The View From The Eagle's Nest

I have to admit…..I haven’t been able to sleep nights since the Haditha story broke last weekend.
The lawyer in me has been trained to treat people innocent until proven guilty.
Right or wrong,right now these marines are hanging on the cross of public opinion and hanging next to them are the other 99.9% of my heroes in the Corps….

The marines in question may have very well committed this atrocity and a cover-up may very well have been committed and if so should be rightly punished.If a cover-up took place (which is a different matter altogether) those culpable should also be punished.....

What would I do,I asked myself ,if I were called to defend one of these Marines....is there a potential defense to such an atrocity?Starting from the beginning, here's is what I think I would do..... initially.


First,I think I would take a good look at the alleged victims.This area is a well know hotbed of insurgent activity..only several weeks before,an IED killed 14 marines not far away...and prior to this incident one of their comrades was cut in half.....did any of the victims or their families have any connection to any insurgents?Did they aid them?Have they aided ANY insurgents in the past.Did they work?Where?What about the work associates?Have personal dossiers and profiles been constructed on each and every victim?I would spend a tremendous amount of time here looking for a connection to ANY insurgent activity,I think.

Second,I would not only investigate the available videos and photos that have come forth thus far,but also spend a substantial amount of time investigating the background of those who TOOK those videos and photos.For example:What is the background of the individuals from the Human Rights groups that first contacted Time magazine?Do they have any connection to insurgent groups?Do any of their associates have connections to insurgent groups?I would have the background of each individual checked for insurgent links...and the same also from those who took the follow-up photos.

Third,I would then have the video forensically analyzed frame by frame.Were they tampered with?Are they authentic?Keeping in mind that insurgents utilize cutting edge technology as a big part of their repertoire, I would try to establish the authenticity of the actual video and photos themselves.

Fourth.The "victims" tell a tale,and autopsies must be conducted.Despite the fact that Muslims law requires that the dead to be immediately buried,these bodies must be exhumed.They tell an important part of the story.Trajectory of the bullets,bullet caliber,skins burns etc.are only the tip of the ice-berg in the treasure trove of information that could be uncovered during an autopsy..Cadavers tell stories...these cadavers must be given an opportunity to "speak".Complete DNA analysis is a threshold requirement.

Fifth:The crime scene obviously has been compromised since November...and much more so since the early March first interviews of the NCIS.Who has talked to the witnesses?Are stories consistent?Have stories changed?Any perceived weaknesses/inconsistencies in the stories?What has been removed/altered/destroyed?The NCIS investigators are skilled an reconstructing a homicide scene and the defense MAY may be forced to rely on their work,which could be a big disadvantage for the defense.

Sixth.Is there information out there that we don't know about?Were drones in the area?Overhead satellites?How about all existing transcripts of all communications at the time of the incident?What else is out there that could possibly shed light on what happened there that day?

Steps one through six will yield steps seven through ten.
All cases take on a life of their own.What happens at the beginning of an investigation changes course,mutates,and yield theories of defense once information gets sifted , vetted.,and new information comes to light.Here is where a good defense attorney and his team will shine.They must find exculpatory evidence and develop a solid theory at this point.

Step Eleven. Tangentially,I think I would be also constructing a state of mind defense...peering into the mind of the marines that day...what was their emotional,physiological condition?Were they fit for duty? Battlefield stress,length of time in theater,number of tours,individual intelligence,experience,training..... would be among the many factors that would be examined.

Once steps one through eleven were completed... once again these factors would likewise be vetted and a defense may emerge..taking on a life of its own so to speak....only then could I BEGIN to constructing the semblance of a defense.

Which is why I went crazy on Murtha last weekend.

Every rock,every shred of evidence,every potential theory must be analyzed.... not doing so would be doing no one...the victims,the defendants,the American people,the Iraqi people,the marines.no one...justice,I think.

Posted by Sicilian Eagle at June 2, 2006 3:52 PM
Comments
Comment #153792

SE

Nice chest-beating. When do we get to investigate the Bush administration?

Posted by: mental wimp at June 2, 2006 4:12 PM
Comment #153798

And when does your apology to Murtha begin, now that you’ve decided to stop protecting murders?

Posted by: gergle at June 2, 2006 4:19 PM
Comment #153803

This is the difference between Democrats and Republicans.

Republican: Find out dirt on the victims. Try to find out if its fake. If neither are available, blame the soldiers themselves.

Democrat: Compensate the victims. Develop better procedures to prevent a re-occurance. Rebuild trust with the Iraqis. Increase assistance to all combat personnel.

Posted by: Aldous at June 2, 2006 4:31 PM
Comment #153804

SE:

I noticed you said nothing about the cover-up Murtha exposed. Think we would forget?

Posted by: Aldous at June 2, 2006 4:33 PM
Comment #153806

Were you on the OJ team? Tricky little Eagle…

I think we should show our faith in the newly established Iraqi government that Bush, Dick and Condi are so in love with by letting them handle the investigation and trial. Eagle, have you passed the BAR in Iraq?

Posted by: David S at June 2, 2006 4:37 PM
Comment #153807

SE, all those steps would be appropriate in Kansas. But, we aren’t in Kansas anymore. This incident occured in Iraq, which you rightly point out, has a very different culture, values, and government. And regardless of how we investigate and decide the guilt or innocence of the marine’s charged, the Iraq government will make its own findings and the Iraqi people will come to their own conclusions.

If Abu Ghraib were not the backdrop, the outcome of this incident may not have been so dire. But, with Abu Ghraib as a backdrop, regardless of what our own investigation finds, this incident is going to make our troops job in Iraq very much more difficult. The President was right (finally) to acknowledge how much his policies on torture have cost us. And continues to cost us and will keep costing us for as long as we are in Iraq.

We have another incident in Afghanistan with troops firing into crowds which is escalating the conflict there, (a conflict that should have been over with were it not for the Iraq invasion). I pray our marines were not responsible for the claims made against them. But, if they are guilty in a courts martial, the guilt does not start and end with them. We as a nation whether we choose to accept it or not, bear some responsibility as well.

I am still enfuriated that the administration bears none of the consequences or shared guilt with our soldiers found guilty of torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib, except in the polls. I wish there were a way to investigate the White House’s role and responsibility for the incidents at Abu Ghraib and others like them. But, that is unlikely and therefore, administrations to come will not have to fear repeating the same mistakes.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 2, 2006 4:37 PM
Comment #153809

SE,

You should watch”>http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/05/31.html#a8518”>watch Bill O Reilly talk with General Clark about the massacre. Clark gets a little hot under the collar when Bill tries to get him to shrug off the incident as business as usual.

What’s not mentioned in the video is that the example Bill uses of American troops killing Nazi soldiers in Malmedy is completely ass-backwards. It was Nazi soldiers who shot unarmed US troops. So my question to you SE, is was it okay for the SS to shoot unarmed US troops if they were tired or stressed out, as you suggest might be a plausible defense for our troops in Iraq?

Furthermore, you have posted here many times about how wonderful the new democratic Iraqi government is. I have replied that I’m glad you like them; they hate you.

Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki denounced today what he characterized as habitual attacks by troops against Iraqi civilians. Mr. Maliki said violence against civilians had become a “daily phenomenon” by many troops in the American-led coalition who “do not respect the Iraqi people.” “They crush them with their vehicles and kill them just on suspicion,” he said. “This is completely unacceptable.”

When the leader of the country is saying your troops are all a bunch of murdering thugs, I think that means he doesn’t care much for us, don’t you? This is the thanks we get for going in there? Undying hate and anti-American bloodlust? This is how the newly elected leader of the country we liberated views us?

If you put so much stock into democracy, you should listen to what the Iraqi leaders are saying, and support us leaving as they want us to.

Posted by: Max at June 2, 2006 4:43 PM
Comment #153810

Yes Sic Eagle,

Tell us, what do you have to say about Marines like Murtha and Kline being outraged by the fact that the Marine Corp has never had such a disgraceful thing happen during their entire history? Will you now find a way to forgive them for speaking out in horror and anger after they were briefed about the incident?

Also, what do you think about the latest reports (and graphic photos) of soldiers murdering 11 civilians (again, many women and children) in Ishaqi?

Did it ever occur to you that maybe these kinds of atrocities are exactly what we should expect when the Commander in Chief and his administration are utterly lawless and get away with anything they want to do? Policies where torture, and murder, and extraordinary rendition, and using chemical weapons like white phosporus on civilians have all been considered acceptable rules of engagement?

Posted by: Adrienne at June 2, 2006 4:49 PM
Comment #153813

Max-

The problem with that is Repubs like SE don’t really believe in democracy, they believe in America. They believe that any true Democracy will eventually become a little America clone, doing American things and making America proud. If the democratically elected leaders of a country are anti-American, then that particular Democracy is invalid. Just ask Hammas.

Posted by: David S at June 2, 2006 4:53 PM
Comment #153816

Meental wimp

umm…that’s wing flapping.Defending the president I could do without leaving the nest…this one is much harder.So what do you favor with these guys…the firing squad,hanging..beheading…what?

Gergle

I don’t think I can forgive Murtha.He has done irrepairable harm,I think….and most of the military too,I think.It’s just not me..there are a lot who feel that way.

Aldous.
It’s basic criminal defennse,nothing more.Even a good Democratic defense lawyer would come up with basic defense theories…

The Murtha cover-up issue is another issue..no I didn’t forget…that’s the topic of another piece.

David S
There isn’t a bar that I pass that I don’t stop in for at least one pop I think.Seriously,this case will be tried using the rtules of the Uniform Code Of Military Justice,not Iraqi law.Thus I view it from that perspective.

David Reemer

True.However I am looking at it from a legal perspective that we employ.
The PR work is already complete.These guys are guilty in the eyes of every Iraqi,I think.Trail ot no trial.

Max
I saw it on tv.Clark is a “military analyst” on Fox now…my haow the presidential candidates have falle.I saw him on Bill Maher too.What’s next,the Saturday morning MTV Video of the week?
When the Iraqi leadership tells us to leave ,we will leave.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 2, 2006 4:58 PM
Comment #153818

Adrienne

Must you always digress?

How about sticking to the thrust of the post?

You love tangents….

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 2, 2006 5:01 PM
Comment #153824

“Will you now find a way to forgive them for speaking out in horror and anger after they were briefed about the incident?”

Why not make a deal Eagle?
You forgive those guys as Adrienne asks and in return, the left agrees to forgive and FINALLY believe our troops who speak out, but are mostly ignored, about the good things they are doing and how it is a rare few who are actually doing wrong.

Its a win-win situation. Murtha and Kline end up with some of your respect and the troops end up with a little of the lefts respect.

Posted by: kctim at June 2, 2006 5:16 PM
Comment #153826

Sic E
As I read your post,I can’t help but wonder if as a lawyer,you felt compelled to contact the alleged victims regarding their right to sue?
I too have watched episodes of CSI and agree that the physical evidence will be hard to obtain.
What suprises me most,though is that throughout the post,you never made any mention of
the fact that it appears that George Bush and Co.
knew about this and covered it up!
This defense that you making up in your head,perhaps you can bend it to help Bush and Co.
If cover-up rumours are found to be true,this is a most serious problem for Bush and Co. But,perhaps it won’t be a problem,maybe when its all over they can get new jobs.
Perhaps they can all become lawyers afterwards.

Posted by: jblym at June 2, 2006 5:22 PM
Comment #153828

Just because Mark Furman is a racist/jerk and may have planted evidence does not mean OJ did not do it.

Because a lawyer rises reasonable doubt does not mean the accused is innocent.

Do I blame soldiers for what happened? No! they are humans. I blame the people who put them in this position.

War is hell. That is why you don’t go to war if you don’t have to. But I guess that thinking makes me “anti-war” as if being “Pro war” is any position a moral person could take.

Nobody should be “pro war”.

PS lawyers are not obligated to find the truth. Just advocate for their clients.

Posted by: 037 at June 2, 2006 5:25 PM
Comment #153832

“I blame the people who put them in this position”

FINALLY!
Somebody else who thinks clinton and reno should be brought up on charges for having innocent Americans murdered.

Posted by: kctim at June 2, 2006 5:30 PM
Comment #153833

The thrust of your post is how if you were a lawyer you’d try to smear the victims of these murders and get the perpetrators off the hook. I don’t think that is worthy of discussion — it’s despicable, and besides I’m not a lawyer.

My digression however, I feel is worthy of discussion. But obviously you can’t handle it. I guess it makes you too uncomfortable to think about whether there could be a strong correlation between this administration’s attitude and such a shameful war crime being committed by our soldiers.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 2, 2006 5:33 PM
Comment #153837

Nobody’s saying that it is the habit of Marines or even the average American soldier to commit these kinds of offenses. There was even a CNN story by a reporter who recounted that this incident was out of character for the unit.

