The U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps will resume hanging condemned prisoners in early September, sources in JAG’s office told Real Raw News.
In June, JAG announced it would abandon hangings and instead execute Deep Staters by gunshot. The reason for the first switch, sources told Real Raw News, revolved around time constraints and cost. Vice Admiral Darse E. Crandall had also grown weary of what he called “gallows theatrics.”
The executions of Jennifer Dillon and Michael Sussmann, however, carried unanticipated—but possibly predictable–consequences: the U.S. Marine who had pulled the trigger on Sussmann afterward suffered night tremors that startled him awake, drenched in sweat, despite having endured a comprehensive psychological screening after volunteering for the job. A combat veteran with 14 years in service, he is no plebe. He did two tours in Afghanistan, each 15-months, and by his own admission killed several insurgents near the Afghan city of Sangin in 2015. When screened by JAG, the Marine described himself as “battle-hardened” and “ready to serve,” and showed no clinical signs of PTSD.
Sources put RRN in touch with a U.S. Navy psychiatrist who made the following observation:
“I didn’t screen that Marine, nor am I the one counseling him, so I can only comment in broad, general terms. There is a dramatic difference between a Marine defending himself in combat against a declared enemy, in the line of duty, and him executing an unarmed, blindfolded person. On the surface, the Marine feels he’s following his oath, his orders, his responsibilities—but may also feel he’s committing murder, a dishonorable act. His mind cannot reconcile the two, and he may be living in a realm of perpetual psychological anguish,” she said.
The Marine who executed Sussmann is in counselling, but the 22-year-old U.S. Army Spec-4 who terminated Jennifer Dillon is not. He doesn’t have the benefit of therapy because he is dead. A month after he shot Dillon, he opened his wrists with a boxcutter and bled out.
Like the Marine, he too had been rigorously screened; but unlike the Marine, the U.S. Army Spec-4 had never shown visible signs of trauma. No tremors. No night sweats. No mental fog. No lapses in judgment. Not until the evening he committed suicide.
“Some people under great stress camouflage it very convincingly by internalizing it until they burst,” the navy psychiatrist said.
In wake of these catastrophes, JAG will now resume hanging prisoners, for no hangman, for lack of a better word, has ever killed himself or presented symptoms of psychological duress.
“Shooting someone at pointblank range is very intimate. A soldier on the gallows simply pushes a button or pulls a lever—it’s impersonal, dispassionate,” the psychiatrist said.
In closing, RRN has been informed that the U.S. military has completed security improvements at Guantanamo Bay, and tribunals are scheduled to resume in early September.
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