I guess Chuck Hagel has his priorities. Make sure the military is sharia-compliant by banning pictures, calendars, screen-savers, magazines, and other materials that show women in anything other than a G-rated pose. Think about it – Betty Grable in a burqa.
Military Times Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered a close-up and comprehensive inspection of all military offices and workplaces worldwide to root out any “materials that create a degrading or offensive work environment.”
The extraordinary searches will be similar to those the Air Force conducted last year and prompted officers to scour troops’ desks and cubicles in search of photos, calendars, magazines, screen-savers, computer files and other items that might be considered degrading toward women. (What about men? homosexual-assaults-becoming-a-problem-in-u-s-military-dod-survey-finds
The inspections will now target soldiers, sailors and Marines. They come amid heightened concern about sexual assault in the military and a new Defense Department report that suggests more than 70 troops every day experience some type of sexual assault. (Complimenting a woman is now considered a sexual assault in the military)
According to the Military Times, Hagel has ordered inspections to make sure American soldiers, sailors and marines the world over have only G-rated material in their workplace. The mission is to ensure there are no “materials that create a degrading or offensive work environment,” Military Times reports. The effort will be similar to one performed by the Air Force last year that “prompted officers to scour troops’ desks and cubicles in search of photos, calendars, magazines, screen-savers, computer files and other items that might be considered degrading toward women.”
The searches by the Air Force last year were sparked by an enlisted airman at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., who filed a complaint with the inspector general and senior Air Force leaders in October 2012 describing how her chain of command ignored for months her reports of sexual, violent and graphic images, songbooks and other documents on a computer server. She went public with her complaint in November.
The inspections were controversial and many airman complained that it felt like a “raid” and arbitrarily targeted materials such as fitness magazines and beer posters. Air Force officials said the prevalence of those items may be correlated to sexual harassment and sexual assault in the workplace.
Hagel outlined several other measures aimed at cracking down on sexual assaults. He ordered the service chiefs to develop ways to hold commanders accountable for maintaining a command climate of “dignity and respect”.
Another initiative will require the results of all command climate surveys to be provided to commanders the next level up the chain of command. That’s an effort to give high-level commanders insight into potential problems within their subordinate commands.
Hagel said he wants these measures to “really drive the cultural change.”(Yes, soon we’ll be just like Saudi Arabia)
A military judge overseeing the court-martial of Muslim jihadistNidal Hasan ruled Friday that the Army psychiatrist cannot argue in court that he killed 13 soldiers at Fort Hood in defense of Taliban leaders in Afghanistan, including leader Mullah Omar.
CS Monitor Hasan’s decision to forego his court-appointed Army lawyers and forge his own defense has slowed the proceedings, more than they already had been.
The legal gyrations speak to two key issues, military law experts say. For one, the Hasan case indicates that the inability of defendants in capital murder cases to simply plead guilty is a flaw in the military justice system. Given the judge’s decision Friday, Hasan is left with no real defense, beyond insanity, to try to explain his attack on the Fort Hood soldier readiness center on Nov. 5, 2009, they note.
For another, the stakes are high for a military justice system that has seen every death-penalty sentence since 1962 overturned, says David Frakt, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh who has worked as defense counsel at the US terrorist detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
“He has to put on a defense, and now when this particular defense has been rejected he still has to come up with some other totally fictitious defense,” says Mr. Frakt. Moreover, Army justice officials “are really trying to be extroardinarily careful with this case not to blow it, so that if they do get a death verdict they want it to stick. The easiest way to do that is to bend over backwards, to be accomodating to the defense, to remove potential appelate issues.”
The tribute was created by a chaplain at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. The chaplain wrote a poem titled, “God Created A First Sergeant.” It was later adapted into a video with a narration. First Sergeants are senior non-commissioned officers.
FOX News The video was modeled after the Dodge Ram Super Bowl commercial titled, “God Created A Farmer.” “On the eighth day, God looked down on His creation and said, ‘I need someone who will take care of the Airmen,’” the tribute read. “So God created a First Sergeant.”
Can’t have anything about God, but the military doesn’t care if non-Muslims are offended by having Islamic materials shoved down their throats. For example:
Chaplain leadership at the base signed off on the project as well as other base officials and earlier this week the video was posted on YouTube. But it was soon taken down after other officers objected.
