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Iraqi Vets Testify to War Atrocities, Vow to Fight and Resist Bush Policy (Update)

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posted on May, 21 2008 @ 10:50 AM
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I understand this is a war and things aren't pretty. However, I find it disgusting that soldiers would place weapons next to a killed civilian to make it look like they were armed insurgents.




posted on May, 21 2008 @ 10:56 AM
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reply to post by Rockpuck
 


Except war was never actually declared....

Except for the war on terror - which is a bit of a joke, at best.

We use the word war for convenience - not because it's official.



posted on May, 21 2008 @ 11:02 AM
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reply to post by budski
 


War is not a "thing" it is a state of political upheavel. Iraq is in a state of war. More defined is state of occupation by foreign powers which, is essentially still a war since there is an organized effort to kill the occupiers.

The reason it was never declared is that it was politically inconvinient.. and we allow them to circumnavigate the Constitution.. Because we are complacent imbiciles...

*feebly waves patriotic flag* .... go America... yay..

I still don't like soldiers coming home bitching that we sent them to war.



posted on May, 21 2008 @ 11:09 AM
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reply to post by Rockpuck
 


From reading the article, I took the soldiers viewpoint to be that they were concerned over the legality of orders that told them to fire an unarmed people, and to plant weapons to "prove" people killed were insurgents.

I might have missed it, but I don't remember any of them complaining about being sent there - just what they were ordered to do once they were there and with good reason.

"Just following orders" was not considered a defense at nuremburg - should it be considered a defense now, just because bush says it's OK?

Hats off to these guys for having the courage to stand up and tell people what is happening in their name, and that of america.

Before he's done, bush will have destroyed america's credibility in the eyes of the world, and NO-ONE will trust the US.



[edit on 21/5/2008 by budski]



posted on May, 21 2008 @ 11:14 AM
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Originally posted by Rockpuck
LOL.. why do you call George Bush "the decider" .. it's very.. cliche ya know?


Because HE chose that term for Himself.


But anyways..

The war is not over. If the war where over, we would no longer be fighting would we? .. Just because some oaf says "I won!" does not mean it actually ended.

The reference in which he was talking of was the official victory over the established government which, we all knew, wouldn't last a few months.

But top say the war is over was stupid, as it was not over..

Is not over.

And to say "omg I had to shoot people who made me feel as if I where in dangeR!!!" or anyother nonsense says to me "coward".


It says to me quite the opposite; it tells me the soldier would rather take a greater risk to himself than harm or kill the innocent based on an "uncomfortable feeling". I consider that the Height of Bravery.


This is not even a war. We have lost 4 thousand and some men and women.. that was a few hours worth of fighting in WWII, Vietnam, Korea ..


Thank modern technology for that. Not just in reducing the need to send half a million men up a beach, but in battlefield medicine. With Korea-era medical tech we'd be seeing Tens of Thousands dead. We ARE seeing tens of thousands maimed, crippled, and stricken with PTSD (so many in fact the military health care system has been directly ordered to LIE about their diagnoses and avoid calling it PTSD at all costs). Soldiers are coming home physically and mentally broken, many can't find a job (laws stating a Reservist or Guardsman on active duty must be given an old job back have not been sufficiently enforced), thousands are homeless, divorced, and unable to reintegrate into society.

And remember, many of the soldiers fighting are not full-time Regulars--They're Guard and Reserve, only supposed to be called upon in the most dire of circumstances. Guard especially are supposed to be held back, because of the need for their services in time of natural disaster or other trouble here at home. Using them for one tour is one thing, but calling them back again and again and again is insane. Forcing people whose careers should be long over to stay is also crazy. If it's that bad, take the hit and institute the Draft, and finish the damn thing--but no one will because it's not meant to end.


It's an occupation. But it is still combat. So to see "soldiers" crying that they had to experience combat .. frik .. I almost say take all the money we gave them to sign up, give it to the other soldiers and ship that weak arse coward to Canada! ..


That "weak arse coward" still did his duty, still served, still followed orders. What unit do YOU belong to, and where did YOU serve, that gives you moral authority to criticize his service in combat and in front of Congress?


