SO, we are ‘free’ to choose our own direction and destiny? Or not? Or to be ineffectual whack-jobs?
Yes, yes, we should make all nicey nice with CUBA. Aside from the missiles, what did they ever do to us?
John Lowery — February 10, 2015
This column was originally published at www.aim.org
Whatever one thinks of President Barack Obama’s overtures to Cuba and the accompanying prisoner exchange, an important consideration in need of immediate attention is an accounting of our servicemen captured in the Vietnam War and imprisoned in Cuban-operated POW camps. Of utmost importance is an accounting of the 17 American airmen captured in North Vietnam and then taken to Cuba for medical experiments in torture techniques.
Most Americans are unaware that Cuba was deeply involved in the Vietnam War. In fact they had an engineering battalion called the “Girón Brigade,” that was maintaining Route Nine, a major enemy supply line into South Vietnam. Their facilities included a POW camp and field hospital very near the DMZ, just inside North Vietnam. Meanwhile Cuban interrogators worked in Hanoi at a prison known as the Zoo. We know of these operations and some of what happened to our servicemen after so managed to survive and be repatriated in the winter of 1973, during Operation Homecoming.
Following his release Major Jack Bomar, a Zoo survivor, described the brutal beating of Captain Earl G. Cobeil, an F-105F electronics warfare officer, by Cuban Major Fernando Vecino Alegret, known by the POWs as “Fidel.” Regarding Captain Cobeil, Bomar related, “he was completely catatonic. … His body was ripped and torn everywhere…Hell cuffs appeared almost to have severed his wrists…Slivers of bamboo were imbedded in his bloodied shins, he was bleeding from everywhere, terribly swollen, a dirty yellowish black and purple [countenance] from head to toe.”
In an effort to force Cobeil to talk “Fidel smashed a fist into the man’s face, driving him against the wall. Then he was brought to the center of the room and made to get down onto his knees. Screaming in rage, Fidel took a length of rubber hose from a guard and lashed it as hard as he could into the man’s face. The prisoner did not react; he did not cry out or even blink an eye. Again and again, a dozen times, [Fidel] smashed the man’s face with the hose.”
Because of his grotesque physical condition Captain Cobeil was not repatriated but instead was listed as “died in captivity,” with his remains returned in 1974. (Miami Herald, August, 22 1999, and Benge, Michael D. “The Cuban Torture Program, Testimony before the House International Relations Committee, Chaired by the Honorable Benjamin A. Gilman, November 4, 1999.) Incredibly, Fidel’s torture of Major James Kasler is well known as he somehow managed to survive the Cuban’s torture.
Much less is known about our 17 captured airmen taken to Cuba for “experimentation in torture techniques.” They were held in Havana’s Los Maristas, a secret Cuban prison run by Castro’s G-2 Intelligence service. A few were held in the Mazorra (Psychiatric) Hospital and served as human guinea pigs used to develop improved methods of extracting information through “torture and drugs to induce [American] prisoners to cooperate.”
After being shot down in April of 1972, U.S. Navy F-4 pilot, Lt. Clemmie McKinney, an African-American, was imprisoned near the Cuban compound called Work Site Five. His capture occurred while then-Cuban president Fidel Castro was visiting the nearby Cuban field hospital. Although listed as killed in the crash by DOD, his photograph standing with Castro, was later published in a classified CIA document.
More than 13 years later, on August 14, 1985, the North Vietnamese returned Lt. McKinney’s remains, reporting that he died in November 1972. However, a U.S, Army forensic anthropologist established the “time of death as not earlier than 1975 and probably several years later.” The report speculated that he had been a guest at Havana’s Los Maristas prison, with his remains returned to Vietnam for repatriation. (We also paid big money for the remains—delivered in stacks of green dollars to Hanoi aboard an AF C-141 from Travis AFB, California.) Unfortunately, our servicemen held in the Cuban POW camp near Work Site Five (Cong Truong Five), along with those in two other Cuban run camps were never acknowledged nor accounted for and the prisoners simply disappeared.
If our honor code of “Duty, Honor, Country,” and our national policy of “No man left behind,” are more than meaningless slogans, then before our relations with Cuba can be normalized, their murderous leadership must account for our POWs—especially the 17 airmen taken to Cuba. The civilized world and American veterans demand it.#
Additional research on this topic, by John Lowery, is below:
Cuba’s Vietnam War Involvement
Research by John Lowery
1. “Torture of American Prisoners by Cuban Agents,” Juan O. Tamayo, Miami Herald, August 22, 1999.
