Patterico's Pontifications

10/6/2006

Patterico’s Exclusive Interview with a Man Who Has Spoken to the Terrorists at Guantánamo (A Roundup of Links)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:53 am

Here is a roundup of links to the five installments of my interview with Stashiu, a Gitmo psyche nurse who has spoken with the terrorists for hours.

Part One: Introduction. Stashiu tells us about a terrorist who threatened to have Zarqawi (who was then still alive) cut off the heads of Stashiu’s family while he watched — and then cut off Stashiu’s head.

Part Two: Stashiu arrives at GTMO, and tells us what the terrorists are like.

Part Three: Hunger strikes, suicides and suicide attempts, and mental illness. Stashiu opines that the suicides were a political act.

Part Four: Treatment of the detainees, and the detainees’ treatment of guards. Also, desecration of the Koran — but by whom?

Part Five: Stashiu reacts to Big Media pieces about GTMO.

UPDATE: Thanks to Instapundit for the link. If you like, you can go to Part One and read straight through; at the bottom of every post is a link to the next installment. Or you can sample the various parts according to the descriptions above.

64 Responses to “Patterico’s Exclusive Interview with a Man Who Has Spoken to the Terrorists at Guantánamo (A Roundup of Links)”

  1. Why “terrorists”? What’s wrong with “prisoners”?

    James (b1ad9f)

  2. James, I can’t answer for the originators of this series but my own answer would be: specificity.
    Prisoners come in all crime classifications from the DUI, credit card fraud, to the serial killer like BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill) killer. They are all prisoners but the BTK killer is the really dangerous one.
    Is it more helpful to say Hispanic or Cuban, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Brazilian, etc.

    tom scott (7479b7)

  3. #1 James

    Please read the posts and then ask questions. I have addressed policy issues several times and explained my answers. If you’re looking for discussion on administration policy, write to Patterico and suggest it as a topic. Thank you for your interest and I hope you find the posts informative.

    Stashiu3 (404f9e)

  4. Thanks Stashiu3 for your permission to post your thoughts. You are helping in the one area that Americans seem to not be up to speed on.

    That is: Who we are at war with.

    Everyone has heard that you must know your enemy in order to fight him effectively, and most understand that Muslims, especially radicals don’t think like the rest of us. But seeing it in black and white, relayed by someone who has been there and done that is imperative.

    I felt, long ago and far away, that Americans didn’t understand the enemy we were fighting then. But those of us who did, didn’t have a stage or oppertunity to pass along our thoughts, feelings and conclusions.

    Thanks to time and technology, you do.

    Papa Ray
    West Texas
    USA

    Papa Ray (d32c8f)

  5. Web Reconnaissance for 10/06/2006…

    A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention….

    The Thunder Run (59ce3a)

  6. Is there any chance of getting all of the content on a single, printable, page without comments of blogAds?

    I have several people who I would like to print and distribute this to.

    Thanks

    _Jon (aacae3)

  7. Beatings at Gitmo?
    Marine statement indicates Guantanamo guards bragged about beatings

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-10-06-guantanamo_x.htm

    Wilson (f67d74)

  8. Patterico’s Roundup of Exclusive Gitmo Interviews…

    A must read, Patterico interviews a Gitmo psyche nurse.
    Or start here:
    Part One: Introduction. Stashiu tells us about a terrorist who threatened to have Zarqawi (who was then still alive) cut off the heads of Stashiu’s family while he watched — and…

    Gulf Coast Pundit (31a5b1)

  9. according to drudge – the AP is reporting that guards bragged about beating inmates at gitmo – coming from the ap, i have discounted the accuarcy of the report – any comments?

    joe (161ce3)

  10. #10 joe

    Patterico just emailed me on this and I responded to him on the record. Here is what I told him, “This is inconsistent with anything I saw and if asked by military authorities to swear an affidafit to that effect, would do so without hesitation. I talked with guards all the time and this does not reflect my conversations with them at all. I would point out that there are other factors to consider… there is alcohol involved and the person who swore the affidavit is saying what they heard, not what they witnessed. They could very well be telling the truth about what they heard, and the story might still be inaccurate. I’m sure it will be thoroughly investigated and any necessary actions taken. Nothing like this ever occurred to the best of my knowledge.” Am I allowed to question the timing? ;)

    Stashiu3 (168d43)

  11. Wow. Let me see if I got this right, because the article was about as clear as mud on this point.

    We have conclusive proof that beatings were “common practice” at Gitmo, in the form of hearsay from a woman who listened in horror as a bunch of drunk young sailors tried to impress her with their “manliness” in a bar.

