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Friday, May 28, 2004

If you think Abu Ghraib is bad...

Good column in today's Toronto Sun about Abu Ghraib. Worthington is ashamed as a former soldier but compares what went on there to what Canadian military prisons used to be like.

Abu Ghraib brought to mind the Canadian military justice system of WWII and Korea, before King's Rules and Regulations were replaced by the National Defence Act.

A friend from army days and Korea, Vince Courtenay, recalls the system better than I.

It sounds primitive now, but sentences of three to seven days on nothing but bread and water were routine for minor offenses. The commanding officer could dish out 28-day sentences.

Bread and water consisted of eight slices of white bread and a canteen of water, which Vince recalls troops calling "piss and punk."

A full meal was required every third day on this diet, and "heavy fellows lost weight rapidly," says Vince, who insists he's not talking from personal experience.

I had a friend who was sent to a military jail after a fight with another soldier and he never got into trouble again. I have to confess I nearly landed there myself after a brawl between the infantry and the engineers outside of an on-base bar one night. For some reason the engineers refused to accept the superiority of the infantry and felt compelled to argue the fact. Fortunately most of us disappeared before the MPs showed up. I didn't want to discover the joys of military jail myself.

Read on

Posted by Steve Martinovich on May 28, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink


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