Thursday, July 23, 2015

Unidentified US Navy Nurse Honored for Refusing Involvement in Force-Feeding

Unidentified US Navy Nurse Honored for Refusing Involvement in Force-Feeding

by Stephen Lendman

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) deputy communications director Vesna Jaksic Lowe announced possible Pentagon efforts to revoke the security clearance for an unnamed navy nurse - in retaliation for his refusal to participate in unethical/immoral/illegal force-feeding amounting to brutal torture.

PHR's medical director, Dr. Vincent Iacopino, called "(t)he military's latest action against the nurse…backdoor retaliation for refusing to take part in an unethical and criminal activity."

It's barbaric viciousness America practices with impunity along with countless other torture techniques inflicted on innocent uncharged/untried victims.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) honored the nurse wanting to remain anonymous (identified only as a male lieutenant) with its Year of Ethics award - for putting prisoner rights ahead of barbaric practices. He wants to avoid jeopardizing his career to be able to retire in December 2016 with full benefits and privileges.

He faced possible court martial for refusing to force-feed Syrian national Abu Wa'el Dhiab. He was uncharged, untried, then later released, resettling in Uruguay, earlier considered suing Pentagon officials to stop what medical ethicists denounce.

The nurse's lawyer, Ronald Meister, accepted the award on his behalf at a July 23 ANA Membership Assembly meeting. Separately, he said his client still remains vulnerable to retaliatory punishment for courageously resisting lawlessness.

He called what's going on "mean spirited," adding "(w)e intend to continue a vigorous defense." Pentagon and Navy spokespersons refused comment so far.

Force-feeding constitutes torture. It inflicts severe pain and suffering - repeating the process at least twice daily, any time after purging occurs, victims uncomfortably restrained to prevent resistance in special chairs called "padded cells on wheels."

Tubes are forced painfully through noses and throats to victims' stomachs - done abrasively drawing blood.
Liquid nutrients are pumped into stomachs. Doing so causes excruciating pain. No sedatives or anesthesia are given. Men are kept strapped under restraints up to two hours.

It's done to prevent purging. The procedure is repeated twice daily. Tubes are reused. They're covered in blood and stomach bile.

Reportedly they're passed from one prisoner to another. Proper sanitation is non-existent. One detainee called the procedure "torture, torture, torture."

"Those refusing force-feeding are brutally beaten. Injuries occur. Hospitalizations at times follow. The World Medical Association says force-feeding violates fundamental medical ethics. When accompanied by "threats, coercion, force, and use of physical restraints, (it's) considered inhuman and degrading treatment."

Guantanamo's commander   decides who’s force-fed. Medical personnel have no say. They're told to follow orders. At mealtime, hunger-striking prisoners get a choice: a hot meal, a nutrient drink, or force-feeding amounting to torture.

Wrongfully incarcerated prisoners at times hunger strike for justice. It's their only way to protest their lawless, indefinite imprisonment for political, not criminal, reasons.

It's their only method of possibly communicating their plight outside Guantanamo's confines to others - hoping enduring pain and suffering will increase their chance for eventual freedom.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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