Monday, June 20, 2005
By David Zucchino
The Los Angeles Times
Spc. Sean Baker, who was medically retired after a drill went awry, asks for $15 million.
A U.S. military policeman who was beaten by fellow MPs during a botched training drill at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, prison for detainees has sued the Pentagon for $15 million, alleging that the incident violated his constitutional rights.
Spc. Sean D. Baker, 38, was assaulted in January 2003 after he volunteered to wear an orange jumpsuit and portray an uncooperative detainee. Baker said the MPs, who were told that he was an unruly detainee who had assaulted an American sergeant, inflicted a beating that resulted in a traumatic brain injury.
Baker, a Gulf War veteran who reenlisted after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was medically retired in April 2004. He said the assault left him with seizures, blackouts, headaches, insomnia and psychological problems.
In the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Lexington, Ky., Baker asked the Army to reinstate him in a position that would accommodate his medical condition. He said the Army put him on medical retirement against his wishes. . ."
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Rather than halt torture due to numerous legal charges against their practice and policy of torture, the US military defended this beating of its own soldier, because as they said to the media, they want "our training be as realistic as possible".
Let that sink in for a moment. Beating your own soldiers to the point of permanent brain damage is "realistic". And telling the media this is considered to be a good idea. Doesn't this strongly suggest the truth of the many charges of torture, beatings, etc., inflicted on the actual prisoners, assumed guilty without trial?
The US military would have us believe that such charges are "absurd". Yet a few weeks later they then would have us believe that such practices must be "as realistic as possible". I hope the lawyers are reading this kind of revelation.
And how do we know whether or not Spc. Sean D. Baker actually has brain damage now? Because he wants to rejoin the same military that first beat him and then threw him out of the service. If that's not an indication of severe mental disability, I don't know what is.
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Post Script: We Are All Complicit - But What Can We Do About It?
By Robert Fisk
"Mind you, our American friends are already, it seems, dab hands at smearing prisoners with excrement and beating them and - given the evidence I've heard from a prisoner who was at Bagram in Afghanistan - sticking brooms up men's anuses, and, of course, just killing them. Thirty prisoners have now died in US custody. I don't believe in the few bad apples line. It's happened on far too great a scale. And how do we excuse all this filth? How do we excuse ourselves for this immorality? Why, we say Saddam was worse than us. . ."