STINKERR has a stunning confession:
Okay, I’ll have to come clean. I’ve never discussed this before, but now seems to be the time. I’ve been to Guantanamo Bay (GITMO) — twice. On the first occasion I witnessed a prisoner in handcuffs being beaten repeatedly. I sat there behind a desk and didn’t say a word to stop it, I didn’t think I could stop it because the ones doing the beating outranked me and I never reported it. He wasn’t tortured, but he was beaten with clubs and he was also kicked several times.
It was the only time I witnessed anything like this happening there or anywhere else.
I had drawn Shore Patrol duty and got assigned to the telephone duty desk at Shore Patrol headquarters. This put me in position to witness this “horrendous” act.
The prisoner was a very drunk deck ape off of the USS Brumby (DE-1044) and he kept foul mouthing and challenging the permanent SPs so they would beat him till he shut up. When they went away he’d start up again. This happened three or four times until this idiot realized that he was on the losing side every time.
It was 1968 or 1969 so I don’t know if we can blame Lyndon Johnson or Richard Nixon for this. It doesn’t matter any more as they are both dead and while the President bore the ultimate responsibility, I’m pretty sure he never knew about it. I know I didn’t tell him.
This is a true story and I tell it to illustrate the ultimate disconnect between the Commander in Chief and the people for whom he bears ultimate responsibility. He didn’t order that idiot beaten, nor would he have countenanced it, but he was responsible for it. I’m not going to bother looking up the Secretaries of Defense or Navy at the time, who were also responsible for this. They didn’t know about it either.
This behavior can’t be attributed solely to the Navy or the military in general, either. My youngest brother got a similar lesson from civilian police. He was arrested on several charges one night. He was very drunk and very nasty. They stopped the elevator between floors at headquarters and taught him a similar lesson. He learned after the first time.
BTW, as Smash and others have pointed out, the abuses and investigations thereof at Abu Ghraib were announced by the Pentagon and the news media had no interest in the story until a few months later when pictures became available.
There have been other cases of abuse and even murder, I regret to say, which have been investigated and when found to be factual have seen the perpetrators and their commanders punished. We’d hear more about them but for the lack of sensational pictures.
Now why would anyone want to beat a loudmouth drunk?