Video Brings Accusations of War Crimes: Marines Urinating on Corpses
-Common Dreams staff
UPDATE: The BBCreports that they have been told by a Marine official the identities of two of the four soldiers in the video.
UPDATE: Reutersreports that a marine officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, has identified to them the unit behind the video: the 3rd Battallion, 2nd Marines, which is based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
A video posted online Wednesday shows four U.S. Marines urinating on three corpses in Afghanistan.
In the video, the marines are laughing. One soldier says, "Have a great day, buddy," while another says, "Golden like a shower."
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby stated: "Regardless of the circumstances or who is in the video, this is... egregious, disgusting behavior, unacceptable for anyone in uniform." The NATO-led security force in Afghanistan stated: "This disrespectful act is inexplicable and not in keeping with the high moral standards we expect of coalition forces."
Al Jazeerareports on the Afghan President Karzai's reaction:
"The government of Afghanistan is deeply disturbed by a video that shows American soldiers desecrating dead bodies of three Afghans," said a statement from Afghan President Hamid Karzai's office on Thursday.
"This act by American soldiers is simply inhuman and condemnable in the strongest possible terms.
"We expressly ask the US government to urgently investigate the video and apply the most severe punishment to anyone found guilty in this crime."
If verified, the marines could face war crimes charges. The Guardianreports:
While the exact identities of the victims are not known at this time, the three corpses are clad in civilian clothes, not military uniforms. One man, who seems to be the youngest of the pack, is donned in a blood-soaked shirt. The group is laid out in clear terrain sheltered by bushes an adjacent to a wheelbarrow, which could mean that the men were ambushed while participating in civilian activity.
Video of the incident is below. Warning: graphic content.
The military is only pissed because this photo somehow leaked out to the media somehow and they have to angerly defend it when in truth and reality, there are much much worse things that US soldiers and Marines do outside of the rules of war to the enemy and innocent civilians conducted on a daily basis than urinating on dead bodies.
Murders, rapes, torture, body part amputations, beatings, abuse etc and many of the victims are not enemies trying to kill while in direct conflict but innocent civilians at the hands of American soldiers.
The military knows it and decides to either do something or nothing at all strictly handled in-house and military politics plays a huge role in their decisions.
The military with the media's help, continues to try and depict the US military and it's personnal as outstanding in every way with a few isolated incidents involving wayward soldiers (and that small segment of soldiers is huge) when that's total b.s. and no matter how much you train military personnel to follow the rules of wartime and everyday military standards, many solders and marines will do these things and much worse and it not only because of any substandard training that's documented and can be revealed, but just like in everyday American society, that's just their individual/collective inherent nature(s) and much of that comes from home; their rearing, upbringing, beliefs, way of thinking and if you joined the military to become a "hardcore gung ho John Wayne" type with no remorse of feelings or compassion, then this stuff happens all the time on a regular basis.
I hope these soldiers are dishonorably discharges, pronto. Not only is what they did disgusting and unbecoming of an officer, the military should have a zero tolerance for psychotic and sociopathic behavior from soldiers. Also, soldiers should not be able to get away with deliberately murdering, raping and terrorizing innocent civilians. America cannot demand from other nations what America is not willing to do when it comes to The Geneva Convention, war crimes, etc.
On her radio show, CNN contributor and Big Journalism editor Dana Loesch cheered on an Internet video reportedly showing U.S. Marines urinating on what appear to be dead Afghans, saying she would "drop trou and do it too." The video has been widely condemned by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, U.S. military commanders, foreign policy experts and others as depicting conduct that "does not reflect our values" and may endanger Afghanistan peace talks.
LOESCH: All right, we got some cool points to get into, and then we are going to get some of your calls in as well. It's 'cause I've had a lot of caffeine. It's snowing here, folks. Cool points, we play audio and we award out points based upon its level of heinousness or awesomeness. All right, play audio sound bite two. And we're, I'm sure, going to be talking about this in the second hour as well.
Marines were -- there's a -- now, we have a bunch of progressives that are talking smack about our military because there were Marines caught urinating on corpses -- Taliban corpses. Listen:
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER [audio clip]: The U.S. Military is investigating a video showing what appears to be troops urinating on the dead bodies of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. The footage of what seems to be U.S. Marines has been uploaded to several sites including video sharing site YouTube. The film could be another blow for America after previous scandals like the abuses at Iraq's Abu Ghraib --
LOESCH: OK, stop this right here. Stop this right here.
Can someone explain to me if there's supposed to be a scandal that someone pees on the corpse of a Taliban fighter? Someone who was -- as part of an organization murdered over 3,000Americans? I'd drop trou and do it, too. That's me, though. I want a million cool points for these guys. Is that harsh to say?
Come on, people. This is a war.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cool points.
LOESCH: What do you think this is? What do people think this is? I am totally not politically correct, I told you this. What -- do you think that we're going to sit down and have tea?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it's nothing compared to what happened in the prison in Iraq. That's different, completely different from when this --
LOESCH: Completely different story.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Completely different.
LOESCH: Yeah. Completely different story. So they urinated on the corpse of a dead Taliban member, a dead terrorist.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And why did they film it?
LOESCH: They urinated on a -- I don't know why. I don't get that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why?
