There Is No Honor

There is no honor.

I saw Don Rumsfeld’s testimony today, and there is no honor. Certainly, the other men present at the witness table did not acquit themselves well, but in the end, it comes down to Rumsfeld and the President. And there is no honor.

“Who was in charge? What was the chain of command?” Simple questions, these. Asked by John McCain, an honorable man. Simple questions, deserving of a simple answer. But the simple answer never made it past the lips of the Secretary. There were evasions and dodges, a dance of deceit, if you will.

No one was in charge, it seems–because that way, the only people who suffer punishment are the sergeants and privates in the photographs and videos. And as for the chain of command, well…uh…well, that was left behind somewhere in the recesses of the Pentagon. And there is no honor in that.

“When did you see the pictures?” Another simple question, asked by another honorable man, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, deserving of a simple answer. Answered not with a simple answer, but with a desperate dodge.

Certainly, the Secretary had his defenders. The schools, the schools, they cried, all of them–Hutchinson and Dole, and two men who wouldn’t know honor, dignity and grace if they went twelve bloody rounds with them. I speak of Saxby Chambliss and Jeff Sessions, and the less spoken about them, the better.

But what of the schools? What of all the good we’ve done there? So what? Does it make the horrors we’ve seen, and those we’ve yet to see any more excusable? Is this what Republican morality is all about? Getting an extramarital blowjob in the Oval Office is a national crisis, but you can abuse and torment all the Iraqis you want–just make sure you build them 2,000 schools to make up for it.

And just when you thought one side had the market cornered on moral hypocrisy, you had Saint Joe Lieberman, patron saint of pious sanctimony, try to wash away the sins of Abu Ghraib by saying that since the Secretary had apologized (the way a six-year-old apologizes, only after being caught red-handed with the broken hards of pottery in his hands), and the 9/11 hijackers hadn’t, that made things better.

I thought the world of Joe, once. Not anymore–I despise his empty bromides, his saccharine piety. If there was any way I could run against him in two years, I would. Hey, Sen. Dodd, there’s something you can do with all that money you’re squirrelling away: get someone to run against this sorry excuse for a Democrat.

I harbor no illusions that Secretary Rumsfeld will resign, or be impeached. The President is far too mired in the muck, the web of deceit, corruption, and irresponsibility for him to fire one of his closest advisors–because ultimately, the final responsibility lies with him, in the Oval Office.

Harry Truman, an honorable man, once said of the Presidency, “The buck stops here”. Not with these men and women, for whom honor, dignity, and responsibility are merely partisan watchwords, to be mouthed but not lived. Rumsfeld and Bush may be dubbed “The Honorable” for the rest of their lives, but they are not honorable.

In the end, the only thing we have in this life, as people and as a nation, is our honor. This Administration has grieviously tarnished our national honor, by their deeds and their attitudes. What the sergeants and privates did at Abu Ghraib–and, it must be mentioned, other places and other times, from the beginning of this war till now–wasn’t done in a vacuum. It was done because people from the bottom all the way to the top didn’t think it was a matter worthy of condemnation until the whole world knew about it.

That’s why there is no honor. And that’s why tonight, I weep silent tears of shame and rage at what was done in my name.

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42 responses to “There Is No Honor

  1. Rich Puchalsky

    I went through something like this reaction a while back. Unfortunately, I believe that the situation is worse than you think.

    One of the first reactions to the pictures of this particular set of tortures has been the “bad apples” theory — that it’s a few bad apples doing this, and it doesn’t reflect on the chain of command. As we’re seeing, that isn’t true. Both the individual soldiers *and* their chain of command are to blame.

    The next varient of the bad apple theory is to blame Bush, the bad apple President. And it’s tempting, because he really is an evil, twisted, and incompetent person. But, as you’ll see, that doesn’t go far enough either. Bush couldn’t do what he does without the consent and support of a good chunk of the American people. Not a majority, quite, but close to one.