“Proliferation of religion is not allowed in the Air Force or military,” wrote the chief of the Air Force News Service Division in an email obtained by Fox News. “How would an Agnostic, Atheist or Muslim serving in the military take this video?”
“I would not recommend using this at all,” the chief wrote. He also took issue with the wording of the video, according to the emails. “The choice of ‘On the Eighth day’ verbiage to begin this video is highly suggestive from the book of Genesis in the Bible and has Christian overtones,” he wrote.
They are the real dogs of war saved from the battlegrounds and dust-caked streets of Afghanistan for adoption in Britain and around the world. Some have been befriended by British soldiers on remote bases of troubled Helmand province, some rescued from rubbish tips or the rabies-threatened streets of Afghan cities and some smuggled through Taliban held-territory to the safety of the capital Kabul.
UK Daily Mail(h/t Jane) All will be treated and found homes – many of them in the UK – thanks to two remarkable British dog lovers, former Royal Marine Sergeant Pen Farthing and one-time soldier Louise Hastie – and the UK-registered animal charity Nowzad based in a suburb of the sprawling city.
Louise Hastie, who runs a Kabul dog shelter and clinic for NOWZAD, pictured with some of the Afghan dogs she is helping to save and bring to the UK
It helps dozens of soldiers, aid workers and diplomats who befriend dogs during their deployments to Afghanistan take them home as pets with the backing of animal lovers in Britain and around the world who have provided hundreds of thousands of pounds in support.
It helps dozens of soldiers, aid workers and diplomats who befriend dogs during their deployments to Afghanistan take them home as pets with the backing of animal lovers in Britain and around the world who have provided hundreds of thousands of pounds in support.
Joe who was almost dead when he reached the shelter, but is now making a good recovery
‘A special bond can build between a soldier and dog in the most intense, dangerous and difficult of conditions,’ said Louise, 40, from Wolverhampton. ‘They are thousands of miles from home, people are shooting at them and they can become lonely – 10 minutes a day stroking or talking to a dog relieves stress, it is a medically proven fact.
‘The dogs walk around the base areas and are befriended by the soldiers, the dogs have never known kindness and a special bond develops. It becomes very difficult to leave behind an animal that has become a friend.
Louise with Peggy, a dog found wandering the streets of Kabul with her hind leg half removed after a local vet used her for surgery practice
‘There have even been a number of instances where the dogs have saved the lives of the soldiers by alerting them to an insurgent presence and explosives, there are real bonds built which the soldiers don’t want to break.’ He added : ‘We’re seeing more soldier rescues than ever before. When you’re being shot at by the Taliban every day, dogs give you that little bit of normality.’
Yesterday Louise was preparing for the return of eight month old Chegwin and Tamera to the UK so the bond with the soldier that had found them scavenging as puppies and rescued them from Afghan soldiers thrown stones before becoming ‘smitten’ by a ‘ball of muck and matted fur’ and adopting them on their base can continue in the UK.
Looking for a new home: Some of the dogs waiting for a new life to begin
While home in Britain on leave, the soldier had realised he had ‘wanted to bring the dogs home with me…I missed then too much’ – something Louise says happens often. ‘People realise they can’t leave the dogs behind, they have shared something special together and they don’t want it to end.’
It was on the frontlines in the Helmand town of Now Zad in 2006 that the idea of the charity was first born when Pen, serving with 45 Commando broke up a dog fight, a popular ‘sport’ in Afghanistan, taking place outside their remote compound. He was befriended by one of the dogs, who became his companion and he was named Nowzad.
Vicious: A traditional dog fight held outside Kabul
The Marines built a run and mortar shelter to provide the dogs with some safety and shelter and when the comman force left, Pen, 43, from Exeter, decided he couldn’t leave ‘those sad big eyes’ behind and with the help of animal lovers Nowzad, several other dogs and 14 puppies befriended by Marines were taken on an epic journey to safety.
‘The relationships built up between a dog and soldier on bases can be very special,’ Pen said, ‘A dog can ease the stress and provide five minutes of normality that is hugely important in that kind of environment, it can provide a bond that is hard to break.
