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Support All Our Troops (english)
31 Mar 2003
Modified: 07 Apr 2003
Americans are fighting for what many see as their country's
very survival, on two fronts.
Support All Our Troops
Americans are fighting for what many see as their country's
very survival, on two fronts:
Our uniformed servicemen and women are engaged in Iraq,
challenging the regime of Saddam Hussein, as a potential
source of devastating terrorist attacks.
We motley protesters back home march to rectify what
we consider a crucial miscalculation: we believe such
attacks will more likely result from Shock and Awe,
True, our contingent doesn't have Bush's official sanction;
but many wonder if he ever really got ours. And of course
we do have other reasons for our stand: the carnage that
seems inevitable, the drain on a stalling economy - while
the administration has other reasons of its own.
To me, supporting our troops means recognizing and
valuing their dedication, courage, perseverance, and
sacrifice, in the service of our country.
The hazards on the Iraqi battlefield are obvious, already
exacting an agonizing toll. But crowds are unpredictable,
and even peaceful protests can escalate: to serious
injury - over 100 one night in Chicago '68; and death -
several dozen in civil rights marches, four at Kent State.
A woman in her 60s was dragged by handcuffed wrists
when arrested in Boston recently. Others have been
knocked off bikes, hit in the face, dragged by the hair,
tear gassed and pepper sprayed - and horse trampled,
which could easily take a life.
Our troops also include the few who openly sacrificed
careers for principles, and many who risked careers,
behind the scenes, to preserve the integrity of the debate.
Supporting our troops doesn't require agreeing with their
perspectives, which for us human folk are always flawed;
or their strategy and tactics, misguided as each often
seems to those in the other camp.
You can support our troops by praying for their safety.
Supporting our troops doesn't mean you can't also say
a prayer for the Iraqis, who will bear the brunt of this
Does supporting the armed forces mean biting back on
our objections now that hostilities have begun? That's a
question many of us grapple with. It's easy to imagine
the demoralizing effect we could have, on combatants
whose survival depends on total concentration; at the
same time, our message seems more urgent now
Nowhere is this dissonance more pronounced than in
families with members in both camps: "schizophrenic on
this one" admits a protester in California with a daughter
in Qatar - but she's still out in the street making noise.
For in those families lies a key to understanding. That
older woman with the peace sign knows that one of the
pilots out there is the son she loves, doing what he feels
he has to do; and he knows that somewhere in those
crowds is the mom who raised him, doing her damndest
now to bring him and his buddies back ASAP.
"Support the troops, bring them home" was the smart
slogan back in the Vietnam era. This story, possibly
fictional - I heard it long ago, so I have to paraphrase -
shows another side of that old, worn coin:
The captor of an American POW in Vietnam one day shows
him an anti-war protest on TV, and says "You see, you've
lost. Even your own country doesn't agree with you." The
POW counters "No, that shows we'll endure - because our
country is strong enough to allow the freedom to disagree."
The captor walks out without a word.
Schizophrenia is a good word for where some of us now
find ourselves. But if each "side" could focus on the positive
in the other side, it might help take a little of the edge off.
Met TWO people with a BRAIN now3 (english)
by MicMac Merc
(No verified email address)
31 Mar 2003
Now I can state I have met TWO people with a brain here..
Re: PoW's.. Vietnam Era, many ploys to demoralize them were
used.. some of the better ones, Hanoi Jane et al.. who did
more to harm those PoW than any thing the VC/NVA could have done. The HATE still lives and burns strong.
Some would say that a war was no place for the likes of Comdr. Jeremiah A. Denton, Jr., who, after all, was the father of a happy family of seven children. Others would argue that such a background was good preparation for command responsibility and warfare. In any case, the 1946 Naval Academy graduate had approached his career with verve, imagination, and the enthusiastic support of his family. He was shot down on Sunday, July 18, 1965, while leading a twentyeightplane strike from the carrier Independence against the heavily defended port facility at Thanh Hoa. He was strongly optimistic by nature, not given to melancholy or selfpity.
Denton had been scheduled formally to assume command of Attack Squadron 75 on Tuesday, the twentieth. In fact, squadron members already were calling him Skipper and laughing hard at his jokes-for example, before the strike that Sunday he had told his pilots that they probably could expect lighter than usual antiaircraft
opposition. He pointed out that the place had been raided so many times in recent days that the North Vietnamese with their limited supply of trucks were bound to have trouble keeping the AA batteries supplied with ammunition. He had not meant this in jest, but the pilots, who were accustomed to storms of AA fire over Thanh Hoa, had taken it that way. As it turned out, Denton had been right. There was only light flak at Thanh Hoa that day, but he was downed. He and his bombardiernavigator, Lt. (j.g.) William M. "Bill" Tschudy, sitting alongside him in their A6 jet Intruder, had parachuted into captivity. They had been taken separately to Hanoi.
Denton had reached Hoa Lo prison as dawn was breaking on July 19, and was taken immediately into interrogation. In Navy survival training he had been instructed that officers who had had advanced schooling in international relations who became prisoners of war could feel free to defend their government's policies. He had only recently completed such advanced training, at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, and he launched upon a vigorous defense of the American effort in Vietnam.
His interrogators listened avidly, occasionally interrupting to assure him, "Ah, you talk like a bandit! You talk like Chonson! You talk like Rusk! You talk like Mocknomora!"
He did not understand, at this point, that his captors were delighted with his loquacity; that they could not care less what he said so long as he talked. There would be time enough to persuade him to say the things they wanted the world to hear from him.
The session ended, and he was stashed in New Guy Village Cell #4. Denton whistled loudly, he sang songs, he kept himself and Guarino entertained. The guards kept admonishing him to be silent, kept warning him and Guarino to stop communicating. The two prisoners paid little heed.
Denton was taken to interrogation each day. He was surprised at the kind of rudimentary military information the enemy sought: the number of catapults on his ship, the number of aircraft the ship carried-none of this could be classified top secret. But he would give them nothing. He was worried. He was aware that he was the first A6 pilot to fall into the enemy's hands and feared the Vietnamese might be working their way up to interrogating him on the new aircraft. It occurred to him that his captors might apply more torture than he could take and extract information about the A6. He made up his mind that if this seemed to be happening, he would kill himself. Like Guarino, Denton was a devout Catholic, and the option of suicide was not open to him. However, his position, which he was prepared to defend before the throne of Heaven, was that he would not have committed suicide, but fallen on the field of battle in defense of his country. He found some shards of glass in the New Guy
Village courtyard and secreted them in the latrine area. If need be, he would use them to slash his wrists.
Unable to elicit any response from Guarino, the ShumakerHarris ,ButlerPeel group turned its attentions to Denton. He found notes to him in the latrine area, asking him to identify and locate himself for them. He discussed it with Guarino. Larry explained that he was highly suspicious of the four, that the fact that they were living together and obviously enjoying life, talking, laughing, and in possession of writing materials seemed ample evidence that they had soldout. "Better not have anything to do with them," he warned Denton. "Larry," Jerry replied, "I think the V may be pulling something on us, trying to divide us. I'm gonna give it a try." Notes wereexchanged, and it was immediately clear that Denton had judged correctly. Guarino was chagrined to learn that the four had each already done a stretch of solitary confinement for their efforts to contact him and was greatly relieved that his judgment had been erroneous. "Don't worry," the group messaged Denton, "only threats so far. No torture."
Smitty Harris, who was desperate for some important news from home, scrawled a large note to Guarino and left it
in the latrine: "For God's Sake, Larry, will you please answer?"
Larry used a burnt matchstick to write a reply: "Smitty, your wife's okay, and the baby boy was born."
Harris was ecstatic. Denton, the senior ranking officer (SRO) in New Guy Village, took command. "Follow the
Code of Conduct," he ordered. "Think about escape. I want a note about it every day, and I want a map of
this camp." He became obsessed with the idea of getting out of the place. At this point Guarino finally told Denton
that he was locked in stocks.
"Oh, Lord!" Denton said. "Do you mean it? You're in stocks?"
"Yeah," said Larry. He was sorry he had told him. Denton was devastated; Larry could almost hear Jerry's morale sinking into the floor.
Denton began working on the metal bar that formed the top of the stocks on his own bed-it was not padlocked. After six days he succeeded in breaking it off. He found a place in the rear wall of his cell, just below the steel frame of the barred window, where he could insert one end of the bar. For days he dug and pried at the window frame. He was just about to tear the whole window assembly out of the wall when he was caught.
Had Denton succeeded, he would have been able to climb through the hole in his wall into the moatlike alley outside. To escape the prison, he would still have had to scale a high wall and cross its wide top, full of imbedded glass and covered with electrical wiring. Had he made it over this wall, he would have found himself in the middle of Hanoi. From here he would somehow have had to make his way across many miles of hostile, densely populated countryside, a Caucasian among millions of Asians, to the sea and the U.S. Seventh Fleet, or to some safe place in neutral Laos. He had no plans for doing any of these things; his plan did not extend beyond tearing a hole in the cell wall; it had not been entirely rational.
ferry admitted this to himself as he lay with his right leg locked in stocks in Cell #3-the damage he had done to the wall in Cell #4 had made it necessary to move him one cell closer to Guarino. But despite his own failure, he wanted everyone to keep thinking and planning on escape. Right now, he had other problems.
