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For Injured U.S. Troops, 'Financial Friendly Fire'
October 16, 2005 2:58 PM   Subscribe

His hand had been blown off in Iraq, his body pierced by shrapnel. He could not walk. Robert Loria was flown home for a long recovery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he tried to bear up against intense physical pain and reimagine his life's possibilities
...
But nine months after Loria was wounded, the Army garnished his wages and then, as he prepared to leave the service, hit him with a $6,200 debt. That was just before last Christmas, and several lawmakers scrambled to help. This spring, a collection agency started calling. He owed another $646 for military housing.
...
posted by zouhair (68 comments total)

 
Support our troops! Let them eat yellow ribbons!
posted by scody at 3:08 PM on October 16, 2005


"... the Army has recently identified 331 other soldiers who have been hit with military debt after being wounded at war.... the government's computerized pay system is designed to 'maximize debt collection' and has operated without a way to keep bills from going to the wounded..."

Unbelievable. Such indignity after all they have given for their country. Get the freakin' system fixed!
posted by ericb at 3:08 PM on October 16, 2005


LOL Yellow Ribbons did'nt know that one, They are really funny :)

Pfff that's so sad :(

Back Home we use to say, "A lot of Sadness make people laugh"
posted by zouhair at 3:10 PM on October 16, 2005


ericb :

Get the freakin' system fixed!

Lol the system is already as "THEY" want it, it's already "fixed" for "THEM"
posted by zouhair at 3:26 PM on October 16, 2005


Then, when he was leaving the military, shortly before Christmas, his debts were laid out: $2,200 in travel related to follow-up hospital treatment, $2,400 for combat-related pay he should not have collected and several hundred dollars more for military gear that went missing after his injury.

So he had to pay to treat the injury, for the computer fuckup AND for the gear he lost when he was unconscious!?
His buddies'd better stop firing all those rounds, they might be charged for them. Also maybe they should stop leaving the boots, rifle and the helmet at the graves, since not all families can pay for it.
posted by c13 at 3:30 PM on October 16, 2005


A guy I know did a tour in Vietnam as a tank driver. He and his group hit a land mine on a trail and the tank, well, it ceased to be so much a tank, but a flaming pile of scrap metal.

He was pulled from the tank, but his service pistol was left in the smoldering wreckage. I forget how much the Army made him pay for it.

To the person who was in charge of that decision, I say:

.|.
posted by Mikey-San at 4:45 PM on October 16, 2005


.
posted by russilwvong at 4:46 PM on October 16, 2005


I'm sure that the Internet cheerleaders who enjoyed the Iraqi mission so much will soon start collecting money to help these guys out. I mean, it's not that Bechtel and Halliburton are going to share the loot with anybody
posted by matteo at 4:48 PM on October 16, 2005


think judy miller is going to give this cat a cut of her million bucks? - how about the bitches at haliburton or bechtel? or perhaps another war profiteer and cheerleader.

anyone wonder if this war will produce another timothy mcveigh?
posted by specialk420 at 4:56 PM on October 16, 2005


Sure about that?
posted by Rothko at 4:56 PM on October 16, 2005


I'm sure that the Internet cheerleaders who enjoyed the Iraqi mission so much will soon start collecting money to help these guys out.

Yup. I'm sure they will.

Because the members of the Fighting Keyboards 101 are a honorable bunch, perhaps their checks to the Pentagon are part of According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions,' Rumsfeld admitted.


It was almost a year ago Congress passed a law requiring the Pentagon to reimburse soldiers for body armor and equipment they bought for better protection in Iraq.

And nearly a year later the Department of Defense hasn't been able to figure out a way to make this reimbursement, according to an Associated Press story Thursday.