    Personally we can’t imagine that sailors would ever exaggerate their exploits – even slightly – while under the influence of alcohol. That sort of thing only happens in the movies.

    Cassandra (c9069a)

  12. Stashiu3 has already stated he did not observe any improper conduct that went unpunished. Nevertheless, here’s the information in the news article that caught my eye:

    The person making the report is a Marine Corp defense lawyer/coordinator from Camp Pendleton who apparently has no personal knowledge of the allegations. He reported the allegations of misconduct as I’m sure Marine Corp regulations require. His statement was based on an affidavit from a female paralegal who interviewed:

    “… men she met on Sept. 23 at a bar on the base identified themselves to her as guards. The woman, whose name was blacked out, said she spent about an hour talking with them. No one was in uniform, she said.

    A 19-year-old sailor referred to only as Bo “told the other guards and me about him beating different detainees being held in the prison,” the statement said.

    “One such story Bo told involved him taking a detainee by the head and hitting the detainee’s head into the cell door. Bo said that his actions were known by others,” the statement said. The sailor said he was never punished.”

    Young men … in a bar … talking to an attentive young woman. The tales they told may be true but, then again, they might not.

    DRJ (ccb97e)

  13. None of which, by the way, is proof that any of this *didn’t* happen.

    But it is equally unconvincing evidence that it *did*. Certainly cause for an investigation (as though we haven’t had plenty of those).

    Question: if beatings were “common practice” (i.e., occurring all the time), shouldn’t this show up in the medical records of both detainees and personnel assigned to Gitmo? Hard to routinely beat people without suffering some physical trauma yourself.

    I’m just saying.

    Cassandra (c9069a)

  14. Why does the AP describe “Bo” as a “19-year-old sailor” when the paralegal’s affidavit stated that no one was in uniform? That goes double for whoever wrote the headline “AP Learns Gitmo Guards Brag of Beatings.”

    DRJ (ccb97e)

  15. Cassandra, you can definitely beat people without suffering physical trauma. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

    That’s a silly argument. Based on complete ignorance.

    Christoph (9824e6)

  16. [...] (2) Blog. Patterico’s excellent five-part interview with “Stashiu”, a psychiatric nurse who was stationed at Gitmo. The story: The treatment of the detainees and the detainees’ treatment of guards as relayed by first-hand experience. Everything might not always be perfect, but the professionals and guard force work hard to protect themselves and the detainees. [...]

    TailOverTeaKettle.com » Gitmo Stories (acab5c)

  17. #16 Christoph

    Please watch your tone. Cassandra’s point can be debated pro or con based on the merits, but it raises a valid point. If “common practice”, you would expect injuries to both sides on occasion. If attacking, you can never guage the extent of damage you are about to cause to an exact degree. If defending yourself, you’re likely to get in a lucky shot at some point, even if you never get the upper hand. I once had a rib broken while teaching a class in restraining someone. Unexpected things happen. To dismiss her point as ignorant is unfair. If you believe her point is unlikely, say so. I’ve read many of your previous comments at Patterico’s and they are usually more thoughtful than this one demonstrates.

    Stashiu3 (168d43)

  18. Of course it is possible to beat people without suffering physical trauma. But in any population where beatings are occurring ALL THE TIME, on average there will be slip-ups and there *will* be physical trauma, Christoph.

    There is no need to be nasty. It was not a silly argument, and furthermore you know nothing about men nor about my background or qualifications to make such an observation, yet simple logic supports it fairly easily. As it turns out I have two psych nurses in the family (one who was stationed at Gitmo as a matter of fact), and even restraining other people can result in some pretty bad injuries. Any time two people come into physical contact and one resists, defensive injuries are not only possible but likely.

