Day by Day

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I've been holding back

from commenting about the hit piece from The New Republic. If you haven't heard yet, (in which case, what rock have you been living under this week?) TNR put out a piece entitled "Shock Troops" by a supposed Soldier, who's using the pseudonym "Scott Thomas" At first glance, it appears to be a description of nasty actions by US Troops.

The problem is, once it attracted the attention of troops who have been in Iraq, the story starts to fall apart. Gateway Pundit has a whole list of links to blogs who are just shredding this story. Just a few of the concerns:

"Scott Thomas" refers to a horribly burned woman eating at a chow hall, and claims that the troops were making rude remarks right in front of her. He states that he couldn't tell if the woman was a Soldier or a civilian because she was wearing a nondescript brown uniform.

1) As many people have pointed out, Soldiers do not call it the "Chow Hall". It's the DFAC, pronounced "DEE-fak". This is more significant than many civilians will realize. "Well, SOME people call it a chow hall!" Yeah, well some people call the bathroom a "water closet". But how many Americans do you know of who call it that? See my point?
2) Soldiers wear their uniforms at all times. They have to, under the Geneva Convention. Solders also carry their weapons at all times. It's a war zone. Even if you're walking around in PT's, you have your weapon with you. Civilians are not allowed to wear any military uniforms. Again, Geneva Conventions. So the fact that "Scott Thomas" claims that he couldn't tell if the woman was a civilian or military seems outlandish on it's face, and speaks of a mindset that either hasn't been in Iraq at all, or one that couldn't see the facts right in front of him. Either way, not someone you want as a reporter, eh?
3) Why would a horribly burned woman be in a DFAC in a FOB in Iraq when they should be back in a hospital being treated for burns? According to "Scott Thomas", half the woman's face was melted off. That person would be in a burn unit or a hospital getting treated for her injuries, not returned to duty.

"Scott Thomas" also relates of two tales where a Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle "swerves" to the right to run over a dog. In one tale, the dog was caught under the vehicle and drug for a while, and in the second story the dog is cut in half.

1) Bradley's are tracked vehicles. The tracks are rather wide, in fact. Should a dog in fact be run over, it wouldn't be cut in half, it would be crushed. Flat. Road pizza. So the claim that the dog was cut in half is laughable on it's face. There's no doubt from Thomas' description that the dog was cut neatly in half, and that cannot happen with a Bradley.
2) The Bradley, as an all terrain fighting vehicle, does not have too many things hanging from the undercarriage. That's not to say that something couldn't possibly get stuck underneath and drug, but that it's highly unlikely that anything as small as a dog would get hung up. Also, the claim that the dog was "run over" and then drug down the road is even less likely, as the portion of the track touching the road is not in fact moving. To put it rather simply, the track moves along several wheels, gets placed on the ground, then stays set on the ground while the vehicle rolls over the top of it, then gets picked up and moved back along the top of the wheels. So, should a dog get run over by a track, it would stay right where it was until the track was picked up and moved by the wheel system.
3) If you swerved sharply in any direction in a Bradley, one of two things would happen - You could throw the track off the wheels, in which case your vehicle commander is going to whip you like a rented mule, or - even should the track stay on the wheels, your vehicle commander is STILL going to whip you like a rented mule for even trying that stunt just for kicks. You do not risk throwing a track in the middle of an urban hostile area. Period.
4) Bradleys, like all tracked vehicles, do not just "swerve". They're not cars. In order for a tracked vehicle to turn, one track has to slow down or stop while the other track stays at full speed, causing the vehicle to pivot in place. So you can't just jerk the wheel and swerve. It's more like straight - pivot - straight - pivot - straight - pivot - straight. The mechanics are completely different than trying the same move in a wheeled vehicle.
5) If you're trying to sneak up on a sleeping dog, the last thing you would do it in is a tracked vehicle. You can hear them before you see them. And you can feel them coming from a hundred yards away on concrete or roadway. So unless the dog was dead, or knocking on death's door, you could not "sneak" up on the dog in a Bradley.

"Scott Thomas" relates a tale where Soldiers find a mass grave, and one young troops wears the top of a child's skull for a day, even putting it under his helmet.

1) Should any NCO or Officer find out about that desecration, they'd put a stop to it right quick. I cannot fathom any situation where the leadership of the unit would allow that to continue at all. Yes, Soldier's can have a very dark sense of humor, but besides the basic heath issues that would stem from wearing a portion of a child's skull, the fact is that Saddam's mass graves are inspected, catalogued, itemized, and guarded once they are found. This isn't just some nicety that the US does for the hell of it, either. Attempts are made to find relatives, evidence is collected against the remaining members of Saddam's regime, and the proof of what Saddam was doing for decades is shown for the world to see. Allowing troops to mess with all of that just to satisfy a dark sense of humor just isn't done.
2) There is no record what so ever of a mass grave being discovered in the described location at the given time. Hell, there's no evidence of a mass grave at that location period. And it's in America's best interest to expose the mass graves, so if there had in fact been such a discovery, that information would have been put out.

