GI SPECIAL 3B20:
Hits New Low:
57% Say Not
[Thanks to Phil G who sent
May 4, 2005 WASHINGTON
of Americans do not think it was worth going to war in Iraq
with support at the lowest level since the United States
launched the invasion in 2003, according to a
CNN/USAToday/Gallup poll released on Tuesday.
percent of those polled said it was not worth going to war
compared to 41 percent who thought it was. In a February
poll, 48 percent said the war was worth it and half said it
A poll in April 2003, shortly
after the war began, found that 73 percent of Americans held
the view that the war was worth fighting. The new poll
results had a margin of error of plus or minus five
things are going for the United States in Iraq, 56 percent
said "badly," up from 45 percent in March.
Forty-two percent said things
were going "well," down from 52 percent in March. The margin
of error for that question was plus or minus three
The telephone poll of 1,006
adults was conducted April 29-May 1.
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Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is
extra important for your service friend, too often cut
off from access to encouraging news of growing
resistance to the war, at home and inside the armed
Send requests to address up top.
FORCE BAGHDAD SOLDIERS KILLED BY IEDS
May 4, 2005 HEADQUARTERS
UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS Release Number: 05-05-02C
Iraq – Two Task Force Baghdad Soldiers died when their
vehicles were struck by roadside bombs.
The two separate incidents
occurred May 3.
Second Pilot Recovered In Iraq
May. 04, 2005 ROBERT BURNS,
Military investigators said
Wednesday they located the remains of the second of two
Marine Corps fighter pilots whose planes crashed in
south-central Iraq earlier this week. The remains of the
first pilot, Maj. John C. Spahr, were found on Tuesday.
Both pilots were flying
single-seat F/A-18 Hornet fighters about 30,000 feet over
south-central Iraq when radio contact was lost on Monday
Spahr was executive officer of
Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323, based at Marine Corps
Air Station Miramar in San Diego. He was a native of Cherry
Hill, N.J., and a graduate of the University of Delaware.
Spahr had been flying F/A-18s
since 1993, according to his official biography. He
attended the Navy's "Top Gun" fighter weapons school in
1996, later was an instructor pilot there and was embarked
aboard the aircraft carrier USS Constellation when the Iraq
war began in March 2003.
officials had said Tuesday that one F/A-18 fuselage had been
found about 15 miles from Karbala in south-central Iraq, and
that the pilot was found strapped in his ejection seat some
distance from the wreckage. They said then that
investigators were still searching for the other plane.
said the fuselages were found at separate locations, but he
did not know how far apart.
Killed In Explosion
05/04/05 By Roslyn Anderson,
It's an image no soldier's
family wants to see: military officials standing at their
It happened to a Sharkey
county family Tuesday when they learned Army Sergeant John
McGee was killed in an explosion.
Family members joined hands in
prayer as they await more news from military officials on
the specifics of McGee's death in Iraq.
The 36 year
old career soldier was killed when the tanker he was driving
rolled over a bomb and exploded. A devastating loss for
this close knit Cary Mississippi family of nine children.
His nephew Michael McGee said,
"Just saying his name it really brings laughter to me. He
was a very outgoing person, fun loving... He was a good
person, kind, our grandmother, my grandmother his mother
raised up with a lot of respect."
is especially hard on his mother Rebecca, who received a
Mother's Day card from him Monday.
McGee said, "She received the Mother's Day card from my
Uncle John and the next day, that morning that's when the
military officials came to the house."
News of McGee's death is a
blow to close friends like Rolling Fork Police Chief Undray
Williams. Williams said, "It hit me like a ton of bricks. I
couldn't believe it."
The two attended Rolling
ForkHigh School, now South Delta High and graduated in 1986
Undray Williams said, "We were really looking forward to our
20th year class reunion that we had talked about before he
even went to Iraq. We sat at the store for about an hour
and talked about how much fun we were gonna have. When they
told me that, it really hurt."
McGee returned to Cary, the
town he called home about three weeks ago, spending 15 days
with family, who planned a big celebration when his Iraqi
tour ended in July.
Now they have to plan a
funeral for the man who died in service to his country.
Relatives tell WLBT Sgt. John
McGee was one of two soldiers killed Monday in Baghdad.
He was an active duty soldier
based in Fort Benning Georgia assigned to a transportation
Man Injured, Five Dead When Stryker Blown Up;
“Weary Of Waiting For The Pentagon”
mother was angry that he had to be sent into combat a
second time, but she is proud nevertheless.
May 04, 2005 By Ross Farrow,
News-Sentinel Staff Writer
before leaving for his second tour in Iraq, Army Specialist
Nick Beintema told his parents, "I have a real bad feeling
His worst fears, and those of
his parents, were prophetic.
22, was almost killed and faces up to four months in the
hospital after being wounded last Thursday in a
reconnaissance mission in northern Iraq, less than a month
before he was due to be discharged.
the war home; it brings it into our own house," said his
father, Woodbridge resident Randy Beintema.
Nick Beintema is a 2000
graduate of Lodi High School. He didn't star on the Flames
football team, nor was he a high-profile student. His
father described him as "a typical kid."
According to his father,
doctors in Germany reported that Beintema suffered a
concussion, a broken jaw in two places, a severely injured
right leg apparently broken in two places, a damaged
kneecap, minor shrapnel wounds to his face and bruising to
Beintema is unable to talk
because of his broken jaw. He is also heavily sedated
because he remains on a ventilator, said Randy Beintema, a
lieutenant for the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Department.
The good news is that he has been upgraded from critical to
Four soldiers were killed in
the incident, including two from Beintema's Army unit
stationed in Ft. Carson, Colo.
Beintema, serving a combat
mission in Iraq with the 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment in
Talfar, about 200 miles northwest of Baghdad, was injured as
his group went through change of command with a unit out of
Ft. Lewis, Wash.
of the Ft. Lewis unit were also killed.
