In praise of our heroes at Gitmo

On Thursday, Rusty Humphries delivered the following speech to U.S. military personnel stationed at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility:

I am honored to have been extended an invitation to speak with you today. It's humbling to appear before the most civilized and powerful fighting force the world has ever known.

Before I plunge into my main topic today, please allow me a personal comment. As the proud son of a fallen war hero, I've always hoped to stay connected to the armed services in some meaningful way. Due to the fact that I'm almost as wide as I am tall and that I shoot better with my mouth than with a gun, my connection has evolved to battling what I see as a D-Day-like assault on the truth and American values. The people leading this assault are a few elected officials and what has become the Anti-American Media. A friend in the military told me long ago that propaganda never works when the truth is known. And, when the truth is known, free people tend to make pretty good decisions. My belief is Americans will remain united if we can prevent irresponsible, partisan politicians and journalists from defaming those who serve their mission and their commander in chief. That's a full-time job and I only have three hours a day to get it done!

I'm fully aware of the military's pledge to never leave one of your own behind. Well, my pledge is to never, ever leave the truth behind. That's the least I can do. That's my mission. I do it for my dad, I do it for my listening audience, and you can better believe I do it for you!

You are all familiar with the phrase, "The pen is mightier than the sword." One would use this proverb to suggest the world's problems can be solved more effectively through communication with words than with weapons. Oh, if it were only true.

This is really a gross misunderstanding of the world we live in. "The pen is mightier than the sword" is a false and dangerous choice. This is the kind of sloppy thinking from pacifists who would like to see America become a second-rate power with the help of their third-rate pens.

I can promise you, the cowards in the Anti-American Media are not mightier because of their pens and printing presses. We now know who they are and what they stand for.

I can tell you that a liberated pen is mightier than an unliberated pen. There are now millions of liberated people with pens in Afghanistan and Iraq thanks to the swords of American heroes. Those people are now free to write their thoughts and speak their minds thanks to the wisdom of our commander in chief and to the power of America's military.

That's an applause line for you. Please give yourself a hand!

Safety and security is key if we are to remain free. We hear so much about the awesome power of plotting terrorists. But let's stop and think. Right now, who is being terrorized? Who is crawling into caves and spider holes? The United States military has sent the oppressed to the polls and their oppressors into holes!

Again, I ask, who is being terrorized? You wouldn't know it from reading the papers, but we, thanks to you, are winning the war on terror. I would have liked to drop that message off to al-Zarqawi myself, but your brothers in Iraq had two 500-pound messages that arrived first.

And those two messages were: Ka-Boom!

Anyway, there is a disconnect between those who live free� no, the disconnect is between those who live carefree and those who do the dangerous work of defeating our sworn enemies. It is unfortunate, but the carefree back home are oftentimes careless about what they say about our warriors and the war on terror. It is clear to me that too many Americans not only take their freedoms and safety for granted, but they have become smug and cynical toward those who remember the dastardly and reprehensible attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Back home, there are Americans and Ameri-can'ts. Why the negativity? Why the venom?

This brings me to what I wanted to focus on today. The political rhetoric back home regarding our warriors and the war on terror has become so reckless and destructive it has made me stop and think:

The manner in which you, our warriors, go about your jobs, both on the battlefield and here confining terrorists who tirelessly plan our demise, is far more restrained, orderly and professional than the Anti-American Media and many of the politicians who are supposed to be respected caretakers of freedom and distinguished public servants!

Think about it. You are trained killers. You are put in harm's way. You are put in situations when twisted terrorists taunt, threaten, assault and plot against you. Yet, you are trained and required to carry yourselves responsibly and to treat these monsters with respect� respect for their religion, respect for their safety and respect for them as human beings.

How you do it, I do not know. But I do know this kind of professionalism and restraint is not what is going on in Washington, D.C.! Again, I'll repeat myself: America's warriors conduct themselves in a more professional and restrained manner than do many in the press or our poll-iticians in Washington.

Yes, I did say poll-iticians. One of my pet peeves is the blind reliance on polls by so many elected officials. We all know that 90 percent of the time polls are taken just after the press has passed off their propaganda as news. Then they go out and ask questions of people who are simply responding to what they heard on the news or from their favorite late-night comic.

Thus, poll-iticians was born on the "Rusty Humphries Show," thank you very much.

Poll-a-ganda, poll-iticians � so much B.S. So much hysteria. If America's warriors acted this carelessly with facts, policies and their responsibilities, we'd be ... like pre-invasion Iraq.

We're better than that largely because you have set the standard. Those back home can learn from you.

This drives me crazy! Where is it written that deviating from the Rules of Engagement is any more important than deviating from honesty, ethics and civility in the press and in the halls of Congress? Oh yeah, the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Details! My point is reckless, undisciplined conduct causes problems wherever it occurs. Just so you know, I think it is fabulous that the United States military behaves with more civility and more honor than do our poll-iticians and Anti-American Media!

They behave like unsupervised adolescents at their first beer bash, yet they go ballistic if Osama bin Terrorist didn't get his frickin' Happy Meal!

Your professionalism is an inspiration. I admire you for your restraint. I tip my hat to your training and to your instructors. I just hope you take some of that back home when you return to civilian life!

Those who have goals that are bigger than themselves � a mission, faith, unconditional love of country � those that have a "big picture," long-term outlook on life are more likely to go through the day with clear eyes, a confidant attitude and a settled mind. Petty political power trips don't make for good copy or good policy.

