Steven Green & His Contribution to America’s Image

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Steven D. Green, 21, has been charged with rape and murder in a tragic, horrible case involving five U.S. soldiers in Mahmoudiya, Iraq.
This news only came out because of the guilt that some in the detachment felt after two of their military buddies were recently kidnapped, tortured and beheaded — perhaps as retribution for what Green and his collaborators did.
As we think about the state of our democracy on July 4th and think what it took to achieve not only independence but a rules based system of checks and balances as well as for the first time in human history, as Lafayette reported, a fundamental commitment to “the inalienable rights of man.”
Steven Green, if convicted of this heinous crime, has only adds to the roster of horrors that we have already seen in GITMO, Abu Ghraib, and Haditha. There will be more sadly, but Rumsfeld remarkably still has his Pentagon key card.
So much for feeling proud this weekend. Green, Pace, Rumsfeld, Cheney and others have robbed Americans of any right to feel proud at this moment in our history. We were challenged by terrorists — and America needed to respond, but we undermined our morals and principles in the way we have gone about occupying and settling old scores in Iraq.
There are noble people out on the front lines — and they should not be held accountable for what Steven Green and others have allegedly done. But what he has done demonstrates how out of control the emotional climate is in the military services — and what we are seeing are cover-ups, hostility to the press, and slowness from the Pentagon in doing what needs to be done inside the military services to instill more humane and noble norms than Green and his detachment demonstrated.
It’s a good lesson to think if your family members had been raped and shot like this. Or your close friends. Think of the rage. What gets instilled in a community when something like this happens — what seeds that sit and slowly grow until they have a chance to blossom into some form of violent revenge?
This engagement in Iraq will not be over when bugles, politicians, and pundits say that it is over. There will be “blowback” for years and years ahead.
There will be because if your or my sister was raped and shot in the head, along with a five year old child and parents, we would probably behave exactly the same way.
It is essential to keep the thought of the brutally slain and innocent woman and her family in mind as we celebrate our nation’s big birthday tomorrow.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

64 comments on “Steven Green & His Contribution to America’s Image

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  4. John says:

    What they SHOULD do with this sick little SOB and his stupid friends is send their sorry asses over to IRAQ and let those people deal with them THEIR WAY, through THEIR justice system. Over here the little bastards will live off the US taxpayers for 10 years until they “Humanely execute them. Over their, they’d be ripped apart in so many pieces you’d never be able to piece them back together again. It’s a shame that three of his innocent commrads had to pay for his sick crimes. I’m sorry for their families. I’m also sorry for the Iraqie girl and her family. Today’s military obviously isn’t too picky about the types they make into “soldiers”.

    Reply

  5. 00 says:

    WoW, You know you cannot be taken serious. Either you are a far-right wingnut posing as a farleft wingnut or a FLW posing as a FRW posing as FLW, just to come out later and say FRWs nuts are mudding up the leftist blog-us-phere. Are you by any chance related to John Kerry?

    Reply

  6. deathtothetroops says:

    00 (a fitting moniker!)
    Shit all over the military?? That’s a good one! You military filth shat all over yourselves and all over human decency so may times no one can count them any more.
    Personally, I feel better about the troops who come home severely wounded. Let them reflect on their monstrous crimes for the balance of their worthless lives. I hope it tortures them to madness.
    Please know that the sight of the Pentagon engulfed in flames on 9/11 brought joy and hope to millions all over the world.
    You have LOST your disgusting oil war and will be booted out of Iraq as your worthless comrades were booted out of Indochina.
    DEPEND on it!

    Reply

  7. 00 says:

    I spent fifteen years of my life in the combat arms of this country and for what. Gutless f23king f@gg@t$ that just $hit all over the military. Well at least you are not ashame to speak what you you truly think, unlike those you try to elect to office.

    Reply

  8. Emily says:

    I absolutely agree with deathtothetroops. I no longer have it in me to feel empathetic or sympathetic for any member of our US military fighting over in Iraq. Each day on the news, I’ll learn of yet another individual US solider who has been killed in the line of duty. I can’t help but think that that individual has experienced Karma at its finest.

    Reply

  9. Louis A says:

    I think the best way to handle this situation would be to turn over Steven Green to the middle east. Let them torture that SOB, and also his 5 idiot friends. How can you look at the face of a 5 year old kid shoot her in the head, how can you rape a 14 year old girl, shoot her and burn her. I can honestly say, that there is no punishment that would fit the crime. I pray to god that the US govertment gives Steven Green and the other fives guys the death sentence. The arabs have every right to be angry at such an act. I would love to look in his eyes and be the one to pull the trigger. That SOB needs to die the same way his victims did.

    Reply

  10. deathtothetroops says:

    Support Our Butchers!
    Bob Herbert from the Times:
    “…even before his unit left the states,” Herbert wrote, “a top officer made wisecracks about the soldiers heading off to Iraq to kill some ragheads and burn some turbans. “He laughed,’ Mr. Delgado said, “and everybody in the unit laughed with him.’ The officer’s comment was a harbinger of the gratuitous violence that, according to Mr. Delgado, is routinely inflicted by American soldiers on ordinary Iraqis. He said: “Guys in my unit, particularly the younger guys, would drive by in their Humvee and shatter bottles over the heads of Iraqi civilians passing by. They’d keep a bunch of empty Coke bottles in the Humvee to break over people’s heads.’ He said he had confronted guys who were his friends about this practice. “I said to them: “What the hell are you doing? Like, what does this accomplish?’ And they responded just completely openly. They said: “Look, I hate being in Iraq. I hate being stuck here. And I hate being surrounded by hajis.” “Haji’ is the troops’ term of choice for an Iraqi. It’s used the way “gook’ or “Charlie’ was used in Vietnam. Mr. Delgado said he had witnessed incidents in which an Army sergeant lashed a group of children with a steel Humvee antenna, and a Marine corporal planted a vicious kick in the chest of a kid about 6 years old. There were many occasions, he said, when soldiers or marines would yell and curse and point their guns at Iraqis who had done nothing wrong.” The banality of evil doesn’t have to rise to the level of genocide to find its stage. To the contrary. Evil at its most routi ne is localized affair, the more debased for being either completely out of sight and accountability, or for being tacitly, happily condoned by its execut ioner’s posse. The Haditha massacre stands out only because in its case someone was there to report it. But who doubts that these atrocities aren’t routine, or that a soldier’s swift kick in the chest of a six year old boy is any less of an atrocity, considering what that soldier would do to an adult if can be such a brute toward children?”

