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Achilleez

The noble, the brave, and the sickening

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Rooster,

 

I am not concerned about you seeking my wisdom. I am conservative. Don't confuse that with supporting a war of choice over a war of necessity such as Afghanistan. You might not find my reasoning as sound, but I chose to weigh all the evidence instead of wearing blinders. My experience has been that blinding yourself to truth will cloud your understadning and reasoning.

 

You might want to read this article before you pass judgement on my words. The claim has been made by one of the guilty soldiers that it was indeed a psy-op and she was instructed by higher command. Don't discount it out of a misguided loyalty. If this is being done in your name as an American, you should be outraged.

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/05/12/iraq/main616921.shtml

 

Army Pfc. Lynndie England, seen worldwide in photographs that show her smiling and pointing at naked Iraqi prisoners, said she was ordered to pose for the photos, and felt "kind of weird" in doing so.

 

In an exclusive interview with Brian Maass of Denver CBS station KCNC-TV, England also confirmed that abuses worse than those depicted in the photos were carried out at the U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, but she declined to discuss them.

 

England, 21, repeatedly insisted that her actions were dictated by "persons in my higher chain of command."

 

In the photos, England is seen smiling, cigarette in her mouth, as she leans forward and points at the genitals of a naked, hooded Iraqis. Another photo taken at Abu Ghraib shows her holding a leash that encircles the neck of a naked Iraqi man lying on his side.

 

"I was instructed by persons in higher rank to stand there and hold this leash and look at the camera," she said.

 

England said the actions depicted in the photos were intended to put psychological pressure on the Iraqi prisoners.

 

"Well, I mean, they [the photos] were for psy-op reasons," she said "And the reasons worked. I mean, so to us, we were doing our job, which meant we were doing what we were told, and the outcome was what they wanted. They'd come back and they'd look at the pictures, and they'd state, 'Oh, that's a good tactic, keep it up. That's working. This is working. Keep doing it. It's getting what we need.'"

 

England, an Army reservist from West Virginia who is four months pregnant, is now stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. The interview was taped Tuesday at Fort Bragg.

 

England is among seven soldiers from the 372nd Military Police Company who face charges for allegedly degrading and humiliating Iraqi prisoners. One soldier, Spc. Jeremy C. Sivits of Hyndman, Pa., will face a court-martial in Baghdad next week.

 

"To all of us who have been charged, we all agree that we don't feel like we were doing things that we weren't supposed to, because we were told to do them. We think everything was justified, because we were instructed to do this and to do that," England said.

 

She told KCNC she was looking forward to having her baby and hopefully one day putting the abuse scandal behind her.

 

 

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I'm not convinced. Perhaps if there was some real evidence to make her case, I could be. However, being that she is the one in the photos, and she has much to lose - she doesn't have much credibility.

 

As to wearing blindersno, I just trust those in charge of our government to know more about the world situation than the average ideologue or self-proclaimed expert on terrorism and/or world politics.

 

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I haven't said anything about this before because I was taking a wait-and-see attitude. I think politicians on BOTH sides have jumped on this a bit too quickly. The question is, what really happened. Today, when I read the statements of Private England, I think there is a logic to what she says. I was never in the military, but Trail Pounder was, and since he and I disagree on everything else, it seems pretty significant that he also sees no logic in the idea that these soldiers did all this on their own.

 

By the way, where did they get the dog leash if it was not provided for them? Or the black hoods that they put on the prisoners? Did they find them in a store room left over from when Saddam's guards were in charge? Or did one or more of their superiors, or some "agents," say, here's what you do, and here's some stuff to do it with? And by the way, how exactly would six or seven soldiers in their 20's, from "Middle America," know what actions would be especially humiliating to Muslim men? I have been hearing all week about how they made them do this or that because this or that is especially humiliating to Muslim men. I have to tell you that in my 46 years, most of that spent watching and reading the news and reading a wide variety of other stuff, if you had come to me and said "how would you especially humiliate a Muslim man," I would have a tough time answering. It's not something that most Americans think about or know about. And yet we are supposed to believe that a bunch of soldiers barely older than my oldest child (and some not even, probably) suddenly developed on their own, these techniques with no instructions, prompting or encouragement?

 

It doesn't make any sense.

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NJ,

 

I haven't formed my opinion on this whole incident so don't think that I'm arguing with you. I just wanted to point out that these troops were (at least they should have been) briefed extensively on Muslim and Iraqi culture. So they might have the knowledge of what would be humiliating to these men. I can imagine the military issuing little "Here's what you shouldn't do with Muslim males" books and these soldiers thought it would be fun to break these rules.

