Andrew Sullivan Smears the Troops

I’m beyond fed up with Andrew Sullivan’s anti-war hysteria and dishonesty. It’s one thing to oppose a given policy or president, but another thing entirely to smear the troops. But Sullivan smeared the troops at Gitmo in this post:

According to medical records obtained by TIME, a 20-year-old named Yusuf al-Shehri, jailed since he was 16, was regularly strapped into a specially designed feeding chair that immobilizes the body at the legs, arms, shoulders and head. Then a plastic tube, sometimes as much as 50% bigger than the type commonly used for feeding incapacitated patients, was inserted through his nose and down his throat – a procedure that can trigger nausea, bleeding and diarrhea.

He’s quoting this article in his new master’s house. What Sullivan fails to give his readership is the context that is necessary to understand this passage. The sentence preceeding the passage he quoted says this:

The facility’s top physicians have told TIME that prisoners who resist are subjected to what critics call especially forceful methods.

“Prisoners who resist…” More about that resistance below. Absent any context, Sullivan’s pull-quote makes it look like our troops are just wantonly strapping detainees down and force-feeding them for no reason. But that’s not the case. Why would a prisoner at Gitmo be treated in this way, and by whom? Let me share an email we received here at Hot Air earlier this week, that may shed some light on these questions:

My daughter was in Gitmo for a year as a Master-at- Arms, E4. (*dates deleted*) She was injured several times by the inmates assaulting her physically. In addition, she knew that when she was doing her job by enforcing the rules, she was threatened by the prisoners if she had to touch them. They would get her. They mixed a cocktail of urine, feces, and semen, and let it fester for days until the right moment. They warned her that she was a target and then they got her, she was assaulted several times by loads of crap thrown at her. She had to undergo shots to prevent what diseases that she was exposed to. I don’t know why we have women guarding men, especially these animals, but that is the policy. My daughter is a tough cookie and can handle herself. In her year there she did not dishonor herself or our country. When she returned home she had a DVD of Gitmo. They made fresh bread every day!! Part of it showed how the chef’s prepared special meals for the prisoners. If a prisoner refused food the guards were happy to sample the Chicken, rice pilaf, yogurt and fresh baked pita bread, while our guys had crap food from the mess or had to buy it from Burger King.

As part of her duties, in the last month she was there, she was assigned to the hospital ward. She had to force feed those a..holes who offed themselves the other day. They were the meanest of the bunch and had to be tied down to get their food. My daughter and other personnel voluntarily submitted themselves to the force feeding procedure also so that they could do it with the least pain for the captives. It was very unpleasant for her but it helped her and others to understand how to participate in it with the least stress for the recipients. The goal was to keep them alive. She feels that the suicides would not have happened on her watch, but it was going to happen eventually. These guys are warriors. By their death they have achieved a military success in the political world. The media marches on.

Well. The prisoners being force-fed are subjected to that treatment because they are too violent to be handled any other way, and won’t eat on their own. They are assaulting our troops on a daily basis, and then Sullivan assaults them in the press. Personally, I’d as soon let them starve–they’ll eventually come around, or not, but it’s their choice. I would not subject our troops to the inhumanity and indignity of being attacked by those animals and having bodily fluids thrown on them. I certainly would not put female troops anywhere near them.

But we’ve made our policy choice, which is to keep these terrorists alive. Those that are cooperative eat better meals than our own troops. I think that’s a shame, and that our troops deserve better. But that’s the choice we’ve made. We are treating the prisoners at Gitmo as well as we can, but some earn rougher treatment. But here’s the interesting thing–the troops who are conducting the force-feedings subject themselves to it so that they understand it and can find ways to minimize the discomfort to the terrorists who would be attacking them if not strapped down.

In providing none of this context, Sullivan once again takes out his rage at President Bush for supporting the Federal Marriage Amendment, and his rage falls on our troops defending his right to smear them and by extension on the rest of our country. It’s disgraceful.

He closes his post:

This is America in the era of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. You can either look the other way or deal with it.

Or you can lie about it.

Update: St. Andrew of the Sacred Heart-Ache knows how to write in basically one mode: Over-the-top bluster that doesn’t stand up to the least scrutiny. Here’s a fun quote from another post of his today:

The Christianist right has done more to detach gay people from God’s love than any other force I know.

To which Allahpundit responds in email:

Presumably that includes Islamic terrorists, who not only detach gays from god’s love, they detach them from their own heads.