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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Winter Soldier II Preview - "I Poisoned Detainees"

Much has been written about the members of IVAW testifying to atrocities they "witnessed" while in Iraq and Afghanistan next week at the rehash of Winter Soldier. But this member of IVAW has admitted to some serious crimes against Iraqi prisoners, possibly even murder...

Jen, who does not want her last name used for fear of legal action, is nervously contemplating the day a few years back when, as a guard for a U.S. enemy prisoner of war in Iraq, she purposely poisoned two detainees.

"It didn't truly dawn on me until pretty recently that those guys probably died and it's my fault," says Jen, who moved to St. Paul from Racine, Wisconsin, in January.

The small, 125-pound brunette says she broke open the flameless heater from her Army Meals Ready to Eat packet and spliced its magnesium, iron, and salt-based contents into a cigarette, offering the toxic treat to the unwitting prisoners.

"I didn't feel bad at the time because they weren't humans," she says. "To me they were animals. That's how the military works, that's how the military trains people to get stuff done. They desensitize human emotions."

If what she is saying is true, I imagine that even the communists at the National Lawyers' Guild will have some problems keeping Jen out of the courts. But that's not all she "admits" to...

As she patrolled some of the war's first captives at Camp Bucca, a U.S. military holding facility in southern Iraq near the port of Umm Qasr, Jen found herself staring at the men trapped in the barbed-wire makeshift penitentiary and conceiving of ways to hurt them.

Finally the day came when Jen saw her opportunity for revenge. A prisoner who often smiled menacingly at her while masturbating had gotten in a fight with another inmate and was restrained. His hands bound, he lay on his stomach in the sand underneath the hot desert sun. Jen begged her superior to let her push his face in the ground, wiping her female feet on him, a huge insult in his culture.

"It was kept under wraps, but they let me do it," she says softly. "I kicked sand in his face, too, and it felt good."

Then there was the time when the prison brass turned the other way after one prisoner bragged of raping Jessica Lynch. Three men from Jen's unit tied his hands, dragged him off, and beat him until he could hardly stand, she remembers.

"It was pretty bad," Jen says. "He was still walking, but barely.... Our superiors knew what was going on and they just didn't care.... At the time, I didn't care either, I was glad they did that."

So she admits to attempting to poison prisoners and participated in beating detainees? I do believe that's a bit more serious than building a naked detainee pyramid.

And about the "not using her last name"... Someone needs to remind Jen that giving interviews that end up on the Internet is not the way to play the "anonymous" game...

Jennifer Spranger, 23, who was deployed at the beginning of the war with the Military Police to build and guard Camp Bucca, a prison camp for Iraqis, had a similar experience.

"My team leader offered me up to $250 for a hand job. He would always make sure that we were out alone together at the beginning, and he wouldn't stop pressuring me for sex. If somebody did that to my daughter I'd want to kill the guy. But you can't fit in if you make waves about it. You rat somebody out, you're screwed. You're gonna be a loner until they eventually push you out."

Spranger and several other women told me the military climate is so severe on whistle-blowers that even they regarded the women who reported rape as incapable traitors. You have to handle it on your own and shut up, is how they saw it. Only on their return home, with time and distance, did they become outraged at how much sexual persecution of women goes on.

If the claims about detainee abuse are true, then Jen should be held accountable for her actions. If the claims are fabrications, then Jen should be held accountable for her slanderous statements.

It will be interesting to see how the media treats claims such as these - especially since they threw the Haditha Marines under the bus before any charges were filed.

Seems that 4 MP's were charged with crimes related to detainee abuse in May 2003 at Camp Bucca. The Battalion Commander claimed the abuse was retaliation for the sexual assault of Pvt. Jessica Lynch.

The four MPs were charged with crimes related to punching and kicking several Iraqis -- including breaking one man's nose -- while escorting prisoners to a POW processing center in May 2003.

Family members identified the other three soldiers involved as Staff Sgt. Scott McKenzie, 37; Sgt. Shawna Edmondson, 24; and Spc. Tim Canjar, 21 -- all from Pennsylvania. The four denied any wrongdoing and said the force they used was necessary to subdue unruly prisoners.

Girman, McKenzie and Canjar were fined and discharged from the Army over the abuses at Camp Bucca. Edmondson agreed to an "other-than-honorable" discharge in exchange for dismissal of criminal charges.

Jen claimed it was 3 men who did the beating but it was 2 women and 2 men who were charged and punished. Regardless, these 4 were punished for abusing detainees while denying any wrongdoing. Jen admits to abuse.

There was also this piece done by 60 Minutes back in 2005 that has a video of Camp Bucca from an anonymous female MP. It also relates the story about the detainee who was beaten because of his claims about Jessica Lynch.

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