 

Also, the hoods look as if they could have been sewed together in no time from any old black cloth. The dog leash could also be any form of modified webbing or strap that would be in large supply in the military. Now, did these soldiers take the time to construct these implements? Was it all that premeditated? Who knows.

 

Part of me believes that these people were ordered to do this. But another part accepts Fat Old Guy's reasoning. What high ranking official would want pictures of this kind of abuse knowing that they could likely find their way into circulation?

 

(This paragraph is mostly tongue in cheek) If you really want to get information and cooperation from people, never have cameras around. Either beat them or humiliate their neighbor in front of them and say, "this will happen to you too." No matter what you do, never leave evidence that can be broadcast on CBS.

 

And Rooster,

 

You're making a lot of anti-liberal comments. If a Democrat was in office do you not think the Republican party would be jumping all over these incidents? I'm not justifying anything, but just try to imagine what you might be saying if it was a Democratic administration.

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I just wanted to point out that these troops were (at least they should have been) briefed extensively on Muslim and Iraqi culture. So they might have the knowledge of what would be humiliating to these men. I can imagine the military issuing little "Here's what you shouldn't do with Muslim males" books and these soldiers thought it would be fun to break these rules.

So these 7 bad eggs were supposedly briefed extensively on iraqi and muslim culture, but the officers are stating in front of congress that they are the most un-trained, un-qualified bunch of 95 Charlies in the history of prison guards.  The were briefed extensively on culture, but not briefed or trained at all on basic handling of prisoners.  eeeeeerrrrr.........doesn't wash. 

The folks tasked with extracting intelligence from these fine upstanding iraqi gentlemen, had directed these guards, convinced them their mission was to assist and now they're being hung out to dry by their officers.  

That's what I'm smelling.   

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Trail Pounder,

 

I'm not saying that the ideas of someone higher up being responsible aren't true. I'm just presenting some counterarguments.

 

I think these guards were briefed on handling prisoners and on culture. I think they may have used this knowledge to "have some fun" with the prisoners. And in that case, the training did fail because the training didn't make them realize how horrible and stupid these actions are.

 

But your explanation does make sense too. Right now, there are two very plausible sides to this whole story. There might be a group of guards who started messing around or there might be a group of guards who were ordered to perform certain actions. With what we know, both could be true.

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As to how I would react if a liberal politician was in office, it's a moot point. Unless the polls overwhelming support a military action, most liberals don't have the will or the moral fortitude to deploy our troops - even when common sense dictates otherwise. It's not about what's good for America...it's all about their political careers. The rare liberal or two that has enough sense and ****s to use the military when it's warranted, would have caved to the liberal media and pulled out of the Middle East a long time ago.

 

Many examples of their spineless, self-serving ways are on full display in our Congress today. Rather than worry about what is the prudent thing to say and do while our troops stand in harms way, they are using this event to speculate about the U.S. intelligence community, spread propaganda about Rumsfeld, and exploit every soldiers sacrificeevery deployable act committed by our enemies are merely opportunities to further the liberal cause (i.e. inflict damage on Bush during an election year).

 

With the horrid decapitation of an American in Iraq, how do the beloved democratic leaders in Congress react? Do they focus their disdain on the terrorists? Nothey speak about the cycle of violence, as if parading a bunch of naked terrorists around a jail is equivalent with the savage beheading of a business man whose only crime was being a Jewish American. Their outrage is prompted, motivated, and gauged by two simple catalysts 1) public opinion polls and 2) their ability to exact politically damage on conservatives. If my rant seems over the top and biased, youre right! It comes from endless years of watching and living with the likes of Kennedy, Clinton, Gore, Rangel, Boxer, Jackson, and other mindless buffoons that feign their concern and affection for America to further their careers.

 

Im much less diplomatic about presenting my views than I was a few years ago. These days, the stakes are a lot higher. The way I see it, if you dont know what you believe, then you better figure it out real soon. Our country cant afford fence sitters especially when were in the middle of a war. Im convinced the 9/11 attack was not an aberration that we can afford to dismiss. Nor can we pretend that chasing the Taliban into the hills of Afghanistan will ensure our nations safety. The Muslim extremists have established footholds all over the world. And like these extremists, Saddam Hussein was intent on doing evil on a global scale. Furthermore, Iraq was a safe haven for those willing to inflict harm on America and any other country it opposed. Invading Iraq was the right course of action to take. We may be forced to invade other countries as well. The war on terrorism will probably take decades to win. But if we dont fight it now and fully commit ourselves to rid the world of this menace, then we will leave an insurmountable legacy for our children filled with violence, oppression, and uncertainty.

