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Bob Herbert Columns - No Investigating Required

Posted By Blackfive • [May 03, 2005]

I read Bob Herbert's latest slam on American troops last night in the New York Times.  He's using the "It's Viet Nam all over again..." and "GI's bad, terrorists good" themes without providing any detail or corroboration for the accusations of one soldier who became an Conscientious Objector:

From 'Gook' to 'Raghead'

By BOB HERBERT

I spent some time recently with Aidan Delgado, a 23-year-old religion major at New College of Florida, a small, highly selective school in Sarasota.

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, before hearing anything about the terror attacks that would change the direction of American history, Mr. Delgado enlisted as a private in the Army Reserve. Suddenly, in ways he had never anticipated, the military took over his life. He was trained as a mechanic and assigned to the 320th Military Police Company in St. Petersburg. By the spring of 2003, he was in Iraq. Eventually he would be stationed at the prison compound in Abu Ghraib.

Mr. Delgado's background is unusual. He is an American citizen, but because his father was in the diplomatic corps, he grew up overseas. He spent eight years in Egypt, speaks Arabic and knows a great deal about the various cultures of the Middle East. He wasn't happy when, even before his unit left the states, a top officer made wisecracks about the soldiers heading off to Iraq to kill some ragheads and burn some turbans.

"He laughed," Mr. Delgado said, "and everybody in the unit laughed with him."

The officer's comment was a harbinger of the gratuitous violence that, according to Mr. Delgado, is routinely inflicted by American soldiers on ordinary Iraqis...

I was annoyed by this obvious slander and Delgado discussing physical abuse without any corroboration.  Couldn't Mr. Herbert have found someone who also was there to confirm these accusations of abuse?

This morning, Lorie Byrd at Polipundit is asking the right questions and finds more about Delgado.  He's been speaking out about the abuses around the country and been interviewed by a few more media outlets. 

Please read Lorie/Polipundit's post and see if you can help either corroborate or debunk Delgado's claims.  I think she is on to something here...

Update: Be sure to check...Outside the Beltway, Michelle Malkin, Rich Lowry and Baldilocks for further discussion.

Update 2:  About the Coke bottles (there's lots of speculation on the force needed to break one), I am not doubting that there are Coke bottles in Iraq.  However, I find it hard to believe that soldiers are having multiple empty glass bottles rolling around in the back of a humvee during a patrol.  Noise, distraction, possibility of glass shards in the back with the troops, etc.  Plastic bottles, maybe.  Glass bottles, doubt it.

Update 3:  Sergeant First Class Ted was there.  He's also a MilBlogger.  Been There, Done That:

...This Delgado guy was a mechanic; he was no where near those compounds. I also highly doubt he "confronted" the SGT who fired; he wouldn't have even known who he was. Different unit, not working anywhere near the compounds.


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» From 'Gook' To 'Raghead' from Outside The Beltway
Bob Herbert has a disturbing account of racism and gratuitous violence among American reservists in Iraq. From 'Gook' to 'Raghead' (NYT | RSS) I spent some time recently with Aidan Delgado, a 23-year-old religion major at New College of Flori... [Read More]

Tracked on May 3, 2005 1:28:27 PM

» AIDAN DELGADO: FACT OR FICTION? from Michelle Malkin
Bob Herbert's gushing profile of conscientious objector Aidan Delgado has many astute observers asking questions. OTB, Juliette Ochieng, and Rich Lowry take a closer look. Lorie Byrd is investigating and is asking anyone who might have served with Delg... [Read More]

Tracked on May 3, 2005 2:14:23 PM

» Tell Me What You Think (UPDATE) from baldilocks
Alright. I know there are some Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans that read this blog; and a few who are reading from in-theater. Tell me, gentlemen and ladies; how realistic does this sound to you? [OIF vet and conscientious objector Aidan [Read More]

Tracked on May 3, 2005 2:30:33 PM

» AIDAN DELGADO: FACT OR FICTION? from Michelle Malkin
Bob Herbert's gushing profile of conscientious objector Aidan Delgado has many astute observers asking questions. OTB, Juliette Ochieng, and Rich Lowry take a closer look. Lorie Byrd is investigating and is asking anyone who might have served with Delg... [Read More]

Tracked on May 3, 2005 3:04:31 PM

» AIDAN DELGADO: FACT OR FICTION? from Michelle Malkin
Bob Herbert's gushing profile of conscientious objector Aidan Delgado has many astute observers asking questions. OTB, Juliette Ochieng, and Rich Lowry take a closer look. Lorie Byrd is investigating and is asking anyone who might have served with Delg... [Read More]

Tracked on May 3, 2005 4:34:54 PM

» AIDAN DELGADO: FACT OR FICTION? from Michelle Malkin
Bob Herbert's gushing profile of conscientious objector Aidan Delgado has many astute observers asking questions. OTB, Juliette Ochieng, and Rich Lowry take a closer look. Lorie Byrd is investigating and is asking anyone who might have served with Delg... [Read More]

