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the Talking Can
10-15-2004, 06:01 PM
this is bizarre...

link (http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041015/NEWS01/410150366/1002)


October 15, 2004

Platoon defies orders in Iraq

# Miss. soldier calls home, cites safety concerns

By Jeremy Hudson
jehudson@clarionledger.com

A 17-member Army Reserve platoon with troops from Jackson and around the Southeast deployed to Iraq is under arrest for refusing a "suicide mission" to deliver fuel, the troops' relatives said Thursday.

The soldiers refused an order on Wednesday to go to Taji, Iraq north of Baghdad because their vehicles were considered "deadlined" or extremely unsafe, said Patricia McCook of Jackson, wife of Sgt. Larry O. McCook.

Sgt. McCook, a deputy at the Hinds County Detention Center, and the 16 other members of the 343rd Quartermaster Company from Rock Hill, S.C., were read their rights and moved from the military barracks into tents, Patricia McCook said her husband told her during a panicked phone call about 5 a.m. Thursday.

The platoon could be charged with the willful disobeying of orders, punishable by dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of pay and up to five years confinement, said military law expert Mark Stevens, an associate professor of justice studies at Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount, N.C.

No military officials were able to confirm or deny the detainment of the platoon Thursday.

But today, Sgt. Salju Thomas of the Combined Press Information Center in Baghdad issued a statement saying that an investigation has begun.

"The Commander General of the 13 Corps Support Group has appointed a deputy commander to lead an investigation into allegations that members of the 343 Quartermaster Company refused to participate in theri assigned convoy mission on Oct. 13," Thomas' statement said.

The investigation team is currently in Tallil taking statements and interviewing those involved, Thomas said in the statement.

U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson said he plans to submit a congressional inquiry today on behalf of the Mississippi soldiers to launch an investigation into whether they are being treated improperly.

"I would not want any member of the military to be put in a dangerous situation ill-equipped," said Thompson, who was contacted by families. "I have had similar complaints from military families about vehicles that weren't armor-plated, or bullet-proof vests that are outdated. It concerns me because we made over $150 billion in funds available to equip our forces in Iraq.

"President Bush takes the position that the troops are well-armed, but if this situation is true, it calls into question how honest he has been with the country," Thompson said.

The 343rd is a supply unit whose general mission is to deliver fuel and water. The unit includes three women and 14 men and those with ranking up to sergeant first class.

"I got a call from an officer in another unit early (Thursday) morning who told me that my husband and his platoon had been arrested on a bogus charge because they refused to go on a suicide mission," said Jackie Butler of Jackson, wife of Sgt. Michael Butler, a 24-year reservist. "When my husband refuses to follow an order, it has to be something major."

The platoon being held has troops from Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, Mississippi and South Carolina, said Teresa Hill of Dothan, Ala., whose daughter Amber McClenny is among those being detained.

McClenny, 21, pleaded for help in a message left on her mother's answering machine early Thursday morning.

"They are holding us against our will," McClenny said. "We are now prisoners."

McClenny told her mother her unit tried to deliver fuel to another base in Iraq Wednesday, but was sent back because the fuel had been contaminated with water. The platoon returned to its base, where it was told to take the fuel to another base, McClenny told her mother.

The platoon is normally escorted by armed Humvees and helicopters, but did not have that support Wednesday, McClenny told her mother.

The convoy trucks the platoon was driving had experienced problems in the past and were not being properly maintained, Hill said her daughter told her.

The situation mirrors other tales of troops being sent on missions without proper equipment.

Aviation regiments have complained of being forced to fly dangerous missions over Iraq with outdated night-vision goggles and old missile-avoidance systems. Stories of troops' families purchasing body armor because the military didn't provide them with adequate equipment have been included in recent presidential debates.

Patricia McCook said her husband, a staff sergeant, understands well the severity of disobeying orders. But he did not feel comfortable taking his soldiers on another trip.

"He told me that three of the vehicles they were to use were deadlines ... not safe to go in a hotbed like that," Patricia McCook said.

Hill said the trucks her daughter's unit was driving could not top 40 mph.

"They knew there was a 99 percent chance they were going to get ambushed or fired at," Hill said her daughter told her. "They would have had no way to fight back."

Kathy Harris of Vicksburg is the mother of Aaron Gordon, 20, who is among those being detained. Her primary concern is that she has been told the soldiers have not been provided access to a judge advocate general.

Stevens said if the soldiers are being confined, law requires them to have a hearing before a magistrate within seven days.

Harris said conditions for the platoon have been difficult of late. Her son e-mailed her earlier this week to ask what the penalty would be if he became physical with a commanding officer, she said.

But Nadine Stratford of Rock Hill, S.C., said her godson Colin Durham, 20, has been happy with his time in Iraq. She has not heard from him since the platoon was detained.

"When I talked to him about a month ago, he was fine," Stratford said. "He said it was like being at home."

alnorth
10-15-2004, 06:01 PM
This "suicide mission" was successfully completed by another group without incident when this first group refused to obey.

