Skip to comments.Club Gitmo? Not for Our Soldiers (and Why War Heroics May Be Suppressed)
Posted on 12/29/2005 2:34:17 AM PST by Exton1
Club Gitmo? Not for Our Soldiers (and Why War Heroics May Be Suppressed) Filed under: General, MSM Biz/Other Bias, MSM Biz/Other Ignorance TBlumer @ 7:48 pm
Rush has gotten a lot of mileage this summer out of his Club Gitmo line of shirts, caps, and coffee mugs. It has served a useful purpose: to ridicule the human-rights whiners who care more about whether the alive, living, and well-fed Guantanamo Bay detainees are getting their creature comforts than recording for posterity the savagery involved in the murders of an estimated 300,000 Iraqis found in over 300 of Saddam Husseins mass graves thus far (LGF link excerpts a NY Times link that is now archived).
So I have no objection to fun and games at The Lefts expense. But we should not forget the woefully underreported reality of what our servicemen and servicewomen are going through in guarding Gitmos charming inhabitants.
The authors name and background is not at the article found at the Fredericksburg.com link, but thanks to Carolyn in the newsroom at Fredericksburg.com, I was able to learn its author and get to the original article that seemed to escape general notice when it was originally published at The American Enterprise (VERY large hat tip to Large Bill for the more current and reordered link). The excerpt below is from TAE; I recommend that you read the whole thing, and hang on for what I think is a very important point at the end:
Gitmo Jive By Gordon Cucullu
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba .. These detainees are not innocent foot soldiers, or confused Afghan opium farmers drafted by the Taliban. They are Islamic fundamentalists from across the Middle East, rabid jihadists who have dedicated their lives to the destruction of America and Western civilization. Among the residents are al-Qaeda organizers, bomb makers, financial specialists, recruiters of suicide attackers, and just plain killers. Many of these men met frequently with Osama bin Laden. The terrorist Maad Al Qahtani, a Saudi who is a self-confessed collaborator with the September 11 hijackers, is one of many infamous captives.
In the opening salvos of the global war on terror, our forces took a lot of prisoners from the battlefield. Estimates are that more than 70,000 Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters were captured and screened. Of that number, approximately 800 were deemed of such high value for intelligence purposes, or such a severe threat in their own person, that they needed to be interrogated and confined in a secure locale from which they could not easily escape or be rescued. Welcome to the new Gitmo.
I was able to observe conditions at the detention facility, firsthand, at the end of June .. We were met planeside by Brigadier General Jay Hood, the commanding officer of Joint Task Force Gitmo, whose soldiers are responsible for the security, interrogation, housing, and oversight of all the terrorists confined there. General Hood and his staff fielded all questions and criticisms, and were very forthcoming.
.. While we observed absolutely no evidence of torture of prisoners at Gitmo, it is clear that the daily atmosphere is rife with harsh abuse: The prisoners are constantly assaulting the guards.
Our young military men and women routinely endure the vilest invective imaginable, including death threats that spill over to guards families. All soldiers and sailors working inside the wire have blacked out their name tags so that the detainees will not learn their identities. Before that step was taken the terrorists were threatening to tell their al-Qaeda pals still at large who the guards were. We will look you up on the Internet, the prisoners said. We will find you and slaughter you and your family in your homes at night. We will cut your throats like sheep. We will drink the blood of the infidel.
That is bad enough, but the terrorist prisoners throw more than words at the guards. On a daily basis, American soldiers carrying out their duties within the maximum-security camp are barraged with feces, urine, semen, and spit hurled by the detainees. Secretly fashioned weapons intended for use in attacking guards or fellow detainees are confiscated regularly. When food or other items are passed through the bean holean opening approximately 4 inches by 24 inches in the cell doors, the detainees have grabbed at the wrists and arms of the Americans feeding them and tried to break their bones.
When guards enter the cells to remove detainees for interrogation sessions, medical visits, or any number of reasons, detainees sometimes climb on the metal bunks and leap on the guards. They have crammed themselves under the bunks, requiring several guards to extract them. Some have attacked unsuspecting soldiers with steel chairs. Determined to inflict maximum damage, detainees have groped under the protective face masks of the guards, clawing their faces and trying to gouge eyes and tear mouths.
Keep in mind that our soldiersyoung men and young womenare absolutely forbidden from responding in kind.
.. Nearly all of these hardened terrorists have been well coached on how to be an American captive. Given any opportunity, they will all claim torture and human rights violations. They have been schooled on counter-interrogation techniques, on how to construct and maintain a cover story, and other subterfuges to fool or deflect interrogators.
.. We asked Hood if he was possibly being too lenient with these men. This system of rapport-building works, Hood assures us. In support of the soft-handed approach, he cites an extraordinary amount of actionable intelligence that continues to flow out of the interrogation rooms of Gitmo.
