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Rachel Maddow reports that Navy medical personnel are involved in the force-feeding of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.  This is a breach of their oaths as physicians and a violation of international rules, which the United States has adopted against torture.

No physician may treat a person who is mentally sound and above the age of majority against that person's will.  I don't care if that physician is in the Navy or not -- such an order is unlawful and no physician should obey it.  Oh, of course, I'm sure there will be some justification, somewhere, and that may well have the word "orders" in it.

Am I missing something here -- what if George Bush had done something like this?  Where are the progressives on this?  Where are the liberals?  Do we only care if it's our side that's wielding the stick or wearing the boot?

Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

Poll

Do you think the US has lost its moral authority as a result of the GITMO fiasco?

38%12 votes
19%6 votes
19%6 votes
22%7 votes

| 31 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  One little quibble... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Peril, Jack K

    ...they are military officers, and as such, must follow orders, or be thrown in then brig themselves.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:06:55 PM PDT

    •  Isn't there something in there about not (12+ / 0-)

      following illegal orders?  

      Where do the Geneva Conventions come into play?  

      Since this is not a "traditional war" are we permitted to do anything we like to people?  

      I don't think so, but don't know the exact authorities.

      Where is J.A.G. on this topic?  You'd think they'd have some issues.

      Is the forced feeding only to prevent embarrassment to the White House? Isn't that a bit... well counter-productive, since forced-feeding is also an outrage?

      After all, aren't these men (several at least) already authorized for release but haven't been due to the usual bungling?

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:15:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Gitmo is an isolated outpost... (4+ / 0-)

        ...the only place more isolated would be aboard a ship at sea. I can't answer directly for these doctors, but they've probably been ordered to keep these men alive.

        Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

        by JeffW on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:19:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I just went searching around the 'net so (11+ / 0-)

          NSA could watch what I thought was important tonight. ;-D

          Anyway, it seems that an illegal order need not be obeyed.

          So, now it turns upon how "legal" an order is to force feed an inmate?

          Another question came to mind?  Are doctors (officers) doing this?  Or are nurse (corpsmen / enlisted) doing it?  Officers have a bit more discretion in their oath than enlisted men.

          If it is illegal (US law, UCMJ - Uniform Code Military Justice, or International law / treaties), then to issue the order is also criminal.

          At any rate, it seems a fools game.  Obama standing in the cell where Nelson Mandela spent many years of his life while force-feeding goes on under his command in Guantanamo is one of the most ridiculous juxtapositions yet. I guess he cannot see the conflicting messages?

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:24:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Saw that picture too. Must be some kind of an act (9+ / 0-)

            I am getting a bit weary of hearing how the commander in chief can't control the military at Gitmo.

            You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

            by Cartoon Peril on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:53:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Is it the military...? (4+ / 0-)

              Or the corporate mercenaries who are in charge at Gitmo?  I remember hearing an addition to Gitmo was built by Halliburton.

              Ever since I heard about that horror of a place, I've paused to seriously wonder:  Why do we never hear about soldiers going to or coming home from Gitmo so their local communities can throw big parties for them, etc....?

              Soldiers come and go, but no one who is in active duty or national guard military comes and goes from Gitmo.  Or, at least no one who will admit to service there goes off with huge fanfares or comes home to their local communities to be feted and lavished with love like the ones who went to or came home from Iraq or Afghanistan.

              We don't hear much about the commanding officers with the authority at Gitmo.  We don't hear about the regular soldiers who are allegedly stationed at Gitmo.

              So... who's running the show at Gitmo?

              I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

              by NonnyO on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 12:42:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  They justify it by calling them terrorists (8+ / 0-)

            Despite the fact that many are just Gay men sold to the US for the bounty.

            •  I admit, I had to think about your comment for (8+ / 0-)

              a second.  

              Yes, many men who were accused of being terrorists were simply enemies of someone who wanted the bounty $$$ that the US was offering without a smidgen of proof for anyone who'd turn in an annoying neighbor or local outcast.  Hell-of-a-lot of justice in that.

              Obama is holding onto George W's ill-gotten gain for what?  The majority of the final, what is it now, 180? men being held are not known to have participated in anything at all against the United States.

              And, for what it is worth, we invaded Afghanistan. Anyone who fought to defend their country against foreign invaders is not automatically a "terrorist."   The Bush administration and the gung-ho military/CIA invasion made no qualms about simply sweeping people up and imprisoning them to show off their manhood.

              Obama's lack of desire and inability to "look back" is what is causing him many problems today.  If he'd applied a critical eye to the policies of the past administration, he could have saved himself a lot of grief over many things.