    Reply

  11. albert says:

    Parents should be damn proud of this one.

    Reply

  12. deathtothetroops says:

    In the post-Vietnam era, anyone who signs on with the repulsive, Nazi-inspired filth known as the United States military is a war criminal by definition. It’s impossible to have the slightest sympathy for them.

    Reply

  13. mara says:

    From a post above, “Doesn’t anyone wonder what ‘personality disorder’ got him a ‘honorable discharge’ after eleven months of service?”
    According to what I’ve read, he was diagnosed as having an “anti-social personality disorder.” This type of diagnosis, used VERY rarely by professsionals, is much more serious than it sounds. Think diabolically manipulative, often very smart, and absolutely NO conscience. Think Jeffrey Dalmer, not to be denied his dinner, being able to charmingly convince the police that the screaming, naked, Asian youth running down the street bleeding from his bum was not a problem they needed to concern themselves with.

    Reply

  14. Peter Schwartz says:

    POA writes: “A quote from Peter Schwartz……
    “By any rational standard of morality, any wartime harm to the most innocent of Iraqis is entirely the responsibility of their government. Our moral right, and responsibility, is to do everything possible to safeguard American lives, however many civilian casualties that goal may require. We may lament the loss of innocent Iraqis during the war, just as we lament the loss of innocent Americans. But we should not apologize, since the blame, in both cases, rests entirely with the enemy, who made it necessary for us to wage war to defend ourselves against his threat.”
    http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=2659
    Hey Schawrtz. Care to tell us exactly what the Iraqi citizenry did to us, and who this “enemy” you speak of is???
    The more I read of your crap, the more detestable you become to me. By God, you REALLY are a bloodthirsty lump of fungus, aren’t you?
    Posted by Pissed Off American at July 5, 2006 01:41 PM
    Sorry–not me. Just for the record, you’ve got the wrong Schwartz.

    Reply

  15. dano says:

    More info coming in and posted to Patrick Lang’s (Col. USA Ret.) blog.
    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2006/07/revenge_taken_2.html

    Reply

  16. sona says:

    If any you read Professor Juan Cole’s ‘Informed Comment’, you will know the impact that incidents like this have on Iraqis who are secualr, intelligent, educated and professional. The incident, and I do not doubt there are many others that remain uncovered, shocks me and shames me. None of this makes anybody safe. The military needs to recruit from the better educated rather than from the intellectually challenged. Anybody question how the richest country in the world can be forgiven for producing ethically and intellectually challenged foot soldiers to pose as heroes in a totally unjustifiable and inept war of aggression? The world is not another Mexico to grab Texases and Arizonas from. I thought we were smarter but I think we are the fools who would have to pay and deservedly so. My heart still cries to think of a 15 year old treated like she was and there are no heroes keeping America safe but just idiots putting us in greater danger by the day. They are the real traitors, not al quaeda. I have no sympathy for browndirt and et al who make America that much more unsafe. Soldiers have never been the moral and intellectual mainstays of this nation but the thinkers and philosophers that the founding fathers represented are. I just hope we do not lose sight of their vision because we have come too close to that they fought against. How many care to remember that the US Constitution was the greatest and finest product of the Age of Enlightenment in the late 18th century. Are we now to usher in the dark ages of the 21st century? I question those that drape the flag of religious patriotism to commit treason against us by making us unsafe because they violate the common wealth. We can hide behind the legalities of none being found guilty as yet, but why the screen of cover up until that was blown to shreds and why no question about that? Where also is our sense of self respect in having a President who declares himself to be above the law? Brownshirts need to use some brain cells as to what patriotism is about and should be. Orwell said it better than anybody else but he was a Brit and an excellent teacher of the use of English as a language. Americans do not take note of what he had had to say but English as a language was not invented in the USA and neither were the ideas that shaped the birth of this country. AND IMPACT IS A NOUN AND NOT A VERB EXCEPT IN ATROCIOUSLY BAD USE OF ENGLISH AS A LANGUAGE,

    Reply

  17. Carroll says:

    I don’t know…I can only tolorate feeling helpless in the face of crazy for so long…and I have had my limit this week.
    The world needs to be sent to it’s respective rooms and made to sit in the dunce corner for a while.

    Reply

  18. Jeff Carroll says:

    Of course Green (and the interestingly unnamed, similarly accused active-duty soldier) should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
    For our purposes, though, it doesn’t really matter whether it was Green who did this, or some other sick bastard wearing an American uniform. We have enough certainty that the event occurred that major newspapers have printed the names of the victims.
    It’s unfortunate that (insert name of actual culprits here) can’t be held responsible for the murder not only of the people they personally killed, but of all those fellow soldiers who will be killed in revenge for this crime against humanity.

    Reply

  19. Pissed Off American says:

    A quote from Peter Schwartz……
    “By any rational standard of morality, any wartime harm to the most innocent of Iraqis is entirely the responsibility of their government. Our moral right, and responsibility, is to do everything possible to safeguard American lives, however many civilian casualties that goal may require. We may lament the loss of innocent Iraqis during the war, just as we lament the loss of innocent Americans. But we should not apologize, since the blame, in both cases, rests entirely with the enemy, who made it necessary for us to wage war to defend ourselves against his threat.”
    http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=2659
    Hey Schawrtz. Care to tell us exactly what the Iraqi citizenry did to us, and who this “enemy” you speak of is???
    The more I read of your crap, the more detestable you become to me. By God, you REALLY are a bloodthirsty lump of fungus, aren’t you?

