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In light of the news, I have decided to add a panel to the 2008 MilBlog Conference titled, "Milbloggers Gone Wild," starring Scott Thomas.
Now, who to moderate that panel?
Oh wait, I have an idea...
Tried several times to go to TNR's the Plank and all I can get is the "The page cannot be displayed" error. HMMMM
Here's what Scott Thomas has to say:
My Diarist, "Shock Troops," and the two other pieces I wrote for the New Republic have stirred more controversy than I could ever have anticipated. They were written under a pseudonym, because I wanted to write honestly about my experiences, without fear of reprisal. Unfortunately, my pseudonym has caused confusion. And there seems to be one major way in which I can clarify the debate over my pieces: I'm willing to stand by the entirety of my articles for the New Republic using my real name.
I am Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp, a member of Alpha Company, 1/18 Infantry, Second Brigade Combat Team, First Infantry Division.
My pieces were always intended to provide my discreet view of the war; they were never intended as a reflection of the entire U.S. Military. I wanted Americans to have one soldier's view of events in Iraq.
It's been maddening, to say the least, to see the plausibility of events that I witnessed questioned by people who have never served in Iraq. I was initially reluctant to take the time out of my already insane schedule fighting an actual war in order to play some role in an ideological battle that I never wanted to join. That being said, my character, my experiences, and those of my comrades in arms have been called into question, and I believe that it is important to stand by my writing under my real name.
--Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp
I'm sure Greyhawk will have something to add. When he has time to pull away from the duties of war.
It's really sad to see someone claim they have ultimate moral authority to insult women and kill dogs without anyone questioning their character just because they've been to Iraq.
UPDATE: TNR's The Plank is back up
UPDATE: It's down again
Say "If you haven't clicked over lately, Greyhawk has been stirred from slumber and has a lot to say about recent attacks on American soldiers - by their fellow soldiers."
(Part one here.)
Think soldiers in the US Army aren't capable of bad behavior? Think again. Before jumping into any discussion of accusations of crimes leveled at US military members, one should probably keep the following headlines in mind:
Details Emerge in Alleged Army Rape, Killings
The U.S. military said last week that authorities were investigating allegations of a rape and killings in Mahmudiyah by soldiers of the 502nd Infantry Regiment, part of the 4th Infantry Division.
2 U.S. Soldiers Charged With Murder of an Iraqi
...in northern Iraq, two American soldiers were arrested in connection with the death of an Iraqi man in June. The military said the two have been charged with premeditated murder, and their battalion commander has been removed from his job.
US troops on Iraq murder charges The US military in Iraq has charged two of its soldiers with the murder of three Iraqis between April and June in the Iskandariya area, south of Baghdad.
3 U.S. Soldiers Charged With Murder The U.S. Army has charged three soldiers in connection with the murders of three Iraqi men who were in military custody in Iraq in early May, the military said Monday.A truly disheartening roundup. But read beyond the headlines and opening paragraphs, and buried in the text you'll invariably find another report on the behavior of US soldiers. In order, from the above stories:
But on June 23, three months after the incident, two soldiers of the 502nd came forward to say that soldiers of the unit were responsible, a U.S. military official said last week. The U.S. military began an investigation the next day, the official said.
Military officials said that investigators began probing the death, which took place June 23 near Kirkuk, 160 miles north of Baghdad, after they were alerted to suspicious circumstances by other soldiers from the unit.
Charges were brought after fellow soldiers alerted the authorities.
The investigation was requested by Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, commander of multinational forces in Iraq.This quote invariably included in military press releases on these topics is worth bearing in mind, too:
Chiarelli's request and the decision to open the probe were announced Thursday in an e-mail from Baghdad. Chiarelli acted on the basis of suspicions raised by soldiers about the deaths.
The soldiers are presumed innocent unless until they are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of any alleged offenseBut contrast the reports above with those included in anti-war veterans groups' claims of American atrocities:
But they nevertheless described such acts as common and said they often go unreported--and almost always go unpunished.Invariably these veterans claim they didn't report the various atrocities they now claim to have participated in or witnessed while they were on active duty because the military wouldn't do anything about them.
The U.S. military's criminal investigation into potential abuse of Iraqi detainees by U.S. soldiers at Abu Gharib prison in Iraq now includes reports from soldiers that military police took photographs showing soldiers hitting detainees, CNN has learned.Of course, no one was paying attention. Four months later Mary Mapes claimed the story as her own.
Earlier, several Pentagon officials who declined to be identified by name confirmed to CNN that investigators were looking into the reports -- all coming from fellow soldiers -- of photographs showing male and female detainees with some of their clothing removed.