Taco John
10-15-2004, 06:34 PM
Sounds like a movie waiting to happen...

jettio
10-15-2004, 07:29 PM
Oh Sh*t, Rummy's going to take on for the team before the election.

KCWolfman
10-15-2004, 07:30 PM
Oh Sh*t, Rummy's going to take on for the team before the election.
I have never seen so many morons wanting our military to fail. What is sad is that they are supposedly our own citizens.

BroWhippendiddle
10-15-2004, 07:42 PM
What part of the oath did the soldiers forget?

I called it earlier when I said I could see NJP or Court Martials coming.


A quote from the M*A*S*H Tv series:
Rule #1 in war is that young people die.
Rule #2 is that doctors cannot change rule #1.

The oath that each soldier/sailor/marine takes is:

I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Which part of the oath do you think they forgot?

I'd guess that there will be some DD's and some jail time at FT. Leavenworth.

DanT
10-15-2004, 07:45 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quote Originally Posted by jettio
Oh Sh*t, Rummy's going to take on for the team before the election.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have never seen so many morons wanting our military to fail. What is sad is that they are supposedly our own citizens.



Well, no doubt they are citizens. You have to be in order to serve on the Cabinet. However, I'm of the opinion they they don't want our military to fail. They are trying their best and need our prayers.

KCWolfman
10-15-2004, 07:47 PM
Well, no doubt they are citizens. You have to be in order to serve on the Cabinet. However, I'm of the opinion they they don't want our military to fail. They are trying their best and need our prayers.
Unlike some on this board.


Cute

jettio
10-15-2004, 07:48 PM
Well, no doubt they are citizens. You have to be in order to serve on the Cabinet. However, I'm of the opinion they they don't want our military to fail. They are trying their best and need our prayers.


No kidding, DanT.

Stooges act like they are trying their best to fail, doubt that would be their goal, but d*mn?

MadProphetMargin
10-15-2004, 08:52 PM
What part of the oath did the soldiers forget?

I called it earlier when I said I could see NJP or Court Martials coming.


A quote from the M*A*S*H Tv series:
Rule #1 in war is that young people die.
Rule #2 is that doctors cannot change rule #1.

The oath that each soldier/sailor/marine takes is:

I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Which part of the oath do you think they forgot?

I'd guess that there will be some DD's and some jail time at FT. Leavenworth.

Depends. The DoD blinked...if they return to duty, they will only be reprimanded.

Frankie
10-15-2004, 09:11 PM
I have never seen so many morons wanting our military to fail. What is sad is that they are supposedly our own citizens.

That's a manufactured position created by Bush propaganda. Kinda goes back to the "either with us or against us" slogan. The fact is NOBODY, Rep or Dem, here wants the military to fail. But people, including the soldiers should have the right to QUESTION the merits of a manufactured war and the calousness and the incompetence of the leadership about it.

On the subject of support for military, Let me ask you a hypothetical question: If, for example, you were sure, on the strength of unrefutable evidence, that our military is actually comitting gross atrocities over there, ala Hitler's German military, would you still want them to "succeed" or would you want them to cease immediately and stand accountable? In other words, how blindly would you support our military?

The fact is we should support the warriors alright, but be ready to accept that the war may be wrong.

KCWolfman
10-15-2004, 09:17 PM
That's a manufactured position created by Bush propaganda. Kinda goes back to the "either with us or against us" slogan. The fact is NOBODY, Rep or Dem, here wants the military to fail. But people, including the soldiers should have the right to QUESTION the merits of a manufactured war and the calousness and the incompetence of the leadership about it.

On the subject of support for military, Let me ask you a hypothetical question: If, for example, you were sure, on the strength of unrefutable evidence, that our military is actually comitting gross atrocities over there, ala Hitler's German military, would you still want them to "succeed" or would you want them to cease immediately and stand accountable? In other words, how blindly would you support our military?

The fact is we should support the warriors alright, but be ready to accept that the war may be wrong.
I agree. We should not follow blindly.

But to be honest, I don't see people questioning anything. I see people gleefully posting deaths, negative stories, and cute quips regarding our soldiers dying while totally ignoring the good (take a look at any thread regarding the positive in Iraq and you will know who I refer to) posts because it detracts from their position.

There is plenty of "propaganda" being spewed from both side of the aisle.

Frankie
10-15-2004, 09:33 PM
I agree. We should not follow blindly.

But to be honest, I don't see people questioning anything. I see people gleefully posting deaths, negative stories, and cute quips regarding our soldiers dying while totally ignoring the good (take a look at any thread regarding the positive in Iraq and you will know who I refer to) posts because it detracts from their position.

There is plenty of "propaganda" being spewed from both side of the aisle.

Deuce. :thumb: (whatever the heck the Tennis spelling is.)