Blood sport: After being in a fight the dogs can emerge with horrifying injuries or are even killed
‘Dogs have been proven to help post-traumatic stress and the soldiers who adopt them are addressing this.’ One of the most poignant journeys Nowzad has helped to organise involved taking back to Britain a dog called Peg, who had been adopted in Helmand by paratrooper Conrad Lewis in 2011.
He fed the dog his rations and she never left his side, even accompanying him during fierce fire fights against Taliban insurgents but two months before he was due to come home, Conrad was killed by a Taliban sniper. His parents Tony and Sandi were determined to honour their son’s last wish and went ahead with transporting Peg – short for Pegasus – in honour of the Para’s winged horse emblem – back to live with them Claverdon, Warwickshire.
Mr Lewis said :‘Conrad’s spirit is very much here in Peg. She is the link to everything he did out there. Bringing Peg home today is a fulfillment of a commitment we made.’
Two dogs mercilessly attack each other buoyed on by the crowd
Yesterday more than 100 dogs, 30 cats and three donkeys were in the charity’s bases in Kabul – one an impressive newly-built kennels designed by Louise where 70 dogs, all mongrels destined for new homes are housed.
Two Afghan-trained vets are employed full time while volunteer vets from the UK and United States visit regularly to help oversee operations and treatments that range from removing bullets from a dog, amputating damaged limbs – three dogs awaiting adoption have lost a leg, removing teeth and neutering cats.
‘The donkeys can be in a dreadful state here and are worked until literally they drop but a family is reliant on them for a living and we have been able to persuade them that if they look after their animal, it will look after then. It is real progress and part of our education programme.’
Two Afghan-trained vets are employed full time while volunteer vets from the UK and United States visit regularly to help
As part of that programme, acclaimed actor Peter Egan, seen recently in Downton Abbey, is due to visit Nowzad’s Kabul operations this month with Pen Farthing during a trip supported by comedian. Ricky Gervais with the Wetnose Animal Rescue Group that will give footballs to youngsters encouraging them to ‘kick a ball, not a puppy.’
More than 500 dogs have so far passed through Nowzad’s Kabul operation with the charity organising the treatment – chipping and taking blood samples which are then sent to the British authorities for approval followed by four months quarantine for UK, 30-days for the US – before shipping home begins.
A dog’s picture is put on the charity’s website together with their back story with appeals for funds – the shipping of a dog through Dubai on commercial flights costs around £3,500 and a cat £2,000.
Why isn’t he required to use the $278,000 in salary he’s been getting since he massacred 13 soldiers and wounded 32 others? Most likely, this Muslim terrorist’s only motive in representing himself is a desire to use the trial as a showcase for his anti-American Islamic jihadist rants.
Miami NewsdayJury selection is set to begin Wednesday, and the trial is slated to begin July 1. If convicted, Hasan faces the death penalty.
The judge had little choice but to allow Hasan’s request after a doctor testified Monday that Hasan’s paralysis won’t have a significant impact, legal experts say. But the situation raises concerns for some. Will Hasan attempt to use the trial to advance a platform of jihad? What sort of defense will he be able to provide himself? And what does it mean for victims in the shooting, some of whom will now have to face a cross-examination by their alleged shooter, and many of whom are also concerned about their safety. Hasan’s trial invites comparisons with that of Zacarias Moussaoui, the would-be 9/11 hijacker who also represented himself at his trial and pleaded guilty to conspiring to kill US citizens. Mr. Moussaoui, who is currently serving a life sentence, used his defense to justify his actions, to pontificate against the US, and at various times to threaten both the judge and jury.
“I expect Hasan to follow that pattern,” says Jeffrey Addicott, director of the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio. There’s no other reason for a defendant in a case like this to forgo counsel, he adds. Want your top political issues explained? Get customized DC Decoder updates.
“Clearly when you represent yourself in case of this nature, it’s not because you’re trying to avoid the death penalty or get the panel to agree you’re not guilty,” says Professor Addicott. “If you’re motivated by radical Islam to murder, which he was, it’s no surprise that he’s going to want to use this trial as a platform to advance radical jihad…. He’s hoping to inspire other would-be jihadists that are in our nation.”
Marines at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan will lose a key daily meal starting Saturday, causing some to forgo a hot breakfast and others to work six-plus hours without refueling on cooked food, according to Marines at the base and Marine Corps officials.
