View Full Version : Almost half of Marines surveyed favor torture

05-04-07, 07:27 AM
Almost half of Marines surveyed favor torture
By Kimberly Johnson - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday May 3, 2007 21:37:05 EDT

About 44 percent of Marines in a survey believe torture should be allowed if it would save the life of a fellow Marine, according to a 2006 military mental health assessment.

In addition, only slightly more than one-third of the nearly 450 leathernecks polled in Iraq last year — 38 percent — told members of the Mental Health Advisory Team that they believe all non-combatants should be treated with dignity and respect. That finding was notably lower than the 47 percent of soldiers who were asked that same question, according to briefing slides presented by the team of Army medical officers to Commandant Gen. James Conway on April 18.

The team was commissioned by U.S. Central Command. A copy of the study’s results was obtained by Marine Corps Times.

A Corps spokesman did not dispute the team’s findings. “We are convinced that in broad outline this is an honest, sincere and faithful effort that attempts to accurately capture what our Marines think and do in combat,” said Corps spokesman Lt. Col. Scott Fazekas. “It is one more set of data in a series that has taken on tough issues. We will closely consider the report and its recommendations.”

The study also found that 39 percent believe torture should be allowed to gather information about insurgents, and 17 percent said all non-combatants should be treated as insurgents.

About one in 10 Marines reported mistreating non-combatants, the briefing slides said.

At the same time, Marines are racking up considerable combat experience, the study found. More than half of Marines, or 58 percent, polled have experienced roadside bombs or booby traps, and about the same amount found themselves on the receiving end of small-arms fire.

Troops with high levels of combat were more likely to engage in unethical behaviors than troops with low levels of combat, the briefing slides said.

The study’s findings go against Corps basics, said one retired general.

“Treating people with dignity and respect is a value taught to Marines from the time they enter their initial training and throughout their careers, so this result, to me, is inexplicable,” said retired Lt. Gen. Paul Van Riper, who formerly commanded Marine Corps Combat Development Command at Quantico, Va.

The study also found that only 40 percent of Marines said they would report a unit member for injuring or killing an innocent non-combatant, whereas 55 percent of soldiers affirmed that they would turn in a fellow soldier for wrongdoing.

Such statistics could indicate “a misplaced loyalty to other members of the unit vice a higher loyalty the Corps expects with regard to regulations,” Van Riper said. “If so, this is not a difficult problem to overcome with proper training.”

The three-month study began in August 2006, just two months after the Corps made “Warrior Ethics” refresher training mandatory for those deployed in Iraq, following allegations of battlefield misconduct in Hadithah and Hamdaniya.

The real impact of those classes, however, probably isn’t reflected in the study, Van Riper said.

“It takes longer than [two months] for that to take hold,” and effects likely wouldn’t be seen until after months of training, he said.

The study’s findings did not surprise at least one military legal expert. “It’s only natural that people are going to support and defend each other, with their life if they have too,” said Matthew Freedus, adviser for the Washington, D.C.-based National Institute of Military Justice.

What is troubling, Freedus noted, was the base-line account that at most, only half of soldiers would be willing to turn in a fellow soldier for injuring or killing a non-combatant. “There needs to be better training at the front end so people don’t think it is inconsistent to report,” he said.

Freedus acknowledged that there are significant challenges in going up against that “circle the wagons” attitude. “It’s a cultural thing to some degree, and you can’t train that out of people,” he said.

The study’s findings underscore the need for on-site counseling and R&R, said retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert Scales. Issues raised, however, don’t necessarily reflect leadership, but instead the need for attention to the psychological and human element of combat readiness, Scales said.

“Marines are prepared physically, but there’s not enough that’s being done for mental conditioning,” going into combat, he said.

The study’s findings point to a larger issue, he added.

“If you read through the lines here, you will see the crucible of battle. It tells you, when you fight the long war, regenerating that crucible of courage and morale has to be done more and more,” Scales said.

“Every soldier and Marine knows what’s right, but once combat fatigue sets in, that starts to fall away,” he said. “The more rotations into Iraq, the more likely he was to give the wrong answers to those questions, and that is significant.”


05-04-07, 09:58 AM
If it means saving ONE MARINE'S life, I am going to use pliers to tear some gonads off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! or fingernail or toenails or electric wires to wee willy or waterboarding or razors to the face or, well, you get the picture. **** the PC crowd and the bleedingheards!!!!!!!!!!!!!


05-04-07, 10:17 AM
OLE SARG=====You are 100% right.

05-04-07, 10:25 AM
I'd be interested in seeing this "survey".
What was the definition used for "torture"?
Who are the "non-combatants"? Innocent civilians, somebody found lingering around places of interest, etc.
Are the surveys given to all troops, just the front-line guys, just the remf's... ?
What is the bottom line this survey is geared for? Training needs, how to evaluate combat related stress issues, or developing ammo for the bureaucrats to justify more hand-tying of military commanders?
I always hold these "surveys" suspect. The results often end up in the wrong hands to act on them constructively.

Sgt Leprechaun
05-04-07, 01:20 PM
BlahBlahBlah. Color me 'un' impressed.

Ask a WWII Marine at Tarawa these questions. Or Iwo.

That having been said, you do catch more flies with honey, long term....but short term needs oftimes outweigh long term intelligence.

Situation dictates on a case by case basis, IMO.

05-04-07, 01:36 PM
It seems strange that everytime the Army comes up with any survey, fact-finding (read witchhunt) that involves the Marines, we always seem to come out looking like the bad guys. What B.S.!:mad:

I agree with the previous posts, if torture saves the life of fellow Marines so be it.

