Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mr. Justice Scalia and the Dybbuk

Mr. Justice Scalia and the Dybbuk
Thomas Riggins

I don't know exactly what the relation is between federal judges and dybbuks, but it seems that for second time since I can remember a federal justice has been possessed by a dybbuk.

The first time was when judge Julius Hoffman was possessed during the the 1969 trail of the Chicago Seven. Hoffman's behavior on the bench was so outrageous (he was later rebuked by a Federal Appeals Court) that the defense suggested that he been possessed by a dybbuk. Fortunately for him, the Radical Jewish Union in New York performed an exorcism, in absentia, in the the early 70s to free him of the dybbuk.

Now it seems that Justice Scalia has also been possessed by a dybbuk, even though dybbuks are not known to possess goyim, as no other explanation seems possible for the way he had demeaned his office by comments he made pertaining to the recent Supreme Court ruling requiring California to eliminate the severe over crowding in its prisons. (New York Times, 5-24-2011)

The court found that California was violating the Eighth Amendment (against cruel and unusual punishments) and must reduce its prison overcrowding by 30,000 souls or so over the next two years.

Here is some of evidence presented to the justices: prisoners held in cages the size of a telephone booth with no toilet; an inmate suicide rate 80 times the national average; a prisoner dies every 6 or 7 days as a result of unconstitutional behavior [that is 52 "capital punishments" as it were every year at least]. The Court, in ordering a reduction of the prison population by 30,000, will still leave the prison population at 137.5 % of capacity so some horrific conditions will still continue. The Times quotes David C. Fathi of the ACLU as saying, "This case involves ongoing, undisputed and lethal constitutional violations."

These horrible facts, being "undisputed", you might think the Court would have been outraged by this violation of the Constitution-- but it wasn't, it was only a 5 to 4 decision with the usual suspects caring little for the constitutional issues (i.e., Scalia, Alito (who has a touch of a Dybbuk himself), Thomas and Roberts).

Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, said, "A prison which deprives prisoners of basic sustenance, including adequate medical care, is incompatible with the concept of human dignity and has no place in civilized society." The votes against the majority indicates that some justices think it IS compatible, but their views on what it means to be civilized are wanting in the extreme.

Scalia's comments were particularly disgusting and demeaned his office-- faced with the evidence of high suicide rates and the unjust suffering and deaths of prisoners, he tried to justify his inhumane vote by insinuating that the court would be responsible for releasing thousands of "happy go lucky felons" many of whom "will undoubtedly be fine physical specimens who have developed intimidating muscles pumping iron in the prison gym."

This type of polemic is far beneath the dignity of the Supreme Court and can only be explained the the presence of a dybbuk or similar creature in control of the justice's mouth (he gave a rare oral objection). The other three dissenters also worried about violence that may be let loose on society and shed crocodile tears for future victims. But they know perfectly well, as the state had already declared that NO violent prisoners or those convicted of violent crimes would be released.

This split vote reveals that at least four of the justices on the Supreme Court are lacking in basic feelings of humanity and have no concerns about outrageous violations of those parts of the Bill of Rights designed to protect people from governmental abuse. In the name of the Bill of Rights it is imperative that no Republican president should come to power and be able to appoint such troglodytes to the Court. As for Justice Scalia-- I hope he gets treatment for his dybbuk as soon as possible-- certainly before he offers any more decisions to the Court.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Thomas Riggins

Ever since I can remember IQ tests and what they are supposed to measure has
been one of the biggest controversies in psychology. The one thing most people agreed upon was that, whatever was being measured, these tests did not measure "intelligence."

The latest explanation is that they measure a person's "motivation" AND the likely hood of future success ("Motivation Plays a Critical Role in Determining IQ Test Scores" ScienceDaily 4-27-2011). And by "motivation" is meant that of the person being tested for taking the test itself.

Research carried out at the University of Pennsylvania by Angela Lee Duckworth
looked for a correlation between IQ test taking scores and the motivation shown by the test takers-- did they bother to finish, did they rush through the test just be done with it, were they just going through the motions having no real interest or belief the test meant anything versus following orders, taking it seriously and thinking a high score would benefit them.

"When people use IQ tests in social science research, where thousands of kids are taking IQ tests where it doesn't matter to them what they get, what's the effect of motivation on those scores?" Duckworth asked.