LOESCH: I don't get that. But, sorry, that -- I don't -- do I have a problem with that as a citizen of the United States? No, I don't. Sorry, I don't. So, moving on. There's the end of that controversy right there. [The Dana Show, 1/12/12]
Loesch: "They're Dead Terrorists. I Could Care Less." From the January 12 edition of St. Louis-based KFTK's The Dana Show:
LOESCH: My whole entire point is that these individuals -- like they're using this example as an issue to wage against our military and our war -- or, no our military and our soldiers, period -- to make our military look like a bunch of murderers and a bunch of bad people. Look what -- no, no, no, no, no. That's not going to be used as an example to make our military look bad. I mean, this is -- that's what it is.
They're saying, Oh, look, this is our military. We've told you before how they're uneducated, and stupid, and everything else, you've heard callers call into this show that say, oh, the reason they go in the military is because they can't get a job anywhere else. It's infuriating. It's insulting. And I'm not going to let that be used as an excuse. I mean, that's just -- and we can agree to disagree on it. They're dead terrorists. I could care less.
They are dead terrorists. These are people who have -- are part of a group who murdered over 3,000 Americans, some of them children, some of them expectant mothers. I will not show courtesy. So, you know, throw them over the cliff into the ocean. I don't care. But I don't think that these soldiers, these Marines, who are on video doing this, the military can handle it how the military wants to handle it.
But I'm not going to join into the chorus of going after these individuals and using them as -- to paint the military as bad and all that.
These Taliban have done more to the United States than this video, and people are trying to act as though somehow what terrorism has done to this country is equal to any offense that could be caused from the video. That is stupid. I'm not even going to bother giving you more in-depth analysis other than to say it's stupid. [The Dana Show, 1/12/12]
Loesch Responds To Criticism: I Was "Defending" Marines From "Overly-Dramatic Hysteria," "Using Absurdity To Highlight Absurdity." From a January 13 BigJournalism.com blog post:
Yesterday on my radio show I discussed the topic of the Marines videotaping themselves urinating on dead Taliban fighters. The usual mob of progressive haters started campaigning on Twitter and complaining to CNN. [...]
There is a difference in advocating for the Marines to break the law, which I didn't do, and defending them from overly-dramatic hysteria. I was using absurdity to highlight absurdity. It's absurd to desecrate corpses but it's not wrong to hate terrorists who are trying to kill our troops-and us. And I'm not in uniform-so I am free to express what a lot of Americans feel about the controversy, even if it makes some pony-tailed academics feel uncomfortable.
The progressive left chose to include CNN in their attack because they don't like that the network-any network-features conservative voices and have been throwing everything at the wall to get me removed since the very beginning.
My entire point of the past two days was to highlight the absurd reaction from militant troop-bashers to these Marines. In my Twitter timeline yesterday progressives called our military "killers, kids, barbaric trash, murderers ..." The only time soldiers are celebrated by the left is when they engage in protests like OWS. The rest of the time they're demonized. They get the red carpet rolled out for them, too. [BigJournalism.com, 1/13/12]
SECRETARIES OF DEFENSE AND STATE, MILITARY COMMANDERS CONDEMN TAPE AS "INCONSISTENT WITH OUR VALUES"
Secretary Of Defense Panetta: Conduct "Inappropriate," "I Condemn It In The Strongest Possible Terms." From a January 12 CNN.com article:
"I have seen the footage, and I find the behavior depicted in it utterly deplorable," U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a statement. "I condemn it in the strongest possible terms."
Panetta said he has ordered the Marine Corps and International Security Assistance Force Commander Gen. John Allen "to immediately and fully investigate the incident."
"This conduct is entirely inappropriate for members of the United States military and does not reflect the standards of values our armed forces are sworn to uphold," Panetta's statement said. "Those found to have engaged in such conduct will be held accountable to the fullest extent." [CNN.com, 1/12/12]
Sec. Panetta: Video Could Endanger Peace Talks With Taliban. In a January 13 article, the Associated Press reported:
Asked about possible implications for peace talks, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. remained strongly committed to supporting Afghan efforts.
Panetta, however, said the incident could endanger the talks.
"The danger is that this kind of video can be misused in many ways to undermine what we are trying to do in Afghanistan and the possibility of reconciliation," Panetta said at Fort Bliss, Texas, adding it's important for the U.S. to move quickly to "send a clear signal to the world that the U.S. will not tolerate this kind of behavior and that is not what the U.S. is all about." [Associated Press, 1/13/12]
Secretary Of State Clinton: Behavior "Absolutely Inconsistent With American Values."Asked about the video during a January 12 press conference, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said:
Well, Jill, first I want to express my total dismay at the story concerning our Marines, who I have the highest respect and admiration for. But I share completely the views expressed by Secretary Panetta earlier today. I join him in condemning the deplorable behavior that is reflected in this video. It is absolutely inconsistent with American values, with the standards of behavior that we expect from our military personnel and the vast, vast military personnel, particularly our Marines, hold themselves to. So I know Secretary Panetta has ordered a complete investigation of this incident. Anyone - anyone - found to have participated or known about it, having engaged in such conduct, must be held fully accountable. [Remarks with Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci, 1/12/12, via state.gov]
Joint Chiefs Chairman Army Gen. Dempsey: "Actions Like Those ... Serve To Erode The Reputation Of Our Joint Force." In a January 13 article, the Associated Press reported:
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, said he was deeply disturbed by the video and worried that its effects would spread beyond just the Marine Corps.