2. “ Cuban War Crimes Against American POWs,” Michael D. Benge, Cuba Program Research Paper, October 4, 1999. www.vvof.org/cuba_res.htm
3. “The Cuban Torture Program …Torture of American Prisoners by Cuban Agents,” Testimony of Michael D. Benge, before the House International Relations Committee Chaired by the Honorable Benjamin A. Gilman. November 4, 1999. www.aiipowmia.com/testimony/cuba_benge.html.
4. “Cuban War Crimes Against American POWs During the Vietnam War,” Mike Benge, National Alliance of Families,www.nationalalliance.org/cuba/benge2.htm (Undated)
5. “The Evidence is Clear,” POW/MIA Freedom Fighters,www.powmiaff.org/evidence.htm, May 23, 2006.
6. “ Benge, Michael Dennis, Bio” Loss/Capture report, 31 January 1968.
Guest columns do not necessarily reflect the views of Accuracy in Media or its staff.
“Fundamentally transform” I believe is the felicitous phrase used by The President, with regard to what his agenda
Of course, we are now friends and trade partners with
North Vietnam, too.
And, over the past 70 years, we made what was left of Nazi Germany into world power. Fortunately for the world, reunification with financially-inept East Germany crippled them, as will our pending annexation by Mexico.
And Mexico didn’t point missiles at us and torture our POWs during the Vietnam War…
Political correctness will kill The United States.
In a deliberate “show of force,” federal and local police forces raided a political meeting in Texas, fingerprinting and photographing all attendees as well as confiscating all cell phones and personal recording devices.
Members of the Republic of Texas, a secession movement dedicated to restoring Texas as an independent constitutional republic, had gathered Feb. 14 in a Bryan, Texas, meeting hall along with public onlookers. They were debating issues of currency, international relations and celebrating the birthday of one of their oldest members. The group, which describes itself as “congenial and unimposing,” maintains a small working government, including official currency, congress and courts.
According to MySanAntonio.com: “Minutes into the meeting a man among the onlookers stood and moved to open the hall door, letting in an armed and armored force of the Bryan Police Department, the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office, the Kerr County Sheriff’s Office, agents of the Texas district attorney, the Texas Rangers and the FBI.
“In the end, at least 20 officers corralled, searched and fingerprinted all 60 meeting attendees, before seizing all cellphones and recording equipment in a Valentine’s Day 2015 raid on the Texas separatist group.”
I see no indication of secret groups fomenting armed revolution here, just concerned folks getting together to discuss ‘possibilities’. If there were any indication of insurrection, I’m certain the authorities would have made arrests. Instead of the authorities conducted a wholesale violation of the rights of free citizens, and theft of their property.
Gee, I wonder why they would want to separate from such a rights-honoring regime? (sarcasm font)
SO, we are ‘free’ to choose our own direction and destiny? Or not? Or to be ineffectual whack-jobs?
It’s a problem as fresh as today’s headlines.
A Pennsylvania woman with a concealed carry license drives over the New Jersey line with a gun in her car. In a routine traffic stop, she is arrested and charged for violating New Jersey’s unconstitutional gun laws. Only a national campaign saves her from a decade in prison.
And that’s just the point: In an era where states like New York and California use draconian and labyrinthine gun laws in order to try to outlaw guns by fiat, a legal gun owner shouldn’t risk a life behind bars because he or she drives across a state line into a socialist-leaning state.
A Floridian shouldn’t live in fear of a move that takes him through New York, or a Virginian, of a trip through Maryland.
So it is good news that, after a campaign that has lasted for over a decade, we are now within striking range of passing reciprocity legislation that is friendly to citizens living in constitutional carry states.
Congressman Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) has told Gun Owners of America that he will be introducing this reciprocity bill within the next few weeks. This bill will prohibit states like New York and California from cancelling the Second Amendment rights of Americans from other states.
If you have a concealed carry permit — or if you come from a freedom-loving state that doesn’t require one — you can carry anywhere in the country without fear of losing your constitutional rights because of where you are.
With six constitutional carry states — and at least four other states which may pass those laws this year — the Stutzman bill is a particularly important contrast to competing bills which would require states like Vermont to change their pro-gun laws in order to benefit.
Now, we know that some of our members would argue: “Why shouldn’t principles of federalism allow states to spit on the Second Amendment if they want to?” We respect this view, but respectfully disagree. Gun grabbers have no problem creating national rules to take away our Second Amendment rights, irrespective of what we do. So it’s time they were hoisted on their own petard.
In addition, the Supreme Court (correctly) ruled in McDonald v. Chicago (2010) that the reach of the Second Amendment extends beyond just the federal government and applies to all 50 states.