There is a difference between saying that there is cause to believe that crime has been committed, and that certain people are suspects, than to say that they are definitively guilty There is also a difference between putting the soldiers who will be charged with this offense on trial, and putting the entire army on trial. If we act swiftly and justly to determine who is guilty and who is innocent, and punish the guilty with appropriate harshness, then it can become a matter of their responsibility. At least I hope, if this is as much of an isolated incident as I hope.

The victims, as I understand it, are normal Iraqis. I may be ill informed, but that’s what I’ve heard so far. There are a great number of Women and Children among the dead, and few people armed, which leads me to believe for the time being that they were innocent.

The photos were taken by marines, some video was taken by an Iraqi human rights group, but other video might have been taken by our own people.

As for faking that video, I can offer some advice on that matter: It’s f***ing easy to do, f***ing difficult to do right. I have some experience with Photoshop, computer animation, and other digital image manipulation. When it comes to still pictures, issues of the direction and color temperatures of the light, the presence or absences of objects, and other photographic elements make the creation of a good fake a difficult job.

When it becomes full motion, it becomes a real chore to do it photorealistically, and not merely because doing it on video means having to manage multiple images. There’s the issue of tracking the motion of the camera and the objects in frame. There’s software to do that, but its expensive, and doing the work is time consuming. You also get problems with grain in the video, especially if it’s compressed or from a naturally noisy analog source (like VHS)

I think the victims have been autopsied. I think that was part of the investigation, and part of the reason why the conclusions were changed.

On the subject of the crime scene, there are questions of whether the investigators first on scene compromised it themselves. We’ll see what we can get.

The state of mind defense may be the best possible one, but that will all depend on how these people acted. You can claim to have been crazy, and unable to tell right from wrong, but if other witnesses convince the jury that your defense is skin deep, it won’t help.

I don’t want innocent soldiers to go down because of this, and I don’t think anything Murtha said will lead to that. He didn’t accuse any specific soldier of anything, he only related the likely conclusions of an investigation, one that has since concluded it was likely these people were massacred. If we find out differently during the course of the trial, that will be fine by me, but what I cannot stand here is the misplaced anger of those who decide to shoot the messenger because he didn’t go through proper channels. Because of the Bush adminstration’s attitudes about secrecy, it is incredibly difficult to get the truth on administration activities, period.

This administration has been sitting on so damn much that these kinds of scandals and outrages have become almost a bad joke in their frequency. Bush has managed to squander so much goodwill here and abroad, all so he could do things his way, and be the decider.

Now our soldiers are paying the price.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 2, 2006 5:37 PM
Comment #153841

Looking back at the My Lai incident, we know now that it is crucial to expose these tragedies. It took a year to expose My Lai and during that time, other atrocities were occuring. I like many others on this forum do not put the blame on the soliders. I do however put the blame on a Comander in Chief who felt it nessecary to put them in this position.

Posted by: Vincent Vega at June 2, 2006 5:47 PM
Comment #153843

You are analyzing this issue way to much and ignoring the obvious truth. Atrocities occur in war, plain and simple. What happened in Haditha has happened in every war. We should not be surprised that this happened. This is why we should not go to war in the first place unless absolutely necessary.

Also, Congressman Murtha is a very good man who has earned the right to say whatever he wants.

Posted by: PoliticalCritic at June 2, 2006 5:54 PM
Comment #153848

kctim

Clinton ordered troops into Iraq? wow He is more powerful than I imagined. I thought GW was Comander-n-Chief.

Posted by: 037 at June 2, 2006 6:03 PM
Comment #153853

SE-

A military trial, eh? To jump to the all-to-obvious, “THEY CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!” Isn’t that just a way for the military to police itself, separate of society’s judgement? The dog handler from Abu Ghraib just got 90 days hard labor and a loss of rank. That means that he’s still in the military, still representing us. 90 days hard labor should be no problem, especially after being deployed in the Middle East.

As far as passing bars, I find it amazing how if you bicker long enough you realize you have something in common with just about everyone.

Posted by: David S at June 2, 2006 6:35 PM
Comment #153854

U.S. troops cleared in Ishaqi raid probe


Posted by: Adrienne at June 2, 2006 6:42 PM
Comment #153856

Max,

“Bill O Reilly talk with General Clark about the massacre. Clark gets a little hot under the collar when Bill tries to get him to shrug off the incident as business as usual.”

Did you catch the Keith Olbermann piece on the O’Reilly conversation with Clark?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/

Click on the “Another episode of Factor Fiction” link.

Aparrently Mr. O’Reilly got his facts wrong yet again in the statement he made about the WW2 massacre that involved an SS Panzer company and some American soldiers. In fact it is sooo wrong you should see the video to believe it.

Posted by: Rocky at June 2, 2006 6:56 PM
Comment #153867

This is the third time I’ve heard/read Olbermann’s name in the past 6 months - and all three times it’s been in reference to O’reilly. Hey, I guess it’s a better way to get exposure than having Chuck Knoblauch throw a baseball at your mom.

Posted by: Craig at June 2, 2006 7:42 PM
Comment #153868

OK Far Left Liberals:

So many of you seem to respond that US Marines should not be given a full defence that a lawyer can give, correct (or do I interpret you wrong)?

…and you are right, that US soldiers do not receive as high a level of legal defence as non-soldier citizens.

However, don’t ~all of you want non-citizen, anti-American, seemingly terrorists in Cuba to receive US-paid lawyers to give these thugs better legal defence and better representation??

The Right should be very fair to innocent Iraqis. SE said “…if so should be rightly punished” Fair??

The Left should be just as fair (OK, call me a patriot, and say ‘fairer’) to US-citizen-soldiers who just had a buddy literally ripped in half in front of them minutes earlier.

Is this too much to ask?

PS If you think SE might represent the Marines better than they deserve, imagine how so many feel that US criminals may be getting FAR, FAR better treatment than they deserve from our legal system.

Posted by: Brian at June 2, 2006 7:43 PM
Comment #153870

Brian-
You might not accept this answer, but you do have us misjudged. People like myself just want this country to live up to its ideals, and present that reality to the world as its answer to our enemies. Our enemies will lie, but we here can give them less truth to make their lies believeable with.

Ultimately, we would love to hear that most of the soldiers are clear of any wrongdoing. What we don’t want to hear is that things like this have gone on in secret, unchecked by decent discipline or leadership. We want our government to deal with these things, not sweep them under the rug to become future black eyes for our country.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 2, 2006 7:55 PM
Comment #153876

Those poor detainees in abu gharib should be given lawyers and found innocent.
Those cold blooded murdering American military are guilty end of story.
Sheesh…This is why I can’t read this very often it’s amazing that some of these views get enough respect to even be argued.

Posted by: andy at June 2, 2006 8:37 PM
Comment #153882

andy:

Typical Republican. If it means anything to you, those Marines who are alleged to be murderers would only get 3 years in prison if guilty.

Must make you happy.

Posted by: Aldous at June 2, 2006 8:58 PM
Comment #153885

WOW
I go out for some fine New England steamers and a bottle of Sam Adams and I think I am getting a little heartburn reading a couple of these posts.

First off an attorney ALWAYS advocates for his client.He hasthe option of not taking of not taking a case (The essence of genius is knowing what to eliminate…James),but once he decides to take that case on,he must advocate to the best of his ability.

Here,the defense has the cards now stacked agaiinst it…that is so EVEN if the marines did in fact commit the crime.

In a normal court of law,post-conviction a guilty defendant’ background is checked thouroughly…sometimes making the difference from say 20 to 30 years in prison to life in prison without parole.

If these marines snapped,which I suspect is the case here,they may very well have a defense of insanity (which is extraordinarily hard to prove…the burden is on the defantant to prove that..the law presumes everyone sane).My bet is that a decent defense lawyer,if there was a level playing field (here there is not)probably could get this reduced to voluntary manslaughter…an intentionial homicide commited with “adequate provacation”…having the logical decision making process blotted out with rage so to speak.

Here,the whole world is watching.If found guilty,I think that someone will be incassarated and the keys will get thrown away.It’s a tough,heartbreaking call only because these youngsters (they are someone’s kids,you know)joined the service to fight for this country.

Yes there are bad apples…I just hope that justice is served,that’s all.


Adrienne
Somehow,it always comes back to the president,huh?It’s that damn California merlot you are drinking,I think.I suggest a nice Italian chiantti will chill you out a bit. ;)

David S
Actually Dave,I enjoyed that movie.Nicholson is my favorite.He and I are of the same generation and I remember seeing him in Easy Rider way back in my hippie days.We both have grown old and collected wives together. ;)
Seriously,the Uniform Code Of Military Justice affords defedants LESS proection that our court system and penalities are far harsher.A dishonorable discharge,for example,is a career-ender for sure.

David
In vino,veritas

Politicial Critic

You are correct:Murtha has earned the right to speak out.
As an American protected by the first amendment that he fought so hard to protect,so am I.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 2, 2006 9:12 PM
Comment #153887

All
Sorry about the typos..I posted without spell checking


BBurke
Appalling..no worse than that if there is a word.As a new grandfather,sickening.

The only logicial defense (if all the facts prove out )is insanity in my view.

I just don’t want to rush to judgement until all the facts are known and the military tribunal renders judgement,that’s all.

Unfortunately,in my career,I have seen innocent men put away for a long time.

Which is worse?

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 2, 2006 9:20 PM
Comment #153891

SE, typical lawyer tactic.

Smear the truth teller, be an apologist for murders, pretend there is no connection between the actions of the troops and the dereliction of duty by Bush and Rumsfeld.

Your pathetic, elistist drivel is sickening and digusting. Until you can gather the courage and honor to apologise for your dishonest and dishonorable smears, you don’t deserve even the slightest amount of respect. Please do not claim to represent any of our troops. You don’t. Chicken Hawks never do.

Posted by: gergle at June 2, 2006 9:44 PM
Comment #153892
Seriously,the Uniform Code Of Military Justice affords defedants LESS proection that our court system and penalities are far harsher.A dishonorable discharge,for example,is a career-ender for sure.

Eagle,

Lol, sorry, this is a serious subject. But are you really suggesting that a dishonorable discharge is an appropriate sentence if these charges are true? Of course considering the outcome of the My Lai incident, a dishonorable discharge would be consistent with past precedence.

I apologize to all who read this post. A discussion of sentence is far too premature. But I could not let that question be unasked.

Posted by: Cube at June 2, 2006 9:44 PM
Comment #153894

Cube

No,no…I was referring to a dishonorable discharge generrally.I wrote above that if convicted they will throw away the key.

gergle

Geez…don’t beat around the Bush..tell me how you really feel…..

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 2, 2006 9:49 PM
Comment #153899

Hi Adrienne, Sic Eagle, All,

HOLD ONTO YOUR HATS!!!!!!


I fully agree with Sic on this one. In fact, I will even take it a step further.

My thoughts are thus:

We ask these men and women to VOLUNTEER for the military. Upon doing so, they are not coddled, they are put through a rigorous mental and physical restructuring. They become soldiers. Rootin’, tootin’, oooh rah, hard core killing machines. I mean what did people think we were sending over there? BALLERINAS?

We rely on these soldiers to be prepared at all times; to uproot themselves from their families on a moments notice to defend us, our country, our way of life.

From the second these soldiers set foot on Iraqi soil they became targets. In the blink of an eye, their life can and will end. They must remain on alert at all times. Sleep? What’s that? Rest? Sure, why don’t they just relax? Some of them have been in Iraq since the beginning. They see the most horrible things imaginable on a daily basis. They live and breathe death 24/7.

Bushie himself strutted around chirping about not being held to the Geneva Convention. Abu Graib? All I heard from Bush supporters then was “It’s not the same because they aren’t TECHNICALLY POWs. WELCOME TO WAR!!!

We sit here in our homes, watching what Big Brother and his Cousin show us on tv, we get on the internet and write little blogs with our opinions and we argue with each other. We go home at night to our safe little homes, pondering on how those awful (repubs or dems, take your pick)can be so stupid. SMUG that we KNOW we are right and they are wrong and chuckling at how sweet it will be when we (pick a party)we are victorious at election time.

FOLKS, WE SENT THEM TO IRAQ TO KILL!

Anyone ever hear the phrase: “War is Hell?”
WELCOME TO HELL!

Now, I expect the lefties to express shock and repulsion. After all, We (yes, I am a leftie) fought AGAINST this war and are still fighting to end it.
But, I just don’t get it from the righties. YOU WANTED THIS WAR!!! I mean it wasn’t just that you supported it, you WANTED it!!! You were willing to overlook any lie or any blatant move made by our government so you could have more killing to “make-up” or to “seek revenge” for 9-11.

I have been called a coward; unpatriotic, even worse, a traitor for speaking out against more violence.

Well I ask you: WHERE IS YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE TROOPS NOW?

Anyone remember Viet Nam? Baby Killers! we called them then.