Perhaps the body armour can be paid with the health care money?
posted by rough ashlar at 5:05 PM on October 16, 2005


I feel physically ill.
posted by papakwanz at 5:20 PM on October 16, 2005


FUBAR, FTA, FTN EFF Uncle Sam. This is bad stuff. I can understand that some people fall through the cracks and get effed, but hell, once these guys are recongnized as having financial problems, you would think that SOMEBODY would be willing to hook them up!
posted by snsranch at 5:21 PM on October 16, 2005


GW does not care about black people. GW does not care about white people. GW does not even care about GW. GW is just a drunk, reformed or not, he cares about nothing. Thanks GOP, you fucked up this country for a long time. GW love you long time.
posted by caddis at 5:23 PM on October 16, 2005


Perhaps the body armour can be paid with the health care money?

Perhaps, but my bet is they're delaying as much as possible, in hope the soldiers give up or die. That strategy one can learn from insurances companies.
posted by elpapacito at 5:23 PM on October 16, 2005


Sure about that?

positive. what are you, French?

I mean, they were all so quick to admit that Bush and Cheney and Powell and Rice lied through their teeth to drag America into war, and that Hans Blix should have been allowed to continue the inspections, and they're all so horrified by the torture memos and the Abu Ghraib pictures and stories.

we're talking about a honorable bunch of Jacksonian patriots here, no hippie Arab-loving Islamofascist-appeasing commies among them.

what the hell. I'm sure that these nice Internet patriots could easily visit a handicapped veteran of Iraq Attaq and tell him, you know, when you look at where your hand used to be, or your legs used to be, or where your cock used to be and isn't anymore, well, you can look down there and go, it was worth it.

it was worth it.


posted by matteo at 5:24 PM on October 16, 2005


this story needs to be plastered across the windows at recruitment centers nationwide ... let our young people see just how grateful this country is for those who serve
posted by pyramid termite at 5:26 PM on October 16, 2005


Treating a soldier like this is very stupid. Has the Pentagon forgotten this movie?
posted by davy at 5:26 PM on October 16, 2005


Yet another reason to wonder why in the world so much of the military seems to think that the Right will be their natural friend. Five years into a strikingly hawkish administration that seems to be great at nationalist flag-waving and gun-pointing, we still have a reckless regard at best for our actual soldiers, and you damn well can't pin it on the Clinton administration anymore, not while believing that the current administration consists of decisive, get-things-done men like it claims to be.

And obviously, obviously isn't. If it weren't so damn sad, there'd be a sense of karma about it.

Then again, if it were real karma, Rummy would be patrolling the streets without body armor.
posted by namespan at 5:27 PM on October 16, 2005


Ops I forgot : where is the outrage ? Did Foxnews cover that ? Did Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter or the cadres of right wing spindoctors ? Nnnnnot till the Bush admin is in charge or not if there's no librul to blame.

on preview: pyramid termite , you're damn right.
posted by elpapacito at 5:27 PM on October 16, 2005


elpapacito, I heard about this the other night on Savage Nation while flipping radio stations. Savage hates Bush, but only because W is too liberal.
posted by kimota at 5:39 PM on October 16, 2005


Unfortunately, this is yet another parallel to Vietnam. Do you know how many fucked up homeless Vietnam vets there are in my town alone? There must be tens of thousands across the country. It is disgusting, and this Iraq conflict and the treatment of our new vets further disgusts me.

It's possible that GW is the worst thing that has ever happened to this country.
posted by snsranch at 5:48 PM on October 16, 2005


"I don't know how much you want from me. I already gave you one arm and a part of a leg."

What a fucking whiner. You're still alive, aren't you? Get out there and pick some fruit or something. Work 6-12's at a convenienence store. This is AMERICA. Pull your sorry ass up by your bootstraps, you pansy. GOD HELPS THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:55 PM on October 16, 2005


Hey people of America Wake Up
posted by zouhair at 5:59 PM on October 16, 2005


This is AMERICA. Pull your sorry ass up by your bootstraps, you pansy. GOD HELPS THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES.

Snark aside, they signed the dotted line. If you put your life in Uncle Sam's hands you are asking for trouble. Especially in recent times.
posted by snsranch at 6:12 PM on October 16, 2005


Did Foxnews cover that ?

