Shock – Shock! – but No Awe in Tillman Probe

November 9, 2006

Pat Tillman, the NFL player who gave up a multi-million dollar career to fulfill what he saw as his patriotic duty to his country, was killed by “friendly fire” in Afghanistan nearly three years ago.  Rather than tell the truth, the Bush regime sought to exploit his death for their benefit; nothing punches-up a national tragedy like putting a well-known human face on it.

As the details of Tillman’s death are uncovered, it’s becoming more and more apparent that his death and the lies surrounding it – while tragic and scandanlous – are very likely just one piece of a much larger puzzle of military corruption and incompetence rooted in Donald Rumsfeld’s and Dick Cheney’s failed “shock and awe” strategy.

According to the Accociated Press, Tillman’s fellow soldiers did not follow the most basic firearms protocols during the incident, essentially shooting at anything that moved with automatic weapons.  One of the soldiers had apparently only recently had eye surgery, and their squad leader apparently forgot our Afghan allies are armed with AK-47s:

One of the four shooters, Staff Sgt. Trevor Alders, had recently had PRK laser eye surgery. He said although he could see two sets of hands “straight up,” his vision was “hazy.” In the absence of “friendly identifying signals,” he assumed Tillman and an allied Afghan who also was killed were enemy.

Another, Spc. Steve Elliott, said he was “excited” by the sight of rifles, muzzle flashes and “shapes.” A third, Spc. Stephen Ashpole, said he saw two figures, and just aimed where everyone else was shooting.

Squad leader Sgt. Greg Baker had 20-20 eyesight, but claimed he had “tunnel vision.” Amid the chaos and pumping adrenaline, Baker said he hammered what he thought was the enemy but was actually the allied Afghan fighter next to Tillman who was trying to give the Americans cover: “I zoned in on him because I could see the AK-47. I focused only on him.”

All four failed to identify their targets before firing, a direct violation of the fire discipline techniques drilled into every soldier.

Keep in mind that this was an “elite” Army Ranger unit, not rank-and-file troops, and that in the nearly three years since the incident occured, the Pentagon has lowered the bar for incoming soldiers to the point where criminals, high school drop-outs, drug users, and avowed white supremacists are now accepted, processed, armed, and turned loose in Iraq and Afghanistan (yet decorated veterans – some of whom speak Arabic fluently – are still drummed-out of the service if they happen to be gay).

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Rumsfeld Resigns in Disgrace; Trolls Nowhere to be Found

November 8, 2006

How the mouthy have fallen.

Rumsfeld resigns in disgrace just weeks after the smirking chimp assured America he was going to be running the Pentagon through 2008. Hastert steps down as minority leader just weeks after passing the buck on the Foley scandal.  Meanwhile, True Blue Blog’s resident trolls are nowhere to be found – even on their own blogs (this means you, Rociante).

I’d say “I told you so,” but why bother when the electorate already has?


Quote of the Week: September 24, 2006

September 27, 2006

I’m certain that if my husband and his national security team had been shown a classified report entitled ‘Bin Laden Determined To Attack Inside the United States’ he would have taken it more seriously than history suggests it was taken by our current president and his national security team. – Hillary Clinton


Your Tax Dollars at Work

September 6, 2006

I just wanted to share that one of my guests here at True Blue Blog, in addition to the usual unsupported arguments, pot-calling-the-kettle-black accusations, and generally boorish behavior that’s the hallmark of most online neocons is also an employee at the Pentagon who apparently has nothing better to do with his time than surf the Web and troll progressive blogs.

Nice.

Thank God my friends and family who are deployed in Iraq right now have someone so dedicated to their mission to rely on.  And thank you, Roci, for serving your country and supporting your brothers and sisters in-arms so well on my dime.


How Republicans Helped Osama Bring Down the Towers

September 6, 2006

…and set up the rape of our democracy under the shrub:

WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Clinton urged Congress Tuesday to act swiftly in developing anti-terrorism legislation before its August recess.

“We need to keep this country together right now. We need to focus on this terrorism issue,” Clinton said during a White House news conference.

But while the president pushed for quick legislation, Republican lawmakers hardened their stance against some of the proposed anti-terrorism measures.

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, doubted that the Senate would rush to action before they recess this weekend. The Senate needs to study all the options, he said, and trying to get it done in the next three days would be tough.

One key GOP senator was more critical, calling a proposed study of chemical markers in explosives “a phony issue.”


Taggants value disputed

Clinton said he knew there was Republican opposition to his proposal on explosive taggants, but it should not be allowed to block the provisions on which both parties agree.

“What I urge them to do is to be explicit about their disagreement, but don’t let it overcome the areas of agreement,” he said.

The president emphasized coming to terms on specific areas of disagreement would help move the legislation along. The president stressed it’s important to get the legislation out before the weekend’s recess, especially following the bombing of Centennial Olympic Park and the crash of TWA Flight 800.

“The most important thing right now is that they get the best, strongest bill they can out — that they give us as much help as they can,” he said.

Hatch blasts ‘phony’ issues

Republican leaders earlier met with White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta for about an hour in response to the president’s call for “the very best ideas” for fighting terrorism.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, emerged from the meeting and said, “These are very controversial provisions that the White House wants. Some they’re not going to get.”

Hatch called Clinton’s proposed study of taggants — chemical markers in explosives that could help track terrorists — “a phony issue.”

“If they want to, they can study the thing” already, Hatch asserted. He also said he had some problems with the president’s proposals to expand wiretapping.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, said it is a mistake if Congress leaves town without addressing anti-terrorism legislation. Daschle is expected to hold a special meeting on the matter Wednesday with Congressional leaders.

Thanks to PointyHead over at Shoutwire.com for digging this up and reminding us all what hypocritical opportunists the people we’ve entrusted the Republic to actually are.


Smirking Chimps Undermines War on Terror (TM)

August 11, 2006

When the AP runs a story like this, what else needs to be said?

WASHINGTON – While the British terror suspects were hatching their plot, the Bush administration was quietly seeking permission to divert $6 million that was supposed to be spent this year developing new homeland explosives detection technology. Congressional leaders rejected the idea, the latest in a series of steps by the Homeland Security Department that has left lawmakers and some of the department’s own experts questioning the commitment to create better anti-terror technologies.


Why Do So Many Generals Hate Freedom (TM)?

August 8, 2006

I wouldn’t have thought it necessary to blog about the unprecedented act of retired military brass taking a political stance and advocating the ouster of a sitting Defense Secretary, but when Lindsay Lohan being calling “firecrotch” gets more press than the former, I can’t help but jump in. Here’s the tally so far according to ThinkProgress.org:

And let’s not forget that a number of West Point Alumni Hate Freedom (TM), too!