From now on, Cheerios for the Marines in Afghanistan
FOX News The midnight ration service — known there as “midrats” — supplies breakfast to Marines on midnight-to-noon shifts and dinner to Marines who are ending noon-to-midnight work periods. It’s described as one of the few times the Marines at Leatherneck can be together in one place.
The base, which is located in Afghanistan’s southwestern Helmand Province, flanked by Iran and Pakistan, also will remove its 24-hour sandwich bar. It plans to replace the dishes long offered at midnight with pre-packaged MREs, said Marine Corps Lt. Col. Cliff Gilmore, who has been deployed in Afghanistan since February.
The moves, though unpopular with many Marines on the ground and their families back home, are emblematic of the massive drawdown of American troops in Afghanistan and the dismantling of U.S. military facilities. More than 30,000 U.S. service members will leave Afghanistan in coming months as the U.S. prepares to hand responsibility for security to Afghan forces in 2014.
While no Marine at Camp Leatherneck agreed to speak on the record, many are privately angry about the hit on base morale.
“This boils my skin. One of my entire shifts will go 6.5 hours without a meal. If we need to cut back on money I could come up with 100 other places,” one Leatherneck-based Marine wrote in an email this week to his wife and shared with NBC News. (The Marine declined to speak on the record.) “Instead, we will target the biggest contributor to morale. I must be losing my mind. What is our senior leadership thinking? I just got back from flying my ass off and in a few days, I will not have a meal to replenish me after being away for over 9 hours.”
Until Saturday, Leatherneck’s dining facility will offer its customary four meals per day. After June 1, the menu drops to three daily meals and, eventually, there will be only two hot meals served, Gilmore revealed in an email to the impacted Marines, adding: “Any time a dining hall meal is eliminated it will be replaced from a plentiful stock of MREs (Meals Ready to Eat — or any one of several creative acronyms our Marines have come up with.)”
The Blaze In addition to some at the camp being upset over the change, others are taking to the cause as well. A Facebook page — Breakfast for Bagram — was established in February to begin collecting food for the Marines.
“We will be collecting non perishable breakfast type food for the troops in Afghanistan,” the page stated. As of February 1st 2013, 17 bases in Afghanistan will not be serving breakfast ‘hot chow’ as well as ‘Midnight chow’ they will be required to grab M.R.E.s at dinner time….well what happens if they are not there for dinner? They don’t have breakfast the next day and have to wait for lunch time…. a lot of the troops are out on mission so they have to eat M.R.E.’s if available. Some are going 24-48 hrs without eating due to the fact that missions and work schedules dont allow them to make it the “mess hall” on time to grab these M.R.E.’s.”
“Psychologically, midrats is probably the most important of all the meals because that’s the big social time — where first (shift) crew is coming off and second (shift) crew is coming on,” the founder and executive director of Military Spouse Magazine, Babette Maxwell, told NBC .”That’s where you get the esprit de corps, the camaraderie. It’s not just the food you’re taking away, it’s their social sustenance.”
FORT STEWART, Ga. – The bond between a military police and his military working dog is very special. This bond is built upon a high level of trust and companionship. When joined together, they become a working team that stretch beyond the battlefield.
KHanrahan(h/t Savage) When an MP loses the other half of his working team on the battlefield, it can be very hard to deal with.
On March 11, Staff Sgt. Bak, a military working dog, along with his handler, Sgt. Marel Molina, both assigned to the 93rd Military Working Dog Detachment, 385th Military Police Battalion, 16th Military Police Brigade, were injured by enemy gunfire in a blue-on-green attack. Bak passed later that day during surgery from wounds he received.
On May 14, the Fort Stewart community paid tribute to Bak at a Memorial Ceremony held at the MWD Kennels at Wright Army Airfield.
There was nothing better than seeing those Afghan mountain peaks slowly turning from brown to white. It seemed that, as the snow melted away, US Army Sergeant Marel Molina and his Military Working Dog Bak’s time remaining in Afghanistan withered away day by day.
But Sergeant Molina couldn’t think about going home today, even though he was a short two months away. He had work to do.
No, that wasn’t right. He and MWD Bak had work to do.
Keeping his Green Beret team alive was hard work.
Sergeant Molina listened intently as Captain Pedersen, his Green Beret Alpha Team leader, discussed that day’s mission with the Afghan local policemen. But Molina barely understood a word of their exchange.
