Monday, April 2, 2007

U.S. colonel defends Iran's right to detain Britons

Mon, 02 Apr 2007 18:18:43

The anti-war activist Retired Colonel Ann Wright has defended Iran's detention of 15 British navy personnel as a legitimate right to protect its national sovereignty.

Ms. Wright made the remarks in an interview with FOX news channel's The Factor, hosted by anti-Iran presenter Bill O'Reilly who demanded she answer yes or no to the question whether she agrees with the UN assertion that Iran's "capture" of the Britons is an unprovoked act of aggression.

Wright, who taught the Geneva Conventions to troops at Fort Bragg, might just know what she's talking about, but O'Reilly did not like the direction of her comments and thus over-talked with increasing agitation, accusing her of blaming America.

She replied that there was still some question as to where the sailors had been when they were taken, with O'Reilly dismissing that by saying "it'll never be proven."

Wright continued that the main thing now is to not let this incident get ratcheted up, because the dangers of escalation are tremendous.

Not good enough for O'Reilly, he badgered her and demanded again a "yes or no" answer. She replied (essentially) that there is no war between Iran and Great Britain so the prisoner of war rules do not apply.

About the broadcasting of the footages of the detained Britons and whether it was acceptable, she said "we have done the same so we have given up the moral high ground." O'Reilly immediately misinterpreted her, saying "so this is our fault? This Iranian seizure is our fault?"

Wright replied "No, not at all, not at all, but the treatment of prisoners and detainees..." and O'Reilly cut her off, saying he wanted to stop the interview right there.

This happened as she refused to let him silence her by overtalking, twisting her words and accusing her of blaming America for the Iran-Britain situation going on now.

As she continued to speak to a dead mic, O'Reilly got the last word: he wanted viewers to see that - Not about Iran, not about seizure of the Brits... (dramatic pause and then he points to himself) "We're bad. That's the, and she's not alone. That's what you have."

The banner beneath the Colonel at the beginning read "U.S. Army (Ret.) Col. Ann Wright" changed to "Col. Ann Wright retired from State Dept. in opposition to Iraq war" and ended with "Anti-war activist Col. Ann Wright."

Elsewhere during the interview, Colonel Wright criticized the Bush administration for its violation of Geneva Conventions with mistreating the detainees in Afghanistan, Iraq, and especially Guantanamo Bay detention camps.

Her words were exactly the opposite of what Bill O'Reilly of FOX news wanted: to blatantly and unfoundedly accusing Tehran of violating Geneva Conventions despite all the evidence Iran had to prove its detention of the Britons was a legitimate right according to all international laws and regulations.


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