I wonder just how far off Senator Durbin was when I read this from the New York Times
(note: you might have to register (free) but I found that it was well worth it)
This is part of the article:
WASHINGTON, June 23 - Military doctors at GuantÃ¡namo Bay, Cuba, have aided interrogators in conducting and refining coercive interrogations of detainees, including providing advice on how to increase stress levels and exploit fears, according to new, detailed accounts given by former interrogators.
The accounts, in interviews with The New York Times, come as mental health professionals are debating whether psychiatrists and psychologists at the prison camp have violated professional ethics codes. The Pentagon and mental health professionals have been examining the ethical issues involved.
The former interrogators said the military doctors' role was to advise them and their fellow interrogators on ways of increasing psychological duress on detainees, sometimes by exploiting their fears, in the hopes of making them more cooperative and willing to provide information. In one example, interrogators were told that a detainee's medical files showed he had a severe phobia of the dark and suggested ways in which that could be manipulated to induce him to cooperate.
In addition, the authors of an article published by The New England Journal of Medicine this week said their interviews with doctors who helped devise and supervise the interrogation regimen at GuantÃ¡namo showed that the program was explicitly designed to increase fear and distress among detainees as a means to obtaining intelligence.
The accounts shed light on how interrogations were conducted and raise new questions about the boundaries of medical ethics in the nation's fight against terrorism.
Bryan Whitman, a senior Pentagon spokesman, declined to address the specifics in the accounts. But he suggested that the doctors advising interrogators were not covered by ethics strictures because they were not treating patients but rather were acting as behavioral scientists.
He said that while some health care personnel are responsible for "humane treatment of detainees," some medical professionals "may have other roles," like serving as behavioral scientists assessing the character of interrogation subjects.
The military refused to give The Times permission to interview medical personnel at the isolated GuantÃ¡namo camp about their practices, and the medical journal, in an article that criticized the program, did not name the officials interviewed by its authors. The handful of former interrogators who spoke to The Times about the practices at GuantÃ¡namo spoke on condition of anonymity; some said they had welcomed the doctors' help.
Pentagon officials said in interviews that the practices at GuantÃ¡namo violated no ethics guidelines, and they disputed the conclusions of the medical journal's article, which was posted on the journal's Web site on Wednesday.
Several ethics experts outside the military said there were serious questions involving the conduct of the doctors, especially those in units known as Behavioral Science Consultation Teams, BSCT, colloquially referred to as "biscuit" teams, which advise interrogators.
"Their purpose was to help us break them," one former interrogator told The Times earlier this year.