The Mornin' Mail is published every weekday except major holidays
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 Volume XVII, Number 214

did ya know?

Did Ya Know?.. The Carthage Humane Society is in need of new Board of Directors to serve a 3 year term starting May 2009. Persons with background in finance or non-profit law are especially encouraged to apply. Contact Glenda at 417-358-3819.

Did Ya Know?.. Carthage Relay for Life will be having a Rummage Sale outside Fairview Christian Church, 2320 Grand Ave., April 25th from 7:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Did Ya Know?.. LAST CALL - for booth registration at the 2009 Business Expo to be held April 25th. Deadline is Friday, call 417-358-2373 for more information.

today's laugh

A New York City yuppie moved to the country and bought a piece of land. He went to the feed store and told the owner he was going to take up chicken farming. He then asked to buy 100 chicks.

"That’s a lot of chicks," commented the owner. "I mean business," the city slicker replied.

A week later the yuppie was back again. "I need another 100 chicks," he said. "Boy, you are serious about this chicken farming," the man told him.

"Yeah," the yuppie replied. "If I can iron out a few problems." "Problems?" asked the owner. "Yeah," replied the yuppie, "I think I planted that last batch too close together."

A Chronological Record of Events as they have Transpired in the City and County since our last Issue.


Water Fell in Sheets for a Brief Period - Lightning’s Work.

One of the heaviest and hardest rains of the season fell this morning just before 10 o’clock. It was preceded by such a darkness that gas lights were necessary in stores, and was accompanied by a display of lightning that was vivid and startling. In a half hour all was over, and the city was clean and sparkling.

The rain was heavier north and west of town than here. Corn in many fields was blown down, but the most immediate trouble will be to the wheat producers who are now in the midst of harvest or just ready to begin. Some wheat was blown down badly.

The lightning, besides shocking two men at the Chautauqua grounds, struck the flag staff on the old art hall at the fair grounds.

Electric railway traffic was stopped during the storm, and many telephones were burned out about town.

Ed Irwin Very Ill.

Ed Irwin, who is now at Duenweg as one of the managers of the Ground & Irwin mines, was taken quite sick Monday night of appendicitis. His wife and father were with him yesterday and his mother went down this morning. Dr. Coe was called from Carthage today to assist the local physicians in waiting on him. A telephone message at 3 o’clock this afternoon says he is slightly beter.

An Aged Woman Dead.

Mrs. Mary Reynolds, better known as "Aunt Polly," an aunt of W.E. Hall, died at her home near Scotland in this county last night. She had lived in this county since 1837 and was 84 years of age. The remains were yesterday interred in Diamond Grove Cemetary.

  Today's Feature

Decorated Ta Ta Holder Contest

The Carthage chapter of the American Cancer Society Relay for Life will be sponsoring a bra decorating contest to raise money to help with the fight against cancer. Anyone interested is asked to decorate a bra in whatever way their creative juices may take them, and then bring the decorated bra to Block by Block Quilt shop in Carthage to be displayed. The cost to enter is $5.00 which will go to the American Cancer Society. People will be able to come by the shop to vote for their favorite Ta Ta Holder by putting $1.00 per vote towards the bra of their choice. Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 vote getters. The Deadline to enter your decorated Ta Ta is May 3, 2009. Voting will take place at Block by Block Quilt Shop from May 4, 2009 to June 6, 2009. The bras will be displayed at the Relay for Life event on June 6th at Central Park in Carthage. The winners will be announced at 6 p.m. on the day of the Relay for Life event. To get more information on the details of this event please contact Theresa Block at 417-358-6427. The Relay for Life is a family event and reserves the right to censor inappropriate entries.

Bush Memos Suggest Abuse Isn’t Torture

If a Doctor Is There.

by Sheri Fink,

Former CIA Director Michael V. Hayden was fond of saying that when it came to handling high-value terror suspects, he would play in fair territory, but with "chalk dust on my cleats." Four legal memos released by the Obama administration make it clear that the referee role in CIA interrogations was played by its medical and psychological personnel.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, which authored the memos, legal approval to use waterboarding, sleep deprivation and other abusive techniques pivoted on the existence of a "system of medical and psychological monitoring" of interrogations. Medical and psychological personnel were assigned to monitor interrogations and intervene to ensure that interrogators didn’t cause "serious or permanent harm" and thus violate the U.S. federal statute against torture.