"Larry," Jerry asked, "how do you take a crap in those stocks?"
Guarino, who did not know Jerry was now in Cell #3 and in stocks, did not want to sound as though he were feeling sorry for himself. "Ah, heck, that's a long story, Jerry," he said. "You don't want to hear that."
"Yeah, I'm interested," Denton said. "I've been trying to figure it out for three days. How the hell do you do it?"
Guarino went through a laborious explanation of how he had found that with one leg in the stocks he could roll over, get up on his knees, and get his waste bucket under himself. In fact, he had evacuated only once, after he had been in the stocks sixteen days-and only twice since his capture.
Finishing what he felt to be the somewhat degrading explanation, he demanded halfangrily, "What the hell do you want to know that for?"
"Because," Denton admitted, "I've been in these stocks for three days, and I couldn't figure it out."
Guarino laughed. He had not complained, because he had not wanted Denton to think him a weak sister; and
Denton, anxious that Guarino not think him weak, had not wanted to tell him he was in stocks.
As for himself, Guarino had not been getting along at all well with the enemy. Debarking from an armored personnel carrier into the main courtyard of Hoa Lo prison, he had been met by Rabbit, shouting, "You dirty, rotten criminal! Why did you come here to murder my people? Now you are going to pay for your crimes!"
"Who do you think you're talking to?" Guarino demanded. "What are you, a corporal or something? I am a major in the United States Air Force. I demand some respect and proper treatment. I demand to see the camp commander."
"You are no major here!" Rabbit shrieked. "You are nothing here but a criminal!"
"I demand my rights under Geneva!"
"Rights? You have no rights! You are a criminal! We are going to hang you!"
Guarino was locked into Cell # 1 in New Guy Village. It was dank and dirty, perhaps sixteen feet long, seven feet wide. It contained a metal frame cot, and in back, in the corners below a barred window, stood two cement bunks. At the ends of these were ancient, rustcovered stocks, secured with large padlocks. It was obvious the stocks had not been opened in many years-probably not in modern times. Larry was glad that at least he had not been born into an era where such things had been used.
His flight suit was taken from him, and he was given a pair of blue and white striped pajamas. A guard indicated that a small can, about the size of a fruit can, was to be used as a toilet. Alone, Larry prayed for strength and guidance, pondered the strange, indeed mystical things that had been happening, and wondered why such things should be happening to him. True, he had been born into and raised in a devoutly religious (Catholic) family, but so had millions of others, and his own family's devotion to its faith had not been so constricting as to preclude certain of its male members from having bootlegging connections during the prohibition era. Larry had all his life been a regular Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation mass attender, but had pretty much taken religion for granted. Essentially, he had been a man of this world and was not yet anywhere near the stage of life where he was giving undue thought to the next. Still, things had been happening:
He had been flying F105 strikes out of Korat, Thailand, since December, 1964. All the while, a sense of dark foreboding had been building in him. By the morning of June 14, 1965, he knew that his number was up. He had not liked anything about the day. The weather was marginal, and the mission and briefing had struck him as overly long and complicated. Prior to takeoff he had offered a gloved hand to his squadron commander, Bill Craig, and said so long.
"What do you mean, 'so long'?" Craig had demanded. "I'll see you in about an hour and a half."
"Sure," said Larry, heading for his aircraft. But he had known he was not coming back.
He was shot down somewhere in the countryside. He was captured by militia, wielding rifles and twohanded swords. His wrists had been bound behind him, and he had been marched through many villages, where crowds were summoned to jeer him, stone him, pull his hair, kick him, and knock him to the ground. He was bruised and bloodied, he was threatened, and he was frightened; at the same time, he knew with absolute certainty that he would be all right, that he would survive. But he was relieved when at last he was turned over to the Army.
Once, during the long, steaming hot trip to Hanoi, there had been a rest stop for the troops aboard the personnel carrier.
To ensure that the prisoner would remain one, his legs and feet had been tied together, and he was wrapped in blankets that completely covered his head and face. He was left alone in the enclosed back of the vehicle. Sweat poured off him and soaked into the blankets. He fought for air, could get none, felt himself beginning to suffocate. He thought, desperately, of the certainty he had had since the moment of capture that he would survive; somehow, the certainty was still there, yet he was dying, smothering under a covering of smelly, sweatsoaked rags at the side of a road far, far from home. He prayed. He sweated, he struggled for breath and life, he waited for death, and he prayed. He could not get clear of the smothering blankets, and no one came to assist. But suddenly there were breezes, cool, sweet, refreshing, swirling gently all about him. He breathed deeply, easily, gratefully. He had never been more comfortable in an airconditioned room, on a beach, anywhere. He kept on praying, in thanksgiving. When the troops returned and unwrapped him, he felt cool and relaxed. Outside there seemed not a breath of air in the whole world.
He reflected that he had been to Hanoi before, in late 1944. Flying a PS 1 out of Chungking, China, he had helped escort a flight of B24 Liberator bombers whose mission was to knock out a bridge in the city, which was then held by the Japanese. Larry had not lingered long in the area that time. With 135 combat missions behind him in the European theater, where he had shot down three Messerschmitts, he had flown only twentyone more in the Pacific war before going home. With his wife, Evelyn, his childhood sweetheart, he had settled down in Newark, New Jersey; had gone to work as a toolmaker for the Lionel Corp.; and had joined the Air National Guard, so that he could keep his hand in flying, which he loved. He was recalled during the Korean War, and by the time that duty tour ended he had decided to make a career of the Air Force. Things had gone well until now.
Guards came and took him to a room where he met Owl. Interrogation began. Frightened though he was, Larry knew that he dared not show it; military interrogators would know how to exploit fear. He refused to supply more than name, rank, and serial number.
"We know that you took off from Korat," he was told. This information had been on his parachute pack and in his flight suit.
"I did like hell!" Larry answered.
"We know you did!"
"No," he said. He decided to try to confuse his captors with misinformation. "I took off from Da Nang."
Indeed, Owl was thoroughly confused, and the interrogation ended. The next day it began again. "You say you took off from Da Nang . . ."
Larry interrupted to deny having said this.
"But you said yesterday. . ."
"I don't know what I said yesterday. I was tired, or sick. I didn't take off from Da Nang."
"From where did you take off?"
"I didn't say."
Frustrated, Owl began lecturing him on the justness of the DRY's cause and on how Guarino had been misled by his political leaders. Larry interrupted to ask, "Who do you think you are talking to, a fiveyearold kid? With a line of crap like that?"
Owl glared at him. "You are very impolite," he said. "Very impolite. "
The session ended.
After dark, alone in his cell, he heard a door slam and then someone whistling the tune "Up in the air, Junior Birdmen..." He jumped up on a bunk and looked out a barred window. All he could see was a high, thick wall with jagged glass implanted along the top and laced with electrical wires. He could not see the ground below but knew from the whistling that an American was there.
"Yank!" he whispered loudly.
"Who is it?"
"Bob! This is Larry Guarino!"
"Larry! What a place to meet you again!"
Guarino and Peel had known each other at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines before either had come to Vietnam. Larry had read about Bob's being shot down on May 31.
"How are you?" Bob asked.
"Okay," Larry answered.
"What happened to you?"
"The same thing that happened to you, Bob. Listen, your name has been released as definitely captured."
"Oh, God, that's a relief. I was so worried about my parents!"
"Well, no sweat. Your name is out, and they say you're okay. Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. Shh! Someone's coming."
Larry jumped down off the bunk. He heard Bob move away.
"Do you know that your people have bombed our country with B52s?" The interrogator was a man of about fortythree, Larry's own age. He kept chainsmoking and running his hands through bushy, graying hair. The prisoners would come to identify this man as Colonel Nam, or the Eagle-he wanted the POWs to think he was a Mig pilot but kept saying things that showed he knew nothing at all about flying.
"On what date did the B52s come?"
"Where did they bomb?"
"Very close to here. Why do you think your side did that?"
"It's very simple: retribution."
"You shot me down. They are not going to let you get away with that."
Eagle, in a sudden paroxysm of rage, came snarling around his table to the stool where Larry sat and landed a roundhouse openpalm slap on the American's face that knocked him from his stool, sending him sprawling across the floor.
Back in his cell, Larry wondered whether the blow was in punishment for his sarcasm or whether the interrogator actually believed the B52s had struck in retaliation for Guarino's shootdown-it would not have surprised him.* He was certain only that this interrogator was not going to put up with any more nonsense.
*B52s did not bomb anywhere near Hanoi until December, 1972.
He stared at the wall, not seeing it, absorbed in his thoughts about the situation. Then, suddenly, three English words scratched onto the wall swam into focus: "Look under bench."
His heart was pounding! What bench? He looked frantically about the cell. In a corner stood a tiny wooden stool. Stuck into a crack on the underside was a small piece of folded paper.
"Hi, Yank," the message said, "this is the interrogation center. You will be here four to six weeks. No torture yet.
Pray, trust in God." It was signed "Yank."
