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GI Special 4L21: Wosing - December 26, 2006

A previously unpublicized assessment generated by the Republican staff of the House Armed Services Committee and obtained by the Globe effectively accused the generals of hedging the truth when Congress asks what they need to protect the troops.
The 2005 congressional report said that on numerous occasions, generals assured lawmakers that they have "complete (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) coverage over the respective theater battlespace; and in effect, 'they get everything.' " That has repeatedly been proven wrong, it said.


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GI Special 4L21: Wosing - December 26, 2006

Thomas F. Barton

GI Special:



Print it out: color best.  Pass it on.





[Thanks to Z and NB who sent this in. NB writes: As I see it Bush has got none of Custer's courage - but all of his folly!]



“He Wasn’t Reciting The Sailor’s Creed”

“Hutto Was Organizing Again.  This Time, Against The U.S. Involvement In Iraq”


[Thanks to Katherine GY, The Military Project, who found and sent the story in.]


From boot camp to the ship, Hutto said, "It's been drilled into you - you don't have any rights."  Or, as he said one veteran sailor told him, "The only right you have is to get to work and get fed."  "I never really accepted that," Hutto said.


According to Navy regulations, Jonathan Hutto is allowed to run his antiwar campaign, but it must be done on personal time, out of uniform and off base.



November 5, 2006 By LOUIS HANSEN, The Virginian-Pilot


NORFOLK - Jonathan Hutto graduated from Howard University with a degree in political science and a résumé of social activism.  He worked for the American Civil Liberties Union and Amnesty International after college.  He whipped up grass-roots protests against police departments and college administrators.


One day in 2003, broke and seeking direction, Hutto enlisted in the Navy.


The Navy couldn't have known it then, but they know it now: They had signed up a sailor strongly opposed to the Iraq war.


Seaman Hutto pleated his uniform, memorized naval history and won sailor of the quarter among his junior enlisted shipmates.


Then he appeared on CNN, the BBC and in the pages of The Washington Post and The Navy Times.


But he wasn't reciting the Sailor's Creed.


Hutto was organizing again.  This time, against the U.S. involvement in Iraq.


"We're not trying to embarrass the military," Hutto said during an interview last week at a local restaurant.  "At the same time, we live in a democracy."


Hutto, 29, lives and works aboard the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt. When he enlisted, the Navy trained him as a photographer.  He writes for the ship newspaper and anchored its shipwide television broadcast.


Off-duty, he shifts between the campus of Old Dominion University and the cafés and bookstores in Ghent.  Armed with a laptop and cell phone, Hutto leads a group of volunteers in an online campaign against the war.


Supported by antiwar military family and veterans organizations, Hutto and a handful of other service members created a Web site called An Appeal for Redress.  Activated in October, it allows active-duty and reserve troops to e-mail their representatives in Congress for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.


Their message: "Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for U.S. troops to come home."


Hutto said the site has attracted about 1,200 responses. 


Volunteers have verified messages from about 700 service members, he said, from the lowest ranks up to O-6 - Navy captain or full colonel in the other services. Soldiers have been the most vocal, followed by the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.


Hutto and Marine Sgt. Liam Madden, a campaign co-founder, said response has been mostly positive, although some e-mailers accuse them of being anti-American.


Rodney Green, an economics professor at Howard University in Washington, mentored Hutto when he was elected student body president as a junior in 1997.  Hutto fought and beat the administration's effort to close off a public street in the middle of campus, he said.


Green, who protested the Vietnam War while serving in the Army, was at first surprised Hutto enlisted.  But on the other hand, he said, "He's a leader."


Hutto declined to apply for officer candidate school, and enlisted instead.


From boot camp to the ship, Hutto said, "It's been drilled into you - you don't have any rights."  Or, as he said one veteran sailor told him, "The only right you have is to get to work and get fed."


"I never really accepted that," Hutto said.


Hutto believed the service would teach him focus and discipline and would help him pay back his student loans.  He opposed the war when he joined the Navy, but kept it private.


In June, Hutto organized a lecture at the Norfolk YWCA by University of Notre Dame professor David Cortright, an antiwar activist and author of "Soldiers in Revolt."


A few active-duty service members then met for a late-night discussion at a Norfolk home.  Cortright, Hutto, Madden and about 10 other service members talked about the war.


In the quiet confidence of a private home, dressed in civilian clothes, the group came to a painful but certain consensus: Iraq was bad and getting worse.


They wanted to know what else they could do.


Although the men worried about their careers, paychecks and families, Hutto and Madden were willing to become the public face of troop dissent.


"Nothing will really happen until people speak up," said Madden, a 22-year-old stationed at Quantico who served one tour in Iraq.  Madden opposed the war before and during his deployment, but kept his feelings to himself.