The reasoning sounds almost circular. As one memo, from May 2005, put it: "The close monitoring of each detainee for any signs that he is at risk of experiencing severe physical pain reinforces the conclusion that the combined use of interrogation techniques is not intended to inflict such pain."

In other words, as long as medically trained personnel were present and approved of the techniques being used, it was not torture.

The memos provide official confirmation of both much-reported and previously unknown roles of doctors, psychologists, physician assistants and other medical personnel with the CIA’s Office of Medical Services (OMS). The government’s lawyers characterized these medical roles as "safeguards" for detainees.

Medical oversight was present from the beginning of the special interrogation program following the 9/11 attacks and appears to have grown more formalized over the program’s existence. The earliest of the four memos, from August 2002, states that a medical expert with experience in the military’s Survival Evasion Resistance, Escape (SERE) training would be present during waterboarding of detainee Abu Zubaydah and would put a stop to procedures "if deemed medically necessary to prevent severe medical or physical harm to Zubaydah." (All interrogation techniques, the memos said, were "imported" from SERE.)

Later, OMS personnel were involved in "designing safeguards for, and in monitoring implementation of, the procedures" used on other high-value detainees. In December 2004, the OMS produced a set of "Guidelines on Medical and Psychological Support to Detainee Rendition, Interrogation and Detention," a still-secret document that is heavily quoted from in three legal memos that were written the following year.

The CIA declined our request to comment further on the OMS’ role in detainee treatment. The OMS employs physicians, psychologists and other medical professionals to care for CIA employees and their families.

Perhaps the most chilling aspect of the memos is their intimation that medical professionals conducted a form of research on the detainees, clearly without their consent. "In order to best inform future medical judgments and recommendations, it is important that every application of the waterboard be thoroughly documented," one memo reads. The documentation included not only how long the procedure lasted, how much water was used and how it was poured, but also "if the naso- or oropharynx was filled, what sort of volume was expelled… and how the subject looked between each treatment." Special instructions were also issued with regard to documenting experience with sleep deprivation, and "regular reporting on medical and psychological experiences with the use of these techniques on detainees" was required.

The Nuremberg Code, adopted after the horrors of "medical research" during the Nazi Holocaust, requires, among other things, the consent of subjects and their ability to call a halt to their participation.

The memos also draw heavily on the advice of psychologists that interrogation techniques would not be expected to cause lasting harm. At times this advice sounds contradictory. While calling waterboarding "medically acceptable," the OMS also deemed it "the most traumatic of the enhanced interrogation techniques."

The fact that traumatic events have the potential to cause long-lasting post-traumatic stress syndrome has been well documented. Physicians for Human Rights, in interviews with eleven former detainees held in Iraq and Afghanistan, found "severe, long-term physical and psychological consequences." "All the individuals we evaluated were ultimately released without ever being charged," said Dr. Allen Keller, medical director of the Bellevue/New York University School of Medicine Program for Survivors of Torture.

The memos describe the techniques in highly precise and clinical detail, befitting a medical textbook. During waterboarding, in which a physician and psychologist were to be present at all times, "the detainee is monitored to ensure that he does not develop respiratory distress. If the detainee is not breathing freely after the cloth is removed from his face, he is immediately moved to a vertical position in order to clear the water from his mouth, nose and nasopharynx." Side effects including vomiting, aspiration and throat spasm that could cut off breathing were each addressed: "In the event of such spasms…if necessary, the intervening physician would perform a tracheotomy."

While physician assistants could be present when most "enhanced" techniques were applied, "use of the waterboard requires the presence of a physician," one memo said, quoting the OMS guidelines.

Doctors were also described as having vetted the practices for safety. Certain limits on waterboarding were created "with extensive input from OMS." One memo states that OMS "doctors and psychologists" confirmed that combining the various techniques "would not operate in a different manner from the way they do individually, so as to cause severe pain."