I know some will argue that we expect more from our military and this went against all their training. But I say it is EXACTLY what they were trained to do.

I do not think the soldiers should be held accountable. If anyone is to blame it is their leaders.

Ok, that’s it…now let me hear it………..

sassyliberal

Posted by: sassyliberal at June 2, 2006 10:04 PM
Comment #153903

sassyliberal,

“We ask these men and women to VOLUNTEER for the military.”

The key word is VOLUNTEER.

These guys knew the job was dangerous when they took it.
Anyone that has VOLUNTEERED, knows what they are going to be asked to do, and it ain’t, as you put it so succinctly, Ballerina school.

Posted by: Rocky at June 2, 2006 10:13 PM
Comment #153909

Sassyliberal

Just downloaded you post and pasted it in my den..next to my signed picture(of course) of George Bush and I will cherish you post forever.

;)

Now…if I can somehow convince Adrienne to jump ship…..hehehe….I bet she’d vote for Guilliani…

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 2, 2006 10:43 PM
Comment #153911

BBurke

First off,Sicilian and Ego are redundant.

Other than that,I agree with you.

I once went to Harvard Law School to watch Alan Derchwitz (sic) speak on his taking the type of clients that he takes….Von Bulow,Tysen,ect and he the only time I saw him flinch was when a student asked if would have defended Hitler.

He paused.Then said that he would have…just so he could get close enough to strangle him.

Then,I would not undertaken representation of any of the Nazis…although they were entitled to some form of representation(I guess),it wouldn’t have been me.

On the other hand,I would have representated Sacco or Vanzetti in a heartbeat

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 2, 2006 10:57 PM
Comment #153918

I remember meeting, years ago, the jag prosecutor who convicted Calley; we were at Harry’s at Hanover Square. I don’t recall exactly how the subject got there, but at some point he said; “…guilty as hell, and he should have been acquitted.” If anyone has a problem with that… well, you know what you can do.

Posted by: rogerdog at June 2, 2006 11:21 PM
Comment #153927

If those Marine killed those folks in cold blood I hope they get the death penalty. If they didn’t I expect everyone that has tired and convinced them in public before any trial to apologize to them in public. But fat chance of that happening.
As for Abu Ghraib I don’t see where there was any torture. And anyone looking at the pictures would have to stretch the point to make it torture.
I haven’t seen pictures of the POWs being beaten, on the rack, or otherwise having pain inflicted on them.
Humiliation yes. Torture no. Wrong HELL YEAH!


Posted by: Ron Brown at June 3, 2006 12:12 AM
Comment #153928

Troops who kill babies or old men should be locked up. Their superiors should be locked up too, but for longer. Americans who supported Abu Graib and pro-torture policies, should be ashamed of themselves. This is where it led.

Posted by: Alt at June 3, 2006 12:14 AM
Comment #153930

Ron,

So what do you call it when terrorists waterboard marines?

Definition of waterboarding:

“The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner’s face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt. According to the sources, CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in. They said al Qaeda’s toughest prisoner, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, won the admiration of interrogators when he was able to last over two minutes before begging to confess.

Posted by: Max at June 3, 2006 12:18 AM
Comment #153938

The problem with any torture is that it subjects the victim to the will of the torturer, and therefore makes them suggestible to agreeing with the torturer’s prejudices.

Worse, because of the reconstructive and emotional nature of memory, false memories can become real memories to the person, elaborate in detail.

Because of this, it can make convicts of innocent men, overwrite the memories of those who know something valueable, and make primary sources of people who don’t know squat.

This distinction about bodily harm doesn’t mean much if suggestibility is what comes into play. That’s where the real moral and practical harm of such techniques comes from. Worse, some people actually get to like using torture, so like the rookie at the construction site given the nail gun, every problem becomes a nail to them to be pounded.

People think of the brain as being like a computer, but it’s a lot more entangled than that. Emotion and memory, memory and judgment, imagination and memory- it can all get mixed up real easy. We can actually destroy good intelligence by resorting to these tactics, and in the process make a lie of everything we believe. Torture, and semi-torture techniques are shortcuts that only occasionally work, but otherwise are unreliable and immoral.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 3, 2006 1:25 AM
Comment #153941

I read an interesting book a while back that contained essays about the pros and cons of torture. It was interesting, the acid test is, what do you do if you know a wmd is in place and you have in custody someone who you are absolutely sure knows its whereabouts.

Is torture justified in extracting information from this person? What rights are violated if any, if torture is used? Should this person automatically qualify for immunity, because his or hers Fifth Amendment rights have been violated?

Posted by: Cube at June 3, 2006 2:02 AM
Comment #153943

Ok the above article is 1 year old.
My point plain and simple, punishing soldiers is not the right idea. You know forty percent of homeless people are veterans? I think that is punishment enough.

The above article says insurgents recruit people by paying $50 a day to plant bombs. When people work they are happy, it doesnt matter what the job is.

So America should be concerned about creating jobs, pay a high salary to some Iraqi to shovel debris or some odd job, put up construction projects. When these are bombed by insurgents, then Iraqis will get pissed off at insurgents.

I wouldnt mind if some heat was taken off our back, would you?

Posted by: stopculture at June 3, 2006 2:25 AM
Comment #153949

Military law and the Rules of Engagement are surely confusing.

If a troop pulls the trigger on a civilian is that murder?
If the commanding officer commands the troop to pull the trigger are they both guilty of murder?

If a pilot drops bombs, knowing that hundreds of civilians may be killed, is that murder?
If the commanding officer ordered the pilot to drop bombs on the target would they both be guilty of murder?
If the Commander-in-Chief approved the target would they all be guilty of murder?

Where does it change from murder to Regrettable Collateral Damage?
How far up the hierarchy does one have to be to be immune from charges for the killing of innocent civilians?

The objective of war is to inflict enough damage and instill enough terror on the enemys military and civilian population that they cease all resistance and relinquish all assets.

It seems that the same action, one on one, is called torture and is illegal.

I am grateful that I am not the one who has to pick a group of individuals out of that chaos of murder and destruction called war and file criminal charges against them.


Posted by: Arm Hayseed at June 3, 2006 5:52 AM
Comment #153952

I see how much anger and emotion Betty has towards the killing of innocents in Iraq. She is correct to abhor the killing of children and the infirm. There is no excuse for the deliberate killing of innocent people like that. There, of course, is a difference between intentional killing of innocents, and the fact that innocents will die during wartime. When innocents are the target, there is no excuse.

It is with distress that I acknowledge never having seen Betty, or those like her, focus her anger on the terrorists who randomly set off bombs in crowded Iraqi marketplaces. It is with regret that I see Betty’s anger flow forth against the Marines who may have committed a horrendous and brutal attack in Haditha, yet an attack that is sickenly commonplace among the enemy. What allegedly happened in Haditha is terrible and anyone guilty should be punished to the full extent of the law.

We must not forget that what happened in Haditha would not even reach the radar screen of the enemy. It would be a standard tactic and as such, must be reviled. In strict numbers, Haditha would be a small killing field for the enemy—one in which not enough innocents died for it to even garner recognition.

It is quite right to hold American soldiers to a high standard. It is just as wrong to ignore the fact that what we consider abhorrent, our enemy considers standard practice.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 3, 2006 6:23 AM
Comment #153954

Joebagodonuts,
One small problem with your analysis.
The terrorists don’t represent us. The soldiers do. There is a lot of ugly in the world. Why do you not comment on starvation, disease, and mental illness? These kill many more than terrorists do. Does that help you understand? Betty HAS commented on terrorists as disgusting, as I recall. Why do you want to make a comparison between them and us? This is least common denominator lowering of ourselves.

Posted by: gergle at June 3, 2006 6:56 AM
Comment #153955

JoeBODN:
I firmly dont believe these soldiers should be punished EVEN if they are guilty. Taken out of action, rehabilitated, counciled YES punished NO. You do not beg a person to risk their lives for your country put them in a situation known to break down mental reason and stability, and punish them when it happens. You tell them why it happened why their actions are wrong, and what they need to overcome their own actions. I think these soldiers deserve more than a spanking.
This violence against civilians are symptoms of a much larger disease. Our soldiers dont need bandaids like picking out the bad apples.
We owe it to our soldiers to solve the problems leading to this situation.

Posted by: stopculture at June 3, 2006 7:10 AM
Comment #153959

stopculture-
First and foremost, we can’t simply let the people who actually had a hand in this off without punishment. Bad situation or no, there are things one is just not supposed to do, and going from one house to another killing women, children, and unarmed men is well within that territory. Fifteen to life for each count.

Second, letting them off without sentence would be a bonanza for our enemy’s propaganda, a fact they can shove in everbody’s face: these people killed Iraqis, unarmed men, women, and children, and they never spent a day in jail.

That will look bad, because it is bad. This is not a crime where therapy is the appropriate sentence, nor a lecture on what they did that was naughty. These men were adults. Unless they went batshit psychotic, and had absolute no means to understand what they did, I don’t see reducing their sentences as a good idea.

JBOD-
That strategy of comparison of yours works right up to the point that you become equal in atrocious behavior to your enemy. And yes, I think that could happen. All that needs to occur is that we get used to committing what atrocities we’re committing now, and then rationalize getting worse than that. Rather than setting our morality relative to our own values, where it can remain integral and in place, we’d be taking the Israeli route of anything goes, as long as they’re the bad guys.

Our opponents, of course, won’t think we’re the bad guys, they’ll just think they were right about us, since they already believe we’re just trash hiding our true natures. With our more atrocious deeds, they can convince others to side with their own people, though they be radicals. They can create a culture of tolerance and aid for their activities, while suffocating ours with a blanket of denied cooperation. That’s how these people work. It should be going the other way around.

Rationalizing all the atrocities will only keep us from managing that.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 3, 2006 8:12 AM
Comment #153960

Innocent until proven guilty. Period. I agree with SE’s post. And all of you willing to throw these guys to the wolves - shame on you. You DON’T know that anyone is guilty, and yet you would steal their right to a fair and properly defended trial and just let them rot. Personally, if I ever need a lawyer, I’m calling SE! And I hope none of you ever needs a good lawyer because if you’re willing to throw away ANY American’s rights to a fair trial and the concept of innocent until proven guilty - then you don’t deserve any better. SHAME ON YOU!

Posted by: Ilsa at June 3, 2006 8:44 AM
Comment #153961

BTW - Murtha is a blowhard liberal - but he does have free speech - Doesn’t mean he’s right.

Posted by: Ilsa at June 3, 2006 8:46 AM
Comment #153965

Ilsa,

I would assume that you are just as upset about the detainees in Gitmo who are not awarded the “innocent until proven guilty” defense.

Just because the case is being discussed here and the accusations are being tossed around does not mean that posters do not believe in innocent until proven guilty. People can discuss what is known about a case and what their opinion of punishment should be without breaking the constitution.

I agree that Murtha is a blowhard but that does not make him wrong either.

Mike P

Posted by: Mike at June 3, 2006 9:01 AM
Comment #153969

Mike,

We agree that Murtha is a blowhard.

And we agree that the Gitmo “detainees” do deserve lawyers. I have no knowlege of fact that they have not had that. A few months ago a group of Senators or Congressmen went down there to scope out the prison and the standards and then very little was said afterwards about that trip. What did they find? Decent living conditions, full freedom of religious practices, clean clothing, better food than in prisons on American soil. Just no alot to complaine about. Then we get more MSM stories about how horrible everything is and then we hear about “ghost” prisions in Europe…. more unproven theories to get everyone on the bandwagon.

Discussing what little is actually known about what happened in Iraq and calling for the heads of these soldiers are two diffent things, but that is what is happening. Go to the Republican side of this forum and read Scicilan Eagles post. It’s all about a fair defense and what a good lawyer would do. Then read the liberal comments. Belive me when I say that the left would love to have these soldiers tried, conviceted and executed - now. But don’t take my word for it. Read the posts.

Posted by: Ilsa at June 3, 2006 9:23 AM
Comment #153971

UPDATE

This morning,a spokesman for the victims said that the families do not want to unearth the bodies as it is against Islamist law.

The only way around that is if a cleric issue a fatwa saying it is permissible.

I think that if the bodies are not allowed to be examined,while working against the defense to put forth a sound defense (if one exists),it MAY also work in their favor post-conviction..possibly being the difference between a 35 years sentence and a life in prison sentence.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 3, 2006 9:51 AM
Comment #153972

I always find it interesting that lawyers always tell us how they would defend someone. They lead us to believe they are follwoing their ethical code on how to get others off. Lawyers are one of the lowest forms of humanity I have ever met. Don’t give me that crap either about everyone hates a lawyer until they need one. Most of us wouldn’t be in a position of needing one if they hadn’t already brought so many ridiculous lawsuits to the courts.

