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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 ...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Massacre's whitewash - America's shame

The military proceedings have been a sham from the get go. From the time the Marines initially lied about what happened, to this week's plea bargain, which means not one single participant will serve even a day for the horrific killings of 24 civilians at Haditha, Iraq, back in 2005. Women, unarmed men - one 76-year-old amputee in a wheelchair - an infant, and children.

Including toddlers.

What kind of cowardly country is this, anyway? The facts were never in doubt, and former congressman John Murtha summed them up as "cold blooded murder." But before I go any further, I want to commend movie producer Nick Broomfield for his meticulous efforts in documenting what happened, and for his candor regarding the mentality of America's armed forces: "Its a thought process that justifies wanton, crazed killing, that demands a high five when a soldier announces they've killed an innocent child." Nick's award winning movie, "Battle for Haditha," needed to be produced.

One aspect of all this struck an especially strong chord with me. The final coat of whitewash was applied after troops involved in the massacre began to make connections between the massacre and the kind of training they had received.

The kind of training? Really?

My mind flashed back to the case of Marine recruit Jason Tharp, and the fact that this trainee's drowning - and previous assault - took place in front of other recruits. An ill, teenage recruit forced into a pool, screams unheeded by Marine swim instructors as he went under possibly six times, finally bobbing to the surface unresponsive. At one point, a swim instructor had even shoved Jason's head deeper into the water. Training indeed. What else are America's Nazi style storm troopers indoctrinated with before they're turned loose to terrorize those hapless inhabitants of foreign lands? And another thing. Like the victims in Haditha, Jason was poor. Defenseless. Pathetic.

I won't belabor the bloodcurdling facts of Haditha, the fraudulent war in Iraq, or the military's shamful (sic) response to an obvious massacre. That said, I ponder the notion that America has "gone too far" and is beyond redemption. Beyond reason.

Beyond sanity.

2/15/2015 update - I've come across two articles by ex-Marines exposing the way the Corps turns people into mindless killers: "Marine Corps Recruit Drownings: Dying to Serve Your Country" and "Learning to be a Killer." Apparently, I was right on target about Jason Tharp's drowning - sadistic, cold-blooded murder if ever there was - taking place in front of other recruits.