Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 27, 2008

First Sgt. Hatley and the Beauchamp TNR Affair

Updated below
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A U.S. Army sergeant outed as a murderer in today's NYT seems to be the same one that led the unit involved in last years New Republic / Beauchamp controversy. Then he denied atrocities Beauchamp reported on.

In July 2007 a U.S. soldier under the pseudonym Scott Thomas wrote about the war in Iraq at the The New Republic's Shock Troops blog. Scott Thomas described some disgusting behavior by his fellow soldiers. Such included running over dogs with Bradley fighting vehicles and playing with a child's scull found in a mass grave.

The rightwing media, the Weekly Standard, the National Review and many others, went nuts over these reports. The blogger's name was disclosed as Scott Thomas Beauchamp, a member of Alpha Company, 1-18 Infantry, Second Brigade Combat Team, First Infantry Division, and after some heavy push and pull and an army investigation, The New Republic said it "cannot stand by these stories."

At the time of that controversy, a mil-blogger in the U.S. wrote to Beauchamp's company senior non-commissioned officer, identified as First Sgt. John E. Hatley, and got this response:

My soldiers conduct is consistently honorable. [...] Again, this young man has a vivid imagination and I promise you that this by no means reflects the truth of what is happening here. I’m currently serving with the best America has to offer. [...]

Sincerely,

1SG Hatley

Today the NYT reports about willful killing of Iraqis who were taken prisoners by the U.S. troops.

In March or April 2007, three noncommissioned United States Army officers, including a first sergeant, a platoon sergeant and a senior medic, killed four Iraqi prisoners with pistol shots to the head as the men stood handcuffed and blindfolded beside a Baghdad canal, two of the soldiers said in sworn statements.
...

After the killings, the first sergeant — the senior noncommissioned officer of his Army company — told the other two to remove the men’s bloody blindfolds and plastic handcuffs, according to the statements made to Army investigators, which were obtained by The New York Times.
...
The soldiers, all from Company D, First Battalion, Second Infantry, 172nd Infantry Brigade, have not been charged with a crime.
...
The accounts of and confessions to the killings, by Sgt. First Class Joseph P. Mayo, the platoon sergeant, and Sgt. Michael P. Leahy Jr., Company D’s senior medic and an acting squad leader, were made in January in signed statements to Army investigators in Schweinfurt, Germany.

In their statements, Sergeants Mayo and Leahy each described killing at least one of the Iraqi detainees on instructions from First Sgt. John E. Hatley, who the soldiers said killed two of the detainees with pistol shots to the back of their heads.
...
Last month, four other soldiers from Sergeant Hatley’s unit were charged with murder conspiracy for agreeing to go along with the plan to kill the four prisoners, in violation of military laws that forbid harming enemy combatants once they are disarmed and in custody.

Is the First Sgt. John E. Hatley who led Beauchamp's unit the same one that murdered handcuffed prisoners?

Different units you say? Beauchamp's unit was part of the 1-18 Infantry, Second Brigade Combat Team, First Infantry Division and the NYT associates Hatley with the First Battalion, Second Infantry, 172nd Infantry Brigade.

But those units are one and the same. The unit changed its name:

On 16 March 2008, 1st Infantry Division’s presence in Europe formally ended when the 2nd (Dagger) Brigade in Schweinfurt, Germany reflagged as the 172d Infantry Brigade.

Indeed:

The 172nd Infantry Brigade was activated with the following unit redesignations:
...
1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry (reflagged from 1-18 Infantry)

It is extremely unlikely that one battalion has two First Sergeants with the name John E. Hatley.   

A few month after Hatley ordered and took part in the murdering of prisoners he denied some relative harmless though brutal behavior Beauchamp described, "this by no means reflects the truth of what is happening here." Indeed, what was really happening was much worse. The soldiers in his company (including himself?) were "the best America has to offer." Really?

The TNR should look into retracting its retraction of Beauchamp's accounts.

UPDATE:

  • The Stars & Stripes confirms the unit conversion.
  • First Sergeant Hatley seems to be up for promotion.

Posted by b on August 27, 2008 at 02:44 AM | Permalink

Comments

cold-blooded killers are frequently those who have spent a major portion of their time in 'total institutions' such as reform schools or prisons, the church or other non civilian life existence, Cold-blooded killers often think themselves modern equivalents of ancient deities including the God of the Old Testament who is to be feared and approached only with the greatest caution and proper respect. They dehumanize others through moral disengagement, helped along imo by systemic and methodical programing.

As b real pointed out recently, 'killers not warriors'...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Aug 27, 2008 3:31:15 AM | 1

Impressive catch, B.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Aug 27, 2008 4:27:21 AM | 2

“The accounts of and confessions to the killings, by Sgt. First Class Joseph P. Mayo, the platoon sergeant, and Sgt. Michael P. Leahy Jr., Company D’s senior medic and an acting squad leader, were made in January in signed statements to Army investigators in Schweinfurt, Germany.”


The names alone, Mayo and Leahy, seem to say it all. Right back to the days of the Indian bounty hunters of the Nineteenth Century in the then Arizona Territory. The most efficient, violent and relentless among them were principally the immigrant Irish who had fled to the shores of the New World in the wake of the great potato famine that devastated Ireland between 1845 and 1849. Some of my forebears amongst them.

One would have thought that after centuries of Irish suffering and persecution from the Norman Conquest through the years of Cromwell right down into Churchill’s infamous Black and Tans from 1920 – 1921, some kind of awareness to the nature of human suffering amongst a likewise displaced and persecuted people would have begun to register in the collective subconscious of these people. A toll of almost incalculable proportions. Apparently not. It must be in the blood.

I am also reminded by the accounts of two Irish American friends (both platoon leaders) who fought in the Korean conflict and confided to me that amongst their most dedicatedly ruthless were the Irish who could always be counted on to deliver the utmost violence in dealing with the civilian population. We all know that Vietnam was far worse.

Posted by: Spyware | Aug 27, 2008 6:38:13 AM | 3

Joe Bageant has often been into what Spyware is saying just above, for example in Revenge of the Mutt People

Posted by: Chuck Cliff | Aug 27, 2008 7:59:04 AM | 4

@ Chuck Cliff

"Revenge of the Mutt People". I've met 'em and it says it all. Should be required reading.

Posted by: Spyware | Aug 27, 2008 8:08:05 AM | 5

I agree with Chuck Cliff and Spyware, that Bageant article on the Scotch-Irish is a must read, but let's be honest, this type of behavior isn't Nationality/Ethnicity specific. It's the hallmark of what so many fondly refer to as Civilization. The Orwellian use of that word boggles the mind of any individual who has a shred of objectivity. Take what the Japanese "Devil" Soldiers did in http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7655508820993047409&ei=f0a1SJyPL4TerQLz58nZDA&q=nanking&hl=en>Nanking. Listen to the man's recounting starting at 29:12. It made me cry. Last time I looked, Japanese soldiers weren't Irish.

Posted by: Kraut Mick | Aug 27, 2008 8:28:59 AM | 6

@ Kraut Mick

No, I did not mean to castigate the Irish. Hardly. Mayo and Leahy only happen to be Irish and, sadly, one more example of "red-neckism" generally whether they be Russians, Germans, Japanese or what ever. Parenthetically, I have no objection to defending my point of view, but I would not want to feel it incumbent upon me to have to reply continuously to every objection raised to my opinions as set out in MOA. Bageant's excellent article (in fact the entire series of the articles found on his site) as referred to earlier lends credence to the thesis frequently propounded by socio-criminologists generally, namely that the answer to crime is not more cops but rooting out the poverty of opportunity available to people in socially deprived areas. In a word: education. What the Mayo’s and Leahy’s of this world are doing is transporting their criminality to the far flung corners of the globe compliments of the US military. So long as the military imperium prevails in the US the likes of Messrs Mayo and Leahy are a Godsend to Bush style administrations and there is not the slightest need nor intention of bringing them into the realms of the educated middle classes generally that they may thereby be made aware of the errors of their ways.

Posted by: Spyware | Aug 27, 2008 9:08:38 AM | 7

Well, I'm Scotch-Irish (about 75%, with some German-Dutch, French, and Shawnee mixed in) and I couldn't even read beyond the first three or so paragraphs of that article. I think the thing is, human beings are capable of some real inhumanity. Look at what "the white man" has done to Iraq since we started using the Iraqis as our pawns against the Iranians. I used to think there must be something that could be done to eliminate those who encourage and profit from this kind of behavior, but I since have become more of an anarchist. Fuck 'em, kill 'em all and let the gods sort it out. That appears to be where we are heading, I just hope the US gets it first.

Posted by: JimT | Aug 27, 2008 9:10:55 AM | 8

First Sergeant John E. Hatley up for promotion?

The Army Times has the Sergeant Major selections list from August 2008.

They list one Hatley John Edmond 11Z5 81

81 is the rank in the list, 11Z5 the Army specialty.

Sergeant Major would be next higher rank from First Sergeant

11Z is a Infantry Senior Sergeant (Rank 1SG)

Could be the one, but I have no proof of that.

Posted by: b | Aug 27, 2008 9:22:41 AM | 9

When I read the coverage in the NYT, my first response was sympathetic for the soldiers involved: yes, murder on the battlefield is wrong -- but young men under terrible stress do these kind of things, particularly when their comrades die in front of their eyes.

But this excellent post illustrates how corruption and deceit infiltrate and corrode a military unit. Murder and lies necessarily come together. A military unit that engages in murder becomes dependent on lies and corruption in it's dealing with superiors - and provokes a level of hatred in the population around it.

Contrast this with the Petraeus doctrine of counter-insurgency achieved by living and among the civilian population, even if it means taking casualities.

This is a story of how to lose a war.

Posted by: al75 | Aug 27, 2008 9:27:12 AM | 10

The Stars & Stripes carries the story using the old unit designation. The NYT is using the new unit designation for the same story. That seems to confirm my research.

Posted by: b | Aug 27, 2008 9:52:01 AM | 11

Great work, B. Thanks!

Posted by: Helena | Aug 27, 2008 10:04:38 AM | 12

thank you for posting this. great work.

Posted by: | Aug 27, 2008 10:41:21 AM | 13

"Revenge of the Mutt People" might well fit.