Having said all that I find it interesting how everyone is talking about what should be done and what the marines could have been thinking. Now I haven’t read every comment word for word, but it doesn’t see anyone talks about marines and other soldiers they have spent time with who has served in Iraq. I have spoken with many different soldiers who have been in the thick of it and no one has any clue of what these people are exposed to daily. Many people seem to be concerned about our ‘image’ in the world. No one seems to talk about the image of the terrorist. For some reason many of the libs seem to think we need to have some form of understanding of them. If anyone has read their history the islamo facists have been around for thousands of years killing anyone who doesn’t agree with their religion. So lighten up on the image crap. This war should be over by now, but Bush has becomed so concerned about our image because he is listening to a bunch of nuts who think we should be tolerant of these terrorists. For those of you who think you understand what these soldiers are thinking and how the war has affected them try spending a year or two talking with them. If you libs have a true desire for tolerance and understanding try that. My guess is you don’t really care about anyt]hing except holding on to your ideology instead of caring really caring about humanity.

Posted by: Mike at June 3, 2006 9:56 AM
Comment #153973

The terrorists behead people on film, and broadcast it to the world; they strap dynamite onto 8 and 10 year old children and send them out to blow up themselves and as many Israelis as they can , many of which are little babies and women!Where is the world outrage? Why doesn’t the entire earth band together to stop Mulims from destroying each other?Check out the numbers of people they are murdering in the Sudan! And how about the Hamas and Iran, dedicated to wiping the tiny little nation of Israel from the face of the earth? And yet WE are hated, and reviled because maybe, just MAYBE, a few stressed out Marines,after months of seeing their buddies blown up, shot, losing arms, legs, MAY have gone berserk for a short time!I am not accusing them,nor am I EXcusing them if it did happen , just showing the one-sided world view,and, sadly, the American public and people like John Murtha are buying into, and fostering, that same view!

Posted by: Angel 1 at June 3, 2006 10:12 AM
Comment #153974

Not giving our Marines the benefit of the doubt in this situation, before all the facts come in, is a complete (and utter) disgrace! All of those that continue to impune our “brave men and women serving in the Armed Forces” (and I mean that by the way) are not fooling anyone; we know your hatred for this war is keeping you from giving our troops the benefit of the doubt. Pity on you…

Posted by: rahdigly at June 3, 2006 10:13 AM
Comment #153976

SE,

It appears the massacre really happened. It was real and our marines carried it out. There may be extinuating ciscumstances. There may be reasons that it happened BESIDES our troops going nuts.

But….

You BEGAN by defending masscre before you even knew all the facts, before all the facts were released! Why, se? Why?

You see, that is why I keep calling the republicans ‘label’ republicans these days. It appears that no matter what happens - election fraud, treason, 180 degree turns from previous ideals, massacres, you name it…you neo-cons are going to stubbornly adhere to the ‘republican’ label even if it hairlips everybody on bear creek!

Why? What does it take? …get rid of the sinful pride, SE.

Now if you want to go and defend them, great. God knows they’ll need the best they can get. But if you are going to do something like that…
DON’T TALK ABOUT IT ON AN INTERNET BLOG!!!

Posted by: RGF at June 3, 2006 10:15 AM
Comment #153978

It “appears” like the massacre happened?!! What the heck do you know?! Where’s all your proof?! The fact is, neither you nor I know what happened yet. You’re calling for our own troops heads before the trial begins. Communism treats people like that; guilty until proven innocent.


Where are all you “Nation of Laws” wiseguys on this one? How about the “Give me liberty or give me death” cowards? Or, my personal favorite, the “We don’t want to be just like them” stooges? WHERE ARE YOU PEOPLE NOW!!!!


Remember how you defended the terrorist’s rights to a trial in the NSA program a few months ago? Well, I do. I’m not going to copy and paste those comments, you can go back and check for yourselves. The wisea$$e$ who made those comments know (exactly) who they are. And, now you are debunked; we know exactly who you are and what you believe. How does your foot taste in your mouth?

Posted by: rahdigly at June 3, 2006 10:34 AM
Comment #153979

RGF

You’re wrong.I don’t defend ANY massacre.That is your intetpretation of what I said.

I said that we should wait until the investigation has been completed and the report comes out.

“Undisclosed sources” don’t do it for me,sorry.

Plus,this isn’t a “republican” issue.It’s about the prsumption of innocence and trying people in the court of public opinion…just as you are doing right now.

Plus,I have hit a nerve.Some actually agree with me.

Mike

Geez…with an attitude like that,I’d ask for a retainer in advance if I ever had to represent you.Then again,you could go pro se…but wait…a judge is a lawyer..isn’t he?

Nah…probably doesn’t count.

You are entitled to your oninion about lawyers..all professions have their bad apples…what’s your,by the way?I bet that even in your profession there are bad apples…no?

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 3, 2006 10:38 AM
Comment #153983

Mr. Eagle, your post is an attempt at clarity of thinking and for that you get an A+.

I cannot help but think, guilty or not, what the young Marines did would not have happened had they not been put there in the first place. I, too, am a Marine Corps defender. My brother and two cousins all were Marines and served in Vietnam. One cousin was severely wounded and is now attempting to secure a silver star for his heroic action one day in June a long time ago. So my thoughts go out to the Marines and their families and of course to the poor, wretched Iraqis who have had to suffer the wrath of the American war machine. BTW my favorite Marine is General Smedley Butler.

Once in a war, atrocities will happen. That, I believe, is a given. This fact does not excuse the atrocities it merely underlines the point that we should stay our of wars-especially preventive wars of imperialism.

For a really comparative take on what happened at Haditha we need only remember our misadventure in the Philippines at the turn of the last century when we set out to “uplift and Christianize” our little brown brothers there—in the immortal words of another imperialist president, William McKinley. Pretty much the same thing occurred then as now in Iraq.

Peace, cml

Posted by: cml at June 3, 2006 10:58 AM
Comment #153984


By now, most everybody knows what the little sign on Harry Truman’s desk said. But, did you know that the sign on the desk of George Bush says ( DENY EVERYTHING-BLAME THE MESSENGER.) The Disciples of Bush know it well and repeat it often. If loud mouths like Murtha would quit spouting out their treasonous crap, this whole incident could have been swept under the rug and the American people would be none the wiser.

I think that most of us want to see justice served in this incident. What many disagree about is whether or not the administration should be held accountable or bear part of the responsibility for what is supposed to have happened.

Yes, I believe the administration must be held accountable And, the buck does stop at the President. The fact that there has, since the very begining of the conflict, been far to few troops in Iraq to effectively accomplish the mission is in my opinion, a grave contributing factor in all the incidents that have occured.

The President is responsible because his war plan for accomplishing the mission can best be described as incompetent. The responsibility for this plan lies with the Secretary of Defense. Rumsfelds stubborn refusal to accept a competent plan and his insistence, that his flawed plan be followed even to the point of removing and replacing some who argued against it, is proof of his incompetence. The President has refused to acknowledge Rumsfeld’s incompetence, has stood by him and defended his plan.

I assume that the Administration is sticking to their flawed plan in the hope that all will work out well in the long run. The Iraq defence force and police will eventually be trained and able to accomplish the mission that has totally been neglected by the Administrations plan. What we may be doing is training the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Virginia.

Posted by: jlw at June 3, 2006 10:59 AM
Comment #153986

This Hiditha incident has proven that you “cannot be anti-war and support the troops” at the same time. It just can’t be done. If some of the (so called) Americans did support the troops, they wouldn’t rush to judgement like they have. If they supported the troops they would’ve defended them; not try and use this as a metaphor that the War is a war crime. In WWII, this wouldn’t have been a big story; and the Americans would have given our soldiers the benefit of the doubt. Believe that!

Posted by: rahdigly at June 3, 2006 11:07 AM
Comment #153989

There was an attempt at a cover-up, SE!

That does not seem to trouble you, but it disgusts me! You see, if there was some sort of understandable screw-up or civilians somehow became tanlged up among anti-American forces in Iraq, then there would have been no need for a cover-up.

I agree with you, in part, about this incident. These marines need good representation. I suggest you go and give it to them! Seriously! You seem to be very spirited in your defense of them already, so go get involved. Have you any experience in military courts? If not, this is a perfect opportunity to go get some.

I suggest to you that if the worst is as REAL as it seems to be…
You certainly won’t sleep any better after you have more direct knowledge of the events.

On the other hand, if there was genuininely an understnadable screw-up, you are clearly going to give your all in their defense. Go volunteer your services, SE.

Posted by: RGF at June 3, 2006 11:21 AM
Comment #153993

cml
Thank you.

As you know,this topic is profoundly emotionial…and I have tried to walk a line here explaining myself to those with a completely different viewpoint.

Here,I chonge to engage talk.

There are very much two sides of the story (maybe three)here,and I actually believe in basic constitutionial protections despite what my liberal friends think.

Despite what posters say about lawyers…(I’ve heard it all,believe me),some of the most compassionate human beings I know are members of my profession.Yes,there are bad apples…lord knows that…but for every bad apple,there are thousands of wonderful people who affectuate social change every day.

Usually,when a person hates a lawyer,there is a story behind that comment,and I will leave well enough alone today.

One of these days,when I feel unusually frisky,I will write a piece defending my profession..however,I will get my battle armour reconditioned first. ;)

Rahdigly

I really admire your tenacity.Never give up.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 3, 2006 11:32 AM
Comment #153997

RFG
Clearly this post had nothing to do with any alleged cover-up.

As I have said many times,that is a different issue and the subject of another investigation.

Here,I am talking the case on the merits.

Apples and oranges.

And yes,a cover-up would bother me too…as would murder.

I have plenty of experience in a court of law too,but no,I am representing them.

During a trial,a defense lawyer is muzzled.Here,I am not.I prefer it that way.

By the way,you are correct…during a trial a lawyer…that is a good lawyer…leaves a little piece of himself on the floor of the courtroom.

It is gut-wrenching work.

Now,that is not to say that there aren’t dorks in my profession either…they are.I call them politicians,though.Most of those guys couldn’t cut it in my line of work,so decide to drink at the public trough.

Here in Massachusteetts,I cannot think of a single elected official in the public areana that I would consider a student of the law.Not a one.

What’s your profession,by the way?

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 3, 2006 12:05 PM
Comment #153999

Bburke
I respect your opinion even though we disagree..but I am curious…how who you deal with terrorists?…Islamist terrorist,that is.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 3, 2006 12:07 PM
Comment #154000

Most of you have brought up interesting points…However all of these points stem from a position of blame.
Whos fault is it?
Is that really what you want to know? Why?
Is it so you can say “see look at justice.” Look at justice walk away into that cell for 15 years to life.
The other half of you keep yelling your heads off about terrorism. Terrorism is a problem. Why don’t Americans look at problems and see solutions anymore? All we see is “They just wont stop killing us its in their religion!!!!”
Do you think Christianity has evolved over the centuries?? I do. Did we not experience an inquisition? What led Christians to move from this idea and how can America promote those conditions in Iraq?

So you guys all seem to be working inside of a fear blame model.

Where is that going?

Posted by: stopculture at June 3, 2006 12:08 PM
Comment #154001

btw bburke:
i take it you are completely against war at all costs? Please keep in mind we have stated that innocent civilians die in war, and there is at this point no way to prevent it.

It is not that i disagree with you, in fact i am interested in how we can solve problems and get what we want without war. But if we choose war we shouldnt bitch about the result.

Also keep in mind Our President George W Bush and the media did you all wa huge favor when they took all opposition to American invasion and put it into one word.

Posted by: stopculture at June 3, 2006 12:22 PM
Comment #154005

SE,

LAW

Posted by: RGF at June 3, 2006 12:32 PM
Comment #154009

True Christianity does NOT try to convert by force, but through love. Quite a difference from the Islamic religion, wouldn’t you say? Their idea of conversion is—convert or lose your head—literaly! And this is apparent even within their own religion! Sunnis are murdered because they don’t believe as the Shiites, and so forth, which is leading to a civil war, even though the Koran forbids civil war! How can you understand such a religion? And they have no tolerance for any other religion. Case in point. One sura reads: “Even the rocks cry out, “Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me! Come quick and kill him!” VERY peaceful religion, right? And there are at least 105 of these verses, known as The WAR SURAS. See, I HAVE done my homework! Do you find such commands in the New Testament of the Christian Bible? No? Then do not equate our faith with theirs! And do not compare our Military with the Islamic terrorists! Some of our Marines have seen duty in Iraq 2 or 3 tours. They are burnt out. They have seen too much killing and horrors humans should never have to see. Spare a little of your sympathy for THEM, for a change! And even if they should be found guilty, God forbid, put yourselves in their shoes and walk that mile. No one knows what their re-actions would be unless they were IN that situation. No, I do not condone the killing of children, but have you ever counted the number of lives the insurgents have taken, many of THEM innocent children? We are supposed to have more restraint and compassion, but our Military personnel are still human, and as such , can still mnake the wrong choice in times of stress!

