Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Military Ethicist's Apparent Suicide Raises Questions

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (Through 2005) Donate to DU
 
Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 09:46 AM
Original message
Military Ethicist's Apparent Suicide Raises Questions
WASHINGTON One hot, dusty day in June, Col. Ted Westhusing was found dead in a trailer at a military base near the Baghdad airport, a single gunshot wound to the head.

The Army would conclude that he committed suicide with his service pistol. At the time, he was the highest-ranking officer to die in Iraq.
....
In e-mails to his family, Westhusing seemed especially upset by one conclusion he had reached: that traditional military values such as duty, honor and country had been replaced by profit motives in Iraq, where the U.S. had come to rely heavily on contractors for jobs once done by the military.
....
In January, Westhusing began work on what the Pentagon considered the most important mission in Iraq: training Iraqi forces to take over security duties from U.S. troops.

Westhusing's task was to oversee a private security company, Virginia-based USIS, which had contracts worth $79 million to train a corps of Iraqi police to conduct special operations.
....
One military officer said he felt Westhusing had trouble reconciling his ideals with Iraq's reality. Iraq "isn't a black-and-white place," the officer said. "There's a lot of gray."

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-col...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 09:56 AM
Response to Original message
1. "...there's a lot fof gray...."
Edited on Sun Nov-27-05 09:59 AM by mike_c
Unfortunately, there isn't-- what the U.S. military, it's soldiers, and it's mercenary "contractors" chooses to see as "gray areas" are generally pretty black and white under international law and American social values. That's why Cheney and his cohort are trying so hard to suggest that crucifying someone, breaking his ribs, then putting a plastic bag over his head to further restrict his breathing isn't "torture." They're desparate to redefine such conduct, along with the wanton muder of civilians, as "gray areas."
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
converted_democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. You are soooo on the money!!! n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #1
9. Ka-freakin'-pow
Home run, mike_c. Touch 'em all.

I don't know whether Westhusing killed himself or not; let trained investigators conduct an impartial inquiry, and I'll accept their findings (note the use of the words "trained" and "impartial" please). But it's pretty clear that someone with a conscience can measure his life expectancy in Iraq with a very short calendar.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #1
22. Any "suicide" at this point should be looked at as potential murder.
This man is criticizing the Administration's and the Military's motives and he winds up dead.

Those within the military and the Administration will continue to "suicide" individuals telling the truth as long as people stay silent, bury their heads and deny that this is happening, along with evidence that simply continues to build that this Administration and intelligence agencies are harming those who are coming forward to tell the truth.

Again, we dont know if this was a murder, however the motive certainly is there for the Bush/Military to want to silence this man.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
23. Well said
and on the money.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NJCher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
2. what does it say when the best and the brightest check out?
Man, what a cesspool.




Cher

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
atommom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 10:51 AM
Response to Original message
4. It's very sad that those who had such high ideals had to see
BushCo trample all over them.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
5. The manager should have been tested.
There is a lot to be suspicious of in this affair! All the witnesses seem to be USIS employees, he died at their camp while visiting, they found his body & they moved the gun? Sure, that sounds reasonable.

And what a lame excuse for moving it!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dogfacedboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 11:15 AM
Response to Original message
6. I do not believe for a minute that
this soldier killed himself. He pissed off his commanders, or he pissed off a contractor.

This is some sick shit going on here, and throughout this entire war.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
WiseButAngrySara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
7. K & R. Does the family concur that the cause of death was suicide? .. n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Family and friends have questioned the investigation
snip>
His friends and family struggle with the idea that Westhusing could have killed himself. He was a loving father and husband and a devout Catholic. He was an extraordinary intellect and had mastered ancient Greek and Italian. He had less than a month before his return home. It seemed impossible that anything could crush the spirit of a man with such a powerful sense of right and wrong.

On the Internet and in conversations with one another, Westhusing's family and friends have questioned the military investigation.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
pushycat Donating Member (401 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. Sounds similar to Pat Tillman's demise. He criticized the war
openly. His family have some doubts about the official military story:
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/09/25...

Wheels within wheels turning who knows what in this war...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
WiseButAngrySara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. A classical Greek and Italian Ethicist? And Catholic? No Way was this
suicide, unless like Socrates he drank the Hemlock for the good of his people... This sounds like murder. Is there to be another investigation?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. And also less than a month before he returned home. I'm
not buying suicide either.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BamaBecky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #8
19. I bet the family has questioned this
I bet they killed him to shut him up!
Bama
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. No they are troubled by the explanation of the events.
snip>
"Westhusing's family and friends are troubled that he died at Camp Dublin, where he was without a bodyguard, surrounded by the same contractors he suspected of wrongdoing. They wonder why the manager who discovered Westhusing's body and picked up his weapon was not tested for gunpowder residue."
snip>
"He's the last person who would commit suicide," said Fichtelberg, his graduate school colleague. "He couldn't have done it. He's just too damn stubborn."
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
WiseButAngrySara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Thanks acmejack! ....n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
10. Actually, Iraq has a lot of GREEN...
money that is.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
neebob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
14. What I get from this is a 44-year-old guy
who somehow managed to grow up believing he was born to be a warrior went to Iraq and realized it wasn't this noble, romantic thing worth devoting one's life to and then had a hard time with the rethink. Sure, it sounds fishy with the person who found the body tossing the gun onto the bed, and there was undoubtedly a lot of other stuff going on, but come on - born to be a warrior? In 1960 or '61?

Sounds to me like someone took the whole West Point thing a little too seriously.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-05 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #14
27. This man
lost his life trying to do the right thing, the ethical thing. Please at least have some respect for his service and his family.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
16. It's very hard to remain patriotic and idealistic when what you're
putting your life in danger for, is someone else's right to profit.

Does profit at the expense of American lives, really translate into freedom?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
toymachines Donating Member (782 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
17. What happened?
IRAQ. that says it all. military honor... an unfortunate casualty of the war.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NVMojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 05:06 PM
Response to Original message
20. Another intelligent truth sayer suicided...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
21. Duty, Honor, Country, all these have been sullied by Iraq
and I don't buy this was suicide either
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. Given that the Pentagon has a proven track record
of lying its ass off when its deemed necessary to avoid embarrassment or to stoke up the pro-war propaganda (e.g. Pat Tillman, Jessica Lynch, tearing down of Saddam's statue etc.), it would seem somewhat naive to me just to take their word on it. Maybe he did kill himself, but to me it's probably just as likely he was offed by someone alarmed at what he might reveal about the operations of the thieving gangs of crooks and murderers making billions out of the fiasco they initiated in Iraq.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dennisnyc Donating Member (388 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 07:40 PM
Response to Original message
25. K and R
and writing to Democracy Now! hoping that they lead with this tomorrow morning!!!

anyone else with me on that?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
lostexpectation Donating Member (312 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-27-05 10:51 PM
Response to Original message
26. english army too
don't forget the man sent out to investigate the british army in basra killed himself aswell
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Mon Mar 30th 2020, 03:06 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (Through 2005) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC