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How many more.............

by Mac McMullen / July 16, 2005 9:18 AM PDT
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(NT) (NT) This Is War.Not The Olympics.
by gooslojo / July 16, 2005 9:21 AM PDT
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(NT) (NT) 11 out of 250,000 not too bad
by duckman / July 16, 2005 9:40 AM PDT
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With the really insignificant...
by Edward ODaniel / July 16, 2005 9:57 AM PDT

number of ALLEDGED incidents one should note that the NCOs and Officers appear to be doing an EXCELLENT job (do note that the soldier responsible for reporting the alledged incident knew to report it and to whom as well as the fact that it was investigated and 11 are being charged).

Those stats reflect far better on the military leadership than do the test scores of American students upon the teachers responsible for teaching them. Why no calls for severely dealing with those teachers?

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I refuse to accept abstract comparisons...........
by Mac McMullen / July 16, 2005 10:44 AM PDT

....as a way to excuse obvious dereliction of duty on the
part of NCO's and Company Grade Officers. If these
upper grade individuals had been doing their jobs, this
incident, and the Abu Ghraib's (sp) would NEVER have
happened. Their job starts before the first jab or
other abuse occurs. Chain of Command must work both
ways. Report UP and Supervise DOWN. Spend enough time
in the "work area" to KNOW what's going on. It seems to
me they have forgotten that one can delegate authority
but never responsibilty. BTDT, both in combat and garrison.

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(NT) (NT) Absolutely correct, remove Commander in Chief
by duckman / July 16, 2005 11:04 AM PDT
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Commander In Chief?.....
by gooslojo / July 16, 2005 11:34 AM PDT

Once he sends our troops into war,the professionals take over.He wouldn't know his *** from a hole in the ground.
BTW,these pros are doing a fine job considering their working conditions.Their "work area",as it was so eloquently put,is "ground zero","The London Subway",.....24/7!!

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know what satire is?
by duckman / July 16, 2005 12:04 PM PDT

Although the President has an MBA and not a medical degree, I'm very sure he could tell the difference between ......

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Satire?Hard to tell sometimes in SE
by gooslojo / July 16, 2005 12:13 PM PDT
In reply to: know what satire is?

An MBA huh? Is that why the economy is so strong?

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I beg to differ...
by Edward ODaniel / July 17, 2005 4:33 AM PDT

as the comparison is valid with the exception that the subordinate soldiers of the leadership you castigate are not and cannot be constantly under their direct and personal supervision.

If you have or had children you are aware that you are ultimately responsible for their actions but cannot be responsible for what they do behind your back such as fighting, shoplifting, or drugs.

If you have or had children and DISCOVER that they have been doing things you IMMEDIATELY begin investigating what has been reported to you or what you have discovered signs of and take action as indicated. That is EXACTLY what responsible leadership does regardless of civilian or military and one does not demand punishment for someone doing their job but for those who are not doing their job.

Senior NCOs and Officers DO NOT MICROMANAGE and have to rely on delegated authority and responsibility and they are responsible for taking action when that delegated responsibility and/or authority is abused but they are not responsible for the abuse they are not aware of--NO LEADER is omniscient!

By the way, both authority and responsibility can be and are delegated in every walk of life including the military. Think of how an operation order works and why it works as it does.

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I fully agree!
by Dragon / July 18, 2005 1:53 AM PDT

These soldiers should be absolutely perfect -- or else. ;}

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As background...........
by Mac McMullen / July 16, 2005 12:20 PM PDT

Hi Ed,

From personal experience during the War Crimes Trials in
Japan, transporting POW's from Sugamo Prison (which
incidently has been torn down, not because of American
activity, but because of it's use before the war) to Tokyo,


Later, capturing and processing prisoners on the battle
field in Korea, and still later, experience at Koje-do
Island, Korea. Koje-do ''housed'' between 150 to 200
thousand North Korean and Chinese POW's at any one
time. A lot of really bad boys were there. Compared
to GITMO today, Koje-do would more closely resemble a
cattle feed lot. Very crude with barbed wire and
tents, with hundreds in a single 'enclosure'.

The guards were infantry troops, not military police.
Physical attacks upon American personnel were a daily'
occurance. I never witnessed, or heard of, abuse or
unprovoked physical force by Americans upon POW's.
Daily briefings and instruction to troops were constant.

So I find it difficult to accept or excuse some of the
''stuff'' we have seen coming out of Iraq and Afghan.

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From the news report I read
by duckman / July 16, 2005 9:53 PM PDT

"none of the people needed medical treatment". That's some horrible abuse. Since you were in the PTO, you must have heard of how the Japanese treated prisoners.

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I find it hard to believe
by EdH / July 16, 2005 10:53 PM PDT
I never witnessed, or heard of, abuse or
unprovoked physical force by Americans upon POW's.

Are you claiming that Allied forces NEVER abused Japanese or German POWs in any way? Do some research.
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Stay on point............
by Mac McMullen / July 17, 2005 3:21 AM PDT

I was speaking of my time at Sugamo and Koje-do, nothing
else. This thread was about actions by Americans toward
Iraqi and Afghan prisoners. My comments were my
perception of a lack of supervision by SrNCO's and Company
Grade Officers in those situations.

I'm sure, that Americans, like any other human in combat,
on occasion acted out of fear, exasperation, rage, or

If one wants to expand the subject and judge Americans,
all we need do is watch/read the daily news at any of
our major cities.

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I'll respond in whatever way I wish, thanks.
by EdH / July 17, 2005 4:58 AM PDT

My point was, your experiences notwithstanding these prisoners are probably the best treated ever, by anyone on the history of warfare. Yet all we hear is the constant carping and criticism of our troops. I am just sick of it.

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Ed, you and I are in the same camp.....
by Mac McMullen / July 17, 2005 6:55 AM PDT

...as yourself I'm not only tired of the 'carping',
as an American I'm embarrassed; as someone with
military experience, I'm disgusted. Not only with
the carping, but with the opinion that the 'headline
makers' would not have happened if the immediate levels
of supervision had been doing their jobs. And that
level of supervision is akin to operating a car. You
must push on the gas BEFORE the car will move, and you
must KEEP THE PRESSURE ON to maintain momentum.

In the military one doesn't have the opportunity to
interview and hire. You accept, and utilize, whoever
gets off the bus.

If you're caught in a situation with 'sub-par' people
even more attention is required.

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While you never witnessed...
by Edward ODaniel / July 17, 2005 5:09 AM PDT

or even heard of prisoner abuse I do believe that if you look around at some of the stories printed by the news media during the latter stages of Korea and especially after the cease fire you will start seeing many cited instances of abuse and outright "war crimes".

One major difference is that journalists were subject to censoring and the mainstream media was still in the process of reporting the news rather than trying to create and drive the "news". They also (as well as the public in general) were well aware of vast differences in abuse and discomfort that the modern media tends to try to blur into insignificance.

That very difference manifests itself within your own description of the POW containment camps "Compared
to GITMO today, Kobe-do would more closely resemble a
cattle feed lot. Very crude with barbed wire and
tents, with hundreds in a single 'enclosure'.
" When the Guantanamo camps were being constructed the media, as you may remember, made a very big deal out of the "inhumane" living conditions within clean and sanitary cyclone fenced cells and exercise yards. Religious materials were not provided to the prisoners (do recall the recent allegations regarding the Qu'ran) and special diets were not even considered.

Soldiers are not saints and in EVERY CONFLICT since time immemorial there have been heroes as well as a few villains and each has been responsible for their own decisions and actions. Leaders have never been held accountable for what they could not control as long as their actions and policies were not affirmative of the misconduct.

Just like the media circus pertaining to "prisoner abuse and torture" in Iraq and Cuba there is a grain of truth in the info presented on the following sites--what is important is getting things in perspective and understanding the difference between orchestrated abuse and environmental conditions, exigencies of war, and the anomaly of the few being presented as indicative of the many.



Do note that most of the incidents then and now are driven by people such as Ramsey Clark (yep, the same Clark that was so helpful to Kerry and his "Winter Soldier" lies and exagerations to Congress).

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When a person recalls personal experience.........
by Mac McMullen / July 17, 2005 7:12 AM PDT

....it has to be assumed that that experience/observation
was but a very small view of a very small part of a much
larger picture.

And probably like yourself, I don't depend upon the media
to fully educate me. They might alert me to something,
but I'm left to wonder and wait for the complete story.