(Still more to follow...)
In about the way I expected.
On a night four years ago, five soldiers back from three months in Iraq went drinking at a Hooters restaurant and a topless bar near Fort Benning, Ga.Judge a movie by the friends it keeps.
Before the night was over, one of them, Specialist Richard R. Davis, was dead of at least 33 stab wounds, his body doused with lighter fluid and burned. Two of the group would eventually be convicted of the murder, another pleaded guilty to manslaughter, and the last confessed to concealing the crime.
Now some in Hollywood want moviegoers to decide if the killing is emblematic of a war gone bad, part of a new and perhaps risky willingness in the entertainment business to push even the touchiest debates about post-9/11 security, Iraq and the troops’ status from the confines of documentaries into the realm of mainstream political drama.
On Sept. 14, Warner Independent Pictures expects to release “In the Valley of Elah,”Paul Haggis, whose “Crash” won the Academy Award for best picture in 2006. The film stars Tommy Lee Jones as a retired veteran who defies Army bureaucrats and local officials in a search for his son’s killers. In one of the movie’s defining images, the American flag is flown upside down in the heartland, the signal of extreme distress. a drama inspired by the Davis murder, written and directed by
Other coming films also use the damaged Iraq veteran to raise questions about a continuing war. In “Grace Is Gone,” directed by James C. Strouse and due in October from the Weinstein Company, John Cusack and two daughters struggle with the loss of a wife and mother who is killed on duty. Kimberly Peirce’s “Stop-Loss,” set for release in March by Paramount, meanwhile, casts Ryan Phillippe as a veteran who defies an order that would send him back to Iraq.
In October, for example, New Line Cinema will release “Rendition,” in which Reese Witherspoon plays a woman whose Egyptian-born husband is snared by a runaway counterterrorism apparatus. Paul Greengrass, the director of “The Bourne Ultimatum,” in which the bad guys belong to a similar rogue unit, is adapting Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s book about the Green Zone in Baghdad, “Imperial Life in the Emerald City,” for Universal Pictures.
Brian De Palma’s “Redacted,” focusing on an Army squad that persecutes an Iraqi family, is to be released in December by Magnolia Pictures. And Sony Pictures is developing a film based on the story of Richard A. Clarke, the former national security official and Bush administration critic.
Despite some obvious fictionalization — the Fort Benning case did not involve the authority-challenging local detective and single mother played by Charlize Theron — the film hews closely enough to fact that Mr. Haggis is considering a dedication to Specialist Davis.
But whether the case truly speaks for returning veterans will not be easily settled, even with help from Warner Independent. The studio plans to supplement some of its promotional screenings with panel discussions of post-traumatic stress disorder, a factor raised in the movie.
“The issues are similar to what a lot of us are coping with,” said an approving Garett Reppenhagen, an Iraq veteran who saw “Valley of Elah” last week at one of the first such screenings in Washington. Mr. Reppenhagen, a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, helped recruit viewers for the screening.
By contrast, Dennis Griffee, a wounded veteran who is national commander of the Iraq War Veterans Organization, said he turned down a request to become involved with the film after learning that Susan Sarandon, a vocal opponent of the war, had a prominent role.
“At the very least it is offensive,” Mr. Griffee said of what he sees as a widespread refusal to acknowledge the troops’ pride at achievements in Iraq. He added that virtually every member of his platoon wound up in college, not jail, on return.
Crossposted at CDR Salamander.
From Hotair comes news that "Loose Change" producer Korey Rowe was picked up on a deserter warrant. I came about THIS close to prosecuting him. Here's how desertions work:
Depending on where he deserted from, he would either return to his parent unit or to a Personnel Control Facility (PCF). My understanding is that he deserted from a FORSCOM unit at Ft. Campbell, accordingly, he was returned to Ft. Campbell.
Had he deserted from Hawaii or another OCONUS (outside continental US) station, then he'd have been returned to a PCF. Specifically, he'd have been returned to the PCF here at my installation. And the PCF falls under my jurisdiction. I like prosecuting deserters.
True, the Army doesn't prosecute most AWOL/desertions since most are trainees or very junior soldiers that leave early in their term. Those get administratively discharged in lieu of court-martial. But depending on the facts of each case, decisions are made accordingly.
The length of time is always an important factor. A 2 year desertion is well worth a court-martial and I'd have argued strongly for it had he come to our PCF, irrespective of his other activities.
Big Army may not prosecute em, but I do.