a Someone should care, maybe not you....: June 2005 .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Someone should care, maybe not you....

My thoughts on many things including the army, war, politics, the military corrections system, chaos, life, books, movies, and why there is no blue food. Feel free to comment on what I say. Feedback is nice.

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40+ year old former teacher, linguist, interrogator, soldier, and lastly convict. We all do stupid things every once and awhile. I am an economic conservative and a firm believer in civil rights. Starting a new life now and frankly not sure what I am going to be doing.

30 June 2005

interesting site

I was out surfing the web this morning and came across an interesting site.


You get a nice history of the Bagram area explaining why it is such a hell hole now. Being a major battlefield for several years tends to turn a place into one. The site also has several satellite pictures of the airfield. All Pre-US occupation but it is still easy to see what is what. I could easily pick out where I worked. Of course if you were to see such a pic now it would be hard to believe it is the same place. Things were being built there so fast that I was amazed at the difference between when I got there and when I left. (But remember, it isn't a permanent base.....)
This site has alot of good information on alot of places.

While I'm thinking about Afghanistan, let's have a quiet moment for those guys who died near Assadabad. I've ridden choppers into the Hindu Kush, luckily nobody shot at me while I was doing it. Sometimes the coin comes up tails.

28 June 2005


No big political thoughts here. Just 4 movies that I have seen recently on DVD. The New Appleseed, The Returner, The Vampire Effect, and last and least, Sleepless Nights.

Appleseed is a remake of a great anime classic. It is done in CGI and is visually amazing. Unfortunetly I don't think it holds up story wise to the original. My biggest unhappiness with it is in the "bad guys". In the original Appleseed the bad guy really isn't a bad guy. He is just an idealist with a different ideal than the rulers of his society. The protagonist is a cop who has a job to do. I at least was torn watching the original Appleseed becasue I frankly sympathized alot with the bad guy. In the New Appleseed the bad guys are BAD GUYS. To the point of delivering extemporaneous speeches on their villanry and why the protagonist is going to lose. Yawn. The film is well worth watching but if you had to choose, I would go with the old one. Appleseed (the new one) is distributed in the US by Geneon. www.geneonanimation.com
The Returner is a sci-fi adventure/lovestory. Earth is invaded by aliens and we are getting our butts kicked. In desperation a girl is sent back in time to when the first alien showed up on earth to try and kill it before it can summon the mothership and start the war. Needless to say, things do not go as planned. The triads, a freelance hitman, and such mess everything up. the bad guy in this film is Awesome. He is the epitome of "pyscho bad guy" Gary Oldman in Leon, or the Professional as it was known in the US, has nothing on this guy. I would give you his name but the credits and the website seem to be in chinese. www.returner.net This is a very good film and I strongly recomend it.

The Vampire Effect is a Chinese vampire story. Actually it is a European vampire story done by Chinese. Jackie Chan appears in the film as a minor character. The film also features two girls who according to some web sites I have seen are a pop music duo out of Hong Kong. I haven't researched this so I know no more about it. It is a comedy involving a vampire prince that refuses to drink blood from a person. (His father sends him blood bottled like wine to survive on) A vampire hunter, his partner, and his sister, said sister of course starts dating the vampire prince. The action scenes are fun, the plot is enjoyable if not thrilling, the acting is ok for the genre. A fun movie to rent off the cheap shelves and throughly enjoyable. No websitre for the film but a google search will bring reviews and such up.

Last and least we have Sleepless Nights... www.sleeplessnights-themovie.com Sigh.If you enjoy cheesy c grade horror flicks, (I do) than this will be fun to watch. Once. The acting is stilted, the dialoge is cheesy, the effects are cheap, the plot is.. well there is a plot of sorts. There is an evil vampire lord named Malgaard who was once a knight Templar, he is being hunted by an unexplained vampire hunter named Sloane and his young assistant. The assistant's wife is turned into a vampire and she bites her husband turning him. Jump to the future where Sloane is the head of some nebulous federal vampire (necromorph) hunting agency. The young assistant (Grey) is a vampire but he is pure of heart or something so he can resist becoming evil like all other vampires and he is still stalking Malgaard who is taking over the Worldwide Church of the Future to create an army of undead to rule the earth. Toss in a few more vampire hunters including one with a brain tumor who decides going undead is better than going dead and the mess is on.
I really cannot in good conscience recomend this film unless you have stupid movie nights with your friends. Then this is a prime candidate.