    As you watch this scandal, I predict that you’ll wait for these people to turn against Bush, and you’ll see that they don’t. It’s fashionable to say that they don’t because they’re fooled. I don’t think that they are fooled; they know well enough what’s going on. They want torture — of enemies, innocents, they don’t care, as long as those people don’t look like them.

    A near majority of the American people have lost whatever fundamental decency they once were supposed to possess. Reading American history, I suspect that this supposed decency was always a scam, but that’s neither here nor there, you can observe the lack of it now.

  2. Addison Ingle

    Look, I can appreciate your anger, I share it, and I can understand your disagreement/dislike of the current administration. But if you want to talk about presidents accepting responsibility for the failings of the military, then you should remember Pearl Harbor, The Bay of Pigs, the Tet offensive, and Mogadishu. I don’t recall reading comments about our elected leadership being accused of the things you mention in your post. Of course, there weren’t blogs for you and me to read and comment on, so maybe there was not the opportunity for us to argue about our leaders. And, let’s not forget, that, in this current fiasco, the general in charge (BG Carpinski), has been removed and will hopefully face charges, as she should. You have probably noted her many appearances on TV and in the media, where she shamelessy refuses to accept any responsibility and tries to blame others. In fact, in the Taguba report, it is mentioned that one of the factors contributing to this fiasco was the inability of BG Karpinski to manage the other elements working in the prison (i.e., interragotors, intelligence).

    As for Mr. Puchalsky’s comments, I will simply remark that policy disputes apparently can no longer be debated in a civil manner (on either side), and that, in the current arena of political discussion, the power and use of rhetoric has been replaced with the tactics of personal derision, attack, and slander. I, too, lament the loss of fundamental decency from both sides of the discussion. I guess we are all losers.

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  4. You’re right. I have a thing against Bush and Rummy and all of the administration, and I’d like to say that you’re absolutely right. You’ve restored my faith in Americans, and if only all of them could be like you. I think that you are by far the best example of someone WITH brains that I have ever seen. I usually consider Americans to be ignorant to a lot of things, especially what their government is doing, but you’re tuned in. I’m sorry if I sound arrogant or anything, but please realize, from the world’s perspective, you’re fighting an unjust war.

    There is no justification in any of this, from the chemical weapons to the nukes to the mass graves. Bush has created more violence and hatred in Iraq than was there before.

    I commend you on speaking the truth; the hardest thing to do.

  5. Rich Puchalsky

    Addison Ingle is wrong insofar as he says that there has been a loss of fundamental decency “from both sides” of the discussion. I don’t know what kind of morally relativistic posture would equate the supporters of torture — i.e., all who will still support the Bush administration — with the opponents of torture.

  6. Addison Ingle

    Mr. Puchalsky: There you go, again. Only a person willing to ignore common sense or basic logic can possibly state that all who consider themselves supporters of President Bush must therefore be considered supporters of torture.
    This is what I meant in my earlier post. We have lost the ability to consider people who differ with our opinion as rational, well-intentioned, moral souls who have the right to have a different opinion. You don’t know me, but because I support the president, I therefore support torture. Why should anyone expect a reasonable conversation with people that cannot reason.

  7. Mr.Ingle:

    As to Pearl Harbor, the Bay of Pigs, and Mogadishu, I believe that there were multiple inquiries into the failings of the first in less time than it took to convene the first 9/11 commission; President Kennedy took full responsibility for the second; and Secretary of Defense Les Aspin lost his job over the third.

  8. Mr.Ingle:

    As to Pearl Harbor, the Bay of Pigs, and Mogadishu, I believe that there were multiple inquiries into the failings of the first in less time than it took to convene the first 9/11 commission; President Kennedy took full responsibility for the second; and Secretary of Defense Les Aspin lost his job over the third.

  9. Rich Puchalsky

    The logic of my claim is quite clear. It is as follows:

    a) the President supports torture
    b) the support of Addison Ingle and others like him enables the President to go on
    c) therefore, Addison Ingle and others like him support torture.

