GI SPECIAL 3B21:
Damn Plan Mr. Bush And Get Our Soldiers HOME”
Lietta & Arthur Ruger
Monday, May 02, 2005 10:43 AM
daughter's blog (below); upon learning her husband will have
to redeploy to Iraq for 2nd deployment.
is in Germany and he is with 1st Armored, who already served
extended 15 month combat tour in Iraq March 2003 - July
Last month, he was just caught
up in the unmitigatable trap of:
not to re-enlist but already Stop-Lossed with Orders to
redeploy to Iraq or
Option 2: re-enlist,
still under Stop-Loss with Orders to Iraq,
but he worked extensively
with personnel 'in the field'
who promised him that with
re-enlistment he could choose new PCS to new unit, and was
given 3 choices.
He worked hard to uncover any hidden details and was clearly
told that in choosing a new PCS, he would not have to remain
with his present unit, thus not be bound to Stop-Loss or
Orders for Iraq with that unit.
the personnel 'in the field' as after all they are 'in the
field' and not recruiters and who else is he to go to in the
field if not field personnel?
He did re-enlist, chose his new PCS and the family began
getting ready for a move to new duty station.
Yesterday his unit CO told him he's got to stay with the
unit, needed in Iraq and is going to Iraq.
news wasn't devastating enough; he also was told that
Rumsfeld coming to talk to his unit (likely other units
as well) this week in Germany and was told 'Do
not ask Rumsfeld about unarmored humvees on threat of an
questions; 1) What are the field personnel telling these
guys about re-enlistment and being field staff rather than
recruiters; what is the line of authority?
would he be under threat of Article 15 not to ask Rumsfeld
about an update on vital 'armored humvee' since it is
publicly known already the production problem with uparmored
humvees, and the President has already said publicly we need
to get the troops what they need?
me, as I know there are more questions to ask, other
ways to dissect this, other ways to frame the questions,
and I need the help of many clear thinking heads and
intend to take this to media and politicians, and I need
some talking points rather than military mom distress to
Ruger, military family of Iraq Veterans
Pacific Northwest Military
Families Speak Out (www.nwmfso.org)
[To offer help and
suggestions, click on the name “Lietta & Arthur Ruger” up
top and an email form will appear.]
My Daughter's Blog Entry Follows, I Have
Permission To Share It:
A Damn Plan Mr. Bush And Get Our
Totally bummed out beyond
So my wonderful husband is in
the field and calls me everyday or vise versa. I love
getting his calls and just hearing his sexy voice on the
Well last night when we were
talking he had some not so great news to share with me. I
wish last night I did not get a call from my soldier.
My soldier said he is having a
meeting this week with his higher up (you know who).
be discussing him STAYING here under STOPLOSS.
be letting him know no matter what he tries to do he will be
He told me that he is going to
FIGHT this as far as he can. But he told me to be ready for
him to re-deploy to Iraq. Even though we were to leave July
25th. I am at a loss for words.
I mean yes, I know to expect
this and deep down I was holding unto a glimmer of hope that
my soldier would be spared going back to Iraq.
I do not want him deploying
back to the HELL hole he survived just last year.
I was holding unto to faith
that things would fall into place and get us out of Germany
ASAP and away from this deployment with this unit he is in.
It is not a
well run unit, nor do I feel good about him returning with
this unit. All my fears were put back into the basket.
Another deployment to Iraq I will have to endure. I will
be without my soldier for another 12+ months. I just really
can not put into words what I am feeling right now. It is
Nothing I could type would
make your realize how my heart aches and my belly turns and
my head hurts. NOTHING can describe the empty feelings I
have now. I don't care if this is his job, if he signed on
the dotted line. Going to a war zone and yes it is STILL a
war zone is not something ANYONE is looking forward too.
still losing soldiers daily to Iraq. And I do not want my
soldier to be one that dies for Iraq or for our President.
His life is not worth that to me.
He would not be serving his
country this way, by dying by a roadside bomb or some other
stupid ass reason other.
I have to now think about
being here in another country with hundreds of depressed
wives stressed out beyond there means for 12+ months.
I am not looking forward to
that AT ALL! I have to talk to my soldier but I think we
will try to EDR before he deploys. I would much rather be
in the states by my family for this, than be here in Germany
sitting around and waiting.
And if God
forbid something happens to my soldier I will have all my
family around me to help me cope with it. I do not want to
be here and get the news from downrange and have some
complete stranger trying to tell me how proudly my soldier
served his country.
My bubble has been burst. I
held unto the little tiny bit of hope that my soldier would
get out of deploying. I let myself believe we would leave
here. I should have known better then to do that.
This is the fucking military I
speak of, the ones that care more about bodies in Iraq than
really caring about the soldiers.
make sure we have every single body we can to maintain
the troops levels and make sure we keep putting into
harms ways soldiers for a cause not worth fighting for.
The emotional torture that is put on military families
I will now be re-thinking this
deployment and mapping out something that will work for the
kids and I. I do not want them suffering through yet
another deployment without their daddy. I will make sure to
hold my head up, support my husband, let him know I am here
for him 110% when he deploys.
But inside I am DYING. I made
it through the 15 month deployment -- barely the first time.
