By lex, on March 28th, 2007
UK Leading Sailor Faye Turney has admitted ** that she and her boarding team were “apparently” across the line, and in Iranian waters. Despite the evidence – evidence she probably couldn’t know about – that they actually weren’t.*
WEARING a black headscarf, her voice trembled as she spoke to her unseen interviewer.
Leading Seaman Faye Turney appeared on Iranian television in civilian dress to tell the world she and her colleagues had “trespassed” into Iranian waters.
Her eyes downcast and forehead furrowed, in a monotone voice the mother said she had been treated well and that her captors were “nice people”.
You can’t ascribe a single person’s weakness to the entire force – people react to stress differently, some of them do things they later regret. Some people will let you down, and we don’t all end up being the people we hope we’d be.
Still, it’s sad.
Here’s what gets drilled into us, each of us, has been since just after the Korean War, when some among us acted imperfectly:
Article I: I am an American, fighting in the armed forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
Article II: I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.
Article III: If I am captured, I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.
Article IV: If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information nor take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.
Article V: When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.
Article VI: I will never forget that I am an American, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.
I know: It lacks a certain sense of irony, doesn’t it? You’ve got to forgive us, we’re military. We don’t do irony very well.
As for Leading Sailor Turney, I try not to judge. I’ve never been there, under the gun, in captivity, not for real. The things that I feared and faced were mostly swiftly up and swiftly past. There are advantages to flying fighters, so long as you keep them in the air. If I was down on the turf with the bad guys?
I know how I’ve been trained, but I don’t know for a certain fact how I would have responded.
Better though, I hope. I would like to think that I’d have done better.
* 07-28-2018 Link Gone; no replacements found – Ed.
** 07-28-2018 Original link gone; replacement found – Ed.