According to 2005 report 1st Sgt Hatley is from Groesback, Texas. Texas' Best Kept Secret ... with a population 4,291 and in the middle of nowhere.

Groesback was the filming location for a recent movie titled Slaughter House ...

Posted by: b | Aug 27, 2008 12:09:22 PM | 14

Great bit of sleuthing there Bernhard, as in the "letter" post. You're putting a lot of big names and big buck jurno's to shame.

Posted by: anna missed | Aug 27, 2008 12:51:58 PM | 15

This post, though initially about war crimes, has raised fundamental socio-economic issues regarding the structure of the modern military imperium, i.e. the state as a purveyor of basic imperialist aims and aspirations. The existence of a sizable segment in the population of ignorant, uneducated and “going nowhere” young men of military service age to serve as front line ground forces , i.e. foot soldiers is an absolute necessity in this model of the state.

This mass comprising an estimated forty percent of the adult male population in some of the poorest regions of the U.S. are fundamental to the functioning of the contemporary U.S.military imperium. Equally as were their ancient equivalent: the slaves, the Centurions and Legionarii to the functioning of the Roman Empire. For today’s version of Rome read: The United States of America.

The U.S. Federal State in its development since the presidency of William McKinley in latter part of the nineteenth century as a foreign interventionist force in the Caribbean has continuously reached out into other states and territories as an expansionist power. A construct fatally flawed in terms of modern statehood in a nuclear age

That this model cannot maintain it’s momentum of foreign expansion and rule without a continuous source of lumpen proletariat on tap any time the state so decrees their mobilisation is only another tenet of real politic. An underclass readily available to train and function as members of the armed forces. This is the essence of an all volunteer army. Or what it has become. The military being, as always, the employer of last resort. It is therefore in the interests of the state (in this case the United States) not only to acquiesce in but to actually foster and encourage strategic subcultures: e.g. Christian Fundamentalism and ultra conservatism. Both forms of social dysfunctionality susceptible to state intervention suitable to its own ends.

Similarly just as in every imperium right up to the present day— there is no greater threat to military led empire building than mass education and it’s incumbent response: higher social aspirations. Based on the proposition that nobody who could aspire to anything better would knowingly do a tour of duty in the military. In this case the U.S. military.

Right now I can hardly think of a better example of the modern U.S. Army enlistee than Tom Cruise playing the rôle of Ron Kovic in the 1989 film: “Born on the Fourth of July”.

Posted by: Spyware | Aug 27, 2008 1:11:57 PM | 16

Check this http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1436548/posts>site out, as it is pertinent to the part of the discussion dealing with the Scotch-Irish. Make sure you read the comments. It appears that many of the Freepers are Scotch-Irish. Somehow, that doesn't surprise me. These people make me puke. They are the kindling for Empire and Imperialism, and proud of it. They truly are the scum of the earth, and, if they so proudly want to be responsible for America's Success (if one can call it that), they can be held accountable for its impending downfall.

Posted by: Ronnie Raygun | Aug 27, 2008 1:49:54 PM | 17

yes, great work, b

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 27, 2008 2:16:18 PM | 18

That is the correct 1SG John Hatley. He is up for CSM. I served under him during a tour to Kosovo in 2002 and was in his platoon for a couple years before he was promoted to 1SG. The unit was redesignated as was said. Good job with the research. He is the quintessential sergeant in the U.S. Army. He is HIGHLY decorated... several bronze stars, CIB w/star, EIB, Ranger, countless ARCOMS, Audie Murphy award, Airborne, Air Assault and I'm sure there's more.
I also served with him during his first tour during OIF 2.

Just know that there is so much you will never know that happened over there. I actually can't believe this is seeing the light of day. Someone must have felt really guilty to come forward. Both of the other soldiers' careers are over. They both have a fair amount of rank and will lose it all and be kicked out of the army for this. Just imagine how many "accidental" deaths have occurred in Iraq.

Posted by: Dalan | Aug 27, 2008 2:16:56 PM | 19

@Dalan - thanks for confirming my story.

1SG John Hatley was "beloved" by his soldiers the Starts & Stripes notes. I understand why. Still he is a killer and dangerous.

Just know that there is so much you will never know that happened over there.

We are sure that it is happening. This blog is to a great amount dedicated to find out and discuss the issues. Check the archives and the recent Afghanistan postings too.

We hope that you and others will eventually tell their story. We must teach our children what war is REALLY like. Otherwise they will start new ones and suffer because we failed.

Again, Thanks!

Posted by: b | Aug 27, 2008 2:27:01 PM | 20

No, he was not beloved. He was highly decorated and exactly what you think of when you think of an Army sergeant. He was actually frightening. Noone would ever dream of standing up to him. He led through absolute fear and army knowledge. I can see how his soldiers would never question doing something like that. That doesn't give them an excuse, but at least I can see why it happened.

More of these stories exist, yet you'll never hear of them. That's exactly why this ridiculous war is only spreading animosity toward Americans. All we've done is stirred up the hornets nest and created more hate and terrorists. We may now be in a lull of violence but just watch the coming years. We've played right into the terrorists' hands.

Posted by: Dalan | Aug 27, 2008 2:50:05 PM | 21

the psychopathology of the armed force of the u s - is really explained for u s in the work of psychiatrist robert jay lifton. he has done the work of what it means 'to follow orders' & the psychologic & physical damage that it entails

the book by christopher browning on the germa police battallions in the east is also very illustrative of how xommon men turn into common or exceptional killers

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 27, 2008 3:03:06 PM | 22

You mentioned the Beauchamp blog... there's video. Someone needs to find it.

Posted by: Dalan | Aug 27, 2008 3:15:23 PM | 23

Great work b!

The ACLU has been following the reports of civilian deaths via FOIA requests and getting a lot of information - at least in terms of the available mil reports on incidents. They have gotten access to just the tip of the iceberg but are worth following. You can start here to dig into them - http://www.aclu.org/natsec/foia/35878prs20080702.html

Posted by: Siun | Aug 27, 2008 3:26:29 PM | 24

Hmm seems to be kill the Celts day at MoA a sad state of affairs to see how quickly spyware's labelling of 4th and 5th generation amerikans by their ethnic roots has degenerated into out and out racist diatribes about these people. I have no objection in principle to spyware's statements as he was quick to run for cover and mutter about poverty, although one wonder's why he didn't identify that as the cause initially.
I could rail against the jewish media or slave traders or whatever but I don't attack the race of assholes because the prime cause of despicable behaviour amongst the zionist media for example isn't the race of the perpetrators, it is the corrupt culture they were raised in. For the same reason I'm not gonna play the game by listing the generations of union leaders, committed activists poets and mucisians that have come out of Ireland or Scotland because that is pandering to the supercilious style of racism being expounded here.

Some of these killers may be a generation or so away from county Mayo and still dance jigs on St Paddy's day but most are probably generations away from Ireland and have as much saxon or slavic blood in them as celtic. Whatever happened to the Irish forebears of amerikan soldiers has a lot less impact on these assholes' decision to be killers than the corrupt and decadent society they were brought up in, that amerika is.

Racism comes in all sorts of guises in a complex society under stress, while I was writing this the speaker behind me announced this:

Concerned about its appeal to sponsors, the women’s professional golf tour, which in recent years has been dominated by foreign-born players, has warned its members that they must become conversant in English by 2009 or face suspension.

In the last few years golf and in particular women's golf has had an influx of great players from Asia particularly Korea and Japan, so the white dominated LPGA is fighting back with the old must speak english trick. Apparently racism is ok in neocon-land if it is the result of commercial imperative so the reason for this seriously bad PR is being sheeted home to sponsors.
I won't bother to go into detail about this cause it the same shit as always.

Talking about any ethnic group as these people lumping people together by race and behaviour as if one equated with the other is ugly and destructive as we have seen in Iraq, where it is the primary weapon of empire. Shia Sunni divides were created and exploited at the cost of over a million lives. It is easy but untrue no matter which side it comes from. Don't fall for it.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Aug 27, 2008 3:49:02 PM | 25

there's video. Someone needs to find it

sorry - too little hints for a successful search it seems ... - can't find anything relevant right now

Dalan you said - No, he was not beloved. ... He was actually frightening. Noone would ever dream of standing up to him. He led through absolute fear and army knowledge.

That is exactly how the mechanism of an army wants it to be for the grunts.

Many, many people "love" someone that is superior by any means. It is their only psychological defense. It is an S&M love typical with upper rank sergeants being S and lower ranks being M. (They tried it on me too (in a different army), but I was an officer candidate and able to pull rank before they could train my anarchist mind into that scheme.)

r'giap reminds us of German police battalions - simple men who, on order, killed ten-thousands of non combatants with machine gun fire in the lands east of then Germany. Gas chambers were invented because eventually the higher ups recognized that such killing resulted in too much psychological damage on their troops.

The U.S. turned to many more aerial bombings when it discovered the same in Iraq in 2006/7. But the damage on those troops was already done and continues ...

Your experience/opinion may differ from that view. Please let us know.

Posted by: b | Aug 27, 2008 3:50:46 PM | 26

Thanks Debs for putting in that reminder - I agree

Posted by: b | Aug 27, 2008 3:55:46 PM | 27

by Spyware:

It is therefore in the interests of the state (in this case the United States) not only to acquiesce in but to actually foster and encourage strategic subcultures: e.g. Christian Fundamentalism and ultra conservatism. Both forms of social dysfunctionality susceptible to state intervention suitable to its own ends.

Exactly. That's what it is.

Posted by: | Aug 27, 2008 4:04:36 PM | 28

I could rail against the jewish media or slave traders or whatever but I don't attack the race of assholes because the prime cause of despicable behaviour amongst the zionist media for example isn't the race of the perpetrators, it is the corrupt culture they were raised in.

And same goes for the Scotch-Irish. It's a matter of culture, not race. I'm not sure how you got race out of all that, anyway. The only thing that perpetuates these destructive behaviors are culturally entrenched values, mores and reinforced predilections. Anyone who proudly adheres to a culture of violence and abuse is a scum in my book. If you visited the site and read the comments, maybe you would think the same. If you watch the excellent documentary about Nanking posted above, you will note that the Japanese soldiers interviewed 70 years after committing their atrocities were smirking, a signal they had no remorse. They are scum.