    The sentence a) above is a statement of fact, supported by the widely known history of torture under this administration — ranging from turning suspects over to other countries specifically so they will be tortured, to the widely documented abuses at Guantanimo, to the more recent revelations at Abu Ghraib and Afghanistan. The President has instituted a deliberate policy from the highest levels, including such well-known stratagems as declaring those we imprison “unlawful combatents” so that they do not get visits from the ICRC. The President has not punished any member of his administration for carrying out these policies, which continue even to the present day.

    Statement b) seems fairly clear. Without support, the President could be impeached, or a call for his resignation and replacement by a credible Republican candidate would succeed.

    Of course Addison Ingle denies that he supports torture. But he might as well be wielding the hot irons himself.

  10. Addison Ingle

    Zak,

    And the DOD initiated the inquiry as soon as the violations were reported, per multiple time lines reported in the press and various blogs, the secretary of defense has accepted responsibility, and the President has apologized and stated that such acts are criminal, will not be repeated on his watch, and anyone found guilty will be punished. Remember also that Les Aspin did not resign immediately after Mogadishu, but resign months later for “health reasons”. The reality was that his boss did not support him and did not have the guts to fire him. Mr. Puchalsky and I simply disagree on the issue of whether or not George Bush supports torture. At least the exchanges have been respectful. But I will add to the list of horrific events the firebombing of Dresden, the destruction of Tokyo, and the march of Sherman through the south during the Civil War. My point is that we are fighting an enemy that has sworn to kill every last one of us (unless we embrace their version of Islam), we are at war, and regrettably, no matter how well-intentioned we are, mistakes are made. Does that mean we stop fighting? Does it mean we recognize the problem and correct it? Is our sworn enemy fighting fairly against us? Should we ask the dead in Madrid (should they be able to respond) if they find fault with our efforts to defend their families and friends? If someone killed your loved ones, and had information that could prevent more from dying, would you wield the hot iron? I would.

  11. Good comments, but I have the feeling we’re all going to get a lot angrier about this one as more horrors come out.
    Rumsfeld in his testimoney warned about that when he said there were videos.
    Videos.
    So do those conservatives who think that branding someone for a fraternity hazing like Bush’s, continue to think that murdering enemy officers in a failure of interrogation?
    Let’s discuss some of that so-called cold military logic.
    In my view, that’s the first and biggest failure of all.
    What in the name of intel did they *think* they’d accomplish when the Pentagon set up this fiasco?
    Because they did set it up. They know what a confused command structure with military intel involved in a prison can lead to.
    One of the points I don’t see addressed at all by the media, but I do occasionally see online, is that these unspeakably cruel, immoral, and illegal acts are also, as far as I can tell, completely pointless.
    If you ever wanted proof of the association of evil with ignorance and stupidity, here it is.
    Whatever the officers in charge of military intelligence thought they were doing, it had nothing at all to do with obtaining useful current intel.
    Certainly not from torturing prisoners they’d been holding for months.
    Torture of this sort does not obtain intel useful in any war. Victims just echo back at you whatever you want to hear.
    Was this, in fact, the point?
    To obtain “confessions” of the Inquisition sort?
    The professionals at this stuff know it.
    So why was this set up in a way guaranteed to cause exactly such confusion of command and distortion of moral code?
    If you’ve ever read about the deliberate creation of monster units by US commands in Vietnam and Korea–including commands under officers just like those in charge right now–and their use in deliberate campaigns of terror, you’d recognize all the same stigmata here.
    Terror campaigns.
    Why?
    What could that possibly accomplish in Iraq?
    What was the point of encouraging it not just in this one prison but at other places reported by so many outside sources, not just the Red Cross, all the way back to Afghanistan?
    And then putting the same General who was in charge when prisoners escaped Guantanamo, in charge in this miserable squandering cesspit of decent soldiers and materiel.
    Oh yeah, that will go well.
    Which is the reason I think Rumsfeld is far from the only one who ought to be prosecuted as a war criminal, but he’s a good place to start.
    As just one tiny consequence, here at home, think about what this will do to recruitment of Reserve soldiers. Will anybody look at a Reservist in the same way again?

