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Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category

Pentagon to Release Photos From Detainee Custody Investigations

Posted by Larry Barnes on April 24, 2009

Pentagon to Release Photos From Detainee Custody Investigations
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 24, 2009 – The Defense Department soon will release a substantial number of photos associated with concluded past investigations of alleged abuse of detainees, a senior official said here today.

The photos were used as part of internal military investigations conducted in Iraq and Afghanistan, not including the photos used during allegations of detainee abuse at the Abu Ghraib detention facility in Iraq, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters.

The pending late-May release of the photos comes from an agreement reached between the American Civil Liberties Union, the Justice Department and the Defense Department, Whitman said. The ACLU had sued the U.S. government for release of the photos.

A Justice Department letter filed yesterday in a New York District Court stated that the Defense Department would furnish 21 photographs ordered for release by the court and 23 other images involved in the lawsuit.

Additionally, the Justice Department letter stated, the Defense Department also will release “a substantial number of other images” contained in Army Criminal Investigation Division reports that have been closed. The Defense Department is to furnish all cited images by May 28, the letter said.

A number of the images being released in May were part of more than 60 investigations conducted by the U.S. military between 2003 and January 2006, Whitman said.

Since 2003, more than 400 military members charged with detainee abuse were found to be guilty of some form of misconduct, Whitman said. Punishment, he noted, ranged from imprisonment to bad-conduct discharges, reduction in rank and other types of punitive actions.

Defense Department policy always has advocated humane treatment of detainees, Whitman pointed out.

“We have, obviously, over time, found instances where performance has not matched policy,” Whitman said. “And when the performance hasn’t matched the policy, we’ve held people accountable for their actions.”

“There are a number of [lawsuits] that we’re dealing with for detainee photographs and so on,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said to reporters yesterday during his visit to Camp Lejeune, N.C. “There’s a certain inevitability, I believe, that much of this will eventually come out; much has already come out.”

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Posted in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Joint Chiefs Of Staff, Military, Obama, Pentagon, Photos, Terror, War Crimes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

USS Vella Gulf Apprehends Pirates

Posted by Larry Barnes on February 13, 2009

Pirates in Gulf of Aden

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Posted in Iran, Iraq, Joint Chiefs Of Staff, Military, New, Obama, Pentagon, Photos, Terror, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

MRAPs Provide Safe Feeling

Posted by Larry Barnes on February 13, 2009

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

FORWARD OPERATING BASE GARDEZ, Afghanistan, Feb. 13, 2009 – I took my third trip off of the forward operating base here yesterday, and my third trip in a mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle, known as an MRAP. The provisional reconstruction team’s security force has five of them, with two more expected at the end of this month.

MRAP on patrol.

MRAP on patrol.


A mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle rolls through the streets of Gardez City, Afghanistan, hauling members of the Paktia provincial reconstruction team, Feb. 11, 2009. DoD photo by Fred W. Baker III

We went to Gardez City with a couple members of the Paktia PRT, including a U.S. State Department representative, to listen as they talked with the provincial leaders about courthouse and prison renovations.

Even though only three PRT team members were making the trip, as always it takes several security force personnel and vehicles. It is not simply a trip to town. It is a full-scale, down-to-the-detail military move.

As I loaded my gear and myself into the MRAP, I started looking around. This was, after all, the result of one of the largest and fastest Defense Department combat fieldings in history. It saves lives, officials have promised.

Inside the lumbering, heavily armored vehicle – with thick, ballistic windows and heavily armored walls — you actually do feel safer. A gunner pokes through the turret with a heavy machine gun surrounded by more armor. There is not much leg room, though. I remark to the PRT team member sitting next to me that, for the billions of dollars the Defense Department is spending on these things, they could have at least put in a cup holder — someplace to put your coffee.

The rear door weighs about 500 pounds and requires a hydraulic system to open and close. I asked one of the guys what would happen if, in an emergency, the system broke? How would we get out?

“Up there.” He pointed to the closed metal hatches in the roof above us in the back.

What happens if we roll over on our top? The MRAPs are very top-heavy, and the mountain roads in Afghanistan are steep and narrow, and there are no guardrails.

Then, he told me, you have to crawl out the front windows.

“OK,” I said, “as long as I know what to do.”

As we traveled into town, the security forces platoon sergeant sitting across from me was fidgeting like a 4-year-old in Sunday school. I realized he was looking out of the window nervously scanning the buildings and roads and people.

As I was enjoying the scenery, joking about cup holders, he was looking for threatening vehicles and suicide bombers. It is easy for me to feel relaxed, because I was thinking about stories and pictures. He was thinking about people who want to kill us.

We chatted for a second about what he was looking for in the buildings and roads. And then he asked me, “Why doesn’t Afghanistan get as much press as the war in Iraq? People die here every day.”

I said something about the fact there are more media members in Iraq, and a larger force, and more who have died.

But I really didn’t have an answer that satisfied him or me.

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As it turned out, our trip was cut short. We were called back because suicide bombers in Kabul killed 17 people and injured 46.

Posted in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Military, Obama, Pentagon, Photos, Terror | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Photo Gallery

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 25, 2009

Preparing for WESTPAC

Preparing for WESTPAC

Indian Gal leaving the deck.

Indian Gal leaving the deck.

Returning Home

Returning Home

ReenlistmentFighting Jack Fletcher
The USS RANGER, Tip Of The Spear

The USS RANGER, Tip Of The Spear

Flight Deck

Flight Deck

Posted in Military, Photos | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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