Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Retired Special Forces LTC Recalled His 1964 Torture Training at Fort Bragg, NC.

Immediately after commanding the memorial tribute at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, in honor of President John F. Kennedy on the day he was assassinated, LTC Daniel (Dangerous Dan) Marvin volunteered for Special Forces. Knowing how much his best friend, Green Beret SFC Gerard V. Parmentier, admired the just slain President, inspired his action.

In the spring of 1964 he attended the Special Forces Officer training course at their Smoke Bomb Hill training center at Fort Bragg, NC. When the instructors began discussing covert operations they told the class how they were "compartmentalized" with regard to chain of command so that any covert mission could readily be denied. In particular; assassinations, terrorism and sabotage were those TOP SECRET operations using all volunteers that were without documentation and highly compartmentalized. Significant also was the fact that those who volunteered for covert operations were instructed not to concern themselves with any restrictions on conduct as was specified in the Geneva Conventions, International Law, International Human Rights Treaties or any other regulation of that nature. "You will be on your own to do what is necessary in your judgment to get the job done" was what he and his classmates were told at the time by Special Forces and CIA instructors.

Torture was simply something used to loosen tongues, understanding that it may be the only method that would elicit the desired results as regards intelligence matters. LTC Marvin's personal feeling at the time that he commanded SF Detachment A-424 as an Independent Operation in An Phu, South Vietnam from 27 Dec 65 to 2 Aug 66, was that a prelude to physical torture of captured men or women would include a warning that any effort on the person's part to give false information, wanting simply to "satisfy" the interrogator would result in instant death. He made certain that the enemy was convinced of his being in complete control as he wanted only the "straight scoop" as he put it. He used electricity in Camp An Phu to loosen tongues, even when questioning four female terrorists the CIDG (Civilian Irregular Defense Group) soldiers had captured near Khanh-Binh, South Vietnam. He had them (one at a time) strip to the waist and then would use the two wire leads against opposite breasts and give her a shot of "juice." You can read about the (not in so much detail) interrogation of those women terrorists in His book Expendable Elite - One Soldier's Journey Into Covert Warfare.

During training at Fort Bragg the officer students used electrical shock on each other so as to understand and appreciate the nature of that torture technique. It was understood that the method of torture would be up to the senior Green Beret and, though he now believes that torture should not be utilized under any circumstance, he was then ready, willing and able to use any method because that he felt would get the job done.

He also understands that no other Green Beret is likely to back him on what he now reports to the world - but what he writes is the truth. In fact the Special Forces Association, apparently "inspired" by the Special Operations Command and the CIA and wanting to hide the truth of what illegal methods are used in covert operations, brought together some of Marvin's own men who had served with him, intimidated them into acting as Plaintiffs who would sue Marvin and his publisher, hoping vainly to force his book off the market. Thankfully it was the truth that these same men corroborated on audio tape or in writing in 1988 after reviewing the draft manuscript sent them by the Colonel prior to the publication of his book that convinced the jury that his book was pure fact. The trial, which took place the end of January 2006 in the Federal Courthouse in Charleston, SC, resulted in victory for Marvin and Millegan by way of a unanimous verdict of the jury.

Please write your Senators and your Congressman and demand that LTC Daniel Marvin be called to testify to what this is all about. Let's get the truth out into the world so we can clean up our military and our government. Marvin has three grandsons in the military - an Army paratrooper who was injured in Iraq and returned to fight again, a security specialist in the Air Force who is back from Iraq and another who just completed Navy Seaman basic and has volunteered to be a sub-mariner! LTC Marvin prays daily that they have good leadership above them and that some day our White House has the caliber of President this nation deserves.

His book, Victory Edition, Expendable Elite - One Soldier’s Journey into Covert Warfare may be ordered on line at or by calling the publisher at 800-556-2012.


Blogger Witch Doctor said...

If he did these acts of torture he is a war criminal by his own admission. I suspect he wants to sell his book is all that is occuring here. The problem is, he says that others helped him do these things, but they deny it. The court case boiled down to the jury did not believe either side.

12:46 PM  
Blogger LTC Daniel Marvin, USA Ret'd said...

Witch doctor is no doubt one of "them." If he or she had been at the trial - or if either were to go to my website at www/ her or she may read the entire trial transcript and judge for themselves. Shame on whoever it is for backing those who perpetrate such evil and are unwilling to stop it or try to have justice done.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Melissa Pinson said...

I'm sitting here listening to my father-in-law talk about Smoke Bomb Hill when he was a highly decorated Green Beret. He never says what he wants to, never gives up too much. Got on google and we looked up all the metals and flash, then i google Smoke Bomb Hill and see this. When I read him this, he says 'You do for your country what is asked of you so we can sit here by a fire and bullshit and for my grandkids.' He was active 1974-1978. His father is a WWII vet, Darce Pinson. He has yet to share his experience in depth. Sometimes some things are better left unsaid, laid to rest. What's in the past should not be rehashed but learned from. What this man published, true or not, should not have been shared. Some people do not want their skeletons out of the closet.

9:37 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home