Drugging Guantanamo Detainees - by Stephen Lendman
From inception, most Guantanamo detainees were uncharged. On January 5, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) said:
"....the vast majority of the men at Guantanamo should never have been detained in the first place, and that over 550 have been released and are peacefully rebuilding their lives." Most of the 800 captured and brought there were lawlessly "seized in broad sweeps and sold to the US (for) substantial bounties." From the Pentagon's own records, "most (have) no link to terrorism."
For over seven years, CCR "organiz(ed) and coordinat(ed) more than 500 pro bono lawyers across the country" to represent detainees, and helped to resettle about 60 others still at Guantanamo "because they cannot return to their country of origin for fear of persecution and torture."
Obama promised to close Guantanamo, yet nothing followed up to assure it. Moreover, early in 2011, an Executive Order (EO) will authorize indefinite detentions for longstanding uncharged detainees the administration won't release.
Guantanamo and other US torture prisons are blights on democratic values and fundamental international law that prohibits all forms of torture and abuse at all times with no allowed exceptions.
Yet closure for none are planned, including Guantanamo, symbolically representing the worst kind of cruel and unusual punishment. It's prohibited under international and US law, including the Constitution's Supremacy Clause (Article VI, clause 2), designating federal statutes and treaties automatically "the supreme law of the land," including international laws to which America is a signatory. Nonetheless, Washington systematically violates them.
Indefinitely detaining innocent prisoners (wrongfully called too dangerous to release) exacerbates injustice, a CCR statement saying the Obama administration may also try doing it in America. If so:
-- "it will be difficult to hold the line at the 48 men at Guantanamo. (Obama's) proposal (would lay) the groundwork for US prisons to become places where people from around the world are brought and imprisoned without charge (or) trial, eroding our Constitution and adherence to international law beyond recognition."
In fact, that standard long ago was violated, making the rule of law in America a mere figure of speech. A new Seton Hall University School of Law's Center for Policy and Research (CP&R) affirms it, titled:
"Drug Abuse: An Exploration of the Government Use of Mefloquine at Guantanamo."
Under Professor Mark Denbeaux's direction, CP&R published 17 "GTMO Reports," including the latest, discussed below, "documenting the medically inappropriate use of a dangerous pharmacological treatment on" detainees.
An antimalarial drug, it's known to cause "severe neuropsychological adverse effects such as anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, aggression, psychotic behavior, mood changes, depression, memory impairment, convulsions, loss of coordination (ataxia), suicidal ideation (ideas or thoughts), and possibly suicide, particularly in patients with a history of mental illness."
Yet prison authorities administer it freely, at five times the normal dose. Even a fifth that much can cause any or all of the above side effects. Without medical need, pumping it into detainees in excessive amounts may cause irreparable harm. "At best it represents (gross malpractice and) monumental incompetence. At worst, it's torture."
Guantanamo has no malaria nor does Cuba. As a result, drug usage is solely to "specifically (induce) adverse side effects, either as part of enhanced interrogation techniques, experimentation in behavioral modification, or torture for some other purpose."
Doing so, however, violates Nuremberg protections that require voluntary consent with full disclosure of known risks and avoidance of experimental treatments if there's reason to believe harm may result. In addition, the Fifth Amendment protects against abusive government authority in stating "No person shall....be deprived of life, liberty or property, with due process of law...."