What the research showed was that long term outcomes could be predicted by these tests (higher economic and social status). "But," Duckworth said, "what our study questions is whether that's entirely because smarter people do better in life than other people or whether part of the predictive power [is] coming from test motivation." In other words the IQ tests may be measuring motivation to succeed rather than raw intelligence.

Then she asks, "Could it be that part of the reason doing well on this test predicts future success is because the kinds of traits that would result in you doing well -- compliance with authority, self-control, attentiveness, competitiveness -- are traits that also help you in life?"

Now "compliance with authority" and "self-control" (i.e., rebelliousness) may well be traits that exploited groups within society lack and thus are not traits valued by mainstream society. It would seem the tests also measure DOCILITY as well as motivation.

Duckworth's conclusion regarding her study is it "means that for people who get high IQ scores, they probably try hard and are intelligent. But for people who get low scores, it can be an absence of either or both of those traits."

So, if you get a low score you are either not intelligent or not motivated, or both. It follows, however, that intelligent, even very highly intelligent, people could score low on the IQ test because they are not motivated to go along with the social regime in which they find themselves. Therefore IQ tests are UNRELIABLE measures of a person's "intelligence."

On the other hand people who are docile around authority and take orders easily are likely to score high on the test compared to people who question authority and the status quo-- everything else being equal-- so the that test's main use would seem to be as a tool used by the powers to be to identify and hold back people who might potentially challenge their monopoly and control of power.

The results of Duckworth's study suggests that progressives should object to the use of IQ tests on students and young people by the authorities in an attempt to classify their future behaviors.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thousands of Women Will Die of Breast Cancer Thanks to Republican Politics

Thomas Riggins

A study sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and recently published by ScienceDaily ("Air Pollution Exposure Affects Chances of Developing Premenopausal Breast Cancer, Study Finds" SD 4-20-2011) has found that both young girls and women (after their first baby) who have been exposed of air pollution may have had their DNA mutated so that they will contract breast cancer before menopause.

What the study showed was that this DNA mutation was greater in areas with higher levels of air pollution than in those with lower levels. These findings were presented at a recent meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. The chief investigator, Katharine Dobson, stated, "The investigation looked for an association between exposure to pollution and alterations to DNA that influence the presence or absence of key proteins. Such genetic changes are thought to be major contributors to cancer development and progression, including at very early stages."

With this information at hand, plus the information we already have that air pollution causes untold numbers of deaths due to respiratory failures, you would think our law makers would want to reduce air pollution as much as possible to save women from these unnecessary deaths and the associated pain and suffering.

But it seems that Republican lawmakers (and conservative Democrats) and public officials are more interested in the money they get from the lobbyists representing the big polluting corporations-- oil, gas, coal, utilities, mining, etc., than they are in the health of the American people. They are perfectly willing to expose children to the deadly effects of air pollution and try and prevent any regulations from going into effect that might limit the rights of big business to dirty our air . They are on a mission to destroy the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-- which one of their own helped set up (President Nixon.)

Newt Gingrich (who is now running for the Republican nomination for president) for example, supports the movement to ABOLISH the EPA entirely and thus give free reign to the polluters. He claims, according to the Center for American Progress, that people who want to control the air have no respect for ordinary people and their jobs!

Meanwhile surveys by the American Lung Association and public opinions polls show that around 75% of the American people support the EPA and want even more regulation than the agency now tries to enforce. It is at least a good sign for progressives that the fascist leaning Republican right hasn't the faintest idea what the American people really want.

The American people want healthy air for themselves and their children-- the big energy corporations want bigger profits for themselves. Whose interests should prevail in a democracy? We shall soon find out as Congress hold hearing on these subjects.

The EPA says that newly proposed rules for reducing, forget about eliminating, deadly pollutants from power plants, cement kilns and industrial boilers-- pollutants such as toxic metals, mercury,and acid gases will prevent tens of thousands of lives every year. Tens of thousands!

So what-- those people are just collateral damage to the executives of the big polluting industries and their Republican lapdogs. Representatives of the polluters have testified to Congress that they just can't comply with the Clean Air Act, and besides it will cost too much and also cost jobs. Sorry no can do.

Riling the Republicans is the fact that the Supreme Court has ruled that CO2 can be considered a pollutant because of GLOBAL WARMING and subject to EPA regulation. But Republicans don't even believe in global warming! How can the Supreme Court rule on a non existent thing?