In this landmark decision, the Court noted (approvingly) that anti-gun Justice Stephen Breyer was “correct that incorporation of the Second Amendment right will to some extent limit the legislative freedom of the States, but this is always true when a Bill of Rights provision is incorporated.” (p. 44)
Why are we so optimistic about Stutzman? The answer is that we now have a filibuster-proof majority to pass it in the Senate — if we can get the new GOP leadership to give us the opportunity to offer it as an amendment to a must-pass bill.
ACTION: Contact your Representative. Ask him or her to call Congressman Stutzman and sign up as an original cosponsor to the Stutzman “constitutional carry” friendly reciprocity bill.
Of course, in a perfect World, all freemen would be able to carry whatever they want anywhere, with impunity. Riding their unicorns into the sunset. – Guffaw
One of Europe’s most prominent Jewish organizations is petitioning the European Union to pass new legislation that would permit Jewish community members to carry guns “for the essential protection of their communities,” according to a letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
Sadly, a leader in the European Jewish community NAMED COOPER (ironically), disagrees.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said that while guns could help Jews defend themselves against an individual attack, only authorities can protect them against a mass attack like those carried out in France.
“As to personally being armed, such a move could help when a Jewish person is threatened by thugs, but won’t help if G-d forbid, Charlie-type terror attacks are launched,” Cooper said.
And, of course, the ever more anti-Semitic Europe will continue to debate this, while not only the Jewish community, but most Europeans, are unable to defend themselves against crime or terror.
Except, of course, the Swiss!
While France, in response to the recent attacks, pushes for MORE gun control laws!
Courtesy of Firehand:
I very much doubt include ethics; if they did, he could’ve should’ve done this* years ago.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Friday barred local and state police from using federal law to seize cash, cars and other property without evidence that a crime occurred.
Holder’s action represents the most sweeping check on police power to confiscate personal property since the seizures began three decades ago as part of the war on drugs.
So why now? Probably one of or both of these:
1: he’s leaving office, and figures his rep could use some(well, a LOT of) polishing, and
2: The policy will touch policing and local budgets in every state. Since 2001, about 7,600 of the nation’s 18,000 police departments and task forces have participated in Equitable Sharing. For hundreds of police departments and sheriff’s offices, the seizure proceeds accounted for 20 percent or more of their annual budgets in recent years.
The action comes at a time when police are already angry about remarks that Holder and President Obama made after the controversial police killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Mo., and New York City. Some have accused them of being “anti-cop.”
Nice twofer, isn’t it? He can paint himself as ‘protecting civil rights and overreach by LE’ and at the same time whack at the budget of agencies.
Mind you, if the bastards hadn’t been abusing this in the first place, actually planning parts of their budgets based on it, they wouldn’t have to worry about this.
Timing is everything. – Guffaw
And to the
hundreds thousands of others…(in part)
First all, a little more self-confidence in your own culture and civilization is a must. Right now. Stop apologizing for existing. Stop acting like the West invented all the evils of millennia in the past 4 centuries. And that the West has contributed ZERO good in that time. We are the ‘Best Civilization EVAH!’ Sure it’s subjective, but we all gotta get on board with that. (New Jovian Thunderbolt)
As I oft intone, you should go to the link and see the whole essay.
I believe in The United States, warts and all. Western Europe, not so much. There are myriad reasons our ancestors left their shores to come here.
There are reports of massive Jewish emigration from Paris in recent days, and of Sharia Law Zones in Britain and Paris where even the police don’t wish to go. And of parts of Europe where Registration of Jews has begun again!
Sadly, the Islamic Experience is much more spotty, when it comes to evolving as a culture. They still subjugate women, and the fundamentalists despise those unlike themselves. There are exceptions – the moderate Muslims who have been protecting Christians in Egypt and those who have protected Jews in Morocco.
And the king of Jordan, a direct descendant of Mohammad, marching with the forty thousand in Paris.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. – George Santayana
I don’t need a twisted cross to see the handwriting on the wall.
Brock Townsend shares with us:
I came across this article today, entitled Are Militias a Menace? It mainly focuses on pro-government militias during times of civil war abroad, however, there are some very important takeaways from this article. To wit:
The distinction between “gang” and “militia” — ties with the government
Unlike rebels or criminals, whose actions are necessarily illegal and opposed by the state, these groups enjoy semi-official or informal ties with the government.
Liberal use of state-backed militias (i.e., “gangs”) to abuse the populace and disabuse themselves of the blame
Their statistical findings (published here and summarized here) show that the appearance of militias is strongly correlated with violations of human rights, particularly when governments want to maximize harm to civilians while minimizing blame for the action of armed groups that are, ostensibly, “free agents.”
More @ Guerrilla America (end)
First of all, my thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the magazine staff slaughtered by Muslim extremists in Paris.
Having said that, I don’t know what nuances ‘freedom of speech’ hold in France, but I am familiar with those nuances here.
