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Tharp case still makes me cry

I initially blogged about this case as it unfolded, then re-titled the blog and condensed my comments. As far as I know, nothing has ever ...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tharp case still makes me cry

I initially blogged about this case as it unfolded, then re-titled the blog and condensed my comments.

As far as I know, nothing has ever shut mainstream media up like the gang style savagery dished out to Marine recruit Jason Tharp, the teenager who wanted out of the military, then drowned during "training." Forced to tread water, Jason was surrounded by Marine swim instructors as he went under possibly six times, screamed repeatedly to be let out of the pool, finally succumbed to exhaustion and coughed, gagged, or vomited before bobbing to the surface unresponsive. At one point, a swim instructor shoved Jason's head deeper into the water.

Facts came to light only because NBC affiliate WIS-TV (a Columbia, S.C. station producing a series about the military) happened to videotape an instructor assaulting Jason on February 7, 2005 - approximately 24 hours before the next day's drowning - and turned their evidence over to authorities. The video prompted a brief spate of national media attention, but when the investigative report came out, it was hush up time in the land of the free. The Associated Press release - headlining Jason's death as "preventable," was an exercise in deceit, omitting the bloodcurdling facts and even getting it wrong regarding the videotaped assault. Jason was not merely "hit on his arm." In fact, the video is heart-wrenching, showing an emaciated teenager being yanked around and then knocked backward as he walks toward the WIS-TV camera crew - probably in a desperate attempt to get help. The tape does not include audio, and it was later revealed that Jason - a poor swimmer who had been diagnosed with a respiratory infection - was also being threatened with jail for refusing to get in the water. He had written home complaining of being singled out for harassment, and the day the drowning occurred, Jason was told to shut up and get in the water or be thrown in (the Marines lied, claiming Jason entered the water "voluntarily"). Jason's parents and his sister had been trying to persuade the Marines to discharge Jason, and when the Marines arrived at their home with news of Jason's death, the family thought they were going to be told that Jason would soon be back home.

The investigative report is almost beyond belief. Yet South Carolina's largest newspaper, the State, only found room for a tiny filler item giving trial testimony from the instructor in charge of the pool. He "heard screams but thought everything was normal."

To their ultimate discredit, WIS-TV declined to reveal the gruesome facts on their regular, televised newscasts, choosing instead to air an interview - conducted by the militarily well-connected Judi Gatson - that attempted to discuss this sordid affair in terms of a lapse in safety procedures. The interview - which omitted any reference to Jason's screams, etc. - was absolutely appalling. Are we really expected to believe that Marine swim instructors need underwater cameras to determine if a screaming recruit needs help?

Such barbarism perpetrated by a gang of civilian thugs would have been dutifully detailed and held up for public scrutiny. When investigators find - among other things - that Marine swim instructors need "guidance regarding first-aid for drowning victims," taxpayers have a right to know. Regarding media efforts to keep things quiet, I guess you could say this is one of those cases where a deafening silence spoke volumes.

But then again, Jason was just a poor kid. Had dreams of going to art school and enlisted hoping to help his parents with the expenses. Why should anyone in this good Christian country care anything at all about someone like Jason Tharp?

I'm sick and tired of America's damnable lies and deceit. If it isn't a full-fledged war based on false claims regarding weapons of mass destruction, it's one of our own - and his family - being treated worse than a dog, and a media-manipulated public too downright cowardly to say anything about it. Want national outrage? Burn a flag. Hurl a nonsensical remark at a basketball team, or give a celebrity a break on a misdemeanor rap.

The Tharp case makes a mockery of a free press and an informed electorate. The entire affair - including such niceties as America's "economic" draft - is a national disgrace so profound it should make anyone with normal sensibilities ashamed to be an American.

God bless the Tharps. When their son's case received its final coat of whitewash, Jason's mother tearfully told the military judge, "I hope you see Jason every time you turn around, and hear him screaming."

After I found out what happened to Jason, I sobbed. And this is one case that still makes me cry.

Only one media outlet gave a complete account of Jason's death:
http://wistv.com/global/story.asp?s=3529920&ClientType=Printable

I gave WIS-TV, the Associated Press, and the State newspaper an opportunity to reply to this post, but they declined.

Update 2/8/2015 - An ex-Marine has written an article, "Dying to Serve Your Country," which details how murderous the Marine Corps' "swim training" actually is. Especially interesting is Tim King's inability to find horrifying details anywhere on the Internet. As far as I can tell, any mainstream media references on the Internet to the investigative report's disclosure that the "swim instructor" shoved Jason Tharp's head deeper into the water as he struggled have now been removed, along with references to Jason coughing, gagging, or vomiting. America can stand most anything except the truth.

Update 9/10/2016 - Facts re this year's "suicide" of a Marine recruit who happened to be a Muslim confirms that recruits may indeed be singled out for exceptionally vicious treatment if not death. In this 2006 article - directly relevant to Raheel Siddiqui's "suicide" - retired Marine Sgt. Martin Smith exposes boot camp's racist, brainwashing environment:"Our hatred of the Arab 'other' was crafted from the very beginning of our training through fear and hate..." The article, aptly titled "Learning to be a Killer," is a powerful indictment of the society we live in. As Tim King states (see article 2/8/2015 update) "...Joining the Marines can be a death sentence well before combat."

Update 9/15/2016 - Siddiqui's family (see 9/10/2016 update) is disputing the Marine Corps' claim that their son committed suicide. We need an independent investigation into this matter, especially since the Marine Corps was caught lying about the circumstances surrounding the death of Jason Tharp, initially claiming Jason entered the water voluntarily.

Update 10/4/2016 - The Marine Corps has an incredibly scandalous history, but notice the Washington Post's article makes no mention of the Tharp case. Can anyone imagine why?

Update 11/7/2017 - I've published a post, "Siddiqui scandal: Amerika's military is a national disgrace"

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

ADA: the Amalgam Dental Association

Two quick notes re mercury amalgam dental fillings:

1. When faced with a lawsuit, the American Dental Association defended itself by stating that "The ADA owes no legal duty of care to protect the public from allegedly dangerous products used by dentists." Reference at http://www.afibbers.org/amalgams.html section "Amalgam fillings are a health hazard," second paragraph.

2. Since November of 2000, all dental offices in California display a sign that discretely reads "WARNING - Amalgam fillings contain a chemical element known to the state of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm." Reference same as above, third paragraph.

The more I know about the ADA, the less I like 'em. Ganged up, they did, on a dentist named Hal Huggins because he dared to exercise a little free speech (see "Open letter to the ADA," at http://www.apneasleep-snoringtreatments.com/Newsletter2.html ), and I was shocked to learn that dental amalgam is approximately 50% mercury. The good ol' ADA had me thinkin' it was just a trace amount.

Having researched this issue at some length, it seems - in addition to mounting scientific evidence - a matter of common sense. The most toxic non-radioactive substance on earth simply doesn't belong in people's mouths.

The best overview I've found is at http://www.newlifejournal.com/10-02/everett_10_02.htm including the link to Ask the Expert.