The Glee and the cute quips that you see, I see as sarcasm to emphasize the "wrong-ness" of the war. I really don't think anyone here actually celebrates our casualties. That said, I agree that practicing sarcasm on a touchy subject is a very narrow thread to walk on. And one should be very careful not to be perceived as celebrating.

listopencil
10-15-2004, 10:01 PM
I was in a situation that was somewhat similar to this. It was in the Navy. A group that I was part of was ordered to do something that was just stupidly dangerous, in order to cover up a mistake that was made by one of the officer's on our ship who was the Officer Of The Deck at the time. For those of you unfamiliar with this stuff, the OOD is nominally in charge of the ship when it is underway. The event happened when the CO was sleeping, so that made it especially bad as he wasn't there to oversee the situation. What we did was mutiny by legal definition. As it happened, the CO sided with us when they woke him up. We had refused to follow the orders of a superior officer because we felt that those orders were wrong, and we were vindicated. If this story is accurate, someone is going to burn for this. Either the people who refused or the officer who told them to do it.

BroWhippendiddle
10-15-2004, 10:06 PM
Deuce. :thumb: (whatever the heck the Tennis spelling is.)

The Glee and the cute quips that you see, I see as sarcasm to emphasize the "wrong-ness" of the war. I really don't think anyone here actually celebrates our casualties. That said, I agree that practicing sarcasm on a touchy subject is a very narrow thread to walk on. And one should be very careful not to be perceived as celebrating.

Even sarcastic comments about soldiers being killed, even if tone in a gleeful or cute way will get you into more hotwater than anyone would ever want. If you don't think that people celebrate the casualties you need to be more in touch with the world. There are those on this board that have indicated they think it is good, not that the soldiers die, but that it makes Bush look bad. That is just as wrong.

As for the other people in the good ole US of A, there are recorded events when there are a number of people killed. I witnessed two such events in a major U.S. city after 9/11 as well as after a major attack against the U.S. in Baghdad.

There are people in the U.S. that are affiliated with bad groups. I hope those groups are all found and deported or jailed.

DenverChief
10-15-2004, 11:05 PM
Yeah I remember taking my bradly out into the field witout a heater...a "deadline" status...but was eventually fixed while we were in the field...I can't imagine having a vehicle that wouldn't go over 40 mph thats insane...especially in a combat zone

whoman69
10-15-2004, 11:15 PM
This "suicide mission" was successfully completed by another group without incident when this first group refused to obey.
Perhaps their vehicles weren't all deadlined. If they can document that their vehicles were not able to make such a journey, then they were correct in not going.

whoman69
10-15-2004, 11:24 PM
What part of the oath did the soldiers forget?

I called it earlier when I said I could see NJP or Court Martials coming.


A quote from the M*A*S*H Tv series:
Rule #1 in war is that young people die.
Rule #2 is that doctors cannot change rule #1.

The oath that each soldier/sailor/marine takes is:

I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Which part of the oath do you think they forgot?

I'd guess that there will be some DD's and some jail time at FT. Leavenworth.
Is there no such thing as an order that can be refused? I believe you left out the word lawful, but I could be mistaken. If you are ordered to fire at the enemy but you have no ammunition, then have you disregarded orders? They had an order they could not obey. Would it have been better in your opinion for their trucks to be left all along the route? They were not in a position where they could follow those orders. The lowliest private can deadline a vehicle. If they can back up their claims that the vehicles were not able to complete the mission, then they were correct in turning it down. Sounds like an over-zealous commander is angry because this units' inability to complete the mission somehow looks badly upon him.

listopencil
10-15-2004, 11:45 PM
Is there no such thing as an order that can be refused?...

I believe there is a mention in the UCMJ about that, and the answer is no. There are orders that you should not follow. You have to use your own judgement.

Taco John
10-15-2004, 11:49 PM
But to be honest, I don't see people questioning anything. I see people gleefully posting deaths, negative stories, and cute quips regarding our soldiers dying while totally ignoring the good (take a look at any thread regarding the positive in Iraq and you will know who I refer to) posts because it detracts from their position.




It's funny that you posted this right after this was posted:

What part of the oath did the soldiers forget?




This jackass is sitting behind his computer gleefully questioning people's courage of character because their refusal to go on a suicide mission makes Bush look bad.

This dude is one sick mother******.

listopencil
10-15-2004, 11:51 PM
Military Orders
From Rod Powers,
Your Guide to U.S. Military.
FREE Newsletter. Sign Up Now!

To Obey or Not to Obey?

When one enlists in the United States Military, active duty or reserve, they take the following oath:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

National Guard enlisted members take a similar oath, except they also swear to obey the orders of the Governor of their state. Officers, upon commission, swear to the following:

I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.