We were separated 18 months total last time. This time
even thinking about sending him back to Iraq is devastating
I now feel hopeless and lost
I do not want to lose the love
of the life, not when we have such a wonderful marriage and
such a beautiful family.
I do not want my kids growing
up without their daddy. I do not want to have to send
letters and pictures and video's of the kids. I do not want
to have to sit up ALL night waiting and hoping that my
soldier comes online to talk to me. Or check my e-mail every
ten minutes seeing if he sent me an e-mail to let me know he
is okay! I do not have to think everyday if he will be
coming home or not! I DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS AGAIN.
I want this to be OVER.
this be over.
we NOT be sending our soldiers to IRAQ to DIE.
will bring them HOME???????
I want some
answers. No more bullshitting around the questions. Make a
damn plan Mr. Bush and get our soldiers HOME.
Okay I am going to go now, I
have worked myself up and need to go calm down.
I am not taking this news well
at all. I am glad I have this blog to vent a bit, it
helps... My soldier will call me ASAP after his meeting and
let me know where things stand.
does not go down without a FIGHT. He doesn't just roll with
whatever someone says, he takes it higher and FIGHTS it.
So send him
some prayers that something breaks somewhere and he gets to
leave this unit and base and go unto Hawaii and NOT HAVE TO
DEPLOY for his second deployment to IRAQ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
at the TOP of my LUNGS!!!!!!!
Hugs and Prayers
UPSET Army Wife-Bree from Army Wife 101 blog
have a friend or relative in the service? Forward this
E-MAIL along, or send us the address if you wish and
we’ll send it regularly.
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.
Identifies Army Casualty
May 5, 2005 U.S. Department of
Defense News Release No. 436-05
The Department of Defense
announced today the death of a soldier.
A. Parker, 26, of Fairfield, Ala., died April 30 in Baghdad,
Iraq, of a non-combat related medical condition. Parker was
assigned to the Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Infantry
Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.
Marine Killed In Iraq Air Crash 1 Year After Father Killed
In U.S. Air Crash
The remains of Kelly Hinz, 30,
have been found following a plane crash.
father, Donald, died in May 2004 when a vintage fighter
plane he was piloting crash-landed during an air show in
A Department of Defense Web
site had not reported Hinz death as of Wednesday night, but
the military had notified the man's family. Hinz's family
declined to comment Wednesday.
Mary Culbertson, the
communications director at St. Thomas Academy, said friends
of the family told teachers and former students that Hinz'
body had been found.
Hinz graduated from the school
Proves Unlucky For Marine;
Shattered By Shrapnel:
This Means He Never Has To Go Back To Iraq''
May 5, 2005 By Matt Assad Of
The Morning Call
Allentown Central Catholic graduate David Bednarcik was
preparing for his third trip to the battlegrounds of Iraq,
he reassured friends and family not to worry, saying ''the
insurgents have lousy aim.''
career Marine might be reconsidering that claim as he lies
in a bed at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda,
Md., the victim of an apparent insurgent attack on his
patrol April 21 near Ramadi.
No one is exactly sure how,
but Bednarcik's jaw was shattered by shrapnel that hit him
while he was riding in a Humvee. ''Three inches lower and I
would have been attending his funeral instead of visiting
him in the hospital,'' said his brother, John Bednarcik of
talk, but he seemed in good spirits. I hope this means he
never has to go back to Iraq.''
He was near Ramadi, where on
the same day he was wounded 11 people died when insurgents
shot down a helicopter.
Pentagon officials say they will not comment about injured
troops, Bednarcik's parents said that with months of
reconstructive surgery ahead, and their son's unit scheduled
to come home in September, they believe he's made his last
trip to Iraq.
In a few weeks doctors will
begin what figures to be a series of surgeries to use bone
and skin from Bednarcik's hip and leg to rebuild his
shattered jaw. After that, he hopes to return to his home
in Temecula, Calif., where he lives with his wife, Rene.
According to his mother,
Vincentine Bednarcik, who visited her son twice since he was
wounded, Bednarcik was in the back seat on a Humvee when the
shrapnel hit the right side of his jaw.
No one else was hurt, and
Bednarcik's mother said military officials could not say
whether the shrapnel was from a rocket-propelled grenade, a
land mine or some other weapon.
Bednarcik doesn't remember
never know what happened,'' Vincentine Bednarcik said.
''Right now, all that really matters is that he gets
Targets US Patrol In Baghdad;
Eyewitnesses said the bombing came after a number of
insurgents attacked the patrol with rocket-propelled
grenades (RPG) and machinegun fire.
on casualties have been made available yet.
Charges Target US Army Convoys:
May 5 (KUNA) & By Thomas
Wagner, Associated Press
explosive charge targeting a passing US army convoy on the
freeway near al-Dawra, south of here, was
set off by insurgents, witnesses told KUNA on Thursday.
US army truck was seen on fire as a result of the blast, said
the witnesses who added that US soldiers immediately
cordoned off the site of the incident, while they attempted
to put out the fire in the truck.