Posted by: Angel 1 at June 3, 2006 12:38 PM
Comment #154010

Stopculture,

Sicilian eagle and I often disagree most vehemently with one another. However, we come at these things from the point of view of lawyers. It is ABSOLUTELY necessary to grant these marines the best possible defense they can get. Their rights are OUR RIGHTS, plain and simple. That is the part of SE’s point that I am in complete accord with. It may SOUND like an argument over blame, but is more a practical argument about legal rights, whether public opinion and the media should play a role…etc.

The point I am making, is that their has been a cover up. It was various people making this a blip on the public radar that has brought the event out of cover-up mode so it can be dealt with. That has the effect of making it look like more blame hurling. It is not. It is light bringing is what it is. Now that the issue is FIRMLY in the public mind, I agree with SE that these marines need the best legal representation they can get.

I also feel that if the facts show they knowingly and intentionally committed a massacre of civilians, then I would hope the book gets thrown at them. But the only way we can be sure, is if they get their day in court.

Posted by: RGF at June 3, 2006 12:41 PM
Comment #154012

For those interested in my profession I am a therapist. I am well aware of the awful people in my profession and have no trouble calling them out either. The ninety’s signified almost the complete ruin of the profession. There were so many self agrandising media therpist that eveyone has believed therapy is what you see on Oprah and Dr. Phil. I don’t have any bad experiences personally with lawyers either so there is no story. By the way judges are included with lawyers.
I don’t believe most lawyers have spent time listening to stories of soldiers seeing the person next to them being blown up. That when they are there they know they are sitting ducks most of the time and hope that there number isn’t up. Then when they come home whenever they hear a car backfire they want to dive to the ground. That they come back to society and they feel abnormal and can’t get their life together. They are depressed and suicdal. So no one has to tell me about hard working lawyers and how wonderful they are because you guys don’t have to keep soldiers from eating their guns. I am sure there are good lawyers, but don’t patronize the rest of us. I actually hope the truth comes out, but when it comes to lawyers and the government it is unlikely the truth will.
The truth is we are fighting a war against people who want us dead. We can’t worry about what others think about us. It is terrible what happened to the Iraqi citizens. Why does anyone care why we are there now. We know there is plenty of blame to go around on this, but blame has never been a solution to current problems. This is where my “friends” in the therapy profession lose their mind. They tell their patients they have “issues” with their parents. We even had goofball therapists in Florida creatinga diagnosis called Post election stress syndrome. Can you imagine justifying this to an insurance company. All politicians on both sides are only posturing for their parties. I am sure Murtha, Frist and all the others have been promised things to go out front and pontificate for the public.

Posted by: Mike at June 3, 2006 12:50 PM
Comment #154013

For those interested in my profession I am a therapist. I am well aware of the awful people in my profession and have no trouble calling them out either. The ninety’s signified almost the complete ruin of the profession. There were so many self agrandising media therpist that eveyone has believed therapy is what you see on Oprah and Dr. Phil. I don’t have any bad experiences personally with lawyers either so there is no story. By the way judges are included with lawyers.
I don’t believe most lawyers have spent time listening to stories of soldiers seeing the person next to them being blown up. That when they are there they know they are sitting ducks most of the time and hope that there number isn’t up. Then when they come home whenever they hear a car backfire they want to dive to the ground. That they come back to society and they feel abnormal and can’t get their life together. They are depressed and suicdal. So no one has to tell me about hard working lawyers and how wonderful they are because you guys don’t have to keep soldiers from eating their guns. I am sure there are good lawyers, but don’t patronize the rest of us. I actually hope the truth comes out, but when it comes to lawyers and the government it is unlikely the truth will.
The truth is we are fighting a war against people who want us dead. We can’t worry about what others think about us. It is terrible what happened to the Iraqi citizens. Why does anyone care why we are there now. We know there is plenty of blame to go around on this, but blame has never been a solution to current problems. This is where my “friends” in the therapy profession lose their mind. They tell their patients they have “issues” with their parents. We even had goofball therapists in Florida creatinga diagnosis called Post election stress syndrome. Can you imagine justifying this to an insurance company. All politicians on both sides are only posturing for their parties. I am sure Murtha, Frist and all the others have been promised things to go out front and pontificate for the public.

Posted by: Mike at June 3, 2006 12:50 PM
Comment #154016

RFG
BRAVO

The profession needs intelligent and passionate people!

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 3, 2006 1:00 PM
Comment #154019

stopculture,

This is a complete ASIDE, but -

You made a comment earlier that is thought provoking and disturbing.

I am a Christian. However, I do not believe christianity is evolving at all. I believe it is DEVOVLING. Look at American Protestantism for instance: No spiritual introspection whatsoever! It is about pounding square pegs in round holes with none of the kind of love-the-sinner-hate-the-sin metality or empathy for people that characterized Jesus. I went to a wedding recently where an evagalical minister actually referred to Jesus as a MIGHTY WARRIOR. It stunned me to see such shallowness! I was handed rediculous little pamphlets attacking Catholics by Evangelical baptists while exiting mass. Turned my stomach to imagine these people actually thought of themselves as Christian. I have heard preposterous attacks on the sacrament of Confession by those who have NEVER looked inward in their lives. The purpose of the priest is not to BE THE ABSOLVER…the purpose of the priest is to ensure that you do not fool the one person you are ALWAYS guaranteed to be able to fool with the greatest of ease while you seek God’s forgiveness - YOURSELF!

I have listened to supposed Christians who support the death penalty, see no problem with shooting doctors who have performed abortions, vote and act in accordance with comparative greed, believe in a god (not my GOD) that somehow has “RULES FOR FINANCIAL SUCCESS” and makes “rightious” people wealthy, etc. etc. That is an attempt to MAKE God SERVE MAMMON! Disgusting!

It makes me sick to see the level to which christianity has stooped.

In the past, we had Christians such as St. Thomas Aquinas who spent immense efforts learning, growing, seeking and expanding our knowledge of God’s relationship to man. He sought the relationship of God’s law to man’s laws and searched for the true nature of free will. Aquinas posited that God himself was guiding our laws through grace. Our understanding was flawed and develop very slowly, but our laws and evolution of understanding is moving in the right direction so long as we look inward for God’s gift of grace to us. That means we have to constantly reject pride and sin (ego if you will) and SEARCH for the message within us. Now we have evangelicals who believe law is the PROBLEM and are willing to discount the influence of grace or insight of any kind in the evolution of human law entirely. They seem unpurturbed by manipulating laws, perverting our Constitution, ignoring the perspectives of others, etc etc. They seem to believe in a clock-work universe wound up by God and set in motion without in any need for us to grow at all. Preposterous.

You remember the Samaritans Jesus referred to? They were a separate sect than had actually been engaged in violent struggles with the mainstream temple-Jews of the day. How much empathy is there among evangalicals out there for those with VERY different views of religion? NONE. It fells like the stage is being set for some kind of American religious WAR.

No. It is pretty clear to me that Christianity is DEVOLVING. There was greater understanding and growth in faith among Christians in the past than there is now.

There is ONE GROUP of protestant christians out there that I believe is pursuing spiritual introspection and God’s relationship to man: The Quakers. Aka The Religious Society of Friends.


Posted by: RGF at June 3, 2006 1:18 PM
Comment #154020

SE,

Thanks.

uh…it’s RGF, not RFG.

Posted by: RGF at June 3, 2006 1:20 PM
Comment #154022

Mike,

I don’t know what your bent is with the cynical take on lawyers, but it is mis-placed. While it is true that there are good ones bad ones, just as in your profession, the single most destructive force in our democracy now is the paranoid and cynical mistrust against lawyers and the lega profession being manipulated into people these days. It seeks to deny the system it own ability to govern itself and to grow. It is the worst kind of anarchy.

I sincerely hope you over-come that anti-lawyer point of view.

Posted by: RGF at June 3, 2006 1:27 PM
Comment #154025

RFG
Sorry..that’s the second time I have done that with you,isn’t it?
Terrific post above…in all discussion there is always a middle ground if the willing are looking for it.
What bothers you more…the alleged incident or the cover-up?I sense the cover up.
The way I see it,if a cover up occurred,those folks need to be punished severely.There is no room for that type of behavior.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 3, 2006 2:06 PM
Comment #154028

SE,

It’s a common typo, it seems, but whose counting?

It is the actual event that bothers me more. It’s just that the cover-up is indicative of a few things. It makes it more likely that the event itself was every bit as evil as feared. Civilians caught in a cross-fire is nothing new, but, an intentional massacre carried out by Americans is VILE. So, it’s a matter of degree. The cover-up makes it so much worse.

However, considering the overwhelming weight of the released information thusfar, I sincerely hope those involved get good representation! It will take a VERY spirited defense to overcome what is already released about this unfortuneate incident. Do you have military court-martial experience?

Posted by: RGF at June 3, 2006 2:17 PM
Comment #154031

While I have made my feelings regarding Sic E’s insommnia clear,this alleged incident does bring up a greater question.
Does the United States have the right, either as a moral obligation or in self-defense,
to invade and change the social dynamics of a sovereign country?
Are we acting in our own or the world’s best interest,by introducing democratic principles in what is a chaotic situation? If we are indeed succesful in this,does the end justify the means?

I was raised to believe that with great power does come great responsibility.(a la spiderman). Do we have a moral imperative to create a Pax Americana that will create strip mall mentality everywhere. My gut tells me no.

While I can and do appreciate the fact that having more friends in the world can only help the U.S.,I am not sure I want friends at the point of a gun. It’s so easy to get along when I have MY weapons of mass destruciton pointing at you.

I don’t know if these soldiers have commited crimes against the populace in Iraq,but I am sure that crimes have been commited there already.

One of the greatest crimes appears to be the invasion of a nation,which yes,was run by a madman,but had done us no harm directly. Another is the fact that we are using the pain and suffering of these poor people,to further our economic gains and fatten our already obscene profit margins.

Posted by: jblym at June 3, 2006 2:24 PM
Comment #154035

All

Please spend a few minutes reviewing the “setting” for this event.Many more bits are coming out.

terrific background

Posted by: Sicilian Eagle at June 3, 2006 2:42 PM
Comment #154037

All
Read about the doctor who signed the death certificates…..hmmmm…..


this doctor signed the death certificates

Posted by: SicilianEagle at June 3, 2006 2:48 PM
Comment #154038

whoops

whoops

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 3, 2006 2:50 PM
Comment #154039

sorry couldn’t get the link but here’s the second piece in Sweetness and Light:


Haditha Reporter Was Jailed By US, Shares Name With SourceThe Haditha Our Media Won’t Tell You About »Haditha Doctor Was Arrested, Hates US

You have probably heard by now that the doctor who examined the bodies of the civilians in Haditha after the alleged Marine rampage said they were shot in the chest and head and from close range.

You have probably also heard it reported that the death certificates of the deceased record that all the victims were shot.

Here is the article which first broke this story, from Time Magazine:


An image taken from footage shot on November 19, 2005 shows bodies in a morgue after an incident in Haditha.

One Morning in Haditha

U.S. Marines killed 15 Iraqi civilians in their homes last November. Was it self-defense, an accident or cold-blooded revenge?

A TIME exclusive

By TIM MCGIRK/ BAGHDAD

Mar. 27, 2006

The incident seemed like so many others from this war, the kind of tragedy that has become numbingly routine amid the daily reports of violence in Iraq. On the morning of Nov. 19, 2005, a roadside bomb struck a humvee carrying Marines from Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, on a road near Haditha, a restive town in western Iraq. The bomb killed Lance Corporal Miguel (T.J.) Terrazas, 20, from El Paso, Texas. The next day a Marine communiqué from Camp Blue Diamond in Ramadi reported that Terrazas and 15 Iraqi civilians were killed by the blast and that “gunmen attacked the convoy with small-arms fire,” prompting the Marines to return fire, killing eight insurgents and wounding one other…

Dr. Wahid, director of the local hospital in Haditha, who asked that his family name be withheld because, he says, he fears reprisals by U.S. troops, says the Marines brought 24 bodies to his hospital around midnight on Nov. 19. Wahid says the Marines claimed the victims had been killed by shrapnel from the roadside bomb. “But it was obvious to us that there were no organs slashed by shrapnel,” Wahid says. “The bullet wounds were very apparent. Most of the victims were shot in the chest and the head–from close range.”

This quote has now become an essential element in most of the articles on Haditha.

Being the highest ranking doctor on the scene, Wahid (Walid) is probably the person who filled out the death certificates, or he ordered them filled out.

What we haven’t been told by our one party media is some of the background on the good doctor.

And it is an article from a writer for the terrorist supporting BRussells Tribunal:

Haditha: River Gate… to Hell

Sabah Ali (06/11/2005)

…Haditha is now no more than 15 minutes away.