Also, I will say that education is not the answer, and lack thereof is not the necessary reason for poverty. There is a significant contingent in the vast badlands of America who shun education, just as there is a vast contingent of Ivy League educated individuals who shun critical thought.

Here's but one example from the Freeper site:

I believe I remember during Iraqi Freedom there was a situation where a battalion, or maybe smaller, maybe a company or two of Black Watch Scotsmen were pinned down by the Iraqis and they ran out of ammunition. The muzzies thought they had them nailed.

What did the Scotties do? THEY FIXED BAYONETS AND CHARGED THEM WITH COLD STEEL!!!!!! I'd never been so proud to be a dumpy little Burns (not my patronym). They broke out too inflicting serious damage on the enemy. We were all cheering big time here. Those were heady days.

You're damn right the people at that site who proudly declare their violent roots as Scotch-Irish are scum, and the glorifying of this violent tradition by Webb in his book is ignoble, at best. Quite the contrary of critical thought. Anyone, or group of people, who wallow in ignorance, and cling to, and proudly proclaim that destructive ignorance, are more than worthy of the label scum.

All that being said, do you care to elaborate on what you mean by Zionist Media? I find it rather ironic that you excoriate in one breath, and then, apparently, exhibit the behavior you are excoriating in the next breath. Is Rupert Murdoch Jewish? That's news to me. You are aware that many cowardly anti-semites will hide behind the Zionist label, aren't you? I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you're not one of them, but still, I would like you to elaborate on the Zionist Media statement, if you don't mind.

Posted by: An Unproud Irishman | Aug 27, 2008 5:27:13 PM | 29

@ al75

When I read the coverage in the NYT, my first response was sympathetic for the soldiers involved: yes, murder on the battlefield is wrong -- but young men under terrible stress do these kind of things, particularly when their comrades die in front of their eyes.

But this excellent post illustrates how corruption and deceit infiltrate and corrode a military unit. Murder and lies necessarily come together. A military unit that engages in murder becomes dependent on lies and corruption in it's dealing with superiors - and provokes a level of hatred in the population around it.

Yes, apparently young men under terrible stress also find it necessary to stalk---and rape---their fellow soldiers who happen to be female-gendered. Apparently it's quite the rage to stalk---and rape---fellow soldiers as they get up in the night to go to the latrine. Fellow soldiers even quit drinking so much water so they wouldn't have to get up in the middle of the night to URINATE.

Posted by: ghost of a dead nazarene on a stick | Aug 27, 2008 5:59:31 PM | 30

@ al75

When I read the coverage in the NYT, my first response was sympathetic for the soldiers involved: yes, murder on the battlefield is wrong -- but young men under terrible stress do these kind of things, particularly when their comrades die in front of their eyes.

But this excellent post illustrates how corruption and deceit infiltrate and corrode a military unit. Murder and lies necessarily come together. A military unit that engages in murder becomes dependent on lies and corruption in it's dealing with superiors - and provokes a level of hatred in the population around it.

Yes, apparently young men under terrible stress also find it necessary to stalk---and rape---their fellow soldiers who happen to be female-gendered. Apparently it's quite the rage to stalk---and rape---fellow soldiers as they get up in the night to go to the latrine. Fellow soldiers even quit drinking so much water so they wouldn't have to get up in the middle of the night to URINATE.

Posted by: ghost of a dead nazarene on a stick | Aug 27, 2008 6:11:10 PM | 31

Scotch-Irish here...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Aug 27, 2008 6:11:20 PM | 32

Sombunall

Sombunall is, I think, a word we badly need. It means:

some-but-not-all.

We have already pointed out that perception involves abstraction (or subtraction) -- When we look at an apple we do not see all the apple but only part of the surface of the apple -- And our generalizations of reality tunnels are made up of coordinates or orchestrations of these abstractions--

We never know "all"; we know, at best, somebunall.


Now, to return to my frequent occupation of writing science fiction, imagine a world which German did not contain the word "alles" or any of its derivatives, but did include some form of sombunall.


Adolph Hitler would never have been able to say, or even think , most of his generalizations about all Jews. At most, he would have been talking or thinking about sombunall Jews.


I don't claim this alone would necessarily have prevented the Holocaust -- I am not about to offer some form of liguistic determinism to rival Marx's economic determinism of Hitler's own racial determinism, but--

Holocaust mentalities are encouraged by all-ness statements.
They are discouraged by sombunall statements.

Imagine Arthur Schopenhauer with a sombunall instead of an all in his vocabulary. He could still have generalized about sombunall women, but not about all women; and a major source of literary misogyny(definition:hatres or hostility towards women) would have vanished from our culture. Imagine the Feminists writing about sombunall men, but not all men. Imagine a debate about UFOs in which both sides could generalize as much as they wished about sombunall sightings but there was no linguistic form to generalize about all such sightings.


Imagine what would happen if, along with this semantic hygiene, the Aristotelian is were replaced by the neurologically-accurate "seems to me."

"All modern music is junk" would become "sombunall modern music seems like junk to me." Other dogmatic statements would become, e.g. "Sombunall scientists seem to me ignorant of art and culture," "Sombunall artists seem to me ignorant of science," "Sombunall Englishmen seem to me a bit pompous," "Sombunall Irishmen seem to me to drink alot" . . .


Idols would suddenly shrink back into models or reality-tunnels; we would remember that we created them, or that our ancestors did. We might become suddenly startlingly sane.

It's only a suggestion.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Aug 27, 2008 6:28:04 PM | 33

i fear my dear frind & comrade uncle, that the world is becoming increasingly - somnambulistic

that the empire is leading us as if we were somnambulist - into catastrophe

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 27, 2008 7:00:59 PM | 34

Uncle, I couldn't agree with you more, and in all liklihood, most everyone who earnestly digs this site, and its content, feels and thinks the same, so whereas your words are wise, they are misdirected. It's them out there that need convincing. We're already converted, and have been for quite some time. I fear Remember has it right, and Spyware articulated the method quite adroitly. To me, it breaks down like this. 80:10:10. There is 10% of the population, like ourselves, who live an examined life, and dream of a better world. There is 10% of the population, unlike ourselves, who are pure ego-centric psychopaths. The other 80% are the somnambulists of which Remember speaks. They lead unexamined lives, but are not necessarily malicious by nature, although can be easily trained to be malicious due to their lack of critical thought. The malicious, ego-centric, psychopathic 10% work dilligently and relentlessly to manipulate the 80% to do their bidding, in one form, or another. The 10%, of which we are part, is adverse to controlling and manipulating others, and as such, we have little influence or persuasion when it comes to changing this most destructive system. Sure, we can describe the intricacies better than anyone, yet we are relegated to the role of spectators and commentators in the theater of our own damnation.

Posted by: Ex-Ulster | Aug 27, 2008 7:30:58 PM | 35

Should'nt forget that Jim Web,Baegant,Digby,and Billmon all have written critically on the Scotch Irish influence in the US, and all themselves are Scotch Irish.

Posted by: anna missed | Aug 27, 2008 8:14:11 PM | 36

For those of you jumping to rascist and ethnic conclusions, you should rethink yourselves a little bit. Surnames don't mean as much as they used to. I know these soldiers, and Mayo is hispanic, and Leahy is as all-american as you could hope to meet. And to the moron who talked about cold-blooded killers, I would assume the most stressful thing you've ever faced is getting picked on in grade school. These were all brave Americans, on their second tour (two years total) of getting shot at while you were hanging out worrying about where to buy your next latte. If they make mistakes, they will pay for it, but don't talk about them being less than human. If anything, they are a little too human...

Posted by: g love | Aug 27, 2008 8:30:44 PM | 37

and Leahy is as all-american as you could hope to meet

you do understand that's not necessarily a compliment, don't you?

also, nobody here seems to be drawing racial/ethnic conclusions, but rather cultural and subcultural constructs that lead to deviant behavior and destrcutive outcomes.

and finally, i don't consider being a soldier and pulling the trigger for the plutocracy brave. i consider it moronic, and hopefully, one day, you will come to see it that way, but i don't hold out hope.

Posted by: gi joe | Aug 27, 2008 8:47:39 PM | 38

....killed four Iraqi prisoners with pistol shots to the head as the men stood handcuffed and blindfolded beside a Baghdad canal, two of the soldiers said in sworn statements.

Beauchamp's stillText writing fabulist tales.

Posted by: sfcmac | Aug 28, 2008 10:51:28 AM | 39

Wait a minute...Beauchamp's writing for the NYT? A veritable marriage made in libel heaven.

Posted by: sfcmac | Aug 28, 2008 10:54:02 AM | 40

With so many violent young people and their getting promoted for their violence, it is no wonder that 40% of the women in the armed forces have been sexually assaulted!

Posted by: babaloo | Aug 28, 2008 11:02:50 AM | 41

sfcmac, go back to your Foxhole...

You don't just blow into someone's place and puke on the floor...You have the manners of a child. You have no integrity. Go and play with your train set. Your much to immature to drink here...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Aug 28, 2008 11:06:59 AM | 42

Dalan, et al:

Beauchamp slandered, libeled, and denigrated his fellow Soldiers in a national publication, with fabricated horseshit masquerading as ‘war stories’. Members of his unit, including the ones he tried to drag into his ‘memoirs’, have flatly denied his statements.

His wild-assed stories have been debunked repeatedly by his chain of command, as well as other Soldiers, both active duty and retired.

He brought shame on himself and undue stress that his unit did not need. He’s a narcissistic, delusional, problem child.

And yet, even after Beauchamp was outed as an abject fraud, you're willing to believe a nihilist rag like the NYT?

Figures.

This is happening right in conjunction with Beauchamp's recent sob story in the "Radar Online", in an article by Spencer Ackerman, who was fired by The New Republic.

What. A. Coinkindink.

Posted by: | Aug 28, 2008 11:11:58 AM | 43

Uncle $cam,

I am an Iraq veteran (twice) and retired Soldier, who served 30 years in the Army. I know Beauchamp's type, and I know the type of leftwingnut sycophants who are more than elated at the chance to denigrate the "imperialist" military..."BushHitler"....blah...blah...blah...

Hate to burst your bubble, but it's highly improbable that 1SG Hatley ever gave such an order. The likely truth? These Soldiers did this on their own and decided to defer responsibility for their actions. Like Beauchamp.