"Actions like those are not only illegal but are contrary to the values of a professional military and serve to erode the reputation of our joint force," Dempsey said. [Associated Press, 1/13/12]
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Amos: Conduct "Wholly Inconsistent With" Marine Corp's "High Standards Of Conduct." CNN.com reported: "Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos said in a statement the behavior is 'wholly inconsistent with the high standards of conduct and warrior ethos that we have demonstrated throughout our history.'" [CNN.com, 1/12/12]
International Security Assistance Force Spokesman Brig. Gen. Carsten Jacobson: Actions "Grossly Against All The Moral Values That The Coalition Forces Are Standing For." As reported by CNN.com:
Lt. Gen. Adrian Bradshaw, deputy commander of ISAF, called the actions on the video "disgusting."
"Any acts which treat the dead, enemy or friendly, with disrespect are utterly unacceptable and do not represent the standards we expect of coalition forces," Bradshaw said in a video statement. He said he was speaking on behalf of [ISAF Commander Gen. John] Allen, who is out of the country.
"It is difficult to say what long-term impacts this might have, and I would hesitate to get into speculation, but obviously any sort of footage, any sort of activity of this kind that is grossly against all the moral values that the coalition forces are standing for are very much working against our cause and against everything that we are standing for and that we are here for," said Brig. Gen. Carsten Jacobson, a NATO ISAF spokesman. "We will find the ones who are responsible and hold them accountable."
An earlier statement from NATO-led forces in Afghanistan said, "ISAF strongly condemns the actions depicted in the video, which appear to have been conducted by a small group of U.S. individuals, who apparently are no longer serving in Afghanistan." [CNN.com, 1/12/12]
Spokesman For Helmand Province Marines: Video's "Hate Does Not Represent The U.S. Marine Corps." From CNN.com: "'We are aware of the video. The hate in it does not represent the U.S. Marine Corps,' said Col. Ricco Player, a spokesman for the Marines in Afghanistan's volatile Helmand province." [CNN.com, 1/12/12]
DOD Spokesman: Behavior "Egregious, Disgusting." From CNN.com: "'Regardless of the circumstances or who is in the video, this is egregious, disgusting behavior,' said Department of Defense spokesman Capt. John Kirby. 'It's hideous. It turned my stomach.'" [CNN.com, 1/12/12]
CONDUCT WILL BE INVESTIGATED FOR POSSIBLE VIOLATIONS OF U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL LAW
AP: Naval Criminal Investigative Service Heading Inquiry Will Investigate "Violations Of The U.S. Military Legal Code As Well As The International Laws Of Warfare." From the Associated Press:
Pentagon officials worry that outrage over a video purporting to depict Marines urinating on Taliban corpses will tarnish the reputation of the entire military. Some also fear it could undermine prospects for exploratory Afghan peace talks.
After roundly condemning the Marines' alleged behavior, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and top military leaders on Thursday promised a full investigation and sought to contain the damage at home and abroad.
Panetta also said the incident could endanger the prospects for peace talks, although the Obama administration and the Taliban each voiced readiness Thursday to try peace talks while pledging to carry on the military conflict until their rival objectives are met. The separate statements by senior American and Taliban officials illustrated the improved environment for Afghan reconciliation efforts as well as the daunting task ahead.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the law enforcement arm of the Navy, is heading the main inquiry, which is expected to weigh evidence of violations of the U.S. military legal code as well as the international laws of warfare. Separately, the Marine Corps is doing its own internal investigation.
Pentagon officials said the criminal investigation would likely look into whether the Marines violated laws of war, which include prohibitions against photographing or mishandling bodies and detainees. It also appeared to violate the U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice, which governs conduct. Thus, some or all of the four Marines could face a military court-martial or other disciplinary action. [Associated Press, 1/13/12]
Geneva Convention Prohibits "Humiliating Or Degrading Treatment" Against All Persons, Including Combatants Placed Outside The Fight For Any Reason. Article 3 of The Geneva Convention, to which the United States is a signatory, states:
In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:
(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; (b) taking of hostages; (c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment; (d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples. [The Geneva Convention, accessed 1/13/12, via the International Committee of the Red Cross]
Uniform Code Of Military Conduct Prohibits "Conduct Of A Nature To Bring Discredit Upon The Armed Forces." Article 134 of The Uniform Code Of Military Conduct states:
Though not specifically mentioned in this chapter, all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital, of which persons subject to this chapter may be guilty, shall be taken cognizance of by a general, special or summary court-martial, according to the nature and degree of the offense, and shall be punished at the discretion of that court. [Uniform Code of Military Conduct, accessed 1/13/12, via au.af.mil]
LA Times: Military Law Expert Says Marines Could Be Charged Under Uniform Code. The Los Angeles Times reported:
The Marines involved could be prosecuted under Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, said Eugene Fidell, who teaches military justice at Yale Law School. That article states that it is a violation to engage in "conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces."
Punishment for violating Article 134 is not spelled out, Fidell said, but would be determined by a military court-martial.
The Marines could also be charged under Article 92, which includes failure to obey an order and dereliction of duty -- serious violations, said Elizabeth Hillman, a professor at Hastings College of the Law at the University of California and president of the National Institute of Military Justice. Conviction of violating Article 92 could bring two years in prison, she said.