    So much for the “silly” argument. Do try not to be condescending – it makes discussion much easier. Especially when you have little knowledge of what the other person involved actually knows about the subject under discussion.

    Cassandra (c9069a)

  19. Sorry! Amusing typo…

    furthermore you know nothing about me :D

    Cassandra (c9069a)

  20. Amusing or Freudian? 8)

    Dubya (c16726)

  21. Why “terrorists”? What’s wrong with “prisoners”?

    As with “Rumpelstiltskin,” we must correctly name our enemies in order to defeat them.

    ras (a646fc)

  22. I overheard on a blog site from someone who worked at Gitmo as a psych nurse that the detainees were fed well enough to get fat, had better access to medical and dental care than US soldiers, and the most effective method of interrogation was to give detainees a time in a comfy chair watching DVD’s and smoking cigarettes. In concern for their health, the camp provided athletic facilities so they could burn those extra calories…

    Now, how long will it take the AP to pick up on THAT!! (If they did, they would probably focus on how we are killing them by letting them smoke cigarettes…)

    For the AP and Jon at #6, try clicking on “File” on your web browser and see if you can find “Edit with Microsoft Word”. Otherwise you can [on Edit] choose Select, then Copy, then Paste into a Word Document. I believe all of this has already been made public, because I doubt I have any computer knowledge that isn’t well known.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  23. In regards to the AP story about beatings by the guards, wasn’t that an episode of JAG or NCIS or something a while back?

    Ironic to say the least.

    Lenny (d3efcb)

  24. …if beatings were “common practice” (i.e., occurring all the time), shouldn’t this show up in the medical records of both detainees and personnel assigned to Gitmo? Hard to routinely beat people without suffering some physical trauma yourself.

    Accounts of victims of torture show that they can and routinely are restrained, limiting their ability to inflict harm on their tormentors. Furthermore, those that are tortured suffer severe emotional damage and feelings of helplessness, and they live under the threat of worse suffering if they try to retaliate.

    Records can be falsified, incomplete, and/or kept secret. Unless someone has the authority and interest in uncovering wrongdoing, there may be no investigation at all.

    There are serious allegations that even detainee deaths might not be getting adequately investigated in most cases; though most of these were not at Guantánamo, Human Rights First reports 98 detainee deaths in U.S. custody since 2002: 45 suspected or confirmed homicides (34 deaths were homicides under the U.S. military’s definition; Human Rights First found 11 additional cases where the facts suggest death as a result of physical abuse or harsh conditions of detention), 48 cases – close to half of all the cases – where the cause of death remains officially undetermined or unannounced, and at least 8 cases in which people were tortured to death.

    Only 12 deaths have resulted in any kind of punishment, and the highest punishment for a torture-related death so far: 5 months confinement.

    Rick (c4e376)

  25. #25 Rick

    …though most of these were not at Guantánamo

    Were any of those suspected or confirmed homicides at Guantánamo? Any at all? Not even considering how credible Human Rights First is, or isn’t (my bias again, freely admitted — hate that guilty until proven innocent thing, funny that way), the thread on torture is much further back than this series on Guantánamo. Maybe Patterico will start a more comprehensive thread that would make your post relevant. Just ask him, he’s very reasonable. (I know you weren’t trying to hijack the thread Rick, I’m trying to redirect it back on-topic with humor. No intent to offend) :)

    Stashiu3 (168d43)

  26. Stashiu3-

    Thank you again for your service and your patience and civility.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  27. Were any of those suspected or confirmed homicides at Guantánamo? Any at all?

    No, none at all; that was my misstatement. I should have reread the report more carefully and then should have posted “though none of these deaths were at Guantánamo…” as the deaths under suspicion occurred in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    I apologize for the error.

    Rick

    Rick (ea2ac3)

  28. #28 Rick

    No problem sir. Just playful and punchy from trying to watch all the threads for questions, catch up on the other blogs I follow, check email, etc… this multi-tasking stuff is harder for us older guys, lol. BTW, I’d like to invite you over to Teh Squeaky Wheel, I think you would really enjoy the crowd there. All over the political spectrum and determined to have a great time despite (or perhaps even because) our differences. Please consider lurking to check it out, or just dropping in, we get both kinds. I guarantee you’ll be most welcome.