A clear-headed, disciplined warrior is a beautiful thing. An addle-brained, foul-mouthed, America-hating journalist and a weak-spined poll-itician are, well, let's just say they are less than beautiful. In fact, they make fighting and winning a difficult war damn near impossible.

You continue to do the right thing. Stay above the fray. Be true to your code, true to your faith and true to your training. You are setting the standard for civilized conduct when faced with uncivilized killers.

That's the truth, and you, by God, can handle the truth!

I would have thought all Americans would be united in our declaration of war against terrorists and terrorism. What was it about the attack on New York and the Pentagon they didn't understand? Do these people need to go see the movie "United 93" for a refresher course?

I'll never forget Americans jumping off the Twin Towers to their deaths because they were silly enough to go to work and expect to go home that night to see their families. Cowards � twisted Islamofascists � declared war on our way of life and thousands of innocent Americans never got the chance to fight for their lives, liberties or their right to be happy. We're fighting for them, are we not?

Yet, we have people in office and in the media that seem to have forgotten we are at war. What once stopped at the water's edge, is now spoken with seemingly no thought about the impact on those fighting for our very way of life.

What the devil is going on here? I ask you, what is their code? Where is the discipline to deal with facts? What happened to being more careful in times of war? Loose lips sink ... approval numbers? Is this what it has come to? A battle in Washington to affect a political opponent's approval numbers in a time of war?


Regardless what others do or say, don't lower your standards. Don't take the bait. Continue to conduct yourselves with honor. It is the right thing to do.

My hope is poll-iticians and the media who get their kicks from publishing our country's secrets � the very things that give us an advantage over those who would kill us if given half a chance � will stop playing into the hands of Islamofascist killers. Appeasement might work in a marriage and it might work in congressional smoke-filled back rooms, but it doesn't work in a shooting war! There is no compromise when it comes to Life, Liberty or to the Pursuit of Happiness.

American pens wrote that and your swords have preserved it. Do the right thing � it always pays in the long run.

July 3, 1776, is in some ways similar to Sept. 10, 2001. Life changed after those dates � and I would say that in one way, they changed for the better. In the tragedy and darkness of losing thousands of innocent American lives, America, for a short while, remembered that freedom is a fragile thing. We saw how silly and destructive the misguided war protesters were. We all saw those fools for what they were.

The fact is the military does the jobs pacifists and appeasers won't do.

I have heard some say our military did their jobs so well that folks back home just assume putting a safety net over this country is as easy as Britney Spears popping out kids. See, this is what impresses me most about those that serve. The people charged with protecting the country and our freedoms have stayed focused. You remain vigilant and alert to the threat. It isn't easy; you just make it look that way.

You set the standard.

Your courage and your faith make your pledge to protect our country an absolute inspiration. And let's be clear � you have pledged allegiance not to a poll-itician or a political party; rather, your pledge is to uphold the values symbolized by our flag. That's why our flag is sacred. It is symbolic of our declared intention to pursue life, liberty and happiness here in America.

You keep the faith.

My heartfelt belief is the decision to spread the blessing of freedom around the world is our best hope for peace. This was a stroke of genius and compassion. Let me tell you something. In this country, winning the lottery has come to mean winning freedom. Don't you believe it. Purple fingers and free elections mean freedom, not free money. And Purple Hearts, not yellow bellies, keep us free.

You keep fighting the good fight.

We all know the world is a dangerous place. But when we are lectured by pacifists about how to bring peace on earth, I am reminded our anti-military friends hope religion and the military play minimal roles in our lives. Sounds like a recipe for anarchy and war. But then again, these are the same folks that think B-1s and B-52s are vitamins found in Brussels sprouts.

You keep above the fray. Continue to conduct yourselves with honor and courage.

I must admit, I feel like I am fighting a war myself these days. There's an assault in progress against the truth regarding what you do and the progress made in bringing peace to the Middle East. That assault is meant to demoralize the American public, our troops and negatively affect the world's opinion of our commander in chief. My small role in this assault on the truth is to help set the record straight. The truth about the war on terror is inspirational, and I will never cease in my efforts to bring your deeds to the American public. That's the least I can do. Your successes and sacrifices will not be sullied by purveyors of propaganda and half-truths. Those who serve will be honored by the truth. You are an inspiration, and the facts will brought to the American public � you have my word on that.

Let me conclude by making one last observation. The truth about what our armed forces have accomplished has set us free and it has set free millions of people around the world. Your missions have been just. Your sacrifices have been unimaginable. And, your successes have changed the world for the better.

Despite the criticisms in the press and the occasional jab by late-night comics, please know that it is a common human failing to take our many blessings for granted. That's why we have a Thanksgiving Day � it's a good reminder. But I hope you know that deep down, 99 percent of the people respect you and appreciate your sense of duty and sacrifice. You do your job so well I think many of us are allowed to forget why we feel safe and secure despite the efforts of our country's enemies.

I can't tell you how honored I am and how willing I am to continue to do verbal battle every day to help sing the praises about our heroes and your accomplishments. Our Constitution allows great freedoms, and I will always work hard to respect what has been so honorably fought for. I'm humbled by the discriminating use of the awesome power with which you have been entrusted. I am most grateful for your sacrifices and the sacrifices of your families.

Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to offer my thoughts and to convey my thanks. America is forever in your debt.

Rusty Humphries is a nationally syndicated talk-radio host who is heard in over 200 cities across America.

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