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.
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
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.”
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!”
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.
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).
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.