The Marines could conceivably be charged with violating the War Crimes Act of 1996, which prohibits "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment," and carries the death penalty. But such a prosecution is unlikely, Fidell said, because Congress in 2006 narrowed the scope of the act out of concern that U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan would be unjustly charged with war crimes.
Under the military justice code, commanders could also be prosecuted and punished for their troops' actions under the principle of command responsibility, Fidell said. If evidence showed that commanders tolerated the behavior on the video, they could face criminal charges, Hillman said. Lesser penalties could include administrative actions that would effectively end an officer's career.
The person or persons who shot the video could also face charges, Fidell said. [The Los Angeles Times, 1/12/12]
CNN NATIONAL SECURITY EXPERTS HAVE CONDEMNED TAPE
Retired Maj. Gen. Spider Marks: "I'm Shocked That It Took Place. This Is Absolutely Outside The Bounds Of Anything That's Trained Or Is Acceptable." From the January 11 edition of CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront:
ERIN BURNETT (Host): General Marks, let me start with you. What's your reaction when you see this? Are you shocked that this sort of thing happens or is this something that as awful as it is you know happens and you're shocked the fact that they videotaped it?
MAJ. GEN. SPIDER MARKS, U.S. ARMY GENERAL (RET.): No, I'm shocked that it took place. This is absolutely outside the bounds of anything that's trained or is acceptable and these young men know that and I can't explain their behavior. I need to tell you the Marine Corps will jump all over this. They'll investigate this and there will be some -- there will be some accountability that will come from this. [...]
So to answer your question, it has everything to do with recruiting of our enemies, as Fran indicated. It has less to do with the Marine Corps or our Department of Defense in terms of bringing great young men and women on board. I'm not concerned about that. Sadly, behavior like this often occurs, it's really very aberrant. This is a digital form of scalping. It's just -- it should not have occurred and I know that chain of command is going to figure out why. [CNN,Erin Burnett OutFront,1/11/12, via CNN.com]
Bush National Security Adviser Frances Fragos Townsend: Act Is "Illegal," Video Will Be Used To Recruit Terrorists. From the January 11 edition of CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront:
BURNETT: Fran, let me ask you, I know obviously you were advising the Bush administration when the Abu Ghraib pictures started coming out. Those started in a trickle and then became something more. Does this to you feel like an isolated event or --
FRANCES FRAGOS TOWNSEND, G. W. BUSH NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: Look, based on what we know at the moment, it does look like an isolated event, but what you have to understand and what gets lost to people around the world when they see this picture and this horrible video is that this is contrary to U.S. policy, it's illegal. It's against the uniform code of military justice and that's why there will be an accountability review. But what happens is it gets a life of its own and so it's used by people like the Taliban and al-Qaeda to recruit, to train, to inspire and to raise money. And so it has -- and awful as it is in and of itself it has consequences that go on far beyond just this story. [CNN,Erin Burnett OutFront, 1/11/12, via CNN.com]
BUSH, ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS APOLOGIZED FOR ABU GHRAIB PRISONER ABUSE: "A STAIN ON OUR COUNTRY'S HONOR"
April 2004: Photos Emerge Depicting American Soldiers Abusing Iraqi Prisoners. In 2004, photos emerged showing American soldiers at the U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison in abusing Iraqi prisoners in order to make them talk. As The New York Times noted, CBS News reported that the Army "had photographs showing a detainee with wires attached to his genitals and another showing a dog attacking an Iraqi prisoner. The program also reported that the Army's investigation of the case included a statement from an Iraqi detainee who charges that a translator hired to work at the prison raped a male juvenile prisoner." [The New York Times, 4/29/04]
President Bush Apologized For Abu Ghraib Abuse: "It's A Stain On Our Country's Honor And Our Country's Reputation." From a May 6, 2004, USA Today article:
President Bush issued his first outright apology Thursday for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers, saying photographs of the mistreatment made Americans "sick to our stomachs."
In a White House briefing with Jordan's King Abdullah, Bush said he told Abdullah that "I was sorry for the humiliation suffered by the Iraqi prisoners and the humiliation suffered by their families."
Bush's apology, which he stopped short of giving in two interviews with Arab television stations Wednesday, came as the administration continued frantic efforts to control the damage from the prisoner abuse scandal.
The president continued to insist that guilty parties will be brought to justice. In addition to probes of abuse at Abu Ghraib prison, investigations have been launched into the deaths of at least 10 Iraqi prisoners at U.S. prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"It's a stain on our country's honor and our country's reputation," Bush said. "I am sickened by what I saw and sickened that people got the wrong impression." [USA Today, 5/6/04]
Condoleezza Rice: Abu Ghraib Photos Were "Sickening" And "Outrageous." From a May 4, 2004, CNN article:
Facing anger at home and abroad, the Bush administration is moving aggressively to signal it is taking seriously the abuse of Iraqi prisoners detailed in an internal military report.
In a speech before the Anti-Defamation League, Rice said the activities shown in photos broadcast last week of mistreatment of Iraqi detainees at the U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad were "sickening" and "outrageous." [CNN.com, 5/4/04]
Colin Powell: "Conduct Depicted In [Abu Ghraib] Photos" Was "Immoral," "Stunned Every American."From the May 4, 2004, CNN article:
Speaking from the United Nations, Secretary of State Colin Powell condemned the conduct depicted in the photos as "immoral."
