Video: “Berkeley Says No to Torture” Week — Jason Leopold and Jeff Kaye Discuss Human Experimentation at Guantánamo

By Andy Worthington

Back in October, I traveled to the Bay Area for a fascinating week-long series of events, “Berkeley Says No to Torture” Week (covered in detail here), and I’m pleased to report that videos of one of the panel discussions that week, “Torture, Human Experimentation and the Department of Defense,” have just been made available via YouTube, and can be seen below.

The panel featured the journalist Jason Leopold and the psychologist and blogger Jeffrey Kaye, and coincided with the publication on Truthout of a ground-breaking article by Jason and Jeff, “Wolfowitz Directive Gave Legal Cover to Detainee Experimentation Program,” which I cross-posted here, with commentary.

As I explained at the time, the panel discussion was one of the final events in “Berkeley Says No to Torture” Week, and, appropriately, took place in Boalt Hall, the home of torture professor John Yoo. Jason and Jeff’s presentation focused on their discovery of a memorandum dated March 25, 2002, approved by deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz, which authorized human experimentation on detainees in the “War on Terror,” and which followed some little-noticed maneuvering in Congress in December 2001, when the requirement of “informed consent” in any experimentation by the Defense Department (introduced in 1972) was quietly dropped.

As I also explained, I cross-posted the article, because it deserved to be read as widely as possible, and its publication during “Berkeley Says No to Torture” Week was a wonderful boost to the week’s events, adding, as I noted in an introduction to the cross-post of Leopold and Kaye’s article, to “a compelling catalog of the many reasons why the acceptance of torture must continue to be opposed, which I developed during the week: namely, that it is not only illegal, morally corrosive, counterproductive and unnecessary, but also that, at its heart, the Bush-era torture program continued work in the field of human experimentation that the US took over from the Nazis, and also involved treasonous lies on the part of senior officials, who pretended that the program was designed to prevent future terrorist attacks, when, from the very beginning (in late November 2001, according to Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff), it was actually being used to extract false confessions about connections between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein that could be used in an attempt to justify the illegal invasion of Iraq in March 2003.”