Military discipline and effectiveness is built on the foundation of obedience to orders. Recruits are taught to obey, immediately and without question, orders from their superiors, right from day-one of boot camp. Military members who fail to obey the lawful orders of their superiors risk serious consequences. Article 90 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) makes it a crime for a military member to WILLFULLY disobey a superior commissioned officer. Article 91 makes it a crime to WILLFULLY disobey a superior Noncommissioned or Warrant Officer. Article 92 makes it a crime to disobey any lawful order (the disobedience does not have to be "willful" under this article). In fact, under Article 90, during times of war, a military member who willfully disobeys a superior commissioned officer can be sentenced to death.

Seems like pretty good motivation to obey any order you're given, right? Nope. These articles require the obedience of LAWFUL orders. An order which is unlawful not only does not need to be obeyed, but obeying such an order can result in criminal prosecution of the one who obeys it. Military courts have long held that military members are accountable for their actions even while following orders -- if the order was illegal. "I was only following orders," has been unsuccessfully used as a legal defense in hundreds of cases (probably most notably by Nazi leaders at the Nuremberg tribunals following World War II). The defense didn't work for them, nor has it worked in hundreds of cases since.

The first recorded case of a United States Military officer using the "I was only following orders" defense dates back to 1799. During the War with France, Congress passed a law making it permissible to seize ships bound to any French Port. However, when President John Adams wrote the order to authorize the U.S. Navy to do so, he wrote that Navy ships were authorized to seize any vessel bound for a French port, or traveling from a French port. Pursuant to the President's instructions, a U.S. Navy captain seized a Danish Ship (the Flying Fish), which was en route from a French Port. The owners of the ship sued the Navy captain in U.S. maritime court for trespass. They won, and the United States Supreme Court upheld the decision. The U.S. Supreme Court held that Navy commanders "act at their own peril" when obeying presidential orders when such orders are illegal.

The Vietnam War presented the United States military courts with more cases of the "I was only following orders" defense than any previous conflict. The decisions during these cases reaffirmed that following manifestly illegal orders is not a viable defense from criminal prosecution. In United States v. Keenan, the accused (Keenan) was found guilty of murder after he obeyed in order to shoot and kill an elderly Vietnamese citizen. The Court of Military Appeals held that "the justification for acts done pursuant to orders does not exist if the order was of such a nature that a man of ordinary sense and understanding would know it to be illegal." (Interestingly, the soldier who gave Keenan the order, Corporal Luczko, was acquitted by reason of insanity).

Probably the most famous case of the "I was only following orders" defense was the court-martial (and conviction for premeditated murder) of First Lieutenant William Calley for his part in the My Lai Massacre on March 16, 1968. The military court rejected Calley's argument of obeying the order of his superiors. On March 29, 1971, Calley was sentenced to life in prison. However, the public outcry in the United States following this very publicized and controversial trial was such that President Nixon granted him clemency. Calley wound up spending 3 1/2 years under house arrest at Fort Benning Georgia, where a federal judge ultimately ordered his release.

It's clear, under military law, that military members can be held accountable for crimes committed under the guise of "obeying orders," and there is no requirement to obey orders which are unlawful.
However, here's the rub: A military member disobeys such orders at his/her own peril. Ultimately, it's not whether or not the military member thinks the order is illegal or unlawful, it's whether military superiors (and courts) think the order was illegal or unlawful.

Take the case of Michael New. In 1995, Spec-4 Michael New was serving with the 1/15 Battalion of the 3rd infantry Division of the U.S. Army at Schweinfurt, Germany. When assigned as part of a multi-national peacekeeping mission about to be deployed to Macedonia, Spec-4 New and the other soldiers in his unit were ordered to wear United Nations (U.N.) Helmets and arm bands. New refused the order, contending that it was an illegal order. New's superiors disagreed. Ultimately, so did the court-martial panel. New was found guilty of disobeying a lawful order and sentenced to a bad conduct discharge. The Army Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the conviction, as did the Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces.

So, to obey, or not to obey? It depends on the order. Military members disobey orders at their own risk. They also obey orders at their own risk. Under current law, and the Manual for Courts-Martial, "An order requiring the performance of a military duty or act may be inferred to be lawful and it is disobeyed at the peril of the subordinate. This inference does not apply to a patently illegal order, such as one that directs the commission of a crime."

http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/militarylaw1/a/obeyingorders.htm

KCWolfman
10-15-2004, 11:51 PM
It's funny that you posted this right after this was posted:





This jackass is sitting behind his computer gleefully questioning people's courage of character because their refusal to go on a suicide mission makes Bush look bad.

This dude is one sick mother******.
As listo pointed out, there are some orders that simply should not be followed. Yes, both sides of the spectrum scales are completely overfilled.

BroWhippendiddle
10-16-2004, 06:08 AM
It's funny that you posted this right after this was posted:





This jackass is sitting behind his computer gleefully questioning people's courage of character because their refusal to go on a suicide mission makes Bush look bad.

This dude is one sick mother******.

I would figure you would answer as such. It's obvious that you don't understand the basic mission of the military. War is not fun, in war people die.

It is pertinent that the mission was accomplished by other soldiers with no incident a couple of hours later.

Courage and character have no place in this argument. It was an order.

