Friday, May 06, 2005

No one left behind.

Washington-AP, May 4, 2005 - Investigators in Iraq have located the wreckage of both Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets that were reported missing earlier this week, but they have yet to find the second pilot, an official said Wednesday."

Let's hope the search for this poor pilot doesn't go on for 15 years like the one that has dragged on for the long suffering family of Capt. Michael Scott Speicher (USN) . Speicher was the first pilot shot down at the beginning of the first Gulf War on Jan. 13, 1991. You may not know this but, a CBS story from March 19, 2003 says, "One mission for US forces heading into Iraq is really a long-delayed effort to complete a mission begun more than 12 years ago, to find the US Navy fighter pilot Scott Speicher...finding him is one of the quiet missions of the coming war....the CBS broadcast "60 Minutes II" reported on growing evidence he was alive, that he may have ejected safely and, according to an Iraqi defector, was driven from the desert to Baghdad. That defector even picked Speicher from a photo lineup. So the Pentagon changed Speicher's status. He's now thought to be a POW, the only American prisoner from the '91 war."

This was the first time the navy had ever changed someones status from "killed in action" to "missing in action." [Clinton was the one who signed off on it, all you Clinton haters out there!]

Unfortunatly, that Iraqi defector turned out to be another one of Ahmad Chalabi's moles called "Eduard." The Washington Times reported (After article after article of cheer leading for a war to go get him.) on July 16, 2003 that:

"A secret Pentagon report states that once-promising leads in the hunt for Capt. Michael Scott Speicher in Iraq have turned up no evidence of his whereabouts, contradicting public official comments that the search was producing positive results. The classified document also cast serious doubt on the credibility of the Iraqi defector who first raised hopes in the United States that the Navy pilot was alive and a captive in Iraq after his plane was shot down in 1991.

The defector claims to have seen Capt. Speicher alive in 1998. But Iraqis interviewed by U.S. investigators say he is lying, according to the report prepared for Gen. Richard B. Myers, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman. The internal report, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times, quotes one Iraqi as saying the defector is a 'born liar.' U.S. officials are said to now have serious questions about the unnamed defector's veracity. "

"Born liar." hmmm...where have I heard that before? Oh, right, "curveball."

Much ink has been spilled in the case of Lt. Speicher. (There were over 135 articles on him during the lead up to the Iraq war.) Amy Waters Yarsinske, a former reserve Navy intelligence officer even wrote a book called "No one left Behind," theorizes that "Bedouins may have rescued Speicher and cared for him for four years, until Saddam's agents spotted them with Speicher. According to her book, sources told her that Speicher was taken away and every man, woman and child in the tribe was executed."

Florida senator Bill Nelson has made finding Speicher a personal crusade. In July of 2002 he even put forward the notion the chance Saddam might still be holding him might be reason enough to go to war with Iraq.

Later in 2003 a story from the Florida Times Union on August 14, said:

"U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson yesterday said he was angered by what he characterized as 'negative leaks' from the Pentagon about the fate of missing Navy pilot Scott Speicher. Citing senior military sources, NBC reported Tuesday that investigators found nothing in Iraqi documents to suggest Speicher was taken prisoner or is alive, and "all but concluded that Speicher died of his injuries" when his plane was shot down. The report also said his body was buried in the desert and discounted Iraqi sources who claimed Speicher was in custody. Nelson called the report 'incorrect information' and said the search for Speicher will continue until his whereabouts are determined. 'I think there is somebody in the Pentagon that is trying to kill the effort to find Speicher, and I do not like it one bit,' said Nelson, D-Fla."

Sen. Pat Roberts, a Republican from Kansas, was also interested in the case. His committee report on Speicher's case concluded on March 27, 2001, "Speicher probably survived," and if he did, "he almost certainly was captured." [He even asked Scott Ritter to look for him when he was with the UN inspectors!]

On September 12, 2002 Bush referred to Speicher in a speech to the U.N., one of his more bellicose:

"If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will release or account for all Gulf War personnel whose fate is still unknown."

There were rumblings from Saddam on negotiating with the U.S. over Speicher in March of 2002 but that went no where. The State Dept. said he should bring the subject up at the Geneva meeting of a Tripartite Commission grouping on Iraq, which Iraq hadn't been to in three years; so they really weren't too hell bent on talking about it.

