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October 06, 2006

The AP Debunks Another Reich Wing Myth

For all you 'wingers who were foolish enough to believe Patterico's outragously Kool-aid laced lies about Guantanamero Bay, you'll no doubt be thrilled to know that the Associated Press has finally sunk their teeth into some hard facts:

Guards at Guantanamo Bay bragged about beating detainees and described it as common practice, a Marine sergeant said in a sworn statement obtained by The Associated Press.

And unlike Patterico's transparently ridiculous "source", the credibility of AP's witness is unimpeachable:

The lawyer sent the statement on behalf of a paralegal who said men she met on Sept. 23 at a bar on the base identified themselves to her as guards. The woman, whose name was blacked out, said she spent about an hour talking with them. No one was in uniform, she said.

Well that certainly settles it. After all, they self-identified (according to person making the allegations, who we learn on closer reading of the highly misleading introduction to this article is not a Marine sergeant after all, but a paralegal) didn't they? I think we can put that one to bed:

A 19-year-old sailor referred to only as Bo "told the other guards and me about him beating different detainees being held in the prison," the statement said.

"One such story Bo told involved him taking a detainee by the head and hitting the detainee's head into the cell door. Bo said that his actions were known by others," the statement said. The sailor said he was never punished.

This is why we have a free and independent press; so bar room conversations like this aren't stifled by the jackbooted minions of federal government before they can inform our national debate.

I think we've all learned an important lesson here.

That is all.

Update: This AP article is significantly clearer and contains more details. The more complete piece:

1. Clears up the Marine Sergeant/paralegal confusion:

The Marine, a paralegal who was at the U.S. Navy station in Cuba last month, alleges that several guards she talked to at the base club said they routinely hit detainees.

2. Gives the location of the club where the conversation took place:

The Marine said in the sworn statement that she has been working at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton in Southern California on a Guantanamo-related case, and was in Guantanamo from Sept. 20-27.

She said some Marines had invited her to the base club Sept. 23. She didn't see them but a group of at least 15 sailors invited her to join them. She said she spoke with the sailors for about an hour, during which she had one drink, and that the sailors did not appear drunk.

Posted by Cassandra at October 6, 2006 02:09 PM

Comments

Wait 'till I tell my wife, Morgan Fairchild, about this.
Yeah, yeah, my wife is Morgan Fairchild.

*******
"Bo" the Sailor. Well, that narrows it down. Nineteen years old. Yeah, they post 19-year old sailors fresh out of boot-camp to the most investigated detention facility in the world.

Riiight.

*******
But who bought the drinks, anyways?

*******
Colonel Lawyer (is he a reservist?), paralegal (sargeant?), men at a bar on a base (Pendleton)? Is the paralegal the "Marine Sargent"?

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at October 6, 2006 02:53 PM

This was the goofiest and most fact-free article I've seen in a long time, but you'd never know if from the headline.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 6, 2006 03:05 PM

Because we ALL know that young men drinking in a bar in the company of a woman (who seemed very interested in them) would never engage in a little one-upsmanship in order to impress said lass. No, they wouldn't do that. They wouldn't be thinking with the 'little' head....cause, ya know, guys just don't do that.

Posted by: Sly2017 at October 6, 2006 03:35 PM

I think Don's point is probably correct... I think it was a female sergeant who is a paralegal in JAG (or the USMC equivilant). I would have three immediate questions:

1. Why is an NCO drinking with a 19 y/o sailor? For that matter, why is a 19 y/o drinking in a bar? I don't know any 19 y/o sailors who have made E-5.

2. Wasn't everybody drinking? Not only are the sailors claims (if any of them indeed made some) suspect, what about the sergeant's?

3. Has this sergeant been notified of an upcoming deployment and attempted to avoid deploying? Some people trying to avoid their duty will go to extreme lengths.

Depending on how those three were answered, it might be news. Of course, the AP treats it as fact before the ink is dry. Just sayin'

Posted by: Stashiu3 at October 6, 2006 03:47 PM

I just find it a bit hard to believe that all of these things are true at once:

1. There are beatings that are at all serious in nature going on,

2. That they are a commonplace occurrance

3. That they are somehow escaping detection despite constant scrutiny, several inquiries, and heavy traffic in and out of this place.

