Boston Doctor On Medical Ethics And The CIA Interrogation Techniques

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The fallout continued in Washington Wednesday over the U.S. Senate committee's report detailing the techniques the CIA used when it interrogated suspects in the years after the attacks of September 11. The report details gruesome methods of extracting information from terror suspects, including sleep deprivation, what was called "rectal hydration" and waterboarding.

For the first several years after September 11, some psychologists designed or helped carry out forms of torture. They'd tell interrogators when a prisoner just couldn't take it anymore. Boston has some of the oldest and most prestigious medical schools in the country, and there's a vigorous discussion going on about whether doctors should be involved in extreme military interrogations.


Dr. Wesley Boyd, attending psychiatrist at Cambridge Health Alliance and Harvard Medical School faculty member. He tweets @JWesleyBoydMD.


WBUR: Report Says CIA Misled Congress, White House On Interrogation Program

  • "The report looked at more than 6 million pages of CIA material over the course of more than three years, and it came to two major conclusions: The CIA misrepresented the interrogation techniques it was using at secret prisons abroad, and it also overstated the techniques' efficacy. The report details the techniques used on detainees and found that those interrogations led to no useful intelligence."

The New York Times: Report Portrays A Broken C.I.A. Devoted To A Failed Approach

  • "On the other side were James E. Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, two former military psychologists who had advised the agency to use waterboarding and other coercive methods. With the support of C.I.A. headquarters, they insisted that Mr. Nashiri and other prisoners were still withholding crucial information, and that the application of sufficient pain and disorientation would eventually force them to disclose it. They thought the other faction was “running a ‘sissified’ interrogation program,” the report says."

This article was originally published on December 10, 2014.

This segment aired on December 10, 2014.


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