Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Call To Arms For The Blogosphere --- UPDATED and Bumped!

I am sure many people have seen this story from Michael Goldfarb, of the Weekly Standard. If not, please do so because the blogosphere is being called on to determine whether or not this person, one "Scott Thomas," is a real person who has served in Iraq, and seen what he relays to the New Republic, or whether he is another Jessie Macbeth.

What "Mr. Thomas" relays to readers of the New Republic is actions unbecoming anyone who wears the uniform, especially the purposeful ribbing of a woman supposedly deformed by an IED. I can tell readers that if my brother were present when that incident had occurred, there would have been blood spilled in the mess hall.

The story stinks. I smell a rat. But it will fall to us to debunk this, if possible. If it is discovered to be true, there are a couple incidents that occur in his discertation that are direct violations of the UCMJ, and someone should face the music. His account is unacceptable; no one should sit back and laugh at these stories, or accept what has happened provided they are true. Givent hat I have spoken with my brother since his enlistment -- in person and via e-mail -- what strikes me the most is the unprofessional use of language, and the use of language that military people do not use. Those were the first flags that popped up in my mind when I read this, and it should raise red flags for mil-bloggers.

It is time for the blogosphere to go to work. Please, read the account, and let us begin digging to either prove this person as a false soldier, or to discover the truth of his assertions. Personally speaking, I do not buy a single word of his accounts.


UPDATE: This story is getting some legs in the blogosphere and a lot of the milbloggers are calling it bogus. Allah does the original post, and Bryan follows it up with his thoughts. Bryan was in Iraq, and he's pretty blunt:

Update (Bryan): I’ve been thinking about this off and on since reading it earlier today. There are problems with all three stories that make them very suspect in my mind. Regarding the human remains story, the “soldier” describes digging through a mass grave and coming upon artifacts in more or less discrete layers; first mundane household objects, then clothes, then bodies and body parts. That makes for good drama but I don’t see any good reason for a mass grave to be so clearly layered like that. We’re not talking about sediments in the Grand Canyon settling over millions of years; we’re talking about objects and people hastily pushed into a hole (probably with a bulldozer) and then buried. Stuff gets jumbled together in a grisly scene like that. Neat stratification just seems unlikely to me, never mind any NCO tolerating some idiot in his unit running around with a skull on his head. And never mind whether a kid’s skull would even fit on a grown man’s head. And do you mean to tell me that some sharp LT over there never found out about this children’s mass grave and made sure to get it out to the press in all these years? And the unit’s intelligence officer would probably be required to investigate what had occurred there, contrary to the “soldier’s” statement that “no one cared to speculate what, exactly, had happened there.”

The story of the woman in the DFAC makes no sense for the simple reason that the soldier claims not to know whether she was civilian or military. A real soldier ought to know at a glance whether she was one or the other if he was as close to her as he claims to have been. He’d know because US uniforms worn on base have to comply with regulations. Uniforms that look out of place either belong to foreign military, in which case their regulations apply making their uniforms obvious, or they belong to civilian contractors, in which case they won’t comply with US regs and also won’t look like, say, the Aussie or UK military. You see someone in your AO once or twice wearing strange or unique clothing, you find out or hear about who they are and what they’re there for. Especially if they’re as obviously unusual as A) a woman who B) survived an IED attack, C) lived to tell the tale, and D) came back wearing unusual clothing. And if this soldier doesn’t know a civilian from a troop when she’s a few feet away from him, how in the world can he tell friend from foe in a firefight? Never mind the fact that, from what I saw during my limited stay in Iraq, no one jokes about, let alone directly mocks, anyone wounded by an IED. Ever. Gallows humor is alive and well among the troops in Iraq as it should be, but mentioning IEDs tended to turn conversations reflective and quiet very quickly.

The dog story makes little sense for several reasons, not least of which is that such careless driving in a Bradley isn’t likely to be tolerated by the unit’s CO for long. That kind of driving can not only lead to IED attacks, but even to simple accidents with parked cars and whatnot that can quickly turn into ambushes. You might get away with driving like that once, but not twice. And fwiw, the only dog I saw in Iraq was a more or less honored guest on FOB Justice. He was a little on the mangy side, but no one minded his presence and certainly no one was allowed to abuse him.

As I stated last night (trhis was bumped to today) the story smells. It would be wise for the New Republic to come clean so we can find out who this is, seek him out, and find out if he is making things up over there, or if this really happened. And this had better not be some silly schmuck who tries to play the "absolute moral authority" card here. This "soldier" claims to have witnessed and participated in some outrageous antics in Iraq. I agree with Bryan in the "gallows humor" part, as I stated yesterday, but the utter disrespect for someone who had survived an IED attack ... I am sorry, but fellow soldier or not, my brother would have handed out an @$$-whooping.

Just think about what was said in the peice, and what Bryan said, and then check out the milblogs. Blackfive is the first place to start for dissemination by a few soldiers both active duty and retired. Ace has his thoughts, as well, and they jump to a point in history that even "Jenjis Khan" cannot forget. Stay tuned as events unfold ...



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