Sunday, December 24, 2006

Sen Durbin should send these troops a card

Excerpts from a letter from Col. Wade F. Dennis, JTF GTMO, APO AE 09360 posted at Democracy Project via Ratzinger Fan Club,
Instead of bullets and IEDs, troopers here duck noxious "cocktails" of the fab five: feces, urine, spit, semen, and vomit tossed into their faces. They don't receive Purple Hearts when an enemy detainee requests a comfort item then grabs the hand of the kind guard passing it to him and breaks the trooper's arm or wrist.

Do you want to guess who receives the Christmas and Holiday greetings here in Guantanamo? The terrorist detainees who are confined here to keep them from killing you and your families! Last year alone Guantanamo detainees received more than 14,000 cards, the vast majority from muddle-headed well-wishers and sympathizers. This year local authorities estimate the number may exceed 16,000! Some are addressed to the detainees by name or by their detainee number, available on the Pentagon website. Most are simply addressed to "Any Detainee at Guantanamo."

Like the other 40,000 or so pieces of detainee mail that transit the post office on the base the cards are distributed into the cells. The cards are passed out to the detainees by troopers who may themselves not have received any sort of greeting from home in a long time. Some of the troops here are wary about the way they are perceived by their friends and families at home. One officer said that "nobody in my family was in the military. None of my friends have the slightest clue of what we do here. They think I'm some kind of brutal jailor or something."

It's hard to blame the American public for being ignorant about real conditions here considering that their opinions are shaped in large part by politicians eager to score points against the president by trashing the soldiers at Guantanamo, or by a compliant media ready to believe and promulgate the worse without the trouble of fact-checking or balancing the story.

These troops have been called terrible names by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin and by Ted Kennedy and John Kerry from Massachusetts. On the House side Nancy Pelosi and Jack Murtha act as if the troops are the problem and not the terrorists. No wonder some reservists who have returned from tours in Guantanamo to the States are reluctant to tell their friends where they served.
xp Illinoiz

No comments: