In the face of brutal treatment from a vicious enemy, our American leadership has chosen to undermine our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. Their “Monday morning quarterbacking” impedes our young men and women’s efforts in fighting the war on terror. We MUST remember that we are the “good guys.” We should do everything in our power to act morally and with compassion and conscience. And, I believe we do.
Colonel Michael Shupp told his Marines on the eve of the attack into Fallujah: “Take the fight to the enemy, but fight with firmness, dignity, and respect. You are warriors, not criminals.”
Of course, there will always be a small few who will not act as we would want them to in combat. These people should be dealt with and held responsible for their actions. BUT, there should not be a national “witch hunt,” publicized to the world. Our government and media play into our enemy’s hands when they inflate these few indiscretions.
Take for example, the Abu Ghraib scandal. Stop and compare our actions to Saddam’s henchmen in that same prison. During Saddam’s reign of terror, Abu Ghraib prisoners were hung from meat hooks, dunked in boiling oil and REALLY tortured. Where was the media contempt then? Was the world’s outrage proportional to what American guards did to their victims? Were any really hurt? Were they disfigured? And, were the actions of a few sick people sanctioned by the leadership? No, no, and no. At worst, the prison leadership was guilty of a lack of supervision and control.
Let’s move on. Did the CIA interrogators break bones, draw blood or deliberately kill anyone. Again, no. They just scared the shit out of one or two murderers. Is what they did right? That is not for me to decide. But, I can tell you that the prisoners that were waterboarded are alive and well today. They get better medical attention than any of us will get under a government medical plan. They are fed and clothed and sheltered. They still have all their fingers and toes and they continue to spit on and bite their guards.
Now, the almighty attorney general, Eric Holder, is investigating our Special Agents and even the previous administration’s legal advisors. Does he not understand that the investigations alone help our enemy? They force good men and women to second guess their future accusers. They force them to back off. Could it be that this caution will let more Dr Hasan’s stay in the system? Could it be that our CIA agents will miss a critical piece of information? Could it be that a young soldier or Marine will hesitate for a split second and die?
Which brings me to the real reason I am writing today; Why, on earth, are we not celebrating and awarding medals to the three young NAVY SEALs, Matthew McCabe, Julio Huertas, and Jonathon Keefe, who recently captured Ahmed Hashim Abed, a notorious al-Qaeda terrorist and mastermind of the Blackwater ambush in April of 2004 (See #20)? Apparently, Mr. Abed claimed that he had been mistreated and now the three young men face a court marshall. Where have we gone wrong? How did the world get turned upside down?
Take a moment and read how our enemies treat their prisoners:
- March 2, 1973, Khartoum, Sudan. Cleo A. Noel, Jr., U.S. ambassador to Sudan, and George C. Moore, also a U.S. diplomat, were held hostage and then killed by terrorists at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum. It seems likely that Fatah was responsible for the attack. *
- January 1, 1977, Beirut, Lebanon. Frances E. Meloy, U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, and Robert O. Waring, the U.S. economic counselor, were kidnapped by PFLP members as they crossed a militia checkpoint separating the Christian from the Muslim parts of Beirut. They were later shot to death. *
- March 16, 1984, Beirut, Lebanon. Hezbollah kidnapped William Buckley, a political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. His body was never found. *
- December 4, 1984, Tehran, Iran. Hezbollah terrorists hijacked a Kuwait Airlines plane en route from Dubai, United Emirates, to Karachi, Pakistan. The terrorists murdered two passengers–American Agency for International Development employees, Charles Hegna and William Stanford. *
- June 14, 1985, Between Athens and Rome. Two Hezbollah members hijacked a TWA flight en route to Rome from Athens and forced the pilot to fly to Beirut. The eight crewmembers and 145 passengers were held for 17 days during which one of the hostages, Robert Stethem, a U.S. Navy diver, was murdered. *
- October 7, 1985, Between Alexandria, Egypt and Haifa, Israel. A four-member PFLP squad took over the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro, as it was sailing from Alexandria, Egypt, to Israel. The squad murdered a disabled U.S. citizen, Leon Klinghoffer, by throwing him in the ocean. *
- September 5, 1986, Karachi, Pakistan. Abu Nidal members hijacked a Pan Am flight bound for New York with 379 passengers, including 89 Americans. The terrorists killed 22 of the passengers, including two American citizens. *
- September 9, 1986, Beirut, Lebanon. Hezbollah kidnapped Frank Reed, director of the American University in Beirut. They accused him of being “a CIA agent” and held him for 44 months. Then, on September 12, 1986, Hezbollah kidnapped Joseph Cicippio, the acting comptroller at the American University in Beirut. Cicippio was released five years later in December 1991. *
- February 17, 1988, Ras-Al-Ein Tyre, Lebanon. Colonel William Richard “Rich” Higgins, USMC, the American chief of the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organization (involved in a peace-keeping mission), was abducted, tortured and eventually murdered by Hezbollah. *
10. January, 1991, Iraq and Kuwait. During the Persian Gulf War, Iraq brutally tortured U.S. prisoners of war. Saddam Hussein’s secret police broke bones; shattered skulls and eardrums; and whipped, burned, shocked, beat, starved and urinated on our POWs. One extraordinary Marine was knocked unconscious so many times he lost count; he returned home with a fractured skull for refusing his captors’ orders to criticize President George H.W. Bush. By John Norton Moore,Wednesday, November 10, 2004; Page A27 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A38242-2004Nov9.html. Also, see: Lowry, Richard, The Gulf War Chronicles, iUniverse Star, 2009, www.gwchronicles.com.
