Friday, May 13, 2011

Its GTMO not Gitmo.

I'm Southern, when I hear "Gitmo" I think that someone is telling me to "get more", because in Southern, that is what gitmo means.  On the other hand, if you are referring to the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, it is GTMO, while this acronym can be pronounced git-mo, it isn't spelled that way.

When I read opinion blogs about detainees being tortured/held against their will/cruelty/interrogation/gathering intelligence at Gitmo, I can't take the writer seriously.  Fine, popular media has made it acceptable to use the term "Gitmo", but that doesn't make it correct.  Using incorrect terms automatically invalidates your argument, imo.  I guess in that same regard, using text speak also invalidates an argument, but I digress.

There are several commands at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  The biggest are: U.S. Naval Station (NAVSTA) Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (JTF-GTMO).  NAVSTA makes the rules, and JTF runs the camps.  Mostly the 2 commands operate separately from each other, but there are times like humanitarian efforts (think Haiti), when the effort is combined.  There is also the Marine security force (the guys who guard the fence line) and the Coast Guard who patrol the bay.

I try not to read too much opinion stuff about GTMO and detainees and wikileaks and the War on Terrorism, because I know I have a unique perspective because of my Navy career and the places I've been stationed (JTF-GTMO and COMUSNAVCENT).  I know that civilians think they have the inherent right to know things, when in fact, there are just things that people don't need to know.  There are things I wish I didn't know.  My job as a CS has made me have to relearn how to talk to people.  I've never been so good at talking in generalities before.

When the huge blow up with wikileaks went down, someone sent me a msg on FB asking me to read the Constitution, to see what it stands for, and was I defending that?  Oh thats right, I'm in the military and allowed to have an opinion, thats amusing.  I was then asked to recite my creed, which at that moment, having been awake about 15 minutes, I got through the "I am a United States Sailor" part.  Thats the lovely thing about time difference, I looked like an idiot and they thought they had pegged me as just some drone.  I prefer peon, actually, thank you very much.

Yet, when the budget crisis rolled around and the military wasn't gonna get paid...  I was the only one who added, with or without pay, to the end of the Sailor's Creed during quarters one day.  Sure it warranted a few laughs, but we all knew it was true.   The person that wanted me to read the Constitution could stop getting paid tomorrow and not have to go into work.  That's not a privilege I have.  You won't find that in the US Constitution though.

This blog went off in a tangent I wasn't even expecting.  I started on GTMO, about torture and "so called" terrorists (aka detainees as I was quickly corrected once I got to GTMO in a politically correct world) being held there against their will and went into doing a job with the faith that I am doing the right thing, even if people don't agree with it, and even if the day comes that I won't get paid.  Nope, I probably won't like that very much, but the part of the Sailor's Creed that I never forget is: I am a United States Sailor.

So, Americans, civilians (ye of mass quantity), etc.. correct yourselves and learn that just like in the military machine, in the American machine, you don't have to have rights either, despite what some ancient historical document says, just like people that follow parts of the Bible..  Congratulations.  Life Lesson #1 achieved: Life Ain't Fair.

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