This is more requisite, sensationalist, anti-military crap from the NYT.

You can go back to playing with yourself now.

Posted by: sfcmac | Aug 28, 2008 11:21:48 AM | 44

One more thing....lay off the sauce.

Posted by: sfcmac | Aug 28, 2008 11:22:31 AM | 45

Oh my - what carp:

Beauchamp slandered, libeled, and denigrated his fellow Soldiers in a national publication, with fabricated horseshit masquerading as ‘war stories’. Members of his unit, including the ones he tried to drag into his ‘memoirs’, have flatly denied his statements.

Members of those units confessed (note the link is to Stars&Stripes, not to NYT which reported it also) in front of a military court the killing handcuffed prisoners.

His wild-assed stories have been debunked repeatedly by his chain of command, as well as other Soldiers, both active duty and retired.

The only thing that was "debunked" of Beauchamp's stories is that one incident took place in Kuwait, not in Iraq. His chain of command included at least one 1SG John Hatley who is now accused of willful murder by some of the soldiers. That murder happened before the stories Beauchamp described. Has the unit become less brutal as longer it stood in the fire zone?

He brought shame on himself and undue stress that his unit did not need. He’s a narcissistic, delusional, problem child.

I don't know him. Do you? How do you know?

And yet, even after Beauchamp was outed as an abject fraud, you're willing to believe a nihilist rag like the NYT?

The NYT as well as the Stars & Stripes reported on an official U.S. military court case and only repeated what was said in that case.

Figures.

Yep - the above tells something about you.

This is happening right in conjunction with Beauchamp's recent sob story in the "Radar Online", in an article by Spencer Ackerman, who was fired by The New Republic.

I don't like Ackerman much but getting fired by TNR should be considered an honor.

Posted by: b | Aug 28, 2008 11:27:08 AM | 46

@sfcmac - Hate to burst your bubble, but it's highly improbable that 1SG Hatley ever gave such an order. The likely truth? These Soldiers did this on their own and decided to defer responsibility for their actions. Like Beauchamp.

The Stars&Stripes reported:

During some seven hours of sworn testimony, soldiers who were on the patrol suggested that the four soldiers charged with conspiracy to commit premeditated murder — Staff Sgt. Jess Cunningham, Sgt. Charles Quigley, Spc. Stephen Ribordy and Spc. Belmor Ramos — had either minor roles or no role at all in the deaths, but may have been involved in the alleged cover-up.


The soldiers who pulled the triggers, according to Sgt. Daniel Evoy, were 1st Sgt. John Hatley, who he called a beloved company first sergeant; Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Mayo, the company’s master gunner; and Sgt. Michael Leahy, a medic.

Those are the facts known today.

This is more requisite, sensationalist, anti-military crap from the NYT. and from Stars & Stripes and from the military hearing/court.

Next you will argue that nothing bad happened in Abu Ghraib, because some 'liberal' magazine reported it. General Tabuga would likely disagree with you on that, but of course you are entitled to your opinion even if you ignore facts.

Posted by: b | Aug 28, 2008 11:34:47 AM | 47

TNR should retract its retraction. Maybe b's excellent catch in combination with Spencer Ackerman's recent article defending Beauchamp will be enough to make them do so.

Posted by: Nell | Aug 28, 2008 12:34:19 PM | 48

Most likely, sfcmac is one of Sgt. Hatley's types. It's a bit disturbing that there are murderers like that living unnoticed among civil populations....

Posted by: kao_hsien_chih | Aug 29, 2008 12:09:42 AM | 49


Ex-Ulster@35,
You are exactly spot on. We are all familiar with various means of categorizing the human psyche. However, this phenomenon/rule-of-thumb that you describe is not well appreciated at all. To add, someone living in a highly traditional environment may not find it very useful because their ancestors (some of whom might have recognized the phenomenon or some approximation of it) had already put in place cultural/religious norms & prescriptions that essentially mitigate against "adverse" training & manipulation of the 80% block.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Aug 29, 2008 2:12:06 AM | 50

@al75

Well this is disgusting:

When I read the coverage in the NYT, my first response was sympathetic for the soldiers involved: yes, murder on the battlefield is wrong -- but young men under terrible stress do these kind of things, particularly when their comrades die in front of their eyes.

Funny, my first reaction was sympathy for the VICTIMS.

Posted by: | Aug 29, 2008 10:31:10 AM | 51

Dalan #21

We've played right into the terrorists' hands.

We've always been in the backers/manipulators' of terrorists hands. They're just kneading us, and the terrorists.

Unproud Irishman # 29

Is Rupert Murdoch Jewish? That's news to me. You are aware that many cowardly anti-semites will hide behind the Zionist label, aren't you?

Actually, Murdoch probably is originally, on his mothers side which would technically make him more Jewish than the top Rothschilds whose mothers tend Gentile. Unfortunately those who research this are in the trap of anti-Semitism, why I provide no link since it's easily googled. Personally think no one at such level is Jewish/Protestant/Catholic/Hindu but rather Luciferian, which is business not religion nor even culture. And as posted before, I am not pro-Christian, think chief function of Christianity is to engender anti-Semitism and am personally more philo-Semitic. Zionists are anti-Semitic, if one judges by methods and results . Israel is not for the good of Israelis nor any other Jewish people, from Diaspora or Kahzars, nor for any supposed ethnicity of us cattle.

Theodor Herzl (1860-1904), the founder of modern Zionism, recognized that anti-Semitism would further his cause, the creation of a separate state for Jews. To solve the Jewish Question, he maintained “we must, above all, make it an international political issue.”

Herzl wrote that Zionism offered the world a welcome “final solution of the Jewish question.” In his “Diaries”, page 19, Herzl stated “Anti-Semites will become our surest friends, anti-Semitic countries our allies.”

http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/antisemitism/zionismpromotes.cfm>jewsagainstzionism.com

Kao Hsien Chih #49,

Most likely, sfcmac is one of Sgt. Hatley's types.
look at Uncle's link in #42. sfcmac is a female type.

Posted by: plushtown | Aug 29, 2008 11:43:06 AM | 52

The fact that Beauchamp may have been correct on the big picture is completely beside the point. What's important is that his account was erroneous in some middling, completely immaterial way.

Posted by: Michael Drake | Aug 29, 2008 12:17:22 PM | 53

#53 What's important is that his account was erroneous in some middling, completely immaterial way.

could you elaborate, not sure i'm following you.

Posted by: annie | Aug 29, 2008 3:46:43 PM | 54

the right has never been able to sing

but surely they reproduce cretins as if rabbits

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 29, 2008 4:17:53 PM | 55

"It is extremely unlikely that one battalion has two First Sergeants with the name John E. Hatley".

However, the odds are higher than you might suppose from common sense (a notoriously poor guide to statistics). I myself suffer from faulty data matching because there is anothe person with the same first name, last name, middle initial and date of birth in the Australian state where I live. While most of the statistical effects leading to this in my case are missing in this case, there is another: military bureaucracy and connections. For instance, there is an apocryphal story that one US unit in the Second World War was composed entirely of soldiers named Smith, because they had been assigned in alphabetical order. Here, something similar could have happened if, say, two children in a family with miltary traditions were named after the same relative and joined up at the same time and received similar postings for family reasons (e.g. in different generations there have been different John S. McCains, so "Admiral John S. McCain" isn't a unique identifier - so it does happen). That's still unlikely, but not utterly implausible.

Of course, the only way to sort this out is to get at the facts of the case.

Posted by: P.M.Lawrence | Aug 29, 2008 10:21:59 PM | 56

@P.M. Lawrance - There are only four company 1SG in a battalion. So the chance of two with the same name are slim.

I also have received information by now from knowledgeable sources, that my theorizing above is correct and the Hatley is The Hatley.

Posted by: b | Aug 30, 2008 12:48:52 AM | 57

First off, I served under First Sergeant Hatley during my first tour in Iraq. I knew Sergeant First Class Mayo since he was a Sergeant in my platoon during my first deployment. Staff Sergeant Leahy is a good friend of mine who I have known since we went through training together. I deployed with that unit (formerly 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, 2nd brigade, 1st Infantry Division, now 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry, 172nd Infantry Brigade.) twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Yes you read it correctly when you saw that Hatley was on the Sergeant Majors list.

All three men are great soldiers doing the job that most of you wouldn't dare dream of doing. Protecting you and your freedoms while you continue to live your life completely ungrateful to what’s around you and the sacrifices people make for you. None of you understand what its like over there and never will. You can’t know based on what people tell you, the only way to know is to go do it.

Stop and put yourself in their shoes for just a moment. Here you are conducting a patrol on the streets of Baghdad. Your convoy comes under fire putting you life and that of those you’re with in jeopardy. You do as you’re trained and you maneuver around and trap them in a building. You go in after them and find automatic rifles, hand grenades, explosives and a sniper rifle. You detain the individuals who you know to be members of a certain Insurgent group and responsible for the death of a couple of your best friends, one shot with that very sniper rifle. Thinking that you have done the right thing, you begin to take them to the detention facility. On your way there you are told that everything you have against them is not enough to detain them. Think about how you would feel, knowing that they are the ones that have killed soldiers and just tried to kill you! If you release them your life will be in jeopardy again tomorrow when you pass through there. What do you do?

What they did may be wrong, but in reality all they were doing was protecting the other members of the Armed Forces and protecting you at home. At the time the detainees were not armed so should they have let the detainees go so they can get their weapons plant another bomb and kill another soldier then shot them? Had they done it that way more live would be lost and you wouldn’t have a problem with it because they were defending themselves. Its not like the detainees were just random people that were picked up and shot they were people who were shooting at them just moments before they were killed. Is it really that big a deal?

I again want to point out that these are the men fighting for you so that you can live the sheltered lives that you do. Look at how these comments have progresses. It all started with talking about these men being cold blooded killers. Then changed to a whole racist bit saying it’s because they are Iris, which is totally irrelevant. Hell none of you tried to find out who these guys were and by the way one of them is Hispanic not Irish, but hey good try. It then led to one of his soldiers, who wrote a story that all of you assume to be true. You didn’t look to the fact that that same soldier had been in trouble on many occasions for lying about one thing or another and wrote stories in Iraq to pass time. Try to do a little research for once. But hey I don’t blame you for being arrogant. You’re just exercising your right to free speech, the very freedom these men are fighting so you can have.