Larry was elated at hearing from another American. He moved about the cell excitedly, searching the walls for more messages. He found a calendar scratched onto the wall near the cell door. The days were marked off one by one, starting with April 28-about six weeks earlier. And etched into the black paint on the cell door was the name Storz. He did not know Storz but was grateful to him. He looked forward to meeting him, so that he could tell him how much his message had meant to him.
For two days the meals served to Larry were excellent, so delicious that he thought he might have trouble keeping his weight down. Even the first night, after he had traded shouts and insults with Rabbit, there had been a savory soup, an entree of three slices of wellprepared pork, a serving of green beans, and two kinds of bread.
Things changed abruptly after he had maintained his defiant posture for a second day. A turnkey opened his cell door and indicated that Guarino should stand at attention when he entered. Larry remained seated on his bunk and invited the guard to go to hell, observing that U.S. Air Force majors did not stand for North Vietnamese corporals. Finally, the hungry prisoner was persuaded to go out into the corridor and pick up his dinner, which had been rolled in on a cart. It was in two bowls. One contained a mixture masquerading as a foursome water and what appeared to be swamp grass; there was an odor of steel about it. The other bowl contained a serving of rice-old, stale, hard, and liberally sprinkled with dirt.
Larry returned the meal untouched. Immediately he was taken to an interrogation with Owl.
"Why have you not eaten your food?" Owl asked.
"I have no intention of eating such filthy stuff as was served to me tonight," he answered.
"You are being punished!" Owl shouted. "All the others, all of your friends cooperate with us. Only you do not cooperate."
Larry recognized this as the military interrogator's ruse; it was so transparent. He did not believe other American prisoners were cooperating. His overriding concern was to abide by the Code of Conduct, to be a good officer, to do an honorable job as an American prisoner of war.
"Well," said Larry, "I ain't gonna cooperate! I gave you my name, rank, and horsepower, and that's all you're gonna get! Now, I wanna eat, and I'm not gonna eat that crap you sent me!"
But the slop kept coming; every meal, every day. Larry refused even to try to eat it. He would take only water.
The ropes that had bound him during the trip to Hanoi had opened numerous small cuts, and these became infected. His captors would do nothing about the festering sores. Larry bit them open, sucked out the pus and spit it on the floor of his cell. The infections did not alarm him; he had always had strong recuperative powers.
What did begin to bother him was the hunger. The pangs were severe. He had had an ulcer operation a few years earlier, and he worried that there might be a recurrence.
The interrogations continued. One day Owl was joined by a senior officer whom he treated with great deference. This man, whom the POWs would identify as Dog, remained utterly impassive. He was handsome, obviously intelligent, and, although he did not utter a sound, Larry felt certain that he understood every word that was spoken. The next day the interrogation was conducted by Dog alone.
"You must understand," he told Larry, ''that your position here is and will always be that of a criminal. You are not now or ever going to be treated in accordance with the Geneva agreements, because this is an undeclared war. You have criminally attacked our people, and it has been decided that you are always to be treated as a criminal. You must cooperate and show repentance for your crimes to earn good treatment. Sooner or later, you are going to show repentance. You are going to admit you are a criminal. You are going to denounce your government. You are going to beg our people for forgiveness."
Thus, by midJune, 1965, Hanoi had determined to treat its American prisoners as common criminals.
The food did not improve, and Larry continued to fast.
There were interrogations by a number of different interrogators. Eagle, the interrogator who tried to suggest that he was a Mig pilot, wanted to know, "How do you bomb in an F105?"
"Oh, about the same way you do in a Mig," Larry said.
"Yeah. You know, just kind of point the airplane down and then pull up and let the bomb go. Just kind of by guess
and by God."
"From how high do you bomb?"
"Depends on the weather. Just kind of pick out your own altitude and go ahead and let 'er fly."
"How do you navigate the F105?"
"Oh, we do the same thing you do in a Mig."
"What do you mean?"
"You know, just DR [Dead Reckoning]. Just time and distance, the same way you do."
"Yes." Eagle nodded his head knowingly. Larry was convinced the man had never seen the inside of an airplane. The session ended.
There was another session with Dog, who seemed terribly nervous; he was actually trembling and kept glancing toward the door. "Sit down," he told Larry. "Now, I am going to ask you some things, and I want you to answer loudly and clearly, do you understand? Loudly and clearly!"
From Dog's manner, Larry decided that the meeting probably was being taperecorded, and that the interrogator's health and welfare depended upon a productive session.
"Now," said Dog, "loudly and clearly, give me your name, rank, and serial number."
Larry gave these.
"Now, tell me, how were you shot down?"
"Okay," said Larry. "I took off from Da Nang. I flew up here, and when I got close to the target I think my engine crapped out."
"Say that again!" Dog shouted. "Say that again!"
"I think my engine just kind of crapped out over the target," Larry said, "and I bailed out."
Dog's nervousness became even more pronounced. He did not understand what Guarino was saying. What did he mean "crapped out" ?
"Augured in," Larry explained. "It bought the farm. "
Dog fidgeted anxiously. He was pale. He muttered to himself. "Tell me how you were shot down?" he pleaded.
"Well, my engine crapped out...."
The session ended. But for Larry the propaganda war had just begun.
In March, at the Plantation, Doug Hegdahl had received a message from Dick Stratton: "The Fox says go home with his blessing." Fox was the code name of Air Force Lt. Col. Theodore W. Guy, who was senior to Hervey Stockman and had succeeded him as SRO. Guy had not been immediately agreeable to Stratton's proposal that Hegdahl leave early, but Beak, now codenamed Wizard, had been persuasive. With Guy persuaded, Hegdahl had only to sell the Vietnamese on the idea.
On June 3, at the height of the DramesiAtterberry postescape purge, Hegdahl was taken to an interrogation where it was demanded of him, "Who is Fox?"
He was frightened; he knew that his time for torture had come. He was in a dilemma; he was not going to give up code names, yet knew that a failure to cooperate would destroy his chances for release. Would he then be in violation of orders from Guy as well as Stratton?
"A fox," he stammered, "is a small red animal found in a forest . . ."
His interrogator slammed a hand down on the table, shouting, "Code! Fox. Who is the Fox?"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
He was thrown on the floor, his hands were tied behind him, and he was wrapped tightly head to foot in a straw mat. He was left alone, full of panic, terrified at the thought of what would happen to him when his interrogator returned. After about an hour, his bindings were removed and he was seated at the table again, facing the interrogator.
"We do not like to do unpleasant things to you," the interrogator said, "but you must tell us, who is the Fox?"
Hegdahl was amazed. There was no show of anger. He was now being treated almost gently; he surmised that his captors had reminded themselves of his stupidity and had decided to deal differently with him. Pencil and paper were placed before the prisoner, and the interrogator ordered, "Write, Fox is SRO."
Hegdahl wrote this, smiling brightly and saying, "Want to tell me his name; I'll write that down, too?"
The interrogator shook his head, smiling grimly; he had no intention of giving away military information to Hegdahl. He said, "White down, 'Beak is Lieutenant Commander Stratton.'" Hegdahl fort a surge of relief. Beak was the old code name. They seemed to have the old code and fragments of the new, and with the pressured, code names were all sure to be changed again immediately. The interrogator produced a map of the Plantation, pointed at a building, calling it by the name the prisoners called it, and said, "Write 'Warehouse' here." Then, pointing at another building, he ordered, "Write, 'Corucrib' here." That was the end of it.
On July 4, Hegdahl was taken to a large room where Cat, the head jailer, sat with two other prisoners, Navy Lt. Robert Frishman (captured on October 24, 1967) and Air Force Capt. Wesley Rumble (captured on April 29, 1968). Tea and bananas were served to the prisoners, and Cat was expansive. "You three are being considered for release," he said, "if you show a strictly correct attitude."
When the tea party ended and the three prisoners were leaving the room, Cat called Hegdahl back. He laid before the Dakotan the sheets of paper on which he had taken the dictation a month earlier. He said, "It is true, Heddle, this time you are going home. But mind you, Heddle, if you say anything bad about the camp authorities or about the Vietnamese people when you return, I will see these documents fall into the hands of your government. According to your code of conduct, you will go to prison for revealing secrets of your comrades. "
Hegdahl recalls that when he first joined the two officers, Frishman and Rumble, he felt required to remind them that "... you understand that you are not to accept early release," and to explain that he had been ordered to leave. He remembers that neither officer made any reply.
Prior to departure Hegdahl came to know the two well, and to like them. Rumble had an extensive, revised list of POW names, men who were known to be in captivity because they had actually been seen and heard by others. Many of Hegdahl's names were of men who had not been positively identified, had come from third parties who had only seen names on identification cards and the like. It was decided that Rumble's list, clearly the more reliable, was the one that should be given to the U.S. government.
On August 4, Frishman, Rumble, and Hegdahl were released to an American antiwar delegation. On reaching Washington, Hegdahl, disregarding Cat's threat to expose him to his government for "revealing the secrets of your comrades," had much that was "bad" to tell his own government about the camp authorities. He delivered all the intelligent he held; he was even able to pinpoint for startled debriefers the precise location of the Plantation, which, he assured them, "is located at the intersection of Le Van Binh and Le Van Linh"-he had collected this information one day while sweeping around the front gate of the place. The "dumb" Dakotan didn't have to play dumb anymore.