    Reply

  20. Paul says:

    Steve — Your comments lead to what is generally a very thoughtful debate. I’m very concerned about what we’re getting into here. If Green is indeed guilty, he’s done a terrible thing and deserves severe punishment. If he has confessed, I suspect his trial will be on an insanity plea.
    I do not read the “[bad stuff] happens in wars” comments as any sort of apology but as a simple statement that it is a consequence of war that should be taken into account when people decide to go into a war. Obviously good armies take decisive steps to stop atrocious behavior — nobody can equate the US Army with the Nazis based on criminal acts by US soldiers — but it doesn’t always work. You have a large group of young people together, drive up their testosterone, and some are going to get out of control no matter what precautions are taken. The US military executed plenty of servicemen in WWII for rape and murder, as did both the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. (Note to Karen K, you are right on the money but you have two quotes run together — Sherman is supposed to have said “war is hell” (this is undocumented, but there is a letter where he says “war is cruelty and you cannot get around it”) and Lee said “it is good that war is so terrible otherwise we would grow fond of it”.
    I think in the context of this war that this concern should have been especially troubling to the people who decided to go to war. We are dealing with a culture where people do not necessarily accept our notions of public retribution and finality. We are also dealing with a people who are viewed as different ethnically, who don’t speak our language and whose language we don’t speak. Add on the certainty that our troops would have to deal with guerilla attacks made by people in civilian clothes, the rhetoric used to describe these terrorists, and the decline in recruiting standards (I have seen articles indicating that there are gang members serving in Iraq) and you have a lethal brew.
    This point applies to all of the horrors of war, but it doesn’t mean that we should never go to war. Few would disagree that the Civil War was worth fighting, or World War II (notwithstanding that we were allied with one very evil genocidist in order to defeat another). You give more respect to the wars that should have been fought (and those that should be) by acknowledging how dreadful war is. But you drag them down by saying that every war is justified or that it is unpatriotic ever to question any aspect of a war. Just look at WWI and the well deserved loss of confidence it engendered in the politicians and statesmen of the era who could not see their way out of the continuing and pointless slaughter of a whole generation of young men. That is what made it so easy for Hitler and Stalin to rise.
    Steve and everyone else — please keep the debate going and please keep it on the same intelligent and rational plane it has generally taken here.
    Paul.

    Reply

  21. Matthew says:

    DIL: The crime is also an inevitable result of the LENGTH of the conflict. A few years ago, I read a book by an experienced war correspondent who had covered conflicts from Lebanon to Kosovo. His conclusion: War crimes rise geometrically with the longevity of the conflict. War is the ultimate corrosive of human decency. It won’t be fixed just by raising recruiting standards. We need to prepare ourselves for many, many more of these stories if our troops remain in Iraq.
    Cheers for the remainder of your post.
    Matthew

    Reply

  22. DIL says:

    I’m surprised no one’s mentioned the fact that, thanks to this administration’s wholesale abuse of the armed services, recruiting standards — especially for the Army — had to be seriously compromised or there was no chance of meeting enlistment goals. Green’s period of service certainly seems to conform to the period when we first started hearing reports about this issue. If I’m right about this, then Green must be seen as a symptom of a potentially endemic problem, and we should be prepared for more.

    Reply

  23. David Johnson says:

    “HUGE strides forward that have been accomplished in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
    Name one. Or STFU.
    Fascists make me sick. (that would be you little soldier hiding in the Green Zone sipping on your KBR supplied cappuccino)
    “Wait until we have the facts.”
    Which facts? Which Story? Like the Haditha Story going from ‘Bomb damage’ to ‘crossfire’ to we heard ‘rustling’ on the other side of the door.
    The problem is that the American Government and its military has lied (and been caught) so many times that is unreasonable to give them the benefit of the doubt anymore.
    Before you say name one… WMD in Iraq, Iraqis will greet us by throwing flowers at our feet, Iraq is now a sovereign government, Afghanistan exists outside Kabul, mobile biological weapons plants, invasion is the last resort, Zarqawi received a prosthetic leg in Baghdad, Operation Iraq Liberation (OIL).. the list is endless.

    Reply

  24. Carroll says:

    Happy Birthday America
    Get well soon and come back home.

    Reply

  25. VietnamVet says:

    The old story of the Greatest Generation was that civilians welcomed the arrival of American troops because it meant the war was over and the return of civilization. The exact opposite happened in Iraq because American leadership wanted to kick Muslim ass. The lack of command and control was evident from the day Iraqi National Museum was ransacked. The Occupation has spiraled out of control since. The only question is when and how the American troops leave. As long as there are Iraqis there will be opposition to the foreign invaders.

    Reply

  26. Pissed Off American says:

    “How dare some of you post false stories from Left Wing newspapers……..”
    Name one. Or STFU.

    Reply

  27. A soldier says:

    How dare some of you post false stories from Left Wing newspapers, slandering our troops. It is people like you who I fight for, yet it is people like you that drag me down. America is great, amongst many other things, for the Freedom of Speech we enjoy. Articles slamming a service member who has not yet been convicted, excuse me…Piss me off. Wait until we have the facts. Most of you know NOTHING of war, except for you ability to scream about how bad everthing is going and never even glance at many of the HUGE strides forward that have been accomplished in Iraq and Afghanistan. You make me sick.

    Reply

  28. No Voice says:

    The perception that Bush, Cheney, and Co. have created is that there are no innocent Iraqi’s. If they aren’t outright terrorists then they are guilty because they are harboring terrorists. This idea is echoed by the right wing pundits like Limbaugh and O’Reilly on Armed Forces radio.
    This is fortified by the propaganda that anyone that Bush & Co. deem to be a terrorist is not entitled to any any human rights. Torture is not just acceptable but encouraged.
    In this framework, it is not hard to see why horrors like Haditha or this rape and murder occurred.
    Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfield are guilty for creating the propaganda of a “war on terror” as a political expediency to expand the powers of the Executive branch on the backs of our troops.

