I don't care who it is, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or Constitution Party in the White House; no Defense Secretary and certainly no President sends our troops into harms' way without the best weaponry and armor available. Period. And if I'm the President, the day I hear my Defense Secretary effectively say to the troops "I don't care if you're dying and losing limbs and suffering brain injuries because we didn't give you adequate armor to do the job" is the day I hold a press conference and fire his ass in front of the entire world.
(More strong rhetoric of this variety at edwardpig.)
The press corpse (as usual) seems to have been snoozing on watch and forgot to mention this disgusting little tidbit (via lapin's dKos diary
). So spread it around:
On June 15, 2003, Sgt. Frank "Greg" Ford, a counterintelligence agent in the California National Guard's 223rd Military Intelligence (M.I.) Battalion stationed in Samarra, Iraq, told his commanding officer, Capt. Victor Artiga, that he had witnessed five incidents of torture and abuse of Iraqi detainees at his base, and requested a formal investigation. Thirty-six hours later, Ford, a 49-year-old with over 30 years of military service in the Coast Guard, Army and Navy, was ordered by U.S. Army medical personnel to lie down on a gurney, was then strapped down, loaded onto a military plane and medevac'd to a military medical center outside the country.
Seems that Sgt. Ford's commanding officer had tried to have him diagnosed with "combat fatigue" and declared delusional. The reason? Because he'd reported abuse of Iraqi prisoners. Far easier to discredit the witness than to do something about the abuse, naturally.
Nor, apparently, was Ford's an isolated case:
Col. C. Tsai, a military doctor who examined Ford in Germany and found nothing wrong with him, told a film crew for Spiegel Television that he was "not surprised" at Ford's diagnosis. Tsai told Spiegel that he had treated "three or four" other U.S. soldiers from Iraq that were also sent to Landstuhl for psychological evaluations or "combat stress counseling" after they reported incidents of detainee abuse or other wrongdoing by American soldiers.
Heads need to be rolling over this--starting with Rumsfeld and then working upward and downward in the chain of command. Bastards!
(Cross-posted from Musing's musings