Tracked on May 3, 2005 5:10:10 PM

» Cans or Bottles? from Mudville Gazette
(Updated - see below) Every Coke I ever drank in Iraq came from a can. Mountain Dew too. I never saw a Coke bottle in Iraq - or any soda, pop, etc. (Fanta was a big favorite in the region,... [Read More]

Tracked on May 3, 2005 5:24:26 PM

» Cans or Bottles? from Mudville Gazette
(Updated - see below) Every Coke I ever drank in Iraq came from a can. Mountain Dew too. I never saw a Coke bottle in Iraq - or any soda, pop, etc. (Fanta was a big favorite in the region,... [Read More]

Tracked on May 3, 2005 5:33:11 PM

» Cans or Bottles? from Mudville Gazette
(Updated - see below) Every Coke I ever drank in Iraq came from a can. Mountain Dew too. I never saw a Coke bottle in Iraq - or any soda, pop, etc. (Fanta was a big favorite in the region,... [Read More]

Tracked on May 3, 2005 5:35:40 PM

» Cans or Bottles? from Mudville Gazette
(Updated - see below) Every Coke I ever drank in Iraq came from a can. Mountain Dew too. I never saw a Coke bottle in Iraq - or any soda, pop, etc. (Fanta was a big favorite in the region,... [Read More]

Tracked on May 3, 2005 5:42:22 PM

» Cans or Bottles? from Mudville Gazette
(Updated - see below) Every Coke I ever drank in Iraq came from a can. Mountain Dew too. I never saw a Coke bottle in Iraq - or any soda, pop, etc. (Fanta was a big favorite in the region,... [Read More]

Tracked on May 3, 2005 5:44:04 PM

» A Soldier's Story from JamesLambJr.com
Full disclosure: I never supported the current Iraq War in any way. Never. To me, the necessary conflict was against the multinational terrorist conglomerate called al-Qaeda, and any diversion from that sacred mission would result in unneeded death, ... [Read More]

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» Winter Soldier Redux? from The Jump Blog
UPDATE: A completely unscientific poll of OIF vets returns much the same results as GreyHawk found. Everybody's favorite fish wrapper, The New York Times, is running a column by Bob Herbert in which he relates the claims of a certain disgruntled co... [Read More]

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» Don't believe what you read from The Q Speaks
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» Aiden Delgado's Story Getting Some Attention from Lifelike Pundits
I blogged yesterday about Aiden Delgado's claims relayed by Bob Herbert in the NY Times that abuse of Iraqis was random and commonplace by US soldiers. He also claimed to have witnessed specific incidents that certainly sound terrible: Mr. Delgado,... [Read More]

Tracked on May 3, 2005 8:32:40 PM

» Aidan Delgado's Story Raises Eyebrows from Lifelike Pundits
I blogged yesterday about Aidan Delgado's claims relayed by Bob Herbert in the NY Times that abuse of Iraqis was random and commonplace by US soldiers. He also claimed to have witnessed specific incidents that certainly sound terrible: Mr. Delgado,... [Read More]

Tracked on May 3, 2005 8:39:35 PM

» Aidan Delgado Update from PoliPundit.com
Earlier today I posted a request for anyone with knowledge of the incidents alleged by Aidan Delgado about abuses by U.S. soldiers in Iraq to please come forward to either corroborate or debunk them. Blackfive has been in touch with a senior sergeant... [Read More]

Tracked on May 3, 2005 8:59:15 PM

» Who are our soldiers from Bookworm Room
Michelle Malkin did a very intensive post based upon the "gushing article" Bob Herbert, of the NY Times, did regarding Aidan Delgado, a conscientious objector. One of the things that's striking about Herbert's article, is how Delgado describes Americ... [Read More]

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» Who are our soldiers? from Bookworm Room
Michelle Malkin did a very intensive post based upon the "gushing article" Bob Herbert, of the NY Times, did regarding Aidan Delgado, a conscientious objector. One of the things that's striking about Herbert's article, is how Delgado describes Americ... [Read More]

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» Delgado's courage from Grendel's Dragon
But if you change your mind, and have either a modicum of storytelling ability or access to reporters that do, you'll have a hell of a support group. [Read More]

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» Aidan Delgado's Story Raises Eyebrows--Updated! from Lifelike Pundits
I blogged yesterday about Aidan Delgado's claims relayed by Bob Herbert in the NY Times that abuse of Iraqis was random and commonplace by US soldiers. He also claimed to have witnessed specific incidents that certainly sound terrible: Mr. Delgado,... [Read More]

Tracked on May 4, 2005 12:53:16 AM

» Aidan Delgado's Story Raises Eyebrows--Updated! from Lifelike Pundits
I blogged yesterday about Aidan Delgado's claims relayed by Bob Herbert in the NY Times that abuse of Iraqis was random and commonplace by US soldiers. He also claimed to have witnessed specific incidents that certainly sound terrible: Mr. Delgado,... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 13, 2005 3:40:58 PM