    Reply

  29. Pissed Off American says:

    BTW, I see that sick mofo Rummie has been subpoenaed in regards to Abu Ghraib. This kind of news used to give me great hope. But hey, how long is the list of dissappointments???
    Surely the Downing Street Memo will expose these fuckers, eh??? Wrong.
    Hooray for Reid, by God HE’LL get that Phase Two report out of em!!! Pffffft.
    GO FITZ!!! By George, you’ll make these bastards pay!!!
    Fitz who???
    Well, its about time that the court ordered the second batch of those Abu Ghraib photos released, NOW we’ll see the higher ups held accountable!!! (Gee, I guess a court order means NOTHING to these criminals, OR to these whining mewling cowardly pieces of shit that are supposed to be “the minority party”. Where the fuck ARE these photos???)
    So now they subpoena this sicko Rummie? Big deal, eh? Gee, that’ll have legs. Sure.

    Reply

  30. Pissed Off American says:

    And if that means convicting a murderer, regardless of his “service,” so be it.
    Posted by Matthew
    A nobel directive, that. But I doubt Bush or Cheney will even be indicted, much less punished.

    Reply

  31. Matthew says:

    Andrew: We all believe in the presumption of innocence. However, since Green has already signed an affidavit admitting that he “killed them all” (including a five year old girl), I wouldn’t go out on a limb for this creep. Let’s take him at his word. He raped a girl and murdered her family to cover it up. As Americans we will be judged by how we react to this horror. The Fox Newsers will try to justify it. The “religious right” will explain it away…but those of us who love the real America, not some child-like vision of America, will demand that we keep our standards high. And if that means convicting a murderer, regardless of his “service,” so be it.

    Reply

  32. Frank says:

    Dano, to label those who comment that “shit happens in wars” as apologists is to miss the point of the commentarys. If more people wrapped themselves around this truism, there would be less unnecessary wars. It is like accepting the chilling fact that more killings and wars are perpetrated in the name of God than in the name of the devil.

    Reply

  33. Frank says:

    This is all conjecture, but it gets sicker and sicker reading the commentarys here as to a possible mother of all possible despical coverups being perpetrated in this horrible instance. I too wondered about an “honorable” discharge given to a soldier because of a “head’ problem. Under “honorable conditions” may be passable..But too pat; maybe a bribe; the pristine “honorable” discharge, given to the man in order to insure his silence?.They, the superiors,,maybe knew something was “rotten in Denmark”. I can understand why the Iraqi “government” now wants an externally led investigation of this horrible incident. Recent history makes it naive to trust the military to investigate itself. But again all is conjecture, and the men involved, especially those officers who processed this guy out of the military, are innocent until proven guilty.

    Reply

  34. GreenZoneCafe says:

    I agree with all above questioning the honorable discharge for “personality disorder.” It stinks of a cover-up, that his superiors knew about what happened and just got him out of there in a way that would be quiet and not subject to public scrutiny, since his medical records are privacy protected. It would be really interesting to match up the dates on his commander’s referral to a psychiatrist for evaluation for discharge with the dates of the rape – murders.
    In my experience in the Army and in another branch of the military, they does not give out medical discharges for psychiatric reasons easily – think Klinger, as one mentioned above.
    Instead they punish the symptoms of psychiatric disorders, AWOL, substance abuse, sloppy uniforms, refusal to obey orders – with court martials and other-than-honorable discharges.
    Contrast the way Green was treated with the way Pvt Dwayne Turner was treated. Turner was a Combat Medic who was awarded a Silver Star for bravery and a Purple Heart for serious wounds.
    After he was sent home because of the wounds and was being processed for a medical discharge, he went AWOL and smoked some pot. He was busted and given a general discharge, stripping him of all his GI Bill benefits.
    As he said: “They don’t understand,” he said. “They think you’re pretty much supposed to be normal when you come back from war, and I don’t understand that.”
    See http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/special/iraq/2468362.html for Turner’s story.
    The Army is falling into an abyss of lies.

    Reply

  35. linda says:

    keep in mind, in all likelihood, this story would have remained buried. it was only the capture/mutilation/killing of the two soldiers that pricked the conscience of the witnesses — knowing their act was the precipitation for those horrific deaths. i bet anything that this was well-known among military leadership and that facilitated green’s separation on a ‘personality disorder’. considering the desperation of the military to retain soldiers he was honorably discharged — imagine how fucked up he must be.

    Reply

  36. David Johnson says:

    Doesn’t anyone wonder what ‘personality disorder’ got him a ‘honorable discharge’ after eleven months of service? Corporal Klinger from MASH may become envious. Furthermore, what about the reference to Green forcing another soldier to have sex with the girl? Was it at gun point… that would be a lot of pressure! Finally, doesn’t it seem like a very convenient story when the soldier says “they’re all dead, I killed them all” (or something like that). And a post note thought on the FBI forensics.. they estimated the victim’s age at 25, yet the neighbors reported the age at 15. Makes me kind of wonder about their technique. They can tell us that Zarqawi lived for 52 minutes (not 51 or 53) but they miss the age of the girl by ten years. Me thinks that they are going to make this a neat little package that will be shoved down the throats of the willing throats of the American public.

    Reply

  37. Chief says:

    Re: the 2 kidnapped, tortured & beheaded soldiers. What we ave here is a complete failure of leadership. Those 3 soldiers (2 PFCs & a Spec) should never have been left alone. The enemy outsmarted and divided the Army, then killed one, kidnapped 2. A total failure in the platoon commander, first sargeant and squad leader. Their parents/families should be livid at the Army for being beyond inept.

