It's Morning in Iraq!

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Today's check-in to the aftermath of our latest successful war: At a hearing in Canada to decide whether or not to accept a U.S. Army deserter, Pfc. Jeremy Hinzman, for asylum, another soldier explained what it was like over there:

A former U.S. Marine staff sergeant testified at a hearing Tuesday that his unit killed at least 30 unarmed civilians in Iraq during the war in 2003 and that Marines routinely shot wounded Iraqis and killed them.

Jimmy Massey, a 12-year veteran, said he left Iraq in May 2003 after a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder. He said he and his men shot and killed four Iraqis staging a demonstration and a man with his hands up trying to surrender, as well as women and children at roadblocks. Massey said he had complained to his superiors about the "killing of innocent civilians," but that nothing was done.

A Marine Corps spokesman says it ain't so.

Also, reports the U.K. Guardian:

US military officials witnessed the mistreatment of Iraqi detainees at a second Baghdad prison at the height of the Abu Ghraib scandal and were threatened and harassed when they attempted to report the abuse, official memos released by the Pentagon have shown.
The documents, which were obtained by human rights organisations, contradict the Pentagon's claims that the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib was isolated to the jail and involved a handful of lowly reservists.

[Both links courtesy Rational Review.]

[UPDATE: Reason Contributing Editor Charles Oliver calls my attention to this thread in which, apparently, (in cyberspace no one knows you are a grunt) some of his former Marine colleagues call Massey a lying sack of whatever.]

[ANOTHER UPDATE: Reason Web Editor Fightin' Tim Cavanaugh informs me that Marines are properly merely known as Marines, not as soldiers, thus making my reference to Massey as "another soldier" inaccurate. This civilian regrets the error.]

NEXT: Peeking Under the Robes

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  1. If the Canucks grant refuge to this deserter, do we get to invade Canada?

    Since John Candy is dead, maybe we could have Michael Moore lead the assault!

  2. Sounds like we need to extradite this deserter. Bring him back from Canada and put him on trial for war crimes committed against the Iraqi people. Should be a pretty easy conviction since he already confessed that he did the deed.

  3. Be sure your sins will find you out.

  4. Sorry to not flag this more clearly in my blog entry, but staff seargeant Massey, quoted in my entry, is NOT the deserter seeking asylum–that would be U.S. Army deserter, Pfc. Jeremy Hinzman–he’s just testifying at the hearing.

  5. Brian Doherty,

    Yes, that fact pattern changes things considerably.

  6. [i]Bring him back from Canada and put him on trial for war crimes committed against the Iraqi people.[/i]

    indeed, we should. of course, he was under orders — all that lot need be put to trial as well. however far up the chain that may go.

    i suspect that may be a very long way indeed.

  7. Brian Doherty,

    You probably ought to make correction in the body of the write-up itself.

  8. In agree with Gaius, this is sure to go a long way up, all the way in fact to the President and beyond to the citizens that put him office. Therefore the President should be tried for this and all of the citizens that voted for him should be as well. We needn’t give them prison sentences, as that would cause some loss in national productivity, but they can each be fined to make up for Bush’s criminal tax cuts. Then, with each having a felony on their records, they’ll no longer be able to vote. This is just the break that the Dems needed. Let us hope they don’t screw it up.

  9. Clearly we need to set Robin Williams as a DJ up in Iraq. “Good Morning Iraq!” 🙂

  10. Gary–Since I didn’t say that Massey was the deserter in question–some readers merely assumed it–and I specified that it was an hearing regarding an Army deserter and the quote I used identified Massey correctly as a Marine, there is no error to correct, and I think my contribution to this thread, where the incorrect assumption was bandied about, should about cover it.

  11. Brian,

    Your statement is awkward enough that one could easily infer that the deserter in question is the good Sergeant.

  12. The administrations assertion that Abu Ghraib was isolated to a handful of low ranking individuals never passed the smell test. I’ve been sickened over how well they’ve been able to hide behind such hooey. I hope this story keeps getting pushed, sooner or later it’s going to reach right into the oval office.

  13. I hope this story keeps getting pushed

    ha ha ha ho hee hoo hoo haw ha hee ho ho hoo hee ha

  14. Gary–In the interests of thread peace, and in memory of Dimebag Darryl, I acquiesce–I have rewritten the entry to make the misunderstanding impossible.

  15. Who’s Dimebag Darryl?

    And, for the record, since I got the first post (and used it to make reference to a deserter) I thought it was perfectly clear from your original phrasing that the person testifying to the crimes/atrocities/things-that-aren’t-a-big-deal-so-stop-saying-they-are (whatever term people on this forum prefer) was not the deserter.

    But there are those who will always insist that their interpretation of your statement is the correct one and your interpretation of your statement is the wrong one.

  16. Dimebag Darryl was shot to death live on stage the other night.

    …and that’s a good idea Brian; last week I thought I was going to get sued for a misinterpretation of a comment I posted.

  17. Not an exact quote from anything, just an observation of some general trends:

    “I never said that.”

    “Yes you did.”

    “No, look, it’s clear what this means.”

    “It isn’t clear to me.”

    “Well, that’s not my fault that you can’t get it.”

    “(chortle) Nobody who knows me would call me dumb. You are clearly too clueless or stubborn to realize what you said.”

    “Whatever.”

    “I see that you continue to deny what you said, even though you said it.”

  18. Didn`t Dimebag Darryl kick the bucket last night?

  19. Thoreau,

    Your synopsis is dead on, but perhaps you didn’t realize,

    What you said could only mean this.

    No, that was clearly a misplaced pronoun, I’ll thank you to not correct my grammer, this is merely a blog.

    Grammer or not, what you said is what you said, reread your post.

    I’ve reread it and what I said stands. That you fail to address the issue and comment on my grammer is indicative of the strength of your arguement, not mine.

