Prime Time Crime

(Prime Time Crime exclusive Dec. 21, 2009)

Christmas 2009

By Bob Cooper



I’m not sure which news story I’ve grown more tired of in the last couple of weeks, the Afghan detainees, Tiger Woods, or Obama getting the Nobel Prize for simply being (a) a liberal apologist and (b) not George Bush.  At least the Tiger story has contributed a ton of material for late night comics, editorial cartoonists, and bookmakers taking odds on how high the count will go.  Personally, I hope that his next mistress turns out to be Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton.  The sad thing is that had Woods observed the most basic rules of crisis management (i.e., you manage the crisis and not the other way round) he’d have been off the front page a week ago.

The Afghan detainee story on the other hand, should never have hit the front page to begin with.  This is nothing more than ‘Taliban Jack’ and his friends trying to score political points against the government while ignoring the fact that we’re in combat and we’ve lost 133 soldiers.  Yes, I know the argument that if we allow this we’re as bad as the people we’re fighting and I don’t completely disagree but let’s remember a couple of things.  Firstly, we haven’t done anything to these guys and if there was any abuse it’s on the Afghans.  Are we supposed to build & staff our own POW camps?  Secondly, don’t forget that these people are not soldiers and the protections of the Geneva Convention don’t apply to them.  They’re nothing but criminals and thugs who murder children for simply wanting to go to school, and government officials, policemen, and soldiers for nothing more than trying to advance Afghan civilization beyond the Stone Age.

In most cases I don’t support the obtaining of information through torture.  I say ‘in most cases’ because  as someone who’s served during war time if I thought a prisoner had information that could save the life of  even one of my buddies and conventional methods failed, or time was of the essence, I’d be waterboarding the guy like I was at Laguna Beach.  The only problem for me is the reliability of the information.    Those prisoners at Guantanamo Bay who throw urine & feces at the MPs guarding them?  Rather than Reveille, the only thing they should be hearing in the morning is “Surf’s Up” until they learn to behave themselves. 

Let’s also put ‘torture’ in context.  It’s a word the news media throws around quite freely however in most cases what they consider ‘torture’ falls far short of the average person’s definition.  It should also be remembered that Al Qaeda teaches its recruits that, if captured, always allege abuse.  This is done so that the soft-headed infidels fall all over themselves to open an investigation which ties up more infidels and keeps them from hunting other terrorists.  Not exactly a new tactic but we keep falling for it.  To go back to the ‘us & them’ argument for just a second, I’d ask one simple question about the detainees’ treatment.  Were any of them beheaded?  Right then, nothing to see here, move along.

A number of VPD members are serving in the Reserves and the son of a good friend of mine is presently in Afghanistan with the PPCLI.  The efforts of our politicians and news media would be better spent supporting them than fretting about the welfare of our enemies but I suppose that’s too much to expect so  I’d like to thank all of our soldiers, sailors, and airmen for the freedom we enjoy and wish them and their families a Merry Christmas and a Safe New Year.

Prime Time Crime

Contributing 2009