He was always impressed that many of these Green Berets could speak Pashtun, one of the predominant languages in Afghanistan.
Looking over his shoulder he spied the 100-pound working dog lying in the back of the Razor, his thick mahogany coat with black tipping made him a picture-perfect German shepherd, fit for the movies. The dog dozed in and out of wakefulness, but Sergeant Molina knew in a snap of his fingers MWD Bak would be focused on one thing—finding buried explosives.
The Green Beret team knew this as well. MWD Bak had already used his extraordinary explosive-sniffing skills to unearth six improvised explosives that surely would have wiped out the entire team by now.
His Majesty MWD Bak could lounge anywhere he wanted. It didn’t matter when, where, or with whom. The three-year-old shepherd was always ready for duty.
Sergeant Molina scanned the group of Afghan local policemen and thought he recognized a few of them. The Green Berets frequently patrolled with the local men, trained with them, and tried to assist them in policing their country. But it was hard to keep them all straight with their constant turnover.
The Afghan men were a ragtag bunch with look-alike uniforms in varying states, pockets and pouches stuffed with who knew what, in gear strapped to their chests that included an American AK-47.
Today for patrol, their motley crew consisted of a squad on infantry from the 3rd Infantry Division, a handful of Green Berets, Sergeant Molina, and MWD Bak. Captain Pedersen shook the hand of the Afghan local policemen’s leader and turned to brief the Americans. Then all hell broke loose. Gunfire, screaming, and pleas for help filled the air.
An Afghan local policeman turned his AK-47 on the group and shot wildly into the group of Americans. Sergeant Molina felt something slice through the left side of his neck. He dropped to the ground next to Captain Pedersen.
Pedersenwas lifeless, shot through the head. The man never stood a chance. The same bullet that had ripped through Pedersen’s head was the one that ripped through Sergeant Molina’s neck. It was ironic to think that being shot through the neck was lucky. But in Afghanistan everything is relative.
In seconds the shooting was over and the rogue Afghan local policeman was gunned down by a Green Beret. But not before the policeman had injured a handful of American soldiers, killed Pedersen, and members of the infantry squad participating in that day’s mission.
Blood flowed from Sergeant Molina’s neck, but he couldn’t feel the pain yet. He stood up and his knee felt like he had hit it on a rock or gotten a “charlie horse.” Then he saw blood dripping from his right knee and a hole in his pants.
Adrenaline rushed through his body as he wobbled over to a fallen comrade and began to conduct first aide on the fallen man. The soldier was a lot worse than Molina. He would be lucky to make it.
Once a medic relieved him, Molina pulled security on the other Afghan policeman and then assisted in disarming them. With the threat neutralized and the adrenaline subsiding, Sergeant Molina realized he hadn’t heard from MWD Bak.
Initially when Molina had dropped to the ground he had seen Bak lying calmly on the Razorvehicle. The dog had nerves of steel; he had been hit before with shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade and barely whimpered. “Bak, come here boy.” A spike of fear shot through his body when Bak didn’t move.
He rushed to his dog and panic ripped through him as he realized Bak’s once mahogany hind legs were wet and dark with his own blood.
“Medic,” screamed Molina as he ripped open a box of field bandages and tried to locate the entrance wound. As he touched Bak, the dog’s eyes fluttered and Molina knew he was losing consciousness. He would go into shock next. The medic arrived and handed a catheter to Molina who inserted it into Bak’s leg. The dog needed fluids immediately.
“It’s all right buddy, Daddy is right here, pal. You’re going to be fine,” said Molina as he watched his battle buddy gasp for air. Molina knew the dog had internal bleeding. Molina wondered what that bullet had ripped through inside Bak.
The MEDVAC chopper landed and loaded them all. Molina lay by Bak’s side the entire time. Sometime during the flight Molina began losing consciousness, but he kept an arm around Bak, reassuring him that everything would be all right, praying that everything would be all right. But it wasn’t.
As Molina lay in a hospital bed at Bagram Airbase awaiting surgery, the veterinarian came in with a somber face. Tears streamed down Molina’s cheeks. He already knew what was the veterinarian was going to say. “I’m sorry, Sergeant, but Bak bled out internally. He’s left us.” They had been so close to going home. Now only one would go.
