Hartdorf Courant Investigators have had months to measure the moments. But in war, motive is immaterial. The military courts don't measure right or wrong, just whether troops follow the rules. The Uniform Code of Military Justice gives a lot of leeway to infantrymen in combat. Whether their killings are gleeful, angry or calculated, as long as they fit into the Rules of Engagement, they aren't murderous.
I have a question, where do you have evidence of US troops being gleeful about slaughtering innocents? Do you have any? If not did you just add that to imply that as an option absent any evidence?
If not then STFU with that comparison, because it implies that there are such incidents that should be considered.
I gotta disagree, I don't think the film stunned anyone who was there. I think that the vast majority of those watching had long ago determined that Americans are base and that our jack-booted thugs rape, kill, pillage and burn all over the planet. Sadly they have us confused with UN "peacekeeping" troops. What it did was confirm their pre-conceived notions in a glorifyingly horrifying manner; they get to have their violence and condemn it as well.
I despise the scum who did this infinitely more than my "betters" in Venice because unlike them, I know the truth about our troops. The few that get the attention are vile, but they get the full crushing might of the military justice system and these vermin now make small rocks from large ones. The rest of our troops would better serve as ambassadors for what is good and right about America than every Brooks Brothers wearing weasel conducting formal lying in formal wear in our diplomatic corpse.
I have lived in both Europe and Asia for more than six years, I've been around the world twice and seen goats float in a boat. There ain't nothing you can tell me that will shock me. And I will take the good old USA over any of the other options on this, the crappiest planet I have ever lived on bar none. Just out of curiousity we have a huge waiting list of the planet's best and brightest signed up to immigrate here, how many folks are trying to get into Europe, aside from Muslims doing the leg work for the new Caliphate. Never mind I know the answer. Europe is cool because as comedian Eddie Izzard says "It's where the History comes from", but I care less than little what the Elite Euros think about us. Plus I figure Sarkozy and Merkel will forge a new pact soon since it's been a couple of generations since the Germans have marched on anybody, so they're due. They will scarf up the intellectuals and smarty arts farty type usual suspects just like clockwork.
The two men arrested near the Naval brig at Goose Creek are facing serious charges. The apologists began immediately explaining away the items in their car as fireworks. That was a very dumb explanation and would have meant the two men were basically fools. If your name is Ahmed Mohammed and your buddy is Youssef Megahed (Clark AFB ref anyone?) and you are driving around the US with a bunch of illegal fireworks you are a fool. It doesn't take much racial profiling to throw a flag on that play. Now as it turns out what they had was not fireworks but pipe-bombs and related accoutrements. Mohamed is charged with teaching how to make bombs, but we don't know who he taught, if it was his buddy or if it spreads wider than that.
Either way I can find no way to classify the two as anything but bombers or maroons. If they thought that a couple of young Muslim men be-bopping across the country occasionally blowing off steam by cranking off a couple of pipe bombs would be written of as youthful pranks, then they are maroons. Barring that they are bombers, that thought should not give you a warm fuzzy. We live in an unsecured country, and I mean less our lack of border control, than our open, unscrutinized existence. We can't even discuss a national ID card because women and minorities are too oppressed to get one, not to mention all our nudge, nudge, wink wink guest workers.
I have a piece I will polish up over the weekend stating what should be obvious, we will not and can not actually secure this country, period. That is why our efforts to kill or interdict them overseas are so vital. We have too many soft targets in this country. Just count the number of malls, stadiums and govt. buildings where you live. We will never be able to guard our insecurities. And even if we fenced our border to the South, does anyone really think we'll do the same up North. And even if we did, our student visa programs let in tens of thousands of young men from countries that historically provide terrorists.
I will see if I can come up with any solutions or positive notes about this, but really it points out vividly how much work we have to do in the spying and tango whacking portions of our game.
Bombing Maroons on the left, innocent men fascinated by ferrys in Seattle. Hmmm, minus the beards.......maybe?
As a member of the 3rd Infantry Division Society, I wanted to wish a Happy 90th Birthday to my former division. For all of you former Marne soldiers out there, Major General Lynch has a message for you:
With the Surge in full swing and fighting escalating in Afghanistan, there is a growing need to help our wounded, and the families of the wounded and the Fallen soldiers. Soldiers' Angels is there for them and they need your help to keep providing support. Funds are drying up. Soldiers' Angels needs donations now.
This is a request for a flight for a soldier injured in Germany:
...Situation was a soldier in Germany
fell off a bridge landing on his head and is in very critical condition
and not sure if he will survive or not. He is currently at BAMC DC.
He needed flights for the parents, which Fisher House
wouldn't do because his injury didn't occur in Iraq or Afghanistan...so
I went ahead and took care of that for him. It was approximately $500
for each ticket and I did get travel insurance with it as well, given
his status is so touch and go...
This is from a Major about a unit in Afghanistan:
...A unit was on patrol and was engaged by hostile fire. The company
commander was killed along with another soldier. In the ensuing fight
numerous other soldiers were wounded. Two of those soldiers were
medevac'd to Walter Reed. One lost an eye and will continue to have
corrective surgery for probably sometime. The other had his leg
shattered and will have a steel rod surgically implanted. After the
company commander was killed, the senior ranking officer became a young
Lieutenant who had to make some quick decisions to save the lives of
the rest of his young soldiers. This Lieutenant was very good friends
with the company commander. The unit is based out of Germany, but the
Lieutenant and the family of the deceased Captain are from the
DC/Virginia area. To make a long story short, the unit in Afghanistan
sent the Lieutenant to the DC area to act as the unit representative.