27 June 2005

Detainee 063

Ok, I am reading the latest Time magazine with it’s article “Inside the Interrogation of Detainee 063”. This is really interesting in many ways. This document they have facinates me. Speaking as an interrogator I can’t see it being written though. You would have to have a scribe doing nothing but following the detainee around all day to record this stuff. I can’t imagine that they had/have so many interrogators and so much time there at Guantanamo to do a document like this. I wrote detailed interrogation notes but they were nothing like this. And I was usually writing for as long as I was interrogating just for the notes, then more time for the other reports I have had to write.
In certain areas the interrogators seem very good. (I love the approach mentioned on the first page of the article where they say Allah saved the detainee for the purpose of telling the world about the plan and bin Laden. That is a brilliant idea and I like the way they used it and am greatly impressed.) In other areas they confuse me. For example the article reoports that one day (Dec 6) they had a break through and the detainee begins to talk. They reward him. Then the next day they go back to a hard approach losing all the benefits they had gained the day before. Foolishness. (Or maybe two sets of interrogators who aren’t communicating with each other. Which is also foolishness.)
Another example of this is when the detainee has to go to the bathroom and starts answering questions to get to go. He answers the questions, admits to being in Al-Qaeda, working for bin Laden, all things he had never admited to before (at least according to the article). Then the interrogators make him wet his pants because they are unhappy with one of his answers. Now I wasn’t there, I haven’t read the whole document but this is not the way to work. If you promise a guy something in exchange for answers you should give it to him. Rewards get better results than humiliation. This is especdially strange since according to the article he was alone when he flew into Orlando. So what was the point of not giving the detainee the oportunity to go to the latrine???

Now let us address the so called severe methods used in the interrogation. Methods that I am sure some would call torture. Being forced to sit in a metal chair and not being able to move is a valid thing, I have done similar things. Having a dog in the booth is in my opinion a distraction. It is usefull at times but not as a usual thing. A dog barking at you is not torture. It is intimidation and there is nothing in the Laws of Land Warfare against intimidating people. “Invasion of Space by a Female” (nice descriptive name for the approach) is an interesting technique. I never tried it but female interrogators do it just by being in the room with some of these guys. It can be humiliating bu tit is not torture. There is nothing in the Laws of Land Warfare against humiliating a subject. In fact the approach Pride and Ego Down is humiliation pure and simple. Nothing wrong with it at all. They used approaches that I wouldn’t have used primarily because I feel that they are pretty useless. (hanging pictures around his neck, making him bark like a dog, etc.) But I can’t say they were wrong because I not there. Different things work with different people. Prehaps if I was there working his case I would feel differently about those techniques.

The detainee in question is obviously very well trained and dedicated to what he does. Guys like that are very hard because they have prepared themselves. They expect to get tortured and anything less almost confuses them. It takes a L O N G time to break them. They play the game very well as can be readily seen in the article where the detainee talks about having information to give but not giving it, taunts the interrogators that if they used the right method they could get something, and similar actions. I’ve dealt with that before. It is important for the interrogator’s supervisors to keep an eye on guys in this situation because frustration can lead to stupid behaivioir.

It was a very interesting article.

26 June 2005

as things go around....

I was amused (cynical of me I know) by the way the whole "Teach your child not to talk to strangers!" thing played out with that 11 year old that was lost in Utah. It just seems so funny to me that he saw people out searching for him and hid from them because they were strangers. Teach your child to live in fear of people and it will come back to bite him and you.

24 June 2005

The choice of the terrorist generation....

The recent fuss that was made about Saddam's love of Doritos reminded me of something that occured while I was in Afghanistan. The first case I got to work upon my arrival at Bagram involved 5 cheerfull fellows who were captured by the Afghan forces (AMF) while reconning the Salerno firebase. (I say five, I only ever saw four of them, O.G.A. took one, called "TheArab", and kept him). At any rate I was interrogating these guys and comparing their stories. Three of them actually went up to the firebase to conduct the recon. The Arab, MS and A. They were hiding out there and the other two sent A into town to get refreshments. When asked what he got he informed me he was told to get melons, bread and Pepsi. (No great surprise here but Pepsi in Pashtu is pronounced Peepsi.) I was rather surprised at that and double checked with my terp and sure enough it was Pepsi. So I asked "Why Pepsi?" A told me the others really liked it and told him to get it, and he liked it too. I later asked MS about this and he confirmed A's instructions to get Pepsi and expressed a great fondness for the drink. As MS was being VERY cooperative I promptly began bringing Pepsis with me to work and plying him with them after good sessions. I couldn't help but think of those "choice of the new generation" ads that Pepsi had been running. Pepsi, the choice of the terrorist generation.......

Note: they never got the Pepsis out in the field. the AMF found the two back watching the firebase, A was captured running through town trying to escape when he heard the shooting start up outside of town.

21 June 2005

Ok, to finally begin.....

I should be ashamed to write this becasue I have been waiting till I had time to get my thoughts organized for all the "BIG" issues that I could talk about with some knowledge and relevence. Things like Guantanamo, allegations of torture in Afghanistan, civil liberties and the Patriot Act, all things I have definate, well founded opinions on.
But no, today while watching TV with my parents we saw one of those Domino's Pizza comercials where the guy delivers the three pizzas to "Mr. NASCAR". What we noticed about this and had previously noted in similar comericials is that the driver does not get paid for these pizzas. I have NEVER seen the delivery driver getting paid in ANY pizza comercial. I wonder how that would work as a defense if you refused to pay, "Well your Honor, in all of their ads no one pays so why should I?"
Just a random note of wierdness to start this mess off.