Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Smile, You're on Candid Cadaver!

I don't normally do two posts in one day...I like to give the retractors 24 hours to come up with a clever retort. But something this important can't wait. I had to post something as soon as I found out about it.

I checked out Tom Tomorrow's post from yesterday and about gagged on my coffee...

"For almost a year, American soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan have been taking photographs of dead bodies, many of them horribly mutilated or blown to pieces, and sending them to Web site administrator Chris Wilson. In return for letting him post these images, Wilson gives the soldiers free access to his site. American soldiers have been using the pictures of disfigured Iraqi corpses as currency to buy pornography."

After following the link to the website in question, I started worrying I'd lose my job for using the office computer to find out if something so incredibly outrageous could possibly be true.

It was, and though I'm worried about my job, I'm more worried about my nation. I strongly advise going to Tom Tomorrow's website and and reading his whole post, but caution you against checking out Wilson's gallery of donated snuff images until you are at your home computer and nobody can fire you for accessing a porn site or for screaming non-work related obscenities in your cubicle.

Seriously, America, do you support even these troops?

Think about it...We can't even photograph the flag draped caskets of our own soldiers out of respect to them as war dead, but anything goes with the godless arabs we are killing to shove our brand of freedom down their throats. This is the way we win hearts and minds and reduce the risk of terrorist attacks?

Is this why we suspended the Geneva Convention's application to the War on Terror? Is this the best way to protect our troops from reprisals? Is this how we prove to Islamic fundamentalists that their accusations of the dangerous depravity of Western nations is a lie?

Think about how pissed off some parents were that Cindy Sheehan used the name of their dead son who was killed in Iraq as part of her protest against the war. How would they feel if somebody used a picture of their blown apart, disfigured, or tortured son to buy internet porn?

I'm a pacifist and a Christian of the Romans 12:9-21 school...and if somebody sold a picture of my son's tortured and mutilated body so they could jerk off to pictures of porn star wannabes...I think I'd be driven to what can only be called a murderous rage and consider a very violent form of revenge for this clear and unmitigated evil. Hell, just knowing that Chris Wilson is making a profit off of his mingling of death and sex is enough to foster some pretty grisly thoughts even without seeing the donated images he's peddling for cash. People like Chris Wilson make it very hard to adhere to the principles of faith that guide my life and my politics.

And if that is how I'd feel, or more importantly, that is how you'd feel, how do you think an Iraqi feels? Because for them, it ain't hypothetical. It is real, and it is happening right now. Has been happening for more than a year.

I seriously doubt it makes them feel like throwing down their weapons, surrendering, and telling all their friends how much they support the US effort to bring them freedom and democracy.

In the face of these actions by some of our troops, in the face of the prisoner abuses at Abu Grhaib and Guantanamo, how can you honestly call Cindy Sheehan a traitor? Who is hurting our country more?

Maybe Rush is right after all, because if this is America, then yeah, I do hate it. I hate it with all my heart.

Why don't you?


Blogger Archie Levine said...

Just to be clear, even though I an wholly enthusiastic in my support of Cindy Sheehan to advocate her position, and I completely agree with her that the war was a mistake on the grandest scale, and the victory has been even more mismanaged than the war itself...I am not in favor of immediate and complete withdrawl of the troops.

I am in favor of better training and improved handling of the situation by an administration who knows what the fuck they are doing, but an immediate and complete withdrawl would probably be a bigger mistake than going there in the first place.

I listened to, and believed Colin Powell when he talked about the Pottery Barn rule. I just wish Bush, Rove, Cheney, Rumsfeld and all their shareholders had listened too.

Let's get us some lawmakers who know what they are doing, and who won't call considering humane options and inducements capitulation and appeasement.

It wouldn't hurt these people to read Antigone, either.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scary, scary, scary. And now DeLay is out of the bag...help me, Arch, help me!

- Tuggle

7:31 PM  
Blogger R said...