The good news is that the movement to abolish the EPA is limited to the House. The GOPoids don't have control of the Senate or the Presidency. It is our job to keep it that way and to recover the House from the lunatic fringe. This must be done in the name our health, the atmosphere and the fight against breast cancer and other deadly diseases spread by Republican politics.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Karl Marx on Eugen Dühring

Thomas Riggins

Anti-Dühring is Engels' enduring criticism of the mishmash of philosophy, science, and socialism published in Germany by Eugen Dühring (1833-1921) in the middle of the 19th century as an alternative to the thought of Karl Marx. Engels' book is divided into three parts-- philosophy, political science, and socialism. But Engels did not write every chapter in his famous book. Chapter 10, the last of the section on political economy, was written by his friend and life long collaborator Karl Marx. This article discusses Marx's opinions of Dühring in that chapter, entitled, "From the Critical History."

It is Dühring's 1871 work Critical History of Political Economy that Marx intends to critique, beginning with Dühring's claim that his work in Political Economy "is absolutely without precedent." Here we will find a definitive treatment of the subject in a scientific manner. The science is, he says, "peculiarly mine."

Dühring's first great "discovery" is that Political Science is a modern creation with no medieval or ancient roots. Marx points out, however, that this claim to modernity was already put forth by him in Capital and Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. The difference is that Marx begins with the great founders of this science(from William Petty (1623-1687) and Boisguillebert (1646-1714) to Ricardo (1772-1823) and Sismondi (1773-1842) while Dühring begins with the "wretched abortions" of later bourgeois economists. Marx also has respect for the medieval and classical traditions.

Of course, since Political Science was founded in an attempt to scientifically understand modern CAPITALISM, you will not find it in the classical (slave) world , nor the middle ages (feudal). Capitalist societies are based on commodity production and exchange but there was limited commodity production and exchange in both the classical period and the Middle Ages and what the Ancients and other pre-moderns had to say about it is still worth while; Marx especially defends the economic writings of Aristotle (384-322 BC) and Plato (427-347 BC) from Dühring's unerudite "criticisms."

Dühring is also ignorant of the history and development of political economy in the modern period. For example, he takes a minor work [Antonio Serra's Breve trattato of 1613 as a defining work of Mercantilism-- the dominant economic theory of capitalism for its first 250 years of existence, ending around the time of Adam Smith (1723-1790)] while completely ignoring Thomas Mun's (1571-1641) A Discourse of Trade of 1609 which was "the mercantilist gospel" for the entire Seventeenth Century.

Worse than that is Dühring's treatment of William Petty, "the founder of modern political economy." After much hard thinking and many investigations, Petty in 1662
formulated one of the bed rock foundations of political economy as a science (Treatise on Taxes and Contributions). Here, Marx says he "lays it down in a definite and general form that the values of commodities must be measured by equal labour." Further, in a work of 1672 (Anatomy of Ireland) Petty has overcome "the last vestiges of mercantilist views."

These are great intellectual feats for the founder of the new science. Marx says about Petty, and this applies to Marx himself in our day, that what is "quite natural in a writer who is laying the foundations of political economy and is necessarily feeling his way, experimenting and struggling with a chaos of ideas which are only just taking shape, may seem strange in a writer who is surveying and summarizing more than a hundred and fifty years of investigation whose results have already passed in part from books into the consciousness of the generality." That Dühring fails to grasp this and thinks that "there is fair measure of superficiality" in Petty's thinking, only shows, Marx avers, that Dühring is a "vainglorious and pedantic mediocrity."

One of Petty's great successors was the the philosopher John Locke (1632-1704) who, besides his works on the social contract and the foundations of epistemology, also wrote an important work in the fledgling science of political economy: Some Considerations of the Consequences of the Lowering of Interests and Raising the Value of Money, 1691.

Petty had already compared interest to "rent on money"-- i.e. to "rent of land and houses." His position was that all rent should be unregulated and determined by the market. This, of course, is a reactionary view today but not so in 1691. This was part of the fight against Mercantilism which progressives in those days rightly viewed as a system that held back social and economic progress by using the state to impose import duties and taxes to defend domestic markets and subsidize exports.

Trying to regulate interest rates, i.e., rent on money, Petty felt was "against the law of nature". Petty, Marx wrote, "declared that legislative regulation of the rate of interest was as stupid as regulation of exports of precious metals [a pillar of Mercantilism] or regulation of exchange rates." Ideas that are reactionary and unworkable today (just think of the ridiculous economic and philosophical bloviations of Ayn Rand and her followers) in the end stage of capitalism, were forward looking and progressive during its birth pangs.