You have no concept of being in the military and it would do you well to keep your sick mother off the streets.

NewChief
10-16-2004, 06:31 AM
I haven't read this whole thread, so I'll just post my opinion (I'm sure you're all dying to read it).

These people had every right not to carry out this order; however, calling home about it and getting civilians involved was not the right course of action. It seems, to me, that much ado was made about nothing in the end, although there may be some fallout for the fact that they called home and brought this firestorm of media attention down on the situation. Of course, if they wouldn't have called home and gotten all their families and outside media involved, they might have ended up in even more trouble.

Regardless, this points to a common theme in this war: global communication is shaping policy and events on the ground more than ever before. In no other war would "arrested" prisoners have been able to sneak out and place a phone call or send an email home to their families to let them know what was going on (not sure what that says about the troops that were supposed to be detaining them, either) which within days resulted in a huge media buzz and became a topic of public discussion.

It's much like how the instantaneous reporting of our assault on Fallujah and the resultant civilian casualties ended up causing us to cease the action because public opinion back home instantly knew about it and moved against it.

This is no way to wage a war (I know this sounds weird from a liberal). Military decisions need to be made by those on the ground. They don't need civilians and civilian opinion shaping their strategy on the ground. Now, I'm not saying that the American populace has no say in the overall thrust of what we do in Iraq, but situational decisions need to be left up to those fighting this war.

Finally, I think this points to another problem with the huge amount of Guard troops over there (not trying to slam the Guard). I don't think that this would have happened with a regular military unit. They might not have done the mission either, but I doubt they would have called their relatives back home to blow the whistle. They probably would have handled it through some other venues (like those listo described from his tenure in the Navy).

BroWhippendiddle
10-16-2004, 07:27 AM
I haven't read this whole thread, so I'll just post my opinion (I'm sure you're all dying to read it).

These people had every right not to carry out this order; however, calling home about it and getting civilians involved was not the right course of action. It seems, to me, that much ado was made about nothing in the end, although there may be some fallout for the fact that they called home and brought this firestorm of media attention down on the situation. Of course, if they wouldn't have called home and gotten all their families and outside media involved, they might have ended up in even more trouble.

Regardless, this points to a common theme in this war: global communication is shaping policy and events on the ground more than ever before. In no other war would "arrested" prisoners have been able to sneak out and place a phone call or send an email home to their families to let them know what was going on (not sure what that says about the troops that were supposed to be detaining them, either) which within days resulted in a huge media buzz and became a topic of public discussion.

It's much like how the instantaneous reporting of our assault on Fallujah and the resultant civilian casualties ended up causing us to cease the action because public opinion back home instantly knew about it and moved against it.

This is no way to wage a war (I know this sounds weird from a liberal). Military decisions need to be made by those on the ground. They don't need civilians and civilian opinion shaping their strategy on the ground. Now, I'm not saying that the American populace has no say in the overall thrust of what we do in Iraq, but situational decisions need to be left up to those fighting this war.

Finally, I think this points to another problem with the huge amount of Guard troops over there (not trying to slam the Guard). I don't think that this would have happened with a regular military unit. They might not have done the mission either, but I doubt they would have called their relatives back home to blow the whistle. They probably would have handled it through some other venues (like those listo described from his tenure in the Navy).

I don't agree with your assesment. If every soldier thought they could get out of a dangerous mission there would be no reason for the military. The fact that the people involved were guard/reserve should have no bearing on whether they go to jail.

Contacting people outside the chain of command leads to other charges that can be leveled against the soldiers involved.

This could have happend with regular army, but at least they know what the repurcussions of their actions would be. This does not excuse the guard members from knowing, they took the exact same oath.

The question remains, was it a lawful order? If the guardsmen felt their equipment was not up to specs there should have been maintenance documents to validate the claim. One of the biggest issues you have with equipment in the field is to maintain what you have. Regardless of who bears the responsibility for maintenance the soldiers should have requested other equipment to carry out the mission.

If you feel that the order is unlawful, you have to bear the burden of proving it in a court martial. Being afraid to go due to the "enemy" and what has been happening is not valid.

whoman69
10-16-2004, 09:26 AM
I don't agree with your assesment. If every soldier thought they could get out of a dangerous mission there would be no reason for the military. The fact that the people involved were guard/reserve should have no bearing on whether they go to jail.

Contacting people outside the chain of command leads to other charges that can be leveled against the soldiers involved.

This could have happend with regular army, but at least they know what the repurcussions of their actions would be. This does not excuse the guard members from knowing, they took the exact same oath.

The question remains, was it a lawful order? If the guardsmen felt their equipment was not up to specs there should have been maintenance documents to validate the claim. One of the biggest issues you have with equipment in the field is to maintain what you have. Regardless of who bears the responsibility for maintenance the soldiers should have requested other equipment to carry out the mission.

