14 Jan

What’s Next? A Television Sit-Com?

                                       

Just get a load of this photo with the following NYTimes article:


January 11, 2010
Brandon Neely, center, was a Guantánamo Bay guard, and Ruhal Ahmed, left, and Shafiq Rasul were prisoners. Photo by Jeff Overs

CJ had posted a year ago on the curious case of Brandon Neely. Recently, he and Marcus were wondering why a year later, they were receiving comments on the post, mostly coming from the UK. Here’s the answer…

NYTimes:

New to Facebook, Brandon Neely was searching the site for acquaintances in 2008 when he typed in the names of some of the detainees he had guarded during his tenure as a prison guard at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Mr. Neely, an Army veteran who spent six months at the prison in 2002, sent messages to one of the freed men, Shafiq Rasul, and was astonished when Mr. Rasul replied. Their exchanges sparked a face-to-face meeting, arranged by the BBC, which will be shown on Tuesday. Mr. Neely, who has served as the president of the Houston chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War, says his time at Guantánamo now haunts him, and has granted confessional-style interviews about the abuses he says he witnessed there. In a message to Mr. Rasul, Mr. Neely apologized for his role in the imprisonment.

Gavin Lee, a BBC correspondent, learned about the Facebook messages from Mr. Rasul, who lives in Britain, and thought the situation was incredible. Mr. Lee tracked down Mr. Neely — on Facebook, naturally — and asked, “would you consider meeting face to face?”

“He thought about it and he said, ‘I would love to,’ ” Mr. Lee recalled last week. “I would love to apologize in person.”

Neely is being lauded by the anti-war crowd as a brave hero. Like fellow IVAW, Mike Prysner, he is anything but a hero. CJ:

Again, instead of turning himself in to the military, he waits until six years after the fact, three years after leaving active duty service, and after he’s been released from IRR status to come forward. Brandon Neely is a complete coward! He waited until he thought it was safe to speak up and couldn’t be sucked back into the Army system to answer for his war crimes.

He can’t speak in complete sentences and looks like he’s about to have a heart attack because that evil corporation, McDonald’s, stuffed too many Big Macs down his 30 inch, Samoan wanna-be neck! He apparently didn’t take any of the military focus on proper diet and exercise with him into the real world.

Here’s the point of my disrespectful attitude towards Neely: He got good men killed, period! The actions at Gitmo directly contributed to an insurgency with a new purpose to avenge those detainees who were abused at the camp. Just like Abu Ghraib, these Soldiers should have been charged with 2nd degree murder and hung publicly. At the very least, they should be imprisoned with a burly redneck named Bubba whose best friend was a goat on the outside. They got my friends killed because they weren’t men enough to stand up for what’s right when faced with a moral dilemma.

Read the rest of Marcus’ post as he and CJ make shish kabob out of the idiot commenters

This entry was posted in Guantanamo, Media, United Kingdom, winter soldiers & fake vets. Bookmark the permalink. Thursday, January 14th, 2010 at 11:47 pm
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13 Responses to What’s Next? A Television Sit-Com?

  1. Davey says: 1

    It’s kind a twisted version of, “My Three Sons”. Ruhal, Shafiq & Brandon. Maybe they could do a Vegas show like Siegfried & Roy, each taking turns playing the tiger.

    ReplyReply
  2. Ron H. says: 2

    But I thought there were no abuses that took place at Gitmo?

    ReplyReply
  3. skat says: 3

    Ron, A liar telling lies doesn’t make them true.

    ReplyReply
  4. Ron H. says: 7

    Report: Exams reveal abuse, torture of detainees

    WASHINGTON (CNN) — Former terrorist suspects detained by the United States were tortured, according to medical examinations detailed in a report released Wednesday by a human rights group.

    The Massachusetts-based Physicians for Human Rights reached that conclusion after two-day clinical evaluations of 11 former detainees, who had been held at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and in Afghanistan.

    The detainees were never charged with crimes.

    “We found clear physical and psychological evidence of torture and abuse, often causing lasting suffering,” said Dr. Allen Keller, a medical evaluator for the study.