"Don't worry about me," Stratton had told Hegdahl two years earlier. "Blow the whistle on the Bastards!".
At a press conference, Hegdahl and Frishman were allowed for the first time to tell of mistreatment and brutal torture in Hanoi's prisons. During the Johnson Administration, when the first six POWs had been released from Hanoi, it had been feared that public testimony might trigger a violent reaction against the prisoners who were still in captivity, so nothing was said. The Nixon Administration was persuaded that the information would bring a weight of world opinion to bear against Hanoi that would result in improved treatment for the prisoners.
Later, when Hegdahl was discharged,* Dallas computer magnate Ross Perot, a 1952 Naval Academy graduate, sent him to Paris to press Hanoi's peacetalk delegates to allow inspection teams in the camps. During one meeting a Hanoi representative protested. "Our policy is very humane in the camps." "Look," Hegdahl retorted, "I was there."
"Ohhh," the delegate murmured. "Humane and lenient treatment" was not mentioned again.
Grim as the Briarpatch was, the company was good and so was the entertainment-the daily American air strikes against the military installations around the nearby Sui Hal Dam. The POWs watched, enviously, exultantly, as the fighterbombers rolled in, delivered their lethal payloads, then pulled up and away. In a sense, it was a wrenching experience to see the attacking aircraft streak off after expending their ordnance; the POWs could not help thinking that in a little while these pilots would be back at their bases, reading letters from home, drinking beer, eating well, showering, walking about freely. Still, it was grand to watch them in action, especially since enemy aircraft gunners seemed unable to down any of them. On Wednesday, September 15, Lt. Col. Robinson Risner, commanding the 67th Tactical Fighter Squadron, got his canopy knocked off, but this merely made things uncomfortable. His wingman, Ray Merritt, closed up on him, and Risner led his flight home to Korat.
Far below, from his cell window, Larry Guarino watched them go. Suddenly, he was full of a dreadful premonition. He called to Smitty Harris, on the other side of a wall, "Hey, I got some real funny feelings about Risner. Real strong feelings about Risner and his assistant ops officer, what's his name? Ray something. . . Ray. . ."
"Ray Merritt," Harris answered. Smitty had been a member of Risner's squadron.
"That's right," Larry answered. "Gee, I've got the strangest feelings about those two guys." He worried about them all the rest of that day and through much of the night. He had known Robbie Risner for a long time; the two had been close friends. He recalled that Time magazine had featured Robbie on its cover earlier in the year, describing the Korean War ace (eight Migs destroyed) as the classic example of the kind of dedicated, military professional who was leading the American effort in Vietnam. Boy, Larry thought, if the gooks ever Bet ahold of him, they'll skin him alive!
The next day, Thursday, September 16, Risner and Merritt both entered Hanoi's prison system.
Risner was shot down and captured approximately ninety miles south of Hanoi. He reached Hoa Lo at midmorning on September 18 and was installed in Room 18, off the main courtyard, just to the left of the entrance to the prison. Room 18 was also to be known as "The Meathook Room," for a hook that extended down from the ceiling-some uncooperative Americans were to be trussed up and hung from this hook, upside down and rightside up. Entry into Room 18 was from a hallway through French doors with opaque windows. It was a large room, perhaps 30 feet by 20 feet. High on the wall, looking down on the hallway, was a window which had been boarded over. For interrogations, the room usually was set up with chairs behind a conference table covered with a blue drape. The prisoner was made to sit on a low stool before the table. During punishment or torture sessions, the place was emptied of everything but a waste bucket, which was usually left full of the previous interrogatee's leavings. Room 18 was a dirty, sinisterlooking place. Here and there, patches of dried blood fastened clutches of hair to the grimy walls.
Rabbit joined him, and interrogations began immediately. As quickly as Risner established that he would answer no questions beyond those sanctioned by the Geneva Convention, he was made aware that the Vietnamese knew a good deal more about him than name, rank, and serial number. The Time article was quoted to him; so were other articles that had appeared in American newspapers the previous spring, after Risner had been awarded the Air Force Cross for leading a maximumeffort air strike in which three important North Vietnamese bridges had been destroyed.
"Do you want to see your wife and family again?" he was asked.
"Yes," he answered, "I expect to."
"Only if you talk and answer the questions we ask will you see them. "
The full, soulshattering impact of being separated indefinitely from his wife and family reached him on his second day in Hoa Lo, as he was served his morning meal, a miserable, weedy gruel. Robbie's existence centered on his wife, Kathleen, and their five sons who ranged in age from 16 to 3~. Mealtimes had been especially precious, a time of joy, where all had shared in the small and large triumphs, problems, and plans of each. By now, word of Robbie's showdown would have reached his family. He could see Kathleen, her eyes abrim with tears as she served the boys, who would be casting covert glances at their father's empty chair and thinking private thoughts.
No one had ever gone to war better prepared than Robinson Risner. Deeply religious, he was at peace with God, and engaged in activity he knew to be absolutely right. He had no regrets over anything he had ever done and he was not afraid to die. But he could not ward off a deep sadness at the prospect of long separation from his family.
Over the next two weeks more than a dozen interrogators had at Risner. He would not cooperate. He was assured that he was a war criminal. There was much talk of turning him over to the people, who would tear him apart. He was told that he would be burned at the stake. These threats were lost on him; he simply was not able to believe them. In any case, he was as ready to die as he ever would be.
Soon he was installed in a Heartbreak Hotel dungeon. Sensing that there were other Americans in nearby cells, he waited until he thought the guards were out of earshot, then sang, softly and to the tune of ''McNamara's Band":
Oh, my name is Robbie Risner,
I'm the leader of the group.
Listen to my story,
And I'll give you all the poop.
Up from several cells came greetings from three members of his own squadron: his wingman, Maj. Ray Merritt; one of his flight commanders, Maj. Ronald E. Byrne; and Capt. Wesley Schierman. Another Heartbreak resident was Navy Comdr. Wendell Rivers, an A4 pilot off the carrier Coral Sea. Rivers, who had flown nearly one hundred missions, had made a ritual before each mission of running into his room, which was on the route between the ready room and the flight deck, and kissing a lipstick impression his wife had made on a water pipe, then kissing a picture of his wife and children. On September 10, a second mission had come up, and it had been necessary to brief and launch on a crash basis, and there had been no time for the ritual. Shortly, Wendy had found himself parachuting into North Vietnam and grousing to himself, "Shit! Shit! Shit! Here goes the next two years of my life!"
All wanted to know how long Risner estimated the war would last. Reporting that Defense Secretary Robert McNamara had indicated it would be over by next June, he affected a cheerful optimism. He deemed it his duty as senior officer to try to keep up the others' morale. "Don't sweat it, guys," he said. "We can stand on our heads 'til June."
He hoped it made them feel better. Privately, he found the thought of imprisonment in this place for another ten months intolerable.
One day in October, Robbie Risner's cell door opened to admit Dog, the camp commander, and a stout, bullnecked, scowling civilian. The civilian strode about the cell, looking it and the prisoner over. Finally, he stood before Robbie and snarled, "So-you are also Korean hero!"
"I cannot answer that question," Robbie said, "that's military information. "
The civilian's neck swelled and his face reddened. He shouted, "We are preparing for your kind! You will soon see that you will answer our questions!" He turned and left the cell, Dog at his heels.
Toward the end of the month Ron Storz returned from interrogation to urgently warn Risner, "They've found everything! If you've got anything you don't want them to have, get rid of it. Pass the word."
Robbie had no time to do anything but fill his communications holes with rocks, soap, and pieces of bone he had salvaged from meals and to wonder frantically what had happened.
In a surprise inspection the Vietnamese had discovered the communications holes between Storz's cell and the one beyond it. Ron had managed to eat several Risner policy papers, but the inspectors had found one in the next cell. Using it as a search checklist, they were combing every cell in the Zoo for the materials the SRO had directed his men to seek and save. The POWs lost everything they had collected, every piece of wood, wire, metal, soap, string, every nail. Communications holes were being found everywhere.
Ron Storz had been missing for three days by the time he got back and warned Risner. He had been taken into a bare, lonely cell somewhere which seemed to be inhabited by every mosquito in Southeast Asia. He had been stripped down to his shorts and made to sit on a stool, and it had been demanded of him that he betray Risner as the organizer and leader of prisoner resistance. He had refused to do so, and now, as Robbie filled up their communications holes, Ron tapped a question: "Have you confessed?"
"Never!" Risner replied.
"Neither will I" tapped Storz. "G B U." ("God Bless You.")
"G B U." Robbie answered. Then guards arrived and took him from his cell. He was brought to a room in the Barn away from the others. He was seated on a stool before a table. On the table were pencil and paper. Storz, he was advised, had told all, and now it was required that Risner confirm what Storz had admitted-that Risner was the instigator of prisoner resistance, that he had set himself up as the camp commander, that he was organizing a revolt by the prisoners, and that he had been sent to this place by the American government to do these things.