If you feel that the order is unlawful, you have to bear the burden of proving it in a court martial. Being afraid to go due to the "enemy" and what has been happening is not valid.
You overlook the obvious in stating that another unit completed the mission without problem. They were not equipped to complete the mission. Their vehicles could not have completed the mission. If their vehicles were deadlined, they could have had them strewn about the mission route and having to double up personnel in still working vehicles or to leave people behind to make their way back to camp. The lowest private can deadline a vehicle and not even a direct order can change that, and only their maintenance personnel can put those vehicles back in service.

BroWhippendiddle
10-16-2004, 02:34 PM
You overlook the obvious in stating that another unit completed the mission without problem. They were not equipped to complete the mission. Their vehicles could not have completed the mission. If their vehicles were deadlined, they could have had them strewn about the mission route and having to double up personnel in still working vehicles or to leave people behind to make their way back to camp. The lowest private can deadline a vehicle and not even a direct order can change that, and only their maintenance personnel can put those vehicles back in service.

It was reported that the mission was completed using the equipment slated for the operation.

If the equipment was deadlined how did the other group use it? If it was deadlined why would the commanders give the order to go on the mission? If the personnel that were assigned to the mission only felt it was dangerous due to previous actions does that make it right to not follow orders?

DanT
10-16-2004, 05:17 PM
This thread mentions both the supply lines served by trucks and the Constitution, so it reminds me of Al Lorentz's article on www.lewrockwell.com that I read a few weeks ago. Al Lorentz is a leader in the Constitution Party in Texas. Last I heard, someone in his chain of command is considering whether to charge him with violation of 18 USC 2388, willfully causing or attempting to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military forces of the US.

You can find several of his articles and other people's commentary about him by searching for

+"Al Lorentz"

on yahoo.com

Here's the article that has led to the consideration of charges against him.
http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig5/lorentz1.html
Why We Cannot Win
by Al Lorentz


Before I begin, let me state that I am a soldier currently deployed in Iraq, I am not an armchair quarterback. Nor am I some politically idealistic and nave young soldier, I am an old and seasoned Non-Commissioned Officer with nearly 20 years under my belt. Additionally, I am not just a soldier with a muds-eye view of the war, I am in Civil Affairs and as such, it is my job to be aware of all the events occurring in this country and specifically in my region.

I have come to the conclusion that we cannot win here for a number of reasons. Ideology and idealism will never trump history and reality.

When we were preparing to deploy, I told my young soldiers to beware of the "political solution." Just when you think you have the situation on the ground in hand, someone will come along with a political directive that throws you off the tracks.

I believe that we could have won this un-Constitutional invasion of Iraq and possibly pulled off the even more un-Constitutional occupation and subjugation of this sovereign nation. It might have even been possible to foist democracy on these people who seem to have no desire, understanding or respect for such an institution. True the possibility of pulling all this off was a long shot and would have required several hundred billion dollars and even more casualties than weve seen to date but again it would have been possible, not realistic or necessary but possible.

Here are the specific reasons why we cannot win in Iraq.

First, we refuse to deal in reality. We are in a guerilla war, but because of politics, we are not allowed to declare it a guerilla war and must label the increasingly effective guerilla forces arrayed against us as "terrorists, criminals and dead-enders."

This implies that there is a zero sum game at work, i.e. we can simply kill X number of the enemy and then the fight is over, mission accomplished, everybody wins. Unfortunately, this is not the case. We have few tools at our disposal and those are proving to be wholly ineffective at fighting the guerillas.

The idea behind fighting a guerilla army is not to destroy its every man (an impossibility since he hides himself by day amongst the populace). Rather the idea in guerilla warfare is to erode or destroy his base of support.

So long as there is support for the guerilla, for every one you kill two more rise up to take his place. More importantly, when your tools for killing him are precision guided munitions, raids and other acts that create casualties among the innocent populace, you raise the support for the guerillas and undermine the support for yourself. (A 500-pound precision bomb has a casualty-producing radius of 400 meters minimum; do the math.)

Second, our assessment of what motivates the average Iraqi was skewed, again by politically motivated "experts." We came here with some fantasy idea that the natives were all ignorant, mud-hut dwelling camel riders who would line the streets and pelt us with rose petals, lay palm fronds in the street and be eternally grateful. While at one time there may have actually been support and respect from the locals, months of occupation by our regular military forces have turned the formerly friendly into the recently hostile.

Attempts to correct the thinking in this regard are in vain; it is not politically correct to point out the fact that the locals are not only disliking us more and more, they are growing increasingly upset and often overtly hostile. Instead of addressing the reasons why the locals are becoming angry and discontented, we allow politicians in Washington DC to give us pat and convenient reasons that are devoid of any semblance of reality.

We are told that the locals are not upset because we have a hostile, aggressive and angry Army occupying their nation. We are told that they are not upset at the police state we have created, or at the manner of picking their representatives for them. Rather we are told, they are upset because of a handful of terrorists, criminals and dead enders in their midst have made them upset, that and of course the ever convenient straw man of "left wing media bias."