We are told over and over that the media inject commentary into news articles to help us "evaluate" what we read.

OK.


Where is the critical commentary here? Even rudimentary logic?

Posted by: Cassandra at October 6, 2006 03:59 PM

Where is the critical commentary here? Even rudimentary logic?
Is that a trick question? ;) BTW, nice smackdown on Christoph... "you know nothing about men" bwahhahahaha

That's funny stuff there, sure it wasn't on purpose?

Posted by: Stashiu3 at October 6, 2006 04:45 PM

It *may* have been a Freudian slip...

On the otter heiny, I do have an odd sense of humor :p

Posted by: Cassandra at October 6, 2006 04:47 PM

I bet he's Jesse's girl. And John Kerry coached him. Winter Soldier, anyone? I sense another Brett Barboursville story coming on, and here you were resigned to a fun filled weekend, swimming in snark infested waters.

Posted by: Cricket at October 6, 2006 04:57 PM

Posted by: Fausta at October 6, 2006 05:27 PM

Here's what I just posted at Fausta's blog:
(Linked above)

¡Hola, Fausta! Vengo aquí desde el blog de Cassandra. Vivo bastante cerca de Princeton, en los suburbios de Philadelphia. Soy de acuerdo contigo que hombres en una barra exagerar para conseguir la atención de una chica...

Forgive my Español, I'm outta practice...mí Inglés esta mucho mejor.

Posted by: camojack at October 6, 2006 06:38 PM

Sly? We're gonna' have to ban you from YouTube! :-o

We know this entire story is a fabrication simply because the most important question to a young warrior in a bar was never asked by the young lady;

"Did you kill anyone?"

Hmmmpppfffff!

Growl, this stuff has gone so far out in space that it's become tragic comedy. I'm sure the blue staters have this stuff seared into their memories! Or speared. Like in Sly's video! ;-)

Posted by: JHD at October 6, 2006 07:49 PM

Stashiu3,

Thanks for dropping in, and thanks for your service in dangerous times. You're among friends here (watch out for JHD, though, he's just nuts! :D).
I read all of Patterico's posts, re:your interviews, and I can see I am DEAD WRONG about the crack about the 19-year old not being at GTMO, after reading.
What the AP passes for 'news' is truly baffling and inscrutable, no? This is all so... tenuous?

Cass, you have some very interesting fans these days.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at October 6, 2006 08:48 PM

Don,

Thanks. I've been a fan here for quite a while and have posted a couple of times. VC has been one of my daily reads for months. AP sucks, no doubt about it, most most of the others are right up there.

Take care all,

Stash

Posted by: Stashiu3 at October 6, 2006 09:22 PM

*blush* :)

Thanks for doing this - it was a great series. Wish I'd been around to write about it.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 6, 2006 09:37 PM

"...who said men she met on Sept. 23 at a bar on the base identified themselves to her as guards."

I'm not often given to actually laughing aloud and slapping my thigh, but, this time I did. :)

Posted by: Grim at October 6, 2006 09:44 PM

So who is this paralegal?? And if she's civilian, what is she doing in a bar on a Marine base? Back in the day, when I was still a military dependent, "home" to Germany for the summer from college, I dated a GI and went to the EM club, but I had to have military ID to get in, as I recall. Have things changed? And how do random people get on base to go to a bar?

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at October 6, 2006 09:57 PM

Ms. Ladybug, at MCAS Yuma, in order to foment a "community" warm and fuzzy, the base E club was opened to civilians on Wed, Fri and Sat -- yes this also was AFTER 9/11. Granted, several months later, but still.....This, of course, meant that anyone from town could come to the base and party -- ID card or not. Of course, that also meant the gang bangers were allowed on base. I came to dread the weekends because, as Ops Chief for PMO, "Mah Huzzband" got all the notification calls for drunk people doing stupid sh!t.
(And his Master Guns was *surprised* when we chose Barstow for our next assignment. Hmmm. Gee. 16 years as an MP at El Toro, Lejuene, Okinawa and Yuma...yeah, we were ready for a little peace and quiet.)