Sergeant Marel Molina received lifesaving surgery at Bagram Airbase Afghanistan, was evavced to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and then to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC. He has moved from crutches, to a cane, to walking on his own. He has high hopes for being completely off aids soon and is very close to a full recovery.
Physically he will heal, but mentally he will never be the same. He will never forget his battle buddy Military Working Dog Bak and the images of him lying on that chopper, bleeding out, and Molina powerless to help him.
Bak wasn’t a piece of equipment, and he wasn’t just a dog, Military Working Dog Bak was a fellow soldier, who died fighting for this country. Sergeant Molina and many other soldiers are alive today because of their fellow soldier, Military Working Dog Bak.
As a country we celebrate Memorial Day to remember the men and women who fought and died for this country. But for those that fought beside them, we also think of our four-legged soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Please remember Military Working Dog Bak and the others like him who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
…while some of the surviving soldiers struggle to keep food on the table. The Army said under the Military Code of Justice, Hasan’s salary cannot be suspended unless he is proven guilty. But that isn’t true. His pay could have been suspended after 7 days. Meanwhile, more than three years later soldiers wounded in the mass shooting are fighting to receive the same pay and medical benefits given to those wounded in combat. But cannot, because the Obama Regime insisted on calling the act of Islamic terrorism “workplace violence.”
When Marine Sgt. Ross Gundlachserved as a dog handler in Afghanistan, he told the yellow lab who was his constant companion that he’d look her up when he returned home. ”I promised her if we made it out of alive, I’d do whatever it took to find her,” Gundlach said.
Yahoo News On Friday, he made good on that vow with help from some sentimental state officials in Iowa who know how to pull off a surprise. Since leaving active duty to take classes at the University of Wisconsin this summer, Gundlach, of Madison, Wis., had been seeking to adopt 4-year-old Casey.
The 25-year-old learned Casey had finished her military service and had been sent to the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office, where she was used to detect explosives.
Gundlach wrote to State Fire Marshal Director Ray Reynolds, explaining the connection he felt with the dog. He even has a tattoo on his right forearm depicting Casey with angel wings and a halo, sitting at the foot of a Marine.
“He’s been putting a case together for the last two months, sending me pictures … it just tugged on your heart,” Reynolds said. Reynolds decided to arrange a surprise. First, he got in touch with the Iowa Elk’s Association, which agreed to donate $8,500 to buy another dog for the agency.
“We have a motto in our association that as long as there are veterans, the Elks will strive to help them,” Iowa Elks Association president Tom Maher said. Then, Reynolds came up with a ruse to get Gundlach to Des Moines, telling Gundlach he needed to come to the state Capitol to plead his case in front of a “bureaucratic oversight committee.”
When Gundlach arrived with his parents, Reynolds told them the meeting had been delayed and invited them to join an Armed Services Day celebration in the rotunda. There, hundreds of law enforcement officers, military personnel and civilians were seated, keeping the secret — until they brought out Casey.
When Gundlach saw Casey, he put his head in his hands and cried. She licked his face, wagging her tail furiously. “It was a total surprise,” he said. “I owe her. I’ll just try to give her the best life I can.”
His father, Glen Gundlach, seemed just as surprised. “It’s unbelievable … the state of Iowa, I love ‘em,” he said.
Gov. Terry Branstad officially retired Casey from active duty during Friday’s ceremony, thanking the dog for a “job well done.”
During the 150 missions they performed together, Gundlach said Casey never missed an explosive — she caught three before they could be detonated. He credits her for making it back home safely. “I wouldn’t be here … any kids I ever had wouldn’t exist if Casey hadn’t been here,” he said.
Hopefully, the prisoners on a hunger strike there will no longer be force fed so they can die sooner. CNN also doesn’t tell you that the reason the Muslim savages who have been freed to leave are still there is because their own countries refuse to take them back and no other country wants them. (Guards must wear face masks to protect them from the filth the Muslim filth throw at them)
CNN(h/t Maurice) Guantanamo Bay, Cuba – For the 160-plus inmates at the U.S. prison camp here, each sunrise brings a new day that most would rather starve than endure. For the American troops who guard them, each day brings a daily rain of obscenities and filth — sometimes physical as well as verbal.
More than a decade after the first inmates arrived at the U.S. base where prisoners from the U.S. war on terror are being held, Guantanamo Bay is a facility in crisis.