Yes.
posted by gwint at 6:14 PM on October 16, 2005


they signed the dotted line.

most pathetic comment award.
posted by nofundy at 6:28 PM on October 16, 2005


I've only known Republicans to treat wounded veterans with respect.


posted by kirkaracha at 6:54 PM on October 16, 2005


"They've been trying to modernize it since the mid-1990s," he said. "They have been unsuccessful."

How many computer revolutions have we had since the mid-1990s?

That's just shameful.

Some Web 2.0 kid could probably do the mash-up in a Jolt-fueled weekend.
posted by dhartung at 7:21 PM on October 16, 2005


The American voters will continue to accept the way foreign policy is conducted no matter how many more scandals like Abu Ghraib and the torture memoranda come to light. It will be the thousands of middle class white guys fucked up by PTSD and the embittered brutes playing out their psychoses back home that will turn the tide. All these amputees and castratos we're seeing now are the price America will have to pay for its actions abroad. In much the same way Madeleine Albright thought the death of half a million Iraqi kids was an acceptable price for Clinton's sanctions, America's nightmare will be worth it if it forces the people to reject the cycle of invasion and occupation. Things are going to have to get much worse before such a shift can happen though.
posted by Jenga at 7:48 PM on October 16, 2005


matteo, that's a good chart. I've been hearing this story on NPR and other places: two things have doubled in the past year, in relation to the US invasion of Iraq. The United States body count, from 1000 dead to 2000 dead, and the price of Halliburton's stock, from 33% to 66%.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:04 PM on October 16, 2005


So I just got Her Majesty The Decemberists and I'm reading MeFi and listening to it for the first time. And as I click on this link and start reading, "The Soldiering Life" starts playing.

But you
My brother in arms
I'd rather I'd lose my limbs
Than let you come to harm


And with one buddy who came back from Iraq a PTSD mess and another slated to ship out soon all I want is for all this bullshit to be over.

Right fucking now.
posted by ruddhist at 8:39 PM on October 16, 2005


There's a men's homeless shelter about two blocks from my house, so I wind up chatting with these guys on my way in and out of my neighborhood. Most of the fellows that I talk to have either been in Vietnam or Gulf War I. They've all got medical bills that they can't pay and psych and/or physical problems that they can't get treated. These are the problems that they've been dealing with since they got back to the states and they're the problems that directly resulted in their homelessness. Quite a few of these poor guys self medicate (booze, drugs, etc) in order to do something about their mental or bodily pain that's not getting dealt with professionally.
After hearing the stories that came out some time about a year ago, maybe, about the young men coming home from Iraq, totally different people, and killing themselves, and after hearing about the slashed veterans benefits, and after hearing about these debt "mistakes," I'm nearly positive that, within a few short years, I'm going to start to see young guys who're my age, sitting in front of the shelter waiting for a cheap 4inch square of lasagna and a ratty blanket because there aren't any more available beds. I'm going to see more and more young men sleeping on steam vents and begging for change on the corner with a little cardboard sign that says, "Iraqi Freedom Vet. Need $$ for Medicine And Food. Anything Helps. God Bless."
posted by Jon-o at 9:03 PM on October 16, 2005


kirkaracha - I'm not in the military, much less American, butt (the person in) that picture seriously offended me.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 9:19 PM on October 16, 2005


America's nightmare will be worth it if it forces the people to reject the cycle of invasion and occupation.

jenga, vietnam was much, much worse than this ... and look at the country now ... many of us have completely forgotten how bad it was

throughout our history, the jingoists have frothed at the mouth to plant our flag on someone's corpse, no matter how bad the last war was ... i do believe they're incorrigible
posted by pyramid termite at 9:34 PM on October 16, 2005


How long until a new Bonus Army shows up in Washington?
posted by pandaharma at 9:49 PM on October 16, 2005


I was just thinking about that, pandaharma. Thanks for that link.
posted by homunculus at 10:44 PM on October 16, 2005


If our government were a person I'd have to say he's one tremendous asshole. The should stop referring to their pay as pay and should call it deferred billing.

