In a shocking release of two articles by investigative reporters, Jason Leopold and Jeffrey Kaye, we learn mefloquine, the controversial antimalaria drug issued to armed forces in Canada, the United States, Australia and Great Britain since 1989, has been used as an experiment in torture on prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, with no exceptions. This means the boy soldier, Omar Khadr, has also been subjected to these experiments.
What used to be relegated to the horrendous human experiments of the Nazis in their concentration camps in World War II is now practised by American operatives, who view terrorists as sub-human. That the White House sanctioned its use as a means of torture is even more horrifying.
Here in part are excerpts from these reports:
Mark Denbeaux, the director of the Seton Hall Law Center for Policy and Research, who conducted an independent investigation into the 2006 deaths of the three Guantanamo detainees, said in an interview “almost every remaining question here would be solved if the [detainees’] full medical records were released.”
The government has refused to release Guantanamo detainees’ medical records, citing privacy concerns in some cases, and assertions that they are “protected” or “classified” in other instances. The few medical records that have been released have been heavily redacted.
“A crucial issue is dosage” Denbeaux said. “Giving detainees toxic doses of mefloquine has mind-altering consequences that may be permanent. Without access to medical records, which the government refuses to release, the use of mefloquine in this manner appears to be grotesque malpractice at best, if not human experimentation or ‘enhanced interrogation.’ The question is where are the doctors who approved this practice and where are the medical records?”
An absolute prohibition against experiments on prisoners of war is contained in the Geneva Conventions, but President George W. Bush stripped war on terror detainees of those protections. Some of the “enhanced interrogation techniques” also had an experimental quality.
At the same time detainees were given high doses of mefloquine, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz issued a directive changing the rules on human subject protections for DoD experiments, allowing for a waiver of informed consent when necessary for developing a “medical product” for the armed services. Bush also granted unprecedented authority to the secretary of Health and Human Services to classify information as secret.
But Maj. Remington Nevin, an Army public health physician, who formerly worked at the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center and has written extensively (See Dr. Nevin’s latest findings) about mefloquine, said the justification the Pentagon offered for using mefloquine to presumptively treat detainees transferred to the prison beginning in 2002 “betrays a profound ignorance of basic principals of tropical medicine and suggests extremely poor, and arguably incompetent, medical oversight that demands further investigation.”
For full exposure and more of Dr. Remington Nevin’s comments, go to the following two reports:
Now there is no question that the laws of humanity have been breached and the culprits’ use of mefloquine for either torture or experimentation are practising war criminals. See this press release by Seton Hall Law. http://law.shu.edu/About/News_Events/releases.cfm?id=171971
These reports show how far down the slippery slope into a secret police state we have descended. I don’t know about you, but I’m very concerned about where all this is leading.
It’s time our veterans realize how their rights to protective medical treatments have been abused and how the government is responsible for providing care and benefits for those affected by adverse side effects while on mefloquine during their deployment and sometimes multiple deployments.