Skid marks suggested the
attacker raced onto the highway from a side road, exploding
his vehicle near the front of the truck and setting it on
today another blast targeted in the same region a US patrol
convoy, damaging the tire of one Humvee,
That Striker 100 Feet And Broke It Into Five Pieces,” Stacy
May 5, 2005 FOX40, WOODBRIDGE
A soldier from San Joaquin
County is recovering from his injuries after an explosion in
Stacy Beintema is the
soldier’s mother. FOX40 News talked with her in Woodbridge
“Anybody’s who’s been through
something like this or similar, your body just kinda goes
into autopilot”, she said.
Stacy and her family are
running on adrenaline. Her son Nick arrived today at
Washington DC’s Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The Army
Specialist was seriously hurt in an attack near Baghdad last
How eager is she to see him?
“There are no words. It’s just that mother’s instinct. At
this point I just have to get there”, she said.
it won’t be easy. Stacy and her husband must tell their 22
year old the same explosion that almost killed him did kill
four of his buddies. Their vehicle, called a striker,
rolled over a bomb.
I understand, strikers are like 50 tons, 5 semis. It blew
that striker 100 feet and broke it into five pieces”, Stacy
Nick has seen tragedy in Iraq
before. In his first tour of duty, his best friend died in
Nick’s arms. His mom hoped he’d choose college over the
Army, but she fell in line with his decision. Honoring
tradition, he’s following in the military footsteps of his
grandfather and father.
Beintemas know their son has a long road ahead and they’ll
be there every step.. But they’re asking for something from
is a little different and I think people lose sight there is
a war going on and that lives are being lost every day, and
people wounded everyday. I don’t want people to forget
about that. He’s not just my soldier. He’s everybody’s
soldier”, said Stacy.
Soldier Regrets Troops Not Allowed To Kill Collaborator
Disbands “Elite” Thugs
tried to stop them once they realized what was going on
but short of opening fire on them, which I would have
preferred to see, we could do nothing to truly stop
them. We finally drove off back to Samarra, with the
life of some farming family who wasn't home going up in
May 5 2005 By Ned Parker,
SAMARRA, Middle East Online & Japan Today
A battalion of Iraq's elite
commando troops was pulled out of the rebel bastion of
Samarra last month after repeated incidents of looting,
culminating in the torching of a home, several US officers
The battalion, headed by a
colonel named Jalil, was widely perceived as running amok,
regularly referred to the commandos as "thieves" and said
there were several incidents where Jalil's men looted homes.
incident in the second week of March that sealed the unit's
fate, the commandos searched a home near Samarra, found no
incriminating evidence and then set it on fire, officers
said on condition of anonymity.
officers and soldiers preferred their names not be
disclosed due to their working relationship with the
interior ministry and the awkward position of
criticising the commandos, considered the vanguard of
Iraq's security forces.
One US soldier who witnessed
the March incident gave the following account.
"The ministry of interior
(MOI) decided they wanted to hit a few more target houses
and the special forces (SF) said 'OK' and we followed
along. We were pulling outer security a house or two down
and couldn't see the MOI or SF," he said.
"All of a sudden we started
seeing smoke billowing up and then SF came over the radio
saying that the MOI colonel with us had given his
'commandos' the order to loot the house and then set it on
fire," the soldier added.
tried to stop them once they realized what was going on but
short of opening fire on them, which I would have preferred
to see, we could do nothing to truly stop them. [There will
no doubt be other chances, hopefully soon.]
drove off back to Samarra, with the life of some farming
family who wasn't home going up in flames.
"The SF and all of us were
royally pissed and they immediately severed ties with them
cancelling some upcoming missions. We did the same," he
jab at the interior ministry, several US soldiers and
officers also questioned its account of a March 22 raid on
an insurgent training camp on Lake TharThar that the
ministry said left more than 80 dead.
soldiers and officers who visited the training camp said
they saw no trace of any bodies at the site, which some of
them entered alongside and others shortly after the
The commandos are a
controversial 12,000-strong unit of fighters, many of them
from Saddam Hussein's special forces, security directorate
and republican guard.
commandos have been dogged by torture allegations and at
least one of their detainees in Samarra turned up dead last
Shiite General Rashid Flaih, a
brigade commander, has been a lightning rod for criticism.
Iraq's de-Baathification committee protested Flaih's
appointment to the interior ministry, citing his job as
security chief in the southern city of Nassiriyah in 1991
after the suppression of that year's Shiite uprising.
find a suspect, they start beating him, it's normal. He's a
criminal. He is beheading and butchering people," Flaih
told AFP in a recent interview.
Many of the
controversial 12,000-strong unit are from Saddam's former
special forces, security directorate and Republican Guard.
Hackworth, Vietnam Vet And Military Analyst, Dies At 74:
Out Against The War
5.5.05 Associated Press
HARTFORD, Conn. Retired Army Colonel David Hackworth, a
decorated Vietnam veteran who spoke out against the war,
is dead at the age of 74.
His wife says Hackworth
died Wednesday in Tijuana, Mexico, where he was being
treated for bladder cancer.
Hackworth was also a journalist and an advocate for
military reform and served as a Newsweek correspondent
during the Gulf War. He also worked
in as a syndicated columnist for King Features, often
criticizing the Bush administration's handling of the
reported last year that Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld used a machine to sign condolence letters sent
to the families of fallen soldiers. That prompted
Rumsfeld to later promise to sign each letter by hand.