The pictures "stunned every American," Powell told reporters after a meeting on the Middle East. "They showed acts that are despicable. The president has spoken to this. It is totally out of character of what we would expect from our men and women in uniform." [CNN.com, 5/4/04]
Donald Rumsfeld: Abu Ghraib Photos "Deeply Disturbing," And "Un-American." From the May 4, 2004, CNN article:
Labeling the Abu Ghraib pictures "deeply disturbing," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the alleged behavior of the U.S. troops in the pictures was "totally unacceptable and un-American."
Rumsfeld said the Pentagon would pursue charges against those involved. But he defended the Defense Department's handling of the matter, saying an investigation was under way and disclosed three months before the pictures became public. [CNN.com, 5/4/04]
CNN'S LOESCH JOINED BY PAMELA GELLER IN DEFENDING MARINES
Geller: "I Love These Marines." In a January 11 post on her blog, Pamela Geller wrote:
CAIR has whipped itself up into an Islamic frenzy because a video surfaced that appears to show US Marines combat gear urinating on several dead jihadis.
Here's the thing. Hamas liars, CAIR, say jihad and pure Islam is "fringe," "extremist." So why do they CAIR about disrespecting the Taliban? According to CAIR lies, Taliban and jihadists do not represent Islam, they have "hijacked Islam"; so why would CAIR care about "respect"?
CAIR calls these Marines immoral, but considers honor killings, clitorectomies, forced marriage, child marriage, polygamy, subjugation of women, slaughter of non-Muslims, Jew hatred moral?
Would anyone have CAIRed if Marines urinated on dead Nazi soldiers during WWII? (Anyone besides CAIR and nazis [sic], that is).
I love these Marines. Perhaps this is the infidel interpretation of the Islamic ritual of washing and preparing the body for burial. [Atlas Shrugs, 1/12/12]
Geller Frequently Makes Extreme And Anti-Muslim Comments. From an August 2010 Geller profile by the Religion News Service:
Pamela Geller, a Long Island native who writes the blog "Atlas Shrugs," said she was the "quintessential New York City career girl" before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Since then, she has co-founded groups dedicated to fighting the "Islamization" of America, sponsored anti-Muslim ads in several cities, and, more recently, become a near daily presence on television news programs. [...]
Now, even Muslim groups reluctantly acknowledge Geller is front and center in the mosque debate. "People say don't give her too much credit, she's a fringe character," said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "But she is a fringe character who every day is on CNN, Fox, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. She is the driving force behind the Islamic center campaign."
Some media experts doubt Geller's influence, though, and question why reporters have given her controversial views a platform. Postings on "Atlas Shrugs" have included a video suggesting Muslims have sex with goats, a doctored picture showing President Obama urinating on an American flag, and a fake image of new Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan in Nazi garb.
Geller has also accused Obama of anti-Semitism, said that he does the bidding of "Islamic overlords," and posted an essay suggesting that the president is the love child of Malcolm X. [Religion News Service, 8/20/10]
Dana Loesch and critics like her just love just sitting in the warm & cozy confines of the radio station that host their talk show while babbling like the emotional cowards they are; just a scared little girl who would panic & faint on the spot if you yelled "boo" at her and then try to sue you for emotional and physical distress.
""Supposed To Be A Scandal"? "I'd Drop Trou And Do It Too"?....Someone needs to snatch her up, whisk her off on a one-way plane trip, assign her to a Marine sniper unit deep into the heart of the Afghanstan War, "suit her up" in heavy military gear with sniper rifle in tow and go seek out the enemy; the war brethern of the peed on dead Taliban terrorists.
Let's see exactly how much trou she would actually drop knowing that she's about a millisecond every moment she's there from being shot or killed and the only thing she would be dropping would be the frightened, wet yellow stains of uncontrollable personal pee urination and lost loose bowels/feces defication dropping squarely in her unbuttoned trou.
The fact is, in Bush's haste to start the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, he didn't take into account that the poorly-put-together armed forces he was sending over there ... especially Army and Marines ... were CHILDREN!!! Many still in their teens - and even more not even legally old enough to buy liquor on their own!!
I don't care where you are .... you put a bunch of young, dumb, ignorant, inexperienced, scared, traumatized, over-zealous, brainwashed boys/barely men in the same room - or war zone - together .... and it's gonna be a recipe for DISASTER every time!!!
I hope people know that these kinds of atrocities are only the tip of the iceberg. They're only the ones were gonna hear about .... because the proof of it is live and in living color documented in pictures and on video!! Or by the failed conscious' of those soldiers that did horrible things that they just can't live with anymore .... and have to tell of it to ease their own minds.
I can only hope/assume that Bush has a conscious, too - and if so, he HAS to find it hard to sleep at night over the choices he made that caused this on-going-for-many-years/decades-to-come, no-hope-in-sight-to-ever-be-able-to-make-these-boys (and girls)-whole-again catastrophe that he created. (I personally don't think Cheney and his ilk have one, and probably have no guilt or take any responsibility for their part of it!! But they should, 'cause they're even guiltier than the puppet-president they manipulated into doing their disastrous bidding!! )
And as to the foaming-at-the-mouth, still-bloody-meat-eating, historically-mentally-damaged-carnage-loving White female journalists that cheered this kind of behavior on ... only one word is needed to describe them: Typical. And no one should be surprised.
