Thursday, October 13, 2005

We Don't Want Your Kind 'Round Here

Tell me again why Republicans are considered to be more supportive of troops?

Capt James Yee’s book will turn your stomach. Yee was accused and thrown into Guantanemo. Here are his words:

“It was my turn to be humiliated every time I was taken to have a shower. 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.”

What is truly awful is what happened to Yee after his charges were found baseless and dismissed. The pentagon has developed a nasty habit of character assassination of people who speak against it. The favored ploy is accusing them of sexual misconduct. This is not an accusation of abusive or non-consensual sex as a layperson would interpret the term, but rather this:

But the favored technique clearly lies in bringing charges of improper sexual conduct, invariably involving consensual sexual relations. These charges are easily brought. The number of eunuchs and sexual abstainers among the uniformed military is low and sociological research has long shown that the vast majority of the population has sexual relations outside of wedlock at some point. That means that these charges can be brought against virtually anyone. If the rules were enforced uniformly and aggressively, we would not be able to maintain a volunteer army. But the current highly selective application may achieve the same result. Two important bar organizations have already looked at the situation and concluded that the application of sexual misconduct rules by the uniformed services suggests highly uneven application. Both urged reforms. The Pentagon refuses to budge. The tool is too powerful, and too readily abused. Therein lies its attraction. – Balkinization

Here’s some stuff to chew on:

Maj Gen Thomas J Fiscus, Judge Advocate General of the Air Force – known to have criticized rules on treatment of detainees – accused of sexual misconduct

Lt Gen John Riggs – questioned the level of troop commitments to the Iraq campaign – accused of sexual misconduct and technical contract infractions

Gen Kevin Byrnes – responsible for incorporating changes in doctrine on interrogation and treatment of detainees, rumored to have had reservations about changes hammered through by Rumsfeld – accused of sexual misconduct

This is not about dedication to United States of America. This is about silencing dedicated soldiers who understand that the putrid smell of greed is despoiling the country they’ve sworn to protect. America sent these people out, ill-equiped and under manned, and when they tell the American people the truth, America repays them with by defaming their characters and destroying their careers.

Anybody who believes this is acceptable sucks.

Hat tip to Balkinization for opening my eyes so thoroughly.


At October 13, 2005 11:50 AM, Blogger Ken Grandlund said...

This is just another predictable consequence of the American devotion to sound bites and apathy- until you're the one who's actually getting screwed (no pun intended) you just sit by and watch it happen.

Sex, not such a taboo in the rest of the "civilized" world is one of America's most confusing prejudices to me. It is such a head turner, because we pretend that it is a tawdry subject, but for all those "sanctity of life" folks...without SEX there would be no life for you to be sanctimonious about.

Unfortunately, the military holds on to their antiquated sexual morality regulations for just the reasons you mention- it is a power tool in a culture that both admires and promotes sexuality everywhere while condemning it at the same time.

At October 13, 2005 12:10 PM, Blogger windspike said...

This is a tired slogan, but deserves repeating - There has to be a special place in hell for the folks who perpetrated these attrocities. I'm still awaiting the wonderful and glorious day when the crooks in the W, Rove and Co get their perp walk and prosocuted for these crimes.

At October 13, 2005 2:08 PM, Blogger Jet said...

Ken, I have a hard time reconciling honor and deliberate besmirchment for political gain. While I don't condone marital infidelity, I AM rather tired of it being used as a political power tool. Rules need to be enforced in a standard way, or retired as obselete.

Wind, repetition is how children learn. You haul that tired slogan around to your heart's content. I'm right behind you.

At October 13, 2005 2:45 PM, Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

I saw an interview with this guy on CNN (the closest thing to a "Liberal MSM" around) and was very much appalled.

It seems to me that despite the so-called "best intentions" of our military and government, people are being considered guilty before proven so on account of their ethnicity and religion these days. That's really disgusting if you think about and it gives us a bad rap. Worst thing is that it makes the accusations of our enemies look true. Makes me wonder sometimes if our government ISN'T racist to some degree. I would challenge Bush to put aside the rhetoric and prove he isn't being racist.

At October 14, 2005 10:32 AM, Blogger Tracey said...

Oy, this makes me sick--especially since I've seen for myself the uneven application of sexual misconduct charges during my brief tenure in the Air Force. Of course, there's always that catch-all "conduct unbecoming an officer" if the sexual misconduct charges fall through. *shakes head in dismay*

Thanks for pointing this out, Jet.

At October 14, 2005 11:33 AM, Blogger Sreekesh Menon said...

a very good blog u have here.

At October 16, 2005 11:50 AM, Blogger Tom Harper said...

Sounds like the military hasn't changed much. When I was in the Navy, drug charges were their weapon. If you were caught with (or even suspected of having) a teensy amount of pot, that's all it took. You might as well be selling heroin at the local grade school.

There was also the General Article of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (how many misnomers can you find in that phrase?). Some lifers even admitted that if they couldn't find something specific to nail somebody with, there was always the General Article.

At October 20, 2005 2:19 AM, Blogger Steve O said...

Holy crap Jet!!! Let me tell you, I was stationed onboard a Destroyer Tender during the first gulf war and we had a mixed crew. 750 men and 750 women, we were nicknamed the Love Boat because of the amount of women that were sent home pregnant. I can neither confirm or deny that I had any involvement in that but I can say that quite a few people went home from the party early because of "sexual misconduct" even more after the war went home early when they decided to down size.

You don't have to be married to get accused of sexual misconduct.


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