I want to end by saying of all the things going on in this world and all the things that people are doing and getting away with, is this really something that the military should be taking its time up with? I didn’t think so!

Posted by: Doc | Aug 30, 2008 2:57:27 AM | 58

Sorry Doc, but only the mafia murders people to protect others - you know, the ones their bosses are busy exploiting. You're denial will catch up to you, sooner or later.

Posted by: anna missed | Aug 30, 2008 3:16:49 AM | 59

He may or may not be a "Doc", but his name is John. John mcclure, and you can message him at AIM: emt856239. According to his Xanga Site. Having said that, I can at least appreciate his willingness to dialogue, and put forth some effort to share his thoughts, however, misguided and naive I believe them to be.

Welcome John, if you are in fact interested in communication and dialogue you will find much food for thought here, for as it is said, "true communication can only take place between equals" and communicating with someone you agree with is boring. So, pull up a stool, I'll buy ya a drink, and you can poke around.

respect gets respect...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Aug 30, 2008 3:32:29 AM | 60

Stop and put yourself in their shoes for just a moment.


Oh, okay, I'm willing to hypothetically put myself in others shoes, so in return I ask you to do the same and put on hers..

cause you see john, I do not find it particularly brave to die or kill for subjective reasons, that's easy, I find it much more harder to have rethink my thoughts and my cliches and admit my mistakes. And please don't give me that, "I risked my life..." bullshit.

To steal a line from an interesting author, "You risked your life, but what else have you ever risked? Have you ever risked disapproval? Have you ever risked economic security? Have you ever risked a belief? I see nothing particularly courageous in risking one's life. So you lose it, you go to your hero's heaven and everything is milk and honey 'til the end of time. Right? You get your reward and suffer no earthly consequences. Thats not courage. Real courage is risking something you have to keep on living with, real courage is risking something that might force you to rethink your thoughts and suffer change and stretch consciousness. Real courage is risking one's cliches."


So, drink up, and get back to us...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Aug 30, 2008 3:45:12 AM | 61

@Doc - Protecting you and your freedoms ...

Thanks, no, your service in that regard is neither needed nor welcomed, nor honored.

should they have let the detainees go ... Had they done it that way more live would be lost

That sentence shows deep racism and disregard for live. FOUR lifes WERE lost, because these murderers did what they did.

Posted by: b | Aug 30, 2008 3:55:51 AM | 62

I again want to point out that these are the men fighting for you so that you can live the sheltered lives that you do. - Doc

Doc, this is the part of what you say that's most significantly and importantly wrong. The soldiers in Iraq are courageous and patriotic, and they are doing a very dangerous job at terrible risk to themselves. But that job is not actually doing anything to make Americans safer. In fact, most of what the US military does these days doesn't make Americans any safer. The fact that it is dangerous for the soldiers does not mean it is useful to American citizens.

I could walk out into any number of dangerous neighborhoods with a gun and start trying to civilize and democratize them, and I'd certainly get shot at for my troubles; I might well find myself in morally difficult situations like the one you describe in Baghdad. But it wouldn't mean that what I was doing was necessary, or even at all useful, to the citizens I claimed to be protecting back in the US. The Iraq War is a big mistake, and everything you and your fellow soldiers there have been doing -- as heroic and admirable as it has often been -- has been useless and irrelevant from the point of view of the citizens of the United States. That's a tragedy, and it's a tragedy that we have wasted your goodwill, patriotism, courage and hard work on such a pointless endeavor.

Posted by: brooksfoe | Aug 30, 2008 5:08:24 AM | 63

@Doc

Your argument is a specious and pathetic attempt at rationalising and excusing alleged conduct that defies humanity ...

Simply put, the alleged conduct was arguably a War Crime, murderous Criminal Acts, in clear breach of the UCMJ, The Laws of War, the Geneva Conventions, and simple basic human decency ...

Next you'll be arguing that it would have been OK for Einzattesgruppen to have executed individual untermenshen if they had been serving US military, or perhaps in place of the NKVD and Red Army re individuals executed in Katyn Forest, or indivdual Chinese by the IJA in Nanking ... if only they had been US Military, defending our Freedoms and thier brothers in arms. Bullshit !

Such alleged acts cannot be excused or justified under any circumstances. Perhaps you can explain what your reaction would be to Iraqi insurgents firing a bullet into the brainstem of unarmed, captured US Servicemen, under the same circumstances ? Hm ?

Such acts protect no-one. In fact as they come to the light of day, as they sometimes do, they ensure the exact opposite of what you claim ... greater loss of life and ever more vicious and escalatory brutality.

By committing such alleged acts, these individuals almost certainly resulted in MORE deaths of innocents as an inevitable reaction to such barbarity, including MORE dead US servicemen.

But what's the point, your cliched indoctrinated rationalizations indicate you have not yet obtained the ability to think freely, you would rather have others perform your higher brain functions (thinking) for you. Might does not make right. Justice sometimes comes calling, even for fallen from power ...

Your argument is sickening. It is almost as if an SS Hauptscharführer suddenly travelled through time to justify individual atrocities comitted by kameraden on the Eastern front or the Nazi occupied territories during WWII.

So you served together and saw the elephant ... that bond does not justify excusing or defending such alleged conduct through misplaced loyalty or comradeship. You and the alleged perpetrators and thier defenders have no concept of the meaning of honor. Disgraceful.

Posted by: Outraged | Aug 30, 2008 5:28:40 AM | 64

@Doc

By the way, having served as a volunteer on behalf of your country, does not entitle you to explicitly imply that only those who have paid a price, by choice, or exclusively informed by supposed unique experience, are entitled to judge, or for that matter even have a viewpoint.

That well worn meme and technique of disempowerment, is one of denial of the very rights of others and only leads inevitably to authoritarianism, even fascism ... NOT protection of hard won and perpetually defended rights and freedoms. Rights and freedoms claimed to be defended for others, who are implied to be unworthy of such. The internal contradictions in your justifications are stark.

Veterans, having served, do not earn themslves some sort of exclusive right to be sole arbiters of right and wrong, especially when conflicted and unimpartial, due to claimed personal association.

As a former serving Medic (?), may you find your personal peace, Doc.

Posted by: Outraged | Aug 30, 2008 6:36:04 AM | 65

First, I would like to say that First Sergeant Hatley was one of the finest men I have ever known. He was probably the best NCO I ever served under. He cared for his soldiers, and I am convinced he would lay down his life for any one of them. He put himself in the line of fire for them countless times. This is the man you had rightly put your trust in, to bring your sons and husbands home.
Those of you who have served Honorably in the Infantry, know the type. Tough, because he has to be. Strict, because being a leader demands it. And Protective of his soldiers because he chose to be. Those who say he has shamed our Country, shame themselves, and The United States. He has selflessly served our country for too long to be outright denounced as worthless. If he has committed a crime, he will be punished, according with UCMJ.
But I want you to know, he has served our Country very well, for a long time.

Posted by: Boots | Aug 30, 2008 10:16:43 PM | 66

SFC Cheryl McElroy, is that you again?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Aug 30, 2008 10:29:38 PM | 67

Its pathetic that people are even talking about this issue. you go to war and tell me how it is. you get shot at everday by those faggots and tell me that your going to be perfect. look up fog of war fucking ungreatful "americans"

Posted by: Marine | Aug 31, 2008 12:28:07 AM | 68

#60 + 61
You are correct that is who I am, good job on the research. I was a medic over there twice so far.

The problem with the picture you chose is you don't know the story behind it. I ask you to take a look at it again. Notice that the woman is obviously crying and screaming covered in blood because her loved one is laying injured next to her. If you look at it you can see that it is an American soldier treating their wounds. Notice the woman standing in the background, this shows there is no violent intent. and lastly take a look at the focal point of the light attached to the soldiers weapon. It is shining in the middle of the floor to give light to the soldier treating the Iraqi. If you look at the feet of the lady standing you will see a long shadow sticking out, that is the shadow of the tip of the barrel in the soldiers weapon. Clearly the weapon is not pointed at the lady's head it just appears that way because of the angle of the photo. I is as if you stood and put your hand out and someone lined up the moon to make it look as though you were holding it in your hand. So based on the picture you chose. I have been in that lady's shoes seeing a loved one on the verge of death and been torn because of it.

I really like the line that you chose. Well written and my respect goes out to the author of it. I have risked all of those and if you are interested I can list many occasions for each to include an event going on in my life right now that risks every single one of them.

#63
I'm sorry that you feel as though the us being in Iraq and Afghanistan does not make America safer. However I do agree with you that the war we are fighting is a big mistake. However We as soldiers were told to go there and get a job done. Whether we agree with or not doesn't matter, we have to follow orders. If you are interested I can get into how much I feel we should not be there. I will even share the letter I wrote to all 100 Senators telling them the things they never hear and the reasons we should leave.

And lastly for now to all,

I'm sorry for some of the things I said in my initial comment. I was a little upset for many reasons and then I read what everyone wrote and it just pushed me over the edge. I wanted to express my feelings and I know I took some of them a little too far. I don't expect anyone to understand what happens over there, unless you have been there, or even try to understand. I'm not saying what they did was right, I just don't think they should be punished for doing what they did. As Leahy said, “I’m ashamed of what I’ve done,” later adding: “When I did it, I thought I was doing it for my family. Now I realize that I’m hurting my family more now than if I wouldn’t have done it.”
link
Many other people placed in the same position would have done the same thing. He at the time honestly believed that he was protecting him and the others around him.

I want to end by saying everyone is entitled to their own views and opinions and I am sorry for striking at anyone in particular. Those are just my opinions on the matter at hand.

Posted by: Doc | Aug 31, 2008 12:37:50 AM | 69

Boots,
If you are who I think you are, its been a long time. Hope all is well with you.

Marine,
I understand your frustrations but as I said in my last post everyone is entitled to their own opinions and saying things like you just did doesn't help the situation.

