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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, 08:31 AM   #16
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Well, killing yourself always solves things.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:33 AM   #17
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Judging by what the military officer wrote to Woods, who admitted he was a NeoCon at one time, there's hope for patteeu. However, the first step is admitting it.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:36 AM   #18
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Not sure, it takes a lot to separate a man from his "freedom fries".
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:44 AM   #19
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I'm sure this guy has a legitimate beef, but if you're going to claim you were forced to commit crimes against humanity, you are going to have to get a little more specific so we know who we are supposed to accuse and what we are supposed to accuse them of.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:50 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by BigChiefTablet View Post
I'm sure this guy has a legitimate beef, but if you're going to claim you were forced to commit crimes against humanity, you are going to have to get a little more specific so we know who we are supposed to accuse and what we are supposed to accuse them of.
Yeah. If he felt forced to commit such egregious crimes, why doesn't he finger the guilty culprits by name and describe the atrocities, instead of pointing the finger at nebulous bad guys like the "government" and "agents of the DEA"?
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:58 AM   #21
KILLER_CLOWN KILLER_CLOWN is offline
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Yeah. If he felt forced to commit such egregious crimes, why doesn't he finger the guilty culprits by name and describe the atrocities, instead of pointing the finger at nebulous bad guys like the "government" and "agents of the DEA"?
Can you not ****ing read? The damage has been done...****ing dense you are.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:01 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by KILLER_CLOWN View Post
Can you not ****ing read? The damage has been done...****ing dense you are.
Yes, reading is how I learned enough about his letter to write that last post.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:03 AM   #23
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:06 AM   #24
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Well, killing yourself always solves things.
I'm really wondering why the much higher number in suicides nowadays vs. Vietnam era, etc. Certainly these troops haven't seen/done anything worse than what the Vietnam era troops had to endure...plus no one's calling these vets "Baby Killers" when they returned home...really wonder what's going on.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:11 AM   #25
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I'm really wondering why the much higher number in suicides nowadays vs. Vietnam era, etc. Certainly these troops haven't seen/done anything worse than what the Vietnam era troops had to endure...plus no one's calling these vets "Baby Killers" when they returned home...really wonder what's going on.
Whether there is a comparable amount or not, it still shows that we should only go to war to defend this nation—not some vague "interests" ( aka special interests ). Iraq, as well as Libya have not attacked us. Why shit on people's lives for anything but saving and protecting our own lives. That is the only moral justification.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:52 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Whether there is a comparable amount or not, it still shows that we should only go to war to defend this nation—not some vague "interests" ( aka special interests ). Iraq, as well as Libya have not attacked us. Why shit on people's lives for anything but saving and protecting our own lives. That is the only moral justification.
I don't think suicide rates tell us much about what our foreign policy ought to be.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:19 AM   #27
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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/
I have a hard time getting past the distatesfulness of using suicides for political purpose and your linkage of the two but that is just mine to bear. Your hero, "Greg" is a 2008 naval academy grad so is simply a quitter or failed selection vice "retired." I seldom trust stories of Marine officers that focus on themselves. He is following the pattern of Gen Smedly Butler, yet lacks the bonafides. Butler only voiced his view on the legitimate reasons for U.S. warfare publiclly after he retired. If I were to counsel "Greg," I would remind him that he cannot endorse any product, political party or issue in uniform or using his office/ station as a U.S. Marine to do so. As a citizen, he could author what he did but without any references to him being a Marine infantry officer but that of course is his
credibility stamp. And his using it for political purpose demonstrates poor judgment and failed leadership. This is the behavior of politicians,pundits and other lesser forms of humans and if that's his choice, I am quite certain the Corps and our nation will be better served with him in the first CivDiv.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:42 AM   #28
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I don't think suicide rates tell us much about what our foreign policy ought to be.
It shows what some of the consequences are of reckless foreign policy.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:17 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by WhawhaWhat View Post
It shows what some of the consequences are of reckless foreign policy.
No. You're starting from a conclusion and working backward.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:29 AM   #30
BucEyedPea BucEyedPea is offline
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
I don't think suicide rates tell us much about what our foreign policy ought to be.
If you place no value on human life or think soldiers are just cannon fodder.
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