    The excuse that “Those people are already used to it and you have to get extreme to get their attention” doesn’t fly either.
    After all, these victims were not impressed by Saddam’s brutalities, either.

    Was the point to inflame hatred against the Americans so as to prolong this war indefinitely?

    The questions just loom larger the more you ask…

  12. Rich Puchalsky

    I congratulate Addison Ingle on providing an honest response. I believe that his response is largely representative of many who support the President.

    Of course, this response is also wrong from start to finish. Bush promised to punish a few low-level soldiers, purely to distract attention from his policies, and Rumsfield “took responsibility” in a purely nominal sense, without changing anything. Future incidents of torture will show that nothing has changed. The wide variety of “he did it too!” excuses (including, for stereotype’s sake, a Clinton one) are meaningless, having nothing to do with torture, and in the more serious cases conflate acts of war with acts of torture and trivialize the two most serious conflicts that the U.S. has been in. I will ignore the revealing “mistakes were made” sentence, but think it’s worthwhile to answer the rhetorical questions:

    “Does that mean we stop fighting?”

    Straw man.

    “Does it mean we recognize the problem and correct it?”

    We aren’t correcting it.

    “Is our sworn enemy fighting fairly against us?”

    Who cares? We are supposed to be morally better than they are, and have enormously greater resources.

    “Should we ask the dead in Madrid (should they be able to respond) if they find fault with our efforts to defend their families and friends?”

    In fact, the people of Spain were asked, and they replied (electorally) that they did find fault.

    “If someone killed your loved ones, and had information that could prevent more from dying, would you wield the hot iron? I would.”

    And here is the pure essence of evil. First of all, most of the people being tortured *aren’t* those who killed loved ones. Most of them were simply picked up at random at checkpoints, or (in the case of Guantanimo) were farmers sold to the U.S. by Afghan factions that realized they could make money by supplying suspects. Of those who have actually killed someone, most do not have information that would prevent more from dying — resistance groups take capture of their members into account and information that prisoners hold quickly becomes out of date. And, of course, those captured in Afghanistan and Iraq were not the terrorists who attacked America on 9/11 — they were resistance fighters defending their country agaisnt invasion. Even if their cause was wrong, they were guerillas fighting in a war of national defense, and of course should not be tortured for killing their country’s enemies in war.

    So we get to the last “I would”, which I believe is one data point that illustrates my larger generalization — that those who support Bush support torture. In reality, no one knows with certainty that a suspect is a terrorist who holds information that must be uncovered to save lives. So this rhetorical flourish serves as license to torture suspects at will, a kind of inversion of “innocent until proven guilty” into “tortured because might be guilty”.

    Al Queda does not have the ability to destroy the U.S. But those who throw away our ideals out of fear or jingoism certainly do.

  13. Addison Ingle

    Mr. Puchaslksy is straining mightily to persuade me that moral equivalence, or even superiority, should be the ultimate goal in this conflict. He is using a set of individual facts to attack the larger issues. He’s doing a good job, but, again, what good is moral equivalence if it does not prevent people from being destroyed? He wants to prove that Bush supporters, or war supporters (because they are not all Bush supporters), have succumbed to the lowest levels of behavior. We disagree on these points, as people always have, and, at least in this civilization, always will be able to do. Can we say the same of the Wahhabi-intended result of this conflict? Can Mr. Puchalsky find nothing of his world worth saving other than moral equivalence or superiority? With that, I’m off to church.

  14. I think, as a non American, the best thing I can do or say is to continually express my disgust at the US Administration and the people for allowing this to continue. Maybe only then, when they truely understand how the rest of the World feels about it will they finally understand what exactly has been done to their country and reputation.

    Anyone that still supports Bush and the policies is my enemy, the worlds enemy. Doesn’t mean I’m about to become a Terrorist, (even though I may be painted as supporting them), what it does mean is I will tell those people exaclty what I think….

