• Proficient Pressure Pays: interview with a medic at Abu Ghraib

    February 18, 2011 2:45 pm 2 comments
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  • It is common knowledge that physicians and psychologists form a crucial part of our fearsome military force under President Bush. In this Christwire special, William (Bill) Stephens speaks with Dr. Hank Kirsch who served at Abu Ghraib before honorably retiring last year to spend time with his children on a ranch 2 hours away from Dallas, Texas.

    BS: Thank you for agreeing to this interview, Dr. Kirsch. Many other personnel I’ve talked to was reluctant to speak on the record about their military involvement, especially since Abu Ghraib was a sensitive issue.
    HK: Strange isn’t it? I am very proud of what I was able to do for my country, and I think all Americans should feel the same way too.

    BS: Our patriotic readers certainly would. Please, tell us about your role overseas, particularly with Abu Ghraib.
    HK: I was involved as a lad with the Korean war, and went back to school for a MD. That took a while, and when I was done I decided to go back to the Army. It’s the brotherhood and camaraderie that I miss, and the excitement.
    BS: Nothing is more noble than defending your country, God, and freedom of people everywhere. I salute you on behalf of our readers.
    HK: Yes, God spoke personally to me in a dream. I know you young lads don’t like to talk about these, but God told me in a dream that I have a mission to accomplish in my life, a job that I needed to get done before He take me home again.
    BS: And that job is…
    HK: Let me finish my story. I didn’t know what the job was yet. So I just kept my head down, do the usual thing and soon after the War on Terror started got myself deployed to Iraq. There I mostly patch up the guys when they get blown up by towel-heads. Not the completely blown up ones, obviously.
    BS: Interrupting for a second – were you afraid, after being a civilian for so long?
    HK: Nah. It was said in the Good Book that “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” I knew I could not die because I have a mission to do. And even if I were to die, it would be a sweet and fitting end.
    HK: One day the guys took a big high up sand-nigger – the twit turned out to be one of these propa guys, printing pamphlets and did something called “twitting” – and they were trying to get him to talk, so they brought me to Camp Justice. [Expletive] place it was, smells like [excrement]. Piss and puke, nails and skin everywhere.

    BS: Why did they want a medical doctor there?
    HK: Oh, to make sure he doesn’t die on them – can’t beat the talk out from dead men. Funny stuff. Proficient pressure pays. I keep bringing him back and he wasn’t such a tough guy after all.
    BS: Ouch.
    HK: After that night I requested to be transferred to Camp Justice or AG (Abu Ghraib), and they sent me to AG. You know, I fit the pieces together and figured out what is the meaning of my life, why the Lord made me a soldier and a doctor. I then worked with the CIA and soon lawyers and even some big guns from the administration got in touch with our team to make sure we do things just the right way.
    BS: Lawyers? Like John Yoo?
    HK: Yea, he was one of the big guys. There was lots of trial and error, but our team developed a manual for the field operators about what works and what doesn’t work, and made illegal things legal.
    BS: Is this classified, or can you tell our readers something about it?
    HK: It’s just basic science – we throw all kinds of things at the wall [on the prisoners] and see what sticks. Some walls break, but hey, you learn to not sweat the small things. And then we send the white-paper to Washington, they take some time to look over it and Cheney signs the procedures off.

    BS: What are these procedures like?
    HK: Many of them are common sense stuff that’s all been reported in the news and totally twisted around by the mainstream media. Like waterboarding – it’s perfectly safe, no one died from it. I can count the number of terrorists that were were permanently [damaged] – but they were probably [damaged] to begin with. And what’s important is that if you keep doing it, one day they will break – there’s a guy that we waterboarded more than 200 times before he talked.
    BS: Wow. If you don’t mind me saying, that’s a pretty tough terrorist.
    HK: Bill, you need to know this. These Islamic wingnuts think that they are bringing Heaven to earth, and guys thinking that way will stop at nothing.
    BS: Right.
    HK: The rest of the procedures are all the kind of things that protect the safety of the terrorist and satisfy the international regulations: so for example, no marks on the body unless absolutely necessary, and we mix in psychological tactics as well. (BS: Sleep deprivation?) No, more like bringing their family in. We have psychologists to help with that, but Harry is queasy about telling people the patriotic things he did on behalf of God and Country.
    BS: Can you tell our readers what a routine investigation would be like?
    HK: It was a long process. We triage terrorists based on how high risk they are to our guys on the ground and the US of A. A typical medium risk terrorist we put through the WEST sequence: Waterboard, Electricity, Sodomy, and… “T” is classified information, I’m sorry.
    BS: As just a civilian, that sounds very harsh.
    HK: I prefer not to drill their teeth either but sometimes that’s the only way they would say anything. Listen Bill – those [expletive] hate our ass. They think that to be American means to be fat, bigoted and ignorant.
    BS: They think all Americans are on a crusade to destroy them.
    HK: Or to steal their oil. They have their heads so far up their arses that they can’t even imagine our lads going all the way over there to restore their Freedom.
    BS: Dr. Kirsch – our media may be biased, but at least there are independent sources like CNN, FOXNews, and Christwire. Our journalists, like Billings, get ridicules and death threats but their journalists actually get horribly tortured and executed. Their media is absolutely controlled by the government.
    HK: Right. Which is why we need to defend our Constitution – and especially the First and Second Amendments – and why I’m glad to speak through you guys to the Christian Red Blue and White.
    BS: I don’t want to take too much of your time – if there is one thing that you want to say to the young people reading Christwire, what would you say?
    HK: Plastic.
    BS: Plastic?
    HK: (laughs) You’re too young for this, Bill. To be serious – arm yourself so you can be independent, and think about God and Country every time you want to complain. Stop the hand-wringing: America is the best country in the world blessed by the Creator. Teachers in Wiscosin complain about union busting (teachers! The ones in my days knew better), gay men in SoCal complain about they can’t legally [have sex] one another, and lazy asses all over complain about how they can’t just sit on their asses all day and get rich leeching off hard-working men. Sometimes you just gotta make sacrifices and do things you don’t want to do – God will see it and reward you for that.
    BS: Very wise words that only someone with so much experience can say. Thanks again Dr. Kirsch, and best to you and your family.
    HK: We are all one family under Christ. Godspeed.


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    About The Author
    William Stephens "This fair land is God's own country, and it's Republican and Free. Its a Protestant land made by God's Perfect Hand, and a Protestant country it will always be." WPS graduated from Colorado University's journalism school and is now making America better one article at a time.

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