Locke, whose economic essay, basically followed Petty's lead, had a great influence in those European countries struggling to go beyond the strictures of the Mercanilists or economic nationalists. Petty, who is, incidentally credited with the invention of the laissie faire school, was also supported by Sir Dudley North (1641-1691) in A Discourse on Trade, 1691, a contemporary of Locke's, whose work, Marx says "is a classical exposition, driven home with relentless logic, of the doctrine of free trade-- both foreign and internal…."

Locke and North deserve credit for furthering Petty's views and in developing them along new lines. But Dühring sees none of this. For Marx, the period 1691-1752 is crucial for the understanding of the development of political science. In was in this period that the writers influenced by Petty, Locke, North, and others, laid down the foundations for overthrowing Mercantilism. This period is a blank page for Herr Dühring. Dühring passes directly to David Hume (1711-1776) and the physiocrats. Marx has many interesting things to say about Hume as an economist (his philosophy is not mentioned) and why Dühring is so enamored with him.

Hume published his Economic Essays in 1752 and they are, in our current terminology, basically a plagerised version of the 1734 work of Jacob Vanderlint (died 1740) Money Answers All Things. While Hume almost literally follows Vanderlint, he is, according to Marx, "less profound." Dühring is unaware of Vanderlint and praises Hume while none the less failing to understand what he says.

Since Dühring doesn't have a real understanding of Hume I will just present Marx's views for the record. Hume's theory of money is that money is just a TOKEN of value and, ceteris paribus, "commodity prices rise in proportion to the increase in the volume of money in circulation, and fall in proportion to its decrease." Hume is basically saying that the increase in the amount of gold and silver in circulation, due to the imports from the New World, increases the prices of commodities. He also notes that this takes some time to spread through out the country until it finally trickles down to the working people: in Hume's words "it must first quicken the diligence of every individual before it increases the price of labour." So old is Reaganomics.

But Hume is not, according to Marx, addressing the "real scientific question" in this description-- i.e., how an increase in money "affects the prices of commodities." However, Marx does not answer this question here as he really wants to remark on Hume's theory of INTEREST. Hume says it is the not the money supply but the rate of profit that regulates the amount of interest (here he attacks Locke's view). Hume's theory is not original. Just as he got almost all his ideas from Vanderlint on most economic issues, his interest theory is just a rehash, and not as exact, of the work of J. Massie (died 1784) An Essay on the Governing Causes of the Natural Rate of Interest, 1750.

Hume, by the way, maintains a low interest rate means a nation is in a "flourishing condition." Well maybe in his day-- but we have low interest rates in the USA and we are hardly "flourishing", at least with respect to the majority of the population which is made up of working people.

There are other problems with Hume's ideas, according to Marx. Marx says "he had not the slightest understanding of the function of the precious metals as the measure of value." This is because he didn't know what "value" itself meant in terms of capitalist production. For example, he corrects Locke for holding that the precious metals only have "an imaginary value" by saying what they really have is "a fictitious value." These views are "much inferior" not only to those of Petty but to his contemporaries as well who were writing on these subjects-- esp. his friend Adam Smith.

Hume also is blind to the economic world coming into existence all around him. He holds to the outmoded view "that the 'merchant' is the mainspring of production." Despite these limitations, Marx concedes that in his day Hume was still a "respectable" political economist. His criticism is meant to dispel the over wrought praise Hume is given by Dühring. Because, while respectable, Marx adds, "he is anything but an original investigator, an even less an epoch making one."

Why does Marx think that Dühring likes Hume so much? It is because Dühring identified with Hume. Hume was denounced by the church for some of his views, but not so much as Gibbon was for his, Dühring too fell afoul of the authorities for some of his views. Hume attained a better reputation as a philosopher, and Dühring thinks that will also be his fate (it was not to be.)

Marx can't resist giving two quotes which many Hume fans would resent. The first is from a popular German world history book by Friedrich Schlosser (1766-1861): "In politics Hume was and always remained conservative and strongly monarchist in his views." He was also highly racist in his views on Africans. And William Cobbett (1762-1835) calls him "selfish" and a "lying Historian" [Hume wrote a history of England] and implies he was an hypocrite for attacking monks for their fatness, their not having wives or children and begging for their bread while he himself was without "a family or a wife and was a great fat fellow, fed, in considerable part, out of public money, without having merited it by any real public services."