March 24, 2002 :

"The Iraqi Foreign Ministry reiterated an offer made several times previously inviting an U.S. delegation to come to Iraq and discuss the case of Lt. Cmdr. Michael Scott Speicher [sic], a Navy pilot shot down in January 1991. "

Bob Schieffer asked Cheney about it on Face the Nation the same day:

"SCHIEFFER: Mr. Vice President, I have just been told that a story has moved on the wire that says that Iraq has just announced that it would be willing to receive a delegation to discuss the fate of an American pilot shot down during the Gulf War. Number one, have we ever confirmed that, in fact, an American pilot is being held in Iraq? And, number two, what would you make of this report? Vice Pres.

CHENEY: I haven't seen the report except what you've just mentioned, Bob. The--the first night of the air war we lost a pilot, a carrier pilot, Spiker, I believe was his name.

SCHIEFFER: Scott Spiker, I believe. Vice Pres.

CHENEY: Right.

SCHIEFFER: Something like that. Vice Pres.

CHENEY: And--and for several years, based on the report of his wing man, the view was he'd been killed in action. He saw--had seen and explosion and so forth. Years later, at one point, there were--was, in the desert in Iraq, the finding of his uniform, some of the thing--parts of his plane and no body. And so for--in recent years, he has been classified as MIA, missing in action. We don't have any more information or evidence, at least I don't, other than the fact that he is missing in action and did go down over Iraq the first night of the Gulf War. So this is--this is news to me. I don't--I'd--I'd have to see more.

SCHIEFFER: Well, this would suggest--and, I mean, we don't want to take this beyond what the story that's moved on the wire--that he is, in fact, alive. Did we have any evidence that he was alive of we just listed him as missing? Vice Pres.

CHENEY: No, he's just--he's listed as missing because we could not confirm his death.

SCHIEFFER: Would--would we send a delegation if, in fact, they have invited us to do that? Vice Pres.

CHENEY: I--I'd have to take a look at the report and--and probably go back and take a look and see whether or not this is a serious proposition or whether Saddam Hussein's simply trying to change the subject." [Didn't we bring it up?]

Scott Ritter
in an article in Harper's June 24 2004 writes just how far things went with the search for Speicher.

"The Pentagon formed a special 'Speicher team,' which was composed of military personnel based at the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington and a unit working on the ground in Iraq. In the weeks after the fall of Baghdad, the Speicher team investigated the Hakmiya prison, where the indistinct initials "MSS" were found carved into a cell wall. To those who continued to believe the Bush Administration's prewar assurances, the initials stood for Michael Scott Speicher, the pilot's full name. But to the more dubious, the initials meant nothing: a similar carving of "MJN" was found directly above the "MSS" scrawl.

...In June the Speicher team interviewed Ahmad Sadiq...Between 1991 and 2002, Sadiq... prepared, at the request of Saddam Hussein, a thorough report on the current status of every pilot shot down and captured during Desert Storm. When the Speicher team acquired this ninety-page document, they found that it contained only one line on Speicher: "Unknown, no information available on the late of the pilot." A report issued internally, meant to be comprehensive, and demanded by Saddam himself--to many, this more than anything proved that Iraq knew nothing of Speicher's fate."

As of March 1 of last year, Bill Nelson was still on his crusade.

"Dear Secretary Rumsfeld:

During a recent briefing I was told your office has decided not to continue offering a $1 million reward for information leading to the resolution of Capt. M. Scott Speicher’s fate. I believe such an action would be a mistake. At the very least, it would send a clear signal that finding out what happened to Scott Speicher no longer is a top priority. And it would deepen the suffering of Scott’s family, whose representative wrote me just last week expressing concern that efforts to locate Scott are waning. I urge you to reconsider - if not for the sake of Scott's family, then for the request from Congress in last year’s defense spending plan to offer a reward for information about the missing Navy pilot. Surely, someone in Iraq knows what happened to him; and, we shouldn't give up an incentive aimed at uncovering that information. Please let me know right away about your final decision; and, what further efforts you’re taking to provide answers to Scott’s family. " ( The family would probably want some closure and not you continuing to hammer away at this when you know he's dead.)

Seems even the "friends working to free Scott Speicher" have pretty much given up. It would be nice if the navy would do the right thing and delare him dead and give him a decent burial. It's shamless the way they used him as a causus belli for their dirty war.

The Arlington National Cemetary web site has the latest articles on the fate of the investigation into Speichers case. The second to last article (October 31, 2004) listed has this:

Washington Times
July 22, 2004

"Members of the U.S. team investigating the fate of Captain Scott Speicher have concluded that the Navy fighter pilot is dead, according to sources close to the mission....The conclusion is based largely on the fact that all leads to Capt. Speicher's whereabouts have turned up no evidence he is alive.

Thou shalt not kill.