Posted by: Doc | Aug 31, 2008 12:42:13 AM | 70

. He has selflessly served our country for too long to be outright denounced as worthless.

serving in iraq is not serving this country. i am very sorry to be telling you this. it is only serving the oil companies and the arms industry.

you get shot at everday by those faggots

that's what you get when you invade a country based on lies. believe me, if it happened to us, we would surely be the faggots defending ourselves. could that justify an invading army executing any one of us because of the fog of war? the marines are not served being led by murders, it is an abuse of your service and if you cannot see this you have been brainwashed.

Posted by: annie | Aug 31, 2008 12:52:15 AM | 71

thank you Doc for sharing your views.

we are all so effectively set up against each other, playing our compartmentalized roles, our real enemies who call the shots are allowed to keep breathing while innocents on all sides die.

as a young person vehemently against invading Iraq i remember attending a "support the troops" rally (which was effectively a pro war event to counter the anti-war rally) with a sign that said support the troops with diplomacy, not aggression. lucky i didn't get my ass kicked, just intimidated and yelled at for the earnest declaration i was trying to make that REAL support meant exhausting every alternative before waging death and destruction on mostly innocent bystanders in their homes and neighborhoods where they live.

what fueled this nation in the run up to invading iraq, besides corporate propaganda and administration lies, was the culture war that's still going strong, so it's no surprise to see evidence of the clashes in this thread between military culture and civilian culture, but guess what. we're all dupes being played against each other while the true perpetrators play fucking golf and drunkenly flirt with volleyball players at the fucking olympics.

if anyone should be shot while handcuffed (preferably after being physically tortured and psychologically crippled) its them.

Posted by: Lizard | Aug 31, 2008 1:37:15 AM | 72

one small point Doc, your attempt at reading that photo Uncle $cam linked to falls a bit short. That is not a woman in the photo, it is a small girl, whose parents and had just been murdered by a scared gunner at a checkpoint. Apparently the car she was riding in got too close or didn't respond quickly enough to commands.

everyone knows that bad stuff happens in war, that is why most her are so against it. those who seek to rationalize and justify war should really take a good look at themselves. Unless you are one of the fat cats who stand to profit from such shit, you are merely a pawn in the game. Granted, some really like it and do it for the excitement but don't even expect me to be grateful (or greatful if you are a marine). I hold no ill will toward people who have done nothing to me. Cheney's enemies are not necessarily my enemies.

Outraged makes all other arguments I would have in a most eloquent way. His own nickname says so much, we should all be outraged....and I mean jumping up and down mad.

Posted by: dan of steele | Aug 31, 2008 4:19:54 AM | 73

Dan, I assumed that chose that picture because it appeared she was at gun point and that is where all of this stemmed from. I appreciate you putting it into context because it just goes back to my point that you cannot tell the story from the picture. It's sad to see that happened but you're right bad things do happen in war. I am no longer in the military, I got out because I was sick of being that pawn.

Posted by: Doc | Aug 31, 2008 5:40:50 AM | 74

Doc, I have so much respect for you and your fellow medics. I personally would not be able to handle the death and injury you saw as you did your work. Sheesh! I get so uncomfortable just seeing the end results such as the young lad I saw at LRMC just the other day who was left with just one limb. He was pushing himself around in a wheelchair and using the stump of one arm to do so.

Yeah, I see the pain and suffering on our side, and I see the pain and suffering on the other side. the freedom and democracy our troops are supposed to be fighting for....well I don't think that was ever at risk from the Iraqis nor even the Afghanis.

Posted by: dan of steele | Aug 31, 2008 6:15:23 AM | 75

@Doc

Just as you somewhat regret your initial post as a reaction to the posts you've read, I sincerely regret and apologize for the tone and tenor of my posts to you, in reaction to your post, for similar reasons, and withdraw my unwarranted assertion you are not a 'free thinker'.

However, I do not regret nor apologize for my posts specific content.

I ask you to please understand I am not attacking you or any one else personally.

It is your arguments and rationalizations that are challenged

To summarily execute, defenseless, unarmed, surrendered, captured prisoners, in the manner alleged, i.e. a bullet to the brainstem whilst handcuffed, can only be considered an indefensible capital War Crime.

It is alleged that the summary executions occurred in cold blood, when under such circumstances, the executed could pose no possible threat whatsoever and in fact by the LAWS OF WAR (LOW) and the GENEVA CONVENTIONS (GC) and leastly Section 918, Article 77 of the UNIFORM CODE of MILITARY JUSTICE (UCMJ) … (Murder), the prisoners were fully entitled to all the protections thereof by the very soldiers alleged to have executed them.

You ask others to try to understand the circumstances of the alleged offenders.

Then I ask you to impartially and objectively try to understand the sheer terror and probably last trembling, physically uncontrollable moments, in the minutes and then final drawn out seconds of those human beings, as they waited for their inevitable death ... summary execution by a bullet in the brainstem, on the side of a dusty road, near a canal/river ... ?

Did they wonder if their families would ever discover their fate ?

Did they wonder at the fate of their loved ones without them ?

Did they wonder if their bodies would be properly treated in accordance with their faith ?

Did they perhaps contemplate it could or would mean the end of their family line, if they were fighting as a result of dead kin ... what we euphemistically refer to as, collateral ?

For senior, experienced and by all accounts highly competent NCOs to have summarily executed prisoners in their direct care, under such circumstances, can never be defended. Never.

At best, the arguments you have put forward could only be considered as mitigating circumstances at sentencing, they are not a defense.

In fact, part of your arguments, re the competency and experience of the alleged perpetrators, should actually lead towards awarding of the heavier penalty, in such circumstances, as there can therefore be no possible argument that the senior NCOs concerned could not possibly be fully aware of their legal responsibilities re LOW, GC & UCMJ. There can be no confusion or doubt as to them not fully understanding or comprehending exactly what they were alleged to have done, the capital crimes they were committing.

I ask you again, under the exact same circumstances, would you also be passionately defending a senior, experienced, competent, enemy combatant, who summarily executed handcuffed, unarmed, defenseless, captured and surrendered US servicemen, in cold blood ?

If the answer is no, then why not ? Why not ?

In issues of conduct in war, that's the real and only adequate standard, with blind justice via the test of reciprocity. Conduct in accordance with the Laws of War and all relevant articles. So that to some small degree the already unconscionable horrors of conflict are not any worse. Anything else results in all loss of humanity, what little can be found in war, and even more and greater evil and further injustice as a consequence ...

Us good, them bad, just doesn't cut it. Pleading for an exemption from the rules by which humanity exists, and lawful warriors fight, due to disingenuous arguments of 'particular circumstance', and favor, don't cut it.

The two NCOs, who have confessed, can now at least attempt to reconcile their consciences and assuage and learn to live with the guilt and possible self-loathing. We should wish them speed and success given their some small recovery of honor by open admission and acknowledgement.

In regards to references to honor. True Honor, demands Honorable conduct, no matter the circumstances, no matter the emotional or any other costs, no matter the peer pressure, in accordance with the LOW, GC & UCMJ, in fact to attempt to 'fight back' and retain some small sense of simple decency and base humanity.

Anything less, and one is, at best, simply a paid mercenary, behind the cloak of a uniform or 'orders', and/or, perhaps, a fig leaf of misperceived, misunderstood, or misled (?), patriotism and duty.

Respect and Peace, Salaam or Shalom, to you Doc, from a fellow former pawn.

Posted by: Outraged | Aug 31, 2008 6:25:38 AM | 76

from a fellow former pawn.

ditto

Posted by: anna missed | Aug 31, 2008 6:42:23 AM | 77


The Geneva Conventions consist of four treaties formulated in Geneva, Switzerland, that set the standards for international law for humanitarian concerns.

They chiefly concern the treatment of non-combatants and prisoners of war.

The Conventions were the results of efforts by Henry Dunant, who was motivated by the horrors of war he witnessed at the Battle of Solferino in 1859. In 1977 and 2005 three separate amendments were made part of the Geneva Conventions.

-- snip --

The Third Geneva Convention (or GCIII) of 1949, one of the Geneva Conventions, is a treaty agreement that primarily concerns the treatment of prisoners of war (POWs), and also touched on other topics.

-- snip --

Article 3 describes minimal protections which must be adhered to by all individuals within a signatory's territory during an armed conflict not of an international character (regardless of citizenship or lack thereof): Noncombatants, combatants who have laid down their arms, and combatants who are hors de combat (out of the fight) due to wounds, detention, or any other cause shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, including prohibition of outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment. The passing of sentences must also be pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples. Article 3's protections exist even if one is not classified as a prisoner of war. Article 3 also states that parties to the internal conflict should endeavour to bring into force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other provisions of GCIII.

-- snip --

Article 5 specifies that prisoners of war (as defined in article 4) are protected from the time of their capture until their final repatriation. It also specifies that when there is any doubt whether a combatant belongs to the categories in article 4, they should be treated as such until their status has been determined by a competent tribunal.

The treatment of prisoners who do not fall into the categories described in Article 4 has led to the current controversy regarding the interpretation of "unlawful combatants" by the George W. Bush administration. The assumption that such a category as unlawful combatant exists is not contradicted by the findings by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Celebici Judgment. The judgement quoted the 1958 ICRC commentary on the Fourth Geneva Convention: Every person in enemy hands must be either a prisoner of war and, as such, be covered by the Third Convention; or a civilian covered by the Fourth Convention. Furthermore, "There is no intermediate status; nobody in enemy hands can be outside the law,"

-- snip --

Article 51.3 of the Commentary: IV Geneva Convention also covers this interpretation: "Civilians shall enjoy the protection afforded by this section, unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities.". In the words of the International Committee of the Red Cross, or ICRC "If civilians directly engage in hostilities, they are considered "unlawful" or "unprivileged" combatants or belligerents (the treaties of humanitarian law do not expressly contain these terms). They may be prosecuted under the domestic law of the detaining state for such action. Both lawful and unlawful combatants may be interned in wartime, may be interrogated and may be prosecuted for war crimes. Both are entitled to humane treatment in the hands of the enemy."

-- snip --

All the articles listed below cover international conflicts. Internal conflicts are covered by Article 3.

(Article 5): "Should any doubt arise whether persons, having committed a belligerent act..." is a prisoner of war "...such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal."

(Article 13): "Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated."

(Article 13): "...Prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity."

(Article 17): "No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted or exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind."

(Article 42): "The use of weapons against prisoners of war, especially against those who are escaping or attempting to escape, shall constitute an extreme measure, which shall always be preceded by warnings appropriate to the circumstances."