I'd wish them good luck in making their recruitment numbers but I really don't wish them good luck. Not after seeing how recruits are lied to, blowed up, charged for being blowed up and then ignored for other health problems.

Nice work, government, you really deserve a good hard kick in the nuts.
posted by fenriq at 11:10 PM on October 16, 2005


B
posted by gsb at 11:31 PM on October 16, 2005


I'm not in the military, much less American, butt (the person in) that picture seriously offended me.

Me too. Band-aids with Purple Hearts were a popular item at the Republican National Convention, where they were used to mock Kerry and his Purple Hearts.

(The picture's linked to the CNN article. Maybe my sarcasm was too subtle.)
posted by kirkaracha at 11:31 PM on October 16, 2005


oops.

But you guys forget. This is a War, and Islamists are without pity and remorse, somebody has to make the sacrifice, that's the Christian thing to do.
posted by gsb at 11:34 PM on October 16, 2005


It's probably obvious, but stories such as this do nothing to convince me that joining the military is a noble thing. What good does the promise of money for college and the respect of my parents do when I end up paralyzed and owing money to the people I served on a technicality?
posted by deusdiabolus at 11:57 PM on October 16, 2005



It's bad that this happens to a wounded person but you do realize that they have just stated that indentured soldiertude is the norm?

Why the hell would you join an army that bills you for your kevlar?
posted by srboisvert at 1:09 AM on October 17, 2005


I'm reminded of one of Bill Mauldin's "Willie and Joe" cartoons from the immediate postwar period, when Mauldin experimented with having his two characters adjust to returning to civilian life. The two are filling out paperwork, and one says to the other, "I never thought they'd get me for that rifle I lost."
posted by alumshubby at 3:29 AM on October 17, 2005


funny how the Bush fans, always so vocal around here, never ever show up in these threads. apparently, shamelessness has its limits, too
posted by matteo at 3:40 AM on October 17, 2005


matteo: you ain't seen nothing yet...pretty soon they'll claim they already knew , that they predicted it or that they were misled but that doesn't change their determination ..the next prez will be better and they'll invariably repeat the very same errors with minor variations.
posted by elpapacito at 5:26 AM on October 17, 2005


funny how the Bush fans, always so vocal around here, never ever show up in these threads.

How about when they claim to laugh at the idea that such an atrocity is true? Or claim that if the WMD aren't found they'll lead the effort for impeachment?

Success has a thousand fathers, failure none. Everyone loves a winner. As the masses and the media decide Bush is not a winner, the pile on will include the pervious 'Bush is great' group.

Think about all the Bush 2000/W04 bumper stickers you say in 2004 and parts of 2005. Now think about how many you see.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:42 AM on October 17, 2005


"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stomping on a human face - forever!" George Orwell.

Apparently Rumsfeld's wearing the boot, and the face is that of the American soldier. Who knew?
posted by clevershark at 6:26 AM on October 17, 2005


kirkaracha writes "I've only known Republicans to treat wounded veterans with respect."

Yeah... that picture always made me want to punch that bitch's face, and I'm supposed to be a pacifist...
posted by clevershark at 6:28 AM on October 17, 2005


Nitpick note for future reference (and I've already sent same to Ms. St. George at the WAPO):

Re: "But nine months after Loria was wounded, the Army garnished his wages..."

Parsley and sprigs of mint are garnishes. A court-ordered punitive deduction from your wages is a garnishee and your wages, in consequence, are garnisheed.

Picked Nits 'r' Us.
posted by Mike D at 7:03 AM on October 17, 2005


I'm nearly positive that, within a few short years, I'm going to start to see young guys who're my age, sitting in front of the shelter waiting for a cheap 4inch square of lasagna and a ratty blanket because there aren't any more available beds. I'm going to see more and more young men sleeping on steam vents and begging for change on the corner with a little cardboard sign that says, "Iraqi Freedom Vet. Need $$ for Medicine And Food. Anything Helps. God Bless."

This is indeed far too likely. I remember reading that HALF of the homeless men in the States are vets. What percentage of Americans are in the military? 5%? 6%? I am quite sure there is a huge discrepancy between the two statistics.