Beintema said he was told that the two units were on a
reconnaissance mission when an explosive device planted
by Iraqi insurgents exploded.
Soldiers from both units were riding in an eight-wheeled
Stryker combat vehicle being used for the first time in
combat when the attack took place, according to the
Colorado Springs Gazette newspaper. [So much for the
bullshit about how wonderful these defenseless rolling
coffins really are. And how is it the blown up Stryker
itself never got mentioned in the major media?
While the rest of the regiment
patrolled neighborhoods on Baghdad's southern outskirts,
soldiers from Beintema's group were sent north to help quell
a flare-up of guerilla attacks, according to the Colorado
The senior Beintema said he
had just returned home from work Thursday afternoon when he
received a phone call from a stateside liaison with the unit
hearing the news, Randy Beintema was in total denial after
learning his son was critically wounded and unconscious.
"It doesn't happen to me; it happens to others," he
it didn't happen to someone else.
Beintema's mother, Stacy,
began wondering why there wasn't more on TV about the
American war effort in Iraq.
But what has frustrated
Beintema's parents the most is that they haven't been able
to see their wounded son, who has been at two field
hospitals in Iraq before being flown to Germany and then to
"You think, 'What can I do?'"
Randy Beintema said. "You can't do anything because he's
halfway around the world."
Stacy added, "That's your
child, whether he's 2 years old or 22 years old. You want to
be with him."
The parents have been on a
holding pattern. First they thought they were going to
Germany. Now they're headed to Washington, but first they
have to get a call from the U.S. Department of Defense.
Department will pay transportation and expenses as long as
Beintema remains in serious or critical condition, his
condition is upgraded from "serious," the parents must foot
the bill themselves, Randy Beintema said.
have grown weary of waiting for the Pentagon to go through
its bureaucratic maze.
preparing to leave probably sometime Thursday, whether
the DOD sends us or not," Randy Beintema said.
The Beintemas will have a lot
to think about as they fly to Washington. For one, it may
very well be a shock to see their son so severely wounded.
His mother said she's prepared for it emotionally.
"I have some friends who are
ICU nurses," said Stacy Beintema, health programs manager
for the American Cancer Society in Stockton. "I pressed
them for that (information)."
Because Nick Beintema has been
so heavily sedated, he isn't aware that two of his comrades
were killed in the attack.
"What went through my mind
just (Tuesday), is that Randy and I may be the ones who'll
have to tell him his friends have died," Stacy Beintema
said. "That's what I thought about -- how to tell him."
Carson soldiers killed were Pfc. Robert W. Murray Jr., 21,
of Westfield, Ind., and Specialist Ricky W. Rockholt Jr.,
28, of Winston, Ore. Additionally, Sgt. Eric W. Morris, 31,
of Sparks, Nev., and 1st Lt. William A. Edens, 29, of
Columbia, Mo., from the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
at Fort Lewis, were killed.
Yet another decision is how
often Beintema's parents will visit him. Right now, they're
talking about rotating time, with one of them being in
Washington with their son and the other remaining at home
tending with their respective jobs. One or the other will
be with Nick Beintema at all times during his recovery.
Perhaps sensing that something
bad might happen, Stacy Beintema noticed that her son began
showing more sensitivity and love for his family in his
e-mails from Iraq this year. Previously, he joked around a
Beintema would express his
love to his parents and his younger sister, Madison, 18, who
is about to graduate from St. Mary's High School in
"The tone of the e-mails were
different," Stacy Beintema said. "They were sweet, but they
were different. They didn't have the joking edge to them or
bravado, not the typical male testosterone stuff."
Beintema enlisted in the Army
well before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He had his parents'
support, but they were nervous about his desire to seek
He was deployed to Iraq after
stops in Germany and Kuwait on April 6, 2003, but returned
to his Colorado base a year later. He returned to Iraq for
his second tour of duty last month.
was angry that he had to be sent into combat a second time,
but she is proud nevertheless.
"He's a hero to me."
Convoys Attacked Near Baakouba & Samraa
May 4, 2005 By SITE Institute
The Military Corps of the
Iraqi insurgent group, Ansar al-Sunnah issued a communiqué,
posted on the group’s official website, claiming
responsibility for attacking two American convoys, one near
Baakouba and a second near Samraa.
destroyed several Humvee vehicles and caused damage and
injuries to the soldiers, according to the group’s
How Bad Is
You Take Whatever You Can Get."
battalions now hold an area where 13 battalions had been
stationed until February. In northern Anbar province,
which includes Haqlaniyah, about 3,000 Marines are
stretched among outposts in an area the size of South
May. 04, 2005 BY JAMES JANEGA,
After an hour of shooting,
rocket-propelled grenades were still crisscrossing in front
of Sgt. Aaron Hanselman,
and he was looking at the horizon for backup as bullets
snapped through the air around his men.
whizzing by. Our gunner swears that a couple hit the
Humvee," said Hanselman, 28, a mobile assault team leader
and Marine reservist from Marysville, Ohio.
vehicle had started the firefight with 1,200 rounds of
ammunition, he said, but the five men inside had whittled
the supply down to 75 bullets.
The four Humvees in
Hanselman's unit - named Kabar 6 after the Marine fighting
knife - took enemy fire from two groups of houses and an oil
refinery behind them, Marine officials said. Help for the
unit, stuck on a road in the open, was 15 minutes away.
But it was a lot of help.
Hundreds of troops were
directed at Haqlinayah soon after trouble started, said Col.
Stephen Davis, the commander of Regimental Combat Team-2.
battalions now hold an area where 13 battalions had been
stationed until February. In northern Anbar province, which
includes Haqlaniyah, about 3,000 Marines are stretched among
outposts in an area the size of South Carolina.
