Sunday, July 31, 2005

Respecting our Troops

Can I get an Ai?

Over in Arizona, we have a soldier being punished for blogging:

Could be because he’s “released classified information,” but could be, as he says, because he “has a big mouth about politics” and believes “American soldiers (my brothers and sisters) are being killed needlessy [sic] over here in this lie we call the Occupation of Iraq."

From the Army Times:

Ariz. Guard blogger punished
By Joseph R. Chenelly
Times staff writer

An Arizona National Guardsmen who had been openly critical of the war in Iraq on his Web log, has been punished for violating operational security and for 11 counts of disobeying orders, according to Multinational Corps Iraq.
Spc. Leonard A. Clark was busted down one rank to private first class, fined $820 per month for two months, and sentenced to 45 days restriction and 45 days of extra duty. The restriction and extra duty were suspended for five months.

In an unusual move, MCF-Iraq released the details of Clark's Article 15, which is nonjudicial punishment.

In response to a query by a reporter with National Public Radio, MCF-Iraq public affairs released a written statement saying that Clark had been found guilty of 11 specifications of Article 92, failure to obey an order, and two counts of Article 134, reckless endangerment.

Clark violated Article 92 by "releasing classified information regarding unit soldiers and convoys being attacked or hit by an improvised explosive devices on various dates, discussing troop movements on various dates, according to the statement. He also was found to have released tactics, techniques, procedures and rules of engagement, MCF-Iraq said.


It is unclear what information was actual put online. Clark's blog has been purged of all past posts. An entry claiming not to be on behalf of Clark and offering links to articles about Clark remains on the site.

In other news respecting our soldiers:

Down in Georgia, an Army mechanic has refused to return to Iraq. He was sentenced to 15 months, because if he refuses to go, well, everyone might refuse to go! Then what sort of war would we have?

Also from the Army Times:

Objecting soldier gets 15 months in prison

By Russ Bynum
Associated Press


Before being sentenced to 15 months for refusing to return to Iraq with his Army unit, an Army mechanic told a military judge that he acted with his conscience, not out of a disregard for duty.

"I am not against soldiers,” Sgt. Kevin Benderman, 40, said at his court-martial Thursday. “Though some might take my actions as being against soldiers, I want everyone to be home and safe and raising their families. I don’t want anyone to be hurt in a combat zone.”


Anti-war advocates embraced Benderman when he refused to go on a second combat tour in January, saying the destruction and misery he witnessed during the 2003 Iraq invasion had turned him against war.

Defense attorneys argued that the Army wanted to punish Benderman for seeking a discharge as a conscientious objector and speaking out publicly about his anti-war views. Prosecutors said he had an obligation to deploy while the Army considered his conscientious objector application, which Benderman filed 10 days before his 3rd Infantry Division unit deployed.

Then there’s the charming new marketing ploy attached to the movie Wedding Busters.

Have you heard this one? Two of the characters pretend they have Purple Hearts in order to crash a wedding. Very funny. So -- as away to market the movie --

...New Line Cinema's movie Web site includes a fake, paper Purple Heart to cut out, with the spoof: "Carrying a Purple Heart in your jacket guarantees you attention, admiration and plenty of free booze." "I challenge the producer of that movie to go to Walter Reed Hospital and walk through the ward and see if he still wants to print out a fake Purple Heart," said Thomas Cottone, Jr., a special agent with the FBI who enforces a federal law that prohibits wearing, manufacturing, buying, selling or trading a Medal of Honor. "Talk to some of these people who don't have legs anymore and see how funny they think that movie is."

This, frankly, is very nearly as funny as the Purple Heart bandaids the Republicans were sporting at their convention. It cracks me up.

Ha ha ha.

Do these people have no shame at all?

Here’s a petition you can sign if you think this is as appalling as I do:

(All written with material from submitted by the Iraqi Vet.)

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