Well, enough about Hume. Marx next turns his attention to Dühring and the physiocrats, especially the Tableau Economique of Francois Quesnay (1694-1744). Marx says Dühring's attempt to explain Quesnay's economic theories (the physiocrats were the first real school of modern economics, not counting the Mercantilists as modern!, and Quesnay was the founder) is completely mixed up and confused and shows, once again, that Dühring doesn't know what he is talking about. But so that WE can understand what the school was all about, Marx undertakes to explain it for our benefit.

The physiocrats divided society into three classes: the PRODUCTIVE class-- i.e., agricultural workers and farmers-- all wealth comes from a nation's agricultural production; the LANDLORDS [landowners, the nobility, the Church] who live off of the surplus produced by the farmers; and the STERILE class [the industrial bourgeoisie, merchants, etc, who live off of the raw materials and surpluses of the productive class. Where's the proletariat? Sorry, 17th century France was too backward to have noticed this newly developing class.

Quesnay is not describing the actually real existing economy of France-- he is constructing a simple MODEL that represents a starting point for understanding the actual economy (just as Marx did in Das Kapital). Marx says Quesday makes three premises to simplify the model: 1) he only looks at circulation between the classes and not within them; 2) he only deals with simple reproduction and constant prices; and 3) he treats all the annual purchases between the classes as a lump sum. Marx also notes that at this time almost all the non-food articles consumed by peasant families in Europe were home made and "treated as supplementary to agriculture."

Lets start the ball rolling: the Tableau (all figures are based on the value of French money in the 17th century) the total value of the harvest for one year is the starting point. This amount will be the "total reproduction" in France for that year-- let us refer to it as 5 economic units [5EU-- this was 5 million livres in those days].

Since the farmers are the only productive class they have the entire 5EU to themselves. They produced it by investing 2EU in seeds, etc., so they have a surplus of 3EU. They give 2EU to the landlords as RENT and the landlords then buy food from them in the amount of 1EU for the year so now the farmers have 2EU and the landlords 1EU.

With their 1EU left, the landlords buy the things they need to live on, etc., [other than agricultural goods] from the STERILE class. The farmers also buy from the Sterile class say 1EU but the sterile class has to buy food from the farmers but it does not buy back as much in EUs from the farmers as the farmers gave to it because, instead of a fair trade in equivalents, the sterile class has extracted a profit from the farmers by selling their commodities to them above the cost of production AND above their real value.

By the end of the year it is time to reap another harvest and the cycle continues. I have simplified Marx's exposition because the physiocrats are now only of historical interest and the main point has been shown-- i.e., that for them all wealth is produced by the farmers and is then distributed about society to the other classes.

Having finished with the physiocrats Marx makes two more observations on Dühring's incompetence. First, Dühring thinks that the physiocratic school ended with Turgot (1727-1781) the originator of the Idea of Progress and controller-general of France, 1774-76, in charge of economic reforms under Louis XVI. But Marx says the school actually ended with Mirabeau (1749-1791) "the leading economic authority in the Constituent Assembly of 1789."

Second, Dühring barely mentions Sir James Steuart (1712-1780) whose work was between Hume and Adam Smith and who "permanently enriched the domain of political economy" (with An Inquiry into the Principles of Political Economy, 1767). And what he does say about him is wrong.

Marx ends his chapter with the opinion that Dühring's Critical History is not worth reading, and he is particularly upset that Dühring begins his history with the large landlords of ancient history and doesn't know anything about "the common ownership of land in the tribal and
village communities, which is the real starting-point of all history."

And with that said, we conclude our review of Part II of Herr Eugen Dühring's Revolution in Science.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Profits, Pollution and Politics

Thomas Riggins

While the big oil companies and the government collude to get more off shore oil rigs up and running, scientists are busy warning us of the dangers to human health and well being of the pollution that inevitably comes with off shore drilling.

On May 1 of this year ScienceDaily published an article warning of the danger to fetal development from chemicals found in crude oil: SD 5-1-2011 "Chemical Found in Crude Oil Linked to Congenital Heart Disease: Fetal Exposure to Solvents May Damage Heart."

Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) is one of the biggest causes of death in children and can be a chronic life long condition. A scientific study carried out by Dr. D. Gale McCarver and published by the American Academy of Pediatrics indicates that up to 82% of children studied may have had fetal exposure to the chemicals in crude oil and to other oil based solvents.