From the 700-plus detainees it once held, only 166 remain. Of those, more than half have been approved for transfers out, but languish as the Obama administration and Congress battle over whether to shut down the facility. A handful are facing trial before military commissions, a process that has been criticized as both inefficient and unfair.
“The commissions are a joke,” inmate Muhammad Rahim al-Afghani wrote to his lawyer in March. “If you lose you go to prison for life. If you win, you’re held indefinately (sic) for life.”
Al-Afghani has been held in Guantanamo since 2008, transferred there after being held by the CIA. The Pentagon said he was one of al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden’s “most trusted facilitators and procurement specialists.”
More than half are on hunger strikes. Some will take liquid nutritional supplements, but about 30 are being force-fed — a practice condemned by human rights groups and the American Medical Association. The military has brought in additional medical staff to manage the protest.
Most of the inmates have been moved to two blocks, dubbed Camp V and Camp VI. For the most part, they look like a typical civilian prison, with two tiers of cells that face out onto a room full of metal tables. The air conditioning delivers a chilly blast when walking in from the muggy tropical air outside.
The detainees used to be allowed to live communally, but that ended after a raid turned up homemade weapons. Now they’re held in individual cells with heavy steel doors. They’re allowed to watch movies and even some news programs in recliners in media rooms — with their feet shackled to the floor.
They’re guarded by Americans, some of them not yet old enough to drink, who face a daily torrent of abuse. “They use extremely vulgar language towards females, and I’ve had a lot of experience with that, unfortunately,” said one young woman who serves as a guard there. “Especially Caucasian females — they do not like us at all.”
The military would not allow her to be identified, and even her nametag displayed only a number. But she says she’s 21 and has already served a tour as a guard at the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
In Guantanamo, the prisoners call her a bitch. A whore. A slut. But worse than the name-calling is what the guards call “splashing” — flinging urine or feces on the guards. It happens to someone “every single day” for the last month and a half, she said.
“They’ll say things like, ‘I’ll piss all over your face,’ ” she said. “They’ll say, Oh, you’ve had shit thrown on you, been disrespected,’ or ‘Nobody wants you, you’re trash now.’ “
The cell doors have what are called “splash boxes” through which food is passed. They’re designed to minimize contact with inmates and reduce splashing, but they don’t eliminate it.
The walls and floors are quickly scrubbed down, but bits of feces are still visible stuck to the foam ceiling tiles in the units. The young guard said those “splashed” — and she’s been among them — are sent to the camp hospital, notified of any diseases their assailant may carry, have their blood tested — “and then you go right back to work.”
The prison camp opened in 2002. President Barack Obama came into office vowing to close the prison camp, and told reporters in April that he still wants to shut it down.
Hundreds of pieces of dead American soldiers were incinerated by Air Force officials and then dumped in a Virginia landfill, for the first time putting hard numbers on the grisly scandal that has rocked the military’s largest mortuary, according to a report.
(But the dead Boston Marathon Muslim terrorist gets a grave on American soil)
NY Daily NewsThe Washington Post reported Wednesday that at least 976 body parts of 274 U.S. soldiers recovered from war zones abroad were ditched in a Kings County, Va., dump after arriving at Dover Air Base between 2004 and 2008.
In nearly every case, the heroes’ families, which had authorized the military to handle the soldiers’ remains, had no idea that their loved ones’ ashes were unceremoniously trashed, the Post report said. The Air Force came clean about the practice last month after whistleblowers complained about sloppy work at Dover, the main entry for fallen soldiers coming from battlefields overseas.
But it had refused to reveal how many remains went into the landfill, saying that tallying the parts and trying to match them with the more than 6,300 bodies that have passed through Dover would require “massive effort and time,” one Pentagon official said, according to the Post.
The Air Force finally released some numbers to the Washington newspaper this week. In addition to the remains that were matched up with dead soldiers, 1,762 unidentified remains were thrown into the landfill.
In total, more than 2,700 incinerated body parts were chucked, according to Air Force records – though that number may just be the tip of the iceberg.
One military widow told the Post that a mortuary official told her that the Air Force had been throwing cremated remains in landfills since at least 1996.
The Air Force said it has no plans to tell the families of the soldiers’ whose body parts were identified.