Mister Pterodactyl
Thursday, December 18, 2003
There has been some criticism of the pictures of Saddam being examined by a doctor, of his hair being checked for lice, of his teeth being examined. I think maybe those particular shots weren't necessarily the best ones to release, but let me talk about the five S's for a minute.

The five S's are a mnemomic for the treatment of POWs: search, separate, silence, speed, safety.
Search: take everything the POW is carrying and evaluate it for intel value. Personal items, by law, will be returned to the individual, but only after they've been examined.
Separate: put the POWs in groups by rank.
Silence: make them shut up.
Speed: get them back behind our lines quickly.
Safety: once you take an enemy captive, you are responsible for his (or her) welfare. Don't let them get hurt, don't let them suffer unnecessarily.

This is what was happening to Saddam in those videos: he was being examined by doctors for physical problems. His health was being attended to. The pictures may have been undignified but they also show that he's being treated well. That's a good thing.
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