From Fishback To Hickman: The American Soldier Comes Through


The Harpers piece has many eye-opening details. Like so many in the military, FBI and CIA who stood up against the Bush-Cheney torture program, Army Staff Sergeant Joseph Hickman, stationed at Gitmo, is a proud conservative:

Hickman grew up in Baltimore and joined the Marines in 1983, at the age of nineteen. When I interviewed him in January at his home in Wisconsin, he told me he had been inspired to enlist by Ronald Reagan, “the greatest president we’ve ever had.” He worked in a military intelligence unit and was eventually tapped for Reagan’s Presidential Guard detail, an assignment reserved for model soldiers. When his four years were up, Hickman returned home, where he worked a series of security jobs—prison transport, executive protection, and eventually private investigations. After September, he decided to re-enlist, at thirty-seven, this time in the Army National Guard…

Sergeant Joe Hickman’s tour of duty, which ended in March 2007, was distinguished: he was selected as Guanta?namo’s “NCO of the Quarter” and was given a commendation medal. When he returned to the United States, he was promoted to staff sergeant and worked in Maryland as an Army recruiter before settling eventually in Wisconsin. But he could not for- get what he had seen at Guanta?namo. When Barack Obama became president, Hickman de- cided to act. “I thought that with a new administration and new ideas I could actually come forward, ” he said. “It was haunting me.”

This is the character of the witness who has come forward. Hickman got to know the Gitmo compound quite quickly. And he also noticed a separate building where prisoners were sometimes transported in a paddy wagon:

The Torture Program’s Black Site At GTMO

Dish readers know of the three alleged “suicides” that occurred in a facility at GTMO kept firmly off the books. Scott Horton’s story on the deaths – given the National Magazine Award – has been dismissed by the usual suspects in the military and CIA as preposterous. But given what we have now learned of … Continue reading The Torture Program’s Black Site At GTMO

What Happened In Camp 7?

It’s the now infamous Gitmo camp (aka Camp No) – only visible on Google Maps, but denied by the Pentagon – “‘I’m not even functionally allowed to discuss the place,’ said Army Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale, a Pentagon spokesman.” It’s the place where, on one fateful night, paddy wagons came and went, whence screams could … Continue reading What Happened In Camp 7?