Thu, 14 May 2009 15:00:47 +0000 – By Andy RyanBrainroom Researcher, FOX News Channel/Army Reservist
White House statement: President Obama "strongly believes that the release of these photos ... would only serve the purpose of inflaming the theaters of war, jeopardizing U.S. forces, and making our job more difficult in places like Iraq and Afghanistan."
I can affirmatively state that while in Iraq, neither myself nor anyone I worked with or for ever mistreated a detainee.
Needless to say, there are opponents who will fight the President's decision as they have for the past 6 years. Like many Americans, I am concerned about the impact these photographs might have on U.S. troops. And while I do not agree with the merits of the lawsuit that started this debate, as an American I support the right for people to file such a claim.
HOWEVER, what I do not support, nor will I stand for are the unfounded allegations by some ACLU attorneys that detainee abuse is widespread and rampant throughout the U.S. military. As a law school graduate, I understand attorneys have a duty to zealously argue their case; but it must be done without baseless comments.
Amrit Singh, ACLU attorney: "These photographs provide visual proof that prisoner abuse by U.S. personnel was not aberrational but widespread, reaching far beyond the walls of Abu Ghraib."
When blanket accusations like this are made, I take it personally; it means my team, my company, and the battalion and squadron I served with are being accused of abusing detainees. I can affirmatively state that while in Iraq, neither myself nor anyone I worked with or for ever mistreated a detainee.
My direct orders for handling detainees could not have been clearer; I was not to harm or mistreat a detainee. The procedure used to process detainees was so thorough and precise it protected not only soldiers but detainees too.
On two separate occasions I was involved with helping to process detainees involved with killing multiple soldiers in singular, sophisticated attacks. Each time, I was proud of the professionalism displayed by the soldiers processing the detainees. Imagine how you might feel having to take custody of someone responsible for the killing and maiming of those closest to you; every American should be proud of the people I worked with during these moments.
On my last mission in Iraq, I was with a platoon that discovered a suicide bomber and all the equipment to be used in his attack. While processing this detainee, his younger sister stood up and spit right in the face of the soldier keeping the family separate from the would-be bomber. This young American soldier asked another soldier to relieve him so he could do the right thing and walk away. All throughout this potentially demoralizing situation, this young American soldier displayed the professionalism and conduct exemplified by the soldiers I served with.
To those who say that abuse and torture of detainees is widespread throughout the military, you owe an apology to every soldier from my team, my company, and the battalion and squadron I served with.