From Wikipedia Third Geneva Convention

and,

The law of war (also law of armed conflict, LOAC)


Posted by: Outraged | Aug 31, 2008 7:15:25 AM | 78

Doc, served with you in the wolfpack, Hope all is well with you, and you are doing alright.

Can't believe whats happening to our old platoon. Sad that they were forced to that choice. For those who don't know the frustration of losing good friends, and not being able to do anything to stop it, it would be hard to understand what happened.
Coming under fire in an ambush, chasing the men down, catching them as they drop their weapons, they act bewildered as to why they are being detained. Finding the weapons and tools to kill American soldiers among them and calling it up in a salt report. Feeling a sense of accomplishment, knowing you had the bad guys and were saving other soldiers lives. Taking them back to Base, when somebody who has a lot of rank, and no idea what it is to patrol those streets decides that there is not enough evidence against them and makes a decision to let them go on about their business of killing our soldiers.

After watching your men die, and not being able to stop it. Making that choice to do something to save soldiers, no matter what happens to you personally, must have been an incredibly hard decision to come to.

In the end, all things fade away, your orders, your Country, all that remains is the men sweating and bleeding beside you.

Posted by: Boots | Aug 31, 2008 10:58:34 PM | 79

Boots,
The minute I read the name, you were the first person I thought it would be. Things are going ok for me. I finally made it out after stop-loss for 2 years and now I'm back home. Just had knee surgery last week and another one in 3 months. Then shoulder surgery after that. It's going to suck but hey at least I'm getting all my military wear and tear taken care of on their dollar.
I like how you put that above. It was well written and I know we can relate to it well as will anyone else who's been over there, but most people on here just don't understand at no fault to their own. You know how it is to describe it to family and friends when they ask. Only being able to say certain things to them. Yet they still don't understand because they weren't there.
And just as you said above, "In the end, all things fade away, ..."
Take care man! And e-mail me sometime.

Posted by: Doc | Aug 31, 2008 11:32:58 PM | 80

In the end, all things fade away, your orders, your Country, all that remains is the men sweating and bleeding beside you.

i'm very sorry soldier, sorry indeed. hopefully you can find the inner strength and forethought to act honorably to all humans. this is why there are rules in warfare. your leaders let you down. if there are no repercussions for acts such as these how are we different from a barbarian force?

Posted by: annie | Aug 31, 2008 11:37:42 PM | 81

I know we can relate to it well as will anyone else who's been over there

really? is it true you can relate to executing a man in cold blood w/a bullet to the back of his brain? by relate, do you mean you could have done the same thing without judge or jury? perhaps you wish to amend that anyone of your brothers/sisters over there could relate to this. the feeling, or the action to execute?

please tell me you don't mean that.

Posted by: annie | Aug 31, 2008 11:44:49 PM | 82

"In the end, all things fade away, your orders, your Country, all that remains is the men sweating and bleeding beside you.

A true statement, considering you didn't distinguish what men are sweating and bleeding inside you. In the end they are all people.

And you guys are going to have to stop with the "nobody understands" what you're going through stuff because they are in the end simply excuses to help evade the responsibility. Some of us understand exactly what you're going through, having been through the same thing ourselves - and know full well the (eternal &) lingering aftereffects. You shouldn't forget that the military loves it when such independent initiatives are undertaken by you guys because it makes it appear like they're winning - up until you're caught doing it, then you get the (bad apple) blame for loosing the cause. They win both ways, you loose both ways.

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 1, 2008 12:34:03 AM | 83

We didn't say anything about killing anybody. I was talking about relating to the situation of being shot at detaining bad individuals and not having enough to detain them in the eyes of higher officials. Yet knowing full well what they have done. I stand by what I said. People don't understand what it's like over there, UNLESS THEY HAVE BEEN THERE AND DONE IT THEMSELVES. Many people in the military feel the same way. So let me ask you anna missed, what did you do over there? Were you ever shot at? Did you ever watch a friend die in from of you? Smell the burning flesh of a friend as their HMMWV goes up in flames? Have you ever had to raid the house of Iraqis known for killing other soldiers? Have you ever had to treat the wounds of the very individual that just put your life at jeopardy? These are the things that I said we could relate to and other just don't know or understand. So again what did you do? If these are the things you did and you can't relate, well I'm jealous of you because it shows it had little effect on your life. On the other hand I'm sorry for you because it shows you are numb of feeling and must not have had too many good friends over there. I don't know about you but we became a family!

Posted by: Doc | Sep 1, 2008 3:37:23 AM | 84

If these are the things you did and you can't relate, well I'm jealous of you because it shows it had little effect on your life.

i think you are making some gross assumptions. why?

On the other hand I'm sorry for you because it shows you are numb of feeling

so in other words, if someone doesn't process war as you do they are numb?

I don't know about you but we became a family!

unlike iraqis who are different protecting their own country. remeber, when you fight the 'collateral damage' are not your civilians. it is not your mothers and sisters and children dying.

you may want to consider there are vets who served before you ONES WHO WERE INSTRUMENTAL IN ENDING A MUCH LONGER DRAWN OUT WAR who saw a 100 times multiplied more deaths of their brothers, who have years more experience processing the grave circumstances and reprecussions of their actions. to assume these soldiers experience had 'little effect' on their lives or are 'numb to feeling' exposes you as being rather reckless in assumption.

veterans are everywhere, including here.

Posted by: annie | Sep 1, 2008 4:28:03 AM | 85

>i>We didn't say anything about killing anybody

i must have misunderstood.

Coming under fire in an ambush, chasing the men down, catching them as they drop their weapons, they act bewildered as to why they are being detained. Finding the weapons and tools to kill American soldiers among them and calling it up in a salt report. Feeling a sense of accomplishment, knowing you had the bad guys and were saving other soldiers lives. Taking them back to Base, when somebody who has a lot of rank, and no idea what it is to patrol those streets decides that there is not enough evidence against them and makes a decision to let them go on about their business of killing our soldiers.

After watching your men die, and not being able to stop it. Making that choice to do something to save soldiers

i thought that something that included no matter what happens to you personally, must have been an incredibly hard decision to come to. was in reference to the illegal act of execution.

go on about their business of killing our soldiers

you mean protecting their community from those they consider a threat?

saving other soldiers lives

i heard, correct me if i am wrong, when you occupy a country it becomes your responsibility to provide for the safety of the populace. an invading/occupying force intrudes into a community and then justifies its aggression by saying they are saving eachothers lives? the best way to accomplish that would be to get the hell out of dodge.


Posted by: annie | Sep 1, 2008 4:45:32 AM | 86

shit on the italics. sorry.

Posted by: annie | Sep 1, 2008 4:46:28 AM | 87

@ boots & Doc

Circumstances you present can be mitigating, but they are no defense for wilful pre-mediatated summary execution of disarmed, handcuffed, blindfolded prisoners in cold blood, well after the passion, adrenaline and tension of the firefight and well beyond the point of capture.

Take your 'exceptional circumstances' and 'can't understand' bullshit elsewhere, 'cause in the circumstances described re the alleged murderers, the only likely sympathetic hearing will be from these guys (Be it 4, 300, 1500 or 6,000,000 ... numbers don't matter ... a War Crime is a War Crime!):

Einsatzgruppen

Massacres of prisoners-of-war
Killing of POWs by Wehrmacht soldiers started during the September 1939 campaign in Poland. Numerous examples exist in which Polish soldiers were killed after capture, for instance at Śladów where 252 POWs were shot or drowned, at Ciepielów where some 300 POWs were killed, and at Zambrów where a further 300 POWs were killed. Some 50 British officers who had escaped from Stalag Luft III were shot after recapture, and 15 uniformed U.S. Army officers and men were shot without trial in Italy. Hitler's Commando Order, issued in 1942, provided "justification" for the shooting of enemy commandos whether uniformed or not. The massacres include that of at least 1500 black French POWs of West African origin and was preceded by propaganda depicting the Africans as savages.


Raw source reference for the relevant articles of the UCMJ, for these alleged dishonorable, cold-blooded killers:


Uniform Code of Military Justice

-- snip --

SUBCHAPTER X. PUNITIVE ARTICLES

-- snip --

918. ART. 118. MURDER
Any person subject to this chapter whom without justification or excuse, unlawfully kills a human being, when he- -
(1) has a premeditated design to kill;
(2) intends to kill or inflict great bodily harm;
(3) is engaged in an act which is inherently dangerous to others and evinces a wanton disregard of human life; or
(4) is engaged in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of burglary, sodomy, rape, robbery, or aggravated arson;
is guilty of murder, and shall suffer such punishment as a court-martial may direct, except that if found guilty under clause (1) or (4), he shall suffer death or imprisonment for life as a court-martial may direct.

881. ART. 81. CONSPIRACY
Any person subject to this chapter who conspires with any other person to commit an offense under this chapter shall, if one or more of the conspirators does an act to effect the object of the conspiracy, be punished as a court-martial may direct.

878. ART. 78. ACCESSORY AFTER THE FACT
Any person subject to this chapter who, knowing that an offense punishable by this chapter has been committed, receives, comforts, or assists the offender in order to hinder or prevent his apprehension, trial, or punishment shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

907. ART. 107. FALSE STATEMENTS
Any person subject to this chapter who, with intent to deceive, signs any false record, return, regulation, order, or other official document, knowing it to be false, or makes any other false official statement knowing it to be false, shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

Posted by: Outraged | Sep 1, 2008 5:24:37 AM | 88

Well, annie's is right in so much as what bugs me about your posts here is your rush to judgment and haphazard assumptions. Hopefully this is something that you'll be able to sort out over time and find in retrospect - if you choose to find some greater truth to the plight that you find yourself belabored with. Your point of people not understanding what soldiers in Iraq actually experience is true only to the extent that they do not experience the actual tactile in your face day in day out fear, tedium, anger, and resignation that always accompany a "war" of unpopular and fruitless occupation/colonial intent. Sure, those in the bleachers (or on the bench) have no idea what the starters on the field are really going through. But as far as the bigger picture goes, so what? Because in the end, this is limited to what you personally have experienced, and are left with as only memories (as Boots said). In retrospect though, these personal experiences can be useful as a reflection on the larger picture, if for no other reason to fill out the full context of the experience. And which is where I'm coming from in response to this thread. Because no, I've never been to Iraq, and while I'm always interested in the incidentals that happen there, I find little to differentiate it from Vietnam where I did my time. I've followed this war closely from its inception, and find very little to distinguish it from there, especially with regards to the tactics of occupying an alien culture - no matter what the COINistas might say - essentially, same as it ever was.