Medical and psychological personnel were required to observe whenever interrogators came into physical contact with detainees, including slapping them and pushing them into flexible walls ("walling"). Whenever a detainee was doused with cold water, a medical officer had to be on hand to monitor for signs of hypothermia. Confining prisoners to cramped boxes required "continuing consultation between the interrogators and OMS officers." Prisoners made to stand for long periods to prevent sleep were to carefully monitor detainees for swelling of the legs and other dangerous conditions, and at least three times early in the program were switched, on medical advice, to "horizontal sleep deprivation."

This was one example of how medical personnel could, according to the CIA, help prevent "severe physical or mental pain or suffering" on the part of the detainees. However, the memos show that the OMS’ role was not merely to limit the medical impact of interrogations, but also to consult on the effectiveness of interrogations. A May 30, 2005, memo quotes the OMS suggesting that cramped confinement was "not…particularly effective" because it provides "a safe haven offering respite from interrogation."

Monitoring interrogations is a role that the American Medical Association, among others, has rejected, pointing out that the presence of physicians or other medical personnel could paradoxically make interrogations more dangerous. As Keller explains it: "The interrogator may think well, the health professional will stop me if I go too far. The health professional is thinking I’m really here at the behest of the CIA. There’s a tension of dual loyalty."

Just as officials in the Justice Dept. now condemn waterboarding as torture, so, too, did opinion change at another organization, the American Psychological Association. In the frightening days following the 9/11 attacks, "there were two schools of thoughts in the psychological community. One was if you were there on the ground you could do some good," said APA spokesperson Rhea Farberman, whose organization was criticized for originally taking that position. The group’s current stance is to forbid psychologists from participating, she said. "If you are there on the ground, you may be seen as condoning the behavior."

Some medical professionals are calling for colleagues to be investigated and sanctioned. But finding out which professionals were involved in designing, monitoring and implementing the interrogation techniques may be difficult. The four memos were released almost in their entirety. The few redactions concerned mainly the names of the personnel involved.


Just Jake Talkin'

A farmer I used ta work for in high school always told me that if ya see turtles on the road it’s gonna rain. Said they could sense the comin’ weather and headed for higher ground. I never was convinced completely, but I always try to remember when I see the creatures ploddin’ on the road.

I always look in the rearview mirror when I pass over turtles with the car. Some pull their head in and just wait, other just keep wigglin’ along like nothin’ happened. I can’t imagine what a turtle must be thinkin’ when vehicle whizzes over ‘em. Maybe they figure it was one a those quick thunder storms movin’ through, or a giant crash of thunder. You’d think the hot pavement would stick to their little feet as long as they take ta get on the other side. Maybe they’re just hopin’ for rain.

This is some fact, but mostly,

Just Jake Talkin’.



Carthage Printing


Weekly Columns

Housebound By Hay Fever

DEAR DR. DONOHUE: Every spring I have hay fever so bad that I am virtually housebound. I have used antihistamines, nasal sprays -- including steroid nasal sprays -- cleansing my nose with saltwater flushes and many, many other medicines, but I do not get any relief. My primary care doctor suggests I see an allergist for allergy shots. Do they really work? Would you advise them? -- H.M.

ANSWER: Allergy shots, also known as hyposensitization, work for most. An allergist first has to determine exactly what a patient is allergic to and then has a serum compounded that contains the allergic materials. The shots are then given in a series of weekly and in increasingly concentrated doses until a maintenance dose is reached, and that dose is then injected monthly.

The shots stop mast cells from emptying themselves of chemicals that spur allergy symptoms like sneezing, itching and running nose when allergic material lands on them.

I would advise anyone with severe allergy symptoms that do not respond to medicines to have allergy shots.


DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I take a fish-oil supplement daily. Can you tell me if these tablets contain mercury, as some fish do? -- P.C.

ANSWER: Take your fish-oil supplement without fear. Such supplements contain negligible, if any, amounts of mercury. They won’t make you sick. They could make you well.


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