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Tuesday, January 06, 2004

One way for the soldiers to come home
Three soldiers have been discharged from the US army for mistreating Iraqi prisoners of war. They were found guilty of beating and harassing detainees at a detention camp in the south of the country.

An internal inquiry found soldiers had thrown prisoners down and kicked them in the head, groin and abdomen in an incident at Camp Bucca last May.

The three soldiers, a woman and two men who said they acted in self-defence, have all returned to the United States.
The senior officer, Master Sergeant Lisa Marie Girman, 35, knocked a prisoner to the ground, "repeatedly kicking him in the groin, abdomen, and head, and encouraging her subordinate soldiers to do the same", according to military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Vic Harris.

She received what the army calls an "other-than-honourable conditions" discharge from her immediate commander.
-- BBC

This is the type of stuff that Saddam's thugs did, and for which many will be punished. The Army is sending all sorts of wrong messages here: 1) Beating prisoners isn't a serious offense; 2) In fact, it's a good way to get out of the hellhole of the occupation of Iraq; and 3) Dear Iraqis--We don't care about your hearts, your minds, or your balls.

And the reward for those soldiers who survive their deployments relatively intact? When they get back, they can't get out of the Army! According to Reuters:

The Army will prohibit troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan from retiring or leaving the service for other reasons for up to 90 days after arriving at their home bases, military officials said Monday.

So much for the volunteer Army.