              "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

              by YucatanMan on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 11:21:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Heh. Heh. Heh. (0+ / 0-)
            I guess he cannot see the conflicting messages?
            He makes his own reality now.  Haven't you heard?  He's prez and self-appointed CiC, same as Dumbya.  The way I read the Constitution, a prez is only CiC "when called."  He doesn't have to be asked to be CiC since the Constitution has the civilian authorities in charge of the military and only Congress has war powers and only Congress can authorize money for wars up to two years.
            Article II, Section. 2.
            The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States...;
            [my bold]
            The AUMF they passed that gave Dumbya something like limited war powers against a little gang of international criminals hiding in the mountains in another country is (IMHO) - ta da!!! -  Unconstitutional.  Congress has no authority to give up their war powers.  There is nothing in the Constitution that provides for them to give up their war powers or the power of the purse.  Unless the MIC &/or corporations &/or banks & Casino Wall Street are running the nation in the dim recesses of these "secret" government rules and laws and opinions, there was NO reason for them to have bowed down before the little dictator and his puppet master.  Our Cretinous Congress Critters owe us some heavy apologies for being doormats for the Repukes and the corporations, banks, and Wall Street (whose asses they are still kissing).

            It infuriates me when ignorant bastages say "election's coming and we're electing a new commander in chief."  NO.  We elect a president.  More precisely, we elect electors to vote for the president, but they could actually vote in the other guy if they wanted to (we do not have a direct democracy; if we did, our votes would be the end of the election process - to do that would require a change in the constitution).  Still, even when the electors do the voting, that's not electing a commander in chief who serves "when called."  That's electing a president.

            I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

            by NonnyO on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 12:33:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Must be a lawful order however ... (10+ / 0-)

      Article 92 UCMJ:

      Any person subject to this chapter who—

      (1) violates or fails to obey any lawful general order or regulation;

      (2) having knowledge of any other lawful order issued by a member of the armed forces, which it is his duty to obey, fails to obey the order; or

      (3) is derelict in the performance of his duties; shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”

      The Convention against Torture, to which the U.S. is a party, defines torture as:
      Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person, information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions
      Looks like an unlawful order to me.

      You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

      by Cartoon Peril on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:29:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's assuming... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      That's assuming they would face a fair trial in a military court.

      That's assuming a lot!

    •  They could resign their commission. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean
  •  They are in an unenviable position-- (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Jack K, middleagedhousewife, FG

    Do nothing and they violate their oaths by allowing them to die and not doing anything to prevent it.

    Force feed them and violate their oaths.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:15:13 PM PDT

    •  There's lots of things other than torture they (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilJD, snoopydawg

      could do.

      Like joining them on hunger strike.

      They prefer to violate their oaths, and to cause massive harm.

      Your false dichotomy is still false.

      Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

      by JesseCW on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 02:06:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They are also under the UCMJ as officers. So it (0+ / 0-)

        would be become a CO or resign. Refusal to follow orders gets you a court-martial and a DD, and possibly a loss or suspension of license, at the very least a board disciplinary hearing.

        "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

        by zenbassoon on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 07:44:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. Refusal to engage in horrific torture may (0+ / 0-)

          get them court martialed.

          But if they have to be court martialed for refusing to torture people, that's going to have a huge impact on public perception.

          Sometimes in life you have to choose between choosing to suffer and causing suffering.  

          While the consequences can be hard to bear, the choice isn't hard for people capable of empathy.

          Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

          by JesseCW on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:10:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  A hell of a mess. Just finished watching (3+ / 0-)

    Maddow, and haven't fully processed it yet. Thanks.

    Er, for those of us who don't have 1984 memorized, could you put attribution on the quote? Having to Google something in the middle of a read tends to break my concentration.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:26:19 PM PDT

  •  We also had navy doctors involved (11+ / 0-)

    in the torture of prisoners via "enhanced interrogation" whose job it was to keep the victims alive and conscious throughout the process.  We know that.  Number of them punished for this so far: ZERO.

    We also had army psychiatrists that were tasked with improving the effectiveness of torture applied to our prisoners.  One of them was a former top guy for the American Psychiatric Association, as I understand it.  Number of these people disciplined: ZERO.

    I had higher hopes than this.

  •  Thirty thousand prisoners in Ca. (6+ / 0-)

    have gone on a hunger strike. I wonder if they're going to force feed them too?

    I thought the Declaration of Tokyo banned this.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:44:26 PM PDT

    •  Yes. They are. And then we'll be having this (4+ / 0-)

      conversation again.

      The US is a stinking torture state.  It is the norm here.

      We don't have a hope in hell of changing it until we understand the obscene torture is something meted out on a routine basis to a couple million people we've locked away - mostly for non-violent crimes.

      I'm not a "look of there" kind of bear.  What's happening at GITMO is disgusting and needs to be addressed. But for our country, it's not unusual.

      Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

      by JesseCW on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 02:04:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, George W. Bush DID do something (3+ / 0-)

    "like this" back in the day...

    ...more than once, in fact...

    ...I don't know where the progressives or liberals were at the time...

    "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward mobile..." - Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    by Jack K on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:44:42 PM PDT

  •  I guess they would argue that by force feeding (0+ / 0-)

    them they, as medical doctors, are taking their oath very seriously, as they try to "save their lives". Isn't it their duty to "keep them alive"?

    Just saying.

    I bet they find their own "moral" justification for their torturous medical "treatments". They always do. Upside down everything.

    It's just too disgusting to think this through. I give Obama lots of slack for some of his policies (even though I don't like them), but this one ...

    you better don't remind me of it.

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