John Walker Lindh was the first real victim of the new American torture policy. Naked, and bound to a stretcher with a bullet in his leg, he was denied basic human rights and healthcare and was given less respect than an animal prepared for the slaughterhouse.
Today, Deepak Chopra makes an alarmingly resilient argument against the roles American doctors played in the propagation of torture in the name of national security:
As a physician, my personal nightmare is of the doctors who stood by during torture sessions to monitor the victim’s vital signs. This was supposed to be humane, but what about the Hippocratic oath, which says that a doctor shall do no harm? Is making sure that waterboarding doesn’t cause a heart attack doing no harm? The whole rationale is grotesque.
When the brightest and best among us become our gaolers instead of our protectors — in spite of their sacred vow to heal and not harm — we are quickly on the way to anarchy and lawlessness.
It will take more people like Deepak Chopra standing up saying — “This isn’t right; we must find a new way” — to eradicate those that seek to destroy us from within by stuffing the stars and stripes of the American flag down our throats to help suffocate us in anticipation of our physician-assisted waterboarding.
I wonder to what extent the doctors would give the old standard “I was just following orders” line. It’s scary when you see this kind of activity.
I read something about that Gordon, and it was fascinating. Even if there isn’t a stated state policy on torture, torture can be proven if the standard behavior of everyone in the cell, group or nation is identical, with identical expectations and results. When “everyone does it” — even though there’s no “paper proof” — one can begin to presume the torture is not only state-sponsored, but expected behavior.