From the "Asian Anne Coulter," Michelle Malkin, comes this smear of a witness to some bad stuff that went on while he was in Iraq.

"Bob Herbert's gushing profile of conscientious objector Aidan Delgado has many astute observers asking questions. [ Expiring minds want to know!]

Lorie Byrd is investigating and is asking anyone who might have served with Delgado--especially those in the 320th MP Company, St. Petersburg, Fla.--to contact her. "

They're investigating. Better watch out Delgado! We definatly have to get on this guy.

He claims that when he was at Abu Ghraib in 2003, "the violence there was sickening. Some inmates were beaten nearly to death." He confronted a Sgt. who he said had killed a detainee during a prisoner disturbance. He asked him, "if he was proud that he had shot unarmed men behind barbed wire for throwing stones. He didn't get mad at all. He was, like, 'Well, I saw them bloody my buddy's nose, so I knelt down. I said a prayer. I stood up, and I shot them down."

Michelle and her bunch of right wing misfits better get right on this; someone might find out things weren't on the up and up at Abu Ghraib.

She links someone named "Sgt. Ted" who has "been there and done that" and he knows what's up.

"This Delgado guy was a mechanic; he was no where near those compounds. I also highly doubt he "confronted" the SGT who fired; he wouldn't have even known who he was. Different unit, not working anywhere near the compounds."

Well, that's that. One good American's word against a C.O. End of story.

Why do the likes of Malkin have to always smear those that guestion our role in Iraq? Even the late Col. David Hackworth get's only a grudging respect, because he thought our guys were getting a raw deal from Bush and Co.

God knows what they would think of General Smedley Butler who wrote the book "War is a racket" and is best known for writing of his career in the Marines (During which he won the Congressional Medal of Honor twice along with the Distinguished service medal) that he:

"...helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-12. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras "right" for American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.... Looking back on it, I felt I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three city districts. We Marines operated on three continents."

Before there was such a thing as PTSD he recounted seeing the horrible cost of war on the mind:

"In the government hospital in Marion, Indiana, 1,800 of these boys are in pens! Five hundred of them in a barracks with steel barsand wires all around outside the buildings and on the porches.These already have been mentally destroyed. These boys don't evenlook like human beings. Oh, the looks on their faces! Physically,they are in good shape; mentally, they are gone."

Dirty communist! There's no way he was in Marion Indiana on the day he said he was. I was there I did that.

Believe it or not, there are real American's out there who think that wars of choice are wrong and un-American.

Ulyssis S. Grant fought in the Mexican War (1846-48) but thought it was wrong. He was a "drunk," though, right?

"To this day regard the war [with Mexico] which resulted as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory.

Even if the annexation itself could be justified, the manner in which the subsequent war was forced upon Mexico cannot.

Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. We got our punishment in the most sanguinary and expensive war of modern times. " [He means the Civil War.]

Abraham Lincoln ( The party of Bush) as a congressman from Illinois said of the Mexican War:

"Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose, and you allow him to make war at pleasure. Study to see if you can fix any limit to his power in this respect, after having given him so much as you propose. If to-day he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him,--"I see no probability of the British invading us"; but he will say to you, "Be silent: I see it, if you don't."

Looks like he was right. The "defenders of liberty," though, don't see it that way. Now all of a sudden, it's okay for a president to do whatever he feels like doing without having to bother to ask congress, or the people or anyone else. Just trust him.

If you stand in the way you'd better heed General Grant:

"Once initiated there were but few public men who would have the courage to oppose it. [A War.]Experience proves that the man who obstructs a war in which his nation is engaged, no matter whether right or wrong, occupies no enviable place in life or history. Better for him, individually, to advocate “war, pestilence, and famine,” than to act as obstructionist to a war already begun."

Here are some other real American's who believe as Lincoln and Grant did, that preemptive war is wrong and are suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous accusations from the advocates of "war, pestilence, and famine."

Military families against the war: Military families speak out: Gold Star Families: Code Pink:

The Veterans Against the Iraq War whose statement of purpose says:

"...We do not believe that the American military can or should be used as the police force of the world by any administration, Republican or Democrat. Consequently, we believe that the lives and well being of our nation's soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines should not be squandered or sacrificed for causes other than in the direct defense of our people and nation.

Iraq Veterans Against the war.

The Center on Conscience and War in Washington, D.C.,

There are many organizations out there to help the GI who wants to get out.

The GI Hotline; The Central Committee for Consciencious Objectors.

Remember that obscure quote from the Ten Commandments? What was it?

"Thou shalt not kill!"
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