As far as you're other questions, my company took over 50% casualties in 3 days in 1969, so yeah I saw all that stuff too.

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 1, 2008 5:58:54 AM | 89

"I would say that most people in our company didn't consider the Iraqis human, ..." said Dennis Bunning [1 & 2]

"Calley and Meadlo fired a pistol round into the back of the skull of each of the handcuffed, blindfolded prisoners, in turn, one at a time. I saw Meadlo firing.
Q: Well, tell me, what was so remarkable about Meadlo that made you remember him?
A: He was firing and crying.
Q: He was pointing his weapon away from you and then you saw tears in his eyes?
A: Yes." —Private First Class Robert Maples[3]

Warrant Officer One Hugh Thompson, Jr., interceded and told his Aero-Scout crew that if the U.S. soldiers in the process of committing executions, did not lower thier weapons at his command, that they were to open fire at these soldiers. [4]

Heroes Honored
Three former U.S. servicemen who stopped their comrades from summarily executing Iraqi prisoners, at significant risk to thier own lives, were awarded medals in Washington D.C.[5] The veterans have subsequently made contact with the survivors.


Unedited references here: 1 2 3 4 5

It's forty years on, and the dehumanization, and spurious defenses continue, as before ... Deja Vu.

Posted by: Outraged | Sep 1, 2008 7:09:05 AM | 90

"I would say that most people in our company didn't consider the Iraqis human, ..." said Dennis Bunning [1 & 2]

"Calley and Meadlo fired a pistol round into the back of the skull of each of the handcuffed, blindfolded prisoners, in turn, one at a time. I saw Meadlo firing.
Q: Well, tell me, what was so remarkable about Meadlo that made you remember him?
A: He was firing and crying.
Q: He was pointing his weapon away from you and then you saw tears in his eyes?
A: Yes." —Private First Class Robert Maples[3]


Unedited references here: 1 2 3

Posted by: Outraged | Sep 1, 2008 7:14:05 AM | 91

Warrant Officer One Hugh Thompson, Jr., interceded and told his Aero-Scout crew that if the U.S. soldiers in the process of committing executions, did not lower thier weapons at his command, that they were to open fire at these soldiers. [4]

Heroes Honored
Three former U.S. servicemen who stopped their comrades from summarily executing Iraqi prisoners, at significant risk to thier own lives, were awarded medals in Washington D.C.[5] The veterans have subsequently made contact with the survivors.


Unedited references here: 4 5

It's forty years on, and the dehumanization, and spurious defenses continue, as before ... Deja Vu. Ditto ... 'Same as it ever was'.

Posted by: Outraged | Sep 1, 2008 7:16:31 AM | 92

respectfully anna misszd & outrage

i wonder why you waste you valuable time with these fools. fool, who incidentally i doubt, the authernticity of their 'stories' it seems to me they are more familiar with a keyboar & a dvd player than with a gun. there's always been a depth to anna missed & ourtaged posts in a way (especially about the war) that there is no question of their authenticity. the mere fact that neither bash people around the head with that experience but instead use it for our illuminatioon

boots, doc whoever, whatever - the closest you have been to iraq is a video game - so masturbate elsewhere with your obscenities

& if indeed there was any truth in what you said - from where i am you merit the kind of punishment an army of occupation deserves. & that is all that you are. an army of occupation

you merit neither my thought, nor my reflection & certainly not my sympathy - even the worst of the elements of the resistance to the occupation is better than your best. & yes, you too may perhaps be victims, but on any scale your complicity with criminal actions in this illegal war is the most troubling factor

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 1, 2008 11:15:35 AM | 93

dear r'giap,

today must be a very dark day indeed for you. I don't think I have ever read such bitter words.

you have always been gentle with people who hold opinions different from yours. I do believe Doc to be very sincere and boots too. I know just a little bit about the mindset of my fellow citizens, the indoctrination is very deep and strongly reinforced every day. Try to imagine what kind of ideas you would have about the US and the Global War On Terror if your only source were FoxNews. Everyone you know tells you the same thing, every radio program you hear says the same thing, from the time you are able to receive any information at all you hear and see the same things and all of them tell you that the US is the greatest nation on earth and its people are blessed yet carry the immense burden of bringing peace, harmony, and democracy to the rest of the world.

well, forgive us if we fell for it.

for me, it has been a long and painful process to realize the awful truth and for others the same must be true as well. the mere fact that they have chosen to comment here shows there is some curiousity, some yearning for the rest of the story.

you and I are approaching the age where we might be considered "elders" in other cultures. let us try to live up to that.

warmest regards,

dan

Posted by: dan of steele | Sep 1, 2008 11:49:46 AM | 94

To some degree, I can't say I don't sympathize with the Doc/Boots of the world (assuming they are real people): in wartime, people--even regular people--do horrible things: Even Adolf Eichmann wasn't a particularly evil person to begin with. Yet, an evil enterprise necessarily corrupts people--and makes them evil. This is precisely why people should abhor wars, etc. Yet, for some reason or other, categorically accepting that war is a fundamentally and unequivocally evil venture, regardless of the guise or excuse it's taken up under, is not too fashionable...

I'm not suggesting that people who do evil should not be punished. Rather, by focusing on the evil of the persons, we lose sight of the evil inherent in what they do--which is, in general, far more pernicious and dangerous. This is what allowed the Bush admin to punish a bunch of misbegotten kids, wag finger, and escape fundamental responsibility after so many of its misdeeds in the Middle East. Let's not forget that.

Posted by: kao_hsien_chih | Sep 1, 2008 5:41:39 PM | 95

dan

for you, i have the greatest respect. hopefully you feel that in the communications we have had. yes, i suppose i am passing through a very dark moment - but the world is considerably darker

man is not a beast, an animal. he has the capacity to choose & perhaps our epoch is tougher - that you have to make the choices yourself. to give aid to the vietnamese may have been treason but for me it was probably my first love & perhaps the profoundest

if i had dreams of men, even then they had been touched by the cold calculus of capitalism. my greek comrades taught me well & sept 11 1973 in chile sealed the deal. i knew what evil was & it had a name. empire. the u s empire

i have recently read a 'novel' that uses the war against the vietnamese as the loci of that evil - 'tree of smoke' by denis johnson. this book sent me back to that time & framed what i have to say today

3 million vietnamese are not forgotten nor do the dead forgive

avec amité et force

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 1, 2008 6:51:54 PM | 96

This is in response to "b" who had something to say about my first post. First, what exactly is race besides a cultural construct? If you argue it is anything else, Hitler and his henchmen would agree with your definition. I stand by my originial description of the earlier comments.

Second, when I used the phrase "all-american" I meant it as a description, not as a compliment. The fact that you took it for a compliment just displays your anti-American ideological preconception and bias. I will try to put this into words that are a little more exacting and, I think, are more what you were looking for. I would descibe Leahy's background as a particular intersection of discourses that approaches an idealized norm of American society, for the most part free from the influence of sub-cultural and regional overtones that stand in opposition to what one would anticipate as this norm. If I was French I would use phrases that make it a little harder to understand, but, well, I'm not French.

To you and your deconstructionist friends, I would add that it is a fairly cowardly approach to wait for someone else to present an idea, then snipe at him or her by taking words out of context and picking them apart. I challenge you to present a positive idea of your own, rather than just cutting out someone's words and twisting it for your own effect.

And yes, as you might have gathered I studied some of the same topics you did. I did not, however, buy into the ideology. Forty years ago you would have called my comments "reactionary and indicative of the view of a priveleged class" or something like that. Marxist ideology failed though, and was exposed as the nonsense that most people already knew it to be. The same will happen to your current post-modern, Susan Sontagish view, only to be replaced by something more acerbic, I'm sure.

I would offer to you the idea that you should live in another country, maybe Russia, for a couple of years. It might give you an appreciation for the wonderful freedoms and services our government provides for us, ones like being able to write what you want and not get shot. It also might help your base ingratitude towards those in the military who are defending the very freedoms you exercise when you choose to degrade them. McClure is a good man, and deserves better than what was written.

Posted by: g love | Sep 10, 2008 7:34:32 PM | 97

@g love

..those in the military who are defending the very freedoms you exercise when you choose to degrade them..

care to enlighten us w/ specifics on which "freedoms" are being defended where by the u.s. military?

Posted by: b real | Sep 10, 2008 10:44:05 PM | 98

i don't care who you think you are, SFC hatley and the other 2 soldiers identified in this situation are THE most respected nco's i've ever had the honor to meet. everything they do during work or during off duty hours is honorable, respected, and with high moral standings.

Posted by: Ball | Sep 17, 2008 11:53:09 PM | 99

#85

You never answered to your own personal experience you just answered for others. So do you have any experience with the things doc asked you or not? I personally think you don't. I was there I did two deployments in iraq and saw the same things with my company. I know 1SG Hately, Leahy and Mayo and Cunningham. Cunningham was always a backstabbing weasel who was always looking for ways around taking responsibility. The other men are great guys i served with and are friends with. They made a bad decision. I agree with that and punishment is in order. And i am sure they will be punished. As for anybody else who thinks they know or can try and figure out what it was like over there, do yourself a favor and stop. And those of you who are arguing for the sake of arguing are just as naive as us military pawns. Your words have no effect in this life except for frustrating others. The deed was done there is nothing you or I or anyone else can do about it. The soldiers who are probably going to prison will pay their fines and there is nothing we can do about that. Annie you arguements mean nothing, I suggest you put your energies in actually doing something instead of talking about it. And for the black and white you did the crime and you must pay guy. Well as you might have figured out this is never a black and white world, but we try to make it that way. You come to a hurdle in life you make the right decision a bad decision or no decision the outcome has a million different possibilities which i am sure you yourself have experienced. So why bash and quote Army regulations to people who can look them up themselves or know it already.

Posted by: doc siegel | Sep 18, 2008 8:41:12 AM | 100

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