Letter From the Front

> Dear Mom & Dad,
> Word has reached us about some soldiers who are in trouble for allegedly
> abusing war prisoners. I don't know the details of the situation, but from
> what we've heard, it's pretty ugly and all over the news. I wanted to tell
> you a story about a night in the desert a few weeks ago that you won't see
> in the news, but is more representative of what's going on over here.
> Due to operational security constraints, I can't go into great detail in
> this story, but I think you'll get the picture.
> In the course of my unit's operations, it's very common that suspected bad
> guys are captured and detained for interrogation. I'm sure the media is
> making interrogations out to be bad or wrong, but they are not.
> Interrogations are a necessary tool to extract intelligence that helps us
> destroy the enemy and protect Americans from terrorism.
> Sometimes we have a hardened and roofed facility in which detainees are
> held and interrogated, but if we are on the move, often times they are
> placed in whatever temporary detainee area we can create.
> One night last month, we were stopped in the desert outside of Fallujah.
> We had three detainees under our control that were captured in the act of
> doing bad things against Marines. Because we were in the open without any
> facilities around, the detainees were temporarily being held on a patch of
> desert closed off by concertina wire. Besides the wire and guards watching
> them, they were out under the stars just like all of our Marines.
> Around 3:00 a.m., the wind started blowing hard and a sandstorm hit our
> position. As Marines covered themselves with their sleeping bags, the sky
> opened up and the flying sand was joined by a downpour of rain. Most of
> the Marines hopped into vehicles to get some cover.
> In the back of a truck, which was the closest vehicle to the detainees,
> four Marines were trying to stay dry and get some sleep. The lieutenant
> who was in charge of providing security for the detainees approached this
> truck and opened up the back hatch. He ordered the Marines out of the
> truck and told them that they couldn't stay in there. The Marines asked
> why and he explained to them that he had to put the detainees in the back
> of the truck to protect them from the rain and sand.
> Word of this spread very quickly and everyone was livid. We couldn't
> believe that our Marines were being kicked into the sandstorm/rainstorm so
> these three detainees, who were caught trying to kill Marines, could stay
> dry. The next day I was still angry and everyone was still talking about
> what had happened that night. Later in the day,after having time to cool
> down and think about the situation, I switched from being angry to being
> proud.
> Who else, other than Americans, would kick their own men into a storm so
> their enemy could sleep in peace? Who else, other than Americans, feel so
> strongly about laws and rights that they would go to such extremes to
> protect captured terrorists during a war on terrorism?
> When these guys are under our control, they eat better than they do when
> not in captivity, receive medical attention that they would never
> otherwise receive, and are treated like Marines only know how to act --
> professionally.
> I assume whatever happened with the alleged prisoner abuse is leading
> headlines back home, but I wanted to share this story with you, because
> it's not one you'll ever see in the news. What I've described in this
> letter is indicative of how my unit operates, and I would venture to guess
> that it's representative of the other 99 percent of detainee handling
> throughout Iraq.
> My spirits remain high, my body's holding up, and all's well on my end. I
> hope the same is the case with everyone back home. I love you and miss you
> lots.
> Your son,
> Josh

posted at 07:18:41 on 06/22/04 by clearpolitics - Category: War - [Permalink]

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