< HOME  Saturday, March 04, 2006

Your tax dollars at work on your fellow men

One of the advantages of having been asked to join this blog is the amount of links q and vper1 managed to amass, saved me a lot of bookmark space (thanks, guys). So I went through the list this morning and when I came to prisonplanet.com this is what I found.
War, Never Been So Much Fun!
New video shows US troops laughing at slaughter and carnage

Paul Joseph Watson/Prison Planet.com | March 4 2006

Introducing a brand new Spring blockbuster from the people who brought you Abu Ghraib. It's the Coalition of the Killing's new 'liberation' video and it's set to put Syriana and Brokeback Mountain to shame at the Oscars.

Watch in delight as some unknown terrorists/insurgents/freedom fighters/Iraqis/women/children delete where necessary get indiscriminately maimed by war on terror inc.
And I went through the pros and cons of "Should I, or shouldn't I watch this?" I took a while but I finally did. Wish to God I hadn't though.

Another thought came to mind when I read on. PJ Watson wrote: "We have to remember that as their third rate body armor gets rained on by DU, 79% of the troops want to come home, one in ten has developed post traumatic stress disorder and several have literally gone insane and slaughtered members of their own family upon return."

I read that and remembered this 26 January 2005 talk by Sy Hersh titled We've Been Taken Over by a Cult.
There's going to be -- you know, when I did My Lai -- I tell this story a lot. When I did the My Lai story, more than a generation ago, it was 35 years ago, so almost two. When I did My Lai, one of the things that I discovered was that they had -- for some of you, most of you remember, but basically a group of American soldiers -- the analogy is so much like today. Then as now, our soldiers don't see enemies in a battlefield, they just walk on mines or they get shot by snipers, because it's always hidden. There's inevitable anger and rage and you dehumanize the people.

We have done that with enormous success in Iraq. They're "rag-heads". They're less than human. The casualty count -- as in Sudan, equally as bad. Staggering numbers that we're killing. In any case, you know, it's -- in this case, these -- a group of soldiers in 1968 went into a village. They had been in Vietnam for three months and lost about 10% of their people, maybe 10 or 15 to accidents, killings and bombings, and they ended up -- they thought they would meet the enemy and there were 550 women, children and old men and they executed them all. It took a day. They stopped in the middle and they had lunch. One of the kids who had done a lot of shooting.

The Black and Hispanic soldiers, about 40 of them, there were about 90 men in the unit -- the Blacks and Hispanics shot in the air. They wouldn't shoot into the ditch. They collected people in three ditches and just began to shoot them. The Blacks and Hispanics shot up in the air, but the mostly White, lower middle class, the kids who join the Army Reserve today and National Guard looking for extra dollars, those kind of kids did the killing.

One of them was a man named Paul Medlow, who did an awful lot of shooting. The next day, there was a moment -- one of the things that everybody remembered, the kids who were there, one of the mothers at the bottom of a ditch had taken a child, a boy, about two, and got him under her stomach in such a way that he wasn't killed. When they were sitting having the K rations -- that's what they called them -- MRE's now -- the kid somehow crawled up through the [inaudible] screaming louder and he began -- and Calley, the famous Lieutenant Calley, the Lynndie England of that tragedy, told Medlow: Kill him, "Plug him," he said.

And Medlow somehow, who had done an awful lot as I say, 200 bullets, couldn't do it so Calley ran up as everybody watched, with his carbine. Officers had a smaller weapon, a rifle, and shot him in the back of the head. The next morning, Medlow stepped on a mine and he had his foot blown off. He was being medevac'd out. As he was being medevac'd out, he cursed and everybody remembered, one of the chilling lines, he said, "God has punished me, and he's going to punish you, too."

So a year-and-a-half later, I'm doing this story. And I hear about Medlow. I called his mother up. He lived in New Goshen, Indiana. I said, "I'm coming to see you. I don't remember where I was, I think it was Washington State. I flew over there and to get there, you had to go to - I think Indianapolis and then to Terre Haute, rent a car and drive down into the Southern Indiana, this little farm. It was a scene out of Norman Rockwell's. Some of you remember the Norman Rockwell paintings. It's a chicken farm. The mother is 50, but she looks 80. Gristled, old. Way old - hard scrabble life, no man around. I said I'm here to see your son, and she said, okay. He's in there. He knows you're coming. Then she said, one of these great -- she said to me, "I gave them a good boy. And they sent me back a murderer."

