Friday, October 14, 2005

A Few Good Men?

Here's a recounting of one of the techniques used by the guards on 'unruly' prisoners of combatants at Guantanamo Bay:

THE WORST punishment for prisoners was a “forced cell extraction” by a group of six to eight guards called the Initial Response Force. The troopers called it IRFing.

I witnessed my first IRFing after a military policeman had performed the “credit card swipe” — pressing his fingers inside a detainee’s buttock crack to look for a weapon. This type of physical contact is not acceptable under Islamic law and the detainee had pushed the guard away. But prisoners were not allowed to touch an MP and immediately eight guards were summoned.

They put on riot protection gear — helmets, heavy gloves, shin guards and chest protectors — before forming a huddle and chanting in unison, getting themselves pumped up. Still chanting, they rushed the block, their heavy boots sounding like a stampede on the steel floor. Detainees throughout Camp Delta started to yell and shake their cage doors.

When the IRF team reached the offending detainee, the team leader drenched him with pepper spray and opened the door to his cell. The others charged in. He was no match for eight men in riot gear. The guards used their shields and bodies to force him to the floor. With his wrists and ankles tied, he was dragged down the corridor to solitary confinement.

When it was over the guards high-fived each other and slammed their chests together like professional basketball players — an odd victory celebration for eight men who took down one prisoner.

IRFing was used with extraordinary frequency. Seemingly harmless behaviour could bring it on: not responding when a guard spoke or having two plastic cups in a cage instead of the regulation one. Invasive body searches occurred daily and were a constant source of tension leading to IRFing. I came to believe that the searches were done solely to rile the detainees. The prisoners had been locked in cages for several months in a remote area of Cuba. What could they possibly be hiding?

This was written by an Army Chaplain. Now, read about how he was treated:

Naked, I had to run my hands through my hair to show that I was not concealing a weapon in it. Then mouth open, tongue up, down, nothing inside. Right arm up, nothing in my armpit. Left arm up. Lift the right testicle, nothing hidden. Lift the left. Turn around, bend over, spread your buttocks, knowing a camera was displaying my naked image as male and female guards watched.

It didn’t matter that I was an army captain, a graduate of West Point, the elite US military academy. It didn’t matter that my religious beliefs prohibited me from being fully naked in front of strangers. It didn’t matter that I hadn’t been charged with a crime. It didn’t matter that my wife and daughter had no idea where I was. And it certainly didn’t matter that I was a loyal American citizen and, above all, innocent.

This is the story of Captain James Yee. Remember him? Read his story, and keep repeating to yourself, "We're the good guys. We're the good guys..."



Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

We the people are the good guys. What our government, some of these prison guards and interogators are doing is wrong and will come back to haunt us for years. We have left the moral high ground with a vengence, literally.

I think I've said it here before, but this is what we accused our enemies of doing in every other war we have fought. That is supposed to be what separates us from the evil doers.

Remeber the outrage when the Iraqis dared to show those soldiers they captured early on in the invasion on Al Jazeera? I remember shrubco and the rest warning the Iraqi Army that those who mistreated those POWs would have to answer for it. Who is going to answer for this, Lindy Englund (sp)?

Jesus Fucking Qunitana!

11:37 PM, October 14, 2005  
Blogger Philip Morton said...

cranky: dead on right.
bp: the culture of fear brought this on, purpogated by the white house, to keep them in power and to re-make the world in their image: it's our sandbox and we don't play fair, and make up the rules our games. The culture of fear is useful because it strips reason and hijacks morality. It reduces all higher minded concerns to one lowbrow tonic - which is survival at all costs, and fuck inalienable rights. and even good people get caught in that mania and don't have the courage or strength of will to take a moment to wake up, or act on it if they do. This always starts from the top down, and at the top we have a dim, beady eyed sadist at the helm who shrugs off every bad or low watt decision as in "god's hands" once he signs off on it; impervious to critique, shame or correction.

12:58 AM, October 15, 2005  
Anonymous lisaraepeck said...

I voted for Bush and I would do it again, and again, and again. Hurts to lose doesn't it. Hurts every morning. Is George Bush perfect? No. but he was much better than the alternative. Whiny, overprivileged somebody help me catch that football John Kerry. What a poser.

11:34 AM, October 15, 2005  
Blogger United We Lay said...

I don;t think losing is the problem here. The election has been over for a while. It's the leqadership that's in question here, and this "President" is no leader. Why resort to name calling and childish behavior if you're such a winner? Don;t you think discussion and debate would make your postition clear and more credible? Why would you vote for Bush again? I actually want to know. I can't think of anything positive he's done, so maybe you can enlighten me.

12:32 PM, October 15, 2005  
Blogger Philip Morton said...

polanco: well said, thanks for that.
lisarae: "whiny overprivilged somebody" thought you were talking about George Bush, born with a silver spoon in his mouth and up his nose, screwed up through the best schools in the country, screwed up in service to the country, arrested for DUI, and had all the records hidden or destroyed by money and privilege - so your point is - ? As Polanco said, I too am interested in what compels you to vote for someone who has been documented to not tell the truth, again and again, and put forth policies that support the donors to the GOP, but will ultimately hurt you and me.

12:26 AM, October 16, 2005  
Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

My reply to your childish taunting is that your words prove your ignorance. Keep up the good work. Is that what they teach you in the Mormon church? Taunting is a good way to make a point? I like it. Maybe I'll join up. Nah, I'm not bland and closed minded enough.

The only reason anyone voted for shrubco is ignorance.

9:57 AM, October 16, 2005  
Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Good post.

Ignore the cunt.

3:07 PM, October 16, 2005  
Blogger Rowena said...

I remember seeing a story on James Yee on one of the current affairs shows here. Absolutely appalling.

7:21 AM, October 19, 2005  

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