Friday, October 15, 2010

Lack of answers

Is the U.S. Army trying to sweep the slayings of two soldiers at the hands of one of its own under the rug? That's how the Stockton family of one of those victims feels.
Three weeks after Spc. John "Junior" Carrillo of Stockton was killed in Iraq, his grieving family remains in the dark about exactly what happened. As they understand it, he returned to his living quarters, walked in on a fight between his Army roommates, attempted to break it up and was shot and killed by one of them.
Carrillo's young widow and his mother, however, have yet to receive a full, official account of what transpired. They feel ignored and abandoned by the disorganized military bureaucracy they've encountered. They are angry that the Army has not been forthcoming with information surrounding the circumstances of Carrillo's death and the status of the man accused of killing him.

The above is the opening to Joe Goldeen's "Grieving family wants answers in Army slaying" (Stockton Record). Now May 11, 2009, five US soldiers were shot dead in Iraq and the accused in that attack is US Sgt John M. Russell. Though he was charged, has the military moved at all in the year since that attack? That's not to justify the delay in providing answers, that is to say if the 2009 attack is any indication, it may be a long wait. November 5, 2009 there was an attack on Fort Hood in Texas. US Army Major Nidal M. Hasan, a 39-year-old psychiatrist was the suspected gun man who opened fire killing 13 people and wounding 31 more. An Article 32 hearing is taking place at Fort Hood. Ann E. Gerhart (Washington Post) reports, "Prosecutors, whose intent in this proceeding is to demonstrate that there are grounds for a full-scale trial of Hasan, so far have presented testimony focused on the events of Nov. 5. Hasan and his attorneys have offered no formal response to the charges." Click here for a report on yesterday's testimonies and for courtroom drawings. Jeremy Schwartz (Austin American-Statesman) reports:

Staff Sgt. Joy Clark of the 467th detachment said she was reading on her Kindle when the shooting broke out. Clark, who was shot in the forearm, testified that she waited amid the bodies for the shooting to die down and tried in vain to find a pulse on two fellow soldiers, Lt. Col. Juanita Warman and Capt. Russell Seager.
"I thought about throwing a chair," she said. "(But) I saw someone else do so and saw him get shot."

Charley Keyes (CNN) reports on another witness' testimony:

Spc. Keara Bono testified she was reading a book in the Fort Hood building, moving through the paperwork and medical tests to deploy to Iraq. Suddenly, she said, she was wounded in the head.
"At that moment, all I smelled was blood because my face was covered with it," she testified Thursday afternoon.

In other news, New Mexico's Department of Veterans' Services notes:

(ALBUQUERQUE, NM)-The New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services (NMDVS), in partnership with the VA Medical Center, Presbyterian Medical Services and the New Mexico Behavioral Health Collaborative, is presenting a Veterans’ Wellness Conference featuring alternative treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) diagnosed in veterans.
The free two-day conference will be at the Hotel Albuquerque, located at 800 Rio Grande Blvd. NE in the Old Town section of Albuquerque. The event is free for all veterans.
Health care professionals will be presenting discussions and workshops on treatments such as Yoga, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, and Nature-based therapies such as Hiking and fishing.
More details will be available later this summer, so please check this website for the latest information and for how to register for this free event.

Meanwhile the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may bore the mainstream press, but the college press is taking notice of them. For example, Sara Jackson (Daily Collegian) reports on a Northampton resolution:

On Oct. 7 the mayor and city council of Northampton passed a resolution called, "Bring the War Dollars Home," which calls on the Northampton’s congressional representatives to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on the grounds of economic cost to the city.
Six council members voted for the resolution, two voting against it and one City Council member abstained. A copy of the resolution will be presented to Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown along with Representative Richard Neal to urge them to oppose further funding of these wars.

And Chris Dunn (Collegiate Times) writes of the many costs of the wars:

The wars have also taken a human toll on the 9th District. Besides the Tech Corps of Cadets alumni who have been killed in action, the following residents of the district have lost their lives in Iraq or Afghanistan: Brandon Asbury, Jesse Ault, Chad Barrett, Jonathan Bowling, Jason Deibler, Michael Dooley, Kenneth Gibson, Jeffrey Kaylor, David Lambert, Ryan McGlothlin and Gregory Pennington.
To many of us, these are simply names printed on paper. But for some in the New River Valley, these are the names of loved ones. For most of us, these names evoke no emotional response, but for dozens of our neighbors, each name represents the loss of a son, brother, cousin, nephew, grandson or father.
As the wars drag on, America’s standing in the world will continue to decline. This will affect 9th District residents, particularly Tech students, in unforeseen ways.

The following community sites -- plus FPIF and -- updated last night:

And we'll close with this from Sherwood Ross' "THE CIA, KKK, & USA" (OpEdNews):

By assigning covert action roles to the Central Intelligence Agency(CIA), it is as if the White House and Congress had legitimized the Ku Klux Klan to operate globally. That's because the CIA today resembles nothing so much as the "Invisible Empire" of the KKK that once spread terror across the South and Midwest. Fiery crosses aside, this is what the CIA is doing
The CIA today is committing many of the same sort of gruesome crimes against foreigners that the KKK once inflicted on Americans of color. The principal difference is that the KKK consisted of self-appointed vigilantes who regarded themselves as both outside and above the law when they perpetrated their crimes. By contrast, the CIA acts as the agent of
the American government, often at the highest levels, and at times at the direction of the White House. Its crimes typically are committed in contravention of the highest established international law such as the Charter of the United Nations as well as the U.S. Constitution. What's more, the "Agency," as it is known, derives its funding largely from an imperialist-
minded Congress; additionally, it has no qualms about fattening its budget from drug money and other illegal sources. It is a mirror-image of the lawless entity the U.S. has become since achieving superpower status. And it is incredible that the White House grants license to this violent Agency to commit its crimes with no accountability. The Ku Klux Klan was
founded shortly after the end of the U.S. Civil War. Klansman concealed their identities behind flowing white robes and white hoods as they terrorized the newly emancipated blacks to keep them from voting or to drive them from their property.
Allowing it to operate in secret literally gives the CIA the mythical Ring of Gyges. In Plato's Republic, the owner of the ring had the power to become invisible at will. As Wikipedia puts it, Plato "discusses whether a typical person would be moral if
he did not have to fear the consequences of his actions." The ancient Greeks made the argument, Wikipedia says, that "No man would keep his hands off what was not his own when he could safely take what he liked out of the market, go into houses and lie with any one at his pleasure, kill or release from prison whom he would, and in all respects be like a god
among men." The CIA, like Hitler's Gestapo and Stalin's NKVD before it, has provided modern man the answer to this question. Its actions illuminate why all criminal entities, from rapists and bank robbers, to Ponzi scheme swindlers and murderers, cloak themselves in secrecy.

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