As most of our readers know, we participate in a radio show called the Northern Alliance Radio Network every Saturday afternoon. The show is broadcast on 1280 am the Patriot in the Twin Cities, and is streamed over the internet. (You can link to the stream from our site, check the sidebar on the right.) Last Saturday, we bumped into State Senator Michele Bachmann, who is running for the House seat being vacated by Mark Kennedy, in the Patriot’s basement–our headquarters–where she was about to do another show. She mentioned that she knows a Minnesotan who has recently gotten back from serving at Guantanamo Bay, and offered to call him to see if he would come on our show. She did, and he did, but we only had time for a brief interview. Because the issue is so important, we passed his contact information on to Hugh Hewitt and urged Hugh to put him on his show. Hugh did, and he has posted a transcript of the interview here.
With all the nonsense being written about Gitmo, the interview is worth reading in its entirety. I would only add the the soldier, Pete, was the valedictorian of his high school class, graduated from Princeton, and now serves with the New Jersey National Guard. Here is an excerpt:
Hugh: When did you serve in Gitmo?
Pete: I was there about two months ago, for a year.
Hugh: Did you see brutality at Gitmo?
Pete: I didn’t see one bit of it.
Hugh: Are interrogations ongoing at Gitmo?
Pete: Absolutely. The facility is there to gather intelligence.
Hugh: Any violence, in terms of physical brutality of the prisoners you observed?
Pete: Absolutely not. In fact, my men and I spent nine hours on a runway waiting to try and get a detainee to go back home who had refused to do so because he wanted to stay at Guantanamo because he was being treated so well.
Hugh: Food okay for the prisoners at Guantanamo, Pete?
Pete: I think it is better than what my guys got for a year, to be honest with you.
Hugh: You an officer, Pete?
Pete: Yes I am. Second Lieutenant.
Hugh: Are you proud of the way your men conducted themselves vis-a-vis these prisoners?
Pete: Absolutely. I mean, you’ve got guys from New jersey who were just, you know, minutes away from the Towers when they fell, who knew family members who died that day. And the professionalism with which they conducted themselves around men who may have been involved in those attacks was extraordinary.
The contrast between forthright young men like Pete and gasbags like Dick Durbin and Howard Dean is, I think, striking.