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The Assault on Our Troops

benson_marines.jpg Steve Benson's recent cartoon in the Arizona Republic disparaging the U.S. Marine Corps (via Malkin) is a fitting example of the subject of my column today.

Someone who thought the U.S. Marine Corps was an honorable institution worth defending would never have drawn that cartoon, especially since we clearly don't have all the facts about Haditha and no one has yet been charged. But Benson wasted no time in assuming the absolute worst about our troops and what happened in Haditha, nor did he waste any time in smearing the Corps as a whole.

As one former Marine wrote to the paper, "The Marine Corps is a very proud organization and is proud of its history. We are a band of brothers, not a band of murderers."

wasserman_gitmo.gifHere's another cartoon by Dan Wasserman of the Boston Globe that does an equally offensive smear job on the U.S. military over the recent suicides at Guantanamo Bay. It's very reminiscent of Senator Dick Durbin's "gulag" remarks on the floor of the Senate and really a despicable distortion of the truth, as well as a vicious attack on the integrity of the men and women who put themselves at great personal risk every day in Gitmo to help protect America.

Navy Rear Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr., the man who directly oversees operations at Guantanamo Bay, recently responded to critics with an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune detailing the quality of treatment received by detainees. According to Admiral Harris that treatment includes: 12 hours of recreation and exercise per day, three meals a day that meet cultural (halal) dietary requirements and that cost three times as much as the food served to our troops, korans, prayer beads, rugs, five prayer sessions a day, a library stocked with 2,000 titles in Arabic, and medical care including dental work, eye exams, vaccinations, and screenings for colon cancer.

If that isn't enough to make your blood boil over how the media constantly portrays treatment of detainees at Gitmo as inhumane, Harris also writes that:

many detainees persist in mixing a blood-urine-feces-semen cocktail and throwing this deadly concoction into the faces of the American men and women who guard them, feed them and care for them. Most of the time after such an assault, our guards decline the opportunity to take a day off. After a quick medical checkup and a shower, they prefer to put on a clean uniform and return to duty. And the only retribution they exact on the detainees is to simply continue to serve with pride, dignity and humanity. [snip]

The young Americans serving here in Guantanamo are upholding the highest ideals of honor and duty in a remote location, face to face with some of the most dangerous men on the planet. Your readers should be proud of them. I am proud to be their commander.

So how is it that Dan Wasserman's first reaction to news that three suspected terrorists took their own lives is to paint the soldiers at Guantanamo as hooded executioners and Nazi-esque looking concentration camp commanders? The media continues to demonstrate that it has lost its moorings when it comes to defending the honor and integrity of U.S. troops.