So in short, the entire story has holes in it large enough to drive a Mack Truck through. It doesn't hold up. Once people started shredding this story, TNR put out this statement:

NOTE TO READERS:
Several conservative blogs have raised questions about the Diarist "Shock Troops," written by a soldier in Iraq using the pseudonym Scott Thomas. Whenever anybody levels serious accusations against a piece published in our magazine, we take those charges seriously. Indeed, we're in the process of investigating them. I've spoken extensively with the author of the piece and have communicated with other soldiers who witnessed the events described in the diarist. Thus far, these conversations have done nothing to undermine--and much to corroborate--the author's descriptions. I will let you know more after we complete our investigation.

--Franklin Foer
Wow, so you've spoken with the author and he's corroborated his own story! Well, I saw Hillary Clinton butchering baby chickens to Chuthulu, and if you don't believe me, ask me! I'll corroborate my own story!

Until soldiers and units are named, and accounts are corroborated by separate entities, I'm going to have to say that this entire story is a bunch of made up horsecrap. Period. And let's be blunt, shall we? The Has-Been Media has been attacking the US military every chance that they get, and the conservative blogs have been forced to defend and debunk every story the Lame-Stream Media has put forth.

Jessie McBeth, anyone? Talking about all the horrible things he'd done as a Ranger, when the truth was that he never made it out of basic training.

Jimmy Massey, anyone? Another anti-war "hero" of the left, claiming to have committed atrocities in the Marines, proven to be a worthless liar. In the MSM's defense, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was one of the newspapers who exposed Massey as a worthless lying moonbat.

Micah Wright, anyone? Mr. "How dare you question my anti-war beliefs I was a Ranger what have you done you chickenhawk" Wright, who wrote anti-war propaganda and insulted anyone who supported removing Saddam. Only, uh..... OOPS! Never a Ranger. Of course, until the REAL Rangers exposed him as a lying cockweasel, he was spouting off crap like this:

Another West Point Butterbar who can't read my bio page and figure out that while he was playing Mario on his Super Nintendo, I was shooting people for George Herbert Walker Bush the 3rd. Been there, done that, newbie. Lecture me after you've seen piles of dead people who stood in the way of a Bush President.

For the last time, I'm a (expletive deleted) veteran. None of these posters mock the men and women in uniform. How is it that people are so stupid that they can't look beyond the image and understand the message?

But Micah Wright was never a Ranger. He was never in combat. He actually was never on active duty at all. He did a little stint in ROTC in college.

But until the REAL Rangers exposed him, the MSM loved him. Because here was an anti-war asshole that nobody could question! Until the questions proved that he was just another Leftist shithead who lied to advance his agenda.

Amorita Randall, anyone? Just another liar that the New York Slimes put on their front page with horror stories of their military service, Yet another liar. A fraud.

Jamil Hussein, anyone? The horror stories put forth, eagerly printed by the MSM, especially the Associated (with terrorists) Press. But under scrutiny, it seems that Jamil Hussein didn't even exist! Yet he was creating stories about beheadings and bombings and violence for months. If I remember correctly, the AP put out over sixty different horror stories from Jamil Hussein, and yet once people started looking into who Jamil Hussein was, he simply "disappeared". Gone. Poof. Reports of mosque bombings were proven false when current photos of the mosques were taken. Kinda hard to say a mosque was bombed and burned to the ground when someone goes and takes a photo of that same mosque, still standing and not on fire. To this day, the Associated (with terrorists) Press cannot produce any proof what so ever that Jamil Hussein even existed. But so long as they could peddle the lies that Iraq what going up in flames, they used Jamil Hussein for all his empty name was worth. In short, they either flat out lied, or they swallowed the lies of some anonymous asshat because it jibed with their agenda.

Remember the Marines involved in Haditha? Those murdering thugs? Except, you know, for the fact that at least one of them has had all charges dropped. The legal process is still ongoing for others. But in the MSM, they were branded as murderers and rapists over a year ago.

So pardon me if I don't swallow the crap being put forth by The New Republic. Their story has been destroyed by actual military personnel, and unless they can back up what "Scott Thomas" has written, they deserve all the scorn that's currently heading their way. I don't expect anything to come forth. Much like Jamil Hussein, I'm certain that "Scott Thomas" will disappear as the MSM hopes that everyone will forget the medias complicity in putting for slander and lies as "news".

And the MSM's bias against the military, their hatred of the military, is once again exposed for everyone to see. For the umpteenth-million time.

Now, should TNR be able to actually put forth real proof that Scott Thomas is a real soldier, and there are independent eye-witness accounts, then perhaps I'll be forced to eat crow. But this is following a pattern that has been repeated far too often in the Lame-Stream media.

So in short, I'm not holding my breath.

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