While the idea to swarm enemy
fighters is not new to the Marines in Iraq, it is rare that
they do it fast enough for more than a few dozen Marines to
shoot back at the fighters, let alone to surround the
fast-moving insurgency. When the Americans shift forces
into a town, it is usually only for a few days, and the
action is so telegraphed that insurgents and foreign
fighters can flee ahead of them.
Because several smaller units
near Haqlaniyah were ready for other missions April 20,
nearly 200 troops from the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines were
able to respond to the shootout there within the first
hour. The troops remained in town for the next three days.
When left Haqlaniyah on
April 23, things appeared to have returned to normal. The
locals had learned on several previous occasions that the
Marines rarely stay.
April 26, about 500 Marines from 3-25 and other battalions
suddenly returned to Haqlaniyah, a small town of about 5,000
on the Euphrates River. Not only were major roads sealed
off, but so were the desert and surrounding villages. Troops
began rolling into all of Haqlaniyah's neighborhoods almost
at once, and stayed until early Sunday.
Besides being able to actually
shoot back at insurgents in the first phase, more than 40
arrests were made in the second phase, said battalion
commander Lt. Col. Lionel Urquhart. Marine officials said
the insurgents were apparently surprised the Marines had
The first move in the new
strategy for Anbar could not have begun in a more mundane
way. Just after noon on April 20, two gunmen fired on a
civil affairs patrol carrying repair proposals to schools in
a neighboring town.
description was sent out of the shooters' getaway car, which
Hanselman's patrol stumbled across south of Haqlaniyah. But
the Americans quickly found themselves outnumbered by an
insurgent counterattack that sent gunfire and rockets down
on them from several homes on the edge of town. Another
American platoon arrived to pin down the Iraqi gunmen, and
then a fresh company of troops backed them up.
By the time
the fighting died down five hours later, hundreds of Marines
from the 3-25 had poured in, supported by tanks, armored
vehicles and helicopters.
of the first times they actually stayed and fought," said
Staff Sgt. Michael Knittle, 35, of Wakeman, Ohio, who was in
the initial firefight alongside Hanselman.
Then came the pullout and the
surprise return April 26, when hundreds more troops from
battalions as far away as the Jordanian and Syrian borders
sealed off Haqlaniyah, trapping insurgents and foreign
"Insurgents typically run like
rats on a sinking ship," said Maj. Steve White, the
operations officer who directed the fight in Haqlaniyah.
"This time, I don't think they realized the ship was
The 3rd Battalion moved almost
all of its forces in the area into town April 26 and sat
there, hoping for insurgents to grow impatient and begin
North of them, a company from
the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based in Al Qaim, seized the
shops, neighborhood and pontoon bridge where the fight had
begun a few days before. Across the river and on the
outskirts of town, parts of the 2nd Light Armored
Reconnaissance Battalion, stationed on the border with
Jordan, blocked off road junctions in the desert.
The insurgents soon tried to
fade into the populace. In the five-day operation that
followed, there was sporadic gunfire each day, a suicide car
bomber and roadside blasts. No Americans were killed, and
along with the more than 40 detainees swept up in raids,
Marines also netted bomb-making materials, documents and
Among the prisoners was a
suspected former Iraqi special forces officer believed to be
coordinating local insurgent attacks, and three Sudanese men
who claimed to be sheep shearers, and who sat ramrod
straight and refused offers of water from their Marine
captors as others begged to be let go.
The detainees were brought to
regimental holding facilities each night by a squadron of
Humvees directed by Cpl. Josh Smith, 23, of Poplarville,
Miss. His mission orders were simple: "Keep your drivers
On April 31, Smith made his
11th late-night prisoner run to Al Asad air base, about an
hour away across darkened roads.
Both the men and vehicles were
dirty from days in the field, and scratched by roadside bomb
blasts. They blared heavy metal music on jury-rigged
speakers and called each other frequently on the radio to
keep from falling asleep.
Along with the prisoners,
weapons and documents, there was another benefit of the
Friday call to prayers, an imam in town declared no love for
the Marines, but then denounced the insurgents for picking
fights with Americans that they didn't want to finish.
Marines excitedly passed the news about the imam. As White
put it, "Out here, you take whatever you can get."
Attacks Cut Off Baghdad Airport:
Flights Cancelled “Until Further Notice”
05/03/05 By Dalya Dajani,
Jordanian (RJ) maintained the suspension of its flights to
Baghdad for the third consecutive day on Tuesday pending
safety clearance from Iraqi civil aviation authorities.
national carrier suspended its two daily flights to Baghdad
on Sunday following an increase in mortar attacks on the
The national carrier will
resume its Baghdad flights once the Iraqi Civil Aviation
Authority (ICAA) issues ground safety clearance, an RJ
source told The Jordan Times yesterday.
mortar attacks on and around Baghdad Airport also prompted
the ICAA to suspend Iraqi Airways flights to Jordan until
RJ, the first commercial
airline to resume flights to Baghdad following the US-led
invasion, has provided an alternate route for those wishing
to avoid the seven hour overland trip to the war-torn
“Going To School On Us.''
[Thanks to DG, who sent this
May 3, 2005 By ROBERT BURNS,
AP Military Writer
Jim Brooks said the insurgents will plant false bombs -
sometimes even with real blasting caps - and then study how
U.S. forces respond.
That is a
classic technique for developing countermeasures, or, as
Rumsfeld described the insurgents' method, “`going to school
Like I Was Wasting Time And The Taxpayers' Money" Marine
04 May 2005 By Scott
Ritter, Aljazeera. Scott
Ritter is a former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, and a
former major in the US marines, having served for 12 years,
including in the first Gulf War in 1991.
Recently, the chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, insisted, at a
press conference, that the US and coalition forces were
winning the war in Iraq, and noted that he was confident of
a military victory.