The situation here was different than it was in Al Qaim. The American and Iraqi soldiers were everywhere in the streets. There was no more car searching, only checking the IDs. Traces of the last attack could be seen everywhere on the buildings, the faces, and the suspicious eyes.

We heard the same scenario. Water, electricity, phones, roads were all cut off. The city was besieged before the bombing began on October 5, 2005 and went on for 18 days. Many houses were demolished, many families left to the refugee camps, many people were arrested, including the Moslem Scholars Association secretary in Haditha and his son. The general hospital was occupied for 10 days; the hospital director and one of the doctors were brutally beaten and locked up for a week inside the hospital. Many schools and offices were still occupied. All houses were raided, some twice a day. All weapons were confiscated including the personal. There is no government, no offices, no schools, no work, no markets…nothing. “Haditha is a fallen city” was sarcastically repeated.

Dr. Walid Al-Obeidi, the director of Haditha General Hospital and Dr. Jamil Abdul Jabbar, the only surgeon in the Haditha area, were arrested for a week, very badly beaten and threatened to face the same treatment in the future by the American troops.

Dr.Walid said “they arrested me in my house in front of my family, covered my eyes, and tied my hands to the back on Oct 5 2005 morning, during the last attack on Haditha (360 kilometers west of Baghdad). They occupied the hospital for 8 days and made it their office. The first day they beat me on my eyes, nose, back, hands, legs… My face was covered with blood. I could not wash my face because bleeding would start again. When they removed the tie I could not see. They investigated me until the afternoon. I realized later that I was arrested in the hospital store. Then they tied my hands to the front, and left me for two days. I was moved then to the pharmacy department. They accused me of treating terrorists, and asked for their names.

I told them that I treat patients regardless of their identity or their political position, according to my oath as a doctor; if they were national guards (which they actually were) or American soldiers. And anyway, if I do not want to treat the insurgents, I have no choice, because they were armed and masked. I would do anything they tell to do. Few days later, one of the soldiers came in the room, did not say anything, kicked me again on my face and left”

Dr. Jamil, a surgeon for 20 years, was also arrested and very brutally beaten. When we met him, 22 days later, his face was still bluish. His nose was broken, and a big opening in his head: “They beat me on my eyes and nose, kicked me with boots under my chin. One of them threatened me if I didn’t talk after he counts to three, he would shoot me. He began counting, after three he turned the gun upside down and hit me on the back of my head with the gun. For days I could not move or see. They threatened us of abused our families. For some reason they took my picture while I was bleeding, I could hear the camera click”

Both doctors were threatened if they didn’t talk, they would receive the same treatment in the future. They were warned not to pass any information of the arrest to the media. They were asked who wrote the hostile slogans against the American on the opposite wall of the hospital (there were different slogans on that wall from opposite sides, the American soldiers –the F word- and the insurgents). What are the names of the insurgents they treated? And what are the bodies’ pictures in the hospital computer?

Dr.Walid said he did not know who wrote on the wall outside the hospital, what the names of the insurgents were, because they were masked. He explained that the dead bodies’ pictures were of unknown people whose bodies were found after the fighting. “We can not keep these bodies forever; we do not have enough cold boxes. So, after two months, we take their pictures and bury them, so that whenever someone from their families comes to ask we show the pictures of the dead bodies”.

The UN, the international HR organizations, WHO, Doctors sans frontiers…and all who it may concern are called upon to do something to help these, and other Iraqi doctors, and to prevent similar treatment in the future. Dr.Walid and Dr. Jamil believe that they may face the arrest and beating in the future. They demand that the American troops stop occupying the hospital and destroying it every time they attack Haditha. They also believe that the Iraqi authorities are incapable of protecting them.

The hospital became a center of almost everything after the attack. Relief distribution, electricity and water pipes repairing, fuel…etc. Dr.Walid had to arrange for these details and send workers in the ambulance. An officer asked dr.Walid what he thinks of the Americans, and he replied “you are occupation troops, I wish that you were friends, but this way, things do not work.”

“Is it not better that we are here?” he asked again.

“No” dr. Walid replied “look at you, heavily armed in your military clothes, you frighten children. You create tension”. Dr. Walid was offered $30 as an apology compensation for beating and humiliating him. “I did not know what to do, I did not want to reject them and create more problems, and I could not accept them, so I gave them to the cleaning workers”. One of the American soldiers whispered to Dr. Walid, that the compensation they should pay if such an aggression happens in the US, would buy the whole city of Haditha…

Is it possible Dr. Walid (Wahid) has an anti-American prejudice?

Update!


Given that Dr. Walid Al Obeidi seems to have first spoken in detail with the group BRussells Tribunal in the article above, and the many permutations of his name (Wahid, Waheed), it seems highly possible that he is one and the same as Abdul Wahab Al Obeidi or perhaps a close relative.

Abdul Wahab Al Obeidi is an advisory board member of the BRussells Tribunal, which is an ultra radical terrorist-supporting organization. Wahab Al Obeidi is also often described as a representative of Haditha.


Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 3, 2006 2:56 PM
Comment #154044

RGF
No.I teach at 3 Boston law schools plus lecture extensively on the bar exam in addition to my practice.For the last three and a half years,I have been doing a lot of internationial law..specificially in Sicily..working with the government there on importing Sicilian goods into America.I also maintain a law office in Catania(east coast of Sicily).
To break the tension,I fight with my lefty friends here,which I enjoy a lot.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 3, 2006 3:11 PM
Comment #154046

I have to take the bird’s position in this one (and most others cause he uses common sense).

The marines not only deserve a defense, they are entitled to one as per the constitution that I swore to defend so many years ago.

Thank you Eagle for your support of our country. Old glory has been looking a little thread bare as of late.

Tom

Posted by: Tom D. at June 3, 2006 3:13 PM
Comment #154051

Whooooooooow, SE,

“…the many permutations of his name (Wahid, Waheed), it seems highly possible that he is one and the same as Abdul Wahab Al Obeidi or perhaps a close relative.” …. “Abdul Wahab Al Obeidi is an advisory board member of the BRussells Tribunal, which is an ultra radical terrorist-supporting organization.”

You are making a big stretch there. Just because the name is similiar you are accusing this Doctor of being a ultra radical terrorist? I’m not sure if you are just being racist or willfully inept and irresponsible. “…perhaps a close relative”???? You must be quite the lawyer. Talk about prejudice. Someone’s name is similiar so they are guilty. Come on….It’s like confusing Joni with Jody or Gary with Jerry.

“Is it possible Dr. Walid (Wahid) has an anti-American prejudice?”

Would you have an anti-Chinese prejuice if China was occupying America and bringing Amercian corpses to the hospital every day??

Let’s not jump to conclusions here. You talk about waiting for facts yet you gleefully acuse this Doctor of being a terrorist without ANY hesitation. Very hypocritical.

Posted by: Matthew at June 3, 2006 3:29 PM
Comment #154054

SE,

I sincerely hope you are right and that this turns out to be an effort to make us look bad.

But…that begs the question:
Why the cover-up?

Posted by: RGF at June 3, 2006 3:30 PM
Comment #154060

Sic E. why are you publishing your resume online? Are you looking for a job? Import business not everything you hoped it would be?
The only person whose resume I would like to see on line would be George Bush. (and we all know that touch typing is well beyond him)

The lefty friends you speak of,are trying to take what is what is obviously a good mind,although hellishly hawkish,and give it the ability to see through compassionate eyes.
Like many Republicans,you seem to delight in the minute details of horrific situations,while totally ignoring the horrible wrongs that we as a nation are commiting.
I implore you to come away from the dark side,and decry the injustices that you say you fight against so valiantly.
Don’t fail to see the forest because of the trees!

Posted by: jblym at June 3, 2006 3:57 PM
Comment #154063

Stopculture,

It’s obvious from your posts that you have never served in the military. The military is an outstanding career for the right person and they will do everything in their power to make sure you keep advancing in your career. My brother went from high school to the army, to flight school, to Embry Riddle University, and received 2 degrees It worked out wonderful for him. I work as a civilian contractor at a military base now and all I see is pride. With over 2 years at the base I’ve only met a handfull who didn’t feel proud of what they are doing.

You say the people making up the rules of war don’t know what they are doing that you don’t restrain yourself in a life or death situation. I agree that you don’t restrain yourself at such a time and believe me when I say we don’t. Our rules of engagement authorize any level of force in such a situation, however the rules of engagement also explain the difference in a life or death situation and a plain being mad situation.
The job of the military is to be a force of warriors for the benefit of our country. A VERY big part of being a warrior is not only knowing how to kill but knowing when to kill and believe me when I say nobody is trained better at this than the American warrior.

The marines should absolutly have the best defence they can possibly get, but IF they are guilty then they should be punished according to the rules of military justice which is more lenient in some ways than the civilian counterpare and a lot tougher in other ways.

Posted by: Tom D. at June 3, 2006 4:02 PM
Comment #154073

Matthew
No…don’t get me wrong.I said above that cases usually take on a life of there own.This info may be bogus…but sooner or later a connection will be made.If you look at the first piece written before the killings Haditha was (and is) a hotbed for bad guys.Thus the setting as I was alluding to previously.I imagine as time moves on,more of this stuff will surface.I didn’t write the piece,either.

jblyh

HAHA.I don’t have time to post my resume…I was talikng to my collegue and brother in the fieldof of law RGF..in response to his asking if I practiced military law.
Truth be told,there is a 22% unemployment rate in Sicily,and I agreed to this project because as a Sicilian-American,I am sick and tired of the Godfather/Soprano bullshit and decided to do something about it,that’s all.

RGF
As I said above,don’t put much stock in those articles,although something May develop….you know how it goes.
The cover-up is bad.Probably done by well intentioned folks trying to protect the Corps from embarrassment.BIG mistake/It may backfire big time.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 3, 2006 4:26 PM
Comment #154080

Tom D:

“The marines should absolutly have the best defence they can possibly get….”

Sorry, you go to war with the lawyers you have.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 3, 2006 4:45 PM
Comment #154081

All

YIKES!

Yet another update from Sweetness and Light

This one on the reporter who broke the story:

My prediction:By this time next week or so the Marine report will be issued,but other revelations will come out to make you wonder….

Again,take this report with a grain of salt but….

Haditha Reporter Was Jailed By US, Shares Name With Source

Given the breathless coverage (actually only repetition of the same paltry facts) from our one party media about the civilian deaths in Haditha, I am surprised that we have heard nothing about the curious background of one of the first journalists to report the story, Ali Omar Abrahem al-Mashhadani, from the “restive town” of Ramadi.

It turns out Mr. al-Mashhadani might not have felt the kindliest intentions towards the US, having been imprisoned for five months mere weeks before his Haditha scoop.

Al-Mashhadani was detained because images found on his camera and because of his t”ies to the insurgents,” according to US officials.

Indeed, al-Mashhadani has since been detained by the US again, for two weeks. In fact he was only released today.

From his employer, Reuters:


Reuters journalist Ali al-Mashhadani (R), a television cameraman, embraces a colleague in Baghdad January 15, 2006. Mashhadani was released from U.S. military custody at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad on Thursday after 12 days in detention.

Reuters journalist freed in Iraq

By Alastair Macdonald

June 1, 2006

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An Iraqi journalist working for Reuters was released from U.S. military custody at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad on Thursday after 12 days in detention.

Ali al-Mashhadani, 37, was arrested by U.S. Marines in his home town of Ramadi on May 20 when he went to a U.S. base to retrieve Reuters telephones taken from him earlier that week.

He spent five months in U.S. custody last year before being released without charge in January.

Though again no specific allegation or charge was leveled against him, U.S. officials said last week he was held as a security threat. Marines interrogated him intensively about his work as a journalist in the restive Sunni province of Anbar.

The Marines did not contact Reuters at any stage and neither his employer, his family or lawyer had any access to Mashhadani.

Senior U.S. commanders in Baghdad were, however, in contact with Reuters and once he was transferred to their direct control two days ago, Mashhadani was released under a fast-track procedure for reviewing the detention of journalists.

That system was put in place by the military after it held Mashhadani and two other Reuters journalists last year.

Reuters’ Managing Editor David Schlesinger said the London-based news agency welcomed the cooperation of military officials in Baghdad but was concerned at the journalist’s initial arrest and lengthy interrogation in Ramadi:

“We are hoping for an explanation from the Marines of why our journalist was again subjected to this treatment for over a week when his integrity and professionalism had already been amply demonstrated to them during his previous internment.”

Under U.S. rules, local commanders can hold people for 14 days before releasing them or sending them to Abu Ghraib.

EXPEDITED RELEASE

“We appreciate the critical role objective journalists play in covering events in Iraq and recognize that the execution of their responsibilities may put them at various locations on the battlefield. We clearly do not want to generate the perception that we are discouraging their presence,” said Lieutenant Colonel Keir-Kevin Curry, spokesman for detainee operations.

“In cases where the individual was performing a legitimate function and not determined to be an imperative security threat an expedited release would be appropriate.”