    Stashiu3 (168d43)

  29. Rick:

    I was also very concerned when I read of the reports you mentioned. And I have not argued that this should not be investigated – not even close to it. But that would happen, in any event, whether or not the AP flogged an inflammatory headline, as they admit in their story. I know this because I’ve watched the way the military handles investigations and I’ve also seen the way the press deliberately sensationalizes and distorts what goes on – firsthand, over 25 years.

    And I commend you for correcting your initial statement, but all too often it is just that kind of initial misimpression (or false conflation of events) that never DOES get corrected. And that’s precisely why we object when this stuff happens – because the inevitable corrections never receive as wide distribution as the initial accusation, and what sticks in people’s minds – falsely – is a slur that turned out not to be based in fact.

    Cassandra (c9069a)

  30. And Rick, let me remind you that there have already been several investigations at Gitmo. When that happens, scrutiny is heightened and everything goes under a microscope. The normal human reaction is to tighten up the ship, not say, “Hey – let’s just let everything go to hell in a handbasket – we’re sure Newsweek won’t notice if we thrash a few detainees”.

    That also means that of necessity records have been pulled left and right and looked at several times. Yet somehow, beatings are occurring on a “commonplace” basis and station personnel are so blithely unconcerned that they feel comfortable routinely whacking the crap out of detainees and then bragging about it?

    Wow. Doesn’t that strike anyone as just a *bit* suspicious?

    Again, not a reason not to investigate…AGAIN. But certainly a reason to look at this with a bit of caution.

    Cassandra (c9069a)

  31. “…station personnel are so blithely unconcerned that they feel comfortable routinely whacking the crap out of detainees and then bragging about it?”

    I was drinking at a bar when Cassandra sat down next me and after a couple of drinks told me how she was a guard at Gitmo and beat the prisoners mercilessly on a daily basis. The BS I just wrote is entitled to exactly the same credibility, zero, as the paralegal/sailor bar story. Hearsay is not some legal technicality. It’s a recognition that “he said that he said” is not evidence — it’s gossip or phantasy and untestable for either truth or falsity.

    nk (35ba30)

  32. Mmmm . . . the sailor’s statements would fall within a hearsay exception in court, and would be admissible in a prosecution of the sailor, if the woman testified.

    Remember that the conversation took place at a bar on the base, and thus carries more credibility than an assertion that someone who was *not* at Gitmo made a similar admission.

    I’m not saying it’s a credible story. I’m saying it should not be dismissed for the wrong reasons.

    Patterico (de0616)

  33. Of course. In a case against the sailor. It’s a confession (admission against penal interest if you like). But there is another rule as well: Corpus delicti (the substantiality of the crime) cannot be established by an uncorroboted confession. I have read the Drudge story and the Yahoo follow up story, both by Thomas Watkins of AP, and so far all we have is unidentified “drunken sailors”. I would refuse to impanel a grand jury on this lady’s affidavit on the grounds that there is insufficient no competent evidence for probable cause that the alleged crime has even occurred. My BS example in the previous comment was even stronger than the paralegal’s affidavit because at least Cassandra is identifiable.

    nk (35ba30)

  34. Not that I dismiss the beating prisoners. But I have always been a defense attorney. I pick holes in accusations.

    nk (35ba30)

  35. Not that I dismiss the beating prisoners.

    I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there! ;)
    (/Larry the Cable Guy off)

    Just kidding nk, I don’t think abuse would be funny (and I’ve certainly made typos), but I’m very skeptical of this story.

    Stashiu3 (168d43)

  36. Sorry Stashiu3. I meant “the beating of prisoners”. And in the previous comment “uncorroborated” instead of “uncorrobated”. Seriously, I do not think this affidavit would pass the Aguilar-Spinelli test for a search warrant. It would not be sufficient to search premises for illegal firearms (reffering to an actual case I co-counselled and won) and it should not be sufficient to presume our servicemen guilty of abusing prisoners. [I tried to link Aguiler-Spinelli but the spam filter stopped me so I am trying again without the hyperlink.]

    nk (bfc26a)

  37. I know you were kidding nk, I’ve just been answering questions all day and am getting tired. My own typos are striking me funny right now, and yours wasn’t nearly as bad as some of those I botched. Have a pleasant night sir.

