The idea that is "America"
November 25, 2021 9:33 AM   Subscribe

Today, on Thanksgiving, also known as the National Day of Mourning, we learn that Ian Fishback, Army officer and whistleblower against detainee abuse, dies at 42. His letter to Senator McCain. Remembered by a former student. I do not think anyone will nominate him for a medal, but I do. RIP Major Fishback.
posted by pH Indicating Socks (44 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
.
posted by stevil at 9:46 AM on November 25


.

ian fishback, hero of the republic. never forget. the comparison with Hugh Thompson is apt. as for paranoia, does anyone think he was not under surveillance by the DIA? had to be a contributing factor.

colin powell and rumsfeld, the height of moral cowardice and inhumanity - well, purgatory should be very special for them.
posted by j_curiouser at 9:56 AM on November 25 [14 favorites]


.
posted by allthinky at 10:08 AM on November 25


The greatest patriots are those we never hear about

And few of those we hear about are in fact patriots.

What a brave officer was this man.
posted by armoir from antproof case at 10:19 AM on November 25 [5 favorites]



posted by bz at 10:30 AM on November 25 [1 favorite]


.
posted by idb at 10:34 AM on November 25 [1 favorite]


(Also, MTG is a POS)
posted by bz at 10:45 AM on November 25 [5 favorites]



.
posted by mule98J at 10:46 AM on November 25


.
posted by Bella Donna at 11:12 AM on November 25


.
posted by praemunire at 11:18 AM on November 25


.
posted by riruro at 11:21 AM on November 25


This guy grew up in Newberry, which has a population of less than 2000 in the relative middle of nowhere in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, which has little economic activity besides tourism and is white as hell. If he can have such a conscience, there's no excuse for any other American.
posted by praemunire at 11:23 AM on November 25 [34 favorites]


Our loss.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:40 AM on November 25


.
posted by Lyme Drop at 11:52 AM on November 25


.
posted by BlueHorse at 12:02 PM on November 25


.
posted by the Real Dan at 12:10 PM on November 25


.
posted by hydropsyche at 12:34 PM on November 25


.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 12:39 PM on November 25


.
posted by Ickster at 2:25 PM on November 25


.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 2:35 PM on November 25


.
posted by scruss at 2:42 PM on November 25


I did not know that there was a letter, or that he was young and so clear of conscience when he wrote it.

.
posted by k3ninho at 2:48 PM on November 25


.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 3:08 PM on November 25


.
posted by TedW at 3:23 PM on November 25


.
posted by Alterscape at 3:44 PM on November 25


.
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 4:24 PM on November 25


.
posted by introp at 4:25 PM on November 25


.
posted by amusebuche at 4:42 PM on November 25


.
posted by Token Meme at 4:52 PM on November 25


There are few honors as great as to be remembered for uncompromising integrity. He was too good for us.
posted by vorpal bunny at 4:56 PM on November 25 [5 favorites]


.
posted by tumbling at 7:56 PM on November 25


.
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 7:59 PM on November 25


.
posted by Schmucko at 8:14 PM on November 25


.

(Side note: the “too good for us” framing can be in the range from annoying to outright distressing for some folks. I won’t derail by going into the details in an obit thread, but please avoid?)
posted by eviemath at 4:30 AM on November 26


.
posted by gauche at 6:22 AM on November 26


.
posted by mochapickle at 6:25 AM on November 26


I hope effort is put into determining the actual cause of his death at 42 under court mandated care for "delusional thoughts". That's a startlingly, one could say improbably, rapid decline.
posted by ook at 7:39 AM on November 26 [10 favorites]


.
posted by Sphinx at 8:21 AM on November 26


.
posted by Cash4Lead at 8:24 AM on November 26


This guy grew up in Newberry, which has a population of less than 2000 in the relative middle of nowhere in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, which has little economic activity besides tourism and is white as hell. If he can have such a conscience, there's no excuse for any other American.

Im sorry, I’m not sure I understand this? So what? Lots of people grow up in terrible places and choose to be people of conscience.
posted by sock poppet at 10:41 AM on November 26 [2 favorites]


Improbably rapid indeed - in January he’s completing a thesis and planning to move to an EU country because he no longer has faith in the US, he “gets paranoia” that he’s being observed by three letter agencies while overseas, then he comes home and alarms the small time cops so they put him in mandated inpatient psychiatric treatment at a non VA facility?

This stinks to high heaven.

RIP, brother.
posted by corb at 10:42 AM on November 26 [11 favorites]


the more i think about it, the more i think 'crimez'. it does stink, corb.
posted by j_curiouser at 11:54 AM on November 26


Moral injuries can kill.

Some of his story reminds me a bit of a very dear friend of mine, a man of intense empathy and moral vision, who has for the last few years been suffering from paranoid delusions and other psychoses. Although there are many personal factors involved as well, the election of Trump and then the utter failure of our society to respond to the pandemic were both clear triggers for his psychotic breaks. He's the sort of person who cannot separate himself from the moral failures of those around him, and feels responsible of effecting change beyond the level of his ability to achieve it. Tragically his delusions and anger have caused him to lash out with violence, and he's now in legal trouble and will probably have to be involuntarily committed to psychiatric care.

Major Fishback sounds like he was a kindred soul in at least some ways. He deserved quick access to the best psychiatric treatment available, not the bureaucratic red tape he apparently got. We owe him a debt for his integrity in acting to use the little power he had to right a terrible wrong that he should never have had to face in the first place. We also as a society need to better recognize the intense psychological damage that moral injuries like what he suffered can incur, and provide all people who are exposed to them with preemptive care, whether they are soldiers, medical professionals, academics, or any other profession.

.
posted by biogeo at 2:22 PM on November 26 [9 favorites]


.
posted by tigrrrlily at 9:03 PM on November 26


« Older "At work I am composed and civil and do not break...   |   Angus Taylor's Gas-Light Recovery Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.