IMO. He is politically motivated.


So? Soldiers aren't allowed to have political motivations? Again, they're Citizens first, Soldiers second. Have they no right to use their first-hand knowledge of war and atrocity to end an existing conflict and prevent new ones?


It's a stupid war, it's a pointless war and it's a waste of resources but my mind is already made up on that. I don't need some whimp of soldier telling me "oh the officers where so mean to me" to get me to think anything else.


I'll bet those "whimp soldiers" could whup you in a heartbeat, but that's neither here nor there. This war IS a waste, in resources, manpower, and international credibility, and we're all paying the price for it. Soldiers with first-hand experience are the first ones we should be listening to in deciding policy, and how to end this stupid thing.


I am sorry.


You damn well should be.


But I hold no reserve for a soldier who is paid to go to war and serve his country, and comes back bitching that he had to go to war!


But the point I think you're missing in this is that even in War, there are Rules. Rules of Engagement that say who you can and can't shoot, what you can shoot them with, how you can detain someone, how you're supposed to treat detainees. Those rules exist for a reason, to separate us from the "Bad Guys" who don't give a crap about killing whoever's in the way. Usually these rules are agreed upon by the International community, and by our own Uniform Code of Military Justice, and if a policy is set in place and orders given that violate those rules, we have a serious problem.

The rules are even more important during an Occupation. We can't occupy a nation, and expect the people of that nation to be friendly, if we don't treat them well. Issuing orders telling troops to shoot "whoever makes them feel uncomfortable" is like exposing a group of dogs to rabies and sending them into a house full of cats--some of those dogs will have had their shots and leave the cats alone, while the ones who become infected will tear the place apart.

With soldiers, some will follow the orders carefully and with discretion, showing caution so as not to kill the innocent, but some gung-ho retards will abuse the privilege--I know, I've met many such soldiers in my lifetime (I knew one who was a tanker; he joked about how in Desert Storm they weren't allowed to shoot humans with the .50 on top of the tank due to rules of engagement--so they'd wait till enemy soldiers dropped their guns and ran, then shoot them in the back and say they were "shooting their backpacks"--he was proud of that). There are those in our military today who, if they weren't in uniform shooting as ordered, would be considered among the worst criminals in civilian society. They have a "kill 'em all" attitude. That's bad for anyone to have, be they citizen or soldier.


ESPECIALLY when it's something as stupid and petty as this!


I don't consider serious questions about US military conduct abroad to be either "stupid" or "petty". We're supposed to be the Good Guys.


And I don't "like" war. I just have a very stoic philosophy.


So far I'm not impressed with that philosophy. Stoicism has its place but when it overrides compassion one is dangerously close to being anti-social



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 10:20 AM
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A transcript of the hearing is now available, here

Excert:

KWAME HOLMAN: Also constantly changing, Lemieux and other veterans said, were the rules of engagement, when and how to use force.

SGT. JASON LEMIEUX: I was involved in firefights during which the rules of engagement were lifted by the chain of command or were simply ignored, resulting in needless and strategically counterproductive civilian deaths.

I was ordered multiple times by commissioned officers and noncommissioned officers to shoot unarmed civilians if their presence made me feel uncomfortable.

These orders were given with the understanding that that my immediate chain of command would protect their subordinates from legal repercussions.

KWAME HOLMAN: In one battle in 2004, Lemieux said the rules changed during the fighting.

SGT. JASON LEMIEUX: The word came down the chain that, all personnel, anyone not wearing a U.S. military uniform on the streets is considered an enemy combatant and is to be shot on sight.

KWAME HOLMAN: You mean anyone?

SGT. JASON LEMIEUX: Correct.


Jason Lemieux was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps two years ago following three combat tours in Iraq.

Can there now be any doubt that war crimes have been committed and are being covered up.



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 12:23 PM
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Would be nice to get some feedback on this latest news - particularly from those who dismissed these soldiers as cowards who were only doing this to get out of going to iraq.

Just to re-iterate - the statement above is from a guy who served 3 tours in iraq before getting an honourable discharge.

Does that sound like a coward?

