Monday, July 11, 2011

Judged Warped Through the Prism of Warped Reality

There's an old Twilight Zone show about a young woman outcast from civil society because of her ghastly looks. She has an operation in a desperate measure to make her look like everyone else, but it's a failure. In the end, you see that the woman herself is (in our eyes) a beautiful young thing, and the doctors and nurses performing the sadly failed operation have pig snouts.

"Listen up, new battalion SOP (standing operating procedure) from now on: Anytime your convoy gets hit by an IED, I want 360 degree rotational fire. You kill every [expletive] in the street!"

We weren't trained extensively to recognize an unlawful order, or how to report one. But many of us could not believe what we had just been told to do. Those of us who knew it was morally wrong struggled to figure out a way to avoid shooting innocent civilians, while also dodging repercussions from the non-commissioned officers who enforced the policy. In such situations, we determined to fire our weapons, but into rooftops or abandoned vehicles, giving the impression that we were following procedure.

On April 5, 2010 American citizens and people around the world got a taste of the fruits of this standing operating procedure when WikiLeaks released the now-famous Collateral Murder video. This video showed the horrific and wholly unnecessary killing of unarmed Iraqi civilians and Reuters journalists.

I was part of the unit that was responsible for this atrocity. In the video, I can be seen attempting to carry wounded children to safety in the aftermath.

Glenn Greenwald

So begins a letter from a soldier who served with Bradley Manning, whom the latest push to discredit takes the form of presenting him as mentally warped. Please take the time to read this post.

....but hey, do what you will anyway.

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