LIBERAL HOLLYWOOD TAKES ON GUANTANAMO BAY

Question: What’s green and tan and red all over?

Answer: Kristen Stewart (better known as KStew) in Army fatigues making a Gitmo movie!

Why “red all over?” Because when the whole story comes out about her new film, “Camp X-Ray,” premiering Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, at the Sundance Film Festival, Kristen should be ashamed.

It’s not that I think that her acting will be bad; it’s the fact that the story and images will be hyped media caricatures of our military from a liberal Islamist apologist point of view.

What’s been made available publicly about the movie is slim, but there’s enough to see that the plot and portrayals will be brutal for the Army and for Americans.

Liberal Hollywood Takes on Guantanamo Bay

The synopsis reads:

A young soldier escapes her suffocating small town by joining the military, only to find that she isn’t going for a tour of duty in Iraq as she hoped. Instead, she’s sent to Guantanamo. Met with hatred and abuse from the Muslim men in her charge, she forges an odd friendship with a young man who has been imprisoned at Gitmo for eight years. While serving her country to the best of her abilities at Bravo Block, she is also subject to the attempted affections of her superior officer, Sergeant Randy without any action or sympathy from Commanding Officer Colonel Drummond at Gitmo.

There’s also a revealing interview with actor Lane Garrison, who plays KStew’s supervisor, Sgt. Randy in the film. In a radio interview, with host Artie Lang, Garrison describes his character as “a real seedy guard,” and says, “my character believes [the detainees are] all guilty of Sept. 11 and they should all rot [at Guantanamo Bay].”

Garrison also talks about how his character “sexually assaults” KStew’s character using graphic language, mentioning it took “four hours” to film the sexual assault scene. The film description suggests that KStew’s character gets no sympathy from her good ol’ boy commander, Col. Drummond, played by John Carroll Lynch.

Lang asks Garrison if his character “tortures” detainees, to which Garrison responds “Yeah, I get hard core with it, and it’s a really dark piece and Kristen’s phenomenal in it.”

Waterboarding is also mentioned, and Garrison confirms that he does that in the film, to which Lang says, “You really go into the torture thing?” And Garrison answers, “Yeah, we explore that, and we go into what happens when that one person is innocent, that’s down there, and he doesn’t get any trial.”

The film plays up myths from the imaginations of the left to the hardships of serving at Gitmo

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It is clear from Garrison’s responses that the film plays up myths and false assumptions from the minds and imaginations of those insensitive to the challenges and hardships of being a soldier on duty at Guantanamo Bay.

The Army has never authorized enhanced interrogation techniques on anyone, ever. That job is left to the CIA, who did waterboard a “’handful’ of detainees [at Gitmo], which saved many lives,” according to George W. Bush in his autobiography, “Decision Points.” Waterboarding, at the time it was performed, was an authorized “enhanced interrogation technique,” and not considered torture, even by international standards, according to Donald Rumsfeld in his autobiography, “Known and Unknown.”

As for “innocent” detainees, there are none.

Though over 600 Gitmo detainees have been released, none of those were found “innocent” or “not guilty” of anything because they were never charged with war crimes. The unlawful combatants held legally at Gitmo do not have to be charged with anything according to the Geneva Conventions and the Law of Land Warfare (Army Field Manual (FM) 27-10) even lawful combatant Prisoners of War may be held without charge “until the end of hostilities.”

Liberal Hollywood Takes on Guantanamo Bay

So, until all Islamists are dead, or no longer have the means or will to kill Americans, we can legally, morally and ethically hold them at Gitmo – it’s just not politically correct or expedient to say so.

In the meantime, the U.S. has not executed, beheaded, hacked to death, blown up or dragged a detainee naked and lifeless through the streets since detention operations have begun at Gitmo (despite the current recidivist rate among released Gitmo detainees of nearly 29 percent); these are all things our enemy has done to us and innocent others, including Christopher Stevens, U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Benghazi in part by released Gitmo detainee Sufian bin Qumu, who planned the attack.

Garrison sums up the film this way: “[The movie] is going to cause a lot of controversy; people are going to be talking about it.”

And what exactly are people going to be saying? Probably things like: “I KNEW it! I just KNEW they tortured those innocent people down there!” and, “those dirty bastards raped her, too! Sexual assault in the military is out of control!”