    In a 121-page report, the doctors’ group said that it uncovered medical evidence of torture, including beatings, electric shock, sleep deprivation, sexual humiliation, sodomy and scores of other abuses.

    The report is prefaced by retired U.S. Major Gen. Antonio Taguba, who led the Army’s investigation into the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal in 2003. Video Watch why a rights group says there’s evidence of torture »

    “There is no longer any doubt that the current administration committed war crimes,” Taguba says. “The only question is whether those who ordered torture will be held to account.”

    Over the years, reports of abuses at Abu Ghraib and allegations of torture at Guantanamo prompted the Bush administration to deny that the U.S. military tortures detainees.

    Since only 11 detainees were examined “the findings of this assessment cannot be generalized to the treatment of all detainees in U.S. custody,” the report says.

    However, the incidents documented are consistent with findings of other investigations into government treatment, “making it reasonable to conclude that these detainees were not the only ones abused, but are representative of a much larger number of detainees subjected to torture and ill treatment while in U.S. custody.”

    Four of the men evaluated were arrested in or taken to Afghanistan between late 2001 and early 2003 and later were sent to Guantanamo Bay, where they were held for an average of three years before being released without charge, the report says. The other seven were detained in Iraq in 2003 and released within a year, the report says.

    All the subjects told examiners that they were subjected to multiple forms of torture or ill treatment that “often occurred in combination over a long period of time,” the report says.

    While the report presents synopses of the detainees’ backgrounds based on interviews with them, the authors did not have access to the detainees’ medical histories. Therefore, there’s no way to know whether any of the inmates may have had medical or mental problems before being detained.

    Among the ex-detainees was an Iraqi in his mid-40s, identified only as Laith, whom U.S. soldiers took into custody in October 2003 and who was released from Abu Ghraib in June 2004. According to the report, Laith was subjected to sleep deprivation, electric shocks and threats of sexual abuse to himself and his family.

    “They took off even my underwear. They asked me to do some movements that make me look in a very bad way so they can take photographs. … They were trying to make me look like an animal,” Laith told examiners, according to the report.

    According to the report, Laith said the most “painful” experiences involved threats to his family: “And they asked me, ‘Have you ever heard voices of women in this prison?’ I answered, ‘Yes.’ They were saying, ‘Then you will hear your mothers and sisters when we are raping them.’ ”

    The examiners concluded in the report that “Laith appears to have suffered severe and lasting physical and psychological injuries as a result of his arrest and incarceration at Abu Ghraib prison.”

    Another detainee, Youssef, was detained by U.S. soldiers nearly seven years ago when he tried to enter Afghanistan from neighboring Pakistan without a passport, the report says. He initially was held in an Afghan prison, where he describes “being stripped naked, being intimidated by dogs, being hooded and being thrown against the wall on repeated occasions,” the report says.

    A few months later, he was taken to the Guantanamo Bay facility, where he was subjected to interrogators who would enter his cell and force him to lie on the floor with his hands tied behind his back to his feet, the report says.

    Youssef said the interrogators wanted him to confess of involvement with the Taliban, the report says.

    Based on its investigation, the report calls on the U.S. government to issue a formal apology to detainees subject to torture and ill treatment by the military since fall 2001 in Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere.

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  5. Skookum says: 8

    Homicidal maniacs have always been sticklers for telling the truth, despite their instincts for the slaughter of innocents and their insane habits of bombing, rape, torture, mutilation and decapitation; they would never seek political advantage by misrepresenting themselves as to the conditions of their confinement. We should think of these fanatics as boy scout types who only slit throats on the odd occasion and then only for certain circumstances that warrant such behavior.

    We are truly at fault for confining these men who we misrepresent as terrorists, we should consider them as misguided individuals who are frustrated with trying to impose the religion of peace on the rest of the world. We need to have more compassion and empathy for these maniacs, but for the grace of Allah, the world would be a lot better off if we didn’t take prisoners.

