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Old 06-25-2013, 02:11 AM  
KILLER_CLOWN KILLER_CLOWN is offline
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Suicide Letter from Iraq War Veteran Says He Was Made to Commit War Crimes

June 24, 2013
Suicide Letter from Iraq War Veteran Says He Was Made to Commit War Crimes
“The simple truth is this: During my first deployment, I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity.” Those are the words of Daniel Somers, according to a letter posted at Gawker.

Somers served in Joint Special Operations Command in a unit in Mosul from 2006-2007. He ran the Northern Iraq Intelligence Center and was a senior analyst for Levant, which oversaw operations in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel and part of Turkey.

Prior to that, the short biography attached to the letter he wrote indicates he was a part of an intelligence unit called Task Force Lightning. The unit was a Tactical Human-Intelligence Team (THT) in Baghdad, Iraq. He was a “machine gunner in the turret of a Humvee” and “ran more than 400 combat missions.” He also “interviewed countless Iraqis ranging from concerned citizens to community leaders and and government officials, and interrogated dozens of insurgents and terrorist suspects.”

On June 10, 2013, he committed suicide because he could not continue to live with what he did while deployed. He also—from reading the letter—had his own health issues that he could not get the Veterans Affairs Department to help him treat.
The letter shows he was anguished by his role in war crimes: “Though I did not participate willingly, and made what I thought was my best effort to stop these events, there are some things that a person simply can not come back from.”
Yet, he adds, “I take some pride in that, actually, as to move on in life after being part of such a thing would be the mark of a sociopath in my mind. These things go far beyond what most are even aware of.”

He comments on having to be a part of a coverup of these war crimes.
“To force me to do these things and then participate in the ensuing coverup is more than any government has the right to demand,” he declares. “Then, the same government has turned around and abandoned me. They offer no help, and actively block the pursuit of gaining outside help via their corrupt agents at the DEA. Any blame rests with them.”

No specific war crimes are recounted in the letter, however, it is clear from reading it that he would not be writing it if he had not witnessed or been a part of some atrocities.
Somers is conscious of the fact that a high number of veterans like him are killing themselves each day and that he is about to become a part of that statistic.

“Is it any wonder then that the latest figures show 22 veterans killing themselves each day?” he asks. “That is more veterans than children killed at Sandy Hook, every single day. Where are the huge policy initiatives? Why isn’t the president standing with those families at the state of the union? Perhaps because we were not killed by a single lunatic, but rather by his own system of dehumanization, neglect, and indifference.”

Obviously, Somers is not another tally mark to put on a chalkboard to indicate how many veterans have died from suicide this year. He is a human being who was given orders to kill and at least some who died never should have been killed.
As a member of THT, he would have likely been involved in identifying high value targets who were killed or captured. If captured, they were detained and likely abused or tortured, especially when they were interrogated. They may have been tortured by US soldiers or Iraqi forces. Either way, it likely would have had an impact on him.
Redeploying and working with JSOC would have opened up possibilities of being a participant in more heinous acts.

For example, in Dirty Wars, journalist Jeremy Scahill recounts a night raid in Gardez, Afghanistan, where soldiers kill five innocent people, including three women, two who were pregnant, and an Afghan police commander named Mohammed Daoud. When they realized they committed a war crime, they tried to cover it up by digging the bullets out of the people they had just killed.

Somers could have easily witnessed something similar while working in the Northern Iraq Intelligence Center.
There is immense relief expressed by Somers that he has finally arrived at the moment where he will kill himself. After explaining how much he has tried to cope, he writes:

I am left with basically nothing. Too trapped in a war to be at peace, too damaged to be at war. Abandoned by those who would take the easy route, and a liability to those who stick it out—and thus deserve better. So you see, not only am I better off dead, but the world is better without me in it.

A person who has not been in war is not in a position to second guess the decision Somers made. They do not know and cannot begin to know what he was going through.
The United States is in a state of perpetual war. Those who suffer can either fight and feel as if they are warriors in a battle of good versus evil or they can struggle and suffer, as they respond to the remorse and guilt they are feeling for their actions.

Since society does not want to help the soldiers who are suffering but reject the role they played, it is additionally traumatic for veterans like Somers. So, they ultimately come to the decision that it is better to die than spend each day trying to survive and get better.


http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/201...itted-suicide/
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:18 AM   #2
KC-TBB KC-TBB is offline
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My brother in law is an alchoholic...came back and says some of the same stuff...as a Viet Nam vet, I know war is crap but i doubt some of the stories
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:33 AM   #3
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:57 AM   #4
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War has got to be hard on a mind.