I guess because of the blog attention they are actually looking into that sight. Disgusting, Disrespectful Prats.
On a lighter note
DEEP BUDDY. I'm lovin it. John Stewart has got to be rubbing his nipples over this. Your going down...roach boy. (He was an exterminator in Houston before he got into government. Makes you wonder how he affords such nice suits. Didn't know bug killin paid so well) Poor me a scotch Archie. This is going to get good.

8:55 PM  
Blogger frstlymil said...

I read about this on Salon as well, and felt more than just a little sick to my stomach. This is sickening - not to mention the horror at the thought of that many depraved individuals spawned in our own country. How did we raise our young to have them end up like this? It's reprehensible - and I wish there was more public awareness, outrage and PUNISHMENT for this.

7:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes it's not good for us to have this but on the other hand it's not a good idea to spread word of it around the country because of what some soldiers did. Another thing is we are not there to see the remorseless killing that the insurgents do and not to mention the video tapes of the beheadings. Those insurgents purposely kill children and maybe just maybe those guys and gals over there are probably digusted and scared.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me ask you this question: If your son or daughter were over there would you want this publicized? Because once Aljazirah gets a hold of this there will more repricussions against the troops.
These people do not represent the entire military and what you are doing is not good for the rest of the troops. I know,I am a Vet.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Archie Levine said...

Well, VET, and Annonymous, let me ask YOU a question.

Which is worse? The reporting of an atrocity by a free press as part of the fundamental freedoms and responsibilities which are supposed to be part of the free and open society we are defending and exporting....or the atrocity itself?

Why am I the one who is endangering the troops? It is the horrifying and inhuman behavior of the troops I am discussing, why isn't it their actions which are the danger in your mind?

There is an adage, unchallenged is confirmed. You challenged mine, and I think I have an answer to it. How about challenging the behavior of these troops? That's what I'm doing because I don't want to confirm it.

As one of the millions of taxpayers who are footing the bill for this war and paying the salaries of the people defending the freedom you are telling me not to exercise, I think I have more than a right to address dangerous behavior by those soldiers, I have a duty.

My exposing the heinous behavior might prevent it continuing. Ignoring it like you wish me to do is a tacit condoning of the behavior and will allow it to flourish.

Is it better to have Al-Jazeera report that the majority of Americans are outraged by this incident or would it be better to have Al-Jazeera uncover the story, report it, and tell the world that not only are Americans committing these atrocities in the name of ousting a man who murdered and tortured for pleasure and that America itself either doesn't care or approves of it because it is not part of the national debate in this "free" society?

Don't vent your anger and rage at the people you are defending who are upset by this "handful" of bad eggs, try being angry at the soldiers themselves for not being smart enough to understand how this behavior is likely to fuel the insurgents, prolong the war, and provoke even bloodier reprisals.

Or how about getting angry at the superiors in the miliatry who inadequately train these bad eggs.

Or better yet, how about getting angry at Bush and Rumsfeld who so dramatically underestimated the consequences of this war and the number of troops needed to wage it that we have situations like this occuring at all.

Or, even better yet, how about some outrage at the idea that this kind of thing, by fueling the insurgency and provoking bloody reprisals gives the administration and the Project for a New American Century all the ammunition they need to keep a military presence there forever.

Remember when this was going to be a 6 month action, costing 1.7 billion dollars, bring down oil prices by freeing up Iraqi oil, and reveal the clear threat posed by Saddam's nuclear and biological programs?

How about getting upset that your fellow soldiers have been sent into harm's way on faulty intelligence and with a war plan and plan for victory cooked up by a bunch of people who never wore a uniform, or if they did (as in our President's case) never wore one in combat?

Me? I'd be mad as hell that what this administration does to our military is what passes for support of our troops. Don't take my word for it, I haven't done the exetensive reporting on these war crimes...but Seymore M. Hersh has. Try reading his book "Chain of Command" and then come back and talk to me. Refute that book, because telling a blogger he's an idiot is easy. I admit I'm an idiot. But being an idiot doesn't mean I'm wrong.