Two of the many (there are seventeen or so deadly chemicals involved) that could cause abnormal heart development in a fetus are ethyl benzene and trichloroethylene (TCE).

Fetuses can be contaminated with ethyl benzene by exposure to crude oil in spills such as the gigantic spill caused by BP in the Gulf of Mexico or the one caused by Exxon in Alaska by the wreck of the Exxon Valdez. Besides oil spills, fetal contamination can occur by a woman breathing car emissions, gasoline vapors or tobacco smoke.

We also have to be on guard against TCE which is found at hazardous waste dumps as well as in commercial products (spot removers, degreasers, and other types of cleaning products.

It is not only CHF that can be traced back to these oil products. An earlier report in SD, "Biomedical Scientist Concerned About Effects of Oil Spill on Human Health" (6-25-2010) detailed warnings from Professor Bongsup Cho, a leading researcher funded by the American Cancer Society and National Institutes of Health regarding the chemicals in the tar balls found along the coast and out to sea in the Gulf as a result of the BP oil spill.

These tar balls are contaminated with the same cancer causing chemicals found in tobacco smoke and diesel exhaust. Professor Cho is worried about their effect on wildlife and animals in the food chain and what can happen to humans when they are exposed to them-- either in nature or in the food chain (eating fish or shrimp, for example.)

These chemicals, besides being carcinogens, can also cause DNA mutations and birth defects. Professor Cho thinks that "orange sheen" is another potential human health hazard. This is the sheen covering much of the Gulf as a result the chemical interaction of crude oil and the chemicals used by the oil companies to disperse it.

With all these deadly chemicals being dumped in the environment scientists are being prevented from even finding out what many of them are , there are some 80,000 of them, because the capitalist corporations are more interested in their profits that in people and the government PERMITS them to keep secret some of the chemicals they are dumping [what we don't know can't hurt us!]. Professor Cho says, with regard to orange sheen, that "nobody knows what's in that color [he means nobody outside of the oil companies] and how toxic the chemicals are. Companies keep the chemical makeup of the dispersants secret."

Its about the time our government started forcing these private capitalist corporations to take more interest in protecting people and the environment. Nationalizing them and letting the workers run them would be a good first step.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Evidence of Torture at Gitmo Covered Up

Thomas Riggins

On April 26, 2011 ScienceDaily reported the results of a new study made of the medical records of GTMO prisoners ("Medical Evidence of Torture Neglected in Guantanamo Bay Detainees, Suggests Review of Records"). The study was first reported in the online journal PLoS Medicine. The researchers, Vincent Iacopino (Physicians for Human Rights) and Stephen Xenakis, a retired US Army brigadier general, found that the medical personnel responsible for looking after the GTMO prisoners neither documented nor asked the causes for either the physical or mental injuries of the people they were supposed to "care" for. The researchers only had access to nine case files but the evidence they uncovered was considered "compelling" with respect to this dereliction of duty.

The GTMO prisoners described treatment by the US soldiers and other personnel that is torture according to the UN Convention Against Torture. The US says it doesn't torture prisoners and so uses a narrower definition than the UN and calls its techniques "enhanced interrogation." And Saddam Hussein didn't "gas" people, they were victims of "enhanced atmospheric pollution."

Here is what the US did, call it what you will. The prisoners were beaten really severely, bones were fractured, they were sexually assaulted, some were told they would be raped, they were water boarded to the point of asphyxiation, they were taken to be executed then spared at the last moment, they were "disappeared" then returned, they were not allowed to sleep, they were subject to extreme temperatures, they were put in stress positions, and forced to be nude. This last, by the way, is now used on the mainland --e.g, Pvt. Manning.

All these injuries, and the psychological results were in the medical records, without saying how they occurred, and the injuries are all CONSISTANT with torture techniques the prisoners reported being subject to. The Department of Defense medical personal failed to document any of the causes of the prisoners injuries and any psychological problems resulting from torture they attributed to "personality disorders" or "routine stressors of confinement" according to SD.

This evidence shows that the government's medical personnel FAILED both professionally and personally in their duty to their patients. It appears to me that they were complicit in covering up crimes against humanity in the treatment of these prisoners and in violations of basic human rights. And not only to me. The editors of PLoS wrote:"This paper adds new evidence that will bolster calls for further investigation into the complicity of medical personnel in torture at Guantanamo Bay, which clearly breaches fundamental human rights."