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    Greg and Beth

    the political and personal musings of two
    mountaineers living in west-central Florida
     
    Murder Comment
    Gregory Morris, 7/30/10 2:45:30 am
    I'm not able to comment much on this, but I do have a few thoughts.

    I hope we find the responsible party or parties, try them for espionage and murder, then execute them. That's the correct and just way to handle people who cause grave damage to our national security and diplomatic relations.

    That goes for Julian Assange as well. What a fucking bastard. There is a correct way to "blow the whistle" on something the government is doing wrong. Putting so many lives at risk is not the correct way to handle any perceived wrongs perpetrated by the US Military.

    Assange just doesn't give a fuck about anything other than his own bloated ego. Until he is dealt with, he'll keep doing shit like this, even at the expense of many innocent lives.

    [Comments are closed after a month.]

    Re: Murder
    Leo, 7/30/10 3:36:08 am
    Greg, I know you're over "there" somewhere at the moment, but you should realize that what these people release is just information. The real criminal acts have been by our government and military. From the article: -- "Mr. Assange can say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he and his source are doing, but the truth is they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family," Mullen said. -- Admiral Mullen sure has some blood on his own hands considering he's been a part of the death, mutilation, and destruction of how many millions of civilians!?!? I'm sorry to say you're part of this bloodbath as well.
    Re: Murder
    Gregory Morris, 7/30/10 4:01:23 am
    I never said the US has been perfect, nor are they free of guilt in all matters. I never even said I entirely agree with how/why the US operates over here.

    However, Assange is putting at risk the lives of Afghan citizens who are trying to obtain peace and stability and freedom for themselves and their country. It isn't "just information". There are also names of people who have provided the US with intelligence, and I have no doubt that the Taliban will hunt many of them down and kill them. And their families. Because that's how the Taliban operates. Please, I beg of you, try and justify yourself on this point, because it will make you look like a raging ass.

    "he's been a part of the death, mutilation, and destruction of how many millions of civilians!?!? "
    Wow. Millions? Really? Don't you think that, just maybe, someone on the ground might have a better picture of what's going on than the nonsense that filters through the US Media?

    "I'm sorry to say you're part of this bloodbath as well."
    Bullshit. First of all, "bloodbath" is nonsensical hyperbole. There are a lot of dead people, some of whom probably deserved to die, and some who were innocent. But any supposed "bloodbath" has not been perpetrated by us. Saddam Hussein killed far more of his own people. The extremist factions still operating here have killed more of their own people. Whether or not we were right to come into Iraq in the first place, we are certainly not indiscriminate mass murderers, regardless of what the left-leaning blogs say.

    As for my part... Just because I'm over here and working for the military doesn't mean I'm part of a "bloodbath". I'm only a software engineer working in Iraq. When I got here, U.S. operations were already basically non-existent. We are pulling out, and I am helping facilitate that. I am also helping facilitate some of the programs that are helping the Iraqis. My software helps make it possible for Iraqis who have been wronged by the US occupation to receive compensation for their losses, while protecting the US taxpayer from fraud. Before you make a baseless accusation, you damn well better know what you are talking about. The fact is, you have zero clue what-so-ever about what the situation is in Iraq, or in Afghanistan for that matter.
    Re: Murder
    Leo, 7/30/10 6:10:56 am
    I have far more than "zero clue" on this issue. A close friend told me the tale of how his family had to flee the country and are now in Syria. Thankfully, he came to the U.S. many years ago, but millions of Iraqis were not as lucky. Under the Hussein regime, their lives were safer and more predictable. I won't argue with the lack of freedoms.
    Mullen has a vested interest in the war continuing (he's in the freaking military!!!). Why would you believe anything he says? Remember that Iraqi guy who used to say on TV during the '03 invasion that everything was alright and that Saddam was winning? Well, you didn't believe him because of his employer. Same goes for anyone in the U.S. military speaking to the media. It's all propaganda.
    No matter how you justify it, your inflated paycheck comes on the backs of war and death. And I get to pay part of it. I'm glad to hear you're not out shooting civilians like the Blackwater a-holes, but you're still part of the occupying force.
    Re: Murder
    Gregory Morris, 7/30/10 7:03:41 am
    I am part of the occupation... However, would you prefer we just up and left in as big of a hurry as possible? I understand with you not wanting to foot the bill for an occupation you disapprove of, but even if the occupation was illegitimate, we still have a responsibility to leave the country better than we found it.

    "Mullen has a vested interest in the war continuing (he's in the freaking military!!!)" This speaks to your complete lack of knowledge about the military. I meet with high ranking officers all the time. Not a single one of them WANTS to be in a war, especially not in a place like this. You have a lot of bias with regard to your assumptions about who wants what over here.

    I won't deny the US Military employs propaganda; they do it by the truckload. However, you must be a real pompous ass to assume that I'm not capable of knowing what is and what isn't propaganda. I signed up to do good work that will help people. Nowhere in my contract does it say I have to drink the koolaid.

    That being said, I do have a far more intimate picture of what goes on over here than you do. You have a friend who told you about his family fleeing Iraq. There are a lot of those stories both before and after the invasion. However, the fact is that the country has become far more stable and secure. The only remaining violent elements are the few extremists who know they've lost the power they once held under Saddam and are lashing out instead of trying to be part of the solution. You hear about the bad stuff happening. No major US media outlet reports on all the progress being made in Iraq.

    Oh, and no offense, but... only a real raging progressive would consider safety and predictability better than freedom. I'm not saying it is America's job to bring freedom to people in other countries, but it is a positive side effect whether you want it to be or not.
    Re: Murder
    Nick, 7/30/10 11:47:33 am
    "Remember that Iraqi guy who used to say on TV during the '03 invasion that everything was alright and that Saddam was winning? Well, you didn't believe him because of his employer. Same goes for anyone in the U.S. military speaking to the media. It's all propaganda."