It's probably obvious, but stories such as this do nothing to convince me that joining the military is a noble thing. What good does the promise of money for college and the respect of my parents do when I end up paralyzed and owing money to the people I served on a technicality?

Those who serve in the military are supposed to be able to trust their leaders. They are ready to give up their lives. In return they are owed superiors who hold their lives dear, who declare war as a last possible resort, who plan military operations as carefully, responsibly and skillfully as possible, who feed, shelter, train, educate and arm them decently. Unfortunately throughout history military leaders have been cavalier again and again, from Kitchener sending battalion after battalion up against tanks in WWI to Dubya, himself a deserter, playing his little army games as casually though he were using nothing but plastic G.I. Joe figurines.
posted by orange swan at 7:41 AM on October 17, 2005


playing his little army games as casually though he were using nothing but plastic G.I. Joe figurines

Dead solders are just as ridged as GI Joe.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:14 AM on October 17, 2005


"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stomping on a human face - forever!" George Orwell.
Apparently Rumsfeld's wearing the boot, and the face is that of the American soldier. Who knew?


I very much doubt Rumsfeld has ever stomped anybody's face and certainly not an American soldier's. On the other hand, American soldiers see a lot more of that sort of action. Perhaps it's just the few bad apples (that get caught) that engage in those kind of hi-jinks.

It's weird when what passes for a left-wing in America falls over itself to absolve the soldiers of blame for atrocities and war-crimes like the Iraq debacle. Scum like the chicken-hawks did everything in their and their daddies' power to avoid getting their hands dirty in that way. They can warmonger all they like but without the retards who signed up for this shit to carry out the torture and the mayhem, they wouldn't amount to much more than hot air. But people carry on spouting this hagiographic bullshit about the American soldier and how he's the victim.

Pfft. Fuck 'em. Hard.

The psychos will continue to shoot up Fallujah and the Yank left-wing will answer with pacifism and continue to deride right-wingers as gun nuts and neanderthals. Then the psychos will come home from Iraq angry and with a sense of entitlement. When they start shooting up whatever backwater little shit-hole they've returned to, then the lefties will start to think about buying a rifle and maybe taking it to a range. Perhaps then, at long last, people like that pig at the GOP will stop getting off so lightly.
posted by Jenga at 8:45 AM on October 17, 2005


Not just for salads anymore. I checked several sources. Garnish means exactly the same as garnishee (when used as a verb).

The DOD website has this:

Federal law authorizes the pay of federal civilian employees to be garnished for commercial obligations in accordance with state law.

legal explanations . com has this:

Garnish

v. Obtaining a court order to direct a party holding funds or about to pay wages to an alleged debtor to set the disputed funds aside until the court reaches a decision about how much is owed to the creditor.

and many others. . .
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:02 AM on October 17, 2005


"Not just for salads anymore. I checked several sources. Garnish means exactly the same as garnishee (when used as a verb)."

Just OOC, are these the same dictionaries that grant "Noo'-cyu-lur" as an acceptable variant pronunciation of "nuclear", just because Bush can't say it any other way?

Anyway, conceded. Now, since you're in look-up mode, can you check, re: "Dead solders are just as ridged as GI Joe.", if "ridged" is an acceptable variant of "rigid". And if so, should we also alert these guys?

Picked Nits 'r" Still Us
posted by Mike D at 9:59 AM on October 17, 2005


"Band-aids with Purple Hearts were a popular item at the Republican National Convention, where they were used to mock Kerry and his Purple Hearts."

I watched that on t.v. at the Legion post with a couple of guys from DAV and some volunteers, their kids, stuff like that. It was like everyone's face was made of wood. Only sound in the place was someone throwing a beer bottle in the trash and heading out. Never I ever wanted to kill someone in cold blood save looking at that fat, overentitled bitch mocking the purple heart.