Even military historians don't get it right all the time.
Too many times, parts of their story is based upon the
citation that accompanied an award, ie MH, DCS, SS, etc.
If you've ever been close to the action, either the
event, or the preparation of the citation, you can attest
to this.

In this modern world of 24 hour, real time news, mixed
with generous portions of political biases, reasonable
people must exercise filtering in what they believe.

Onward and Upward.............

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I do think you have a point about ...
by Evie / July 18, 2005 1:48 AM PDT

... military discipline and accountability. I'm not sure when it all began, and I have no first hand military knowledge whatsoever, but just observing as an outsider one can see it.

Certainly the high profile case of the infidelity scandal with the first female B52 bomber was a milestone in all this. Her behavior was defended vigorously in the civilian arena -- mainly, it seemed, by the likes of Katie Couric and others lacking any military context for whom discipline and military rules seemed foreign.

Throughout the Abu Ghraib story, it has only been mentioned as a footnote (if at all) that Lyndie England was a married woman romantically involved with Graner to the point that she got pregnant. Her case is not isolated, although the reports of women in the military being discharged because of becoming pregnant while on missions have not been widely publicized. The numbers are rather staggering -- I'll have to hunt down a credible link to the military's study (I think it came out about a year or so ago) on this. I recognize that a military prison in a warzone is far from a buttoned down operation, but it does seem that those in charge must be looking the other way on the degree of fraternizing going on -- Graner had since impregnated another woman at the prison BTW. One would also think that given how pervasive the actions appeared to be there, the higher ups should have been more aware of what was going on.

However the firestorm calling for the heads/careers of anyone even accidentally defiling a Q'uran are what make news, while nobody seems to be particularly concerned -- likely would support them against being persecuted! -- with routine infractions of military rule like England's adultery.

Evie Happy

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RE the Natonal Embarrassment............
by Mac McMullen / July 18, 2005 3:41 PM PDT

....caused the USA by the incident(s) at Abu Ghraib and
someplace in Afghan more recently, involving mistreatment
of prisoners, IMO, could have been prevented if SrNCO's,
ie, E6 and E7's, possibly E8, and Company Grade Officers,
ie, Lieutenants and Captains, had been exercising even
minimal supervision.

Sexual harrassment and/or other ''social'' problems,
although rightly serious to the discipline and morale
of an organization, pale by comparison when
discussing embarrassment to the country. Again, IMO.

According to information made available via the media,
England was assigned clerical duties, not custodial. As
such she should never have physically been in the
confinement area. Confinement areas are ''restricted''
to authorized personnel. England was UNauthorized.
Also according to the media, Graner had previously
been 'dismissed' from a civilian correctional
institution for mistreatment of prisoners. He should
never have been assigned to a military police unit.

Graner's assignment preceded Iraq, but if the situation
became knowledge, he should have been immediately reassigned.

Cameras are restricted from confinement areas.

If the NCO's and Officers I referred to above had been
doing their jobs, England; the 'photographer'; and the
staged incidents shown around the world, would never
have happened. Their jobs included, beyond direct
supervision of activity, instruction and training with
continued follow-up reinforcment briefings. Obviously,
this critical supervision was not present.

Just as obvious, on an individual basis, discipline was
also absent. As was that common thing referred to as
knowing right from wrong.

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I don't disagree with a thing you said ...
by Evie / July 18, 2005 8:35 PM PDT

... would only add that the civilian sympathies towards "social issues" in terms of military discipline seem to have seeped into the military to some degree. As an example, there doesn't seem to have been any discipline meted out for the more minor military rules broken or much discussion of how looking the other way on these "minor" offenses has contributed to a chaotic situation. In major cities, those that have had the greatest reduction in violent crime are those that crack down on the so-called minor "quality of life" crimes. You nip those in the bud and it works up the chain -- and vice versa. Cities that are afraid of being accused of racial profiling that take hands-off approach to loitering and traffic violations, tend to see a rise in major crimes as well. I think the same thing has happened in the military. Adultery is no big deal, rules about fraternizing are "old fashioned" ... it snowballs. Toss sexual harrassment and other gender issues into the mix and it is a bit of a mess.

It seems a no-brainer that supervision was insufficient. Again, however, the outrage and public outcry was clearly motivated at bashing Bush and Rumsfeld rather than holding those that should have been in the know accountable.

Evie Happy

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