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LeahMira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-24-04 08:34 AM
Original message
Disturbing Message... Advice?
I saw this message on an AOL messageboard. I am extremely upset at the thought that the U.S. military is "training" people by abusing them in much the same way as the prison guards abused Iraqis at Abu Ghraib. I don't know if the poster is telling the truth or just blowing off, but if this is true it would help to explain the sort of brutality that we are learning about of late and would raise a lot of additional questions, IMO. Anyone else as shocked as I am? Anyone else think the report should be reported? And to whom or how?

    Some of what went on at that prison was dead wrong. Some of it was less than I myself went through when I went through the SERE course at Ft. Bragg. I was stripped and had a sandbag over my head for well over a day. Went through all kinds of things used to get prisoners to talk over a period of a MONTH!

    They used the old cloth bags so they could soak them so we could get a drink but the thing is that it also cut down on the amount of air coming into the bag so it was a very mixed blessing. I really can't talk much more about specifics because I signed a document that does not to divulge specifics. They don't want the enemy knowing how we are trained in Survival Evasion Resistance to Interrogation and Escape. And they don't want future students to get GQ on the course. But let me tell you, within 48 hours it is not longer a course that you just gotta get through. You believe you ARE a prisoner and you believe that the people training you ARE a very brutal enemy that can and will do anything to you they want!

    So, you see, I may have a little different perspective on it than people like you, Skyloom, who think a broken fingernail is tough to deal with. War is a nasty business and being a prisoner is part of the worst of that nasty business.

    My disgust is that our press is trying very much to paint our troops as being animals with this incident. My digust is that the like of Ted Kennedy comes forth and says unequivically that Saddams torture chambers have reopened under the managment of the US government and thus he can only be interpreted as saying that the US government is no better than Saddams was and that US troops are the equivlent of Saddam's torture and terrorist troops! And I got disgusted with YOUR BS a very long time ago.

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CulturalNomad Donating Member (123 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-24-04 08:38 AM
Response to Original message
1. Same old argument....
the enemy is evil, there is a war on, blah, blah, blah - if we are comparing ourselves to the worst what standards do we hold sacred?
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ugarte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-24-04 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
2. Simulated 'torture' is consensual, nothing like the real thing
No matter how 'real' they make it, it's still a game. Torture, on the other hand, is sheer naked terror.
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indigobusiness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-24-04 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
3. An article and another thread provide contrast
"I pretended I was dead so he wouldn't kill me,"

I'm surprised that Iraqis aren't MORE agressive towards the Occupiers

The more I read the more I get disgusted.

From the Toronto Star (Videos back alleged bombing of Iraqi wedding)

"Hamza was yelling, `mommy,' " Shihab recalled. "Ali said he was hurt and that he was bleeding. That's the last time I heard him." Then another shell fell and injured Shihab's left arm.

"Hamza fell from my hand and was gone. Only Yousef stayed in my arms. Ali had been hit and was killed. I couldn't go back," she said from her hospital bed in Ramadi. Her arm was in a cast.

She and her stepdaughter, Iqbal who had caught up with her hid in a bomb crater. "We were bleeding from 3 a.m. until sunrise," Shihab said.

Soon American soldiers came. One of them kicked her to see if she was alive, she said.

"I pretended I was dead so he wouldn't kill me," said Shihab. She said the soldier was laughing. When Yousef cried, the soldier said: " `No, stop,' " said Shihab.

Just another isolated incident I suppose

Gawd, it makes feel me so sick

and helpless . .
Scary Herbert article: America being led by an Evil Force?

"There's a terrible sense of dread filtering across America at the moment and it's not simply because of the continuing fear of terrorism and the fact that the nation is at war. It's more frightening than that. It grows out of the suspicion that we all may be passengers in a vehicle that has made a radically wrong turn and is barreling along a dark road, with its headlights off and with someone behind the wheel who may not know how to drive."
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Sparkly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-24-04 08:47 AM
Response to Original message
4. This is so screwed-up!
I didn't know about this type of training. Did anyone else?

If it's happening, though, it amazes me that this person's response is to say, in essence, "Well, the US did it to me in a training course, and 48 hours of it was horrible, ERGO, I have the right to do it to others in real life."

