NATO to get a new commander--guess who?

| Fri Jul. 14, 2006 5:50 PM EDT

He is Gen. Bantz Craddock. If that name sounds a wee bit familiar, it should. Craddock is the chief of U.S. Southern Command and the person who oversees the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Craddock will replace Gen. James Jones.

In March of 2005, Craddock, testifying before the House Armed Services Committee, stated:


This command has continued to support the War on Terrorism through detainee operations at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where approximately 550 enemy combatants in the Global War on Terrorism are in custody. A significant number of these enemy combatants are highly trained, dangerous members of al-Qaida, its related terrorist networks, and the former Taliban regime.

We now know, of course, that the "significant" number of al Qaida fighters is somewhere around 8%, 16% fought for the Taliban, and the vast majority of the prisoners at Guantanamo have not been accused of committing any hostile acts toward the U.S. or its allies.

Craddock also told the committee:

In performing our intelligence mission, we continue to emphasize the U.S. government's commitment to treating detainees humanely, and to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of Geneva.

Among the many questionable--and outright inhumane--practices approved by Craddock at Guantanamo was the force-feeding of prisoners who were on a hunger strike. Craddock said the result of force-feeding was that refusing food "wasn't convenient." According to reports, however, detainees vomited, bled and--in at least one case--one was thrown to the floor.

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