The only thing that bothers me is the nitwits that videotaped this and put it out to the masses.
This is not a war crime and the max they should get is 2 months forfeiture of 1/2 months pay, 2 weeks extra duty, and some BS sensitivity training.
@ER, in the majority of our wars, it has been 18-22 year olds that have done the bulk of the heavy lifting. Not that I am a Bush fan, but it has nothing to do with politics or any party. The problem lays in trying to have a fighting force, also do humanitarian missions, peace keeping, police, nation building etc. That is not their purpose.
Gen. Powell and others knew what was in the future and thats why they wanted no part of it. If you want to place the blame, then it should be on the fact all these boobs, dorks and idiots that are always yelling for war have not realized that time has moved on. Our "enemies" know this and have adapted.
On my last all expense paid vacation in 2003, the issue of attacking Iran came up. The final analysis is that the Iranians are 10 times more likely to take measures into their own hands for Allah, than the Iraqis. It was estimated that it would take us 20 years + to "subdue" Iran. How often do you hear that from these expert analysis? They are still stuck in the mindset that everyone loves America and when we announce we are coming the fighters will roll over and play dead.
@ER, in the majority of our wars, it has been 18-22 year olds that have done the bulk of the heavy lifting. Not that I am a Bush fan, but it has nothing to do with politics or any party. The problem lays in trying to have a fighting force, also do humanitarian missions, peace keeping, police, nation building etc. That is not their purpose.
Well, actually, OC ... my rant against Bush in this instance goes more to the lack of his intelligence than to politics or party!!
It is precisely because of the youth of the soldiers that are sent to war that one (a president) should be very conscious of the decision to send them into those types of situations!!!
The REASON for the decision has to be EXTREMELY sound, IMO ... because you have to/should take into consideration that you're about to damage and or devastate young minds!!
Now .. the general (or I suppose "accepted") rule is that you do it for "national security" ... a reason that there's technically "no other choice" but to do so to protect us as a nation. And, yeah, okay, I guess that's a 'good enough' reason (although I don't agree with war at all ... so that's another thread! But .... ).
But in the case of Iraq ... there WAS NO good, valid reason for Bush to make that choice!! Or any other president who would have decided the same. He should have THOUGHT about the fact that he would be sending in children to experience that kind of horror. And, made the decision NOT to do it - at least in the way he did it - due to the fact of how mentally harmful it would be for so many YOUNG men and women.
And the fact that ... in the situation they were in, for as long as they've been in it ... these types of things were likely to happen. I mean ... as 'not good' as this is for the dead Taliban soldiers .... it's about to be 150 times worse (mentally, emotionally, professionally, and image-wise) for the 'still living' guys that are on this video committing the deed.
Quote by ocatchings: "This is not a war crime and the max they should get is 2 months forfeiture of 1/2 months pay, 2 weeks extra duty, and some BS sensitivity training."
Yep. Your basic UCMJ Article 15 reprimand for misconduct that got loose to the media and now is an international incident that will get these Marine snipers court-martialed, drummed out of the service or possible prison time.
During Operation Desert Storm, commanding Army General Norman Schwarzkopf severely limited America's media and others from around the world access to all military units and especially those combat units that were fighting on the front lines because he knew exactly what would happen if they had unlimited access the way they do now.
The media was pissed off but he could care less because he realized that troop safety was priority #1 next to mission accomplishment and who supported his request?
Then "the boss" Joints-Chief-Of Staff General Colin Powell.
Althought Operation Dersert Storm only lasted less than a year compared to Iraq & Afghanstan, the military still had the leverage to do the exact same thing this time if they really wanted to so that things such as this "pee pee" incident could he handled in house instead of in the media and the U.S./world political arena where all common sense is fleeting and now former yes men generals then Secretary of State like Colin Powell are too politically chicken shit as political civilians to execise their overall military influence; make it happen this time well before these wars got really involved because he understands since he was the overall commanding officer-in-charge during Operation Desert Storm at the Pentagon who fully understands all the military and political risks on all sides, enemy/allies and U.S. military personnel during wartime.
I guess working for President George H.W Bush was much easier for Powell to relate to and convince than dealing with the son "Dumbass" Bush.
Another reason why you don't unnecessarily send children into war .....
DA: Homeless killings suspect stalked victims
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A 23-year-old Iraq War veteran charged with the stabbing deaths of four homeless men in a rampage that terrorized Southern California had selected additional victims, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Former Marine Itzcoatl Ocampo chose the final victim because the man appeared in a news article about police warning homeless men to be careful, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said.
All four victims were stalked and the killer looked for the right opportunity to execute them, he said. At least three of the victims were stabbed more than 40 times.
No decision had been made about whether prosecutors will seek the death penalty against Ocampo.
The charges include special allegations of multiple murders and lying in wait and use of a deadly weapon. The minimum sentence if convicted is life in prison without parole.
Ocampo's family said he was a troubled man when he returned from Iraq. Ocampo's own father is also homeless.
The killing spree began in December, raising concerns that a serial killer was preying on the homeless. Police and advocates then went on nightly patrols to urge them to sleep in groups or seek shelter.