    ReplyReply
  6. Wordsmith says: 9

    Ron,

    I’d say in its early days, Gitmo did have its share of problems. We had to figure out what to do with enemy combatants captured on the battlefield It’s not a stretch for me to believe that Neely could have been witness to some abuses, having been there for 6 months in 2002. On the heels of 9/11, in a war, what should the focus have been? Interrogations or prosecutions?

    When the 1st detainees arrived in January 2002, military intelligence and personnel operated under procedures detailed in Army Field Manual 34-52. Some interrogators deemed this insufficient:

    From the outset, military interrogators concluded that the approved FM 34-52 techniques “were ineffective against detainees who had received interrogation resistance training.” This is hardly surprising when one considers not only counter-interrogation training received in camps such as al Farouk and detailed instructions guiding detainee conduct through al Qaeda’s so-called Manchester Manual, but the example of what al Qaeda and Taliban extremists chose to subject themselves to while fighting at Qala-i-Jangi.7

    -pg 30, Inside Gitmo

    ~~~

    These were extremely tough, defiant men familiar with giving and taking cruelty. The challenge faced by the military was to save lives by finding out what these men knew about al Qaeda, the Taliban, and, most critically, any future plots to attack the West. Military interrogators at Guantanamo thought that the approved FM 34-52 techniques would be ineffective in achieving this goal because they were dealing with incredibly hard men who had been drilled and trained to resist normal interrogations.
    -Pg 31-32, Inside Gitmo

    7The Manchester Manual, discovered in a counterterrorist police raid in Manchester, England, revealed specific instructions for captured operatives to make extravagant claims of torture. In the chapter entitled “Prisons and Detention Centers,” the al Qaeda “brothers” are instructed to “prove that torture was inflicted on them” and to “complain of mistreatment while in prison.” Al Qaeda operatives are told to memorize the names of guards and to “mention those names to the judge.” If brought to a trial, the terrorists need to make certain to “notify [the court] of any mistreatment.” While in confinement they are encouraged to establish clandestine communications links with each other and to “master the art of hiding messages.” Most important, the Manual stresses, is for the jihadists to “create an Islamic program for themselves inside the prison,” and to “shout Islamic slogans out loud” if exposed to the public. These enemy combatants were thoroughly prepared to resist interrogation, defy convention, upset the court pro cesses, and play to the interests of anti- American, pro- Islamic organizations to sow dissension and further their cause. The full text of the Manual can be found in translation.

    We have seen an estimated 1 in 7 Guantanamo graduates return to the battlefield, having convinced those “harsh” interrogators that they had reformed their ways, loved Americans, or were never a hardened jihadi, but a simple carpenter, tax driver, or peasant farmer that was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    It’s not clear to me who these 11 detainees in your article are, who were examined by Physicians for Human Rights; nor whether they were at abu Ghraib or Club Gitmo.

    From your article:

    The report is prefaced by retired U.S. Major Gen. Antonio Taguba, who led the Army’s investigation into the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal in 2003. Video Watch why a rights group says there’s evidence of torture »

    “There is no longer any doubt that the current administration committed war crimes,” Taguba says. “The only question is whether those who ordered torture will be held to account.”

    Taguba might be “seeing more” through Seymour Hersh lenses:

    From the start of his tenure in November 2002, Geoff Miller tried to run a quiet, orderly camp while permitting interrogators to do their jobs. Unfortunately for Miller, he ran into the buzz saw of Abu Ghraib. Once the lurid Abu Ghraib photos hit the press, the assumption was that worse things were happening at Gitmo. By that time, Miller had put order into the chaotic early days of the Guantanamo facility to the point that much of the internal, interagency conflict [regarding whether focus should be on intelligence gathering or detention- wordsmith] was markedly reduced and product began to flow more freely. He instituted “Tiger Teams” that were combinations of interrogators- usually from multiple agencies- cultural and linguistic experts, and analysts. Suddenly the installation began to function with a discipline and efficiency that had been missing earlier.