He was left alone to write this confession. Each hour, guards entered to see if he had done so. When after twentyfour hours Robbie had not lifted pencil to paper, he was taken to the camp commander's office in the headquarters building, called Gook House by the POWs, at the northeast corner of the camp. The camp commander was now a man the prisoners named Fox; he had superseded Dog, who was still on hand as deputy. Fox was middlefortyish, perhaps five feet seven inches tall, weighed about 160 pounds, and kept his thick, black hair combed straight back. "You will be severely punished," he told Risner, "unless you admit to all of your mistakes. Here is a pencil and paper. Write!"
"I will not write," Robbie said.
"You know you were breaking the camp regulations. You were communicating, and telling others to resist." He waved the length of toilet paper containing Robbie's policy. "From now on, you will not make a sound. You will not communicate. You will not talk. You will not look at others. Do you understand?"
"Yes," said Robbie, "I understand. I understand that I am to be silent, like an animal, and that you are going to treat us like animals! Don't forget, someday we will tell our story to the world, and the world will know what you Vietnamese really are!"
Fox was beside himself with rage. He shouted in Vietnamese to the attending guards. He waved the SRO's policy paper at them, pointed to Risner's admonition to the POWs that one catches more flies with honey than with vinegar, and told them, "He calls you flies! Flies!" Then several of them came at Robbie, grabbed him, pinned his arms behind his back, held his head up.
"Open mouth!" someone ordered.
He refused to do so. Thumbs were pressed hard against his cheeks until his mouth was forced open. Then balls of crumpled newspaper were shoved into his mouth. A stick was used to shove them over his tongue and deep into his throat. Robbie felt himself gagging and panicking. He had a cold and had been having trouble breathing through his nose, and now he was unable to breathe through his mouth. More newspaper balls were pressed in, until his throat and mouth were full. He could not salivate. He was suffocating, and he was scared-the idea of dying in combat, or even of being deliberately tortured to death had never really frightened him; but somehow, the idea of dying like this, for no reason, did frighten him. He was determined not to accept such a death. He concentrated, subdued panic. By immense effort of will, he kept thrusting air from his lungs up to his throat and forced himself to take air through his swollen nasal passages, breathing slowly, carefully, evenly.
He was blindfolded, his wrists were tied tightly behind him, his ankles were bound, and he was thrown into the back of a truck. He was taken from the Zoo to Hoa Lo. There, his bindings, blindfold, and gag were removed, and he was taken into Cell # 1 in New Guy Village. The stocks at the end of a cement bunk were unlocked and opened. Robbie was ordered onto the bunk, his ankles were locked into the stocks, and he was left alone. His morale had never been lower. The Zoo was no bargain, to be sure, but this lonely place was the end of the world.
Shortly after Risner was put in stocks, written "Camp Regulations" were posted on the inside of the door of every POW cell. According to these regulations:
U.S. aggressors caught redhanded in their piratical attacks against the DRV are criminals. While detained in this camp, you will strictly obey the following:
All criminals will bow to all officers, guards and Vietnamese in the camp.
All criminals must show polite attitude at all times to off cers and guards in the camp, or they will be severely punished.
All criminals will truthfully answer, orally or in writing, any question, or do anything directed by camp authority.
Criminals are forbidden to attempt to communicate with each other in any way, such as signals and tapping on the walls.
Any criminal who attempts to escape or help others to do so will be severely punished.
Criminals who follow these camp regulations and show a good attitude by concrete acts and report all those who want to make trouble will be rewarded, and shown a humane treatment.
There were twenty such regulations. There was no way that an American POW could adhere to them and at the same time abide by his own Code of Conduct. The regulations demanded that the prisoners commit treason, against each other and against their country. As it turned out, the Vietnamese, in promulgating these impossible regulations, were merely establishing the launching platform for a grim program; they were providing themselves with an excuse for punishing and torturing their American prisoners. Starting now-Rod Knutson was just coming out of the torture wringer at Hoa Lo-the Vietnamese were to apply as much punishment and torture as required to extract an apology from an American POW for having broken any of the regulations. After apologizing, the transgressor was to be afforded an opportunity to demonstrate his "sincerity" by offering something in atonement: military information; information about other POWs; written or taperecorded statements that might persuade other POWs to cooperate, or be used in the DRY's propaganda program, or held and used later, to blackmail the prisoner for something more
(No verified email address)
01 Apr 2003
Thanks MicMac. I read a portion of what you posted,
maybe I'll have a chance to finish it someday.
My POW story may well be someone's wishful thinking.
I heard it on the radio once - I tried to find it on
the web, but it's tough when you're not even sure of
the exact words (I think I came pretty close).
Some more thoughts (english)
(No verified email address)
01 Apr 2003
Jerzy I appreciate your post but I have some other thoughts on it too. We might be in a 'schozophrenic' position but that's not so unusual for many of us people. There are contradictions all around in life and we have to work with compromises in practice. Like you might believe we need a total social transformation of a pretty radical nature but you might be working for affirmative action or against the FTAA.
This is a really heartbreaking issue though. People's lives are on the line. Their lives are in danger and many of them were very brave to enlist and I respect them for it, even at the same time that I disagree with their way of thinking. A person can respect another person's heart but disagree with the content of their beliefs. I do it all the time. I respect the dignity of a lot of people even though their beliefs carried through to the extreme would make a horrible world.
I think MicMac said it before -- you got to respect your enemies. A warrior has respect for her enemies. This is the way to change them most effectively.
In this way, I wish the US administration had more respect for the Iraqi soldiers. You can feel the sense of entitlement in the US administration. It's the same as the British in the US war for independence which led to their defeat.
But my main point is this: you can't worry too much about being demoralizing to troops that you are protesting this war. If you are doing it truly from your heart and with respect to them too, then they will understand what it's about, most of them. Some will never understand. But read the second to last paragraph of Jerzy's post. That's strong.
And: you can protest for YOURSELF too. You don't have to d it for the troops alone. I want to bring those people home because I respect them and I don't want to see any of them killed for the price of oil under the disguise of "liberation". It's a big PR war. If we're going to fight let's do it out of TRUTH not PR! Seriously.
But it's also for MYSELF. This government is claiming to represent ME. It is also endangering me and people I love here in this country and all around the world. That's why the slogan "not in my name" is important. It lets people know that it's not all the US people who are fighting this damn war, but the government. It lets people know that a lot of people oppose this war. As a result a terrorist attack in retaliation might be targeted against a government installation instead of innocent civilians. Because when a US bomb kills someone's parent or brother or sister, "they" might hate "the US government" instead of "us" meaning all people in the US if they have seen the protests in the US.
To the Poster Above (english)
by MicMac Merc
(No verified email address)
01 Apr 2003
Hi, "Not in my Name" is fine.. but you have to understand
most all oountrys/tribes.. what ever, are glued together by
the consensus of the majority also known to some as a
Though many share things in common, like the Constitutuion
and Bill of Rights, Reservations, etc...... the majority
71% in this the US believe that there will be more "good"
that comes out this war in the end. Freedom from a tyrant
in Iraq, and with the "total purpose" of this war in mind,
fear embeded into any group who feels they can walk/fly in
to the US and arbitrarily kill men, women and children..
One might say, "Isn't that what we are doing in Iraq?"
In essence, like friendly fire deaths that happen in
conflict among the services, unfortunately, civilian
casualty's happen. If we waited till they brought it
"full scale" to our turf, think about the civilian
casualty's that could be happening in the US.
Also consider the intentional.. the human harm caused by
a government in Iraq, led by a dictator, or wannabe dictators, who would, to preserve their lives,(position)
place their own civilian women and children on the front lines as a shield.
Re: American Soldiers "respecting" the ability of the
Iraq soldiers to fight.. there is no question .. that
respect for the "true" Iraqi warrior exists. Don't let the
TV PsyOps you. It's those who place non-mil. men, women
and children in front of them as their "shields" who are
In fine.. any one has the right to state, not in my name,
individually... isn't that the intent of each ( other than
the front groups )person who marches agaist the war..?
But those who wish to sign their name as supporters of
the intentions of the war, have the same right(s) that is
what makes our country so unique ( not that I will ever
concede this is your land ).
the majority is not always right (english)
by not a cog
(No verified email address)
01 Apr 2003
Still reading your post but I want to make some comments as I go.
About the 71%, don't believe the polls necessarily. If you saw this on the news and it's from a Gallup or Roper Poll or some other poll, then you may not know but it's from a pool of "likely voters" or "heads of household" or whoever volunteers in houses that have telephones. The sample causes bias. So the 71% support is not definiteley accurate.
Also, they can word questions in a certain way to make it sound different, and then they rephrase them in the reportback on the news.
Or they can choose the question that gives the best results for their bias and then report only on that.
I don't believe polls very much. I know something what I am saying because I know people who work in a polling center and I also read a lot about polling methods and errors.
Also people can manipulate statistics in all sorts of ways too, for example they have shown that african american people possess inferior intelligence (a sick book called The Bell Curve). That's obviously not true but it can be "proven" with manipulated statistics.
