More symptoms of decay: professional associations abandoning their standards and obligation to protect
Summary: About the failure of our professional associations to uphold their own standards and defend the the people — defend the Republic. That’s an essential element of professionalism, apparently lost in 21st century America.
The deterioration in the Republic proceeds at a speed beyond my worst fears (underestimating this was my worst mistake on these pages in 2010). Not just the government, although its institutions rot at an alarming rate. Torture, surveillance, assassination, foreign wars based on lies — the by now usual long list. It’s the failure of our private institutions that astonishes me. The ones that the Founders hoped would contain the government and defend our liberties.
Now attorneys write briefs justifying torture, wars without legal authorization, surveillance and detention without warrant, and indeed limitless Executive power under the authoritarian justification of the President as Commander in Chief. It’s not lone actors, as the State legal associations have de facto ratified these actions though their inaction (e.g, the Pennsylvania Bars inaction on John Yoo, and the Alaska Bar inviting him to be their keynote speaker). And judges openly applauding the President’s violation of the laws.
Perhaps worse (as we expect little good from attorneys) doctors participate in torture. Long rumored, now documented in “Neglect of Medical Evidence of Torture in Guantánamo Bay: A Case Series“, Vincent Iacopino (Adjunct Prof of Medicine, U of Minnesota) and Stephen N. Xenakis (Brigadier General, US Army, retired), PLOS Medicine, April 2011. Will the State Medical Associations act on this clear violation of medical ethics?