    Reply

  38. Punchy says:

    So this guy was Special Forces? Aren’t they supposed to be more than a few notches above the rest in terms of training, mental acumen, committment, and following the rule of law? If our SF can’t handle this stress/strain, what’s this conflict doing to the regular Army guys? No wonder Murtha keeps saying our Army is nearing its breaking point…

    Reply

  39. bp32 says:

    @ Andrew,
    You are correct, individuals are to be presumed innocent and receive a fair trial–in a criminal court of law–not in the court of public opinion (why does everyone forget this?). Steve is perfectly within his rights to discuss his feelings about this story and its relation to the lack of sound leadership by many in the current administration.

    Reply

  40. dano says:

    “Tiger Force” is a story about another platoon of 101st Airborne soldiers going on a rampage, albeit much longer in duration and with many more homicides than this small group of uncontrolled soldiers. The original series, published in the Toledo Blade, won Pulitzer Prizes for the journalists Michael Sallah and Mitchell Weiss who wrote the book. The book can be read in about a day, or two long evenings. It is enlightening to read about what happens in Army discipline that can if not cause then at least allow this sort of uncontrolled criminal behavior.
    Some differences are that the story in the book takes place in 1967 in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, and that the story was covered up by Army senior staff and possibly politicians. (Ironically, the Secretary of Defense during the cover up was Donald Rumsfeld and the Chief of Staff of the President during the cover up was Dick Cheney.)
    The soldiers who committed these crimes in Mahmoudiya, Iraq were obviously out of control, which by the nature of soldiery implicates the non-commissioned and commissioned officers who are supposed to be in control of them. It looks as though the Army is not going to cover up the crimes or the men who apparently committed the acts. There is some credit to be given to Army investigators and staff that they are both investigating the crime and allowing news of it to reach the media. It is most unfortunate that the environment for this – and the numerous other rampages in the news – to happen seems to be common enough that we are seeing numerous instances of it lately.
    For those apologists who say “it’s war, shit happens”, I would say that your attitude is disgusting. To apologize for and by implication to allow US soldiers to commit this kind of barbaric and sinful atrocity is a deep stain on what it means to be an American. You should be ashamed of yourselves for allowing and even promoting this mayhem. And before you shout your outrageously indignant reply at me, ask yourself “Would Col. Hackworth have approved?”

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  41. Pissed Off American says:

    One of the past horrors of this war, that has largely ignored, is what occurred at Tuwaitha, and reportedly twelve other weapons storage sites throughout Iraq. Much of the info about Tuwaitha has been scrubbed off the net. I took an interest in the story as it was unfolding, and saw many of the web references to what was occurring as it occurred, prior to them dissappearing off the net.
    Tuwaitha was looted as our servicemen watched. The press reports at the time attributed our irresponsibility to a lack of command directives that should have immediately stopped said looting. There were hundreds of barrels of Yellow Cake at Tuwaitha. Due to the fact that we had destroyed the utilities infrastructure around Tuwaitha, the nieghboring communities were without water, asnd were forced to forage for both water and storage containers. Not recognizing the international symbols for nuclear waste, the locals emptied the yellow cake drums and carted them off to be used for water storage. You can only imagine the health ramifications. They drank, cooked, bathed and laundered with the water that was stored in these drums. The damage will be realized for generations in cancers and birth defects.
    This story, as it unfolded, perfectly demonstrated the degree of criminal irresponsibility that was exhibited by this administration in their rush to war.
    And the fact that we have introduced literally TONS of DU into the Iraqi environment has HUGE implications for the health of GENERATIONS of Iraqis, as well as the health issues that our servicemen and woman are realizing as a result of their exposure.
    We count deaths only when we have the bodies to tally, trophies of a criminal fascist regime that has defeated and disgraced every tenet and ideal this nation once stood for. But the deaths will be FAR GREATER in numbers than the immediate body count. How many will die as a result of the unsecured yellow cake at Tuwaitha? How many will die from the effects of the deadly DU dust that will take tens of thousands of years to loose its radioactive toxicity? How many are dying, as we speak, from the insidious side effects of Bush’s criminal actions???
    I am ASHAMED of my nation, and what it has wrought. If we do not hold these criminals in Washington accountable for their crimes than we are NOTHING as a people, and have lost all perogative to judge or establish human morality or rights. Green is but a symptom of our malady, a small sideshow.

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  42. karenk says:

    I believe it was Gen Sherman who said,
    “It is good that war is hell, lest we grow too fond of it.”

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  43. Linda says:

    On this holiday weekend (often in wee hours of the morning) C-Span is rebroadcasting the Memorial Service for John Kenneth Galbraith, well worth watching. Here’s one small description of some very pertinent quotes on war:
    “My father’s last book was devoted to the destructiveness of war, the unimaginable cruelty of war” Peter Galbraith told the 1000 friends, colleagues, family members who gathered in Harvard University’s Memorial Church on a warm Wednesday afternoon to remember the life of a great public intellectual, economist, thinker who was also a man of generous heart and exceptionally independent mind and spirit. “‘War remains the decisive human failure,” Galbraith wrote. As his biographer Richard Parker said, “He knew when to fight and what he would fight for, but hated war and the men who sought or encouraged it, whether in Vietnam forty years ago or the middle East today.”
    This reminds me of a poster from the Vietnam era:
    “War is not healthy for children and other living things.”

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  44. karenk says:

    Beth says “I see no relationship between our liberty and this war”
    Exactly, so how do they get away with convincing most Americans otherwise?
    The answer is in Jean’s comment
    “Americans would do well to make use of Independence Day to acquaint themselves with the messy, ugly, complex reality of American history and foreign policy”

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  45. Frank says:

    The “browndirt” sign off matches the comment made in a stunning fashion. A match made in hell do you think? or republican heaven??

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  46. browndirt says:

    Yeah, but what about the 130578 brave American soldiers in Iraq who didn’t rape and kill an Iraqi family; who are protecting our beloved nation from the terrorists each and every day for truth, justice and the American way. The media doesn’t report on their heroic and good deeds, only on misfit distant cousins of Bill Clinton who sully our great nation’s honor with their inbred evil. We need some kind of DNA testing to find cousins of Bill Clinton so that they can be closely monitored and pre-empt their designs on OUR daughters here in the homeland. Chelsea also must be carefully watched around little boys. And I don’t know if you know this, because the Left wing media is guarding this knowledge, but, you remember Vince Foster, well, he really killed himself because Bill Clinton raped his ass in the White House basement. I don’t have a site to reference for you all, but I’m sure Bob Morrow has one and can provide it to all.
    God Bless America!