Speaking of which:

"...They can warmonger all they like but without the retards who signed up for this shit to carry out the torture and the mayhem, they wouldn't amount to much more than hot air..."
Jenga

Say, that's great junior. Why don't YOU pick up a fucking weapon and do something about this: http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/45924

Or sit on your ass and keep thinking men who - y'know - actually fight for something are retards who like to torture people and just keep talking since that diplomacy seems to be working out so well. I'm sure the kids really appreciate how much talking folks are doing on their behalf.
If we said we were going in to stop that I'd re-up tomorrow.

The men fighting now are in situations they have little control over and certainly no support to oppose anything.
Kinda like all those sluts that tempt guys on dates and then prick tease them. They deserve to get raped. They should have known better than to wear clothes that arouse the libido. And why resist someone stronger? You know you’re just going to get slapped around. Dumb sluts.

Jesus, it’s like everyone comes home feeling great about what they did or saw or whatever. Why do you think so many vets are homeless? Because they’re happy that their honest altruistic motives were perverted? That the veil has been lifted and they see the truth now first hand? That everything around them was chaos, they were isolated and the only worthwhile thing they could do was survive?

Those kids too. I mean, if they didn’t let themselves be conscripted or used as sex slaves, the Lord’s Resistance Army would just be full of hot air.

Gee, I guess if we were all as smart as you there wouldn’t be any problems in the world. I’m sure if we were all as tough and cool as you are we’d tell our COs to fuck off and take the 40 years in the federal pen. Or figure out some masterful plan to escape to Canada (never seeing our families again, but oh, well). All this without being shot in the back or getting put on point every day for being a problem child. Yep. Were we like you tho’ we’d have it all figured out. Work 12 hour days at Burger King instead of taking a shot at a college education. Nope, too smart for that. Too smart - even if you did join, to let them get away with switching your MOS to 11-Bravo or something even tho you wanted to ‘learn computers.’
‘Course, you probably knew how to use a computer from the womb and didn’t have to worry about being dirt-poor and not having up to date educational materials...
Yeah, people are dumb. Whoops. Oh well. They deserve to be fucked hard. Uh huh.
That’ll learn ‘em. Those other people sitting far far away in the nice box seats letting children get raped, they’re the smart ones. Nice pats on the head for them.


I could go on, but why? Your never going to even understand the language much less the perspective.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:49 AM on October 17, 2005


Say, that's great junior. Why don't YOU pick up a fucking weapon and do something about this: http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/45924

learning basic HTML would be a nice start
posted by matteo at 12:07 PM on October 17, 2005


"learning basic HTML would be a nice start"

This is exactly what I mean. Pressupposition. Gee, couldn't be that the computer I use at work (old iMac) has problems with HTML and the controls here including the link button can it? (and bold and italics which is why words are in quotes)


Naw, must be I'm too dumb.


Not that I've ever complained about the lousy work computer I use before, so how would you know?
/sarcasm.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:44 PM on October 17, 2005


Smedleyman, if you attributed all your quotes like you did with jenga I'd have no problem deciphering your posts.
posted by davy at 3:45 PM on October 17, 2005


"Smedleyman, if you attributed all your quotes like you did with jenga I'd have no problem deciphering your posts.
posted by davy at 3:45 PM PST on October 17 [!]"



Fair enough. I'll do that.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:03 PM on October 17, 2005


All of you leftists on this thread have:

1) no class
2) no common sense
3) no respect for the military
4) no logic (note to all: the "I support the troops, just not the war" crap is nonensical frontier gibberish and you all know it.
5) no respect for your country

We live in an imperfect country that for all its failings, is still the greatest country on the face of this earth. Appreciate it for what it is.

Nick
posted by zagszman at 9:12 PM on October 17, 2005


Never I ever wanted to kill someone in cold blood save looking at that fat, overentitled bitch mocking the purple heart.
Speaking of which:

[Inept quote of what I wrote]
posted by Smedleyman at 3:49 AM JST on October 18

So, with this little segue here, you're saying you want to kill me in cold blood? You're a loon. Why don't you re-up today? Your country needs guys like you.