    It’s very hard not to feel sad for the the US, however as long as the people continue to believe that Bush’s policies are right, as long as they continue to ignore the realities of the world situation then it’s very hard to feel sympathy. I do however feel a great deal for those that post in Blogs, such as this and Agonist and others, that see the light and are shamed by your government. I commend you, I support you and I beg of you, don’t give up, the rest of the world needs you to fight.

    Caribdude

  15. With that, I’m off to church.

    It doesn’t get any better than that.

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  17. Bush was basking in the limelight of ‘Mission Accomplished’ and as the commander in chief wanted to take credit for the so called ‘victory’. So he has to be equally responsible (along with others) for the present ghastly situation.
    But people like Addison Ingle abound in the US. Wrong information is so harmful. I feel foolish repeating this ,but I have to say it once again
    ‘IRAQIS WERE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR 9/11′. AND WHOEVER WAS RESPONSIBLE did not do it because they want you to embrace islam. Once again I feel foolish stating the obvious THEY DID IT BECAUSE OF THIS KIND OF ARROGANT INTERFERENCE IN OTHER COUNTRIES’ AFFAIRS. Everyone knows how the US wants to dominate.

  18. Addison Ingle

    Jim,

    I thought somebody would take the bait, but I was hoping Mr. Puchalsky would be the one. Guess there are few lurkers out there……..
    It’s been great exchanging viewpoints. I hope all of you folks are right, and the disgust directed at US citizens and our elected leader is worth it, because it really looks like most of you guys don’t get it. To paraphase: Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

  19. Let’s see, Addison. You entered this discussion to take exception to Rich’s claim that supporters of the Bush Administration were, ipso facto, supporters of torture. Within three messages you were avowing that you, yourself, would willingly torture. (“If someone killed your loved ones, and had information that could prevent more from dying, would you wield the hot iron? I would.”) You have shown yourself for both a Bush supporter AND a torture supporter. The least that can be said here is that you did not refute Rich’s assertion.

    That pretty much reduces your case to your complaint that we can’t be civil to apologists for the maiming, mutilation, murder, humiliation and sexual assault of the country’s prisoners. Well, you got me there. I can’t, and hope to God that never changes.

  20. Addison, you are a twat!

    “My point is that we are fighting an enemy that has sworn to kill every last one of us”

    Why don’t you deal with those arseholes rather than millions of innocent Iraqis then? Your wonderous, murdering leaders seem outrageously fundamentalist as well “American Global Supremacy”, “Full Spectrum Dominance”, zionists and true believers (33% of Republicans according to Donald E. Wagner). Whatever your leaders have sworn to do their actions are going to “kill every last one of us” and by “us” I am referring to a somewhat broader spectrum of humanity that white middle class americans :spit:

    Wake up and smell the DU, pal. You have the hot pokers in your hand and wield them wildly in your ignorance.

  21. Addison Ingle

    Prajna: I’ll follow the advice of your website and declare peace. Now you call Usama and the rest of the gang and tell them to stop killing fellow Muslims and Europeans. Then we’ll just forget about 9/11 and world peace will reign. This kind of “twat” reminds me of the peace movement of the 70s and 80s in Europe that was so successful in stopping the horrific abuses of the Soviet Union. Boy, those peace marches and little acts of vandalism on US bases in Germany and the UK really slowed down the march of Communism.

    Jim: You got me. My rhetorical skills are not up to snuff. Just note that my original comments were to protest the “broad brush” of criticism about people that support the goals of the war. You cannot accept the actions of our government. You think the President is evil. You think that anyone who supports the war is evil. I believe you are wrong. I believe the fundamental bases upon which this country was founded are still core beliefs of most citizens. Just think about…..we couldn’t have this discussion in Iraq, or Saudi Arabia, or Iran. Prajna couldn’t have had his website in the USSR. What don’t your folks get?

