Where Have All the Cadets Gone? Ian Fishback and Joshua Casteel Speak Up...But is Anyone Paying Attention?
It's already come and gone. Ian Fishback's letter to John McCain complaining about the ambiguity of military doctrine on how detainees are to be treated in this war against a "radical" Muslim insurgency is already old news. Fishback did the difficult, the unheard of; he broke the long silence of American military officers surrounding the treatment of detainees.
McCain proposed a bill, which, in no uncertain terms, dictates the way detainees should be treated, and it passed--although Bush has said he will veto any bill that hinders his Executive power to wage war.
At the recent Catholic Peace Fellowship retreat/conference "A Day with the Prophets," Joshua Casteel, ex-Abu Ghraib Army interrogator told me that he has been in contact with Fishback--they were cadets together at West Point. Casteel, currently a playwrighting student at Iowa's famed Writer's Workshop, told me that they dicussed the lack of outcry on the part of ex-West Pointers, who are known for their deep and refined sense of moral certitude.
Casteel told me and crowd of retreat attendees--a crowd made up of Catholic Workers from Massachusetts to Des Moines, as well as priests, theology students from Notre Dame and community members--that the majority of interrogations he conducted were of innocent men who were caught up in broad sweeps.