Carol Platt Liebau: Advantage: Bush

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Advantage: Bush

As Robert Caldwell points out, in the battle for the hearts and minds of the American people, President Bush is beating the loose-lipped elite MSM -- handily.


Blogger Dittohead said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Carol Platt Liebau said...

The preceding comment was deleted because it used profanity. Please keep in mind this rule of thumb: If you can't say it on the radio, you can't write it here. Thanks.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

The profanity I used was the slang for cow manure. I was expressing a concept by Harry G. Frankfurt, a Princeton professor in his fairly popular book. That currently ranks 6th on NYT non-fiction bestsellers. I can't provide the title because it uses the FCC banned "B-word" in it's title.

I'll be more careful in the future. I didn't know you were using on air children standards.

6:56 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

Here is a reason for a strong press and open government....

Recent headlines from Iraq are ugly: Marines charged with murdering Haditha civilians. A crippled man killed by Americans, who then planted a rifle and shovel near the body as if he had been burying roadside bombs. And a particularly gruesome charge that U.S. soldiers raped and killed an Iraqi woman, killed her family, and burned the bodies to cover the crime.

Tiger Force is a documented account of 120 U.S. soldiers who, between May and November of 1967, rotated through an Army special operations platoon. This platoon, Tiger Force, wreaked its vengeance in the vicinity of Duc Pho and Chu Lai in South Vietnam.

Operating largely on their own and only passingly accountable to a chain of command that rarely ventured into the jungles and paddies, these soldiers ruthlessly murdered hundreds of unarmed men, women and children. One soldier cut off a baby's head with a knife. Victims' ears were regularly sliced off, collected and fashioned into necklaces which some soldiers proudly wore. Other victims were scalped. Some were tortured. Teeth were kicked out to retrieve the gold from fillings. Virtually all of the civilian deaths were reported as "Viet Cong," even though, oddly, no weapons were ever found and none were ever reported. No officer in command ever questioned this glaring disparity.

That part of Tiger Force is grim enough. What the Army then did with the evidence is shocking, and what was covered up in 1974-75 may have sowed the headlines we are reaping in 2006. One of the most thorough Criminal Investigation Division (CID, the Army's internal FBI) investigations ever conducted, meticulously gathered the facts surrounding the war crimes committed by Tiger Force. The evidence was voluminous, certain and had been obtained at the risk of a few investigators' lives.

In 1974-75, Richard Cheney was a special assistant to President Ford. Ford's chief of staff was Donald Rumsfeld. The secretary of defense from 1973-75 was James Schlesinger. The case was made to disappear by these men who served presidents Nixon and Ford - probably out of considerations of politics. There were never any charges filed against the soldiers or the officers who ordered and participated in the routine killing of civilians.

The only reason the case file ever became public was that the CID officer who directed the investigation, and who later commanded the Criminal Investigation Division, kept a copy of the investigation file, and prior to his death in 2002 made provision for the file to be delivered to a reporter with the Toledo Blade.

Thirty years later, Mr. Rumsfeld refuses to discuss the Tiger Force case. Mr. Cheney declines to discuss much of anything. Mr. Schlesinger conducted one of the see-no-evil investigations at Abu Ghraib. The senior leadership of the Army and the nation prefers to characterize war crimes as the work of a few "bad apples." My Lai was pinned to Lt. William Calley, who suited the bad apple role.

Tiger Force was far larger, killed three times as many people, but involved too many "bad apples" and too much gore to maintain the right story line.

The common thread which runs from Tiger Force through My Lai, to Guantanamo, Bagram and Abu Ghraib, to a hundred episodes of sadistic brutality inflicted by U.S. soldiers in Iraq, is the remarkable fact that the official responsibility for all these tragedies never runs higher than the lowest-level trigger-pullers or body-stackers.

But suppose in 1975 that Mr. Rumsfeld and Mr. Cheney had made a different decision. Suppose the CID Tiger Force investigation had been permitted to charge the perpetrators and their superior officers with war crimes. Suppose a court-martial inquiry had asked why no battalion commanders bothered to check out the reports of Tiger Force ear collections? What if a colonel or two had been found guilty of failing to adequately control the troops under their command? For starters, those cases and leadership lessons would have been part of today's core curriculum in ROTC and at West Point.

This administration never holds anyone in senior positions accountable for derelict performance. However, unless there is full accountability for the war crimes of Iraq - wherever the evidence leads - there is a high probability that the lessons today's lieutenants and captains need to learn about the law of war and command leadership will never be sufficiently absorbed to make the crucial difference when those men and women become colonels and generals.
David R. Irvine is a lawyer in Salt Lake City and a retired Army Reserve brigadier general. He was commissioned as a strategic intelligence officer in 1967, and taught prisoner of war interrogation and military law for the Sixth Army Intelligence School for 18 years.

7:25 PM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

That is not true!

9:32 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Just like a parrot!