    RS: Do some more reading about the roots of Islam, and the development of Wahhabi thought over the last 400 years. I recommend “The Sacred Age of Terror” and most stuff by Bernard Lewis, but there’s lot more out there to read. Then come at me with your BS.

  22. To all you ‘rational torturers’:

    The famous guy on the box with the hood on his head gave an interview on the prolonged abuse he received in Saddam’s notorious Abu Ghraib prison at the hands of the US military santioned torturers.

    His crime?

    He was arrested for being in a passenger in an unlicensed vehicle.

    Burn in your own hells, you sorry acidic souls. Don’t go inflicting it on the rest of us.

  23. Bush has demonstrated, very admirably, that he has no problems of conscience. In fact Bush has also demonstrated that leadership doesn’t need to be involved in the everyday decision making process, and thus the United States of America has been, for the past four years, led by a contentious pack of frat and sorority neophytes. Which has translated into the Republican’s partys intransgience. At one point the Republicans controlled the White House, the Senate, and the house of Representatives and were still incapable of delivering anything remotely tangible.
    The Tax-cuts have shown themselves to help no one but those who don’t need the help in the first place.
    Medicare, which now comes out to be so expensive that it is impractical.
    The list goes on.
    Leadership requires involvement, and that in itself is what Bush is relying on to exonerate himself in this crisis- “I didn’t know.”
    And based on his past four years of inactive leadership involvement, I believe him.

  24. Addison, you obviously didn’t get past the picture at the head of the website. It is time to do a little more than “peace marches and little acts of vandalism”. It is time to educate ignorant, bigoted idiots of your calibre about how such “horrific abuses” come about. You *are* all the things you so righteously fear: you’re no different to the Wahhabi or the Zionists; indoctrinated and fearful; your indoctrination and fear drives you to support terror on a vastly superior (some might say “Supreme”) scale to anything the Wahhabi have achieved and, like you, they feel righteous in the cause for which they fight.

    Do yourself a favour – read the site and reflect on what part the violence you support plays in creating the very terror you claim to abhor.

  25. Arkhangel: There is no honor. Thank you for saying that. I share your grief. It may be that my reaction to these events is in some way not identical to yours, but if so I can’t see where it differs.

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  30. Addison Ingle: aren’t you getting a bit prosy here. Whatever the roots of Islam or Wahabis are_ have you ever read about thr roots of your arrogant beliefs ___ its not just Bush who thinks US is the beacon of democracy and has to spread it around, this rhetoric started a long time ago during the euphoria of having defeated the Spanish military in the colonies.
    Anyway, once and for all ‘US is NOT A DEMOCRACY!!!’ It’s a mutated form of DICTATORSHIP where not just anybody can stand for elections (you need billions), the people are told to shop all the time or watch/play football, while the dictator does what he wants. I could write a book, but please don’t bark like a bitten dog and call my opinion BS!!! Believe me ‘WE, THE PEOPLE, OUTSIDE THE US ARE MORE INFORMED AND KNOWLEDGEABLE (there are some in US too, but not you!!)’ The majority there is dumbed out (brain-washed) by patriotism and the goodness of US’. THAT is the reason you feel its alright to torture and kill .

    It’s you who started the slander by calling my comments BS!!!!!

  31. Rich Puchalsky

    Addison Ingle addresses Jim Henley: “You think the President is evil. You think that anyone who supports the war is evil. I believe you are wrong.”

    Actually, I was the person expressing the sentiments about evil, not Jim Henley. Also note that I don’t necessarily think that anyone who supports the war is evil — I think that it is possible to support the war but not support Bush, and therefore want to pursue the war under some other President’s leadership. I think that this willingness to pursue the war (often under a “we broke it, we bought it” rubric) is misguided, but not necessarily evil in the same way that support of torture is.