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  47. Jean says:

    Steve, the 9/11 attacks were themselves “blowback”–a reaction to the growing American military presence around the globe, and supposedly perpetrated by those “stirred-up” Muslims that Brzezinski et al were all too happy to call their allies (even “freedom fighters”) in the anti-communist crusades of previous decades.
    I find Americans to be appallingly ignorant of their own nation’s policies abroad. There is little in American postwar foreign policy that could be called noble or benevolent. A huge global military presence, invasions, anti-democracy coups, covert action, support for brutal dictators so long as they are “pro-US”, constant threats and meddling, political and economic pressure as well as military, flagrant violations of international law and abuses of human rights…this didn’t all start with Bush II.
    Americans would do well to make use of Independence Day to acquaint themselves with the messy, ugly, complex reality of American history and foreign policy. A sort of collective fourth step, a la AA: “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” It would help them understand why their country’s policies are reviled, resisted and distrusted by so many.
    And then they could try changing it for the better.

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  48. Robert Morrow says:

    If anyone needs further information on the distasteful and criminal ways Bill and Hillary have lived their lives, please email me at Morrow321@aol.com. Secondly, you might want to “google” the names above and find more links to the stories behind the people mentioned in the previous post.

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  49. Robert Morrow says:

    I agree. Anyone who rapes or kills someone should get their just desserts, the exact kind of punishment that a rapist or a murderer deserves. If Steven Green is indeed guilty then he should be punished severely and justly.
    Speaking of rape, that reminds me of Bill Clinton. Bill raped 19 year old Eileen Wellstone when he was at Oxford … and got off scott free. They expelled him because they did not want the scandal of a Rhodes Scholar charged with rape.
    Bill raped Juanita Broaddrick, a campaign volunteer, in 1978 when he was Attorney General of Arkansas on the way to being elected Governor of Arkansas. And he got off scott free because she was too terrified to come public and challenge the Clinton machine.
    Bill may very well have “acquaitance raped” Elizabeth Ward Gracen – the 21-year-old Miss America and Miss Arkansas – in the early 1980’s. Her friend Judy Stokes says that Bill forced himself on her in the back of a limo, as Elizabeth tearfully told her friend that sex was something she did not want. Elizabeth was also married at the time.
    I believe Bill personally sent 3 thugs to beat up – nearly murdering, severely wounding – Gary Johnson on June 26th, 1992, because Gary had security camera videotapes of Bill often entering Gennifer’s apartment. This incident was in the MIDDLE of the 1992 presidential campaign. Gary says these 3 men were big and beefy with short haircuts like state troopers.
    I agree when people get away with rape, rape, rape and near murder it creates tremendous resentments. And when your wife Hillary hires a secret police to further terrify and intimidate your sexual assault victims – breaking into homes, sending threatening letters and phone calls – and girlfriends it FURTHER causes the kind of resentment that lasts for decades.
    I urge my Democratic friends to vote for MARK WARNER in ’08; he would be a MUCH better pick than Hillary.

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  50. Carroll says:

    I ditto that.
    Sociopaths are sociopaths, in or out of the military.
    No one can attribute this crime to the “stress of combat”.

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  51. sona says:

    All the presumption of innocence till proven guilty bs does not diminish the bestiality of the premeditated rape of a 15 year old girl and murder of her parents and five year old brother to eliminate witnesses. Green, England, etc are yobbos that no American should be proud of nor think of as heroes but how many others are there? US military recruitment seems focused on the unhinged, sociopathic dregs – and they dreamed of flower petals? Do these rascals ever deserved flowers at all? I don’t think any of them are heroes. Neither do I accept they are innocent victims of dirty politics. They are the products of a society that does not know how to parent to nurture responsible citizens. Funny that all these Family First type groups do not focus on this but on cells in a petridish. I grew up in a family that regarded hitting anybody as a crime and hitting a child, including your own, as child abuse. Yet these nutters advocate corporal punishment of children to instil discipline! There really needs to be a social programme to educate idiots about parenting – focused not on discipline but respect – it seems it is a national health priority.

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  52. Dan Kervick says:

    Steve, you say:
    “But what he [Steven Green] has done demonstrates how out of control the emotional climate is in the military services — and what we are seeing are cover-ups, hostility to the press, and slowness from the Pentagon in doing what needs to be done inside the military services to instill more humane and noble norms than Green and his detachment demonstrated.”
    Frankly I doubt the emotional climate, or the presence or absence of “humane and noble norms” are much different than is typical of the state of affairs in any war. Rape, murder, torture, sadism, suicide and atrocious desecration of corpses are typical accompaniments of war. So are the actions of soldiers to protect their comrades from the legal consequences of transgrssions. In the good wars, the nastiest parts are covered up by the participants, and later forgotten or drowned in the victory celebrations so that nobody much cares in the end except the victims themselves. In the less popular wars they are dragged out into the open, portrayed as anomolous breakdowns in morale, and used as excuses for changing course or seeking political advantage. Certainly some armies are more disciplined than others. But I have yet to see any clear evidence that this war is notably different from others in the level of atrocity. War itself is a massive atrocity anyway.
    If you get together a few hundred thousand young men, from a variety of backgrounds and circumstances, and send them into hell of earth with guns and knives and bombs in their hands, to kill and destroy for thier country, you have to expect that some significant proportion are going to “exceed the bounds of their authority” and do some pretty vile stuff. No discipline in the world can prevent it. They are no saints to begin with, and they live in an environment of pain, carnage, fear, loss, deprivation and hostility that is, let us say, highly conducive to outbreaks of criminality and violations of our precious “humane and noble norms”.
    Yet the flag-waving non-participants are perpetually “saddened”, or shocked or outraged by the occasonal news of some wound to the National Honor. If one really wants to avoid these atrocities, then one should avoid starting the war in the first place. Otherwise lets skip the melodrama and the phoney rituals of violated national innocence. After all, a large number of Americans in effect *voted* for this blood-soaked expedition. If they don’t like the way our boys are conducting it, then they can go take their places.
    So go ahead Steve. Wallow in your shame and pretend it would all be different if only we had *good* commanders fighting a *good* war animated by *noble* principles.
    And Steve, tell your Washington national security pals that some of us are always watching, and that even when they have successfully navigated their way up the bureaucratic food chain to land their prized positions in the stateside halls of power, they will find themselves the object of our skeptical scrutiny and disdain. They probably won’t be any more accountable for their actions than their predecessors in every generation – all those suited “statesmen” who throw young soldiers into the meat grinder. But maybe just knowing that a few of us aren’t buying their act will have a tiny, marginal effect on their behavior.