.. Intelligence gleaned from Gitmo is blended with information from other sources to connect dots. We learned that one non-cooperative detainee had his cover penetrated just last month by having his photo identified by a freshly captured fighter in Afghanistan. Once confronted with his real identity, he began to talk.
It is important to keep in mind that these men, while exceedingly dangerous and even pathological in their desire to kill Westerners, are generally well-educated and broadly traveled. Several detainees have advanced degrees in law, engineering, and medicine from American and European schools like the University of London. Others are highly skilled technical experts with advanced training and knowledge of electronics and demolitions. (Some of these are contributing to our knowledge of al-Qaeda bombs found in Iraq.) Many of these men occupied the top al-Qaeda echelons, and met frequently with bin Laden.
A lot of these men came from middle-class or wealthy families. They come from 17 different countries, but a great many are Saudi Arabian. They are not driven by poverty, unemployment, or class deprivation. They are motivated by a virulent form of Islam that promotes jihad and death to Western civilization. They will kill Americansincluding women and childrenwithout conscience, for they are convinced that restoration of the Islamic caliphate is their sole mission on this Earth.
..Universally, (the guards) are proud of their work, although somewhat disappointed that the American public is not more aware of the difficulties they undergo to keep us safe.
One young woman ., an Army private first class, was asked what she thought about rhetoric in the American media, and from the mouths of elected officials like Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Ted Kennedy (D-MA), describing our service members at Guantanamo as Nazis. Frowning, she answered, It hurts my feelings to hear that junk. We try to do as good a job as possible down here. These detainees are dangerous. They try to kill us every time we get close to them, and would certainly kill Americans if released ..
Former Special Forces lieutenant colonel Gordon Cucullu is a frequent television commentator on military matters (Carolyn mentioned that their notes identified him as Green Berets.
Now to the final point: This may be the first war we have fought since The Revolutionary War where our soldiers have had to worry about harm to their families and relatives from enemy sleepers inside our own country. Maybe even more than media bias against the war, perhaps this unfortunately legitimate fear explains why we are not hearing as much about war heroics in Iraq and Afghanistan as we have heard in previous wars. Its a real shame not to hear the stories, but its hard to argue against suppressing the news if discretion is necessary to keep loved ones safe.
Speaking personally, I have little interest in the wellbeing of the scroats, bad-heads and crims incarcerated at Gitmo.
I wouldn't intentionally wish them ill, I certainly hope they are not hurt wantonly, and I'd expect they'd be allowed the necessaries of life: like bread, water and toilet paper. If they behave themselves, wash, brush their teeth and floss regularly, and answer questions truthfully when asked,then superb.
Were they to renounce violence and Jihad, and swear to live law-abiding and peaceful lives upon their release, then that's all one could ever ask for.
Somehow I doubt Gitmo is like that. That being the case, I care not how long they stay there.
Goodonya for the post!
This is insane. There never should have been a Gitmo, aside from intelligence gathering. Interrogate and then execute.
I have a better idea...............stop taking prisoners..
Everytime I read about these terrorist prisoners, I wonder how Louis Pepe is doing? Remember him? Here's a press release from last year:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 7, 2004
SCHUMER SECURES VAN, AMBULETTE, HOME UPGRADES FOR NYC FEDERAL PRISON GUARD PARALYZED AND BLINDED BY BIN LADEN AIDE
Federal prison guard Louis Pepe was stabbed in the eye by top Bin Laden aide in 2000; Was booted from Federal court during terrorist's sentencing in early May 2004
Two years of Schumer pressure on Feds yields big results; Yesterday, Pepe was able to use new ambulette to visit dentist for first time in five years
US Senator Charles E. Schumer announced today that his office has secured badly-needed Federal help for Louis Pepe, the Federal prison guard who suffered brain damage, partial paralyzation, and partial blindness after a former top aide to Osama bin Laden stabbed him in the eye when Mr. Pepe was working at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.
After two years of pressure from Schumer's office, the federal Workman's Compensation board is finally helping the Pepe family, and yesterday Pepe was able to use a new ambulette Schumer secured to visit dentist for first time in five years
"When I heard that Louis Pepe, a hero and one of the first victims of al Qaeda terror in the United States, was being denied his federal benefits, I had just one thing to say - not on my watch" Schumer said today. "Louis Pepe is a credit to all prison guards, to his family and to his country, and the last thing I was going to do was stand by while some bureaucracy denied him the help he earned."
Four years ago, Louis Pepe, a federal security guard, was assigned to a high-security wing at the Metropolitan Correction Center (MCC) reserved for some of the most dangerous international terrorists being held in federal custody including several alleged al Qaeda operatives. On November 1, 2000, Pepe was brutally attacked by Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, a former top aide to Osama bin Laden who was awaiting trial on charges that included attempting to purchase nuclear weapons components.
