This letter was published on the website of what appears to be an Italian magazine called Bellaciao. It was written by the parents of a soldier serving in Iraq, both of whom are themselves retired from the military.
As a military family with a combined total of 57 years of active service in the U. S. Army, myself, son, and daughter-in-law have accumulated over 80 combat medals, one or more of us have served in Vietnam, Cambodia, Grenada, Panama, El Salvador, Kosovo, Bosnia, and three of us served together during Desert Storm. My son recently returned from the Iraq War, his third war, and, being fed up with Bush lies and back-to-back deployments, applied to be discharged from his “indefinite enlistment” status.
Six days later he was under investigation for making “disloyal comments” about George Bush…which amounted to saying in general conversation with other soldiers that “Bush should have never started the war” and “Bush is no military leader.” He was charged under Article-15 and was denied an attorney and could not cross-examine the case against him. His 14 years of military service up to this point was flawless, he was an excellent soldier, and in spite of numerous superiors who testified in his favor, he was demoted and sentenced to 45 days of extra duty.
His crime involved nothing more than expressing his personal political opinion as guareeteed under the Bill of Rights, the very document that he had risked his life defending. Our government claims to be fighting for democracy, however those who risk their lives for democracy are being denied their basic rights of freedom of speech and opinion. My friends, the Bill of Rights and democracy are dead under the Bush Administration. This is only a sampling of what will happen if this administration is re-elected.
For generations we have been a loyal and faithful military family, however with this recent action taken against a member of our family, we will no longer encourage military service to our future generations. In other words, we are going to do the same thing that Bush, Cheney, Wolfovitz, and most members of congress do, WE AIN’T SERVING NO MORE!!
The Iraq War was based on lies and exaggerations, poor intelligence, a mass deception with no rhyme nor reason for invading Iraq. For those who still have kids and loved ones in this illegal war, our blessings and best wishes go out to you. We pray for their safe return. It is refreshing to see an organization like Military Families Speak Out because our active service members are silenced by the system and need all the voices that can be mustered.
Charlie C. Carlson II
Command Sergeant-Major USA Ret.
[Ex-Major USA Vietnam Vet]
An ex-military commenter noted that Article 15 discipline is company-level punishment, the lowest type of discipline there is. Still, at the very least it’s ironic that troops supposedly fighting for ‘freedom’ are denied it themselves.
A while ago, I wrote about Gen John Abizaid’s order that any soldier dissing Junior was to be punished. This would appear to be proof that they are.
(Thanks to Polis for the link. In the same post, he links to an article in the Guardian about Rep Henry Waxman’s on-going attempt to trace the $$$Billions$$$ earmarked for Iraq that are unaccounted for.
He wrote to the Republican chairman of the reform committee on July 9, suggesting there was a serious case to answer. Subpoenas should be issued, he said, “to investigate potential mismanagement of the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) by the United States”.
The DFI was set up after last year’s invasion as the depository for Iraq’s multi-billion-dollar oil revenues and was administered, until June 28, by the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) – with notional UN oversight.
In particular, Mr Waxman is curious about “the [Bush] administration’s last-minute ‘draw-down’ of billions of dollars from the DFI for unspecified expenses” prior to last month’s transfer of sovereignty. “For example, $1bn [about £550m] was withdrawn from the DFI during the last month of the CPA’s existence for unspecified ‘security’ purposes.”
The administration provided no information about how these funds would be spent, Mr Waxman says, and has yet to do so.
Officials from Congress’s financial watchdog, the general accounting office, have pointed out meanwhile that while the CPA was keen to appropriate Iraqi oil revenues, it was much more reluctant to spend bilateral US aid funds.Nearly all of the $20bn in the DFI was spent or allocated by June 28 – but only 2% of the $18.4bn promised by the US for reconstruction was actually spent. According to White House figures, for example, and despite all the rhetoric about building a new Iraq, not a cent of America’s own money had been spent on construction, healthcare, sanitation and water projects as of last month.
Last month, Iraq Revenue Watch, part of the Soros Foundations network, accused the CPA of “committing billions of dollars to ill-conceived projects” using Iraqi rather than US funds, effectively pre-empting budgetary decisions that should have been left to the interim Iraqi authority.
Yet another story in which the US media is interested. NOT. If you read the whole piece, what Waxman is basically saying is that the whole ‘reconstruction’ effort seems to be a) riddled with possible corruption, and b) a rip-off of Iraqi resources by US corporations. Well, mainly one US corporation–can you guess who?
Halliburton was the largest single recipient of Iraqi oil funds during the occupation, according to the Army Corps of Engineers’ figures released last month. And among US politicians, according to the Center for Public Integrity, Mr Bush has been the largest single recipient of US oil and gas industry campaign contributions since 1998 – his total stands at $1,724,579.
There is, of course, no connection between those two facts.)