Deserter Arrested In Florida:
Country Doesn’t Agree With The President”
May 05, 2005 Associated Press,
Karim Iraq, 25, was arrested
as a deserter and is being held without bail at the Palm
Beach County Jail, sheriff’s officials said.
said the soldier fled Fort Stewart, Ga., after the Army
extended his enlistment because he had soured on the U.S.
military mission in Iraq. The father said the soldier was
also harassed over his Palestinian heritage.
“He was feeling rejected or
discriminated against for the last year or so.... He said
he’d been made fun of all of the time. He never fit in.
They made fun of his name. They always looked at him like
he’s an outsider,” Zayed Iraq said.
“He’s a dangerous guy with
anti-American slogans and a deserter. It’s someone we want
to get off the street immediately,” sheriff’s Capt. Gregory
said his Detroit-born son was proud of his service in Iraq
and Kuwait on two previous tours but had become disenchanted
and did not want to go back to the Middle East for a third
“It’s not like he hates the
U.S. He’s been here all his life. It’s the only country he
ever knew. Half the
country doesn’t agree with the president,” Zayed Iraq said.
Iraq’s commander will
determine whether he faces administrative punishment or a
court-martial. If he is court-martialed, the maximum penalty
under normal circumstances is up to five years in prison.
During war, the maximum penalty is death, but the Army
hasn’t executed a soldier since 1961.
The case was referred to the
FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.
Withdraw Iraq Troops
May 05, 2005 Agence
BULGARIA'S outgoing parliament
tonight voted for a withdrawal of all the country's troops
from Iraq by the end of the year.
decision was adopted by 110 votes against 53, with 45 MPs
abstaining, and comes after the country
this week suffered its 10th military fatality in Iraq.
Soldier Gets The Death Penalty While...
Forgive Murder In Iraq
May 6, 2005 By Eric Ruder,
THE U.S. military values some
lives more than others. That’s the only conclusion you
could draw from the trials of two U.S. soldiers--one accused
of killing two American officers, the other of executing two
Last week, Sgt. Hasan Akbar
was sentenced to death for using grenades and his rifle at a
base camp in Kuwait to kill two officers and injure 14 other
soldiers shortly after the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The chief prosecutor at the
military trial, Lt. Col. Michael Mulligan, said that
“(Akbar) is a hate-filled, ideologically driven murderer.”
military attorney never presented witnesses to the abuse and
racism that Akbar suffered, as the only African American and
only Muslim in his unit. In imposing the death sentence,
the military judge also discounted the testimony of a
psychiatrist, who diagnosed Akbar with forms of paranoia and
During his trial, Akbar
apologized for the attack. “I felt that my life was in
jeopardy, and I had no other options,” said Akbar. “I also
want to ask you for forgiveness.”
Akbar’s father told reporters that his son was regularly
harassed by other soldiers in his unit, including implied
threats that he could be “mistakenly” shot as “one of them.”
surrounding the trial of Marine Second Lt. Ilario
Pantano--who killed two unarmed Iraqis with a hail of
bullets [Pantano, a coward, shot them in the back while
unarmed] during a search of their car--couldn’t be more
different. The hearing will determine whether Pantano will
have to face charges in a court-martial proceeding.
Pantano became a Wall Street
broker after serving in the 1991 Gulf War--and then decided
to rejoin the military after September 11, 2001. As he
explained to a BBC reporter, “My duty...is quite frankly to
export violence to the four corners of the globe to make
sure that this doesn’t happen again.”
firing some 45 rounds at the two Iraqis on
April 15 of last year, Pantano left a handwritten sign on
the corpses, bearing his unit’s motto--“No better friend, no
prosecutors say the sign indicates that Pantano was carrying
out premeditated killings to send a message. But that
didn’t stop Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) from leaping to
Pantano’s defense. “I’d have him for my son,” said Jones,
who has written two letters to George Bush urging him to
intervene on Pantano’s behalf. Jones isn’t the only
politician championing Pantano, either.
reports speculate that Pantano will get off with a slap on
the wrist at most. That would be no surprise--since despite
the rhetoric about “democracy” in Iraq, Pantano’s killing
spree illustrates the true nature of the U.S. occupation.
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.
“We Need To
Build All-Out Support” ---
Paredes and Kevin Benderman
For Refusing To Go To War:
May 6, 2005 By Justin Akers,
PAREDES will go on trial May 11 at a special
court-martial--for refusing to take part in Washington’s war
for oil and empire in Iraq. But antiwar activists in San
Diego--where last December Paredes refused to board his Navy
ship, the USS Bonhomme Richard, bound for the Persian Gulf
with 3,000 Marines--and around the country are rallying to
Sgt. Kevin Benderman--who applied for conscientious objector
status before his unit was scheduled to redeploy to Iraq
late last year--learned last week that the Army had rejected
his application, setting the stage for his May 12
court-martial trial at Fort Stewart in Georgia.
Paredes faces up to one year
behind bars, a bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of pay and
a reduction in rank--Benderman could be jailed for up to
seven years and given a dishonorable discharge.