The really bizarre thing is that you compare prepubescent boys kidnapped by the LRA, drugged and forced to commit atrocities to adult men who willingly sign up for a military that does this kind of stuff. And for what? To ensure their families aren't murdered or to save themselves from mutilation by the LRA? No, it's to avoid the horror of the chip fryer at Burger King. Look, it's too bad y'all live in such a shit country where a working class person can't get a university education without joining the Army but joining just makes your problem of poverty into someone elses problem of being tortured and incarcerated.

You're not even clear on why they join up for this shit in the first place. Is it altruism or is it self-interest? Perhaps they're as confused and challenged as you are and the reason why it's so easy to get them to engage in the horrendous practices that are finally being proved as SOP.

Your whole spiel about how softy, city-slicking, college boys like me should just leave the hard (but honourable) men of the United States Military the fuck alone is tired old bullshit. Jack Nicholson did it so much better when he was up against Tom Cruise. How hard and honourable are these cunts when they can be persuaded to disregard the most basic elements of the Geneva Conventions. And when these fuckheads like Brand and England whine about how they didn't receive the requisite training in these matters -- how much training do you need to know that an order to sodomise a teenager with a Maglite can be disregarded? Knee strikes aren't an alternative when you want to work off some frustration? Gross humiliation of guys just picked up off the street isn't the done thing no matter who told you to do it? The Nürnberg trials settled this stuff a long time ago and that was an American deal. Yeah right, US personnel have a greater fear of retribution from above than the SS men.

Mate, you don't have to tell me what an armpit y'all have let your country turn into. I see it on the news and read it in the paper everyday. It's tragic but trying to escape the situation by fucking over other people rather than staying home to fix it loses any sympathy from me. Your soldiers cause far worse problems for other people than what they have to face at home.
posted by Jenga at 11:00 PM on October 17, 2005


Jenga, I hope you are still sleeping it off. Smedleyman did not say or imply that he wanted to kill you in cold blood, only that the picture of that smug woman with the purple heart bandages on instilled that kind of feeling.

As for your assertions about how the entire military is made up of perverted torture lovers, bleh. It makes you sound like some ignorant 9th grader. These people exist in the military, yes, and everyone is capable of things they would not like to think about. The job for the officers is to focus their soldiers on proper conduct. In this case, they failed. Everyone involved was guilty, from the grunts who did the torturing up the chain of command through officers who either looked the other way or more likely tacitly or otherwise encouraged it. We also have institutionalized torture but refuse to admit it; choosing instead euphemisms like challenging environment. In any event, most of these soldiers signed up to do something noble and for many it has been thwarted, either by their own actions or the actions of their superiors. Accusing the whole lot of misbehavior and personality disorder is simply puerile.
posted by caddis at 4:55 AM on October 18, 2005


Oh, fuck it. I was a little intemperate.

I'm sorry. Please accept my apologies.
posted by Jenga at 5:54 AM on October 18, 2005


"I'm sorry. Please accept my apologies.
posted by Jenga at 5:54 AM PST on October 18 [!]"

No problem. You were in earnest. People get angry.

Caddis addressed your point(s) excellently and more concise than I would have. (Thank you Caddis)


I would never threaten anyone online. Partly because I’m half Sicilian, and apart from being stupid, mostly because it’s a fallacious argument.
Were here to share, not conquer. Which is why I feel how I do about your previous diatribe, that there is no need for an apology. You were honestly - albeit angrily, sharing.
That you did apologize makes you in some ways a better man than I, since I often don’t.

Niceties aside I will address several points you made - first, LOTS of presuppositions there.

I am one of those few - on the ‘right’ I suppose (can one be a left leaning conservative?) who does support the troops and opposes (politically marginally, but in other particulars strongly) the Iraq war.

I suppose my status on the right renders me immune to zagszman comment:

“the "I support the troops, just not the war" crap is nonsensical frontier gibberish and you all know it.
posted by zagszman at 9:12 PM PST on October 17 [!]”



As I would have made sure our guys were well equipped and supplied before sending them off to war. The practical before the political. The current administration apparently supports the war but not the troops.

zagszman’s post assumes because I (and others) oppose the Iraq war I (we) am on the left. I’m not.