Third, the guerillas are filling their losses faster than we can create them. This is almost always the case in guerilla warfare, especially when your tactics for battling the guerillas are aimed at killing guerillas instead of eroding their support. For every guerilla we kill with a "smart bomb" we kill many more innocent civilians and create rage and anger in the Iraqi community. This rage and anger translates into more recruits for the terrorists and less support for us.

We have fallen victim to the body count mentality all over again. We have shown a willingness to inflict civilian casualties as a necessity of war without realizing that these same casualties create waves of hatred against us. These angry Iraqi citizens translate not only into more recruits for the guerilla army but also into more support of the guerilla army.

Fourth, their lines of supply and communication are much shorter than ours and much less vulnerable. We must import everything we need into this place; this costs money and is dangerous. Whether we fly the supplies in or bring them by truck, they are vulnerable to attack, most especially those brought by truck. This not only increases the likelihood of the supplies being interrupted. Every bean, every bullet and every bandage becomes infinitely more expensive.

Conversely, the guerillas live on top of their supplies and are showing every indication of developing a very sophisticated network for obtaining them. Further, they have the advantage of the close support of family and friends and traditional religious networks.

Fifth, we consistently underestimate the enemy and his capabilities. Many military commanders have prepared to fight exactly the wrong war here.

Our tactics have not adjusted to the battlefield and we are falling behind.

Meanwhile the enemy updates his tactics and has shown a remarkable resiliency and adaptability.

Because the current administration is more concerned with its image than it is with reality, it prefers symbolism to substance: soldiers are dying here and being maimed and crippled for life. It is tragic, indeed criminal that our elected public servants would so willingly sacrifice our nation's prestige and honor as well as the blood and treasure to pursue an agenda that is ahistoric and un-Constitutional.

It is all the more ironic that this un-Constitutional mission is being performed by citizen soldiers such as myself who swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, the same oath that the commander in chief himself has sworn.

September 20, 2004

Al Lorentz is former state chairman of the Constitution Party of Texas and is a reservist currently serving with the US Army in Iraq.

DanT
10-16-2004, 05:27 PM
An archive of Mr. Lorentz's writings are available at the Constitution Party of Texas website.
http://www.cptexas.org/al-articles.asp

Waco, Texas, is where happened the outrageous big-government fiasco on whose anniversary a returned Gulf War Vet used a highly-explosive vehicle to blow up a large office building...uh, but when September 11 happened, everything changed...because, uh, it showed that there were people out there who would use...uh...highly explosive vehicles to blow up large office buildings.

Baby Lee
10-16-2004, 05:40 PM
If, for example, you were sure, on the strength of unrefutable evidence, that our military is actually comitting gross atrocities over there, ala Hitler's German military, would you still want them to "succeed" or would you want them to cease immediately and stand accountable? In other words, how blindly would you support our military?
If, for example, you were sure, on the strength of unrefutable evidence, that John Kerry f@cked little boys, would you still think he's an honorable man, or would you want him to go to jail? In other words, how blindly would you support your candidate?

Jesus Frankie, get a little perspective.

Calcountry
10-16-2004, 05:50 PM
Sounds like a movie waiting to happen...
Perhaps the leader of that squad shot some video of it, and is going to come home and lead an anti war campaign, and 30 years from now run for president as a War Hero.

listopencil
10-16-2004, 09:38 PM
It was reported that the mission was completed using the equipment slated for the operation.

If the equipment was deadlined how did the other group use it? If it was deadlined why would the commanders give the order to go on the mission? If the personnel that were assigned to the mission only felt it was dangerous due to previous actions does that make it right to not follow orders?


I wonder if seeing that first group get carted off and locked up had anything to do with their decision to carry out the mission? I wonder how committed the commander is to the safety of his personnel? I wonder how well protected these supply guys were without armed escort of Humvees and helicopters?

My cousin was part of the first Gulf War and he told me a few horror stories about bad equipment. One invloved the time that a huge amount of gas masks turned out to be nonfunctional/barely functional (all of the ones my cousin's group had) and the CO decided that he would return them all in two groups (50% at a time) and await replacement. Without fail, as soon as half of the group had no masks (including my cousin), a siren went off for imminent gas attack. He described to me the thoughts that went through his head as he watched a bunch of guys around him don the masks as he sat with the unmasked half. He thought of shooting himself, then shooting somebody to take their mask, then shooting himself again for even thinking of doing something like that. Then he thought of running over to the CO and blowing his head off for putting him in that position. It turned out to be a false alarm, nothing to worry about at all. Imagine that.

Some people (sounds like you may be one of them) have great experiences in the military. They get to work for superb superior officers who are models of what is right. They get to work for and with some the best human beings you could ever meet, brothers and sisters that you would fight and die for. The thought of questioning an order never even comes up because the person giving those orders wouldn't allow a situation where that would be relevant.

Some people aren't so fortunate. I don't know all of the information regarding this incident. But I will surely keep an open mind and be willing to admit that those situations do occasionally come up.