    Miller was dispatched to Iraq in August 2003 to coach the commanders of several prisons, including Abu Ghraib, on how to run such a place humanely, efficiently, and transparently. But others did not see it that way. “Critics allege he was sent to ‘Gitmo-ize’ the Iraqi prison,” Salon writers said. Seymour Hersh wrote in the New Yorker that Miller “had been summoned to Baghdad in late August [2003] to review prison interrogation procdeures.” Hersh recognized that Miller emphasized interrogation as the reason to hold detainees and quoted a later military report, written by Army Major General Antonio Taguba, that Miller “recommended that detention operations must act as an enabler for interrogation.” Hersh put a negative spin on this, claiming that it dwelt primarily on “special interrogation methods” including sleep deprivation, “stress positions” (the scare quotes are Hersh’s), and other approved methods certified by the Office of the Secretary of Defense that he and others consider torture and abuse, with the strong implication that these had been used as common practice at Guantanamo.

    Others closer to the facts dispute this interpretation of Miller’s assignment to Iraq. “Genreal Miller didn’t go to Iraq to train them to torture anybody,” Paul Rester said. “He went to try to straighten up what had turned into a huge mess.” Either he was too late or they didn’t listen. Unfortunately for Geoff Miller’s reputation, the political opponents of Guantanamo assumed- consciously or not- the polar opposite: that Miller had been dispatched to Iraq to teach torture and abuse.

    ~~~

    “Nonsense”, Steve Rodriguez said: “The Abu Ghraib situation was about abuse not interrogation. That was impossible at Guantanamo. It was far too open; there were no hidden basements, no old, medieval prisons to hide in.” Everything was new construction and the standard operating procedures were built upon solid checks and balances. “In Guantanamo everyone was on the alert and reported any possible infraction. The staff judge advocate constantly was on the lookout for torture or abuse. Every allegation of abuse- especially one from a detainee- was investigated and checked and then checked again. Even in the case of the Qahtani interrogation complaints were filed and investigations made.” “This was the most inspected, investigated post in history,” Jay Hood said, with a pride that might have surprised an outsider.

    -Inside Gitmo by Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu, pg 44-46

    Paul Rester, mentioned in the above, he came to Guantanamo in 2002 expecting that the “gloves would be off” and he would be interrogating the captured enemy combatants with allowances for severity. But according to Rester, he claims the rules there were “tighter than what we were allowed to do with a defector or suspected Soviet agent in Germany.”

    He said that he expected things to be “more flexible” as far as techniques for interrogation were concerned. To his surprise, he recounts, “we were very strictly controlled, very tightly supervised. There were techniques that we used routinely in Europe for years that were even published in the Army field manual, and they were prohibited for use at Guantanamo. It was a much more restrictive environment than anywhere else I’ve conducted interrogations.”

    -Inside Gitmo by Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu, pg 40

    Rester didn’t approve of how Qahtani’s interrogation was handled, which some law enforcement officials have described as

    immature and undisciplined behavior on the part of some very junior military interrogators. “We’re not talking about grievous abuse,” he [Colonel Brittain P. Mallow, commander of the Defense Dept’s Criminal Investigation Task Force from 2003-5] said. But frankly some of the things my agents saw were just plain silly and stupid. The isolation back at the old Camp X-Ray in fall 2002 was a desperate move to try to get information about the next attack out of Qahtani.

    -Inside Gitmo by Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu, pg 41

    Rester: “It was like a Fort Lewis field training exercise. Once the interrogators-in-training can’t figure out what to do they revert to frat-night behavior. It was stupid and ineffective. But it wasn’t torture or abuse.”

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  7. Wordsmith says: 10

    From Missy’s comment #4 link:

    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a prisoner of war during Vietnam, said the treatment of the guards has been overshadowed by the legal and political debates surrounding the detainees, but he has been impressed with the guards’ professionalism.

    “Our personnel there have perhaps the most difficult task you can have in the military outside of being in a combat zone. … These are bad guys and some of the most hardened of hardened criminals. And some I think will need to be kept permanently,” he said.