10:19 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

In interviews with The Blade, former Tiger Force soldiers offered these observations about the atrocities:

"The only thing I regret is that I didn't kill more. If I had known that it was going to end as quick as it did, the way it did, I would have killed a lot more."
William Doyle

"You know, you give a bunch of 18-year-old kids a machine gun and send them off into the woods when it's 115 degrees, tell them to hump up the mountains and shoot anything that moves ... it was easy for us to pull the trigger on them."
Doug "Doc" Teeters

"We would go into villages and just shoot everybody. We didn't need an excuse. If they were there, they were dead. It just made me sick. I was a medic. I was there to help save lives. But we were out of control.''
Harold Fischer

"The things you saw. The things you did. You think back and say, ‘I can't believe I did that.' At the time, it seemed right. But now, you know what you did was wrong. The killing gets to you. The nightmares get to you. You just can't escape it. You can't escape the past."
Ernest Moreland

"We were killing a lot of people who didn't have weapons. If someone asked us what kind of weapon did he have, we would say: ‘He had a getaway stick.' Let me put it this way, it wasn't pretty.''
Ken Kerney

"If you captured anybody, what do you do? Let them go? You have to waste them. If you ran, we killed you."
Joseph Evans

"I'm not going to say I condemned what was going on ... I'm not religious. I don't claim to have all the answers to life. I was 19 years old, but I knew what they were doing was wrong. It was wrong."
Rion Causey

"I had to kill people, but I didn't want to have a bad thing on my conscience, as far as murder. There is a difference between combat killing and murder and a lot of guys just didn't – I don't know what, they flipped out for a second or so or whatever, I don't know. I'm not going to judge them. They've got to live with it. It's hard enough."
Dallas Rogers

10:29 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Ditto, For the life of me,
what is your point? It is a
shame that we, even in our
army, which is still the best in the world, top notch, have a FEW who aren't quite up to the standards of our military.
Yes, we have imperfections,
in ALL walks of life, but
you have yet to post a comment that talks of the many great accomplishments
of our fine military, the finest in the world.(My son is in the Army, by the way) Do you support our troups? Do you? If so, why don't you post a lengthy piece on the great work that our soldiers do, in Afghanistan,Iraq, and around the world? You are
patriotic aren't you? If so, tell us about it.

11:17 PM  
Blogger Pete said...

Please don't hold your breathe waiting for positive answers to your questions, Cliff. dh knows no patriotism other than Bush hatred! ANd did you see the latest? "Bush stole the Mexican election!" I have to read the obsurb reasoning there - should be a real laugher!

And remember, EVERYTHING wrong in the world is America's fault. Has NOTHING to do with tyrants, dictators, enslaved peoples, terrorism, extremeist Islamic wackos, or socialism. America caused all the woe!

May God look over your son and all the other brave young Americans who have not bought into the Anti-Americanism of the left.

5:00 AM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

A few thoughts,

Today's young men and women are far better than we were. They are better led, better armed and better motivated. They realize why they are doing what they are doing.

I make a point os chatting with every young GI I see - I have ALWAYS walked away impressed by the quality of the young men and women who wear the uniform.

In every war there are a few who go awry - The US military does not allow that to remain unpunished. And the media insures that we find out about every miscreant - totally blowing it out of proportion.

How many hospitals have been built? how many schools? how many children have been given medical attention? And this applies to Vietnam as well as Iraq.

I am sitting at my desk this morning . over my left shoulder is my Honorable Discharge from the Air Force. I consider that my most precious possession. People like Dittohead have tried to demean it. We, however, have youngsters today that bring honor to it every day.

I thank G-d for the young men and women in uniform. I also thank G-d for the men and women who raised these youngsters to understand the meaning of the word honor.

7:10 AM  
Blogger wrabkin said...


According to many recent news reports, the military has abandoned many of the recruiting standards it has used to ensure the superior quality of soldier you speak of so eloquently. There are now gang members in the army, learning how to kill more efficiently. And a big influx of white supremacists are joining -- you can now apparently see Aryan Nations graffitti in Baghdad. Even the standards for junior officers are dropping -- crimes that would have disqualified candidates a few years ago are being ignored.

And the reason for this? Because the sons and daughters of the elites -- the rich, the powerful, the educated -- can't be bothered with the military. Because they know this was is a sad, sick joke that has nothing to do with protecting our nation. And the patriotic Republican congressmen, senators, and administration officials know better, too -- that's why there are no more than a handful of their kids serving.

In this astonishingly cynical administration, all sacrifice is for suckers. Taxes are for the poor, wage cuts are for the poor, the costs of the war are for the poor -- and so is military service.

7:43 AM  
Blogger eLarson said...

And the reason for this? Because the sons and daughters of the elites -- the rich, the powerful, the educated -- can't be bothered with the military.
That's shocking. I mean, it all seemed so real. I met a man on Friday who had been a doctor with a successful private practice in Door County, Wisconsin. He joined the Air Force in 1994 and still serves, which is why he's here in the DC area now.

Must have been a ghost.

8:26 AM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

Wrabkin addresses some of my reasons for posting this. I intended to let people discuse it and draw their own opinions.

