Detainees for CIA - humans or lab rats?

A coalition of human rights, health and religious groups has filed a complaint with the US Department of Health against the CIA.

It follows the publication of a new report alleging torture and experiments on detainees.

The CIA denies it and refuses to investigate.

John Bradshaw, director of Physicians for Human Rights and co-author of the "Experiments in Torture" report, stressed there are some things that constitute illegal and unethical experimentation, banned by the Geneva conventions and by the Nuremberg Trials.

The researchers and doctors looked carefully at the declassified documents and did a “completely new analysis that shows the experimentation.”

“What we’ve found is that in a number of instances the doctors that were involved in monitoring torture were also collecting data and analyzing it in a way that would help improve the torture program,” Bradshaw said. “For example, waterboarding – they analyzed how much water had most impact on the detainees, they determined that it was better to use salt water rather than regular water because it decreased the risk of damage to these detainees.”

So, the question is what could this complaint achieve?

Bradshaw thinks that the most important thing is that “this information get out in a transparent way.”

“The Department of Health and Human Services has an office that’s designed to monitor and police human research programs,” he said. “In the past they shot down a number of such programs that were funded by federal funds. In the case of the CIA, what we hope they will do is investigate our allegations and if it’s determined that what the CIA was doing actually constitutes experimentation, they would refer this to the Justice Department for possible prosecution if crimes were committed, and they can also refer some of these doctors to their state licensing boards to have them stripped of their licenses if they were doing things that were unethical.”