"I'm going to say this: I
think we are winning, okay. I think we're definitely
winning. I think we've been winning for some time," Myers
statements, mirroring his earlier pronouncements, as well as
those of his fellow joint chiefs, represent a posturing for
the public that is not matched by the reality on the ground
general who speaks of winning the war, there are hundreds of
soldiers and marines, veterans of the harsh reality of
ground truth in Iraq, who believe otherwise.
example is the experience of the third battalion, seventh
marines, who are based in 29 Palms, California. This
battalion was assigned the task of securing the area around
the western Iraqi city of al-Qaim in April 2004.
"The marines", the battalion
commander Lieutenant-Colonel Lopez wrote in a letter to
families back in the US, "are hard at work establishing
security and bringing a better life to the people of al-Qaim
... we are actively engaged in establishing local
governance, local Iraqi police forces, and improving
However, the reality of
al-Qaim was much different. The marines entered what they
called "silent war", where they engaged in unforgiving
combat with faceless insurgents that killed and wounded them
in alarming numbers, and which went largely unreported back
home in America.
The third battalion, seventh
marines returned home in September 2004, having suffered 17
dead and many dozens wounded.
The marines of this proud
battalion were deeply scarred by their experiences in Iraq.
This was the same unit that had, in April 2003, spearheaded
the American assault on Baghdad, helping liberate Iraq from
Saddam Hussein. During that phase of the war, not a single
marine from 3/7 was killed.
it was different. Rather than a sense of victory, the
marines were struck by the futility, and tragedy, of what
they had gone through.
like I wasted my time, caring about something that doesn't
have any meaning any more," one marine was quoted as saying,
speaking of his time in al-Qaim. "I felt like I was wasting
time and the taxpayers' money."
battalion commander concurred, noting that while much had
been accomplished on the surface, little had fundamentally
changed in Iraq as a result of the sacrifices of his
U.S. News & World Report
It is not
just the toll in dead and injured that makes the roadside
and car bombs such effective tools of the insurgency.
Bombings create a sense of chaos and make government
officials and security forces look incompetent, helpless to
stop the mayhem.
them take the offensive, the military has examined how
conventional forces have dealt with bombing campaigns in
other fights, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
and the Vietnam War.
Minister Calls U.S. Version Of Iraq Killing "A Lie"
May 4, 2005 By Crispian
Italy and the United States
have issued differing reports on the incident, with the U.S.
military exonerating its troops of any blame while Rome said
nervous American soldiers and a badly executed roadblock
were at the root of the shooting.
conclusions, based largely on the soldiers' testimony
because forensic evidence was not preserved, infuriated many
Italians; Reforms Minister Roberto Calderoli said on
Wednesday the American report was "clearly a lie".
The row has
severely strained relations between the two allies and
prompted calls in Italy for Berlusconi to speed the
withdrawal some 3,000 Italian troops deployed in Iraq.
Calipari was shot by a U.S.
soldier on the night of March 4, as he was escorting an
Italian hostage to freedom on the notoriously dangerous road
to Baghdad airport.
Rome and Washington set up a
joint inquiry into the shooting, but failed to reach the
TRUTH? CHECK OUT THE NEW TRAVELING SOLDIER
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you've read, we hope that you'll join with us in
building a network of active duty organizers.
with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and
bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)
April Recruiting Goal By “Whopping” 42 Percent;
May 3, 2005 By Will Dunham
Army missed its April recruiting goal by a whopping 42
percent and the Army Reserve fell short by 37 percent,
officials said on Tuesday, showing the depth of the
military's wartime recruiting woes.
With the Iraq war straining
the U.S. military, the active-duty Army has now missed its
recruiting goals in three straight months, with April being
by far the worst of the three
The active-duty Army signed up
3,821 recruits last month, falling short of its goal of
6,600 for April, Army Recruiting Command spokesman Douglas
Smith said. That left
the Army 16 percent behind its year-to-date goal, officials
The Army Reserve, a force of
part-time soldiers who train regularly and can be called to
active duty in times of need, signed up 849 recruits in
April, short of the monthly goal of 1,355, Smith said. That
left the Army Reserve 21 percent behind its year-to-date
Recruiters On The Hot Seat
May 6, 2005 Letters To The
Editor, Socialist Worker
PB who sent this in. He writes: Who would've thought that
the military would call the ISO to whine about the falling
recruitment numbers? They should just fucking call Bush
tell him, "get out of Iraq so we can make our numbers."]
last week, I received an interesting phone call from two
Army National Guard recruiters in Pennsylvania. They got my
phone number off an advertisement in Socialist Worker for a
counter-recruitment event at my school featuring Nadia
McCaffrey, a Gold Star mother--the mother of a soldier
killed in Iraq.
45 minutes, they peppered me with questions about why I was
trying to make their jobs harder. The first sergeant I
spoke with was cordial, but kept emphasizing that our
activities were hurting his recruitment. He admitted,
“Sure, we embellish a little,” but contested that the
military ever told actual lies.
After I was
through with him, he called in his buddy, who was much more
aggressive. At one point, the second recruiter told me:
“You’re anti-establishment, the military is the
establishment. The military is made of people. You’re
anti-people!” I think that this is the first time, as a
socialist, I’ve been accused of being “anti-people.”
this man so upset with me? He admitted that because of
antiwar activists, no one wants to join the military any
more out of “patriotism,” so they have to entice people with
$10,000 signing bonuses. Of course, he denied that this
targeted the poor.
Although I didn’t make much
headway with either of these two gentlemen in our one
conversation, it’s nice to know that what we do matters.
that two military recruiters spent part of their evening
trying to talk me out of politics--rather than working on
conning the local high schoolers into making the worst
mistake of their lives.
John Green, Davis, Calif.
Command Deliberately Lied To Public And Family About Tillman
Involved In Fraud
initial investigation found fratricide just days later.