[edit on 22/5/2008 by budski]



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 12:50 PM
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Originally posted by budski
reply to post by CX
 


As always the people in charge will walk away, when in reality they should be the ones charged.

These troops are the loyal ones, standing up to protect the constitution - instead of trampling all over it like the ones who give the orders.



I agree with what you say.

But, on the other hand, I also agree that "just following orders" is not an excuse. It didn't work at Nueremberg and it shouldn't work here.

The soldiers who followed these orders are just as guilty as the ones who ordered it IMO.



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 01:10 PM
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reply to post by Griff
 


Do you think that could be a factor in them coming forards and "whistleblowing"?

In other words are they trying to assuage their consciences and at the same time elicit a kind of plea bargain?

IMO, the only people that will be charged will be a couple of lowly soldiers who followed orders, whilst those who gave the orders will walk away scott free.



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 01:19 PM
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Originally posted by budski
reply to post by Griff
 


Do you think that could be a factor in them coming forards and "whistleblowing"?


Yes. That's what I'd do before they took me to court for "following orders".


In other words are they trying to assuage their consciences and at the same time elicit a kind of plea bargain?


Again, yes. IMO they are saying it's not the soldier following the order, it's the orders themselves that are wrong.


IMO, the only people that will be charged will be a couple of lowly soldiers who followed orders, whilst those who gave the orders will walk away scott free.


Agreed. Especially when considering all the executive orders that pretty much get them off scott free.

[edit on 5/22/2008 by Griff]



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 01:24 PM
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reply to post by Griff
 


On the other side of the coin, they could be people who were so sickened by their orders that they had to come out and tell the world about it,regardless of the consequences.

After all, if they'd all kept quiet, all we would have is suspicions and anecdotal evidence from iraqi's, which would be seen as biassed propaganda.

Regardless of their motives, I appluad them for having the courage to stand up and let people know what REALLY goes on.



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 01:27 PM
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Originally posted by budski
Regardless of their motives, I appluad them for having the courage to stand up and let people know what REALLY goes on.



As do I. Good thread. Star and flag BTW.



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 02:16 PM
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reply to post by Rockpuck
 



War is not a "thing" it is a state of political upheavel. Iraq is in a state of war. More defined is state of occupation by foreign powers which, is essentially still a war since there is an organised effort to kill the occupiers.


Even in such a cesspool of chaos and recklessness there ARE LAWS.
I don't know what Fantasy Land you come from, but it's general consensus here on Earth that opening fire on people with no weapons who are not being aggressive toward you is a serious breach in military ethics.


The reason it was never declared is that it was politically inconvinient.. and we allow them to circumnavigate the Constitution.. Because we are complacent imbiciles...


No the reason it was never declared is because this soldier would be have smeared and discredited by the Military to distance themselves from him and his reprehensible actions, to try and avoid further light on this widespread issue.
This man would have been threatened with Court Martial, Dishonourable Discharge and possibly jail time.

So he choose to wait, to pick an appropriate time to voice his concern; such as when he left the military and was no longer subject to the Chain of Command's rulings.


I still don't like soldiers coming home bitching that we sent them to war.


So you would prefer soldiers who came home to have kept their mouth shut about war crimes and never breathed a word to another soul, and then suffered intense mental anguish and remorse for their crimes and wrapped their lips around a revolver? The same men who served your country?

Well unfortunately some people have a CONSCIENCE you see, and when they experience certain reprehensible actions they cannot contain them forever, the memories are too mind-numbing to surpress, and they feel compelled to get this great evil off their chests.

I dunno about you, you obviously seem to disregard morals completely but if I shot up woman and kids like it was sport, I wouldn't be able to live with myself afterward.

If you could, fine your one in a million, you belong somewhere special. (I.e. Psychiatric Institute), but real men out there have feelings, and know right and wrong when they see it.

[edit on 22/5/08 by The Godfather of Conspira]



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 03:01 PM
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Just to clarify,
the guy I quoted did 3 tours in iraq.

He was a volunteer.

He wasn't bitching about being sent to war - he is concerned about orders he received whilst there



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 03:17 PM
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reply to post by The Nighthawk
 


How can soldiers be allowed to put orders through a check versus the Geneva Convention in battle?

