“Former CIA Director Panetta condemns Marines peeing on dead Taliban with “utterly deplorable” comment. Ain’t that the pot calling the kettle black? .”
by Ken Smith
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday condemned as “utterly deplorable” a video that purports to depict four U.S. Marines urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters, saying such behavior is “entirely inappropriate for members of the United States military” and those responsible will be held accountable.
Panetta said he had ordered the Marine Corps and Marine Gen. John Allen, the top commander of the NATO-led forces in Afghanistan, to fully investigate.
What my readers want to know is who can order an investigation of the actions of former CIA Director Panetta on the “black ops” missions that he ordered? Worldwide missions, not just in Iraq and Afghanistan, but Worldwide is what I am told.
Some actual operatives who participated in deep covert actions in Asia, South America and Africa are considering “spilling” the beans to the media, depending on what happens to these four Marines .
The Marine Corps said Wednesday it would investigate the YouTube video but had not yet verified its origin or authenticity. The case has been referred to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Navy’s worldwide law enforcement arm.
The video, posted on the Internet, shows men in Marine combat gear, standing in a semi-circle over three bodies. It’s not clear whether the dead were Taliban or civilians or someone else. The title on the posting called them Taliban insurgents but it was unclear who added that title, Marine Corps officials in Washington said.
The reaction from Afghanistan was angry.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the video as “completely inhumane.” Completely inhumane? This is the comment from the guy whose brother runs the largest narco ring on the planet? You kidding me?
The Afghan Defense Ministry called it “shocking.” Shocking? You know what shocking is? Shocking is when leaders in the Defense Ministry are told about abducted girls being sold over drug debts and the defense ministry does nothing, that’s shocking.
And the Taliban issued a statement accusing U.S. forces of committing numerous “indignities” against the Afghan people. Sweet mother of god, you double kidding me? The frigging Taliban complaining about “Indignities?”. Wait a minute, that video I saw of Taliban justice in the Kabul soccer stadium, you know the one, the one where they behead the guy, remember? That was an Indignitie, but peeing on dead Taliban, well, not to this columnist.
“First they killed the Afghans with mortars, and they then urinated on their bodies,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said. “We strongly condemn this inhumane action by the wild American soldiers.” OMG, the “Inhumane action? That’s the quote from the Taliban? Oh yeah, right, and this is the same group who have their women dress up in Halloween costumes, something called a burka, because no man should ever see a woman’s face? Give me a break.
Panetta said the actions of these Marines, if true, were inexcusable. Now, this comment is from the guy who ordered the extreme sanctions in Somalia? That right? And the actions in Turkey? Same guy? Yeah Mr Secretary, people are now talking about what YOU ordered, on your watch, not someone else’s watch, yours.
“I have seen the footage, and I find the behavior depicted in it utterly deplorable. I condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” Panetta’s statement said. “Those found to have engaged in such conduct will be held accountable to the fullest extent.” Yeah, and when that happens, the people speaking to me, will do what they know they need to do too. They will drop the dime on you Leon. And your best kept nightmares will be let out of the box. Think about that tonight after you read this post.
The video came to light at a delicate time in relations among the United States, Afghanistan’s elected government and the Taliban insurgency fighting for both territorial control and cultural and religious preeminence in Afghanistan. The U.S. is trying to foster peace talks between the Karzai government and the Pakistan-based Taliban high command, and has made unprecedented offers to build trust with the insurgents, including the planned opening of a Taliban political office to oversee talks.
One of the largest obstacles to peace discussions has been widespread Afghan contempt for U.S. military tactics that many — both Taliban sympathizers and not — see as heavy-handed. Opposition to the U.S. and NATO military presence in Afghanistan usually centers on civilian casualties from military engagement, although the vast majority of those deaths are caused by the insurgents.
Although the video purports to show Taliban fighters, not civilians, it is likely to resonate with those opposed to the U.S. presence and to peace with the U.S.-backed Karzai government. In his statement, Karzai called on the U.S. military to punish the Marines. I would think we punish the Marines at the same time Karzai punishes his brothers keepers.
Yeah, right. Karzai was chosen for a two year term as Interim President during the 2002 loya jirga (grand assembly) that was held in Kabul, Afghanistan. Then elected to a five year term and now another five year term with all kinds of reports of funny business, hmmm, think maybe Panetta had any hand in that as the former CIA director?
The NATO-led security force in Afghanistan released a statement Thursday saying, “This disrespectful act is inexplicable and not in keeping with the high moral standards we expect of coalition forces.”
The actions “appear to have been conducted by a small group of U.S. individuals, who apparently are no longer serving in Afghanistan,” the International Security Assistance Force said. The statement did not identify the personnel or explain why the ISAF thought they had left the country.
A spokesman at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina would not confirm reports that the Marines were based there. “We have had elements of that unit that have deployed to Afghanistan and have returned. However, we have not yet confirmed if anyone in the video is from that unit, or whether they are attached to a unit from Lejeune,” said Capt. Scott Sasser.
Sen. John McCain, a Navy veteran who fought and was held prisoner in the Vietnam war, said the incident “makes me so sad.”
McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, called the Marine Corps one of America’s strongest institutions and said its image has apparently been tarnished by “a handful of obviously undisciplined people.”
“There should be an investigation and these young people should be punished,” McCain, R-Ariz., said Thursday on “CBS This Morning.”