Top commanders within the U.S. Central Command,
including Abizaid, were notified by April 29 -- four
days before Tillman's memorial service in San Jose,
where he was given a posthumous Silver Star Award.
[Thanks to PG, who sent this
May 4, 2005 By Josh White,
Washington Post Staff Writer
Army investigator who looked into the death of former NFL
player Pat Tillman in Afghanistan last year found within
days that he was killed by his fellow Rangers in an act of
"gross negligence," but Army officials decided not to inform
Tillman's family or the public until weeks after a
nationally televised memorial service.
A new Army
report on the death shows that top Army officials, including
the theater commander, Gen. John P. Abizaid, were told that
Tillman's death was fratricide days before the service.
Soldiers on the scene said
they were immediately sure Tillman was killed by a barrage
of American bullets as he took shelter behind a large
boulder during a twilight firefight along a narrow canyon
road near the Pakistani border, according to nearly 2,000
pages of interview transcripts and investigative reports
obtained by The Washington Post.
documents also show that officers made erroneous initial
reports that Tillman was killed by enemy fire, destroyed
critical evidence and initially concealed the truth from
Tillman's brother, also an Army Ranger, who was near the
attack on April 22, 2004, but did not witness it.
After the shooting, Tillman's
brother was not informed about what had happened and was
flown back to the United States with his brother's body.
told the soldiers not to talk about the incident "to prevent
rumors" and news reports.
"I mean, it's horrible that
Pat was dead. Absolutely horrible. But it hurts even more
to know that it was one of our own guys that did it . . .,"
one soldier told Brig. Gen. Gary M. Jones. "We just, we
didn't want to get anything, you know, bad said about the
regiment or anything like that. That was my guess to what
the whole thing was about. We didn't want the world finding
out what actually happened."
The first report about
Tillman's death within Army channels -- sent at 4:40 p.m.
April 22 -- said that Tillman died in a medical treatment
facility after his vehicle came under direct and indirect
fire, attributing the gunshot wounds he received to "enemy
investigation was immediately launched, and several
documents show that the local chain of command was largely
convinced it was fratricide from the beginning.
day, Tillman's Ranger body armor was burned because it was
covered in blood and was considered a "biohazard." His
uniform was also burned. Jones noted that this amounted to
the destruction of evidence.
Soldiers reported they burned
the evidence because "we knew at the time, based on taking
the pictures and walking around it it was a fratricide. . .
. We knew in our hearts what had happened, and we weren't
going to lie about it. So we weren't thinking about proof
An initial investigation found
fratricide just days later.
commanders within the U.S. Central Command, including
Abizaid, were notified by April 29 -- four days before
Tillman's memorial service in San Jose, where he was given a
posthumous Silver Star Award.
Jones concluded that Tillman,
who was bravely leading his fire team into battle, was given
the award based on what he intended to do.
family learned about Tillman's fratricide over Memorial
Day weekend, several weeks later. Commanders felt they
could not hold on to the old version because the Rangers
were returning home and "everybody knows the story," the
David McReynolds who sent this in. He writes: I have to
admit it couldn't have happened to a nice group.]
May 4, 2005 By David Johnson
and Eric Lichtblau, New York Times
May 4 - Federal agents arrested a Pentagon analyst today,
accusing him of illegally disclosing a highly classified
document about possible attacks on American forces in Iraq
to two employees of a pro-Israel lobbying group.
The military analyst, Lawrence
A. Franklin, turned himself in to authorities this morning
and was scheduled to make an initial appearance in federal
court in Alexandria, Va., later in the afternoon. If
convicted, he could be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in
Franklin was suspended last year, along with his
security clearance, but he had been rehired in recent
months in a nonsensitive job. He has been employed by
the Defense Department since 1979 and is a colonel in
the Air Force reserve.
According to a 10-page F.B.I.
affidavit accompanying the complaint, Mr. Franklin divulged
the secret information about attacks on American forces in
Iraq at a lunch on June 26, 2003, attended by two senior
staff members at the American Israel Public Affairs
Committee. Four days later, F.B.I. agents who searched Mr.
Franklin's office found the top-secret document that
contained the classified information.
investigation into a midlevel career employee at the
Pentagon has stirred anxious debate in some political
circles in the capital. The investigation has cast a cloud
over Aipac, which has close ties to senior policymakers in
the Bush administration, among them Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice, who is expected to appear later this month
at the group's annual meeting.
During the June 2003 lunch at
a restaurant in Arlington, Va., which was apparently held
under F.B.I. surveillance, Mr. Franklin disclosed the
information related to the potential attack on American
forces in Iraq, according to the affidavit . It said that
Mr. Franklin told the two men "that the information was
'highly classified' and asked them not to 'use' it."
affidavit, signed by Catherine M. Hanna, an F.B.I.
agent, said Mr. Franklin had engaged in other illegal
acts. The complaint said he had disclosed government
information to an unidentified foreign official and to
journalists. In addition, investigators found 83
classified documents in his home in West Virginia. The
documents had dates that spanned more than three
Predators Have Friends In High Places
May 02, 2005 By Gordon
Trowbridge and Karen Jowers, Army Times staff writers
They line the streets outside
every military base with bright-colored signs advertising
“E-Z Cash” “E-1 and up” and “Payday Loans.”
But the leaders of the $25
billion payday loan industry insist they don’t target
military members or communities. Now new studies show clear
evidence that payday lenders are far more likely to be
located outside military bases than elsewhere.
number of senior military leaders and advocates call the
business a threat to military families that not only targets
those in uniform but also entraps them in a cycle of debt
built on small loans carrying enormous interest rates.
Lenders, in response, are increasingly active political
contributors, lining up powerful politicians in
Washington and state capitals — and even the assistance
of retired generals and admirals — to stay in business.
Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Terry Scott complained about
payday lenders in testimony before Congress in February.
increasing concern among leadership about payday loans,” he
said in an April 19 interview. “The only conclusion I can
come to is they are preying on sailors.”
Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., has
introduced a bill that would cap the interest rate charged
on loans to service members and their dependents at 36
“A lot of people are
deployed. Spouses are left back home to take care of bills,
and they are being targeted by predatory lenders,” Graves
places are like the legal mafia,” said a soldier at Fort
Bliss, Texas, who is still trying to dig out of debt after
taking out several payday loans — to pay other payday loans.
every corner,” said the soldier, who asked that his name not
But even as the industry’s
critics call for protections against lenders, the industry
is fighting back with a sophisticated, costly and growing
industry has given millions of dollars to state and
federal campaigns, rapidly growing from a political
nonentity to a significant lobbying force in just the
past few election cycles.
some cases, retired general and flag officers have
joined forces with an industry that critics say
threatens to put military families at financial risk.
leaders and advocacy groups have criticized the industry for
its military focus, payday lenders have relied on their
growing political clout to fend off tighter regulation.
industry has important friends. Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, the
powerful House majority leader, delivered the keynote
address in March to the trade group’s annual convention.
Kanjorski, D-Pa., a top Democrat on the House Financial
Services Committee, was honored with a private reception,
and the head of the Florida state agency that regulates the
industry in that state delivered a speech there.
Israel Worried By Rising Number Of Soldiers Fucked By Payday
April 28, 2005
information on the problems of the Israeli army.
For a long time the Israeli
army has been having trouble getting enough soldiers. They
are conscripted straight from school and later have
to serve, and go to prison, but most get a doctor's
certificate saying they are unfit for service. The first
piece, just received, is about financial troubles for the
April 28, 2005
New Profile has long been
aware of the phenomenon of social refusal and, in several
cases, has offered legal aid and moral support to social
so-called "salaries" are so low in the Israeli army that
families actually pay to maintain a son, daughter, brother,
partner, etc. in his or her term of mandatory military
First, many of the poorer
families lose the vital income provided by young conscripts
who took part in family support before becoming soldiers.
addition, conscripts need family support for transportation
to and from home on weekend leave, for recreation while on
leave, for various 'extra' equipment items that ease field
a family member in the military accordingly involves a tax,
although a hidden, unrecognized one.
While this is true of all
conscripts, those stationed close to home are sometimes
allowed to work after hours, a solution that is not
generally open to combat soldiers.
Consequently, structural inequalities are worsened further
by military service due to the current over-representation
among combat troops of working classes (a
majority of whom are Mizrachi Jews of Middle Eastern, Asian
and North African descent) and newly immigrated communities
(mainly from the former U.S.S.R. and Ethiopia).
The following item from today's Haaretz is reflection of
4.28.05 By Amos Harel, Haaretz
of army battalions recently have reported a worrying
increase in the number of soldiers getting themselves deeply
into debt due to gray market loans.
The commander of an infantry
battalion stationed in the territories told Haaretz
Wednesday that in his battalion alone, he knows of more than
10 soldiers who have fallen into debt in such a way.
source in the Israel Defense Forces' General Staff confirmed
that this is a known phenomenon in a large number of combat
The infantry battalion
commander said that in one case, a soldier was found to owe
more than NIS 50,000. For soldiers in elite combat units,
who are not allowed to hold civilian jobs during their army
service and are paid just a few hundred shekels a month by
the IDF, this is a tough amount to pay back.
commander believes that other soldiers, in addition to the
ones mentioned by the battalion commanders, are finding it
difficult to pay back similar loans, but are reluctant to
tell their unit about their financial woes.
When commanders do find out
about their soldiers' money problems, they usually do all
they can to assist them, both through providing their
families with groceries and through allowing the soldiers to
work on the weekends. The battalion commander said that he
had worked out a sort of "business plan" for one soldier who
found himself heavily in debt in an attempt to help him
gradually pay back the money.
Some soldiers find themselves
in debt due to their personal expenses, such as high cell
to the gray market for loans because their parents, who are
themselves heavily in debt, find it difficult to help them.
Combat unit commanders say
that "the economic upswing the finance minister talks about
is still not being felt by the families of our soldiers."
them describe "situations close to starvation" in some
soldiers' families. This can be
attributed partly to the large percentage of combat unit
soldiers who are new immigrants (25 percent, compared to 15
percent of new immigrants in the overall population).
infantry battalion's 500-plus soldiers serving in the
territories, more than 100 of them (around a fifth) receive
some kind of financial assistance from the army.
The battalion helps by distributing vouchers to the families
ahead of the festivals, but the amount allocated by the
General Staff (some NIS 15,000 in vouchers every three
months) does not meet these pressing needs.
family's financial situation is one of the most influential
factors in a soldier's decision to leave combat duty and ask
for a posting close to home, or to quit active duty
In addition, commanders are also reporting an increase in
the number of soldiers asking for help in finding
alternative housing due to violence at home.
Kills At Least 60 At Occupation Police Recruiting Center In
5.4.05 Reuters & By THOMAS
WAGNER, (AP) & By SITE Institute & By Yahya Barzanji, The
carrying hidden explosives set them off in a police
recruitment center in northern Iraq Wednesday, the U.S.
military said, killing at least 60 people and wounding 150
more in the northern Iraqi city of Arbil on Wednesday.
At least seven cars parked
near the center were destroyed by the blast. Several nearby
buildings were damaged.
Police and security officials
said a large crowd was gathered outside the building and
recruiting center when the suicide bomber struck.
Walter, the spokesman who provided the U.S. military death
toll in Irbil, said the blast occurred as many Iraqis were
applying for Iraqi police jobs at the recruitment center.
Ambulances and taxis raced to
the chaotic scene and took casualties to local hospitals.