What if one soldier deems a person an enemy combatant while another deems them a civilian?

Orders are orders. They need to be followed blindly from a soldier.

Would you rather have an anarchic system within the military where each soldier gets to decide whether or not the action he is planning on taking is legal?


"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
George Orwell.



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 03:21 PM
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Originally posted by budski
Just to clarify,
the guy I quoted did 3 tours in iraq.

He was a volunteer.

He wasn't bitching about being sent to war - he is concerned about orders he received whilst there


I don't care if he was there 3 or 300 times. If he was receiving unlawful orders, such as firing on civilians, he should have refused them and reported it up the chain of command. Go to the JAG, the IG, the freakin' chaplain. If the orders were wrong, they'll cover you from getting any static from command.

Why is it just NOW that's he's bringing this up?



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 03:57 PM
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reply to post by jerico65
 



. If he was receiving unlawful orders, such as firing on civilians, he should have refused them and reported it up the chain of command.


Spoken like a true, sheltered civilian.

Obviously you don't have much knowledge about the Chain of Command. You don't simply say "No" to your commanding officer on the battlefield, especially while on active duty.
He's not your dad, you don't talk smack and question things. The Army's "Keep it Simple" motto applies universally as the work ethic of every soldier. When a ranking so and so tells you: "Do this", you do it, no questions.

Every man in the military needs to stand his ground and perform his delegated task up to the best standards possible. If everyone slacked off and did as they pleased, companies, platoons, and battalions would cease to be cohesive fighting units, rather just large, disorganised mobs who are liable to jeopardise the war effort.

Refusal of orders is tantamount to Desertion. He would have faced Court Martial and likely jail time for refusing his duties during deployment.
Many other soldiers already have. You can still legally be sentenced to Death for desertion during War Time, it's not a friggin' Tea Party, you don't come and go as you please.

An estimated 8,000 have deserted since 2003, some have been court-martialled. www.usatoday.com...
www.msnbc.msn.com...

Don't second-guess an operation from an armchair.
You don't know the circumstances and you don't know the pressure this man was under. Most likely he was coerced into performing these acts by some "no-nonsense", authoritative officers or NCO's he didn't particularly like.

The Marines don't get their rep for being soft, unreliable, chatter mouths; I'll bet he did what he was ordered to for fear of reprisal and disapproval from his fellow grunts.

Put yourself in his shoes...

[edit on 22/5/08 by The Godfather of Conspira]



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 04:58 PM
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reply to post by The Godfather of Conspira
 


It looks as though he's doing the right thing now though.

The silence from the pro-war,we do no wrong crowd is truly deafening.

But hardly surprising...



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 05:50 PM
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Originally posted by The Godfather of Conspira

Spoken like a true, sheltered civilian.


Really? Geez, I'm musta been living in some weird, alternate universe for the past 26 years of my life, where everyone wears funny clothing, flies weird aircraft and gets shot at.

Now, of course, you aren't going to question the CO in the middle of a firefight. When the order is given out, and you have a question about it being lawful, you bring it up to your squad leader. Have him clairify it. If it still smells bad, then work your way up. Platoon Sgt, Platoon leader, etc.

Refusal of orders is just that. Desertion is:

(1) without authority goes or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to remain away therefrom permanently;
(2) quits his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service; or
(3) without being regularly separated from one of the armed forces enlists or accepts an appointment in the same or another one of the armed forces without fully disclosing the fact that he has not been regularly separated, or enters any foreign armed service except when authorized by the United States; (quoted from the UCMJ).

The troops need to follow orders, but you don't want robots or someone that will follow blindly.

Now, if you have any more questions, you might want to read up on the UCMJ, LOAC, ROEs for the region.

You are a no go for this station. Have a fine AFSOC day.



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 05:52 PM
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Originally posted by budski
It looks as though he's doing the right thing now though.

The silence from the pro-war,we do no wrong crowd is truly deafening.

But hardly surprising...


But I'm curious why he waited until now to bring this up.

"Pro war, we do no wrong crowd". I think most pro military members are the first to admit to making mistakes.



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