Appearing in the opening credits to Academy Award winning best film, “The Hurt Locker,” from Chris Hedges book, “War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning,” is this quote:

The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug.

The adrenaline rush one might experience in a war zone produces the fight or flight instinct that soldiers are supposed to be able to control. A person trained to cope with situations in a combat environment may not be able to easily adjust to peaceful civilian life upon their return home, but that doesn’t mean Hollywood should emphasize it, or make it appear to be the rule and not the exception.

War films, for all their glorious effort, tend to create exaggerated images of reality. War is not fun, and taking care of unlawful combatant Islamist extremists who want to kill us is securely in the “totally messed up” job category.

Liberal Hollywood Takes on Guantanamo Bay

It seems like we will get that portrayal in “Camp X-Ray,” and it appears we will also get the stereotypical politically correct soldier as victim routine, led by Kristen Stewart’s portrayal of an innocent girl thrust unknowingly into a situation she finds confusing, abusive and overwhelming, perhaps a-la “Private Benjamin,” in which Goldie Hawn forlornly asks her drill sergeant, “where are the condos?”

Soldiers pick their jobs, but not their missions. Civilian recruits dream of battlefield heroics that don’t measure up to the generally mundane hurry-up-and-wait reality of most military occupational specialties, and being a Military Police soldier can find one in myriad situations, from directing traffic to front gate security, and from personal security detail to detention operations. The latter scenario requires additional training, and has its own designation in the Army, which is the only military branch that trains for detention missions.

There are bound to be anachronisms in “Camp X-Ray,” like the misnomer title. The real Camp X-Ray was asolitary confinement detention facility hastily cleaned up from the 1990s Haitian boat crisis. The inside looked like dog kennels, with concrete slabs and six-by-eight-foot chain linked boxes. It existed as a functioning detention facility for approximately four months, from December 2001 to April 2002.

Since the synopsis available for “Camp X-Ray” the movie says that KStew’s character “forges an odd friendship” with a detainee who’s been there for eight years, I’m going to assume they either took artistic license and have Camp X-Ray still open, or they are confused about where the majority of detainees actually are today (it’s a separate camp the U.S. began constructing immediately upon getting to Gitmo, called Camp Delta).

Liberal Hollywood Takes on Guantanamo Bay

For the record, U.S. Army Military Police lived in austere conditions during that time, having set up a tent city on higher ground above Camp X-Ray. When the detainees were moved to Camp Delta, U.S. personnel also got an upgrade to living in Sea Huts, or plywood dwellings with air conditioning, in a place called Camp America, which was adjacent to the detention facilities.

“Camp X-Ray” the movie probably won’t go into much detail about the oath Army recruits and officers take upon enlistment and commissioning that requires them to follow all lawful orders of those appointed over them, or the fact that all troops assigned to Gitmo are NEVER to fraternize with detainees.

So if KStew’s character has a relationship with a detainee, she is breaking her oath and is violating the regulations and committing a crime. I doubt that will be stressed. She will be sexually assaulted, which will further portray her as a victim, and she will get no sympathy from her superiors, which will make her character even more hurt puppy-like, and make the Army seem more the villain.

In the end, we will be getting a point of view shared by the majority of citizens at large from the images and sound bites spoon fed by a liberal media for consumption by those who already see the male dominated military as unfair, brutal and sexist.

That is not what your military is all about: 99.99 percent of those who serve do so with loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. Every American can be proud of all but a very few who serve at Gitmo.

The few who broke their oaths and fraternized with the detainees? They are out there, and apparently KStew is now one of them.

 

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DEBATING IRAQ: HINDSIGHT VS. REALITIES – RESPECT FOR VETERANS

Lane Filler, in his opinion piece in the January 8, Newsday titled, “The tragedy of Iraq, a decade later,” attempts to extract a pound of flesh even from his own belief that going into Iraq in April of 2003 was the right thing to do. Regarding weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein had everyone fooled on that, including the U.N. Security Council and 86 countries that supported going into Iraq; Saddam had used chemical weapons in Iraq’s war with Iran and against his own people (thousands of Iraqi Kurds in March, 1988). Fuller lists numbers of people killed. What about the people saved, which can never be measured?