    Stashiu3 (168d43)

  38. It really was a typo. I was not intentionally joking. It’s sad that our serviceman are not entitled to the legal protections that drug dealers and gun-runners enjoy. DeTocqueville was right. Public opinion is the real law in our country.

    nk (bfc26a)

  39. There was an article in my local paper about guards at Guantanamo bragging about beating prisoners:

    http://cbs5.com/topstories/local_story_279142327.html

    Comments?

    ROA (f477eb)

  40. #40 ROA

    Do you mean in addition to all the comments from above and the other threads where this was discussed?

    Stashiu3 (168d43)

  41. No, I just noticed the article in this mornings paper and didn’t read the comments before posting. Sorry

    ROA (f477eb)

  42. Stashiu3, What rank (or rate) were the guards at GTMO?

    I could be mistaken, but it seems strange to me that the Navy would send 19 year old kids(less than two years service – at best) to guard such high-profile detainees… especially after the Abu Ghrib fiasco.

    bains (473fa5)

  43. Question: if beatings were “common practice” (i.e., occurring all the time), shouldn’t this show up in the medical records of both detainees and personnel assigned to Gitmo? Hard to routinely beat people without suffering some physical trauma yourself.

    Cassandra, you can definitely beat people without suffering physical trauma. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

    from the AP story:

    “One such story Bo told involved him taking a detainee by the head and hitting the detainee’s head into the cell door…
    “About 5 others in the group admitted hitting detainees” and that included “punching in the face,” the affidavit said.

    It appears that Cassandra isnt the one not knowing what she are talking about.

    bains (473fa5)

  44. It appears that Cassandra isnt the one not knowing what she are talking about.

    It apairs that bains arent famillur with laws of gramma..

    bains (473fa5)

  45. [...] Patterico just finished posting five installments of an interview he conducted with “Stashiu”, a Psychiatric Nurse who worked at Guantanamo Bay. I’m not a fan of how it was hyped as an interview with someone who has talked with terrorists, it just seemed kind of cheesy, but it does provide a good insight to GITMO. I can’t verify the validity of it but I believe it is on the up and up from my familiarity with the Military Intelligence Community, Detainee Operations, Conversations with a Human Intelligence Collector that was stationed at GITMO, and the way Parrerico cited traditional media reports. [...]

    Dan’s Ramblings - Inteview with a GITMO Psychiatric Nurse (f4d8e3)

  46. Hey, I say beat the shit out of these murderers.
    If we weren’t getting good intel out of these children killers, I’d say execute them like they do innocent victims all over the world.

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/ counts the many murders by these terrorists and please don’t try to tell me that America is just as guilty.

    krusher (936813)

  47. [...] If you haven’t read Patterico’s interviews with a nurse that served at the Guantanamo prison camp, now would be a great time to invest the effort. It puts to rout many of the mythsemanating from the MSM regarding the treatment of Muslim prisoners. [...]

    Damascus Road » Guantanamo (ab26d8)

  48. [...] If you have doubts about the validity of that concern, Patterico’s five-part interview with Guantanamo Bay army nurse “Stashiu,” plus a report by Associated Press writer and recent Guantanamo Bay visitor Andrew Selsky, should erase them. [...]

    Bizzyblog » Weekend Question 3: Why Aren’t We Hearing More Stories of Military Heroism (and Why Does That Make CNN an Enemy Ally)? (34f45e)

  49. [...] Patterico’s 5-part interview with Guantanamo Bay nurse “Stashiu” and the report by Andrew Selsky of the Associated Press on his Gitmo together prove that concern about the safety of returning soldiers and their stateside families is definitely warranted. [...]