 

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I'm sorry to make an assumption about you, Rooster, but your last post seems to have answered my initial question indirectly.

 

You attitude about "liberals" and their motivations leads me believe that if a Democratic president were in office and these events occured, you would also be using it as evidence to back criticism. I think you've proved my point. If the situations were changed, the Republican Party would be just as aggressive in finding fault. I'm not justifying the Democrats' actions. However, everyone should see their own biases within the partisan system. I have a feeling that you would use this event against a Democrat if he were president.

 

Once again, sorry for making an assumption about you.

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Rooster

 

This "Farm Boy" from Kentucky would like to know if you always resort to name calling when you have a discussion with someone who doesn't agree with your views?

 

For what it's worth my son is a SP and he just laughed when he heard the arguments that the accused MP's performed these acts on their own.

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Having been an MP in peacetime, I first want to point out that Prison Guards (95C) in the US Army are a distinct job from Military Police (95B). The standards are less rigid to become a prison guard and test scores may be lower. Even so, in Basic Training all soldiers learn the basics of EPW and CPW treatment. It is in the soldier's manual as well. There is no way that these soldiers did not know that this treatment was improper. UNLESS those in higher positions ordered them to do it. Should they have stood firm and refused the orders based on the lawfullness of the orders? Of course. I wonder how easy that would be to do in a foreign country, in the middle of a war, I hope I would do the right thing. From what I understand, at least one soldier did report it to the IG. Should these privates be held to a higher standard than those that ordered these unlawful acts? Court Martial these privates only after court martialling their superiors who gave the orders.

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ScoutPaul,

 

In regard to the farm boy reference, if it makes you feel better use business executive or fireman or teacher or some other worthy profession. Frankly, I like farmers and Id just assume be labeled as one than some other profession. The point is and I had hoped you could have figured this out on your own I have more faith in our federal intelligence communities and the presidents willingness and ability to act accordingly when informed by them, then I do in the average Joe (or even the above average Joe) sitting on the sidelines bent on critiquing the current administration.

 

Zahnada,

 

Im not sure you understood either of my posts maybe you do. Liberal leaders, by definition, believe in a set of values. From my many years of observing them in action, most of those values revolve around the populations demographics, and thus centers on obtaining votes. If a liberal President did not act like a liberal, and acted according to the best interest of America instead of his career, then I could respect him BUT if that was the case, hed only be a liberal in name.

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It would take a lot of Moral Courage for a PFC to stand up to a MI Captain or some GS-9 Special Agent and say, "No Sir, that is an illegal order and I refuse to carry it out." How many 20 year olds would refuse and how many would see the guidance given them as contributing to the intel mission? I'm all argued out on this one. I'm disgusted, but not surprised, that these perfumed corporate colonels are laying the blame on 21 year old privates.

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Rooster

 

No matter how you slice and dice it "Farm Boy" was meant as an insult and was taken as such. It is a shame that we can't discuss issues without resulting to throwing insults around. Business Executive, Teacher (my wife is one), Fireman (my brother-in-law is one) are all noble occupations. You didn't say Farmer which also a noble occupation.

ScoutPaul,

 

"The point is and I had hoped you could have figured this out on your own I have more faith in our federal intelligence communities and the presidents willingness and ability to act accordingly when informed by them, then I do in the average Joe (or even the above average Joe) sitting on the sidelines bent on critiquing the current administration" Trust me I got your point. But down here on the farm we know when there is a fox in the hen house even if the fox says it aint so.

 

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ScoutParent says:

 

Court Martial these privates only after court martialling their superiors who gave the orders.

 

Do my eyes deceive me, or do ScoutParent and I actually agree on something?

 

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Trail Pounder,

 

Of the soldiers reprimanded/charged that I know of, these are their ages:

 

Reese - 39

Frederick - 37

Graner 35

Harman - 26

Davis 26

Sivits 24

England 21

 

I realize you have a point, which you want to make, but it would be a little more convincing if you didnt bend the truth to get there. With the possible exception of the 21 year old, I think these "boys" are old enough to be called men. In short, they should have had the backbone to refuse the order if they believed it was wrong. Some of these poor, innocent, "just following orders", schmucks are probably older than some of those purported captains and special agents.

 

ScouterPaul,

 

Sorry, but it sounds like you have self-esteem issues. I said what I said rather plainly, and then I even clarified it - But if you still want to believe otherwise - go ahead and feel insulted.(This message has been edited by Rooster7)

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