Saddam harbored terrorists (Abu Abbas, highjacker of an Italian cruise liner resulting in the death of American Leon Klinghoffer, found in a Baghdad suburb in 2003), trained, supported and financed international terrorists, and murdered an estimated 250,000 of his own people with his paramilitary Fedayeen Saddam. He invaded Kuwait, attacked Saudi Arabia and Israel during the First Gulf War, and had chemical warhead artillery ammunition ready to fire against U.S. Troops.

The only thing wrong with our military operation in Iraq is that we left. We’re still in countries we defeated in WWII, and Germany (chemical decontamination unit), Japan (transportation unit) and Italy (support troops) all supported the Iraq operation, continue to allow U.S. military bases, and are among the world’s economic leaders. Our relationship with these countries allows us to better protect our friends, and ourselves and to project our power and influence around the world.

Barack Hussein Obama’s quitting Iraq had the effect of destabilizing the Middle East and creating a security vacuum that is now exacerbated by the influence of Iran, Russia and China. Al Qaeda has re-invaded Fallujah and Ramadi, and Iraq is precipitously on the brink of destabilization; a festering sore in Obama’s failed Middle East policies and practices.

As a Global War on Terror veteran who served in Iraq in 2004-2005, I am appalled and offended by Lane Fuller’s ignorance about the geopolitical significance of Iraq, and his insensitivity towards those who served and gave their lives and livelihoods there in order to keep this great nation safe.

HOW COULD SACRIFICING ONE’S LIFE FOR 50 OTHER HUMAN BEINGS NOT BE WORTHY OF THE MEDAL OF HONOR?

Imagine this, if you can: you’re a Marine, stationed at a check point at the entrance of a Forward Operating Base in Ramadi, Iraq. Your mission is to protect the base and check every incoming vehicle and personnel.

It’s hot, it’s boring, and with each incoming person and truck you are expected to be alert, professional and vigilant, because  death could be lurking behind innocent looking eyes. There are 31 American Marines and 23 Iraqi police behind you, depending on you to do your job.

Then, one truck ignores the signs and shouts, the flares and warning shots to slow down and stop. The Iraqi police flee the scene after detecting extreme danger. But you, instead of fleeing, bear down on your weapon and fire it cyclically, as you were trained to do, aiming and striking center of mass on the incoming threat. The vehicle finally stops, mere feet from your position. Then, it hits: the concussion blast from a 2,000 pound vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.

For his actions on April 22, 2008 day, 19-year-old Marine Cpl. Jordan C. Haerter, and his battle buddy, Cpl. Jonathan Yale, received the Navy Cross, among other posthumous awards.

Military Honors: How You Can Help Recognize an American Hero

The highest ranking officials have mentioned him in speeches, including this quote from President Barrack Obama on Jan. 27, 2009 at Camp Lejeune, N.C.:

Semper Fidelis: it means always being faithful, to the Corps, and to the country and to the memory of fallen comrades like Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter.

And this from Gen. James T. Conway, Commandant of the Marine Corps, in his 234th Marine Corps birthday video message, holding Haerter and Yale up as ideal examples of “carrying on a legacy of valor.”

There is a petition now, initiated by loved ones of Jordan to put in motion a process for him and Jonathan to receive the recognition they truly deserve: a Medal of Honor. Since the beginning of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, only 12 service members have received the Medal of Honor, seven of which were posthumously awarded.

Haerter’s mother, JoAnn Lyles said in a recent interview regarding the White House petition, that she would “certainly support an appropriate review for a higher award.” But also said, “I don’t want to push for it if it’s not warranted.”

How could sacrificing one’s life for 50 other human beings not be worthy of the Medal of Honor, the highest tangible recognition of valor America has to offer?

There is probably no honor that could adequately memorialize or quantify the sacrifices made by Haerter and Yale that hot April day in 2008, but the Medal of Honor would help preserve their memory and their actions to the highest possible degree. This would give an added level of comfort to their families, loved ones and comrades, and preserve for future generations of Americans the idea that such sacrifices will not be forgotten and will never be marginalized.

If you agree then maybe we could all make a difference by signing the White House petition via Change.org. The petition does not authorize the award for the men; it would initiate a process whereby the President could decide to ask for a review for the award.

It seems the least we can do to honor the last full measure of these young men’s lives, which they gave willingly for each of us, as well as for 50 of their colleagues that day.

It’s easy to sit back and simply watch the world go by and tsk-tsk this or that and say, “someone else can do something for these young men,” but why would a red-blooded American patriot let someone else take on a responsibility we all have, individually to do whatever we can for those who did more for us than we could ever do for them?