He departed with little guidance and no advance travel pay. He paid
for his own ticket to get from Dallas to DC. He called this office
from Ireland to seek guidance and incurred over 300 dollars in phone
charges. He is strapped for money at this time. He also asked if
there was anyway to possibly borrow some class A uniforms for the 2
soldiers at Walter Reed so that they could attend the graveside
services of their company commander. Any help you can give would be
greatly appreciated not only by me, but by all of Americas Hero's...
Soldiers' Angels is also trying to get that Company Commander's family to the funeral at Arlington, too.
This is what the Soldiers' Angels do. Anywhere, anytime, whatever the need is, they take care of our military family.
Yes, there are plenty of things our government could do better. But you can sit around and listen to politicians whine about it and take care of their own self interests. And while that happens you can be the one to make a difference. Please donate now.
The last Marine facing murder charges from the shootings in Haditha started his Art. 32 hearing yesterday. I doubt it will receive much coverage in the MSM, because the whole massacre story has fallen apart and charges have been dropped on all others involved in the shooting. SSgt Wuterich was the senior member of those who committed the killings, but unless something unexpected happens the murder charges against him should be dropped as well. The piece at PJ Media is fairly comprehensive and I welcome any thoughts comments or ideas. If you want to comment over at PJM it is a slightly different crowd than we have here, but entertaining.
The Ny Times had a piece up yesterday and the writer was lamenting the fact that these cold-blooded killers were getting away with murder. It seems impossible for him to consider the possibility that they acted in good faith, being stuk in Irak you know. Here is the letter I sent to the NYT Public Editor. H/T Armed Liberal
The piece in your paper yesterday about the incident in Haditha seemed more like advocacy for the punishment of the marines involved than a look at whether it was a massacre or not. There is considerable material available about the incident including most of the investigation reports. I have read all of them and do not believe they committed a crime, maybe your writers should try reading up on some of the source material rather than simply grabbing quotes like:
"We can't say those guys didn't commit a crime," said Michael F. Noone Jr., a retired Air Force lawyer and law professor at Catholic University of America. "We can only say that after an investigation, there was not sufficient evidence to prosecute."
No kidding, I can't prove that Mr. Noone didn't kill Kennedy, only that we don't have enough evidence to prosecute. What a stupefyingly dumb quote. It is simply an effort to turn presumption of innocence on it's head. The writer seems saddened that the prosecutions have fallen off track as they don't jibe with his view, apparently universally shared in the US and Iraq that.
"In Iraq and in the United States, the killings were viewed as cold-blooded vengeance. After a perfunctory military investigation, Haditha was brushed aside, but once the details were disclosed, the killings became an ugly symbol of a difficult, demoralizing war. After a fuller investigation, the Marines promised to punish the guilty.
But now, the prosecutions have faltered. Since May, charges against two infantrymen and a Marine officer have been dismissed, and dismissal has been recommended for murder charges against a third infantryman. Prosecutors were not able to prove even that the killings violated the American military code of justice."
What a bummer, we may not even get to frog march any of the cold-blooded killers. You ought to keep the Op-Eds on the correct page eh?.
This piece is up today as a feature on the Pajamas Media portal. I am retired Army Special Forces and a former hostage rescue and building clearing instructor, i.e. I know a bit about the rules in play here.
I am now reading "House to House" and I can't put it down. Seriously, folks, this is one of the best books I've ever read about the combat experience. I read about 120 pages tonight instead of doing homework.
The way David Bellavia captures the soldiers hearts and their individual characteristics is amazing, the descriptions of combat action are pure adrenalin, putting a lump in your throat and a hit to your gut.
Anyway, if you've wondered why I've been somewhat absent around here, blame Staff Sergeant Bellavia...order it now.
Bueller? Anyone? They are shelling villages they say are harboring Kurdish guerrillas who are thying to secede from Iran. That's nice, but you can't shoot into Iraq? Or if you keep it up you might start hearing some strange unexplained explosions at the bases where you have been outfitting the punks who are killing my friends.
Why don't we just move an Arty unit with counter-battery capability up there, and the next time they try it we will have radar proof. Plus we will get to enjoy blowing their guns up, pluses all around in my book.
I just received the latest info from Andi and the folks at Military.com. This is an all star lineup. The panelists will include Matt and Uncle Jimbo from Black Five, John Noonan from Op-for, Tim Boggs, and many more.
Michael Yon has agreed to do a live video feed from Iraq (as long as we can get the technology to work).
This event is open to anyone who thinks blogs are interesting and lots of interesting new ideas will get made up and then implemented. I go in a dual role, obviously the Milblog thing is very cool, but I am also Dir. of BD for Pajamas Media and will be meeting with many people about our amazing network and products like our syndicated online wire service, which will feature content from PJ Media blogs on major sites right next to AP syndicated content. Take that dino media. Anyhow if anyone has questions about this let me know, everything is on the table.
I'd like to talk to any readers with particular expertise in, or experience serving with, USFK; and also any readers who are particular experts on the North Korean situation. I'd like to bounce an idea off you, and get the feedback of people with direct experience dealing with the problem.
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.