We need a strong press while the chickenhawks try to paint rosey pictures. In light of Cheney and Rumsfeld killing the file on war crimes, we can't trust them to tell us the truth. And Rumsfeld is not fit to be Sec. of Defense.

In a democracy voters need to know what is being done in their name. Carol would like the press only to print good stories and propaganda. She wants SCOTUS to be turned into adminstration rubber-stampers and Congress to give Bush whatever he wants. These are not American principles of good government and this is not what made America strong and a great nation.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

Documents delcassified by the Pentagon to a civil liberties organization show that inmates at Guantanamo Bay have been "systematically tortured,"

"I think the torture and abuse detailed here will shock Congress and the American public," said CCR Legal Director Bill Goodman, "because it reveals a lawless, immoral and ineffective detention facility and undermines the administration's increasingly desperate attempts to lie about what is happening down there."

9:35 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

That hot air I feel - is it global warming?

Nah! Just dh and wrabkin bloviating again!

9:41 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

America is soooo evil! I mean we should all hang our heads in shame and maybe our enemys will saw our heads off and put us out of our misery! We deserve it!

9:51 AM  
Blogger amber said...

Do any of you even know the military standards? First you may have a record, however it can NOT be for assault or rape or any violent crime. Plus it has to be old and you have to show that you are not the kind of person to commit that crime again. For example someone who shoplifted a candy bar at the age of 14 (the military opens juvenile records) and you have nothing since then and you are 18, they will let you in. However, you may be denied a higher security clearance than an e-7 because of your crime. I know a guy whocan not get promoted past that for that exact reason, he stole something when he was 15, the guy is now in his 50's and has no record, but he could not be promoted above an e-7. Also the only area as an officer where you can be promoted and not have a college degree is in Maintenance.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

Been there, amber. Thankfully, my JD record did not keep me out of the service and I am a better man because of it.

Of course, I did not know it was George Bush's fault that I was a JD in the first place! Silly me.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Pete,Flomblog and Amber, Thank you for service to this country and for your support of my son. I appreciate it very much!

3:07 PM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

Dittohead won't understand this -- but

It was an honor.


5:34 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...


Nothing I posted had anything to do with honor. It is largely about civic responsibility of being an informed voter. Democracy "is government by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them." We ultimately are responsible for what our government and soldiers do. Bush is not the decider, he is an executive, that serves us and we pay him a reasonable salary and pension to do a good job. Perhaps it becomes confusing when Bush thinks, his job is to lie to us, for political gain.

Cheney & Rumsfeld did not bring honor to the military by kill filing war crimes. What they did should have prevented them from becoming VP and Sec of Defense respectively.

Military is top down not bottom up and that is what the article explains.

Very soon you will learn of more disgraceful conduct surrounding the torture of prisoners because Rumsfeld ignored requests by commanders on the ground, for clear interrogation techniques. Why did Rumsfled ignore the requests? One can only imagine he planned to do as before kill the investigations and hid the evidence.

Don't you dare blame me for the disgraceful policies of Bush. For his torture policies, secret prisons, and a pre-emptive war on dead-wrong and cherry picked intelligence.

There is a difference between the commander-in-chief and a president, as well as the duties of responsible citizens and that of soldiers. I think you fail to know the difference.

6:39 PM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

It was an honor to wear the uniform of my country.

As I said - you just don't understand, Dittohead. THis has noithing to d o with the party in power, or politics. I wore the uniformwith pride.

7:44 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...


You are not the only person and/or family that served or sacrificed for the country.

8:27 PM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

I never said I was.

I am one of the lucky ones. There are over 58,000 names on a wall in DC. I am honored to have worn the same uniform as these GI's did.

And once again - I am humbled by the sheer qualiuty of today'sGI's. They are so much better than we were

8:58 PM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

What's this? Carol links to an article that - gasp! - cites a Fox poll showing Bush beating the New York Times?!!!

9:46 PM  
Blogger Pete said...

dh, wrabkin, and duke said, "yada, yada, yada!" Absolutely nothing!

Serving our country to preserve freedom IS an honor! I am glad I did. And I appreciate ALL who do, even those who get hammered for mistakes. They are only human, and how do we know for sure what we would have done in their shoes? Circumstances will eventually come to light (if the MSM will allow it), that probably will show that they were 100% correct with their judgement. (Perhaps the college razing of Abu Graib is an exception). Still...

5:06 AM  
Blogger Dittohead said...


There may actually be hope for you. I see that you actually have some doubts about the most incompetent president in America's history.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

Absolutely, I have a lot of doubts about Jimmy, dh.

8:55 AM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

I'm afraid Historians have already selected Bush and he still has two more years for getting everything dead-wrong.

9:06 AM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

Historians: Ward Churchill?

8:39 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

415 Historians were surveyed.

7:31 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Historians? That's a hoot!

The Bush Admininstration is still the CURRENT administration. History has only barely begun to sort out REAGAN administration.

By the way, didn't "Historians" claim that Reagan would be considered the worst president in history, too? Not quite working out that way, is it?

8:44 AM  

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