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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Pin a Medal On

“I promise.. Someday I will return to happier Quotes. Honest. It’s just that right now too many bad things are going on and I can’t look away. As soon as the Administration stops embarrassing my country I will stop talking about it. You have my word.”
-Skippy


“Marine commanders in Iraq learned within two days of the killings in Haditha last November that Iraqi civilians had died from gunfire, not a roadside bomb as initially reported, but the officers involved saw no reason to investigate further, according to a senior Marine officer.
The commanders have told investigators they had not viewed as unusual, in a combat environment, the discrepancies that emerged almost immediately in accounts about how the two dozen Iraqis died, and that they had no information at the time suggesting that any civilians had been killed deliberately.
But the handling of the matter by the senior Marine commanders in Haditha, and whether officers and enlisted personnel tried to cover up what happened or missed signs suggesting that the civilian killings were not accidental, has become a major element of the investigation by an Army general into the entire episode.
Officials have said that the investigation, while not yet complete, is likely to conclude that a small group of marines carried out the unprovoked killings of two dozen civilians in the hours after a makeshift bomb killed a marine.
A senior Marine general familiar with the investigation, which is being led by Maj. Gen. Eldon A. Bargewell of the Army, said in an interview that it had not yet established how high up the chain of command culpability for the killings extended. But he said there were strong suspicions that some officers knew that the Marine squad's version of events had enough holes and discrepancies that it should have been looked into more deeply.”
-New York Times, June 3, 2006

“Hmm.. Not quite true. Not only did they realize that the incident didn’t happen like they first claimed and still not want to investigate further, they also wanted to give the leader of the group that slaughtered the Iraqi civilians a medal for heroism.”
-Skippy


“The platoon commander for the squad of Marines who killed as many as two dozen Iraqi civilians during an attack in Haditha last year recommended later that the sergeant who led the attack receive a medal for his heroism that day, according to military documents.
Lt. William T. Kallop wrote in a praise-filled memo that the incident on Nov. 19, 2005, was part of a complex insurgent ambush that included a powerful roadside bomb followed by a high volume of automatic-weapons fire from several houses in the neighborhood. He lauded Sgt. Frank Wuterich for his leadership in the ‘counterattack’ on three houses while the unit received sporadic enemy fire.”
-Washington Post, August 29, 2006

“That would be the apparent war crimes in Haditha that they are referring to.. You know, this stuff..”
-Skippy


“Then one of the Marines took charge and began shouting, said Fahmi, who was watching from his roof. Fahmi said he saw the Marine direct other Marines into the house closest to the blast, about 50 yards away.
It was the home of 76-year-old Abdul Hamid Hassan Ali. Although he had used a wheelchair since diabetes forced a leg amputation years ago, Ali was always one of the first on his block to go out every morning, scattering scraps for his chickens and hosing the dust of the arid western town from his driveway, neighbors said.
In the house with Ali and his 66-year-old wife, Khamisa Tuma Ali, were three of the middle-aged male members of their family, at least one daughter-in-law and four children -- 4-year-old Abdullah, 8-year-old Iman, 5-year-old Abdul Rahman and 2-month-old Asia.
Marines entered shooting, witnesses recalled. Most of the shots -- in Ali's house and two others -- were fired at such close range that they went through the bodies of the family members and plowed into walls or the floor, physicians at Haditha's hospital said.
A daughter-in-law, identified as Hibbah, escaped with Asia, survivors and neighbors said. Iman and Abdul Rahman were shot but survived. Four-year-old Abdullah, Ali and the rest died.
Ali took nine rounds in the chest and abdomen, leaving his intestines spilling out of the exit wounds in his back, according to his death certificate.
The Marines moved to the house next door, Fahmi said.
Inside were 43-year-old Khafif, 41-year-old Aeda Yasin Ahmed, an 8-year-old son, five young daughters and a 1-year-old girl staying with the family, according to death certificates and neighbors.
The Marines shot them at close range and hurled grenades into the kitchen and bathroom, survivors and neighbors said later. Khafif's pleas could be heard across the neighborhood. Four of the girls died screaming.
Only 13-year-old Safa Younis lived -- saved, she said, by her mother's blood spilling onto her, making her look dead when she fell, limp, in a faint.
[…]
Moving to a third house in the row, Marines burst in on four brothers, Marwan, Qahtan, Chasib and Jamal Ahmed. Neighbors said the Marines killed them together.
Marine officials said later that one of the brothers had the only gun found among the three families, although there has been no known allegation that the weapon was fired.
[…]
The final victims of the day happened upon the scene inadvertently, witnesses said. Four male college students -- Khalid Ayada al-Zawi, Wajdi Ayada al-Zawi, Mohammed Battal Mahmoud and Akram Hamid Flayeh -- had left the Technical Institute in Saqlawiyah for the weekend to stay with one of their families on the street, said Fahmi, a friend of the young men.
A Haditha taxi driver, Ahmed Khidher, was bringing them home, Fahmi said.
According to Fahmi, the young men and their driver turned onto the street and saw the wrecked Humvee and the Marines. Khidher threw the car into reverse, trying to back away at full speed, Fahmi said, and the Marines opened fire from about 30 yards away, killing all the men inside the taxi.”
-Washington Post, May 27, 2006

“I guess that there is nothing special though anymore about giving a medal for heroism to war criminals. At least the sergeant would be in good company.”
-Skippy


“President Bush will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to L. Paul Bremer III, Tommy R. Franks, and George J. Tenet in a ceremony at the White House on December 14, 2004.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation's highest civil award. It was established by President Truman and later re-established by President Kennedy. It is awarded by the President of the United States to persons who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
-White House Press Secretary, December 2, 2004

“I guess the premise is that the more you screw up in this current Administration the better off you are doing. It is kind of like they reward viciousness and stupidity. I guess that kind of explains this..”
-Skippy


"I hear the voices. And I read the front page. And I know the speculation. But I'm the decider. And I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense."
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, April 18, 2006

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