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  53. Punchy says:

    The cost of war, etc. They’ll greet us with flower petals. We’ll greet them with peni and guns. F’ing disgusting.
    Bring these guys home. NOW. And offer them unlimited counseling.

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  54. Frank says:

    In war shit happens. This sad fact escapes any understanding by Bush and company. When Rumsfeld promised shock and awe, I guess he really meant it..The world is shocked and in horrible awe about this alledged atrocity. Bush’s energetic effort to bypass the Geneva Convention now makes sense. At least give the messianic buffoon credit for being prescient as to why he wants to do so.

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  55. Charles says:

    I’m glad Andrew mentioned that Mr. Green deserves the presumption of innocence. Add my name to the petition.
    The reality is that war is full of this sort of ugliness. If you don’t like girls being raped and murdered, then take a stand against war. Almost none of the crimes alleged at Abu Ghraib have been prosecuted, yet we have reason to believe that almost every woman who was taken there was raped.
    Meanwhile, there’s a story closer to home that ought to be covered, and that is the Mexican election. Yes, it’s not as sexy a story as a rape/murder. But it’s likely to have a much larger impact on our lives. Very few outlets are covering it well. The WaPo did an atrocious job, with the LAT and the NYT doing a somewhat better job. But I think it’s possible that Mexico is about to enter a crisis, in which the poor and middle class reject the legitimacy of the government and regions of Mexico, always a bit iffy as to federal control, effectively secede.

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  56. Carroll says:

    Well Andrew….
    No one is saying that our troops don’t deserve honor.
    But I think saying that…”Green, Pace, Rumsfeld, Cheney and others have robbed Americans of any right to feel proud at this moment in our history”…is exactly right.
    And let’s chew on this…we are all guilty. Do you see millions of us standing outside the pentagon with torches in protest of our current national insanity?
    We are too civilized for that,a law abiding democracy and all that, right? Well, at what point does allowing ‘all this” to continue because we are too “civilized” to stop it make us uncivilized?
    I really would like to find an answer to that.

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  57. beth says:

    In church last Sunday I cried. I cried because the minister went a long way to basically say that on July 4th we should remember all those who have died so that we can be free. I just can’t believe that at this point. Those people dying in Iraq–that’s so we can be free? I see no relationship between our liberty and this war; if anything, it’s an inverse relationship. We’re losing our liberties, and I feel much less safe.
    More importantly from a moral persective, what of the tens–some say hundreds–of thousand of Iraqis dead? Babylonias dying. Iraqi Christians persecuted. Local Iraqis, foreign mercenaries, and of course US troops are being maimed and killed. I cried because it was the lamest use of pulpit I’ve heard in months–especially considering the situation we’re in today.
    Steve’s non-religious postings like this one have more prophetic, moral force than that weak sermon I heard last Sunday.

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  58. steve duncan says:

    Cheney, Bush and Rummy will break out the Vaseline, pull the shades and peruse the details of this crime in the publication of their choosing. This IS the war they wanted, and criminal brutality is what they feel needs visited upon those we’re fighting. 9/11 pissed them off and scared the shit out of them and no amount of death and violence is enough to make them feel now we’re even.

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  59. Andrew says:

    Steve,
    I don’t think these thoughts are on the mark.
    At this date, all we truly know is that Mr Green is accused of a serious crime. The presumption of innocence, and the right to a fair trial, holds.
    So to say that “Green, Pace, Rumsfeld, Cheney and others have robbed Americans of any right to feel proud at this moment in our history” can’t be right.
    The vast majority of Americans serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere are genuinely entitled to feel that they bring honor to themselves and their families. We also honor other officers like Commander Swift, who risked a great deal to establish that the rule of law also applies to so-called enemy combattants.
    I’d leave demonizing the accused to the Nancy Graces of this world.

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  60. Chris says:

    If its all the same, I’d like to copy a comment from Scribe at TalkLeft, which made me wonder more about the relationship btw this case and the strange, single 101st guards who were kidnapped and killed (to much greater publicity in the US, sadly,)
    “This case is starting to look like I had feared it would. The lead from today’s papers:
    Fifteen-year-old Abeer Qasim Hamza was afraid, her mother confided in a neighbor.
    As pretty as she was young, the girl had attracted the unwelcome attention of U.S. soldiers manning a checkpoint that the girl had to pass through almost daily in their village in the south-central city of Mahmudiyah, her mother told the neighbor.
    Abeer told her mother again and again in her last days that the soldiers had made advances toward her, a neighbor, Omar Janabi, said this weekend, recounting a conversation he said he had with the girl’s mother, Fakhriyah, on March 10.
    The WaPo buries this on page A15 and in a single line on the website; the Star-Ledger does have it A1 above the fold, but only in the print version. I suspect the MSM would desperately like to see this story go f’g away.
    But, what appears to have happened is this (my conclusions, drawn from media reports):
    Several troopers of the 502 manned the same checkpoint on a regular basis. They saw a very pretty girl who had to pass through their checkpoint on a regular basis. They began paying her unwanted attention (who knows what that was; the point is it was unwelcome). At some point, the girl and her family became aware that (a) she was the object of the soldiers’ desire and (b) they were likely to come for her. (b) necessarily implies that either they said something to the effect of “give it up or else” or that “you must be an insurgent, not wanting to have anything to do with us” (or something similar). By this time, they knew their attention was unwelcome, but they didn’t care. The girl’s family sought to have a neighbor hide her so, when the Americans came, they would not get her. For whatever reason* that fell through. The Americans came, raped her, killed her family, tried to burn her body, and covered up their crime by attributing it to sectarian violence.
    In the victims’ culture, rape is a matter of family dishonor which can only be dissolved by blood revenge. (Inference: since the girl’s family was wiped out by the soldiers, it likely fell to more distant relatives to take care of this expiation.)
    A couple of months pass. The same unit continues to patrol in the same area. Three of the soldiers are killed while on outpost/checkpoint duty, one immediately. The other two are captured, moved, tortured, beheaded, mutilated, and their bodies left in the open and booby-trapped (by inference, left out for the dogs and vultures).
    The soldiers’ conspiracy to rape, murder and obstruct justice comes out only when one of their fellow platoon-mates breaks the story during a counseling session post the capture and killing of the soldiers. One of the soldiers in the platoon heard/knew about it, another saw them getting blood off their clothes. One of the conspirators allegedly confesses after the investigation gets going.
    Conclusion: The soldiers were killed as a matter of revenge by extended family and/or locals knew who exactly whom they were targeting. This was personal.
    Interestingly, early media reports on the capture and abduction of the soldiers indicated one of them had been alone on an outpost. It is drilled into every soldier and officer to never, never, never leave a single soldier as an outpost. This is for all sorts of useful reasons, but most of all so loneliness, fear of the unknown and dark (or sleep) will not overcome the soldier performing his duty. If it is true that one of the soldiers was left alone – someone violated this cardinal rule, and I’d be willing to put $5 on that someone knowing there was something coming from the locals for those three.
    Why is it that several hundred comments come several times a week to dissect a bad case brought against some white boy jocks at an elite school by a politically ambitious DA who wants to keep his job, based only upon the cry rape of an exotic dancer, yet no f’g one wants to talk about a bunch of “America’s Finest”** conspiring to break into a home, satisfy their lust and rape a child (having no doubt received training classes on societal taboos and customs and things to avoid), kill an entire family with automatic weapons, try to burn the evidence of their crime, and then collude and conspire to cover up their crimes, all the while acting under cover of (and facilitating their crimes by) the authority given them as soldiers? That some of them received frontier justice is of only passing moment – what matters is the great caterwauling which went on when those criminals masquerading as soldiers were hailed as heroes and thousands of their fellow soldiers went on a high-tempo operation (formerly known as a rampage) trying to find them, and the horror we were told to feel when their commanders circumlocuted the facts of how they died (to be fair, they probably didn’t yet know why) and that the evil insurgents (that’s spelled l-o-c-a-l i-n-h-a-b-i-t-a-n-t-s for the slower among you) had booby-trapped their corpses.
    If there’s any justification for rage, it’s against the government which sent these jokers into a foreign country, then made sure the rules were vague enough that they could probably escape liability for the war crimes committed by the soldiers they misled, and ruined the Army such that only dolts, thugs and misfits would consider joining.

    * interestingly, the neighbor didn’t want to believe it, saying “Americans don’t do that sort of thing”.
    ** N.B. The 502nd Infantry is historically and presently a part of the 101st Airborne Division, the famed “Screaming Eagles”….

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  61. Pissed Off American says:

    Hmmm, I seem to recall Fallujan women and children being NAPALMED. Have we already forgotten that little unpleasantry??? Why doesn’t THAT get discussed and garner huge press attention??? Could it be because of the chain of command, and the ladder of repsonsibility??? Hard to blame THAT one on the grunts, isn’t it?? I mean SOMEONE in the command structure ordered the aircraft to be armed with Willy Pete munitions, right?
    Seriously Steve, why are the criminal actions of the command structure being ignored while the inevitable abominationaL behaviors of a few perverted grunts gets huge press??? There are travesties committed DAILY by BOTH SIDES in this mess when it comes to the slogging soldiers. As regrettable as it may be, you cannot have that many troops gallavanting around packing M-16s without a few Charlie Mansons slipping through the cracks. Hell, many of these kids have ALREADY shot someone on the streets of some hellhole like East L.A. before they even ENLISTED.
    Yes, crimes like Green’s deserve press, and exposure, and accountability. But the REAL DAMAGE to our image is the far graver crimes committed by this administration in their run-up to war, and the manner in which they have waged that war.
    This sick of a bitch Green will undoubtedly swing for his crimes, as he should. Thats justice, and if dispensed evenly it shows the world that we will not abide or allow such behavior. But when the head sick son of a bitch, Bush, or that satanistic pervert Cheney get a free walk for THEIR crimes against humanity, than the little bit of respect Green’s indictment garners us is erased and is replaced with the image of America’s leaders holding themselves above the law, both domestic and international.
    Like I said in an earlier thread, Green raped one woman, and should be punished for it. Bush has raped an ENTIRE COUNTRY. Shouldn’t he be punished too?

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  62. Thom Little says:

    Well said and so terribly sad. I will think of the girl and the family tomorrow–thank you for that.
    I’ve often wondered why the rage is not understood by more Americans. Abu Ghraib alone–Iraqis knew about it before we did. And knew more. And still do. How can we not understand widespread rage at that? and now this? Horrible.
    Good fourth to you and yours.

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  63. Carroll says:

    Keep on Steve..you’re shining thru, saying what has to be said…
    I don’t have words for this horror ..it just drags every corner of your soul down to think about it.
    Gawd!…we absolutely have to find some American leader big enough and strong enough to be humble and offer the world some gesture of apology and sorrow for what we have let go so wrong.

    Reply

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