    No. The Iraqi press minister (or whatever was his title) was not believable because it was easy to juxtapose him saying Saddam was winning with US tanks in the streets of Baghdad only a few miles away. What he was saying was verifiably false. Perhaps you fell victim to a fallacy wherein someone's association proves or disproves something, but in general I would advise against that.

    If one is to disbelieve something the military says, strictly because the military says it, they are to fall victim to the same fallacy all over again. It's one thing if something said by someone in the military is verifiably false. It's another to assume falseness is caused by association.

    That said, I do favor leaks as a method of verifying the things our government tells us. The trick is deciphering which is the propaganda: what the government says or what the leaking source says.
    Re: Murder
    Gregory Morris, 7/30/10 2:22:49 pm
    Ditto on the fallacy stuff.

    Regarding the leaks... most people have no idea what "classified" information is. Everyone assumes deep conspiracies and cover-ups like in the movies. Frankly, that's all hogwash. There is an executive order that clearly defines what can be classified, and what cannot. Everything that is classified must be handled according to that executive order. For instance, if a government employee or member of the military marks a document as classified to cover up a crime then that document is not legally classified. Someone blowing a whistle in that case would not be wrong to do so. However, wholesale dumping of classified information into the public domain at most accomplishes a tiny amount of good, while certainly harming our diplomatic relationships and our national security, as well as individuals who may become compromised due to the leak.

    Assange is an irresponsible egomaniac fuck.
    Re: Murder
    Robert, 7/30/10 4:34:39 pm
    Leo, I hope some day we don't have to fight for you personnaly...jerk!
    Re: Murder
    Gregory Morris, 7/31/10 3:50:03 am
    Well Robert, the great thing about America is that we even fight for people whom we disagree with. Many brave men and women have laid down their lives so that pacifists remain free to be pacifists.
    Re: Murder
    Leo, 7/31/10 5:50:00 am
    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" -Upton Sinclair

    Greg, I know you're not stupid. I was very angry on 9/11. But that anger was not directed at the thousands of people who have been killed (and millions who have been displaced) in the Iraq war. It was wrong to invade that country and we should not be there now. Saddam was a bad guy, but there are worse around.

    Imagine a 3.8 square mile Green Zone erected in Los Angeles, NYC, or Chicago staffed by thousands of Chinese troops! That's what we've got in Iraq now.

    You can think whatever you think about Assange, but information needs and wants to be free. I don't agree with releasing names of informants, but all else is fair game. America needs to wake the F up about this war!

    For what it's worth, calling me names, labeling me liberal. progressive, or otherwise doesn't change the reality of the situation. Politically, I'm not happy with either party right now and it pains me how little will change for the better.
    Re: Murder
    Gregory Morris, 7/31/10 6:06:53 am
    That's a good quote, but once again you are making some assumptions that perhaps you shouldn't. First of all, I do understand what you are saying about the war and our occupation. I've never said I agreed with Bush's decision to invade and occupy. What I have said is that there have been positive gains for both the US and Iraq. Please don't assume that because I point out some of the positives that I miss the negatives.

    I'm not interested in fighting about why we invaded, or whether or not we should leave. Believe it or not, we are nearly in agreement on those matters. You are arguing past me. I want the US out of Iraq, and out of Afghanistan for that matter. But I want it to be done in a responsible manner, cleaning up our mess as best as possible, and hopefully providing some degree of stability to the region. We have a legitimate national interest in keeping Southwest Asia stable and friendly to the US.

    "Imagine a 3.8 square mile Green Zone erected in Los Angeles, NYC, or Chicago staffed by thousands of Chinese troops! That's what we've got in Iraq now." I get your point. That's what an occupation is. However, we have been very unobtrusive in the lives of Iraqi citizens for the last few years. Combat operations ceased a long time ago. Since transferring sovereignty to the new Iraqi government, our presence here (even before Obama was elected!) was primarily advising and assisting the Iraqi security forces.

    "information needs and wants to be free" I couldn't agree more with that. The real question is timing. Information is classified by executive decree, because US interests, ongoing operations, or lives would be gravely harmed by that information becoming public knowledge. Information isn't hidden for propaganda reasons, or just to make the US "look good". If publishing a classified report today gets 10 people killed, but publishing it tomorrow has no consequences, then publish it tomorrow. What Assange did is publish everything, now, only considering the consequences in retrospect.

    Most people don't realize that, barring very specific circumstances, classified information is automatically declassified when there is no longer a need for it to be protected. That means that plans for combat operations are classified, but after the operation occurs, the parts of the plan that are no longer sensitive can, and often are, declassified. Furthermore, nearly all classified information is declassified after 25 years automatically, unless doing so would put human lives at risk.

    "America needs to wake the F up about this war! " First of all, there is no war in Iraq. It has been over for years, although many Americans don't realize it. All that's left is a complicated logistical effort to move troops and equipment out of the country, while continuing promised support for the government of Iraq.

    There is a war in Afghanistan, but the enemy is truly and undeniably evil. They supported, and continue to support attacks on America, and American interests abroad. The only viable solution in Afghanistan is to eliminate the threat to America and our NATO allies. That doesn't mean just bringing in more guns and bombs... that means helping the citizens of Afghanistan rebuild their country, and build the economic stability they need to counter extremism. The US Military does a lot more than just kill "bad guys". We provide medical care, help build infrastructure, offer instruction and training to the national security forces, and many other things that have nothing to do with killing. Your blind bias against the military belies your lack of understanding about how it actually operates.

    I agree that people need to "wake up"... but I'm including you in that group.
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