does not torture. I have not authorized it and I will not" -- a refrain that he has repeated before.

Funny thing: There are many other sources with excellent credentials that say just the opposite, including The International Red Cross, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch,, and The Guardian.

One more name to add to the list is Dr. Stephen Miles, a University of Minnesota bioethicist who this year published Oath Betrayed: Torture, Medical Complicity and the War on Terror, which "explores the role of military physicians in aiding and abetting abuse and torture at U.S. detention facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantamano" (American Prospect).

The book has been featured in TIME magazine, and Dr. Miles has been interviewed on NPR and MPR, and by The American Prospect. Reviews and mentions have also appeared in the International Herald Tribune, the LA Times, and numerous other publications. In addition, his article entitled "Medical Oaths Betrayed" was published in June in the Washington Post.

If all voices were equal, we could stand Dr. Miles and the President on the same stage and grill them both. One difference: Dr. Miles has done his homework. Mr. Bush has not.


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