In the same way Jenga you assume that simply because I favor the men in the field I support whatever nonsense their told. Not only are things not that simple, they’re not even close to reality.



Combat vets strongly oppose wars for the most part. Exactly because they know the conditions.
Is it any coincidence that our strongest voice in opposition to torture in this country is a former POW?
Is it any coincidence that the one who threatened to veto a bill in favor of humane treatment of prisoners is a limp wristed pansy wannabe “cowboy” who shirked his duties (as much as Clinton did)?



The one point you made I do agree with is this:

“Your soldiers cause far worse problems for other people than what they have to face at home.”
posted by Jenga at 11:00 PM PST on October 17 [!]



Soldiers are tools of ill omen. It was true five thousand years ago. It’s true now.

The reason I posted the link to the children fighting in the Lords Resistance Army is because it is exactly the sort of thing people sign up for to fight.
In some ways it’s altruistic, in some ways it’s to get our of a bad situation. There are as many reasons as there are people serving.
But the ultimate point is to SERVE.

That it is - as caddis pointed out better than I’m struggling to do - perverted and subjected to big lies is tragic.



E.g. “Sure, we’re going to go liberate those kids - sign here”
Ten months later you’re not doing that, you’re killing some guy in some other country who is only trying to kill you because his bosses told him the same thing.



Done well though, it can be quite benign. My dad was a W.W.II vet. He hated killing. He hated taking orders. He couldn’t wait to get the hell out of the military, but he was an immigrant and serving looked good on your citizenship application.
I won’t go into what he was doing, but after he saw some of the things the Nazis were up to he was - let’s say - motivated.

I myself have done some things in the service I’m quite proud of. Some I’m not proud of. But I don’t remember the world ending on my watch, so I count myself ahead and pass the torch.


That said I readily concede all the bad things done by soldiers and agree - strongly - that they should be remedied and asses should be in slings.

But it’s like being a (responsible) parent. As a kid you don’t know what your parents do to make sure you’re clothed and fed and off to school.

Unless you’ve served you won’t know what it is being done to protect you. The men who flew for SAC Norad weren’t itching to drop their bombs. They were scared and I’m sure prayed they never had to use their payloads.
I’m sure the Soviets on the other side were thinking the same thing.

As it is, your apology shows that you are willing to talk matters out instead of resorting to less civilized behavior.
Admirable. Honestly.



I would simply point out that many people are far less reasonable and will resort to force and they must be opposed.

And therein lies the dilemma. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes. Who watches the watchmen.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:08 AM on October 18, 2005


1) no class
2) no common sense
3) no respect for the military
4) no logic (note to all: the "I support the troops, just not the war" crap is nonensical frontier gibberish and you all know it.
5) no respect for your country


Drivel.

If you were conservative in any fashion, you would abandon the Republican party which has betrayed every conservative value possible. If you really care about principles, you'll stand up for them no matter what party is in office. The Republican party has betrayed us. They are driving our economy so far into the red that we may not get out for 50 years. They are sending our good troops to die on the flimsiest of pretexts, because they personally benefit. They got on national TV and baldly LIED to us. You KNOW they did.

Why the fuck don't you care?! If you are honest with yourself, you will call your Republican representatives and tell them you are withdrawing your support, since they no longer represent you.

The Republican party is NOT CONSERVATIVE ANY MORE. If you love your country you won't let these lying thieves rob it blind, trash it's Constitution, and desecrate it's good name.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:30 AM on October 18, 2005


We live in an imperfect country that for all its failings, is still the greatest country on the face of this earth. Appreciate it for what it is.

Nick
by zagszman


the greatest...WOUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA you man are funny LOOOOOOOOOOOL

you man don't go abroad, do you ? you're definitely funny :)))
posted by zouhair at 3:57 PM on October 18, 2005


That one's good :)

The Rolling Stones - Sweet Neo Con
posted by zouhair at 1:27 AM on October 19, 2005


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