And I side with those who do, say and publish vile things – the Piss Christ (jar with a crucifix submerged in urine) as ‘art'; some play in NYC where a Mormon has a Book of Mormon inserted rectally as part of a ‘performance'; those Westboro Baptist Church idiots…
And those who burn the American Flag as a means of social and political protest.
I side with their right to freedom of expression; this doesn’t mean I agree with them!
But, now we come to those bastards who killed 12 people in Paris (a largely gun-free zone) because they had the nerve to publish cartoons making fun of the prophet Mohammad – something Muslim extremists find reprehensible.
I’ve no problem with Muslims going about their daily business and worshiping as they please. And I can understand being upset at Mohammad being made light of, just as most Americans find the artistic and dramatic expressions mentioned earlier disgusting.
But most Americans wouldn’t kill people for exercising their ‘freedom of expression’.
“We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” – Benjamin Franklin
“The way to overcome them in this instance is to overwhelm them with disrespect and mockery. They can silence one magazine, but they can’t silence the entire Internet. Every blogger, of every political stripe, be it left, right, and everywhere in between, needs to realize that freedom of speech and freedom of the press are the two keystones of your ideology, whatever it may be. You need to make a stand. You need to make these terrorists lose the ideological battle. And the way to do that is to republish the Mohammed cartoons yourselves. Today. Right now.”(Sipsey Street Irregulars, PJ Media)
(Recognizing, of course, that my tiny blog is infinitesimal in the world of self-expression and free press. But we must take a stand somewhere. Please go to the PJMedia link above and select one or more hated cartoons and put it(them) out there. For the good of all freedom-loving people – Guffaw)
I think that was first labelled as such by Rudyard Kipling.
Borepatch led me to Goober’s thoughts on the matter…
Goober on “Social Justice Warriors”:
You take a guy that lived his entire life in the Amazonian jungle, fighting for every meal he’s ever eaten, making his own living/clothing/abode/etc at huge expense of labor, and living every day with the fear of that next cut becoming septic and killing him, or that next sniffle being the cold that brings him down, or the next monsoon not being monsooney enough and his family starving to death, and you give him a pair of Levi jeans, some tennis shoes, a first world education, and modern medicine, and HE WILL CUT YOUR FUCKING THROAT before he will let you stick him back in that jungle.
But SJWs want to keep him there, unmolested by western “cultural pollution” like modern medicine and central air conditioning, in order to “preserve his culture”, without giving him an educated say in the decision at all. More of that SJW superiority.
This idea of “allowing the brown people to stay in their place” smacks an awful, awful lot like “keeping the brown people in their place.” (end)
I had two directions I wanted to address this. One was simple agreement with Goober, (with perhaps a tip of the Hatlo hat to Firesign Theatres’ Temporarily Humboldt County*), the second going sideways regarding the invention if the term Social Justice Warriors, aka SJWs. Conservative/libertarian/gun culture shorthand.
Not unlike JBTs for Jack-Booted Thugs.
And I’m not even touching the Star Trekian Prime Directive, or Jean-Jacque Rosseau’s ‘Noble Savage’ meme…
“All over the map – Geez, he’s all over the map!” (from inside most of your heads)
I’m still dealing with this sinus/throat thing. Forgive me.
*FREAK: Hey, man! Don’t let him bring you down, now. There’s a lot of young people in this country, just like myself, who really know where the Indian’s at. And don’t worry. Soon we’re all gonna be out here on the Reservation, livin’ like Indians, ‘n’ dressin’ like Indians and doing all the simple, Beautiful Things that you Indians do. Hey – got any peyote? (link)
While they certainly do not bring points for the most civil, moral or efficient. Or Constitutionally libertarian. They are definitely not the WORST!
Exhibit One (courtesy of Cato @ Liberty)
The 31st Congress, which passed the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850
The 5th Congress, which passed the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798
The 21st Congress, which passed the Indian Removal Act in 1830
The 77th Congress, which passed Public Law 503, codifying President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 authorizing the internment of Japanese, German, and Italian Americans, in 1942
The 65th Congress, which passed the Eighteenth Amendment (Prohibition), the Espionage Act, and the Selective Service Act, and entered World War I, all in 1917
And let us not forget the rubber stamping of Constitutional Amendments changing election of Senators to popular vote (effectively eliminating State Power and increasing Federal Power) and creation of The Federal Income Tax, AND the National Firearms Act, Gun Control Act and Assault Weapons Ban. AND, The Patriot Act and her illegitimate children.
I could go on. And on.
Why do they insist on being called LAWMAKERS? Shouldn’t they MODERATE and ADJUST for REMOVAL of Laws, not just add to them?