Posted by: Sly2017 at October 6, 2006 11:06 PM

Sly, BARSTOW???!!!! Hehe. When I got married
21 years ago, we were allowed to have the reception at the O club at Fort Ord. Since we weren't serving alky-hol at the reception, the bar stayed open for the 'convenience' of my guests. Certainly not at my request, but they
had to rake in some more cash, doncha know.

I think a total of 20 guests availed themselves of the bar.

Some 'non-uniformed men' ID themselves as guards.
And she believed THAT? Well, this just means that men in uniform would lie through their teeth, kill all the unborn babies at Gitmo and
steal everyone's left shoe.

FWIW, I personally KNOW of ONE young man who served at Gitmo. He was homeschooled and is an E-6. He didn't get there until he had pulled a tour or two overseas. He was there for one year
and would most likely ignore this for what it is:
Drivel. And I know he hangs out in bars, but he sure as helk doesn't talk about his time there.
HE KNOWS BETTER. And it has nothing to do with the allegations of abuse. It has to do with the MISSION.

Emphasis in caps because I am too lazy to do html for bold.

JHD, I think I will pinch you cause you are just a QT.

Posted by: Cricket at October 7, 2006 06:47 AM

The Marine, a paralegal who was at the U.S. Navy station in Cuba last month, alleges that several guards she talked to at the base club said they routinely hit detainees.

Call me insensitive, but I'm cool with that.

Posted by: MathMom at October 7, 2006 08:39 AM

As Cassandra knows, I have some first hand knowledge on detainee operations so when I see comment like this I laugh:

'Guards at Guantanamo Bay bragged about beating detainees and described it as common practice, a Marine sergeant said in a sworn statement obtained by The Associated Press.'

I have a t-shirt given to me when I was in Mordor, it says something to the effect of bringing 'XXX riot control team - Bringing peace to the middle east one beating at a time' and has a picture of a soldier beating someone with a club obviously in a detention center. God forbid the press ever saw that t-shirt because they most likely would most likely omit the fact that the people who designed it were from an admin unit (think paper shufflers) that while on the same base, never went near detainees.

Posted by: Frodo at October 7, 2006 09:43 AM

One more minus the caffeine related spasms!

As Cassandra knows, I have some first hand knowledge on detainee operations so when I see comment like this I laugh:

'Guards at Guantanamo Bay bragged about beating detainees and described it as common practice, a Marine sergeant said in a sworn statement obtained by The Associated Press.'

I have a t-shirt given to me when I was in Mordor, it says something to the effect of: 'XXX riot control team - Bringing peace to the middle east one beating at a time' and has a drawing of a soldier beating someone with a club obviously in a detention center. God forbid the press ever saw that t-shirt because they most likely would omit the fact that the people who designed it were from an admin unit (think paper shufflers) that while on the same base, never went near detainees.


Posted by: Frodo at October 7, 2006 09:45 AM

The concept of grim humor, especially that of people who have been in a crappy situation they can't control, seems to elude the media.

Just like they continue to confuse chow line griping with simmering discontent that is about to tear the armed services apart at the seams. Everyone bitches in the military - they do it back home too. It's the national pastime.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 7, 2006 09:46 AM

Again, obviously this kind of stuff needs to be investigated. But I can't understand why we need to flog every incipient (and as yet unsubstantiated) allegation in the headlines. Britain doesn't do this, for good reason.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 7, 2006 09:47 AM

Completely off-topic comment follows, but I was stunned when I read this. Imagine one of the Islamic beheaders getting one of these brave, fearless, selfless girls as a victim. They couldn't make good JihadTV content out of this:

Amish Schoolgirl Hoped to Spare Others

Two of the survivors of the shooting told their parents that 13-year-old Marian Fisher, one of the slain girls, asked to be shot first, apparently hoping the younger girls would be let go, according to Leroy Zook, an Amish dairy farmer.

Posted by: MathMom at October 7, 2006 06:02 PM

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