December 10, 2014

Atul Guwande’s 12 Tweets on the post-9/11 Torture

Posted in Cognitive Dissonance tagged , , , at 10:22 pm by Doug Brockway

Twelve tweets from the great Atul Guwande on the medical ethics behind the post-9/11 Torture Offenses

December 10, 2014

1- The Senate CIA Torture Report reveals savage, immoral, utterly despicable practices by our govt. http://1.usa.gov/1yzHywf 

2- But the worst for me is to see the details of how doctors, psychologists, and others sworn to aid human beings made the torture possible.

3- The torture could not proceed w/o medical supervision. The medical profession was deeply embedded in this inhumanity.

4- It was doctors who devised the rectal infusions “as a means of behavior control.” (p100)

5- Doctors suggested the water temperature for waterboarding and use of saline instead of free water to avoid water intoxication. (p86, 419)

6- Doctors watched as stress positions inflicted pain, lacerations, and only stopped them when producing, e.g., shoulder dislocation (70)

7- Psychologists, who were supposed to stop damaging interrogation, actually served as interrogators. (72)

8- The Office of Medical Services provided consultation on when fractures and wounds were healed enough to resume torture. (p113)

9- The Office of Medical Services wrote guidelines approving up to 3 waterboard sessions in 24 hours per prisoner. (p87)

10- When torture caused Abu Zubaydah’s eyes to deteriorate, MDs only intervened to insure ability to see was saved to aid interrogation.(112)

11- Doctors found prisoners with broken feet and still approved putting them into standing positions for up to 52 hours (p112)

12- Doctors were long the medical conscience of the military. The worst occurred because gov’t medical leaders abdicated that role. (p87)

October 16, 2010

Everybody’s Talkin’ [Past] Me…

Posted in Cognitive Dissonance, Foolishness, Social Commentary at 12:13 pm by Doug Brockway

It may be the political season, it may be the broader transition to “the new normal,” it may be that I’m increasingly a crusty som’ bitch, but it seems that I’m both watching and experiencing more and more conversations that aren’t.

Its a version of the classic Monty Python skit where Michael Palin pays for five minutes of an Argument but all he gets from John Cleese is contradiction.  Palin complains “an argument is more than simple contradiction!”  “No it isn’t” replies Cleese.  “Yes it is.”  “No it isn’t!”

In our house we recently finally upgraded to an HDTV and with that came access to HBO and Real Time with Bill Maher.  Last night a Wall Street Journal reporter and the founder of the Cincinnati Tea Party had a similar “discussion” about how much money was involved in the “bailout” and whether it was larger or smaller than the money spent on the war in Iraq.  I happen to trust the Wall Street Journal on this arithmetic (Iraq War is MUCH larger) but what fascinates, or annoys, is how otherwise intelligent people went on for quite some time without remotely acknowledging anything the other had said.  No it isn’t.  Yes it is….

I know of a company just starting up that is having very emotional internal arguments about owner compensation.  All the management knows that early revenue is key.  Because of this one wants to pay owners commissions on sales to encourage early sales.  The problem is that the basic nature of capitalist business is that owners take risks of profits and loss.  They distribute the net, after tax profits that are left over at the end of the day.  It may be a small number.  It may be big.  THAT’S the owner’s incentive.   If you pay an owner commission on the way to net profits you’ve paid that person twice.  No you haven’t.  Yes you have.  No you haven’t!….

Here’s a less important example.  You can pull data from the web that shows that after 1918, after Babe Ruth was sold to the Yankees, and before The Great Comeback of 2004, even though the Yankees won WAY more World Series than their share the Red Sox still got to the World Series as often as the average team.  Boston fans say they hate the Yankees even though data shows its not the Yankees keeping the Sox from having a world championship in that stretch.  Yes it is.  No it isn’t….

I find myself wishing for discourse.  For the ability to actually explore an idea with someone or someones without it being an argument.  Barring that, an argument, “a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition” would be nice.

Unfortunately, too often you hear or find yourself thinking the equivalent of “Shut your festering gob, you tit! Your type really makes me puke, you vacuous, coffee-nosed, maloderous, pervert!!!”

And that’s just Abuse.  Arguments are down the hall in 12A…