I'll never get why vets like you think that the efforts toward peace by a decorated combat veteran was more frightening than the efforts to go to war by a man with no combat experience who used his power and influence to stay out of harm's way.

But these are only one American's opinions. Thank you again, Vet, for defending my right to express them.

6:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clinton never wore a uniform either my friend and he went to war with Yugoslavia and also sent 400 cruise missles into Baghdad in 1995. He should have finished the job that 80% of congress agreed upon.
My question still remains. If your son or daughter were there would you want this highly publicized around the world? It would be a shame if you still felt the same way. Obviously you never served either,so these statements you make are strictly based on an agenda not experience as when the made up story about the Quaran being flushed in a toilet caused more retaliation.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Archie Levine said...

Anonymous said...
>Clinton never wore a uniform >either my friend and he
>went to war with Yugoslavia
>and also sent 400 cruise missles >into Baghdad in 1995.

Uh, was my point that only uniformed soldiers should be President? Nope. Did you give Clinton hell about being a draft dodging pot smoker? Yup. Am I supposed to be an unpatriot if I point out that Bush is a cocaine using convicted drunk driver who used influence to essentially dodge the war by being a fighter pilot in texas who went AWOL during war in order to work on a political campaign. I guess so.

As to war with Yugoslavia, don't recall the declaration of war but you're right, he did that. And the missles, and the whole time you accused him of wagging the dog and dodging the trumped up Whitewater scandal which as scandals go, isn't much of one compared to the amount of corruption in Bush's administration.

Now, what was your "standing question" again?

>If your son or daughter were >there would you want this
>highly publicized around the >world?

Well, if my son or daughter were there I'd like to think that I'd have raised them better than to try to use pictures of dead people to buy internet porn, and I'd like to think that by publicizing the actions of those who did would do a lot more to protect my son or daughter from acts of reprisal and perhaps be a step in the direction of normalizing relations so that my son or daughter could come home.

It should have been implicit in the fact that I posted this, and that I consider all the soldiers sons and daughters of America, and therefore in a metaphoric sense, my sons and daughters, that I was doing this not because I hate Bush, but because I think what he is doing is dangerous to all of us.

Don't hate the President, hate the President's policies. Just like you probably hate the sin and not the sinner, or (I hope) hate what I say but love that I can say it.

Cause you fought for my right to say it. I presume you fought. Or maybe you are one of the mysterious vets who were with George in the Air Guard but are, I guess, too patriotic to confirm his presence there.

>Obviously you never served >either,so these statements you >make are strictly based on an >agenda not experience as when the >made up story about the Quaran >being flushed in a toilet caused >more retaliation.

Nope never served, never lied about serving either.

And golly, just because somebody didn't flush the Quaran doesn't mean all the allegations are false.

Any more than the forged papers about Bush that Dan Rather got crucified for are proof that he did serve.

And how come those forged papers matter more to the public as evidence of an "agenda" based on lies than the forged papers about the Nigerian yellow cake?

How many kids did Dan Rather's forged documents kill?

But, sure, I've got an agenda. I want us to know why we are going to war when we do, I want there to be a plan for how that war will be conducted, I want there to be an exit strategy, and I want to protect more lives than we waste on both sides.

You know, all the things you guys said you wanted in Yugoslavia.

Is that so wrong?

9:35 AM  
Blogger Deirdre Cooley said...

I wish I didn't know this very distrubing piece of news. I was hoping Abu Ghraib was the extent of it. (The extent to which I should be ashamed of troops... and only a handful of troops, at that.) But now this? It's sick and unconscionable.

I'm not sure that Al-jazeera would ever report that Americans are outraged over this behavior, though. Would they? (I don't know enough to say, either way.)

Thanks for the post, Archie. The truth is disturbing... but very, very important to know.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

And nothing is going to happen to the troops involved. Nothing. Is there anything they could do to get punished for? is no act "unbecoming". I saw this story on Fark.Com last week, this
http://edition.cnn.com/2005/US/09/28/web.photos/ was on CNN on 9/28 . "No Felony".

11:03 AM  

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