As many as seven journalists for international media groups were held by the U.S. military in Iraq at one stage last year. One such journalist, from Ramadi, is currently being held.

Mashhadani, who reports and provides video and pictures, is one of a small number of journalists providing news from Anbar province, where U.S. Marines and Sunni Arab insurgents, including al Qaeda militants, are locked in a fierce conflict.

Killings of journalists by all sides in Iraq have made it the deadliest war for the profession and reporters in Anbar, like Mashhadani, work under permanent threat from militant groups hostile to the international media.

Among Mashhadani’s recent stories was reporting from the town of Haditha in March. Following Time magazine’s revelation of accusations that U.S. Marines shot dead 24 civilians there in November, he filmed fresh interviews with local officials and residents that were widely used by international media.

A U.S. military investigation is nearing a conclusion and U.S. officials say charges, including murder, may result.

So after his first arrest, and after five months in prison at the hands of the US, Mr. al-Mashhadani was released January. Then in few weeks, he stumbles upon the story of Haditha in March.

Here is al-Mashhadani’s original report on Haditha from Reuters:

Iraqi residents say bodies in video from U.S. raid

By Ali al-Mashhadani

Tue 21 Mar 2006

HADITHA, Iraq (Reuters) - A video of civilians who may have been killed by U.S. Marines in an Iraqi town in November showed residents describing a rampage by U.S. soldiers that left a trail of bullet-riddled bodies and destruction.

A copy of the video, given to Reuters by Iraq’s Hammurabi Organisation for Monitoring Human Rights and Democracy, showed corpses lined up at the Haditha morgue. The chief doctor at Haditha’s hospital, Waleed al-Obaidi, said the victims had bullet wounds in the head and chest.

Most residents interviewed by Reuters in Haditha on Tuesday echoed accusations by residents in the video that U.S. Marines attacked houses after their patrol was hit by a roadside bomb.

They said the Marines opened fire on houses. “I saw a soldier standing outside a house and he opened fire on the house,” said one resident, who did not want to be identified.

Time magazine published allegations on Monday that U.S. Marines killed civilians in Haditha after one of their comrades was killed by a roadside bomb. It published detailed accounts by people in the town, west of Baghdad.

A criminal inquiry into those deaths was launched last week. Time said the main question facing the probe was whether the “Marines killing of 15 non-combatants was an act of legitimate self-defence or negligent homicide.”

Haditha, 200 km (125 miles) northwest of Baghdad, is in Anbar province, an area that has seen much activity by Sunni Arab insurgents whose campaign to topple the Iraqi government has killed thousands of U.S. and Iraqi forces and civilians.

On November 20, U.S. Marines spokesman Captain Jeffrey Pool issued a statement saying that, on the previous day, a roadside bomb had killed 15 civilians and a Marine. In a later gunbattle, U.S. and Iraqi troops had killed eight insurgents, he added.

U.S. military officials have since confirmed to Reuters that that version of the events of November 19 was wrong and that the 15 civilians were not killed by the blast but were shot dead.

TRUCK PILED WITH CORPSES

Time magazine said this week the video of the corpses it provided to the military in January had prompted the revision.

Accusations that American soldiers often kill innocent people have fuelled anger at the occupation among Iraqis over the past three years.

The video given to Reuters shows bodies piled in the back of a white pickup truck outside the morgue. Among them was a girl who appeared to be about three years old.

One man wept and leaned against a wall as he identified a relative and other residents inspected bodies in the morgue. One man’s face had been torn apart by bullets, while a blackened corpse was missing legs and forearms.

The video also showed houses with bullet holes in the walls, pieces of human flesh, pools of blood and clothes and pots scattered across floors.

In one home, a young boy wept as he sat beside a corpse and said: “My father. My father.”

Some residents blamed U.S. President George W. Bush, former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and President Jalal Talabani. “Is this the democracy Allawi, Talabani and Bush are talking about?” one resident asked.

Abdel Rahman al-Mashhadani, head of Hammurabi, said U.S. Marines had killed 15 people in Haditha after the roadside bomb attack. The group’s Haditha branch said it got the video from a local man.

Mashhadani said he had brought the case to the attention of the United Nations office in Baghdad. “These violations of human rights happen every day in Iraq,” he told Reuters.


On Tuesday, residents of Haditha had similar accounts to those on the video.

“This room had a family of eight inside, children and their father and mother,” one man said of his relatives who were killed in their home. Another resident confirmed his account, saying one of the children was three years old.

“They are all gone,” he said.

This account is pretty much the same account that is still being parroted throughout our one party media worldwide now two months later. There are several particulars which are just stated as fact, such as:

U.S. military officials have since confirmed to Reuters that that version of the events of November 19 was wrong and that the 15 civilians were not killed by the blast but were shot dead.

This assertion has been repeated in almost every subsequent account of the Haditha incident. But I have never seen any confirmation of this from the US military or any named officials.

And what is the relationship if any between this news-making journalist Ali al-Mashhadani and Abdel Rahman al-Mashhadani of Iraq’s Hammurabi Organisation for Monitoring Human Rights and Democracy?

The latter al-Mashhanis is the person who first brought these “human rights violations” to public attention.

Perhaps al-Mashhadani is a very common name around those parts. (Probably being a kind of tribal or regional descriptor.) But what are the odds?

And how odd it is that Abdel Rahman al-Mashhadani just happened to be given a video by an unnamed local. And that he then turned it over to Ali al-Mashhadani who just happens to make videos for Reuters.

And had anyone ever heard of Iraq’s Hammurabi Organisation for Monitoring Human Rights and Democracy before this?

But even leaving their similar names aside, did Ali al-Mashhadani have an axe to grind against the US after having just been released after being held for five months by the Americans?

Did it color his reporting, which is still the centerpiece of every report we have on the Haditha deaths to date?

Update!

Here’s a little more information on the reason for Al-Mashhadani’s arrest last year, from the Center To Protect Journalists:

U.S. forces release two long-detained journalists

New York, January 16, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release of two Iraqi journalists detained by the U.S. military without charge for several months, but calls again for U.S. officials to specify charges against at least three other journalists still in custody or to release the detainees at once…

Ali al-Mashhadani, a television cameraman working for Reuters, and Majed Hameed, a correspondent working for Reuters and the Dubai-based broadcaster Al-Arabiya, were released from Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison on Sunday, Reuters reported. They were freed without charge as part of a larger prisoner release that included around 500 Iraqi detainees.

Al-Mashhadani, a freelance photographer and cameraman, had been held incommunicado and without explanation by U.S. forces since August 8. Al-Mashhadani was taken from his home in Ramadi during a general sweep of the neighborhood by U.S. Marines who became suspicious after seeing pictures on his cameras. After his detention, a U.S.-Iraqi Combined Review and Release Board (CRRB) determined that al-Mashhadani posed a “threat” and ordered his continued detention. Officials did not publicly substantiate the basis for his detention.

Hameed was arrested along with several other men at a gathering after the funeral of a relative on September 15 in Anbar province. Both Reuters and Al-Arabiya said his arrest appeared connected to footage found on his camera by U.S. troops. U.S. officials never specified the basis for his detention.


Of course Haditha is in the Anbar province.

And then there is this from the National Press Photographers Association:

NPPA Calls For Answers From U.S. Military, Release Of Journalists Held Without Charges

DURHAM, NC (August 31, 2005) – The National Press Photographers Association joins with the Committee To Protect Journalists, the Reuters News Agency and other media and press freedom organizations in urging the United States military to explain immediately why it is holding in custody Iraqi photojournalist Ali Omar Abrahem al-Mashhadani, a freelance photojournalist who works for Reuters,..

Reuters photojournalist al-Mashhadani is still being held more than two weeks after his arrest. Reuters reports today that a “secret tribunal” has ordered him held, without charges, in Baghdad’s notorious Abu Ghraib prison for up to 6 months when his case may be reviewed again.

Reuters quotes a military spokesperson who said the tribunal decided that the photojournalist is, in their opinion, “a threat to the people of Iraq.” Reuters says the military will not tell them why the photojournalist is being held and has refused all requests to detail their suspicions about Mashhadani, or to make any specific accusations. The military response to a demand for his release is that he’s “a security detainee with links to insurgents.” …

Reuters journalist al-Mashhadani was arrested by U.S. troops on August 8 after a search of his Ramadi, Iraq, home; the military has refused to say why he is being held and there are no charges against him. His brother was detained with him and then released, and he says al-Mashhadani was arrested after they looked at images on his cameras…

“We’re extremely concerned when someone like al-Mashhadani, an accredited photojournalist working for a global news agency, can be held incommunicado since his arrest many days ago and simply held without any explanation,” NPPA president Alicia Wagner Calzada said today…

“Also of grave concern to us are reports from his family that Marines arrested him after finding video and still images during a routine sweep of his neighborhood,” Calzada said. “Reuters says they have provided U.S. officials with samples of Mashhadani’s published work to help establish that the video and still images on his cameras and computers that were found during the search were gathered in the course of his employment. We are disturbed by the appearance that the U.S. military is engaged in summarily arresting journalists in Iraq for simply being journalists, and that a photojournalist would be considered a threat for merely possessing newsworthy images.


Remember, al-Mashhadani has been arrested twice now. I wonder if both times it was for his “links to insurgents.” What else could it have been?

I’ve searched high and low, and while Mr. al-Mashhadani’s brother is often mentioned, his name is never given. It would be interesting to find what it is.

And if he decided to take up monitoring human rights as his life’s mission.


Posted by: Sicilianeagle at June 3, 2006 4:45 PM
Comment #154093

Dear Sicilian Eagle:
I try very hard to never lie. As you are an attorney,I’m sure you agree that is the best of all situations.
I agree with your desire to work past stereotypes,and will tell you that I have never watched nor will I watch the Sopranos,because of its negative stereotyping of Italian-Americans.
The unemployment in Sicily is terrible,and from my understanding, lack of local manufacturing base,and a sense of “out of sight,out of mind” from the Italian government are contributing factors. I feel your pain,and while sympathetic to the Sicilians,I do have a sense that in this case, for me,charity begins at home.
Which is why I feel so srongly about the Republican collusion with big business to rid us of our Blue collar union and middle management jobs through outsourcing.
Be aware of the fact however, that I will prod,poke and needle you without mercy,until I can turn you from the dark side.
jblym

Posted by: jblym at June 3, 2006 5:40 PM
Comment #154107

Wow!! According to RFG, or RGF, whichever way the letters go, perhaps the President should send all of us Evangelical Christians overseas as the most efficent Death Squad that ever lived! I am sure I don’t know where this person is gathering his or her information about us, but they are so far off base, they are not even in the playing field. Why the fanatical hatred for us? What have we done to you? All we have done is preach love and life. Is that so terrible? Yet you appear to be defending the insurgents, the Islamic faith, a religion that is determined to totally destroy another race of people—the Israelis. Perhaps you shouls study the history of your OWN church! Remember the Inquisition? And how about the sale of Indulgences? That was a tidy little profit maker, as I recall. Oh, and how about the Borgias? Nasty little murderers, and pretty incestuous in the bargain! And I won’t even bring up the recent scandals! So before you start poking at the splinters in Evangelical eyes, try to get rid of the redwood logs in Catholic eyes!

Posted by: Angel 1 at June 3, 2006 6:25 PM
Comment #154110

“…perhaps the President should send all of us Evangelical Christians overseas as the most efficent Death Squad that ever lived.”

Where do I sign you up?

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 3, 2006 6:31 PM
Comment #154164

Hmmm, guess I must have ventured into a Liberal, Democrat site by mistake! Or is this just “Send a Christian to dinner day—at the Lions’ Den!” I had hope that had been done away with forever when the Romans finally got tired of that sport! Tim, you are only re-inforcing my point. When did I do or say anything against you? Yet, I never saw you write a word against the tirade RFG levied against Evangelicals. But when one of us dared to retaliate, you appear and swiftly take sides. That is your right, I have nothing against you for that, but do not fault me for my response to terrible accusations of people of whom she/he knows only what is heard on tv, or the few she has had unfortunate contact with! And as for signing me up, I seriously doubt a disabled Grandmother who is unable to walk without aid would hardly strike fear into the hearts of the insurgents, don’t you?

Posted by: Angel 1 at June 4, 2006 12:02 AM
Comment #154165

Angel,

Did anything of what I said sink in at all?
THERE IS NO SPIRITUAL INTROSPECTION IN EVANGELICAL PROTESTANTISM. NONE.

You claim to preach love and life. You don’t even understand it.

I do not support radical Islam, but I do not so mis-understand the islamic faith as to think the problem is with the religion itself, as you clearly do. I have a great many muslim friends. I also have Jewish friends and a scant few protestant friends (they tend to be less easy to talk to…about anything!). Islam is neither a cult of hate nor mysogenistic in any way. Radical islam is about as different from the genuine teachings of islam and the mainstream muslim faith as American evangelical christianity is to the teachings of Jesus and genuine Christianity.