So you go on 35 years. I'm doing in The New Yorker, the Abu Ghraib stories. I think I did three in three weeks. If some of you know about The New Yorker, that's unbelievable. But in the middle of all of this, I get a call from a mother in the East coast, Northeast, working class, lower middle class, very religious, Catholic family. She said, I have to talk to you. I go see her. I drive somewhere, fly somewhere, and her story is simply this.

She had a daughter that was in the military police unit that was at Abu Ghraib. And the whole unit had come back in March, of -- The sequence is: they get there in the fall of 2003. Their reported after doing their games in the January of 2004. In March she is sent home. Nothing is public yet. The daughter is sent home. The whole unit is sent home. She comes home a different person. She had been married. She was young. She went into the Reserves, I think it was the Army Reserves to get money, not for college or for -- you know, these -- some of these people worked as night clerks in pizza shops in West Virginia. This not -- this is not very sophisticated.

She came back and she left her husband. She just had been married before. She left her husband, moved out of the house, moved out of the city, moved out to another home, another apartment in another city and began working a different job. And moved away from everybody. Then over -- as the spring went on, she would go every weekend, this daughter, and every weekend she would go to a tattoo shop and get large black tattoos put on her, over increasingly -- over her body, the back, the arms, the legs, and her mother was frantic. What's going on?

Comes Abu Ghraib, and she reads the stories, and she sees it. And she says to her daughter, "Were you there?" She goes to the apartment. The daughter slams the door. The mother then goes -- the daughter had come home -- before she had gone to Iraq, the mother had given her a portable computer. One of the computers that had a DVD in it, with the idea being that when she was there, she could watch movies, you know, while she was overseas, sort of a -- I hadn't thought about it, a great idea. Turns out a lot of people do it. She had given her a portable computer, and when the kid came back she had returned it, one of the things, and the mother then said I went and looked at the computer. She knows -- she doesn't know about depression. She doesn't know about Freud. She just said, I was just -- I was just going to clean it up, she said. I had decided to use it again. She wouldn't say anything more why she went to look at it after Abu Ghraib. She opened it up, and sure enough there was a file marked "Iraq". She hit the button. Out came 100 photographs.

They were photographs that became -- one of them was published. We published one, just one in The New Yorker. It was about an Arab. This is something no mother should see and daughter should see too. It was the Arab man leaning against bars, the prisoner naked, two dogs, two shepherds, remember, on each side of him. The New Yorker published it, a pretty large photograph. What we didn't publish was the sequence showed the dogs did bite the man -- pretty hard. A lot of blood. So she saw that and she called me, and away we go.
There's another story.
And I'm thinking there's one aspect in all this we seem to be forgetting, not wilfully perhaps, caught up as we are in all the "big" lies and figures. And it's this: People, young American men and women, who are sent out to do the bidding of these criminals, they get blamed, scapegoated, what not, they have to come home. And there's nothing there. These young men and women realize, to a degree we'll never be able to fathom who it is who made these crimes possible. Who's in charge of formulating the policies. Who's still in power, still believed, still blindly followed. And they watch the news as we do. They see what's going on, what's being done, and which way the world is going. And, you know, they are formed by these policies. These young men and women are taught to judge according to these guidelines, and some of them survive physically intact, are never confronted with their crimes, are lauded perhaps, awarded and become part of society. We created them.

And others, like the girl Sy Hersh mentioned, they come home not knowing how they got this far into the darkness. Not knowing how to get out again. They must be going crazy with anguish. God help them. God help us help them.


At Saturday, March 04, 2006, Anonymous Mighty Thor said...

According to G. Edward Griffin, who wrote the classic modern exposition upon Federal Reserve Bank: "Creature From Jekyll Island," Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) considers "perpetual war for perpetual peace" most serious policy. Homer warned us life sucks (Greek tragedy). Thor

At Sunday, March 05, 2006, Blogger Jeff G said...

Tip Jar

Good post JC! :)

At Sunday, March 05, 2006, Blogger jc said...

thx, jeff

At Sunday, July 23, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's simple. turn off your television. use your brain and form your own opinions. don't buy what they shove down your throat. he who controls your eyes (and what goes into them) controls you.


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