    Bizzyblog » Reporting Our Troops’ Heroism and CNN’s Betrayal: The Cliff’s Notes (34f45e)

  50. [...] Read it all, and marvel at how similar it is to the account provided by Stashiu on this blog. [...]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » More Torture at GTMO (421107)

  51. Yep, still nothing wrong at Gitmo…

    We’ve seen this before, but now the WSJ’s Rob Pollock writes up a junket to Gitmo. (It’s subscriber-only at this point, but will probably show up on Opinionjournal.com in a day or two.) The terrorists are fat and happy, sittin’……

    Michelle Malkin (3ca10e)

  52. [...] I recently got an e-mail from a fellow who is writing a book on Guantanamo. He is a published author and has been on Fox News, but I won’t identify him, since I’m not positive to what extent his project is publicly known. But he did tell me one thing I wanted to share with you: Admiral Harry Harris suggested I contact you about your interview with Stashiu. . . . Adm Harris obviously thinks a lot of Stashiu because he personally put me on to you and the interview. [...]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Praise for Stashiu (421107)

  53. [...] and came to understand something about their motivations. Last October, at my own blog, I ran a five-part interview with Stashiu, in which he discussed various aspects of Guantánamo and the people who are detained [...]

    Hot Air » Blog Archive » Stashiu Says Closing Guantánamo’s Camp Delta May Be a Good Idea After All (d4224a)

  54. [...] the Army for 24 years, most of that time was spent as a psychiatric nurse, some of you may remember Stashiu’s multi-part interview at Patterico’s Pontifications, where he spoke about his time as a Psychiatric Nurse at Guantanamo Bay. He’s always been a [...]

    Moron Signal! To Arms! « The Hostages: Stop Crying Or We’ll Give You Something To Cry About (8d3eca)

  55. [...] the Army for 24 years, most of that time was spent as a psychiatric nurse, some of you may remember Stashiu’s multi-part interview at Patterico’s Pontifications, where he spoke about his time as a Psychiatric Nurse at Guantanamo Bay.  He’s always been a [...]

    This ain’t Hell, but you can see it from here » Blog Archive » Help a blogger out (159442)

  56. [...] the Army for 24 years, most of that time was spent as a psychiatric nurse, some of you may remember Stashiu’s multi-part interview at Patterico’s Pontifications, where he spoke about his time as a Psychiatric Nurse at Guantanamo Bay. He’s always been a [...]

    Urgent Call for Help | MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (22ef8f)

  57. [...] need. You guys may know him as a regular at Patterico’s; in fact, I recollect linking to this informative and worthwhile commentary a while back myself. Please do help him out if you can. If you don’t want to bother with [...]

    Taking care of our own | Cold Fury (6f4592)

  58. [...] LC & IB Patterico ran a whole series of interviews with him where he let it all out, the good, the bad and the ugly, within the limits of OPSEC, of course. [...]

    Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler » Stashiu Could Use a Hand (1fe006)

  59. What is it like to guard GitMo?…

    On May 4th, Brigadier General Gregory Zanetti, the Deputy Commander at Gitmo, wrote an interesting article published in the Lawrence, Kansas, Journal-World and News: A day in the life of a Guantanamo guard By Brig. Gen. Gregory Zanetti May 4,…

    BLACKFIVE (7ee30a)

  60. [...] check out Patterico’s Pontifications: Patterico’s Exclusive Interview with a Man Who Has Spoken to the Terrorists at Guantánamo (A Roun… Matt at BlackFive points us to this post and it is a great [...]

    Media Mythbusters Blog » Blog Archive » Media Bias Roundup - 05/14/08 (d6d851)

  61. [...] week? I dunno. Rick at Brutally Honest has a day in the life of a Gitmo guard and Patterico has a multi-part post about a psyche nurse who has spent hours and hours with the prisoners. They’d be better able [...]

    A & Q: Bad:Economy, Liturgy, Bush but not BIG O! | The Anchoress (fd6805)

  62. [...] (these are terrorists, not criminals) need to do a bit of homework. I strongly suggest you read a series of interviews with a psyche nurse who spent lots of time with these terrorists at GTMO. Read the interviews and [...]

    From GTMO To Your Neighborhood? « Truth Before Dishonor (bd1ac8)


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