The Military Corps of the
Iraqi insurgent group, Ansar al-Sunnah issued a communiqué,
posted on the group’s official website, claiming
communiqué details the devastating attack on a recruitment
center in Arbeil, stating that this attack
“is a response to our
brothers who are being held in your jails and to your
converters of the Bashmarka Forces who sided with the
Americans against our people in Fallujah, Mosul, and Baghdad
and everywhere in Muslim lands. “
DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
Occupation Soldiers Killed In Baghdad Car Bomb
May 5, 2005 (AEST)
soldiers were killed and 17 people wounded in a car bomb
attack in Baghdad on Wednesday.
Six of the
wounded were also soldiers, an Interior Ministry source
took place in Dura, a neighbourhood in southern Baghdad
where insurgents have relocated in recent months after
US-Iraqi raids against their strongholds south of the
For An American Defeat In Iraq”
not the insurgency that's killing American soldiers.
It's the self-serving strategy to control 12% of the
world's remaining petroleum and to project American
military power throughout the region. This is the plan
that has put American servicemen into harm's way. The
insurgency is simply acting as any resistance movement
would; trying to rid their country of foreign invaders
when all the political channels have been foreclosed.
By Mike Whitney
May 1, 2005, AxisofLogic.com
The greatest moral quandary of
our day is whether we, as Americans, support the Iraqi
insurgency. It's an issue that has caused anti-war Leftists
the same pangs of conscience that many felt 30 years ago in
their opposition to the Vietnam War. The specter of
disloyalty weighs heavily on all of us, even those who've
never been inclined to wave flags or champion the notion of
I can say without hesitation that I support the
"insurgency", and would do so even if my only 21 year old
son was serving in Iraq. There's simply no other morally
Americans, we support the idea that violence is an
acceptable means of achieving (national)
self-determination. This, in fact, is how our nation was
formed, and it is vindicated in our founding document, The
Declaration of Independence:
secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men,
deriving their just powers from the consent of the
governed. That whenever any form of government becomes
destructive of these ends it is the right of the people to
alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government,
having its foundation on such principles and organizing its
powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to
effect their safety and happiness..when a long train of
abuses and usurpations pursuing invariably the same object
evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it
is their right, it is their duty to throw off such
government, and provide new guards for their future
The Declaration of
Independence is revolutionary in its view that we have a
"duty" to overthrow regimes that threaten basic human
We must apply this same
standard to the Iraqi people. Violence is not the issue,
but the justification for the use of violence. The
overwhelming majority of the world's people know that the
war in Iraq was an "illegal" (Kofi Annan) act of unprovoked
aggression against a defenseless enemy.
poll conducted in the Middle East (released by the Center
for Strategic Studies) shows that "for more than 85% of the
population in four of the five countries polled (Egypt,
Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine) thought the US
war on Iraq was an act of terrorism". Lebanon polled at 64%.
(Pepe Escobar; "Its Terror when we say so").
Terrorism or not, there's no
doubt that the vast majority of people in the region and in
the world, believe that the war was entirely unjustifiable.
argument most commonly offered by antiwar Americans (who
believe we should stay in Iraq) doesn't defend the
legitimacy of the invasion, but provides the rationale
for the ongoing occupation.
belief that "We can't just leave them without security",
creates the logic for staying in Iraq until order can be
Unfortunately, the occupation is just another
manifestation of the war itself; replete with daily
bombings, arrests, torture and the destruction of
personal property. Therefore, support of the occupation
is a vindication of the war. The two are inseparable.
We should remember that the
war (which was entirely based on false or misleading
information) was both illegal and immoral. That judgment
does not change by maintaining a military presence of
140,000 soldiers on the ground for years to come. Each
passing day of occupation simply perpetuates the crime.
At the same time we have to
recognize that the disparate elements of Iraqi resistance,
belittled in the media as the "insurgency", are the
legitimate _expression of Iraqi self-determination.
Independence is not bestowed by a foreign nation; the very
nature of that relationship suggests reliance on outside
independence and sovereignty can only be realized when
foreign armies are evacuated and indigenous elements assume
the reigns of power.
(Bush acknowledged this
himself when he ordered Syrian troops to leave Lebanon)
character of the future Iraqi government will evolve from
the groups who successfully expel the US forces from their
country, not the American-approved stooges who rose to power
through Washington's "demonstration elections".
This may not suit the members of the Bush administration,
but it's a first step in the long process of reintegrating
and rebuilding the Iraqi state.
There's no indication that the
conduct of the occupation will change anytime soon. If
anything, conditions have only worsened over the past two
years. The Bush administration hasn't shown any willingness
to loosen its grip on power either by internationalizing the
occupation or by handing over real control to the newly
elected Iraqi government.
This suggests that the only
hope for an acceptable solution to the suffering of the
Iraqi people is a US defeat and the subsequent withdrawal of
troops. Regrettably, we're nowhere near that period yet.
the insurgency that's killing American soldiers. It's the
self-serving strategy to control 12% of the world's
remaining petroleum and to project American military power
throughout the region. This is the plan that has put
American servicemen into harm's way. The insurgency is
simply acting as any resistance movement would; trying to
rid their country of foreign invaders when all the political
channels have been foreclosed.
would behave no differently if put in a similar situation
and Iraqi troops were deployed in our towns and cities.