    The rest of Addison Ingle’s comments appears to be an exercise in defining deviancy down. Yes, we can have our complaints without more than pro forma monitoring; so what? Is that all that our democracy can boast of? I’ll tell you what, Addison Ingle, why don’t you start sending comments to various Arabic publications and embassies — just expressing your opinion, or asking for basic information and the like. I bet that in no time you’ll be getting a nice visit, and maybe you’ll even get to tour one of our interrogation facilities, if there happens to be something suspicious-looking in your background. Come on, I dare you to. Afraid? But why, if we live in a model democracy?

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  35. Too much contemporary morality bogs down around intent.
    If you campaign for a President who later turns out to be secretly doing deals with the devil, well, you didn’t know that, so it’s OK. As far as you go, as far as whether you did something right or wrong, it’s OK.
    We still have a President who sold us down the river, it’s just that it can’t be your fault, because you didn’t know.
    Like children, we expect to be rewarded or punished by whether we meant for something to happen or not.
    But if we burn the house down, it’s not going to matter whether we did it on purpose. We still won’t have a place to live.
    Bush is blind and morally simple, an ethical moron, a divided man presiding over a train wreck of moral incompetence and raw grasping evil.
    But he means well, I believe he does mean well.
    Cowardice – or its contemporary banner, security – is used to justify what isn’t claimed by outright greed; but behind all the motives we still find the same suffering peons. The little brown people in the chicken factories.
    Abu Ghraib or Tyson Foods, Pelican Bay or Wal-Mart, it’s all going the same direction at the same rate of speed, to benefit the same few men.
    Honor is dysfunctional now. It doesn’t work. Cowardice and compromise work.
    Over time we can breed these qualities – nobility, courage, and honor – out of the species. Like we’ve done with cattle and sheep.
    Peace will come.

  36. Addison Ingle

    As always seems to be the case in these situations, somewhat rational, reasonable discussions turn into nitpicking, ad hominem attacks, and shouts from various rooftops. I plead guilty to some of the aforementioned. But you guys are out of your freaking minds! RS, shout as loud as you want…..but the stuff you’re spouting is spooky. You are surely as guilty of ignorance of this country and its people as you claim we are. Rich, are you super paranoid or what? They might come get me? Who? The organs of the intelligence agencies of the US? Are you guys serious? Get a grip, fellows! Break out of the collective, or the faculty lounge, or wherever you dream up this stuff and worry about whether or not Nick Berg deserves what he got. Moral equivalence my rear end.

  37. You don’t get it , DO YOU, ADDISON INGLE!!!!
    Of course we are much saddened by this incident. This is the reason why we are against the BUSH POLICY.
    In fact right from the start this (and other) war has been full of tragic incidents one after the other. People like the young 10 year old having to live the rest of his life without arms __ just to mention one other. The Bush policy HAS TO STOP. It’s created a viscious circle. Circles have no end. Now, since BUSH etc. are your kind of people they will want to take revenge and on and on. I feel helpless. I’m not in a position to formulate US government policies nor can I vote for someone WISE, LEARNED AND UNDERSTANDING because I’m not a citizen and there is no such person to vote far. And yes!!!! I’m very very frightened of the military influence of US also the money with which they buy governments and support. IN fact , I’m much, much, much, more frightened of US policies than I am of the terrorists.

  38. Spare me your crocodile tears… and your hyperbole and your syncophants “I’m very very frightened”
    What a crock of horseshit! As a defense attorney, I defended barracks thieves, drug dealers, child molesters, murderers, rapists… all of em! And they were ALWAYS innocent, it was always someone else’s fault… Sure, there were bad actors here, and insufficient supervision and when it got outside the negligent chain of command, it was stomped on, as it should have been…
    You guys make me want to puke with your pious sanctimony… Shame on you!

  39. jagcap
    I was answering Addison’s letter. I think you’re confused between individuals and nations. Anyway doesn’t the US think they are innocent and it’s the fault of ‘terrorists’ (this one word encompasses all and everything that’s not in favour). I don’t think much of lawyers anyway.

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  42. Arkhangel: There is no honor. Thank you for saying that. I share your grief. It may be that my reaction to these events is in some way not identical to yours, but if so I can’t see where it differs.