Religious Leaders Speak Out Against Physician Complicity In Torture

In response to a new report revealing that during the Bush administration, the Central Intelligence Agency used doctors to assist with experimentation of torture techniques on detainees, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) has released a video calling for an investigation.

Scott Allen, a co-author of the Physicians for Human Rights report that detailed the CIA physicians’ activities, says in the video, “Not only did the US engage in torture, the CIA, with the help of doctors, experimented with various forms of torture on detainees,” in violation of numerous U.S. laws and international conventions.

The video, which features religious leaders, focuses attention on Alyssa Petersen, a devout Mormon who served in Iraq and committed suicide after refusing to participate in the torture of naked detainees. Like Peterson, who said she could not be “two people,” one who opposed torture yet one who participated in it, Jim Winkler of the United Methodist Church says in the video, “we can’t be a nation of laws that respects human dignity and a nation that sanctions torture.”

According to NRCAT, “the video will be used as a tool to mobilize faith communities across the country through congregational outreach and extensive use of social media and marketing” to call on elected officials to appoint a Commission of Inquiry.

The video, which contains disturbing images and material, appears after the jump.

Sarah Posner, author of God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, covers politics and religion. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The American ProspectThe NationSalon, and other publications. Follow her on TwitterRSS feed Email