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:
I’ve now forwarded every email you’ve sent so far in support of Ian Fishback. Around 400 or so so far. But here are three emails I wanted to highlight. They speak to the core of this issue. Look, I believe in fighting the enemy with everything we have; I believe we have to win in … Continue reading FISHBACK UPDATE
Around 400 emails of support have poured in. Thank you so much. I’ve decided to post them all – or as many as I can physically copy and paste – onto the Letters Page, which has been in hiatus for a while. Give me more time to get them up. AOL is making it difficult … Continue reading FISHBACK UPDATE
Here are a selection from some of the emails I’m forwarding to Army Captain Ian Fishback. Add your support by emailing email@example.com. If you are a blogger and care about this, please post an item with the email address and explain to your readers what this is about. Maybe the blogosphere can help here as … Continue reading DEAR CAPTAIN FISHBACK
The hero who has blown the whistle on illegal abuse of prisoners has given up a lot to fight for the integrity of his country and his military. I know many of you wish to send him emails of support. Because he is sequestered and under interrogation, this is not easy. So I have set … Continue reading SUPPORTING IAN FISHBACK
The torture end-game is approaching – and Rumsfeld and Cheney know it. What is now being done to the hero, Captain Ian Fishback, who braved 17 months of obstruction, threats and intimidation by military brass to keep quiet, is a national disgrace. Fishback has now been sequestered at Fort Bragg under orders restricting his contacts … Continue reading TARGETING FISHBACK
It doesn’t surprise me that the newest hero in the American armed services, Capt Ian Fishback, is a devout Christian. Fishback tried for 17 months to get his superiors to address systematic, condoned torture and abuse of military prisoners. His superiors knew they had the green light from the very top and did nothing but … Continue reading FISHBACK AND CHRISTIANITY
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
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?
Those three simultaneous suicides at Gitmo in 2006? Maybe not-so-suicides. A remarkable new set of witnesses came forward in the torture story today – in a must-read report by Scott Horton published by Harper's Magazine. Dish summary here, here and here.