From: Subject: Date: April 21, 2005 3:53:51 PM CDT Hankblog

Friday, April 30, 2004

And damn scary stuff on the road
Jeanne D'Arc at Body and Soul had been the one who turned me onto this subject, regarding a Marine who had posed for a highly offensive picture with a couple of Iraqi children. The soldier is giving a thumbs up with the children towards the camera as they hold a sign that reads "Lcpl Boudreaux killed my dad th[en] he knocked up my sister!"

There was a fair amount of debate in the comments on the post as to whether the picture was faked/Photoshopped or not., where I usually check on these things, has reported the question as inconclusive. Normally they dissect such photos for telltale signs of alteration, but they haven't done anything like that here. They defer to the Military investigation which has not as yet reported any findings on the matter. Jeanne had another post which seemed to indicate that the findings are that it was in fact real. In the interests of maintaining the standard of "innocent until proven guilty" I think I'll withhold judgment until I see something official.

However, the likelihood that this is real seemed to increase when CBS broke this story about a military prison in Iraq.

It turns out photographs surfaced showing American soldiers abusing and humiliating Iraqis being held at a prison near Baghdad. The Army investigated, and issued a scathing report.

Now, an Army general and her command staff may face the end of long military careers. And six soldiers are facing court martial in Iraq -- and possible prison time.

Jeanne has a link to some of the letters that CBS has received since airing the story on 60 Minutes II at the end of this post. Most of the letters show support for CBS for taking the risk in making this story public and focusing attention on the matter. However there are a few that just make me shake my head.

"Why in God's name would you choose to air such a story at this time? This is something our country didn't need to know now. Everyone in this country is hanging on for dear life to support the troops, and you have taken all our faith in goodness away. How many more reports can we watch like this before support fades?

We are losing our fight with other countries to support us, and now you have just sealed it. ... We've just lost the goal of helping anyone over there because of this show, and God help us. You are no better then those who did these horrible acts. Your reports are bringing down this country."

Um, lady, we lost that fight long ago. That's why we and Britain are the only ones holding down the fort in Iraq, and those that are left are running for the door. These pictures had nothing to do with that, nor does it in any excuse the behavior.

Then we have this gem:

"At one time I would have condemned the way they were treated, but after recently seeing them burning Americans there, I say they should give those troops medals. An eye for an eye."

Makes the whole world blind asshole. I believe that was Gandhi, but will correct if someone can tell me who the true source on that one is.

Daily Kos has this post which points out just how detached from reality W. is. In defending the famous Mission Accomplished photo op, W. said:

As to the carrier speech, Bush said, ``A year ago I did give the speech from the carrier saying we had achieved an important objective, accomplished a mission, which was the removal of Saddam Hussein.''

``And as a result, there are no longer torture chambers or rape rooms or mass graves in Iraq. As a result, a friend of terror has been removed and now sits in a jail,'' the president said.

I hope Kos draws a fair amount of satisfaction from point that out. He got ripped a new one for making some comments about the contractors that got killed in Fallujah. He retracted the comments I believe, but still got lambasted by most of the warbloggers pretty severely. Since it appears that contractors orchestrated some of this, I think anyone who pounced on him needs to apologize and/or vocally condemn the perpetrators of this mess.