The military is throwing the
book at Paredes and Benderman in the hope of silencing them
and squelching further dissent in the ranks. Paredes has
been a constant campaigner against the war since he appeared
at the 32nd Street Naval Station in San Diego December
6--where his ship was scheduled to leave from--wearing a
T-shirt that read, “Like a cabinet member, I resign!”
At the impromptu press
conference he organized that day, Paredes pointed out that
he would have been safely removed from almost all dangers of
the war--but that he didn’t want to be an accomplice in the
occupation of Iraq, which his ship’s mission was aiding.
“The fact is that on December 6th, when this all
started...there were only two options,” Pablo says. “One was
right and one was wrong, and I have no regrets.”
Since then, Paredes has spoken
at antiwar rallies and forums--even though he is confined to
the naval base during the day--with a confidence that
disarmed his most hostile pro-war detractors. He has
attracted support from opponents of the war across the
country, including Martin Sheen, Howard Zinn and many
others. Now, he recently told his supporters, “it’s the
final stretch, and it’s time to bang the pots really loud.”
Paredes and his supporters are
calling for solidarity actions to take place the week of his
wife, Monica Benderman, and Pablo’s brother, Victor Paredes,
are among those calling for a national day of action for GI
resisters on May 10, before the two trials start.
In San Diego, a support
committee has a series of events planned, with forums that
will include activists such as author Naomi Klein and fellow
GI resisters Camilo Mejيa and Aidan Delgado. Activists are
also planning a mock trial outside the naval base where the
court-martial will be held to “Put the Iraq War on trial,
not a war resister!”
Meanwhile, Kevin Benderman has
also made his views clear--despite the Army’s intimidation
tactics, including a ban on his travel that prevented him
from traveling to speak at several antiwar forums.
Benderman, a mechanic with 10
years in the Army, spent eight months in Iraq at the start
of the war in 2003. He said that witnessing the terrible
consequences for Iraqis--including the sight of a badly
burned young girl, and mass graves filled with men, women
and children--convinced him to apply for conscientious
objector status, rather than redeploy to Iraq with his unit.
Now, Army officials have
unexpectedly rejected the application ahead of next week’s
court-martial. “I’m prepared to follow through on my
beliefs,” Benderman said in an interview with Socialist
Worker earlier this year. “I have to be able to accept
whatever consequences come from my actions.”
When soldiers and sailors
stand up and refuse to kill or be fodder for this war, it’s
a crucial step toward stopping the U.S. war on the Iraqi
We need to
build all-out support for heroes like Pablo Paredes and
Sergeant Who Abused Recruits Welcome To Stay In The Army
April 25, 2005 By Jane McHugh,
Army Times staff writer
FORT KNOX, Ky. —
Sgt. 1st Class David H.
Price could have been kicked out with a bad-conduct
discharge. He could have spent up to a year in jail. And
he could have lost 15 years’ worth of Army retirement
the 36-year-old senior drill sergeant was busted down one
grade to staff sergeant after being found guilty of four
counts of abuse of trainees in his care and one count of
trying to cover it up.
In a case
that has outraged other drill sergeants because of Price’s
overt violations of basic drill sergeant regulations,
prosecutors failed to introduce those regulations as
evidence or charge him with violating Army regulations, and
the judge refused to consider them in setting Price’s
The presiding judge, Lt. Col.
Richard Anderson, refused to consider Army drill field
regulations in assessing Price’s case because the two Army
prosecutors, Capt. Steve Berlin and Capt. Joe Krill, did not
introduce 350-6 into evidence.
“That training regulation is
not in front of me and therefore I can’t consider it and I
won’t consider it,” Anderson told them.
soldiers responded to the sentence with similar outrage, and
some experts questioned whether the light sentence for
Price, the senior drill sergeant in a case that implicates
four others, would undermine subsequent prosecutions.
As for Price, while it’s
almost certain he won’t be a drill sergeant again, his
sentence does not preclude the Army from sending him back to
“the trail” at the Armor School at Fort Knox, Ky., or from
earning full retirement benefits by serving five more years
Some think Price got off too
punishment netted out to drill sergeant Price was nothing
but a slap on the wrist,” Staff Sgt. Joseph H. Parker, an
intelligence noncommissioned officer at Fort Huachuca,
Ariz., wrote in an e-mail to Army Times.
“I understand that soldiers
are tired and being a drill sergeant is a very strenuous
job. But these soldiers are placed there to be role models
for these recruits to look up to and want to emulate.
“The punishment did not fit
the crime,” wrote the staff sergeant, who has worked with
drill sergeants in the past. “He should have been demoted
more than one rank (two maybe three at a minimum) along with
some jail time as well as forfeiture of pay.”
April 25, 2005 Editorial, Army
the judge thinking?
Class David Price, a drill sergeant, took charge of E
Company recruits in their first week in the Army. Within
five days, he had mistreated them enough to get the
attention of a neighboring squad of recruits who turned him
in, and an investigation was launched.