Now I said all that, let me ask you if the majority makes something right. If 51% of people believe slavery is acceptable, does it make it right? If 51% of likely voters think segregation by race is good, does it make it right? By the way, if you did a poll among "likely voters" in 1930 guess who you would get? White people. Period. Then the polls could be used to "prove" that the majority of people want segregation. Well in hindsight it's easy to see that the majority is not always right. In the present moment it's harder, though.
So I don't give a hoot what 71% of likely voters think. I know what I think and it's that killing people for the powers that be is wrong, dead wrong.
People are dying in this war, civilians and people in both armies. It's wrong.
There are the justifications about "liberation" of the Iraqi people, but don't you see the pure hypocrisy of it? The U.S. supports dictators everywhere in the world, dictators who kill people right and left, massacre people, repress people, whatever.
Then the U.S. elites just decide what resources they want to grab, or what country they need to invade, and then use the same PR firms that make ads for cellphones and McDonalds to write the script for it. They find the angle to sell the war. That's no accident -- the "sell" the war to the U.S. people.
However this time it didn't work.
Americans are slow. Half of us haven't gotten it yet. Everyone else around the world has gotten it, and half of us have figured it out too.
So that's what I have to say so far. I will read your post more.
To the not a cog (english)
by MicMac Merc
(No verified email address)
01 Apr 2003
Hello not a cog,
Mé talwléin? (How are you?)
I hear your heart. I hear your reports on misleading polls, among other things suspected.. ( there is a gamet of things that seem to make the rounds depending on ones views and their need to succeed with them, by falsification if need be.
If 51% of likely voters think segregation by race is good, does it make it right?
You mean like reservations?
If 51% of people believe slavery is acceptable, does it make it right?
You mean like the yellow man, indian or as cloned by the
left, Native Americans? ( I prefer Indian - American Indian )
You ask questions which can be answered by generations of
natives who have lived withing the parameters of the question as if we missed something! ( I did great on my GED's by the way )
People are dying in this war, civilians and people in both armies. It's wrong.
Can you give me an alternative? Sit and wait untill something so catastrofic ( what ever ) is done ( like NUKED ). Do you really feel if we pulled out of all
the countrys of the world - the world would rotate in love?
Let me give some insight who suffers when we fail to...
Please, tell me what this is called.. and this is from the mouth of the grunt and the people.. why is there no demonstrations against this? If that be the peaceful way to see it stopped.
The Nashville-based Laotian Airborne Association â?" a group of veterans who fought with the Americans in the Vietnam
War â?" gathered last night in Smyrna to voice support for the war in Iraq.
''We are the faithful allies,'' said Col. Khambang Sibounheuang, a proud warrior known as Col. K.B. to his American military
friends. ''We support George W. Bush. We support our troops in the Gulf.'' He added that he wanted the troops to come
About 200 people, a mix of American Vietnam veterans and members of the Royal Lao Army and family members, gathered
in Smyrna Town Center last night to voice that support. They sang the American national anthem and held a moment of
silence for Laos, a country that fell to the communists in 1975.
Amnesty International has accused the government of the Southeast Asian country of religious persecution, torture and other
human rights abuses.
The event was co-hosted by the Center for Public Policy Analysis, a Washington-based think tank. Philip Smith, executive
director of the Washington group, said they are asking that President Bush add Laos to the ''Axis of Evil,'' a group of
countries that Bush regarded as the most dangerous in the world.
Just as President Saddam Hussein oppresses minority groups in Iraq, such as the Kurds, Smith said, the regime in Laos
abuses human rights of the country's minorities.
The Laotians and the Hmung, a mountain tribal people from Southeast Asia, fought on the side of the United States in one of
the largest covert military operations in the history of the United States. When the Laotian government fell to the communists
in 1975, the Americans pulled out, leaving their allies behind.
Sibounheuang said many Laotian soldiers were murdered, many were arrested and many were missing. He said he wanted to
tell Americans about the long suffering of the people of Laos.
I read here more about Iraqi people who were murdered..
and a swamp people who numbered 250,000 or it may have
been more, can't recall who were murdered, their land
taken, a dam built that hurt the ecology and many endangered
animals. Out of that group there is about 40,000 people
left??????? what is your solution? The Iraq pres. was
responsible for these acts.. who here said a word. Isn't
there many contradictions? I might add these are only a FEW things there are many more.. and if some had their
way ( some front groups communist backed ) who use kids to
push their agenda, it would happen here. The one thing I
can state is they will kill as equal opportunity killers..
not caring what you are, ... and if one of these religious nut groups, off shoots of main stream, if your not one of
themn, your dead. period. They have no tollerance for any one or any thing.
Is this what you would like to see writen about the USA
if all decided to become docile?
Re: Vietnam - and you can thank the communists in the anti-war movement for this ... they hid facts from the people,
rigged their polls, and used students and others to push forward their hidden agenda.
The government's human rights record remained poor, and it continued to commit serious abuses. Police sometimes beat
suspects during arrests, detention, and interrogation. Several sources also reported that security forces detained, beat, and
were responsible for the disappearances of numerous persons during the year. Incidents of arbitrary detention of citizens,
including detention for peaceful expression of political and religious views, continued. Prison conditions remained harsh,
particularly in some isolated provinces, and some persons died as a result of mistreatment in custody. Prisons reportedly
required inmates to work for little compensation and no wages. The judiciary was not independent, and the Government
denied some citizens the right to fair and expeditious trials. The Government continued to hold a number of political prisoners.
Although the Government amnestied over 9,500 prisoners during the year, it was unknown whether any political or religious
prisoners were among them. The Government restricted citizens' privacy rights, although the trend toward reduced
government interference in the daily lives of most citizens continued. The Government significantly restricted freedom of
speech, the freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of association. The Government continued its
longstanding policy of not tolerating most types of public dissent and stepped up efforts to control dissent on the Internet.
Security forces continued to enforce unusually strict restrictions on public gatherings and travel in some parts of the country.
Unusual restrictions on public gatherings and travel primarily pertained to the Central Highlands and the Northwest Highlands
No one I know really likes war.. but what are the alternatives? Should we sit still and wait to be dismembered?
Thank you for being level headed and corgial.. maybe thats
the true key to peace internationally.
I love nmvtki
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Mtul’katlku Wjit Koqwajo’taqann Mimajulnu’k Wejkuaqml’tlj
Na Ke’sk kejitastkl wkpmlte’taqn lapjiw lame’k eykl aqq nkute’jklaqq mukislkaswl’kasinukl koqwajo’taqann wejku’laqml’tl mimajulnu’k na nekmewe’l elqanetekewe’l wjit alsumsimk, koqwaja’taqan aqq wantaqo’tl wsitqamu’k.
Na Ke’sk penoqlte’taqan aqq esatite’tmaqan wjit koqwajo’taqann wejku’iaqmi’titl mimajulnu’k wetapeksi’kl elue’wuti’l ta’n msit wen poqwajite’tikl aqq wejkwite’tmk wsitqamu ta’n tett msit wen alsutk ta’n teluej aqq teli-ktlamsltasij aqq alsutk pmawsin keskmna’q we’kwata’sik kisna kewisinuk, na wla kisi tlapukuemk msit mimajulnu’k tliktantunew mawi espe’k.
Na Ke’sk nuta’q ta’n tijiw ji’nm mu ketu’ kisa’lawt eliapsin mita kespiagewey, matneken, matnmn kestawite’taqan aqq emekwo’tasimk, na koqwajo’taqann wejku’laqmi’tl mimajulnu’k miamuj etli-ankwo’tasikl tplutaqaniktuk,
Na Ke’sk nuta’q apoqonmatamn ta’n tela’matultljik eleke’wa’ki’l,
Na Ke’sk msit mimajuinu’k naspultijik Mawalo’mi Eleke’wa’ki’l kisl wi’kml’tij alsutaqn Wi’katikniktukta’n teli-espite’tmi’tij iapjiw wikaqtekl koqwajo’taqann wejku’aqmi’till mimejuinu’k aqq wkpmite’taqan aqq ta’n teli espite’lmij mimajuinu’k aqq nkutey koqwajo’taqan wjit ji’nmukaqq e’pijik aqq kisite’tml’tij ktmoqjnmnew wejiwula’tekemk wjit mawio’mi aqq ajiklu’tn mimajuaqan wjit msit alsusutl,
Na Ke’sk mstl eleke’wa’kl’lnastekl Mawio’mi kisi lui’tmasultijik toqlukwtnew Mawalo’mi Eleke’wa’ki’l, kisi-mawjukutinew, ktmoqjenmnew msit tami kepmite’tasiktn aqq klo’tasiktn ta’n koqwajo’taqann wejkul’aqmititl mimajulnu’kaqq asusuti ta’n msit wen ala’toq.