And the old "Saddam did it too" is just bizarre. What the heck are they now saying we're over there fighting for?
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1monster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-24-04 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Yes, I've heard of it.
It is supposed to make it easier for soldiers captured by an emeny to resist efforts to make them talk. It might work for a while, but my guess is that it just ups the ante and desensitizes those who go through the training to the suffering of others.
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LeahMira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-24-04 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Shouldn't it be stopped... ASAP?
It might work for a while, but my guess is that it just ups the ante and desensitizes those who go through the training to the suffering of others.

Thank you! My feelings exactly. I question whether any individual should receive this kind of "training."

We are hearing and reading a lot about how a group of ordinary soldiers could have come up with these ideas for torture, particularly with regard to the sexual humiliation but also the rest of it. Now, lo and behold, someone comes up with the claim that the ideas come from the actual "training" that some of them probably received.

This business of reacting with "hey... it didn't hurt me, so it won't really hurt them" doesn't cut it, far as I'm concerned. First off, it DID hurt the "me" involved... by, as you point out, desensitizing a group of people to the sufferings and the humanity of others. I'm wondering whether these folks will subsequently be able to separate "the enemy" from just anyone who happens to piss them off, i.e. their wives and kids and neighbors. And secondly, I wonder what happens to people who are put through this kind of "training" themselves. Certainly it damages them insofar as it makes them believe that cruelty is what is to be expected in the world and makes them suspicious of anyone who happens to be genuinely caring and kind. Perhaps it goes to explaining the "frontier mentality" that we see all around us.

At any rate, I wonder if our legislators are aware that this kind of stuff is going on and to what extent they approve of it.
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CRK7376 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-24-04 08:55 AM
Response to Original message
5. The Bearded Preacher
worked me over at SERE. That was a long, painful 3 weeks for sure. Good way to lose weight....CBS 60 Minutes II ran a show on the SERE course about 2 years ago. Excellent video...brought back a few painful memories...Taught a lot, luckily I've never had to use any of what was taught there...
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quisp Donating Member (926 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-24-04 09:05 AM
Response to Original message
7. it's the old double standard...
when the evildoer is doing the evil to promote "democracy" (read oil oligarchy) it isn't really all that evil. And besides when we're doing evil on the evildoers it just cancels the evil out, right?


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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-24-04 09:05 AM
Response to Original message
8. Check their homepage...
Again, voluntary training -- where you can always quit if it's too much for you -- is a poor comparison. And it's not like the people in that prison had the benefit of resistance training themselves, is it?


What is SERE?
SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape)

This is a small specialized career field in the US Air Force comprised of approximately 325 enlisted personnel. Air Force SERE instructors train aircrew members and high risk of capture personnel from all branches of the military. The students are trained in skills which allow them to survive in all climatic conditions as well as how to survive while being held captive.

The Air Force SERE career field is broken down into the following categories of specialty:

Field Training
Resistance Training
Parachute Training
Water Survival Training
Academics Instructor
Technical School Instructor

Resistance Training (POW & Code of Conduct Training) 336TRG/22TRS
Course S-V80-A Basic Survival, Evasion, Resistance, & Escape

Resistance Training (RT) is located on Fairchild AFB, WA. It is designed to give a student hands on training of what it is like to be in a POW situation. Students learn various skills and techniques that enable them the opportunity to follow the Code of Conduct to the best of there ability.

While assigned to RT you will work a regular 5 day work week with weekends off and generally not go TDY.

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Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-24-04 09:49 AM
Response to Original message
10. Did this trainee's family know where he was? Was he receiving pay?
Edited on Mon May-24-04 09:51 AM by Straight Shooter
Did he know the names of who was doing this to him? Did he know he would not be killed? Was he raped? Were lightsticks shoved up his rectum?

And let's make an equally humiliating comparison to what the U.S. did to the Muslim men. They are humiliated by nakedness and forced to pose naked, in groups. Was this person forced to pose naked with, for example, children? Now, wouldn't that be humiliating for a red-blooded American male? Was he forced to masturbate and ejaculate onto a crucifix while declaring, "Christ is evil"?

This soldier's commentary is rationalization, pure and simple. And it's bullshit.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-24-04 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
11. This is advanced training
Every recruit doesn't go through this, only Special Ops and some specific MOS get this.
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