Police arrested Ocampo when bystanders chased him down after a 64-year-old man was stabbed to death outside a fast-food restaurant in Anaheim, about 26 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
Julia Smit-Lozano, the daughter of one of the victims, told the Orange County Register (http://bit.ly/zRNO6m) that prosecutors said her father, Paulus Smit, 57, was stabbed more than 50 times outside a library in Yorba Linda on Dec. 30.
Authorities have provided no information on the evidence against Ocampo, or a possible motive. But Anaheim Police Chief John Welter has said investigators are confident they have the man responsible for the murders.
Ocampo is being held in isolation in an Orange County jail, is wearing a protective gown and is being monitored 24 hours a day, said Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
"Obviously he has some psychological problems just by the nature of the crimes, so they don't want him to hurt himself," Amormino said.
Ocampo's father, Refugio Ocampo, said his son was deployed to Iraq in 2008 and came back a changed man. He said his son expressed disillusionment and became ever darker as he struggled to find his way as a civilian.
After he was discharged in 2010 and returned home, his parents separated. The same month, one of his friends, a corporal, was killed during combat in Afghanistan. His brother said Ocampo visited his friend's grave twice a week.
Like the men Ocampo is accused of preying on, his father is homeless. His father lost his job and ended up living under a bridge before finding shelter in the cab of a broken-down big-rig he is helping repair.
Just days before his arrest, Itzcoatl Ocampo visited his father, warning him of the danger of being on the streets and showing him a picture of one of the victims.
"He was very worried about me," the father said. "I told him, 'Don't worry. I'm a survivor. Nothing will happen to me.'"
Itzcoatl Ocampo lives with his mother, uncle, younger brother and sister in a rented house on a horse ranch surrounded by the sprawling suburbs of Yorba Linda.
At the home, his mother, who speaks little English, tearfully brought her son's Marine Corps dress uniform out of a closet and showed unit photos, citations and medals from his military service.
The son followed a friend into the Marine Corps right out of high school in 2006 instead of going to college as his father had hoped.
His family described a physical condition Itzcoatl Ocampo suffered in which his hands shook and he suffered headaches. Medical treatments helped until he started drinking heavily, they said.
A neighbor who is a Vietnam veteran and the father both tried to push Ocampo to get treatment at a Veterans Affairs hospital, but he refused. Refugio Ocampo said he wanted his son to get psychological treatment as well.
In addition to the latest victim, John Berry, and Smit, James Patrick McGillivray, 53, was killed near a shopping center in Placentia on Dec. 20 and Lloyd Middaugh, 42, was found near a riverbed trail in Anaheim on Dec. 28.
Quote: "Ocampo's father, Refugio Ocampo, said his son was deployed to Iraq in 2008 and came back a changed man. He said his son expressed disillusionment and became ever darker as he struggled to find his way as a civilian".
Besides massive unemployment for the thousands of returning vets returning from Iraq, this is going to be one of the heavest challenges that going to face the U.S. government and the U.S. military. The negative effects of war on another generaton of young soldiers from Iraq just like Vietnam.
The adverse affects of PTSD undiagnosed and the thousands of young military personnal who served during the 10 year war non-stop rotation after rotation witnessing death up close and personal 24/7, 365 and now after being on high mental alert each and every second of every day, now these soldiers/marines return back home not the same psychologically in all aspects.
Just think about it. Typical young soldier, mostly male: Born, living at home growing up with mom & dad, elementary/grade/middle/high school graduate (friends,sports and girls in-between) and the VERY NEXT and first time real life experience ever as a "first time adult" of their still young and impressionable lives, months or maybe a year or more removed from their basic reality of everyday living is joining the military and going straight to the warzone in Iraq.
U.S. Army/Marines, basic training/AIT training taught to fight/survive in direct combat to kill the enemy that's designated by the U.S. government and placed directly in front of you in a foreign land and when deployed into the unknown; blazing heat and extreme desert conditions in the Iraq warzone, that's your only purpose, only function and your only mission.....To kill and survive....And after 10 years when it's all over (and there was no clear winner, loser or tie in Iraq) America expects these young men and women to come back home, resume their lives as civilians and be basically no different than when they left....like it never really happened.
To each and every one of them, nothing is the same...NOTHING and for the ones that know they need help because they accept the fact that PTSD is a severe problem in their everyday lives, pales in comparsion to the many that don't seek help because they think that there's nothing wrong with them (as in the case with former Marine Itzcoatl Ocampo) who got 'triggered" by something that caused him to stalk all four victims and Ocampo looked for the "right opportunity" (and he laid patiently in wait..did exactly what he was trained to do. That's the part that got me) to execute them and he stabbed three of the victims more than 40 times.
KILL the enemy per military "standing operating procedure" (SOP)....This is what he was trained & taught to do as a professional Marine.
MISSION ORDERS: Go out on combat patrol, gather intelligence, recon, seek out and capture/kill the enemy with extreme prejudice; no questions asked. He did exactly what he was trained to do (as a young adult, that's all he really knows how to do) and something internal or external, triggered that psychosis in his head that saw those 4 homeless men as the hated enemy; Al Qaeda/Taliban.
Wash, rinse and repeat over and over again.
And there are thousands returning back home who have the very same serious problemas Mr. Ocampo and when you add everyday domestic problems and stressors on top of that (unemployment, martial/relationship/family problems/drugs/alcohol then it's a recipe for disaster.