Na Ke’sk aqq keknue’k msit wen nsitmn aqq nenmin wla koqwajo’taqannaqq alsusuti’l kwalaman kisitla’sitew ta’n tel lui’lmasultimkl,
Na nike’ Mawio’ml Eleke’wa’ki’l telapukua’tijk:
Wula Wtul’katikn wjit Koqwajo’taquann Mimajulnu’k Wejkuaqml’tij kisi mawi apoqntimu’k wjit msit mimajuinu’k aqq wjit msit elekewa’ki’l, kulaman msit wen aqq msit mawio’mi’l wsitqamu’k, klite’aq ta’n wjit welek, slawpukeltew mita kinamueten aqq sasa’tutisnu kulaman kepmite’tlsnu wula ta’nl wejku’aqmi’kl aqq ta’n telt alsomsuti’k aqq wejinu’kwalsulti’k ketlewa’tunen, wula kmitkinaq aqq se’k wmitkiwal, ketlewa’tunen ta’n telji’k wsitqamu kulaman nenasital aqq ketlamite’tasitql kilk wjit ta’nik nasupultijik wula mawlo’mi aqq ta’n tett te’s eleke’waki’l we’kwiaq aqq ta’n tett we’kwlaswieket.
Msit mimajulnu’k weskwijinu’ltijik alsumsultijik aqq newte’ tett wkpimte’tmut aqq koqwajo’taqnn wejkul’aqmititl.
Msit wen wejku’awamitl msit koqwajo’taqann aqq alsusutl’l ewikasikl wla Wi’kalikniktuk, ta’n pasikwenij, ta’n pasik tlamuksij, ta’n pasik teli’sij, ta’n pasik teli ktlamistasij, ta’n ketu’ tlapukuej, ta’n tett wetapeksij kisna teli alsutekej ta’n ketu’ tli weskwijinuij jisna ta’n ketu’ tle’k.
Aqq elt, ma’ istutte’lmament wen wjit ta’n telapukuej, kisna wjit ta’n tett etli-ilsumuj, kisna eleke’wa’kik ta’n wejiej tlla’j newtlpukuik, kisna anko’tasik kisna nikana’tasik, kisna etek ta’n pasik koqoey ta’n keltaqanj ta’n teli saqamawutik.
Msit wen wejkul’aqmit koqwajo’taqan wjit ta’n tel mimajij, teli-alsumsij aqq tel-sankewe’k wen.
Ma’ wen kisi pisu’-lukwa’mit kisna keltaqanuksik; keltaqanuksimkewey aqq pisu’lukalmimkewey lpa ma asite’tasinuk.
Ma’ wen kisi wunmajo’tasik kisna amaskwipilnuksik kisna ewlo’tasik kisna penoqo’tasik.
Msit wen wejku’aqamit nenulte’tasin ta’n pasik tami wjit ta’n teli skwijinult tplutaqanikiuk.
Msit wen newte’telpukult tplutaqaniktuk aqqwejku’awamit, keskma’q piluite’tasin kisna tepkislte’lmuksin, newte’tli-ikaluksin tplutaqaniktuk. Msit wen wejku’aqamit newte’tli-ikaluksin kwlaman ma’ penoqo’tasik aqq ma wen listmuk wla telwikasik kisna assitmuk wenl listmlin aqq penoqite’teikelin.
Msit wen wejku’awamit apoqomasutita’n tett etli-ilsutekemk wjit ta’n teli-ewla’luj ta’n tujiw kemutmuj koqwajo’taqann lapjiw wikaqteki, ta’n iknmusn tplutaqaniktuk kisna ewi’kasikl.
Ma wen wskimtuk kisi-pija’luksik, kisna naqeyuksik kisna ejikleyuksik.
Msit wen wejku’aqamit newte’ tl-nutuksin aqq tlo’tasin ta’n tijiw ilsumji nujl ilsuteklitl ta’n alsumsik aqq welinqanilsutekek, ta’n tujiw ilite’tasikl wkoqwajo’taqanmi aqq natkoqoe’l tepkatik tla’teken wen-aqq ta’n pasik telsmut ta’n teli-o’ pla’tekej.
Ta’n pasik wen elsu’tmut kisi opla’taken weskunk koqwajo’taqan tlite’tasin staqa nike’j mna’q teletekekis mi’soqo kisutasik ketloqo kisi o’plateken aqq etli tlsumut ta’n tett msit wen kejitoq ta’n tela’sik aqq ta’n teli ikalsitew iamuj weskunk.
Ma’ wen kisi ilsumuksik opla’taket wjit koqoey ta’n mu telwikasinuksip opla’tekemk ta’n tijiw tela’tekejek kisna mu tela’tekekek. Aqq ma kisi aji eplewi-apankitmuk ta’n teli-opla’tekej aqq ta’n teli-apankitmumkis ta’n tijiw opla’tekejek.
Aqq ma’ wen kisi tala’tuawt ta’n teli-sankewe’k, kisna wikmaq, kisna wi’kk, kisna wtui-katikinn, kisna kisi matnmuawt ta’n tel-kepmite’lmuj kisna telite’lmuj. Msit wen weskunk koqwajo’taqan ikatluksin tplutaqaniktuk kwalaman mu wen kisi sesepta’sualmini kisna ajina’mint wjit wla koqoe’l.
Msit wen wejkul’aqmit koqwajo’taqan alsumsin ta’n teli-ala’sij aqq ta’n tett etlqatekej wmitkimk.
Msit wen wejkul’aqmit koqwajo’taqan kisi-nqitmn eleke’waki’l, we’kaw wmitkink, aqq kisi apaja’in wmitkimk.
Msit wen wejkui’aqmit koqwajo’taqann wjit ta’n telilnuij.
Wla koqwajo’taqann ma kisi-likasiwun ta’n tujiw kisi opla’teken kisna tela’teken ta’n mu wije’winuk ta’n telltasult’tij aqq teliktlamsitasulti’tij Mawio’mi Eleke’wa’kik.
Msit wen wejkul’aqmit koqwajo’taqann wjit ta’n telakutk.
Ma’ wen kisi apija’tuaq ta’n telakutk kisna kisnaqa’lawt ktu’ sa’se’wa’toq ta’n telakutk.
Ji’nmuk aqq E’pijik ta’n tepipuna’tijik weskunmi’tij koqwajo’taqann malte’wultinew aqq wunijanultinew, ta’n pasik ketu ta’n wenij, kisna telilnuij, kisna teli ktlamsitasij. Wejku’aqamulti’tij newte’ koqwajo’taqan malie’wutiktuk, ke’sk malie’wij kisna puna’tekej.
Kisi-malte’witaq wenik ta’n tijiw kitk tel pewatmi’tij aqq mu wen ki’kaj malte’wa’lamint.
Wen wikmaq na welikoqwajite’tasik aqq mawi-espite’tasik mawlo’mik aqq wejku’aqamit wen wikmaq ikatmuksin mawlo’mik aqq Eleke’wa’kik.
Msit wen wejkuaqmit koqwajo’taqann kisi alsutmin koqoey newtuka’lukwet kisna mawalalsuteken.
Ma’ wen skimtuk kisi-wusua’tuaj ta’n koqoey alsutk.
Msit wen wejkul’aqmit koqwajo’taqan alsutmin ta’n telita’sij, teltktlamsilasij aqq ta’n teli-alasutmaj; wla koqwajo’taqan wiaqtek wen alsumsit sa’se’wa’tun ta’n teli-alasutmaj kisna telikilamsitasij; aqq elt etek koqwajo’taqan newtuka’lukwet kisna mawukwat sankewimajukatmin kisna mestiaknutmin ta’n teli-alusutmaj kisna teli-ketlamsitasij ta’n tel kina’muet etlintawa’qatoq, teli alasutmaj aqq telimajukatk ta’n teli-alasutmat kisna teli-klamsitasij.
Msit wen wejkul’aqmit koqwajo’taqan ta’n telita’sij aqq ta’n teluej; wla koqwajo’taqaniktuk wiaqtek wen ta’n telita’sij kesma’q wen sespeta’sualmint aqq kisi kwilmin, msinmn aqq iknmuetun kinu’tmaqan aqq ankita’suaqan ta’n pasik mataqa’taqan ewe’wk aqq ta’n pasik tett.
Msit wenik wejkul’aqmit koqwajo’taqan alsumsultinew kisi sankewi’mawita’new aqq kisi-mawo’ltinew.
Ma’ wen kisi ki’kaji nasa’luksik Mawio’mi ta’n mu ketu’ naspik.
Msit wen wejkul’aqmit koqwajo’taqan kisi-ika’lsin ta’n teli-nikana’tumk wmitkin, koqwaju kisna mkunanta’niknikana’tu’tij ta’n tele’k wmitkin.
Msit wen wejkut’aqmit koqwajo’taqan newte’kistllukwen kaplno’l wmitkink.
Ta’n telpewatmi’tij mimajuinu’k na na’te’l wjiatew ta’n tela’taqatijik ta’nik nikana’tu’tij eleke’wa’ki, aqq wla nemitasitew ta’n tijlw menaqaj mekunuj ta’nik nikana’tu’tij eleke’wa’ki, loq kimlapukwemk kisna newte’ teli-assutmuk ta’n teli mkunuj ta’nik nikanpukultijik.
Msit wen, ta’n naspit mawio’mi, wejkul’aqmit koqwajo’taqan wjit otpi’tnewey aqq wejku’aqamit, sapa’siktn te’s eleke’waki atiknen kisna mawuktml’tij eleke’wa’ki’l aqq tlawtitew ta’n telmilesik aqq telpukulk te’s eleke’wa’ki sultewey kisna mawlo’mley kisna lnuey koqwajo’taqann ta’n nuta’tl wjit ta’n telukupmite’lmuj aqq ta’n telikwek ta’n wen telqamisij.
