We print portions of a letter published in the Stars & Stripes in their edition of February 15, 2008. We will not comment since this soldier is entitled to express his opinion.
“I am appalled at the cover story on February 11 showing an Iraqi woman crying out in protest after U.S. troops clut the face of radical cleric Muqtadu al-Sadr out of the poster on her wall. Is this the behavior that is going to teach Iraqis about democracy and freedom of speech?
I am an infantryman on a second deployment….We used opportunities like this to engage the people who suppoterd him… find out what he offered them, then do our best to replace their dependence on him by providing benefits such as medical aid, food and jobs…. How are we going to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people if we continue to treat them like this and deny them the right to an opinion?”
Sgt. James P. Hallberg
Logistics Support Area, Anaconda, Iraq
A Kentucky soldier facing his second tour of duty in Iraq tried checking into the VA hospital in Lexington but was arrested on charges of being AWOL. Spc. Justin Faulkner said he told his superior officers of his mental condition and went to the VA hospital where doctors wanted to keep him under observation, but he was arrested. “It’s made me lose respect for the military. to come and arrest me at the VA, it wasn’t like I was trying to hide, trying to run. I was getting help. I am being punished for getting help.” Faulkner completed a tour of duty in Iraq and was headed back for a second one when he felt symptoms of post traumatic stress and wanted mental assistance from the Veterans Administration hospital staff.
Fort Campbell spokesperson, Cathy Gramling, claimed the military installation had sufficient medical staff to assist soldiers with PTS symptoms. Faulkner’s wife who is expecting another child said her husband was displaying symptoms of stress and expressed her outrage “that somebody who fought for our country could be treated like this.” Faulkner was a prison guard who signed up for active duty and then began to feel doubts and stress. “To me,” he said, “we’re fighting Bush’s war that his dad couldn’t finish.”
Posted in George Bush, Human Rights, Iraq, Iraq War, Liberals, Military, Peace, Politics, Republicans, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged AWOL soldier, Bush War, PTS, US soldier, VA
A military panel acquitted Spc. Jorge Sandoval on charges he killed two unarmed Iraqis, but convicted him of planting evidence on the dead bodies in an attempt to cover up the shooting. Sandoval’s lawyer claimed he was only guilty of misplacing government property by planting the detonation wire on the bodies. It is clear both men were unarmed and had their hands in the air after they accidentally stumbled on a secret sniper hideout. Spc. Alexnader Forbes who was with Sandoval said they were told by Sgt. Michael Hensley the suspects were “our guy.” In May, Sgt. Hensley was involved in a case in which Sgt. Vela killed an unarmed Iraqi who had his hands in the air.
This is a sickening episode in the history of the American military. How can one be “aquitted” of murder but found guilty of misplacing government property by planting evidence to cover up a murder! If one is covering up an action doesn’t that indicate one knows there has been a mistake? It is these type of killings which enable insurgents to gain popular support within the Iraqi population. By the way, there is no mention of any officers being around during these incidents. Why?
Posted in Human Rights, Iraq, Iraq War, Military, Muslims, War
Tagged acquittal, Iraq, killing, murder, planting evidence, US soldier