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Alex88 Donating Member (155 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-03 11:29 PM
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Pentagon may punish GIs who spoke out on TV

Fallujah, Iraq -- Morale is dipping pretty low among U.S. soldiers as they stew in Iraq's broiling heat, get shot at by an increasingly hostile population and get repeated orders to extend their tours of duty.
But going public isn't always easy, as soldiers of the Army's Second Brigade, Third Infantry Division found out after "Good Morning America" aired their complaints.
On Wednesday morning, when the ABC news show reported from Fallujah, where the division is based, the troops gave the reporters an earful. One soldier said he felt like he'd been "kicked in the guts, slapped in the face." Another demanded that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld quit.

The retaliation from Washington was swift.


"It was the end of the world," said one officer Thursday. "It went all the way up to President Bush and back down again on top of us. At least six of us here will lose our careers."
First lesson for the troops, it seemed: Don't ever talk to the media "on the record" -- that is, with your name attached -- unless you're giving the sort of chin-forward, everything's-great message the Pentagon loves to hear.
Only two days before the ABC show, similarly bitter sentiments -- with no names attached -- were voiced in an anonymous e-mail circulating around the Internet, allegedly from "the soldiers of the Second Brigade, Third ID."

"Our morale is not high or even low," the letter said. "Our morale is nonexistent. We have been told twice that we were going home, and twice we have received a 'stop' movement to stay in Iraq."
Yet several U.S. officers said privately that troop morale is indeed low. "The problem is not the heat," said one high-ranking officer. "Soldiers get used to that. The problem is getting orders to go home, so your wife gets all psyched about it, then getting them reversed, and then having the same process two more times."

In Baghdad, average soldiers from other Army brigades are eager to spill similar complaints.

"I'm not sure people in Washington really know what it's like here," said Corp. Todd Burchard as he stood on a street corner, sweating profusely and looking bored. "We'll keep doing our jobs as best as anyone can, but we shouldn't have to still be here in the first place."

Nearby, Pfc. Jason Ring stood next to his Humvee. "We liberated Iraq. Now the people here don't want us here, and guess what? We don't want to be here either," he said. "So why are we still here? Why don't they bring us home?"

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Frances Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-03 11:32 PM
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1. While in Iraq, Wolfowitz
was saying that Iraq had to allow freedom of speech. What a hypocrite!
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Maccagirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-03 11:34 PM
Response to Original message
2. It's a shame that they will be punished
for speaking the truth. Those that have given their lives aren't even getting the usual "they did not die in vain" speech from the imposter CIC! Shouldn't Good Morning America have tried to protect them a little?
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FlashHarry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-03 11:34 PM
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3. Jesus, if BushCo pisses off the military. . .
Who will serve as his speech audience from now on?
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bigwoody Donating Member (182 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 01:35 AM
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4. The press has outlived it's usefullness in Iraq. It was like filming the
Cleveland Browns playing your kid's high school team, a glorious "degrading"(new Pentagon term for killing) of human beings with laser guided bombs filled with flesh-vaporizing(literally) high explosives. I'm surprised Rove and Co. allow them to hang around and ask embarrassing questions, the highlight reel (for Nov. '04) is already edited.
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Shipwack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
5. ::sigh:: There is a saying in the Navy...
... and probably in the other branches too:

"The stupid shall be punished."

Guys, I feel for all of you getting sand stuck in your sphincter, but please, -please- don't say disrespectful (though true) things on to the media, and then allow your -name- to be attatched to them! I don't want you all to have another layer of stupidity layered on to the hell you're going through right now.

I can picture it now... You're coming off a 12 hour guard shift, dressed in full battle kit in the 110 degree temperature. You spent the day wondering if -this- upcoming vehicle is going to be the one with a car-bomb or RPG. The water ran out halfway through the shift, because the still you brought with you from stateside is broke (something about not being designed for opend desert conditions) and the part is on backorder. All you want to do is crawl into your cool 90 degree tent and sleep for 6 hours. But noooooo.... along comes some dumb non-com, who drags you up the chain of command for 5 hours, so you can get bitched out by the LT and the next 4 people above him. When you finally manage to get some sleep, you get awakened 40 minutes later for a new shift...

Then again, maybe you should bitch on TV. What are they going to do, send you to Iraq?
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