Msit wen wejkul’aqmit koqwajo’taqan kisilukwen, aqq kisimkunmn wktlukwaqan, aqq tetpapo’tasin ta’n tett etl-lukwej aqq iknmuksin apoqonmasuti kwlaman kislukewtew.
Msit wen, mu kisi, pilute’telmamint, wejkui’aqmit koqwajo’taqan newte tliapankiluksin wjit newte ta’n tel lukutl’tijik.
Msit wen ta’n elukwet wejkul’aqmit koqwajo’taqan tetpaqi apankituksin kwlaman pkwatew wjit nekmaqq wjit wikmaq mimajuaqan teplaq wjit ta’n telukupmite’lmuj aqq ankuawtukomuksin aqq apoqnmuksin elam nuta’j.
Msit wen wejkul’aqmit koqwajo’taqan kisitun kisna nasa’sin lukewinu’k mawlo’mlwew ta’n anklo’tmuaten ta’n tele’k.
Msit wen wejkul’aqmit koqwajo’taqan wjit ta’n teli-mila’sit aqq teli atlasmit, wlaqtek tett keknue’k ta’n telipkijlukwet aqq na’kwekl iknumutl apankitasikl atlasmin kisna ala’sin.
Msit wen wejkul’aqmit koqwajo’taqan kisi-pkwatun mimajuaqan teplaq wjit ta’n telwele’k aqq telwelawsit nekm aqq wikmaq, wiaqkitmumk mijipjewey, tapsunn, ta’n wikit aqq ta’n telmaliamut kesnukwaj aqq koqoey piluey apoqonmasuti nuta’j, aqq wejkul’aqmitl koqwajo’taqann apoqonmuksin mu kislukwek, kisna ksnukwaj, kisna ejele’k, kisna siku’skewij, kisna kisikulj kisna mu kisi pkwatuk wmimajuaqanm mita natala’teket.
E’pitwunijanit kisna mijua’ji’j wejku’aqamit maltamuksin kisna apoqonmuksin. Msit mijuajl’jk, weskwijinultijik malie’wimk kisna moqo, newte’ tli-anko’tasullilaq.
Msit wen wejkut’aqmit koqwajo’taqan wjit ekina’masuti ma awlinuk, amskwesewey aqq ta’n nuta’q. Amskwesewey ekina’masutl msit wen miamuj wessua’toq. Ta’n telitekemk aqq espikina’muti tettew wijit ta’n pasik wen ketu ksua’ten.
Ekina’masuti tettew kwlaman msit wen kisi tle’tew ta’n telmenuekej aqq mikikna’tun ta’n tel kepmite’tmau’klmimajuinu’k koqwajo’taqnamual aqq alsusuti’l tapjiw ki’s etekl. Ekina’masuti ktmoqjentew nsitatultinenu, tqamutatultinu aqq wela’matutlinu msit eleke’wa’ki’l, telakutimkl aqq ta’n teli-alasutmakl, aqqstawa’tew lukwaqan pemlukwatmi’tij Mawio’mi Eleke’wa’ki’l wjit wantaqo’tl stawwije’wmnu.
Knki’kwinaq wejku’aqmitij wesko’tmi’tij nikantek koqwajo’taqan kisimkunmnew ta’n tlkina’muaten wunijanuaq.
Msit wen wejkui’aqmit koqwajo’taqan kisi-ika’lsin ta’n telo’lti’tij knutanminal, aqq kisi wekasin lukwaqaney nsituo’qon, aqq kisi-wekasin piley koqoey kejitumk aqq wulapesin.
Msit wen wejkui’aqmit koqwajo’taqan maltaptmuksin koqwaje’kaqq ta’n weji kisitasik koqoey wetapeksik kjijitaqaniktuk, wi’katikniktuk kisna kisltasik koqoey ta’n nekm kisa’toq.
Msit wen wejkui’aqmit koqwajo’taqan kwlamantlwl-pmlatew koqoey ta’n nekm wkoqwajo’taqann aqq wtalsusuti’ml ewikasikl wla Wikatikniktuk kisi tla’sitl.
Msit wen wejkui’aqmitlkukwaqann wjit wutanm kwlaman kisi’sitew ta’n telqamiksit.
Ta’n telwekasij wen wkoqwajo’taqann aqq wtalsusulti’ml, msit wen mimamujpa wije’wkl tplutaqann ta’n teli-asite’lj kwaman msit wen nenulte’tmuaten aqq kepmite’tmuaten wkoqwojo’taqann aqq wtalsusutl’ml aqq wijetulltal ta’n tel nuta’q nsituo’qon, wantaqo’ti aqq kelu’lk wjit msit wen wla teli-alsumsultijik mimajuinu’k eleke’wa’kl’l.
Wla koqwajo’taqann aqq alsusuti’lma’ kisi ewe’wasinukl popwajilukwektn aqq ta’n telapukuek aqq telite’tmumkipn Mawio’mi Eleke’wa’ki’l wtui’katiknuaq.
Mu koqoey wla kisi wikasik kisi tlkitmumint tluekin Eleke’wa’ki, mawio’mi kisna mimajuinu wejkui’aqmijl koqwajo’taqan kisi tla’teken kisna kisi tilukwen koqoey ta’n tli-ksika’tutal koqwajo’taqann aqq alsusuti’l ta’n tett kisiwikasikl.
Yes, like reservation (english)
by not a cog
(No verified email address)
02 Apr 2003
Thank you for cordial dialogue too.
You mean like reservations?
Yes like reservations. If we mean the same thing. Or are you saying this in favor of reservations? When I say it I mean that this whole continent rightly belongs to those who were here and reservations are a crime and a sham repeatedly inflicted on indians in the whole history of relocation and genocide (by disease, by guns, by manipulation and lies, by cultural appropriation, by rape and by stealing an brainwashing kids).
Today reservations are among the poorest places in the country, places of oppressing poverty. What historical chain of events led to this? Why is it that way? Yes, like reservations. So 51% of "likely voters" might not care too much or even give thought to it in their average week. But is it right to have the descendants of the people who used to respect this continent, living in tiny boxes on some of the poorest land? And still exploited when there is uranium or anything else of value there?
You ask questions which can be answered by generations of
natives who have lived withing the parameters of the question as if we missed something! ( I did great on my GED's by the way )
Hey, you're saying what I believe. I think white folx need to listen to indians (people of the "fourth world" / native americans / indigenous / whatever term you use).
I am guilty of not doing it too. But I try to always remember and seek out knowledge.
But also it doesn't mean that every indian is a vessel of great wisdom either. There are some of any group who are so coopted into the dominant culture that they talk like Rush Limbaugh or like Bush.
I think this war is wrong.
But I don't think it's wrong because "people will die" -- because I hear you when you say that people are dying because Saddam Hussein too.
However, you know that people were also dying because of U.S. bombing since 1991, and from depleted uranium shell casings that the U.S. still uses today, which causes cancer? The bombing of water treatment plants and electrical grids? It was going on under Clinton too, bombings every so often... never heard in the news though.
Well I have to go do some work. Hope to hear from you.
Failed the test (english)
by MicMac Merc
(No verified email address)
02 Apr 2003
Hi not a clog,
You failed my test. I wanted to see what you were
reading.. ( not fair? )
We are coined red men - "not" yellow.
Sorry, you loose a feather.
What ya think?
The theme needs to be "where can all meet on common ground."
To alinate based on "tags" a ploy the communists among you
are known for only causes strife, fear and confusion. To
raise any group ethnically above another creates divisions
that will be on going. We have to drop the past ( cept
for the historical values of the past )
and make today, the first day of the rest of life.
Is this possible?
on "more thoughts" (english)
(No verified email address)
02 Apr 2003
S, I agree with everything you said. Many good points.
I had kind of a narrow focus because I was addressing
two specific "market segments" (the rah-rah types who
have no idea what we're doing or why, and also those
who, including myself, are fidgety about the morale
thing), and one basic theme (respect, same thing you
mentioned, but in the context of each other here).
My tentative answer on the morale thing is, I think,
this is bigger than the troops. This is endangering
the entire planet, as you said.
But I think a lot of our forces deployed don't really
understand us, unfortunately. I think their solution
is to be "above" it - the "someday you'll understand"
attitude, as someone recently said. That's not really
fair to either of us, but whatever gets you through the
night, as the saying goes. And some are already
disillusioned, questioning what they're doing.
Ironically they may be the most susceptible to
distraction they can't afford.
Yes, the POW story is a great story - I wish I could
Couldn't have said it better (english)
by Alice Copeland Brown
patrioticpilgrim (nospam) yahoo.com (unverified)
07 Apr 2003
I'm protesting, writing emails, faxes, letters to senators, reps, media, U.N. everyone who will hear my scream, "Bring my son home. Stop the slaughter; stop this senseless was that will only bring profit to the greedy amoral Bush administration and their masters, the oil industry."