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May 10, 2004

Just Following Orders?

An unfortunate choice of phrase to be sure, but some of the parents of soldiers currrently under court-martial investigation - say it's the leaders who are to blame for what their sons and daughters did over there.
[Link.] In defending themselves, the reservists, and their supporters, have become increasingly vocal:

• The family of Pfc. Lynndie England, 21, who on Sunday became the seventh soldier charged, held a news conference in her hometown of Fort Ashby, W.Va. "Certain people in the Army told her to do what she did. She follows orders," said her sister, Jessica Klinestiver.

• Spc. Sabrina Harman, 26, told The Washington Post in an e-mail that intelligence officers delivered inmates "already hooded and cuffed. The job of the MP (military police) was to keep them awake, make it hell, so they would talk." Her mother, Robin Harman, told the Post, "They're passing the buck, putting it all on the little kids."

• Spc. Jeremy Sivits, 24, "was just following instructions," said his father, Daniel Sivits. "Apparently, he was told to take a picture, and he did what he was told."

• Sgt. Javal Davis, 26, told investigators he saw prisoners "being made to do things that I would question morally."

Which raises the point I just made - not taking responsibility for your own actions -- the "We had to kill the Jews" etc defense.

And it also adds some greater credence that this wasn't just some hazing (Rush the Bacon of Truth) or isolated incident.

It is still, however, indicative of nothing more than a small majority of soldiers - and a few of their higher ups. And as I said at the outset, I believe through the bluster and the arrogance of Bush and Rumsfeld, many of these soldiers and their commanders believed they could get away with this and that it would be tolerated.

See also one family's Web site, charmingly titled. FuckIraqifreedomwhataboutoursonsfreedom.com. And just a little aside - you will see this family all over the news soon, because they have four different contact numbers in plain view at this Web site. Like some of the 9-11 widows - they are making themselves accesible.