Ultimately, the Bush administration bears the responsibility
for the death of every American killed in Iraq just as if
they had lined them up against a wall and shot them one by
one. Their blood is on the administration's hands, not
those of the Iraqi insurgency.
another dictator or Mullah
We shouldn't expect that,
after a long period of internal struggle, the Iraqi
leadership will embrace the values of democratic
government. More likely, another Iraqi strongman, like
Saddam, will take power. In fact, the rise of another
dictator (or Ayatollah) is nearly certain given the
catastrophic effects of the American-led war. Regardless,
it is not the right of the US to pick-and-choose the leaders
of foreign countries or to meddle in their internal
At this point, we should be
able to agree that the people of Iraq were better off under
Saddam Hussein in every quantifiable way than they are
today. Even on a physical level, the availability of work,
clean water, electricity, sewage control, medicine, gas and
food were far superior to the present situation. On a
deeper level, the insecurity from the sporadic violence, the
increasing brutality, and the gross injustice of the
occupation has turned Iraq into a prison-state, where the
amenities of normal life are nowhere to be found.
Support for the Bush policy
is, by necessity, support for the instruments of coercion
that are used to perpetuate that occupation. In other
words, one must be willing to support the torture at Abu
Ghraib, (which continues to this day, according to Amnesty
International) the neoliberal policies (which have
privatized all of Iraq's publicly owned industries, banks
and resources), an American-friendly regime that excludes
20% (Sunnis) of the population and, worst of all, "the
return-in full force-of Saddam's Mukhabarat agents, now
posing as agents of the new Iraqi security and intelligence
services." (Pepe Escobar, Asia Times)
Americans prepared to offer their support to the same brutal
apparatus of state-terror that was employed by Saddam?
(Rumsfeld's unannounced visit to Baghdad last week was to
make sure that the newly elected officials didn't tamper
with his counterinsurgency operatives, most of whom were
formerly employed in Saddam's secret police)
We should also ask ourselves
what the long-range implications of an American victory in
Iraq would be.
argue that we cannot leave Iraq in a state of chaos don't
realize that stabilizing the situation on the ground is
tantamount to an American victory and a vindication for the
policies of aggression.
would be a bigger disaster than the invasion itself.
The Bush administration is fully prepared to carry on
its campaign of global domination by force unless an
unmovable object like the Iraqi insurgency blocks its
suspect, that if it wasn't for the resistance, the US
would be in Tehran and Damascus right now. This, I
think, is a rational assumption.
For this reason alone, antiwar
advocates should carefully consider the implications of
"so-called" humanitarian objectives designed to pacify the
population. "Normalizing" aggression by ameliorating its
symptoms is the greatest dilemma we collectively face.
be clear about our feelings about the war and the
disparate Iraqi resistance is the legitimate manifestation
of a national liberation movement.
is imperative to the principles of national sovereignty and
self-determination; ideals that are revered in the
Declaration of Independence.
The toppling of foreign
regimes and the destruction of entire civilizations cannot
be justified in terms of "democracy" or any other cynically
Crushing the insurgency will not absolve that illicit
action; it will only increase the magnitude of the crime.
we look for an American defeat in Iraq. Such a defeat would
serve as a powerful deterrent to future unprovoked conflicts
and would deliver a serious blow to the belief that
aggression is a viable _expression of foreign policy.
What do you think?
Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are
especially welcome. Send to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Name, I.D., withheld on
request. Replies confidential.
Oil For Blood
04 May 2005 Aljazeera.Net
Iraq has been importing around $2 billion a year worth of
petrol and other fuels to compensate for losses in domestic
production as saboteurs attacked refineries and distribution
systems, and smugglers stole petrol trucks and fuel from
POLITICIANS AT WORK
Bush Faking Reasons For Iraq War
5.2.05 Wall St. Journal
days before Britain’s general elections, Prime Minister Tony
Blair was embarrassed by a leaked document showing he was
advised ahead of the Iraq invasion that the case for war was
“thin” and that Washington was fixing “intelligence and
facts” to the policy of going to war.
The leaked document, published
in the Sunday Times newspaper, is the second to upset the
re-election campaign of Mr. Blair’s Labour Party in a week.
It is likely to ensure the final days before Thursday’s vote
are dominated by accusations that Mr. Blair “lied” about the
reasons he took Britain to war.
Opinion polls continue to show
Labour anywhere from three to 10 points ahead of the main
opposition Conservative Party, suggesting Labour remains
likely to win. But Mr. Blair’s personal authority and the
huge parliamentary majority he enjoys -- 161 more seats than
all other parties combined in the 659-Seat parliament
---look increasingly threatened.
The document -- minutes of a
July 23, 2002, meeting between Mr. Blair and his top
security officials -- shows him being told by his
then-foreign intelligence chief that a U.S. invasion of Iraq
was now seen as “inevitable” in Washington, and that “The
intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”
The government’s top lawyer
warned that invading to secure regime change would be
illegal, making some form of United Nations Security Council
mandate essential. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said that
the case for war was weak.
To: GI Special
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Subject: Sent "Send your
friends" story link to Drudge
YOU have a great site.
Amazing in fact. Since I found it a couple of days ago
I've told everyone about it and forwarded links to many
Your stories are quite
exceptional. It will be sites like yours that change the
direction of the country.
Thanks for your
encouragement. It means a lot.
Your comment forwarded on to
the source of the item you mention. That will mean a great
deal to him.
All GI Special does is provide
we need are being brought about by soldiers, veterans,
military family members, and people who do what you’re
doing: taking action. You, and they, are changing the
direction of the country, by refusing to accept things as
they are. Honor and respect to you, and to them all.
GI Special distributes and
posts to our website copyrighted material the use of which
has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright
owner. We are making such material available in an effort
to advance understanding of the invasion and occupation of
Iraq. We believe this constitutes a “fair use” of any such
copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the
US Copyright Law since it is being distributed
without charge or profit for purely educational
purposes to those who have expressed a prior interest in
receiving the included information for educational purposes,
in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. Go to:
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml for more
information. If you wish to use copyrighted material from
this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair
use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
out, this newsletter is your personal property and cannot
legally be confiscated from you. “Possession of
unauthorized material may not be prohibited.” DoD Directive
1325.6 Section 220.127.116.11.