Sign. You won’t regret it, and maybe down the road someday, if the medal is awarded, you could be one of those who can stand tall and say you had a small but significant part in it.

Semper Fidelis.

A WELL-ARMED MILITIA: IT’S TIME FOR VETERANS TO TAKE A STAND

The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, a document I swore to uphold and defend with my life, states:

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Considering the current government assault on military benefits, and considering the administration’s response to the Benghazi attack, I am wondering just how much consideration some might give to joining our all-volunteer force in the future?

I wonder too, if the Framers imagined a government “Of the People, by the people and for the People” ever reneging on the promises made to those of us who swore our lives to defend this great nation, including its supreme law? Here’s something President Abraham Lincoln said about our commitment to the veteran in his Second Inaugural Address, on March 4, 1865, with the end of the Civil War in sight:

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

This is a promise, borne of a sense of duty and righteousness toward those who bore the burden of supporting this great nation with their blood, sweat and tears. This promise is the legacy of a nation born in blood and preserved in honor.

This promise is the legacy of a nation born in blood and preserved in honor.

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What is happening now in the great halls of our government in Washington, D.C., is a desecration of that promise. A little here, a little there; capping cost of living increases for military; eliminating this benefit for years for retirees,;reducing pension growth for disabled retirees and survivors; preventing Reservists from collecting retirement pay for decades; and reducing retiree benefits by 20 percent. It all adds up to more than $6 billion in “savings” over 10 years.

A Well Armed Militia: ItsTime for Veterans to Take a Stand
Vietnam War veteran Fred Johnson, 73, watches people shop at a yard sale held to benefit Jerral Hancock, a 27-year-old Iraq war veteran who lost his left arm and is paralyzed from the waist down in a bomb explosion in Iraq, on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, in Lancaster, Calif. When the seniors in Jamie Goodreau’s high school history class learned Hancock was once stuck in his modest mobile home for months when his handicapped-accessible van broke down, they decided to build him a new house from the ground up. It would be their end-of-the-year project to honor veterans, something Goodreau’s classes have chosen to do every year for the past 15 years. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Tens of thousands of my fellow returning veterans from the Global War on Terror (still being fought world wide with U.S. troops in over 150 countries) will receive less and less of what we were promised.

Staff Sgt. Alex Jauregui, a double amputee, disabled Army veteran who lost his legs while on his fourth tour in Afghanistan, and who removed a barrier to a military monument in Washington, D.C., during the government shutdown earlier this year using his Segway, said in a “Fox News” interview that he feels “betrayed” by the vote, and that his friends who are still in the Army are considering leaving military service if the government can’t keep the promises it made.

A Well Armed Militia: ItsTime for Veterans to Take a Stand
Photo Credti: Twitter via @andrewbcreech

I don’t own a gun, but I carried and used one in the service of my country in a combat zone. I’ll be damned if anyone tries to infringe on that right for myself or anyone else. It has crossed my mind in the past year or so, with all the writing on the wall about reduction in military benefits, that something is going to give: That something is the relationship between the soldier and the civilian leadership of this country.

I have considered purchasing a gun or two, and not just for self-protection or that of my family, but for the protection of my country and the ideals I swore, and never rescinded, to uphold upon my enlistment into the Army, and then again upon my commissioning as an officer. A well-armed militia contributes to a secure nation, and allows the many hundreds of thousands of veterans to continue to defend the Constitution, against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

That’s a serious situation for serious times. On Dec. 17, the Senate voted through a two year budget package that includes the cuts mentioned previously. The intentions of this government towards its military are clear. Trust no one, believe nothing, and only fools will join the military service. Why pledge your life, livelihood and the protection of your family should they survive you to such a noble cause if everything that was promised to you is a lie?

Our lives are the ultimate sacrifice, sacred, holy and complete. If that’s not good enough to receive basic benefits, promised upon enlistment, then the leadership of this country has surely lost its way. Like Gettysburg, Pearl Harbor, D-Day and 9/11/01; Wednesday, Dec, 17, 2013, should go down as a day of infamy: when Congress voted to renege on solemn promises to the defenders of our freedom and liberty.

We, each of us veterans, is beholden to the promise we made upon swearing in to uphold and defend the Constitution, and now we have to make good on that promise. The question is, will our representatives in Washington listen or will the well-armed militia need to be mobilized?