Salim used hot sauces purchased in the prison to temporarily blind Mr. Pepe and then thrust a sharpened plastic comb three inches into Pepes left eye, resulting in severe brain damage, partial paralysis, the loss of his left eye and the loss of 60 percent of the vision in his right eye. Notes later found in Salims cell indicate that the attack may have been part of a plan to seize hostages in an effort to break out of jail.
Salim still faces trial and a possible life sentence on conspiracy charges in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa. The attacks killed 224 people, including 12 Americans. Salim has also said he attacked Mr. Pepe to try to get the prison keys and stab his two court-appointed lawyers waiting in a nearby conference room, so that the judge in the terrorism case would be forced to appoint him new lawyers.
At the time of the attack, Pepe weighed 300 pounds and was a member of the elite sqaud assigned to the high security wing called the MCC Enforcers Disturbance Control. After dozens of operations, Pepe has lost more than 100 pounds and remains partially paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. While working at MCC, Pepe used his $47,000 a year salary to help support his parents. He now receives only 2/3 of that salary under workers compensation in addition to Social Security payments and the Pepe family now struggles to pay for his heath care costs.
On May 4, 2004, Salim was sentenced Monday to 32 years behind bars for stabbing Mr. Pepe. At the time, US District Judge Deborah A. Batts ordered Mr. Pepe removed from the courtroom after several outbursts. As he was taken out, he shouted: "I'm dead! You understand that? I'm dead!"
In May 2002, Schumer's office learned from Mr. Pepe's family that the federal Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP), a division of the US Department of Labor, was dragging its heels in providing aid for which Mr. Pepe qualified as a former federal employee severely injured in the course of his work. Specifically, the Pepe family sought help with upgrades to Mr. Pepe's living quarters like widened interior doors to accomodate a wheelchair and bathroom renovations, and a help with transportation so Mr Pepe could more easily go to his many doctors appointments. Schumer's office immediately began a long process of inquiries and pressure on the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs to provide Mr. Pepe with the help he needs.
Yesterday, Schumer received confirmation from Office of Workers' Compensation Programs that they have approved the modification of a wheelchair-equipped van for Mr. Pepe's use, and have already secured two bids on the project. (Federal acquisition rules generally require government agencies to get at least three competing bids for a project before one can be selected.)
The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs also told Schumer that they have approved upgrades to Mr. Pepe's home, and have also secured two bids on that project.
And the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs has already approved use of an ambulette for Mr. Pepe to use to travel to and from doctors appointments. In fact, Mr. Pepe's family reports that yesterday (Tuesday, July 6) Mr. Pepe was able to use an ambulette to visit the dentist for the first time in five years.
"Most of us dread going to the dentist, but for Louis Pepe it was the kind of thing that he dreamed about for years. After all Mr. Pepe has gone through, it's good to know that sometimes a faceless bureaucracy can have a heart," Schumer said.
We tried treating these terrorists like law abiding normal people all through the 1980s & 1990s.....and we got hit again & again. Thank you for your support of our country....it's good to hear from someone who understands what is at stake here.
I have some concerns with the death penalty in our courts....but agree with all of you when it comes to executing these terrorists. They have a death wish and they are very dangerous!
I'm all for shooting on sight, but we do need to gather intelligence and these people are the best bet. Plus, and this is highly unlikely, we do capture an innocent muslim. We have to be able to determine if an idividual is a threat or is truly an innocent. An innocent person needs to be treated as such, and the obviously guilty needs to be dealt with harshly, and finally. No more babysitting.
I know a lot of Freepers who think that execution for these people is too harsh and we might accidently kill an innocent individual. I am of the opinion that if they are in the position to be captured, they are guilty. Remember that we are not just randomly grabbing people and interrogating them. These people are being caught fighting against us.
And/or conspiring, aiding and abetting, hiding fellow terrorists, etc.
"After plucking out this animals eyes they should ask him three questions then shoot him."
No, he only got 32 years with possibility of parole.....plus he is a hero to his hateful gang and could be used as a prize exchange if one of our guys is taken prisoner. I guess killing hundreds od people in the embassys and being up to his neck in other terror acts isn't enough to get even a "life"sentence!
Thanks for this post. My Marine son will be going there this spring for 3-4 months. I am making sure he reads this.
Many people in the world have been fooled into thinking these people are unjustly detained in the Guantanamo facility. Those farmboys and laborers (with a VERY few exceptions) who were forced against their will to fight never left Afghanistan or Iraq.
These people (and I use the word loosely) are not soldiers or US Citizens, and do not deserve the rights afforded those troops. They deserve to be fed, sheltered and treated well when they cooperate.
I read this earlier today and nearly pinged you.
Glad you found it on your own.
Gitmo ~ Bump!
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