Quote: "No decision had been made about whether prosecutors will seek the death penalty against Ocampo"......This is where the U.S. goverment is going to get it all wrong.....trying to put all offenders of this nature in prison to politically fix the problem and the American public will be seeking this justice for their once "hailed heroes" that protected all of us but are actually victims thmeselves that Americans supported when it was "politically necessary" to do so.
The adverse affects of PTSDundiagnosed and the thousands of young military personnal who served during the 10 year war non-stop rotation after rotation witnessing death up close and personal 24/7, 365 and now after being on high mental alert each and every second of every day, now these soldiers/marines return back home not the same psychologically in all aspects.
My sentiments exactly, Cholly.
But this part, especially, is probably what pisses me off ... disturbs me most!! Because only recently has the government/military even been WILLING to provide the accurate diagnosis of PTSD in these returning service members!!! For the first years and years of this sio-called "war" the VA wouldn't even classify what these young, disturbed minds were experiencing as a "mental disorder."
Give them some Valium or Wellbutrin (anti-depressants), send 'em home, hope they don't come back, and call it a day.
And then finally .... after YEARS of documented, ever-increasing numbers of "vets"/ex-Iraq and -Afghanistan soldiers coming home and killing themselves, wives, children, mothers, fathers, neighbors, acts of domestic violence, hostage-taking incidents, mentally-disturbed-induced homelessness, criminal acts of aggression landing them in jail in overflowing numbers .... then ... THEN ... the military decides to think about considering the fact that MAYBE there's a problem that might be serious enough to be addressed!!
It was just near the end of last year that only ONE branch of the service (and I think it was the Army) thought it might be prudent to do a STUDY on whether or not there was an unusual number of their members experiencing suicides .... although civilian studiesCLEARLY show that it's not a matter of "if." It's a situation that it IS happening. Right now. Today.
We have tens of thousands of "he came back a changed man" ex-Iraq and -Afghanistan soldiers on our streets living throughout the entire country today. I shudder to think how many more will kill or be killed before the government/military chooses to figure that out. And what, if anything, they can or will be able to do about it.
I don't think you can stuff that kind of genie back in the bottle ever again.
Quote by ER: "then ... THEN ... the military decides to think about considering the fact that MAYBE there's a problem that might be serious enough to be addressed!!
The government and the military are repeating the same mistakes with these soldiers/marines as returning Vietnam vets skewing/hiding the truth to keep 99% of the American public unaware and non-interested while the crimes at all levels continues everyday.
We (the government & military) ensured the medical programs necessary to address the problems of post war-PTSD and it's affects but we can't enforce or force anyone to seek treatment.....We can politically force them into a war we authorized but can't politically control their mental illness as a result of war...PTSD aftercare or treatment....that's strictly based on each individual and their willingness to do so.
They have to come to us instead of the other way around.
Just let it happen, arrest (kill/maim them if necessary), convict, put in federal prison and seek PTSD medical help while imprisoned. It's way cheaper that way, gets them off the streets and allow the media to turn (the handful of problem soldiers/marines) into "once hero's now turned enemies of the American people" and it also allows the fearful/scared American public know that we're "on top of it".
In the end, the Americans are safer, we continue to be the good guys and looking good.
Mannnnn, Cholly ..... I recently found out that that is so true it ain't even funny !!
A few months ago I started looking into a VA-sponsored program I found out about that pays someone (including family members) to be "caregivers" to Vets (mostly the now-older/senior WWIIs) who are in need of home care. My Dad, at 85, is probably more healthy and fit than I am ... but, we figured we'd give a try, since he does (or did before we started seeing a chiropractor last month! ) uses a 'walking stick' to get around sometimes!
But, in researching the program and reading a myriad of articles on VA benefits programs, I ran across an article written several years ago that reported the scandalous and devious workings of Republican Party politics who at the time were penny-pinching government funds and trying to get out of the government's having to pay too much money for the care and treatment of returning and disabled Vietnam Vets.
They actually wrote and passed legislation that said that while the VA was not to deny care and treatment benefits for those Veterans, they were also not at liberty to OFFER or TELL the Vets about the programs available to them!! In other words ... a Veteran had to ASK for the program, care or treatment after finding out about it on their own .... because the VA caseworkers (as government employees) were not supposed to just come out and TELL the vet what was available to him/her!!
I COULD NOT even believe that!!! I read that story about three times ... then had to do a little more research to find out if the story was 1) from a reputable source; and 2) true. And .... come to find out ... it was VERY real!!
It took me DAYS to get past being pissed off about that!! And, unfortunately, it's still in practice today (although a little more relaxed because of so many other organizations that are now dedicated to helping Vets find and get the benefits they DESERVE!!)
Mannnnnn ... I'm pissed off again just thinking about it!!
But ... you are sooooooo right. So many of those returning from duty in Iraq1 and Afghanistan are too young ... and brainwashed ... and either do not believe they even have a problem .... or, are strong, capable and non-dependent enough to be able to handle it on their own. It's not until they kill, shoot, harm, maim, abuse themselves or others that they are made to acknowledge that something is very, very wrong and needs to be treated.
And it's not over. Because the fighting continues (in Afghanistan) ... we still have an influx of newly-returned Iraq soldiers still coming into the fold .... they still have yet to face the chronic homeless and jobless situation that awaits them .... and too many STILL don't know the extent to which they have lost their minds.
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