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The site is a fraud.
That web site is registered to one J.E. Glick, of 803 North Main Street, Goshen, Indiana. A quick check of online white pages reveals that's the address of something called The Fourth Freedom Forum. (You can also read about the group here). Their opposition to war pre-dates Iraq and Afghanistan. They are a well funded, very professional organization. Jennifer Glick is listed in the group's contact page as Director, Information Services.
But The Fourth Freedom Forum isn't among the groups listed as sponsoring organizations on the web page. Those groups are Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, and Veterans For Peace.
It would seem the Fourth Freedom Forum wants to hide it's activities behind some groups and individuals seen as more credible to this particular cause. (I think "front groups" is the usual term.) Too bad the AP reporter who wrote this now obviously bogus but credence-enhancing line:
Jonathan Hutto, a Navy seaman based in Norfolk, Va., who set up the Web site a month ago, said the group has collected 118 names and is trying to verify that they are legitimate service members....in that rather lengthy advertisement-posed-as-news story for the obviously failing effort didn't bother to do the 5 minutes worth of digging I did to discover it's absolutely not true.
Hutto, who has never been to Iraq, was probably recruited for this project following publication of his letter to the socialist propaganda site "GI Special". (Background here - and you really ought to read this last link.)
Update: I may have been wrong - it looks like Hutto was "active" even before his military days:
Then there is the issue of the spokeman for "Appeals for Redress" featured in the media reports. Jonathan Hutto is described as a Navy seaman based in Norfolk VA who set up the website a month ago. But the media failed to report on Mr. Hutto's less than pro-American background.Funny that a guy with those credentials would join the military one year after the beginning of the Iraq war.
According to his own writings, Hutto "enlisted in the United States Navy in January of 2004" after "working at non-profit organizations and an unsuccessful stint at teaching 5th grade post graduating from Howard University in 1999." The non-profit organization Hutto worked for was Amnesty International - not your typical voluteer organization. In 2002, Hutto was Membership Program Coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Region of Amnesty International.
In 2001, Hutto was a speaker at The Fight against Police Violence: from Cincinnati to PG County, Maryland. Hutto's co-speaker at the event was Glova Scott of the Socialist Workers Party. The speech was posted on The Militant website. Hutto’s article, "Rebuilding the GI Movement", appeared in Thomas Barton’s GI Special on the Al-Basrah Iraqi Resistance website.
Or maybe it's not funny at all.
Update: Many questions answered here.
In Soldier Voices Part One, I reported that I have been mulling over diverse viewpoints of both supporters and opponents of our efforts in Iraq. I am concerned over feedback from boots really on the ground, lower ranking enlisted soldiers and officers.
In the midst of these reflections, I came across another kind of viewpoint, that of an embedded journalist. He doesn't share the predominant MILBLOGGER view -- not to speak for all of us -- of mainstream media (MSM), perhaps because he's a part of it.
But I get ahead of myself.
Blackfive linked, as I did, to Michael Yon’s piece on censorship and Michael Fumento’s piece on embedding. His links prompted journalist and veteran Carl Prine, to dismiss Fumento’s reporting as ill-informed, contrasting Fumento with Yon, who’s inability to get embedded Prine views as a shame (as do we all).
Prine was a Veteran Marine, then an investigative reporter, who after 9/11, re-enlisted as an Infantryman (MOS 11B). Those facts alone must make Prine almost unique within his profession. He’s a prize winner to be sure, no doubt tenacious, and quite skilled as a reporter.
For excerpts from Prine's comments, and the sparring that takes place between Blackfive and Chapomatic, you'll have to make a visit over to Dadmanly.
One detail more I will share, likely of interest to many here:
Follow-up within comments on the links above revealed that the Military Reporters & Editors Convention starts today (10/26) in Evanston, IL. Looks like Blackfive and Prine will attend, and Prine reports that Yon is speaking on Saturday, October 28th, along with Bill Roggio. Keynote addresses include Rajiv Chandrasekaran of the Washington Post and Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, KS.
Take a beautiful ship, mix in some goofy thinking and - presto, chango - the ship is now "a building whose shape [and coloring] resembles a ship." Details of this idiocy here.
I have spent considerable time lately mulling over diverse viewpoints of both supporters and opponents of our efforts in Iraq, and their implications for what I acknowledge as the Global War on Terror (GWOT), whatever terms are used to describe it. I am especially troubled by several, increasingly discordant strains of feedback coming from soldiers.
No, not the feedback packaged by General Officers enticed by fulfilling media, publishing, or partisan expectations, but feedback from boots really on the ground, lower ranking enlisted soldiers and officers.
Here’s one viewpoint that gave me pause, reported by James Taranto, in today’s Best of the Web at Opinion Journal (via Instapundit). Taranto passed along a letter from a Sergeant (SGT) involved in Human Intelligence (HUMINT) collection within the 4th ID, with apparently extensive contacts among other HUMINT analysts within the 4th ID area of operations.
Here's how our good HUMINT SGT describes his background on Iraq:
I'm stationed slightly northwest of Baghdad in a mixed Sunni/Shia area. I'm a sergeant in the U.S. Army on a human intelligence collection team. I interact with Iraqis on a daily basis and I help put together the intel picture for our area of operations. I have contacts with friends, who are also in my job, in every area of operations in the Fourth Infantry Division footprint, and through our crosstalk I'd say I have a pretty damn good idea of what's going on in and around Baghdad on a micro and intermediary level.This soldier believes in and supports his mission, but the rest of his letter (as quoted by Taranto) is anything but positive, and his prescirption to fix things startling.
I wrote heavily in favor of this war before I enlisted myself, and I still maintain that going into Iraq was not only the necessary thing to do, but the right thing to do as well.
This SGT sounds a lot like many of the young SGTs who worked the Intel mission for us. Their experiences are real, “ground truth,” and their perspective is important. It’s a slice, and an important one.
Which was a part of my ongoing reflection on these discordant voices.
More on what this HUMINT SGT relates and recommends, my own perspective and commentary, back at Dadmanly.
A day early. I have an insidious conspiracy to crush American Democracy to participate in...er, a leader's conference of the ILARNG to attend.
"Frau Kanzler, Is there anything about those dratted pictures?"
"I am afraid so, Herr General"
Interesting thought on how the military works from the piece cited by Major John:
Still, Silliman said, he sees little wrong with troops speaking out on their own time so long as they are not senior-ranking officers needed to carry out the president's orders.
Stillman must know of a new leisure class in the lower ranks who have litttle to do with war fighting but have lots of time to engage in political "protests."
When I read this I about choked. I do not for one minute think that this group is simply going to quietly pass on these "signatures" to Congress. Bull$#&@ - they will use it to very publically flog their anti-war efforts. If this ain't something wrong being done by the "antiwar groups", then it is certainly out of bounds behavior for any active duty soldier.
Any damn deluded fool that says the dark night of fascism has decended on Amerikkka should look at this and wonder what would have happened to such people in, say Argentina of the late 70s, early 80s... here, and now, they get fawning coverage by the AP.
MSNBC has released the third video segment honoring those who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This segment is on Staff Sergeant William Thomas Payne, who was awarded the Silver Star for his actions.
To view this video, or the first two, visit our Faces of Courage section at ThreatsWatch.org - or click the image of Staff Sergeant Payne above.
Help us to encourage MSNBC to produce and release more of these by emailing MSNBC at heroes (at) msnbc (dot) com.