Monday, he was found guilty of hitting one recruit with a
rolled up newspaper, grabbing one by the ankles and dragging
him 20 feet down a hallway, and making another swallow his
He was also
found guilty of trying to cover it all up when Army
investigators came around.
punishment, Lt. Col. Richard Anderson decided, was to be
busted down one grade to staff sergeant.
it. No jail time as recommended by Fort Knox’s
commander, Maj. Gen. Terry Tucker. No fine. No
confinement. Just one paygrade — and the expectation
that he may continue to serve the Army as an NCO until
retirement, five years from now.
That’s not good enough.
Price knew the rules. He had
trained recruits for more than two years, and the rules of
the drill field are clear: no touching, unless it’s to make
a position or uniform correction or to protect trainees’
safety. Hitting and dragging and other abuse are
apparent reason, however, Price was not charged with
violating Army regulations. And since prosecutors failed to
even introduce those regulations as evidence, Anderson
refused to consider the rules in setting his sentence.
Drill sergeants must be tough,
but they cannot abuse their power. When they do, the Army
must come down hard.
The failure to do so here
sends the wrong signal to other drill sergeants and to
potential recruits and, just as important, to their parents,
who these days are increasingly reluctant to turn their kids
over to the Army.
the troops under Price’s tutelage didn’t complain about the
treatment. But recruits in a neighboring platoon did
complain. This was their introduction to
Army leadership, and outside the crucible of that particular
platoon, it was clear that it was not within the bounds of
decent behavior. It was, quite simply, wrong.
The Army should do better by
its recruits. It usually does.
TRUTH? CHECK OUT THE NEW TRAVELING SOLDIER
the truth - about the occupation or the criminals
running the government in Washington - is the first
reason for Traveling Soldier. But we want to do more
than tell the truth; we want to report on the resistance
- whether it's in the streets of Baghdad, New York, or
inside the armed forces. Our goal is for Traveling
Soldier to become the thread that ties working-class
people inside the armed services together. We want this
newsletter to be a weapon to help you organize
resistance within the armed forces. If you like what
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)
Me Not Into Temptation”
soldier with a machine gun mounted on a humvee as US
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's Chinook helicopter,
leaves Qalat, Afghanistan
Soldiers Caught Dealing Arms To Death Squads:
Gringos Should Be Charged Here In Colombia”
May 05, 2005 By Kim Housego,
Associated Press, IBAGUE, Colombia
soldiers accused of arms trafficking emerged from jail
Thursday and were handed over to American officials, but a
top Colombian official tried to delay their deportation,
saying a treaty granting them immunity might be invalid.
Inspector General Edgardo Jose
Maya’s move reflected a widespread sentiment among
Colombians that the two soldiers should face trial in
arrested Tuesday in connection with an alleged plot to
smuggle more than 40,000 rounds of ammunition, possibly to
outlawed right-wing paramilitary death squads responsible
for the deaths of thousands of civilians.
The case is being closely
watched by Colombians frustrated by accusations of
law-breaking by American soldiers.
Hundreds of Colombians accused
of drug trafficking have been extradited to the United
States to face trial as part of President Alvaro Uribe’s
Colombians were aghast in March when five U.S. soldiers
accused of smuggling cocaine to the United States from
Colombia were flown to their homeland and detained there.
gringos should be charged here in Colombia,” said Jose Luis
Villalobos, a 67-year-old retired engineer who was walking
The two American soldiers —
identified as Alan Norman Tanquary and Jesus Hernandez —
spent the night in a police holding cell in Ibague, a town
of crumbling brick buildings in the mountains of
On Thursday morning, they were
hustled by authorities out a back door, eluding waiting
journalists. Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said they were
headed to the U.S. Embassy in Bogota.
said the two had been in contact with a former Colombian
Police Sgt. Will Gabriel Aguilar, who has been linked to
paramilitary groups. Aguilar, another retired policeman and
two other Colombians were also arrested, police said.
With Fired Officer
Awards Him $500,000 For Unfair Dismissal After Call Up
April 25, 2005 By Vince
Crawley, Army Times staff writer
court has awarded a Marine Corps Reserve officer nearly
$500,000 after finding his employer wrongly terminated him
following his return from an overseas combat deployment.
The company said the job was
cut in a restructuring move — then advertised the same
position a few months later.
“Employers really need to know
that there is a law out there designed to make the system
work,” said Lt. Col. Steve Duarte of Littleton, Colo. “You
can’t summarily dismiss it. There really is some teeth to
The law is
the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act of
1994, or USERRA, which strengthens earlier laws to protect
those who temporarily leave civilian jobs to perform
Duarte was employed 19 years,
first by Hewlett-Packard, then by Agilent Technologies,
which spun off from Hewlett-Packard in 2000. He was a
senior human resources consultant in charge of designing
annual compensation packages for one of Agilent’s sales
divisions and was earning $88,000 a year.
Duarte, now 52, served as an
active-duty Marine from 1977 to 1980, then joined the Marine
Corps Reserve and has been a drilling reservist ever since.
Attack Kirkuk-Baghdad Oil Pipeline
May 5 (Xinhuanet)
pipeline that links northern Kirkuk oil fields to Baghdad
was set ablaze after insurgents detonated an explosive
improvised device under the pipeline late Wednesday near the
Iraqi city of Balad, some 90 km north of Baghdad," said a
statement released by the liaison office of US military and
Iraqi security forces in Tikrit.
