Our Troops can only be Scapegoats or Bad Apples – They cannot be BOTH.


fewbadapplesby ROBERT L. HANAFIN, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired 

"It is increasingly obvious that responsibility for widespread and systemic abuse of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan lies at the top of the chain of command, but no one has been held accountable," said Lucas Guttentag, ACLU lead counsel for the plaintiffs. "The rule of law and the protections of the Constitution cannot stop at the water’s edge when United States officials adopt policies that violate fundamental rights and core American values." 

ACLU and various International Human Rights Groups Ask Federal Circuit Court to Reconsider Rumsfeld Torture Case

      Thoughts of one retired Field Grade Military Officer [with Army and Air Force experience during Vietnam and the Gulf War] on OUR responsibility as NCOs, Military Officers, and DOD Civilians within the Civil-Military Chain of Command in regards to violations of any International Law, including the Geneva Convention.  http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu…  


       Being an early advocate for the ACLU, among other legal, and Human Rights Activists Groups getting onboard the violations of the Geneva Convention bandwagon, I have a few concerns with this.

     The ACLU and related Human and Civil Rights groups need to do more on behalf of Veterans, Military Families, and as much as they reasonably can for active duty Military Families and Troops who either question war(s) or find themselves scapegoats of our government and Chain of Command. Point: too much emphasis is being placed on innocent civilians and not enough on those lower-ranking troops labeled ‘bad apples.’ The emphasis must be on protecting BOTH.

     I passionately agree that "responsibility for widespread and systemic abuse of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan lies at the top of the chain of command, but no one has been held accountable," and yes Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld is most likely the most vulnerable former representative of the Bush administration to go after.

    However other civilians (and high-ranking military officers) at the top of the Chain of Command have AND still advocate questionable and unethical policies, even if by their SILENCE, or ‘follow what may eventually be decided in court to be questionable orders.’ An injustice that lower ranking GIs have gone to Leavenworth for as scapegoats, that is the problem I have with this ACLU effort.

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Though I realize that families of those so-called bad apples need to come forward and request ACLU, and related, legal support and get off their our country right or wrong bandwagon in order to get sympathy or help.

For the rest of the story go to VetVoice: http://www.vetvoice.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=1120

Author Details
Readers are more than welcome to use the articles I’ve posted on Veterans Today, I’ve had to take a break from VT as Veterans Issues and Peace Activism Editor and staff writer due to personal medical reasons in our military family that take away too much time needed to properly express future stories or respond to readers in a timely manner. My association with VT since its founding in 2004 has been a very rewarding experience for me. Retired from both the Air Force and Civil Service. Went in the regular Army at 17 during Vietnam (1968), stayed in the Army Reserve to complete my eight year commitment in 1976. Served in Air Defense Artillery, and a Mechanized Infantry Division (4MID) at Fort Carson, Co. Used the GI Bill to go to college, worked full time at the VA, and non-scholarship Air Force 2-Year ROTC program for prior service military. Commissioned in the Air Force in 1977. Served as a Military Intelligence Officer from 1977 to 1994. Upon retirement I entered retail drugstore management training with Safeway Drugs Stores in California. Retail Sales Management was not my cup of tea, so I applied my former U.S. Civil Service status with the VA to get my foot in the door at the Justice Department, and later Department of the Navy retiring with disability from the Civil Service in 2000. I’ve been with Veterans Today since the site originated. I’m now on the Editorial Board. I was also on the Editorial Board of Our Troops News Ladder another progressive leaning Veterans and Military Family news clearing house. I remain married for over 45 years. I am both a Vietnam Era and Gulf War Veteran. I served on Okinawa and Fort Carson, Colorado during Vietnam and in the Office of the Air Force Inspector General at Norton AFB, CA during Desert Storm. I retired from the Air Force in 1994 having worked on the Air Staff and Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.
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