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Old 09-29-2005, 01:39 PM   #1
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who is Ian Fishback?

Dear Senator McCain:

I am a graduate of West Point currently serving as a Captain in the U.S. Army Infantry. I have served two combat tours with the 82nd Airborne Division, one each in Afghanistan and Iraq. While I served in the Global War on Terror, the actions and statements of my leadership led me to believe that United States policy did not require application of the Geneva Conventions in Afghanistan or Iraq. On 7 May 2004, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld's testimony that the United States followed the Geneva Conventions in Iraq and the "spirit" of the Geneva Conventions in Afghanistan prompted me to begin an approach for clarification. For 17 months, I tried to determine what specific standards governed the treatment of detainees by consulting my chain of command through battalion commander, multiple JAG lawyers, multiple Democrat and Republican Congressmen and their aides, the Ft. Bragg Inspector General's office, multiple government reports, the Secretary of the Army and multiple general officers, a professional interrogator at Guantanamo Bay, the deputy head of the department at West Point responsible for teaching Just War Theory and Law of Land Warfare, and numerous peers who I regard as honorable and intelligent men.

Instead of resolving my concerns, the approach for clarification process leaves me deeply troubled. Despite my efforts, I have been unable to get clear, consistent answers from my leadership about what constitutes lawful and humane treatment of detainees. I am certain that this confusion contributed to a wide range of abuses including death threats, beatings, broken bones, murder, exposure to elements, extreme forced physical exertion, hostage-taking, stripping, sleep deprivation and degrading treatment. I and troops under my command witnessed some of these abuses in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

This is a tragedy. I can remember, as a cadet at West Point, resolving to ensure that my men would never commit a dishonorable act; that I would protect them from that type of burden. It absolutely breaks my heart that I have failed some of them in this regard.

That is in the past and there is nothing we can do about it now. But, we can learn from our mistakes and ensure that this does not happen again. Take a major step in that direction; eliminate the confusion. My approach for clarification provides clear evidence that confusion over standards was a major contributor to the prisoner abuse. We owe our soldiers better than this. Give them a clear standard that is in accordance with the bedrock principles of our nation.

Some do not see the need for this work. Some argue that since our actions are not as horrifying as Al Qaeda's, we should not be concerned. When did Al Qaeda become any type of standard by which we measure the morality of the United States? We are America, and our actions should be held to a higher standard, the ideals expressed in documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Others argue that clear standards will limit the President's ability to wage the War on Terror. Since clear standards only limit interrogation techniques, it is reasonable for me to assume that supporters of this argument desire to use coercion to acquire information from detainees. This is morally inconsistent with the Constitution and justice in war. It is unacceptable.

Both of these arguments stem from the larger question, the most important question that this generation will answer. Do we sacrifice our ideals in order to preserve security? Terrorism inspires fear and suppresses ideals like freedom and individual rights. Overcoming the fear posed by terrorist threats is a tremendous test of our courage. Will we confront danger and adversity in order to preserve our ideals, or will our courage and commitment to individual rights wither at the prospect of sacrifice? My response is simple. If we abandon our ideals in the face of adversity and aggression, then those ideals were never really in our possession. I would rather die fighting than give up even the smallest part of the idea that is "America."

Once again, I strongly urge you to do justice to your men and women in uniform. Give them clear standards of conduct that reflect the ideals they risk their lives for.

With the Utmost Respect,

-- Capt. Ian Fishback

1st Battalion,

504th Parachute Infantry Regiment,

82nd Airborne Division,

Fort Bragg, North Carolina

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Old 09-29-2005, 01:45 PM   #2
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Officer Criticizes Detainee Abuse Inquiry
Published: September 28, 2005
WASHINGTON, Sept. 27 - An Army captain who reported new allegations of detainee abuse in Iraq said Tuesday that Army investigators seemed more concerned about tracking down young soldiers who reported misconduct than in following up the accusations and investigating whether higher-ranking officers knew of the abuses.

The officer, Capt. Ian Fishback, said investigators from the Criminal Investigation Command and the 18th Airborne Corps inspector general had pressed him to divulge the names of two sergeants from his former battalion who also gave accounts of abuse, which were made public in a report last Friday by the group Human Rights Watch.

Captain Fishback, speaking publicly on the matter for first time, said the investigators who have questioned him in the past 10 days seemed to be less interested in individuals he identified in his chain of command who allegedly committed the abuses.


In the months before, Captain Fishback said he had seen at least one interrogation where prisoners were being abused and was told about other ill treatment of detainees by his sergeants. But he said his commanders left the impression that the United States did not have to follow the Geneva Conventions when dealing with prisoners in Iraq, so he did not report the incidents.

That changed, he said, after he heard Mr. Rumsfeld testify to Congress after the Abu Ghraib abuses became public that the Conventions did apply in Iraq. But when he took his complaints to his immediate superiors, Captain Fishback said his company commander cautioned him to "remember the honor of the unit is at stake." He said his battalion commander expressed no particular alarm.

As he moved up his chain of command, he said no one could give him clear guidance on how the Geneva Conventions applied in Iraq.

"We did not set the conditions for our soldiers to succeed," said Captain Fishback, who has served combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. "We failed to set clear standards, communicate those standards and enforce those standards. For us to get to that point now, however, we have to come to grips with whether it's acceptable to use coercion to obtain information from detainees."

By this summer, Captain Fishback had met with Human Rights Watch researchers several times. He gave the organization the names of other members of his unit who could support his allegations.

Captain Fishback said that when his command learned about 10 days ago that he was preparing to speak to Senate aides about his concerns, they directed him to talk to criminal investigators, which he said he did for 90 minutes on Sept. 19. But when he refused to divulge the sergeants' names, he said, investigators told him there wasn't much they could do immediately.

But last Thursday, a day after Human Rights Watch notified the 82nd Airborne that it would be releasing a copy of its report outlining the allegations, Captain Fishback said he was summoned back to Fort Bragg from field training for six hours of questioning by investigators.

The report was made public last Friday, and Captain Fishback said investigators had questioned him for about an hour on Monday and again on Tuesday. "They're asking the same questions over and over again," he said. "They want the names of the sergeants, and they keep asking about my relationship with Human Rights Watch."


take note now, because Rumsfeld is trying to destroy him before he makes any more noise. expect some trumped up charges soon, similar to what they did to Muslim Chaplain Cpt. James Yee, whom they accused of treason and then adultery.

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Old 09-30-2005, 07:00 AM   #3
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This deserves more attention--thanks for posting it Irvine!
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Old 09-30-2005, 09:10 AM   #4
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it's being ignored by the MSM.

apparently, Rumsfeld is trying to destroy this man.

let's make sure it doesn't happen.
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Old 10-01-2005, 12:54 AM   #5
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This man restores some of my faith.
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