This is an important point in the letters section of the NYT today:

There are other crucial voices missing from the torture debate, particularly those civilians who were arbitrarily arrested, imprisoned, tortured and then released months or years later without being charged. This happened in Afghanistan, Iraq (remember Abu Ghraib) as well as in Guantánamo and at C.I.A. black sites.

In the Physicians for Human Rights 2008 report “Broken Law, Broken Lives,” my colleagues and I documented the profound physical and psychological suffering resulting from the torture and abuse of 12 people, all of whom were ultimately released without charges, but not before being subjected to beatings, sexual humiliation, sleep deprivation, death threats and extremes of heat and cold. In other words, they were tortured.

In several instances, health professionals were complicit. Then there are the voices of torture survivors, like my patients at the Bellevue-N.Y.U. Program for Survivors of Torture, subjected to brutalities in their home countries eerily similar to what we did. Their voices must be heard along with those of innocent civilians living under despot regimes who now face greater risk of torture because of our misguided policies.

There needs to be an independent and complete investigation.

Victims of the Bush-Cheney torture and abuse program - thousands of them - deserve a hearing. As, one might add, do those Americans who will always live with the screams of the people they tortured in their psyches.

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