    Please let it be stricken from the record books that Neely be included amongst those with impressive professionalism at Gitmo. As both CJ and Marcus make clear, Neely is not a hero, nor courageous for speaking out years after the fact, and not while he was there, while the purported abuses were taking place, to help put a stop to it, if it was wrong. Contrast that with CJ, who did speak out when he witnessed abhorrent behavior unbecoming of U.S. soldiers:

    when I saw abuses of detainees in Fallujah, I didn’t sit on my ass and take part in it. I reported the Soldiers involved. It took guts being in a combat zone where the people you’re reporting are armed, but that’s what Personal Courage is. Brandon doesn’t understand that and neither do the people that support his cowardly stance.

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  8. Missy says: 11

    @Ron H.:

    A date and link would have been great Ron H, but, will try to muddle along, the “human rights activists/doctors and whoever wrote this story, appear to have put this together……from info in the Tacuba report, read it just last week. Did you happen to note, except for the reports from our own investigations, they’re relying on the prisoners say so?

    BTW, the Bush administration did not commit war crimes, in the Taguba report, all involved were listed by name, prisoners as well as those who perpetrated the abuse, they were imprisoned.

    Also, some high ranking commanding officers were “held to account,” some releaved of duty, some demoted, and some had negative remarks put into their files. Others were commended for immediately(fall/03) coming forth with information of abuse which caused investigations to immediately be launched and then expanded a couple more times in January/04.

    Since only 11 detainees were examined “the findings of this assessment cannot be generalized to the treatment of all detainees in U.S. custody,” the report says.

    However, the incidents documented are consistent with findings of other investigations into government treatment, “making it reasonable to conclude that these detainees were not the only ones abused, but are representative of a much larger number of detainees subjected to torture and ill treatment while in U.S. custody.”

    Of course the treatment can’t be generalized, but that doesn’t stop them from generalizing. “other investigations” were investigating the same thing. I think there were 4 or 5 investigations mentioned in the Taguba Report that were happening at the same time investigating the same incidents from different perspectives. Here they toss out “11 detainees” not informing anyone of when it happened, where it happened or what happened.

    While the report presents synopses of the detainees’ backgrounds based on interviews with them, the authors did not have access to the detainees’ medical histories. Therefore, there’s no way to know whether any of the inmates may have had medical or mental problems before being detained.

    Oh, my.

    What Taguba and others found was the problems arose when miitary police were involved in intel gathering in the first couple of years of the WOT, and the report also said some of the abuse that happened there was similar to what happens occasionally in our own prisons. The remedy is military police only are involved in the day to day operations of the prisons. The CIA, FBI and other intel gatherers are responsible for interrogations.

    Now, the detainees are brought to the interrogator and guarded, the interrogators are not allowed to touch a detainee, period. My nephew was one of Saddam’s guards, after his execution he then guarded the detainees, sat in on the interrogations and then returned them to their cell in abu Gharibe. The changes were made in 2004, six years ago.

    As far as being imprisoned without charges, they’re war criminals picked up off the battlefield and many that have been released have gone back to kill. now, most won’t get a chance to go to GITMO or other prisons in Afghanistan or Iraq. They, and sometimes, their families are being slaughtered by predator drones, much better? Intell takes a hit, more of our troops will be harmed and the war will certainly last longer than 18 months.

    BTW, the detainees don’t want to leave GITMO, they are lawyering up, that’s how bad it is down there.

    ReplyReply
  9. skat says: 12

    Gee, I would think with all the lawyers and journalist that have been to Gitmo, they would have heard about all this stuff going on. Do they care about these poor mistreated innocents?

    ReplyReply
  10. The missing link from Ron’s post.

    Also, a couple of questions:

    1) Where is the documented proof that these detainees were not abused prior to being placed in US custody?

    2) Where is the documented proof that these supposed injuries were not self-inflicted?

    3) Where is the documented proof that these detainees did not allow these supposed injuries to be inflicted upon them by others so that they could in turn blame the Great Satan?

    That’s right…there’s no proof of any of those things.

    The report is full of all sorts of vagaries, generalizations, and suppositions….it is very light, however, on proof.

    Exit question:

    Ron, did you click over and read the 121 page report in its’ entirety?

    ReplyReply

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