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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Who Is Checking the Credibility of the Winter Soldier II Credibility Checkers?

The promotional push has geared up for the Winter Soldier Rehash sponsored by IVAW. The Washington Independent’s Spencer Ackerman got the ball rolling with a write-up in the Jan 22 edition. This piece of the article gives you an idea where Ackerman’s point of view lies…

Throughout the course of the war, the public has become agonizingly familiar with its excesses, most notably the torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib and the deliberate killing of civilians at Haditha.

Still attempting to equate Abu Ghraib to Haditha…. Will they ever learn?

Ackerman interviewed some of the IVAW members involved with the vetting of those signing up to present testimony. First there is Jose Vasquez

Jose Vasquez, 33, a former Army sergeant who heads Winter Soldier’s verification team. The public should expect to hear about “unnecessary killing of noncombatants on the battlefield,” said Vasquez, an anthropology graduate student at the City University of New York. (Vasquez himself filed as a conscientious objector after finding himself unable to participate in the Iraq war.)

Ackerman left out a little bit about Vasquez that paints a more complete picture. Vasquez signed up for the military in 1991 via the delayed entry program. He served his 4 ½ years and got out. When he couldn’t find a job in the real world, Vasquez re-enlisted after getting a promise of training as an EMT. He went to Hawaii where he was trained as an EMT and was going to college full time.

After 9/11, his hospital combat support unit was called up to active duty. Vasquez was scheduled for deployment to Iraq in January 2005. Just DAYS before his scheduled deployment, Vasquez filed for Conscientious Objector status. He never set foot in Iraq or Afghanistan. He became a CO after 4+ years in the military and re-enlisting.

Here’s what Vasquez had to say about the war in Afghanistan…

I felt like the mission was us going to get revenge. I didn’t think that killing more people was going to fix that, or would make that better, I knew what we’re capable of, and how many bombs we’ve dropped to prepare the battlefield, so to speak.

There’s going to be a lot of poor people and a lot of brown people that are going to get bombed.

And what about the soldiers serving in Iraq?

No matter what job I do in the military, I’m supporting what’s going on, you know? I’m supporting this green machine rolling over the people in Iraq.

But it all boils down to the same old tired rhetoric and Bush Derangement Syndrome…

Vasquez argues that the US congress must reassert itself vis-à-vis the president and this includes impeaching the president for war crimes. “The executive branch has come in like the Mafia and taken over. Impeachment would be justice served. George Bush is a war criminal. The war of aggression against Iraq is the biggest war crime in a long time.”

Liam Madden is one of the IVAW members responsible for coming up with the idea for Winter Soldier II. Madden is one of the organizers of Appeal for Redress. He served 7 months in Iraq but doesn’t consider fighting in a war courageous…

I didn’t go fight the war in Iraq because I was brave”, he said. “I fought because I was a coward. Fighting it was a lot easier emotionally and psychologically than not going.”

Then there is Geoff Millard who has quite a history with the anti-war contingent, not just IVAW.

“I think the American public should hear their experiences as well, not just IVAW. We’re the ones just happening to take the initiative to tell the American people, because we feel they don’t get these stories,” he said. “I think the American people need to hear the experience of not just us but all veterans, from veterans themselves.”

And we’re supposed to take his word as truth? Considering that Millard has claimed exposure to depleted uranium, a knee injury suffered in war and a spinal injury while serving as a desk jockey in Iraq, his believability factor is in the negative numbers. Not to mention cozying up with Hugo Chavez and Iraq terrorist supporter Sheikh Abdel Salam al Kubeisi while fasting with CodePink…

Yeah this whole Winter Soldier II looks like it will reek of credibility…

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