Pentagon officials said the criminal investigation would likely look into whether the Marines violated laws of war, which include prohibitions against photographing bodies and detainees and a range of other rules.
In an emailed statement, Taliban spokesman Mujahid said, “During these 10 years American soldiers have tortured our people in various ways, they have shown disrespect to the holy Quran and other holy books, they have burned our bodies, they have killed and tortured our women and children and … have committed other hateful actions.”
Have we lost our minds? This quote is from the Taliban? They must think we are the ones who are living in caves up in the mountains. We are not the ones living in the 7th century dude, wake up, you hosted Bin Laden and his crew to plan attacks on us, for that, you pay the price. If Bin Laden was in Iran, we would be there too, and for all you yahoo’s who think Bin laden didn’t have anything to do with attacking America, spare me the emails.
Mujahid urged the U.N. and other international groups to end such actions by U.S. troops.
On Wednesday, the Council on Islamic-American Relations, a prominent Muslim civil rights and advocacy group based in Washington, protested the video in a letter to Panetta. Sweet mother of God again, the CIAR said they protested this video? Yeah right, I forgot, what a shock. Where were they on September 12th, 2001 with their letter to the American People?. Who were they protesting them?
“We condemn this apparent desecration of the dead as a violation of our nation’s military regulations and of international laws of war prohibiting such disgusting and immoral actions,” the group wrote.
“If verified as authentic, the video shows behavior that is totally unbecoming of American military personnel and that could ultimately endanger other soldiers and civilians,” the letter said.
Marine Corps headquarters at the Pentagon said: “The actions portrayed are not consistent with our core values and are not indicative of the character of the Marines in our Corps. This matter will be fully investigated.”
A Marine Corps spokesman, Lt. Col. Stewart Upton, added, “Allegations of Marines not doing the right thing in regard to dead Taliban insurgents are very serious and, if proven, represent a failure to adhere to the high standards expected of American military personnel.”
For more than twenty-five years Ken Smith has been a leading advocate for veterans. A combat Vietnam veteran, Ken served during 1971-72 as a paramedic and an infantry squad leader with Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry, in the 196th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division. After his discharge, Ken continued his work as a paramedic in New England. On the streets of Boston he encountered growing numbers of homeless Vietnam veterans, and he became determined to both assist them and draw attention to their plight.
In 1989, Ken founded the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans, located in a former VA hospital at 17 Court Street in downtown Boston. One of the first facilities designed for homeless veterans and now a national model, the shelter has served over 35,000 of America’s veterans who, for whatever reason, find themselves living on the streets.
In 1992 Ken was awarded Point of Light #142 by President George H. W. Bush, and later that same year received the AMVETS Silver Helmet Award, considered the “Oscar” for American veterans. As one of America’s foremost veterans service organizations, AMVETS (or American Veterans) has a proud history of assisting veterans and sponsoring numerous programs that serve our country and its citizens. Ken was awarded this honor along with Peter Coors, with whom he still maintains a personal friendship.
Over the years Ken has appeared on many national media programs including Good Morning America, Prime Time Live, ABC News, CBS News, Larry King Live, CNN, 60 Minutes, and The Geraldo Show. He has been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, and numerous international newspapers, magazines, and websites. In 1992, Ken had the distinction of addressing both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions as a keynote speaker on the subject of veterans.
Ken recently left his last assignment with the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation, where he was the chief technology architect of the Veteran’s Vocational Technical Institute, Purple Heart Car Donation program, Purple Heart Call Center, Purple Heart Radio, Purple Heart Tech Support, Purple Heart Services, and over thirty new Purple Heart websites. Ken Smith provided the vision and has overseen the implementation of innovative, virtual, work-at-home training programs for veterans with combat disabilities. Ken has designed, upgraded, and supervised the integration and installation of Purple Heart Service Foundations computer and telephony systems, upgrading features from legacy POTS phones to SIP-trunked communications systems including establishing new VPN networks for teams of remote virtual employees.
An adventure sports enthusiast, Ken enjoys extreme skiing, competitive sailing, flying, and travel. He has traveled extensively worldwide, delivering his positive message to the veterans of other countries that a paraplegic veteran of the United States suffers the same as a paraplegic veteran of India; that an amputee veteran of Nepal suffers as much as an amputee veteran of France. Ken’s mentor was Harold Russell, the two-time Academy Award winner who starred in the 1946 film Best Years of Our Lives. A World War II veteran, on D-Day, June 6th, 1944, Harold lost both of his hands. This ghastly misfortune did not stop him, and he went on to become the chairman of the President’s Committee for People with Disabilities. For over fifty years he served US presidents from Truman to Clinton. Ken was humbled and grateful when Harold agreed to serve as the best man at Ken’s wedding.
Ken has been instrumental in the planning stages for the Veterans Workshop, a new nationwide veterans’ advocacy group building a new “Veterans Hotline, and the development of special programs for those who have lost their sight or their hearing, or who have suffered spinal cord injury, as a result of their military experience. The Veterans Workshop provides a forum where new technology and advancements in the fields of prosthetic and orthotic solutions, many designed by Ken, are shared along with virtual training and employment programs.
A 1970 graduate of De La Salle Academy in Newport, Rhode Island, for the past twenty-five years Ken has continued his education with extensive college courses in computer technology and related social service fields. He resides in his native state of Rhode Island with his wife and children.
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