Firefighters rushed to the
scene to put out the fire as Iraqi security forces sealed
off the area, said the statement, a copy of which was
obtained by Xinhua.
Resistance Attacks Kill 30 Local Occupation Forces
recruitment centres, to prevent car bombings, have been
turned into small fortresses surrounded by concrete
blast walls and razor wire. But militants are striking
back with an old weapon: the suicide bomber belt.
May 5 By Thomas Wagner, The
Associated Press & (Xinhuanet) & Reuters &
Japan Today & (KUNA) &
Rogers Media Inc.
attacked two police patrols in western Baghdad on Thursday
morning, killing a total of eleven policemen, an official
worst attack, guerrillas opened fire on a patrol in the
Al-Amil area of western Baghdad at 6:45 a.m., shooting dead
10 policemen and then setting their vehicles ablaze,
said police Maj. Mousa Abdul Karim. He first
thought the blast was caused by a suicide car bomb but
realized that wasn't the case when rescuers reached the
scene, he said.
recruitment centres, to prevent car bombings, have been
turned into small fortresses surrounded by concrete
blast walls and razor wire. But militants are striking
back with an old weapon: the suicide bomber belt.
Col. Adnan Abdul Rahman,
spokesman for the Iraqi Interior Ministry, said there has
been an escalation in the use of suicide belts since
security was stepped up around recruitment centres and other
"But it is
rather difficult to find out about an explosive belt put on
by a person," Rahman said.
minutes after the Al-Amil attack, a suicide car bomb
exploded in the nearby Al-Gazaliya area, killing one
policeman and wounding six, said Karim.
strapped with explosives blew himself up at an army
recruitment center at a former airfield in western Baghdad,
killing at least 14 people and wounding 15.
The explosion occurred at the
center at about 8 a.m., a police officer said on condition
of anonymity. The attack
was half a mile from the heavily fortified Green Zone, home
to the Iraqi government, foreign embassies and U.S. forces.
Baghdad, two policemen were wounded by sniper fire and the
body of an Iraqi soldier was also found, police said.
part of Doura on Wednesday night, a car bomber attacked an
Iraqi army checkpoint, killing at least nine soldiers and
was killed and four others wounded in a clash with a suspect
insurgent in Sherqat, some 250 km north of Baghdad. The
suspect was also killed.
A car bomb
was detonated as the deputy interior minister's convoy drove
past, killing one of his bodyguards and
wounding six people, police said. The official was unhurt.
commandos from the crack "Lightning Brigade" were killed and
five wounded late in the day, when a bomber detonated a car
laden with explosives next to their patrol in Mosul
in Al-Wehda neighborhood in northern Iraq, police said.
Occupation Troops & Cops Killed Since June 2004
5.5.05 Rogers Media Inc.
estimated 1,800 Iraqi soldiers and police officers were
killed between June 2004 and April 27 this year,
the latest date for which statistics were available, figures
compiled by the Brookings Institution in Washington showed.
never count me among the broken men”
5 May 2005
By William Bowles [Excerpt] www.williambowles.info/
Okay, this is a metaphor, a
parable for our times but like all parables, it contains an
things do look grim right now, to my own amazement, I find
myself being essentially optimistic. For the first time in
several generations we may actually be able once more to
write our own story and even (gasp!) fire the actors and
take over the stage.
You have of
course, every right to challenge this ‘foolish’ notion when
everything appears to contradict my assertion.
have never been smaller, our impact on events is, to put it
mildly, miniscule, so by what right do I claim such
that in spite of generations of misinformation and
falsification of the ‘archeological record’ that led us to
where we are today, so glaring are the inconsistencies and
contradictions, that no number of rewrites suffice to
restore belief. This is no mean victory, and one largely
achieved without our ‘help’.
Second, it requires that we
engage with history as it really was, not as difficult a
task as it at first appears.
the first step has already been taken for us, we merely need
to replace ‘loss of legitimacy’ with our own definition.
This means re-ordering our
priorities. No more meaningless slogans that attempt to
reduce our lives to sound bites but a genuine exploration of
the lives of our ancestors who sacrificed so much and under
much worse conditions yet managed to make sense of events
which today would no doubt earn them double-firsts at any
university you care to name.
we have, in the intervening decades allowed the political
elite to purloin our history and ultimately make such a mess
of it that now is the time, which is why the ‘election’
taking place today [in the UK] is of such importance, not
because it matters who ‘wins’ because it doesn’t matter who
wins but because it marks a historical fault line, when for
the first time in living memory, we can vote according to
principle and conscience, not according to someone else’s
prescription whether of the ‘left’ or the right.
In turn, it
explains why the ruling political class are pulling out all
the stops because they, unlike my ‘left’ brethren, sense
that the writing is on the wall for them and the class who
first time, I feel free of the weight of a past that was
never mine in the first place!
So fuck ’em
all folks, for as George Jackson said from his 8 x 12 cell
before they took him out and shot him down in cold blood, he
was free because being free first starts in your head, where
it counts the most and where they can never reach you.
What do you think?
Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are
especially welcome. Send to
email@example.com. Name, I.D., withheld on
request. Replies confidential.
Kidnapping of Australian Collaborator In Iraq
To: GI Special
Sent: May 05, 2005
I make a suggestion for those
negotiating Mr Wood's release.
In the matter of Mr Wood's
kidnapping, it is unproductive to ignore or dress up the
Mr Wood was
in Iraq in order to make not a small, but a large profit.
That is why
he took the risk.
He took it
knowing the legal framework under which he was acting had
been imposed by force. In order to get a contract for work
in Iraq he would have had to have dealt with the Coalition
Provisional Authority, a body constituted by the occupying
forces. The CPA overturned the Iraq
constitution, an act which is illegal under International
I do not think that the appeal
by Mr Wood's family will create sympathy for him on the part
of his kidnappers, if they are Iraqi patriots.
It could have the reverse
appearance of his brothers on their TV appeal conveys the
impression of wealthy capitalists. The only part of their
message that might have some effect is their promise to ask
Mr Wood to abandon his business in Iraq.
Even if he were to do so,
under CPA rules he would be still entitled to sell and take
out of Iraq any assets that he might have. This is illegal
under the Constitution of Iraq, a Constitution that was
overturned by the CPA, another illegal act.
suggest one approach that could assist in securing Mr
Wood's release would be for the Australian Government to
promise to air during prime time on all major Australian
TV networks, footage that demonstrates and explains why
Iraqi patriots oppose the continuing occupation of their
It is that kind of attention
that the act of kidnapping is attempting to attract. I
suggest that appropriate persons to negotiate this could be
Ms Mulhearn, or the SBS journalist also kidnapped and
released, John Martinkus.
The kidnappers would have to
be made aware by the negotiators that the majority of
Australians are unaware of the brutality of the occupation,
and the doubt that surrounds the legality of Westerners
doing business in Iraq under the CPA rules that are still in
that it is unproductive to ignore or dress up the facts.
Mulhearn was kidnapped in the course of her humanitarian
work in Iraq, she was released by the kidnappers, without
ANY intervention by the Australian Government. The
Australian Government called her "foolish". They were
wrong. Ms Mulhearn's faith in an underlying human bond was
principled, and as her release proved, justified.
foolish now? Mr Wood, motivated by personal gain, or the
I urge the Australian
Government to act responsibly, and drop it's silly
posturing. Lives are at stake.
words of Rose Gentle:
lies, no more lives.
PS I have circulated this
message widely, perhaps one of you may be able to send it to
someone directly involved in negotiating Mr Wood's release.
for the primary address to Thomas F. Barton is because he
hosts "GI Special". If you want the truth of what is
happening in Iraq, go there: http://www.militaryproject.org/
NL Mayfield New South Wales
POLITICIANS AT WORK
We Love The
May 05, 2005 By Liz Sidoti,
easily approved another $82 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan
on Thursday. [Isn’t that wording just too cute? “$82
billion for Iraq and Afghanistan.” Come on Liz, tell the
truth. $82 billion more for destroying Iraq and
Afghanistan, and killing more U.S. troops and the citizens
of those occupied countries, so the assholes in Washington
can keep their Empire going.]
was 368-58, with one lawmaker abstaining. [And for all you
pathetic Democratic Party apologists out there, one
question: are there 368 Republicans in the House, or did
the Democrat politicians vote for more war?]
The Senate is to vote on the
measure next week when it returns from a weeklong recess,
and approval is expected.
Troops Wounded In Firefights;
Collaborator Troops Have Biggest Loss Since Start Of
spokesman, Col. James Yonts, told The Associated Press
“These were well-trained, well-armed people ... not just
a rogue group. They didn’t flee. They stood and
May 05, 2005 By Stephen
Graham, Associated Press, KABUL, Afghanistan
A surge of fighting in
Afghanistan’s restive south killed 64 insurgents and 10
Afghan security men, the
worst single loss suffered by the American-trained
government army, U.S. and Afghan officials said Thursday.
Said a U.S.
spokeswoman, Lt. Cindy Moore, “It’s unfortunate that so many
Afghan army troops were lost.”
nine Afghan soldiers died in a firefight that erupted when
rebels ambushed an Afghan army patrol near Spin Ghar in
Kandahar late Wednesday.
Defense Ministry said the nine army deaths were the worst
ever for the force that has been put together with U.S. and
other foreign assistance since the hard-line Taliban regime
was toppled in late 2001.
Afghan soldiers and an American soldier attached to the unit
were wounded, while six militants were
captured, Moore said.
The clash came after American
soldiers and insurgents waged the country’s deadliest fight
in nine months, battling Tuesday and Wednesday in Zabul,
another province along the Pakistani border that has seen
more insurgent activity since a winter lull.
military said 44 rebels died in that fighting, which also
killed an Afghan police officer and wounded six U.S.
soldiers and five Afghan policemen.
spokesman, Col. James Yonts, told The Associated Press.
“These were well-trained, well-armed people ... not just a
rogue group. They didn’t flee. They stood and fought.”
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
To: GI Special
Sent: May 05, 2005
Subject: Happy 5/5!
Happy Marx's birthday! The
old emancipationist is 187 today!
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