05-04-07, 01:51 PM
The definition of a war crime is something the enemy does, selectively something we didn't do.

Bombing civilians (cities) is not a crime, because we do it.

Ah, ha ! The Germans opened the dike's in the Netherlands and flooded the country side causing catastrophic flooding of agriculture territory. War Crime !

Guess who bombed the dams in Korea causing catastrophic flooding of agricultural territory ?

Clue, it wasn't Hitler :D

Sgt Leprechaun
05-04-07, 01:53 PM
The definition of 'war crime' is whatever the victors WANT it to be.

05-04-07, 01:57 PM
BlahBlahBlah. Color me 'un' impressed.

Ask a WWII Marine at Tarawa these questions. Or Iwo.

That having been said, you do catch more flies with honey, long term....but short term needs oftimes outweigh long term intelligence.

Situation dictates on a case by case basis, IMO.

i always found **** got more flies

05-04-07, 02:01 PM
The definition of 'war crime' is whatever the victors WANT it to be.

Just think if Adolf wrote history http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/mesg/tsmileys2/11.gif

05-04-07, 02:20 PM
War crime is like hate crime... Its redundant.

Dave Coup
05-04-07, 02:53 PM
Did anyone see the two things that Skillets posted the other day? One was pics of U.S. War Crimes and the other a video of Insurgent treatment of a prisoner.
Post them again would you Skillets?



05-04-07, 03:24 PM
What a bunch of horsechit .2 month of "warrior ethics training" isn't gonna take the loyalty that is in the hearts and sharp minds we MARINES have had instilled in us from the yellow foot prints on .I don't think any amount of time will take our loyalty to eachother. Those fat azz army pukes have no pride so it's easy for them to take the easy way out and save themselves.How's the old saying go loose lips sink ships and thats what the media is TRYING to turn our Marines in to and they say Marines are brainwashed what is the media doing to AMERICA?Just my 2 cents anyone agree?

Sgt Leprechaun
05-04-07, 03:29 PM

05-04-07, 03:39 PM
Did anyone see the two things that Skillets posted the other day? One was pics of U.S. War Crimes and the other a video of Insurgent treatment of a prisoner.
Post them again would you Skillets?




Abu Ghraib (http://www.thenausea.com/elements/usa/iraq2006/febr/2006%20abu%20ghraibII/abu%20ghraib2.htm) Hardly all that bad... I did some of this at bootcamp.

AQIZ treatment of prisonersGRAPHIC!!! (http://www.thenausea.com/elements/usa/iraq%202004/09/eugene-armstrong-beheading1.wmv) My heart BREAKS when I see this.

05-04-07, 03:52 PM
BlahBlahBlah. Color me 'un' impressed.

That having been said, you do catch more flies with honey, long term....but short term needs oftimes outweigh long term intelligence.

You catch more flies with chit than anything else... That or dead bodies...:evilgrin:

05-04-07, 05:13 PM
In the movie "A Rumer of War" a true story the S/Sgt says to the LT. You would be surprised at what a 18 year old is capable of doing. Just turn us lose for 30 days and the war would be over.

05-05-07, 07:59 AM
Poll examines the ethics of soldiers, Marines in Iraq Many troops wouldn't report killing of innocents
The Associated Press
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 05.05.2007

WASHINGTON — In a survey of U.S. troops in combat in Iraq, fewer than half of Marines and a little more than half of Army soldiers said they would report a member of their unit for killing or wounding an innocent civilian.

More than 40 percent support the idea of torture in some cases, and 10 percent reported personally abusing Iraqi civilians, the Pentagon said Friday in what it called its first ethics study of troops at the war front. Units exposed to the most combat were chosen for the study, officials said.

"It is disappointing," said analyst John Pike of the Globalsecurity.org think tank. "But anybody who is surprised by it doesn't understand war. … This is about combat stress."

The military has seen a number of high-profile incidents of alleged abuse in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including the killings of 24 civilians by Marines, the rape and killing of a 14-year-old girl and the slaying of her family and the sexual humiliation of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison.

"I don't want to, for a minute, second-guess the behavior of any person in the military — look at the kind of moral dilemma you are putting people in," Christopher Preble of the libertarian Cato Institute think tank, said of the mission in Iraq. "There's a real tension between using too much force, which generally means using force to protect yourself, and using too little and therefore exposing yourself to greater risk."

The overall study was the fourth in a series done by a special mental health advisory team since 2003 aimed at assessing the well-being of forces serving in Iraq.

Officials said the teams visited Iraq last August to October.
The study team also found that long and repeated deployments were increasing troop mental-health problems.

But Maj. Gen. Gale Pollock, the Army's acting surgeon general, said the team's "most critical" findings were on ethics.

"They looked under every rock, and what they found was not always easy to look at," said Ward Casscells, assistant secretary of defense for health.

Findings included:

● Sixty-two percent of soldiers and 66 percent of Marines said that they knew someone seriously injured or killed, or that a member of their team had become a casualty.

● The 2006 adjusted rate of suicides per 100,000 soldiers was 17.3 soldiers, lower than the 19.9 rate reported in 2005.

● Only 47 percent of the soldiers and 38 percent of Marines said noncombatants should be treated with dignity and respect.

Lt. Col. Scott Fazekas, a Marine Corps spokesman, said officials were looking closely at the ethics results, taken from a questionnaire survey of 1,320 soldiers and 447 Marines.

"The Marine Corps takes this issue of battlefield ethics very seriously," he said. "We are examining the study and its recommendations, and we'll find ways to improve our approach."