What you do not get about Isreal is this:
In peace they move settlers into disputed areas. In war they pretend to give those areas back, but simultaneously are building a wall that is over the line. They will not entertain ideas of allowing Palestinian refugees to return from abroad, but actually subsidize the continued immigration of Jews from Russia and all over the globe to build up their own numbers.

Now, I do believe the state of Isreal needs to exist. WWII is reason enough. But a thousand years of Palestinians in Palestine is reason enough for them to be there too. There is therefore no alternative but for them to achieve peace and find a way to co-exist.

As far as being off-base about you evangelicals…I don’t think so. My own first hand knowledge tells me different. I am talking about today and you respond with facts from centuries ago that were never actually a part of Catholic doctrine anyway. Has the Catholic church been guilty of horrific acts? like the inquisition and the Borgias? Of course. That is not in dispute. The difference is that the Catholic church has admitted and thus grown. Besides, the catholic church is an entity, Catholicism is a faith. There is a difference. This astonishlingly shallow evagelicalism is not sufficiently introspective to have any thing like a similar epiphany. Sad. It’s especially sad for those trapped with in it who have insufficient context to even understand they are trapped. Blind adherence is the only cultural understanding being fostered by such churches. That is why I say christianity is devolving.

If you can find it in your supposedly christian heart to go and become “The most efficient death squad that ever lived” ….well do I have to say it? …I guess so. THAT PROVES MY POINT. That sentiment is so far beyond Christianity as to be nothing short of rediculous! If you would actually SPEND your life in hatred of others…you are precisely 180 degress from Christianity. It takes a little insight to see that, I suppose. It’s not your fault that such insight is so alien a concept to you, I suppose.

I absolutely do not hate you - fanatically or otherwise. I pity you. I will not take any more sillyness from the mis-guided evangelicals, but I do not hate you.

Posted by: RGF at June 4, 2006 12:07 AM
Comment #154166

Angel 1

I seriously doubt a disabled Grandmother who is unable to walk without aid would hardly strike fear into the hearts of the insurgents, don’t you?

I don’t really know about that. My disabled Grand-momma in a wheel chair sure struck fear into my heart when she got her dander up.
I have to agree though that it seems that the folks that want to criticize and attack Christians most know the least about us. And they want to claim that we’re intolerant.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 4, 2006 12:15 AM
Comment #154172

Ron and Angel,

I’ve seen enough over a lifetime to know.
Utterly and completely intolerant.
Such as to not be remotely Christian at all.
I suggest it is the evangelicals who do not understand christianity. The Christianity I know and understand is radically different from what I see practiced by the evangelical right.

Posted by: RGF at June 4, 2006 12:24 AM
Comment #154180

RGF
I’m not talking about the so called Christians. And they ain’t either evangelical or right.
Most of what y’all want to call the evangelical right aren’t true Christians. And they’re anything but Conservative.
True Christianity does teach love and peace. But it also teaches that there is absolute right and wrong. And it teaches that we are to stand against the wrong and defend the right.
While we are to preach the Gospel to every creature Christianity has never taught that we are to push our beliefs onto others.
As a Christian I’ll stand against wrong every time. But I can’t make anyone change what they’re doing or thinking. And ain’t gonna try. Only God can do that.
Now how is that intolerant?

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 4, 2006 12:44 AM
Comment #154205

Well, RGF, I have just a few things to say to you. You are so full of hate, how do you expect anyone to take what you say seriously? In your thinking, there is no TRUE religion but the Catholic Church, which is going to leave a whole lot of really good people out in the cold come Judgement Day. I am very thankful it is not up to YOU to be the JUDGE! Wake up, get rid of the hatred in you, and maybe then you will be able to see the love in others!

Posted by: ANGEL 1 at June 4, 2006 5:05 AM
Comment #154207

Ron Brown,

There are precious few who think as you do and so very many who are as I have described. Clearly, you are not one the those that are the problem.

There is room for problem in what you say:
It is a matter of HOW you stand against the wrong and WHY you see some things as wrong that perhaps, are just different. Exploring that would turn this into a theological blog, so this is not the place. But consider, there are things that are ABSOLUTE wrong that are not seen as such and there are things are seen as absolute wrong that are merely societal or cultural in nature. Think about it and consider how you react to those things and why.

Posted by: RGF at June 4, 2006 5:08 AM
Comment #154208

Angel,

I do NOT hate you or anyone. That does not mean I will fail to call anyone out on things that are wrong, inconsistent, self-destructive, you name it. That is not hate.

I could just leave people in their state of stubborn and willful ignorance…
But I would have to REALLY hate them to do that.

Consider: The last big prayer in school case that came out of Santa Fe, TX. A tiny little town south of Houston. They attempted to exclude Catholics, Jews, Mormans telling these high-school kids that they could not join in the prayer because they believed differently.

Pat Buchanon has written a book where he proposes that kids in public schools should be able to vote and have prayer if the idea wins a majority of the votes…as if it was possible to vote out the constituional rights of the minority of kids in such a vote. These kinds of shallow mis-understandings come from people who are not accostomed to thought about such things. I almost constantly am confronted with ministers of protestant churches who are completely ignorant of the bible and have never really explored its meanings. Disturbing. Very disturbing.

Pointing these things out to you is not a sign of hate. It is a sign that I wish you could overcome a little pride and look deeper.

Consider: The whole evolution debate stems from fear and misunderstanding. If God is real then how could he possibly be disproven? The answer is he cannot. But God gave us our minds and our intelects. We are meant to examine the world around us, and God would not intentionaly decieve us. That means evolution is real. But if you imagine that it is somehow possible to disprove God, then it is not much of a God you believe in now is it? So why the fear about evolution? It is mis-placed gobbledy-gook from people who do not choose to think, read or examine. Communicating in literal terms is a VERY RECENT notion. Literal communication is very modern and was not a part of what was considered sacred in even the recent past. And yet, there are those who seek to interpret the Bible no deeper than the paper of each page is deep in substance. As a result, there is virtually no real examination or introspection going on. This is utterly sad, isn’t it? You think I HATE? You’re wrong. I pity. I am truely sad for those being trapped in this shallowness. God is so much bigger than the picture being painted out of fear by evangelicals. I just wish the fear would stop and allow the real journey to begin for those who are trapped. That’s all.

Does the name, Te’llar du Chardin, mean anything to you? It should. But its meaning is being kept from you out of fear by those who do not want you to think.

Now, we really must not turn this into a theological blog. I was merely responding to stopculture who make an utterly rascist and misguided statement about all of Islam and followed it with another misguided statement about Christianity. I was merely calling him on it. There are better times and places for discussing deeper religious differences.

Posted by: RGF at June 4, 2006 5:40 AM
Comment #154268

“There are better times and places for discussing deeper religious differences.”


Yeah, like in a brothel on Saturday night.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 4, 2006 1:16 PM
Comment #154276

RGF
There’s more than you think that think like me. You just don’t know it because we’re not out making fools of ourselves and Christianity.
We go about our lives trying to live as Christ has taught us.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 4, 2006 2:03 PM
Comment #154283

RGF- The problem with pity is that it does not allow for the possiblilty of hope. It is only disdain without redemption. If you want,try compassion,it allows for emotional response and practical help.

Posted by: jblym at June 4, 2006 2:57 PM
Comment #154286

“They have the right to censure who have the heart to help.”

George Fox

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 4, 2006 3:07 PM
Comment #154295

When does George Bush get his “ehtics training” after all he is the “commander in chief” in the chain of command and the final “Decider” Does leadership really mean anything to these neocons when theres an investigation going on, or do they hide their head in the sand.

ed

Posted by: ed at June 4, 2006 4:15 PM
Comment #154303

Ron Brown and jblym,

I know enough about how many there are among that certain veriety of alleged chrisitans. I grew up in the Bible belt. I saw enough and I want no more. Pity absolutely does not negate compassion or else I would not try and get through at all. Consider the possibility that there is a grain of truth in my observations and that you have merely assumed I do not possess compassion. I could argue that I have seen precious little compassion among the evangelicals and you would doubtless beg to differ. All I can attest to is my own experience which is clearly radically different from yours. That in itself should make you think. This is a bad venue for this kind of discussion - it does not lend itself to openess. It is too encapsulated and contained.
I have studied theology, translated the bible and faaaaar more importantly, sought God’s grace within myself…

The evangelical protestant form of “christianity” is not mine. It will never be mine. Taken as a whole, I find it exerting disturbingly shallow influences on people. I will, however, take the person as an individual and arrive at independant understandings separate from what I see of the attempted influences exerted by the evangelical churches. I have plenty of protestants among friends and they know of my criticisms of their churches. Some listen and understand, while others get all prideful and feel the need to slam the Catholic church of centuries ago. No matter. It’s about NOW.

Posted by: RGF at June 4, 2006 4:50 PM
Comment #154341

SE-
In this country, the propensity to disbelieve charges coming from rivals and antagonists has lead the majority party to persist in some rather stupid policies, which are close to costing it its power. Though people within the party are now asking questions, they hadn’t been in sufficient numbers while the situations the policies aggravated were under better control.

Ultimately, because they based their critique of information on who was telling them about it, they shut inconvenient and troubling information that came from their rivals.

The trouble is, much of that information was true, despite the protests of the pundits and leaders who told the people in their party not to pay attention.

Seeing as how a party can come to desperate misfortune here for using the fallacious ad hominem argument to decide what to believe and what not to, I would say our nation might head in the same direction, if we throw out evidence because the people in question have an agenda.

The initial response of the military was to consider this mere propaganda. Now, many are convinced something really did happen. Let’s also not forget that much of the documentation of what has happened is our own, belonging to our army and the marines who were there. Even if those two people you mention were buddy-buddy with the insurgents, could they fake photographic documentation from our own soldiers?

Too much of the Republican response to information is built on the notion of filtering out reports according to loyalties. It’s a poor approach, because it values one’s feelings about how honest a source is over independent confirmation of the evidence presented.

The contradiction of a lie is not necessarily the truth. Their lie, if they made one, could be about the number of people killed, not the fact of the massacre itself. Or it could be about the situation. This much is clear: this incident was covered up. Evidence contradicting the initial report has turned up. Who covers up a crime that never existed? The question isn’t whether something happened, it’s how it happened and who was responsible for what.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 4, 2006 8:33 PM
Comment #154353

Stephen Daugherty,

You have more eloquently said what I was trying to say earlier. Thank you.

You see, SE, you asked whether it was the event itself or the cover-up which bothered me more. But, they are inextricably intertwined. The cover-up seems to indicate the reality of the reports.

Posted by: RGF at June 4, 2006 9:57 PM
Comment #154380

RGF
Keep looking on man and he will certainly bring you down. Set your eyes on Jesus and he will lift you up and give you a peace that nobody can comprehend. The reason we have “religions” is because man has found the “truth” and a “better way”. Man has been wrong on these issues and will continue to be wrong as long as he will let man be his guide. There are millions of evangelicals and right wing christians. You cannot possibly know more that a generous one percent. Therefore your claims attributed to them carry no weight.
Set your eyes on Jesus and not on man. Things will change for you and for the better.

Posted by: tomh at June 5, 2006 12:03 AM
Comment #154437

tomh,

I am a Christian. Stop trying to convert me. When you do that you support the view based on my previous experiences of evangelicals. The 1% continues to grow.

Posted by: RGF at June 5, 2006 10:12 AM
Comment #154474

RGF
I have studied theology, translated the bible and faaaaar more importantly, sought God’s grace within myself…

I’m glad you have.

The evangelical protestant form of “christianity” is not mine. It will never be mine.

It’s not mine either, and never will be.

tomh
Your right, Jesus is the only way. But that’s a decision that a person has to make for themselves. No one can force a person to except Christ. And only God can bring a person to the place where they will.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 5, 2006 1:34 PM
Comment #154594
I am curious…how who you deal with terrorist… Islamist terrorist,that is.

The same way you deal with ANY Violent Criminals: stalk them, catch them, try them, imprison them, forget about them. (And if they happen to take the “You’ll never take me Alive” tack - Accommodate Them…)


i take it you are completely against war at all costs?

Nope. There are times when we must Give War A Chance. For example:

- when we were fighting against the “States’ Right” of Legal Slavery…

or,

- when we were fighting Nazi Aggression…

*BUT*, if we learned one thing from Hitler’s War, it was that you don’t open a Second Front unless you absolutely, positively have to!!!

Which is exactly what BushCo did: they opened an Unnecessary Second Front and drained troops off the important task of Catching Terrorists. The result? Total Instability, a Money Pit, Worldwide Ignominy, and the creation of a Terrorist Recruitment Centre in all of Iraq…

Mission Accomplished.

Posted by: BBurke at June 5, 2006 8:48 PM
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