11. October 3-4, 1993, Mogadishu, Somalia. Two American Army Rangers mutilated bodies dragged through the streets.
12. July 4, 1995, Kashmir, India. Terrorists took six tourists hostage, including two U.S. citizens. One of the U.S. citizens escaped on July 8, but all the rest were killed, On August 13 the decapitated body of the Norwegian hostage was found. *
13. May 9, 2001, Tekoa, West Bank. Kobi Mandell, 13, of Silver Spring, MD, an American-Israeli, was found stoned to death along with a friend in a cave near the Jewish settlement of Tekoa. Two organizations, the Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah-Palestine, claimed responsibility for the attack. *
14. January 15, 2002, Bethlehem, West Bank. Avraham Boaz, 71, of New York, a dual Israeli-American citizen, was kidnapped at a security checkpoint in Beit Jala and murdered. *
15. March 23, 2003, Nasiriyah, Iraq. Sergeant Donald Walters was executed by Saddam Fedayeen after being captured in Nasiriyah.
16. March 23, 2003, Nasiriyah, Iraq. PFC Jessica Lynch was brutally raped after being captured south of Nasiriyah.
17. March 23, 2003, Nasiriyah, Iraq. SPC Lori Peistewa died in captivity after being denied medical treatment for two hours. See Lowry, Richard, “Marines in the Garden of Eden, Berkley, 2006. www.marinesinthegardenofeden.com.
18. March 23, 2003, Az Zubayr, Iraq. A British Army engineering unit made a wrong turn. The unit was ambushed. Sapper Luke Allsopp and Staff Sergeant Simon Cullingworth became separated from the rest. Both were captured and executed by Iraqi forces.
19. March 28, 2003, Ash Shatrah, Iraq. Marine Sergeant Fernando Padilla-Ramirez was reported missing from his supply unit after an ambush north of Nasiriyah on March 28. His body was later dragged through the streets of Ash Shatrah and hung in the town square.
20. March 31, 2004, Fallujah Iraq. Four Blackwater security guards were ambushed and murdered. Their bodies were burned and mutilated and two were hung from Fallujah’s old footbridge.
21. May 7, 2004, Fallujah, Iraq. Nicholas Berg, an American businessman, beheaded on camera by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in a safe-house inside Fallujah.
22. April 9, 2004, Fallujah, Iraq. PFC Matt Maupin’s fuel convoy attacked west of Baghdad. Matt was captured, tortured and beheaded. His body was not found for four years. **
23. May 16, 2007, Al Taqa, Iraq. Tenth Mountain Division unit attacked south of Baghdad. Four American soldiers were taken prisoner and dragged away. Months later, all four bodies were found. ***
* Compiled by Caroline Taillandier, a research assistant at the GLORIA center and student at Tel Aviv University, Dr. Mitchell Bard, and Alden Oreck, Avi Hein, and Elihai Braun, research assistants at the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, and Paul Teller, Deputy Director, House Republican Study Committee. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Terrorism/usvictims.html
Col Mike Shupp, We Were One
, p. 61.
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