    You’re now being dishonest or just plain ignorant.

  20. Wellfellow, I would comment on your awful post, but I’m running late. I have to attend a training exercise for my reserve unit in the French Marines.

  21. Just make sure your “platoon” doesn’t put any sacks full of ballots out with the trash.

  22. Actually, marines prefer to be called “sailor.”

    Really.

  23. Just make sure your “platoon” doesn’t put any sacks full of ballots out with the trash.

    Huh?

  24. That’s grammar, wellfellow! And since you bring up the old “damn the grammar, this is just a blog” point, this gives me a chance to explain my personal cosmology: The damned use poor grammar; the blessed correct them.

  25. Just an election monitor joke.

  26. “The damned use poor grammar; the blessed correct them.”

    I is screwed …

  27. No, Jason, the good way to write isn’t that you is screwed, it’s that you be screwed.

  28. we should. of course, he was under orders — all that lot need be put to trial as well. however far up the chain that may go. i suspect that may be a very long way indeed

    And what’s your basis for that suspicion, given that nowhere in Massey’s quoted testimony does he say that he was ordered to shoot civilians? His claim was that he and his men shot at civilian cars out of fear of suicide bombers.

  29. Brian,

    I apologize for my testiness. 🙂

    thoreau,

    You have to be a French citizen to join the FMC; but you can join the FFL.

  30. Tim,
    There’s a word for people like you. We call them schoolmarms.

  31. “In agree with Gaius, this is sure to go a long way up, all the way in fact to the President and beyond to the citizens that put him office. Therefore the President should be tried for this and all of the citizens that voted for him should be as well. We needn’t give them prison sentences, as that would cause some loss in national productivity, but they can each be fined to make up for Bush’s criminal tax cuts. Then, with each having a felony on their records, they’ll no longer be able to vote. This is just the break that the Dems needed. Let us hope they don’t screw it up.”

    Dream on.

  32. And since you bring up the old “damn the grammar, this is just a blog” point, this gives me a chance to explain my personal cosmology: The damned use poor grammar; the blessed correct them.

    You damn and you bless and you do so on the basis of grammar. And that is the sum of your cosmology. Odd religion.

    To capitalize or to not capitalize following a colon: there is the rub.

    In your order of descending punctuation, would have an additional clause been preceded by a comma?

    I should have kept that Harbrace College Handbook.

  33. If what the marines say on the linked thread is true, that this Massey guy is a pathological liar and never was a sniper, perhaps we shouldn’t take his word for it that he 30 killed some odd civilians.

    And for the record, none of the marines I know wish to be called sailors. That might confuse them with Navy and they prefer the distinction.

    Why no discussion on whether it’s okay to try and glean an education out of Uncle Sam without paying up on your contract?

  34. cbk,

    I doubt that either party is above fibbing.

  35. perhaps we shouldn’t take his word for it that he 30 killed some odd civilians.

    Jeez, cbk, it’s bad enough they’re dead. Do you have to call them odd into the bargain?

    To capitalize or to not capitalize following a colon: there is the rub.

    Capitalize if the material following the colon forms a complete sentence. Don’t capitalize if it’s just an appositive.

  36. I was a marine. It was before Bill’s tenure. I was taught that there were only two kinds of Sailors. Queers and Corpsman. Now you get the “Bill” connection. I wonder if the DI’s have reformed since then.

  37. LOL! Jeez, cbk, it’s bad enough they’re dead. Do you have to call them odd into the bargain?

    My bad!

    “killed 30 some odd”

    Bad cut and paste.

    Worse proofreading!

    Love fragments.

    CBK

  38. “I was a marine. It was before Bill’s tenure. I was taught that there were only two kinds of Sailors. Queers and Corpsman. Now you get the “Bill” connection. I wonder if the DI’s have reformed since then. ”

    That was not at all nice, sweetcheeks!
    I too was a jarhead.
    From my experience, Corpsmen were okay.
    I did have a few doubts about the military clergy.
    When we were getting daily bombardments from NVA 122mm artillery, some of us (just me?) noticed the chaplain’s assistant looked like Barry Bonds. (at the time, Li’l Abner?)

    From what I was able to observe from the surface–I had no desire to enter the parlor–Mr. Biceps had dug a refuge for the chaplain rivaling those “spiderholes” Nixon apologists glorified and rationalized as to why we lost.

  39. When Wellfellow said, “I’ll thank you to not correct my grammer,” the statement actually meant, “Please do not presume to correct my grandmother, as she is your elder and deserving of respect.” This is completely clear as written.

    Tim: Capitalize if the material following the colon forms a complete sentence. Don’t capitalize if it’s just an appositive. I’m pretty sure the material inserted into the colon is called a suppositive. I’ll have to check with my grammer.

    By the way, I’ve reread my earlier statement concerning the four-hour erection. It still stands.

  40. Stevo, Tim,

    How dare you correct me! Don’t you know I’m quite the grammarphone?

  41. . . . the material inserted into the colon . . .

    Heh hehe. Hmmm. Heh. Hehehehehe.

  42. Ruthless, sorry for not being nice. But you knew, right off, that there was no forked tongue.

    Somehow I don’t think the DI’s teach that lesson anymore. OTOH, I’m sure they’ve come up with something equally awful to denigrate the Squids with but I don’t think the fag thing would fly anymore.

    Not being a combat vet I never had a chance to test the Corpsman theory.

    I was once called Ruthless by my friends. It went on for a couple of months. After a long miserable relationship I finally rid myself of that woman. To paraphrase Sam Kinison, I’m not afraid of terrorists, I lived with Ruth and her kids for a couple of years.

  43. Maybe I should have said something equally awful to denigrate the gay community with……

    I’m shutting up now.

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