Quote:
“Then, the same government has turned around and abandoned me. They offer no help, and actively block the pursuit of gaining outside help via their corrupt agents at the DEA. Any blame rests with them.”
Sounds like this guy was upset that the government frowns upon his drug addiction.
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:20 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
War has got to be hard on a mind.



Sounds like this guy was upset that the government frowns upon his drug addiction.
Sounds like you're quick to jump to conclusions in an attempt to dismiss this former soldier's claims.
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:45 AM   #6
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We don't blame Obama. We blame all you dumb black folks that voted for him.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:02 AM   #7
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"A person who has not been in war is not in a position to second guess the decision Somers made. They do not know and cannot begin to know what he was going through."

I, like others, have no clear answers. The rate/numbers are different from the past. The character and nature of each deployment and each engagement is different and I do not agree with many that it is a generational problem. There seems to be little correlation with combat arms MOSs and experiences. We used to concentrate on preparing combat arms folks in the psychology of killing, as to put it in old school terms; "you better have your mind right," and then attempt to follow up post-deployments but that simply hasn't/isn't working. From multiple experiences of guys in my commands, there are some indicators that their closest battle-buddies may see, and all of the health care/talking doctor types spend energy trying to inform guys, but for the most part it is very unpredictable. Many are like Somers (if they leave a note) in that they have applied both logical and emotional reflection and reached a conclusion. Men also do not typically make attempts-they accomplish thier mission just like they planned. So any 'lessons learned" to use for prevention may come from those that considered the option but again it is so personal that it is tough to use for preventitive treatments. It is particularly bad for the families--having dealt with that too many times- and in many ways, I've grown to view it as my wife does; an act of selfishness but I know that is the opposite of what many believe when they choose suicide as Somers did. My best guess is that family support saves many of these guys from making a decision like Somers. In mythology, we all have to cross the river Styx and I know when I get there, many warriors will say "welcome brother, we expected you sooner." Frankly so did I because folks generally do not speak ill of the dead and in many ways for a warrior that beats shitting the sheets in the old folks home. As Kipling wrote;
When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.

http://www.daypoems.net/poems/1799.html
This is of course is at least part of the problem.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:09 AM   #8
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Sounds like you're quick to jump to conclusions in an attempt to dismiss this former soldier's claims.
The soldier didn't really make any claims to jump to conclusions over. I don't know what he means by "crimes against humanity" for example, so I just ignored it.

I *am* pretty quick to jump to the conclusion that war must be tough on a person's mind. Do you doubt this?
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:25 AM   #9
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Not bad. Somers is the singer, I think.

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Old 06-25-2013, 07:39 AM   #10
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We don't blame Obama. We blame all you dumb black folks that voted for him.
2006-2007, maybe my math is off, but believe that subtracts back to Bush's similar administration of 'do whatever we want and cover it up'. They all do. This is 'Merica's problem, not 1 administration's problem.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:45 AM   #11
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2006-2007, maybe my math is off, but believe that subtracts back to Bush's similar administration of 'do whatever we want and cover it up'. They all do. This is 'Merica's problem, not 1 administration's problem.
Bush was a paragon of transparency compared to the Obama administration. But this topic has nothing to do with the differences between the two. Thatguy only has one speed and it just wasn't a good match for this thread.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:17 AM   #12
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Well there's got to be a reason for those suicides I'm reading about. You should see the letters the Lew Rockwell posts on his site from veterans who were over there. It's a disgrace.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:22 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Well there's got to be a reason for those suicides I'm reading about. You should see the letters the Lew Rockwell posts on his site from veterans who were over there. It's a disgrace.
You mean the way Lew Rockwell is exploiting them?
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:24 AM   #14
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That's not exploitation if they voluntarily send him letters and want him to publish them.
Same for Tom Woods who got one too.

Here's the thing: The more they read the liberty point-of-view ( the real one ) they connect the dots with what they saw.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:27 AM   #15
BucEyedPea BucEyedPea is offline
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Here's an example:

Military officer reads liberty arguments, has second thoughts, retires


I’m not sure you’ll ever read this post in its entirety and, honestly, that’s ok. I might be writing more for my own self-therapy than anything else. I want to let you know that my recent experiences on the battlefield have completely changed my view on war. You contributed to that change with your writings and by introducing me to other libertarian thinkers. You will always have my very sincere gratitude for that. There are three reasons for sharing my story. First of all, it’s interesting, which makes me sound very conceited, but I hope by the end of this, you agree. Secondly, like you, I was also once a neo-con (probably to an even greater degree). Lastly, as I already mentioned, it will be therapeutic for me to reflect, write and share.
http://www.tomwoods.com/blog/militar...ughts-retires/
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