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July 14, 2005

i Have Been Tortured

Yesterday, Captains Quarters linked to the results of an independent investigation that found only three violations of Army Regulations and the Geneva Conventions* at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

The chief investigator, Air Force Lt. Gen. Randall M. Schmidt, described the interrogation techniques used on Mohamed al-Qahtani, a Saudi who was captured in December 2001 along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

. . .

Schmidt said that to get him to talk, interrogators told him his mother and sisters were whores, forced him to wear a bra, forced him to wear a thong on his head, told him he was homosexual and said that other prisoners knew it. They also forced him to dance with a male interrogator, Schmidt added, and subjected him to strip searches with no security value, threatened him with dogs, forced him to stand naked in front of women and forced him onto a leash, to act like a dog.

Looking at the list of "violations," i realize that most, if not all of these things have happened to me at various times in my life. i bet most of you could say the same thing.

Someone has insulted my mother.
i've worn a bra. In fact, i'm wearing one right now, against my will.
i've worn a thong, though not on my head.
i've been told that i like men and that other people knew it.
i've danced with men.
i've had my clothes removed from my body for no apparent security purpose.
i've been frightened by a dog.
i've stood naked around women.
i've barked like a dog. uhhh, but i was drunk at the time.
No comment on the leashy thing.

Where's my ACLU lawyer?

* Why we're even talking about the Geneva Conventions is a mystery to me. Until Al Qaeda becomes a signatory to that agreement, it is irrelevant.

Posted by annika, Jul. 14, 2005 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: annikapunditry


Unfortunately, teh Geneva Conventions aren't irrelevant. Even though our enemies are not signatories (How could they be, anyway? The conventions seem to be diametrically opposed to their own "convictions") I think the signatories agreed to abide by the conventions even if their enemy in the particular conflict is not or does not. I can think of no other reason that we abided by them in Vietnam (I know both the VC and North Vietnam were not signatories, nor, obviously, did they pay any attention to them) or Korea (I'm pretty sure North Korea was not a signatory)

Seems stupid, but I think that it was part of the traty.

Posted by: JJR on Jul. 14, 2005

Wearing a bra against your will eh? I say you take it off THIS INSTANT!

It would be a sign of support for those poor little terrorists in Gitmo. Not to mention you might make those men around you very happy. And if I know you you're all about making people happy.

Posted by: The Maximum Leader on Jul. 14, 2005

I've worn a thong on my head - and I enjoyed it - though I was hungover the next day.

Posted by: gcotharn on Jul. 14, 2005

Oh my God, I might be a terrorist!

I've insulted someone's mother (I might have even insulted my own mother)
I've purchased a thong for someone, and implored her to wear it.
I've told other's that they are men, and have even called some men 'gay' --- not that there's anything wrong with it.
I've forced my wife to dance the Marcena at a wedding
My dog has frightened some small children.
There has been much nudity around men and women.

Posted by: Robbie on Jul. 14, 2005


nothing to do with the subject on hand
other than 111F is torture

Posted by: Wayne on Jul. 14, 2005

K-rist JJR, have you ever taken The Law of Land Warfare course? I thought not, so stfu about geneva convention applicability. It doesn't apply to ANY of those sons of allah. They never had a uniform til the got to Gitmo. As far as the Geneva convention is concerned, we should have executed them by summary court martial, but we were looking to gather a little intel. That is all.

Posted by: Casca on Jul. 14, 2005

Thinking here that anyone who wants to kill us should be killed first. And anyone defending the Gitmo prisoners needs to get a life, for real, or not take ours with their bs. Annika, 1st time commentor, like your blog. 59 y.o. white male

Posted by: Johnny on Jul. 14, 2005

I heard McCain yesterday at a senate panel grandstanding about this issue saying "What will happen when our guys get captured?" Well, senator, they will probably be tortured and beheaded, which was going to happen anyway you dumbass!
That man is as big an attention whore as Schumer.

Posted by: Kyle on Jul. 15, 2005


I have taken the law of land warfare, and have TAUGHT the class. Please don't lecture me on what it says or does not say. I served as an active duty infantry officer for over six years. Have you? I thought not, so "stfu" about what I know or don't know. If you would like to debate the aspects of the law or convention, that's fine, but back up your point with some facts. First of all, I said I might be mistaken. If you have a SPECIFIC point I got wrong, let me know. The law of land warfare (as we have put it in FM 27-10) specifically, to my memory, mandates that we will abide by the mandates of the Geneva Convention, whether or not our adversaries do so.

Personally, I don't think we necessarily should, or should have done so in the past, but the whole point of my post is simply that we HAVE applied the mandates of the conventions unilaterally.

Also, the law of land warfare is not the convention. It is our application of them. Have you read the several treaties which we have signed? I believe that they do say that the mandates of the conventions will be applied by the signatory states, even when engaged in combat operations against an enemy which has not signed. I said it was stupid that they put it in.

Finally, whether or not the particular provisions of the convention apply to a specific "combatant" is a matter for a military panel. Personally, I think we should repudiate this provision of the treaty, but you can't ignore something just because you don't like it.

Posted by: JJR on Jul. 15, 2005

"I served as an active duty infantry officer for over six years." You think not? You think wrong. But what the hell, it's not the first thing that you're wrong about here. Lecturing the troopies barely qualifies as "teaching".

You pick up a weapon on the battlefield, and you're not part of a bonafide organized military with ties to the nation-state, and you are fucked.

We adhere to the Geneva Convention when the bad guys don't? Go read about the Phoenix Program. Yep, we really did go out and whack 'em. Thank God there are pragmatists wearing cammie who don't quibble about the fine points of law. Do you know that we have snipers watching the turning circles in Iraq where the IEDs get planted? They shoot people who are acting in a "suspicious fashion".

The Geneva Convention was setup to protect soldiers and civilians in a gentler age. It is an anachronism in an age of total war.

The truth is that it is bad to have a nebulous standard when serving in the field, so we teach the Law of Land Warfare. In reality it is impractical. Normally the trigger pullers make rational judgments based on least risk to themselves, as they should. That doesn't protect them from second-guessing from those who weren't there. So I refer you to Lord Byron:

When a man hath no freedom to fight for at home,
Let him combat for that of his neighbor.
Let him dream of the glory of Greece and of Rome,
and get knocked on the head for his labor.

To do good for mankind is the chivalrous plan,
and is always as nobly requited.
So battle for freedom wherever you can,
and if not shot, or hanged, you'll be knighted.

Posted by: Casca on Jul. 15, 2005