Logical
10-16-2004, 10:01 PM
That's a manufactured position created by Bush propaganda. Kinda goes back to the "either with us or against us" slogan. The fact is NOBODY, Rep or Dem, here wants the military to fail. But people, including the soldiers should have the right to QUESTION the merits of a manufactured war and the calousness and the incompetence of the leadership about it.

On the subject of support for military, Let me ask you a hypothetical question: If, for example, you were sure, on the strength of unrefutable evidence, that our military is actually comitting gross atrocities over there, ala Hitler's German military, would you still want them to "succeed" or would you want them to cease immediately and stand accountable? In other words, how blindly would you support our military?

The fact is we should support the warriors alright, but be ready to accept that the war may be wrong.

That is not the same as not following the lawful orders of their commanding officer. That is inexcusable.

BroWhippendiddle
10-16-2004, 10:18 PM
I wonder if seeing that first group get carted off and locked up had anything to do with their decision to carry out the mission? I wonder how committed the commander is to the safety of his personnel? I wonder how well protected these supply guys were without armed escort of Humvees and helicopters?

My cousin was part of the first Gulf War and he told me a few horror stories about bad equipment. One invloved the time that a huge amount of gas masks turned out to be nonfunctional/barely functional (all of the ones my cousin's group had) and the CO decided that he would return them all in two groups (50% at a time) and await replacement. Without fail, as soon as half of the group had no masks (including my cousin), a siren went off for imminent gas attack. He described to me the thoughts that went through his head as he watched a bunch of guys around him don the masks as he sat with the unmasked half. He thought of shooting himself, then shooting somebody to take their mask, then shooting himself again for even thinking of doing something like that. Then he thought of running over to the CO and blowing his head off for putting him in that position. It turned out to be a false alarm, nothing to worry about at all. Imagine that.

Some people (sounds like you may be one of them) have great experiences in the military. They get to work for superb superior officers who are models of what is right. They get to work for and with some the best human beings you could ever meet, brothers and sisters that you would fight and die for. The thought of questioning an order never even comes up because the person giving those orders wouldn't allow a situation where that would be relevant.

Some people aren't so fortunate. I don't know all of the information regarding this incident. But I will surely keep an open mind and be willing to admit that those situations do occasionally come up.

You are right, that could have had an impact. My question is "Did they change the parameters of the mission after the "mutiny"? As I understand it the same equipment was used so the deadline rumor may not be as factual as once thought. After talking with a veteran of the Iraq War I find that in country there are two different types of deadline, one when the equipment cannot function and the other when the equipment needs serious repair but is held together with duct tape and bailing wire (his terms). He basically said that you make the equipment work so you can do your job.

I was in the military and had a very good career. I did serve for some extroidinary officers, but I did serve with some dolts as well. What you do in the case of the latter is that you make the system work inspite of the officers in charge. You obey lawful orders and if an unlawful order is perceived it is the duty of the most senior person to question those orders with the insistence that they may be unlawful. The penalties for questioning an order is no where near what they are for refusing an order.

I agree with your last paragraph, but I also know that good order and disipline are damaged when this happens. If it is accepted by upper command, right or wrong, it sends a message to the rest of the force that it's OK to refuse orders. In that case the danger for troops in country is multiplied exponentially.

BroWhippendiddle
10-16-2004, 10:20 PM
That is not the same as not following the lawful orders of their commanding officer. That is inexcusable.

If you have never been associated with the military what you said makes absolutely no sense. Unfortunately there are far too many people arguing this fact, here and across the nation, that have never served and don't have a clue as to the damage a situation like that can cause.

MadMax
10-16-2004, 11:32 PM
It's funny that you posted this right after this was posted:





This jackass is sitting behind his computer gleefully questioning people's courage of character because their refusal to go on a suicide mission makes Bush look bad.

This dude is one sick mother******.
How is someone sick, because he UNDERSTANDS the UCMJ, and you obviously don't???? We would have no military if people disobey orders... Damn, you sign the contract you honor it ( this aint football taco )..

BroWhippendiddle
10-17-2004, 03:20 PM
How is someone sick, because he UNDERSTANDS the UCMJ, and you obviously don't???? We would have no military if people disobey orders... Damn, you sign the contract you honor it ( this aint football taco )..

You make a good point, but to try to explain it to Taco is like talking to a rock, you don't get a response only an echo (usually from someone elses standpoint that Taco is echoing).

BroWhippendiddle
10-17-2004, 03:23 PM
This jackass is sitting behind his computer gleefully questioning people's courage of character because their refusal to go on a suicide mission makes Bush look bad.

This dude is one sick mother******.

I would assume that you figure that the Raid on Tokoyo during WWII was a mission that was assured of success. What would have happened if Doolittle had rejected the plan? What would have happened if the pilots assigned to that mission had refused to go because it was dangerous?

And again, keep your sick mother off the streets!