Cmdr. Chris Sims, spokesman for Atlantic Fleet Naval Air Force, said Hutto has not violated Department of Defense or Navy regulations.  Sailors may freely speak with the media when off duty, he said.


After the Web site was publicized two weeks ago, Hutto's supervisor pulled him aside and laid out the Navy's ground rules: The campaign had to be done on personal time, out of uniform and off base.


Hutto, who studied military rules and consulted lawyers before launching the campaign, agreed.


Said Green, "He's always been clever that way."


Hutto is a finalist again for sailor of the year, yet he still raises some eyebrows with the photos of Malcolm X, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Che Guevara at his desk aboard ship.


The campaign has "struck a good nerve," Hutto said.  "Democracy, to me, has to be across the society."







Two U.S. Troops Killed In Anbar


25 December 2006 Multi National Corps Iraq Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory RELEASE No. 20061225-03


CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq – One Marine and one Soldier assigned to Regimental Combat Team 7 died Sunday from wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province.



Baghdad IED Kills One U.S. Soldier;

Two Wounded


25 December 2006 Multi National Corps Iraq Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory RELEASE No. 20061225-04


BAGHDAD – An improvised explosive device detonated near a Multi-National Division - Baghdad patrol, killing one Soldier in a southern neighborhood of the Iraqi capital Dec. 25. 


The unit was conducting a security patrol of the area when a roadside bomb exploded near one of their vehicles, killing one Soldier and wounding two others.



Newlywed GI Killed In Iraq




Oscar Gonzalez didn't want his 21-year-old nephew Roger to join the military, certainly not in the middle of a full-scale war going on in Iraq.


But without money to pay for a college education, the Army seemed like the best way for Roger to realize his dream of becoming a police officer.


That decision cost him his life.


Despite Uncle Oscar's objections, he enlisted last year and turned 22 in May.


Roger Alfonso Suarez-Gonzalez, still a newlywed, arrived in Iraq in October.  On Friday, family members coped with the news he is now dead.


''He was a hard worker. He wanted to start from the bottom to reach his goals at the top,'' said his wife, Lady Johana Suarez-Gonzalez, 22, who lives in Weston. “We had the same dreams, the same goals.''


He called her sometimes from Iraq, often in the middle of the night.  They loved the sound of each other's voice, and his wife would soothingly call him “mi amor.''


During the couple's last phone conversation, Suarez-Gonzalez told his wife, “Don't worry about me if you don't hear from me for awhile. . . . I'll be in God's hands.''


The couple met in job training classes in Kentucky.  He came from Nicaragua, she from Colombia, but the pair shared much in common.  Both were raised by their grandparents in their respective homelands and both arrived in this country with hopes of achieving a better life.


They married in March, in a small wedding in Colorado Springs, Colo., where the two shared an apartment with a view of the mountains.


A second wedding ceremony -- in Colombia, where both of their families could attend -- was planned after Suarez-Gonzalez finished his stint in Iraq.


Suarez-Gonzalez died Dec. 4, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.


A Defense Department statement released Friday said Suarez-Gonzalez and another soldier died in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, “of injuries suffered from small arms fire while conducting security and observation operations.''


''I loved him like a son,'' said Gonzalez, the uncle who let Roger live with him locally for about a year.  The uncle-and-nephew team also worked side by side installing home cabinets around Miami-Dade County.


Gonzalez said he is still not convinced his nephew is dead, that it is not some military case of mistaken identity. The Army is asking for a closed-casket funeral and the family wonders why.


Suarez-Gonzalez's wife, now a widow, lamented a world in which ''we are self-destructing ourselves.''


She predicted her family won't be the last to suffer as a result of the events in Iraq.


''Although people won't believe or understand me . . . this is not going to stop here.  This is only the beginning of something worse to come,'' she said.



Tragic Way To Learn Son Is In Iraq


December 16, 2006 By ANTHONY LANE, THE GAZETTE


The death of a Fort Carson soldier in Iraq earlier this month came as a surprise to his relatives.


They thought he was still in Colorado.


“I didn’t even know he was in Iraq,” said Jean Feggins of Philadelphia, the mother of Pfc. Albert M. Nelson.


The 31-year-old Nelson was killed Dec. 4 with Pfc. Roger A. Suarez-Gonzalez, 21, when their infantry unit came under small-arms fire in Ramadi, the Army said Friday. The men were with a 2nd Brigade Combat Team battalion sent to Anbar province, southwest of Baghdad.


Feggins said her son enlisted in the Army about a year ago.  “He was only in there about a year,” Feggins said.


Before joining the Army, Nelson worked as a security guard and at other jobs.  Feggins said her son was a “regular guy” and a “people person.”


Nelson was the oldest of Feggins’ six children.  The youngest is 12.  Feggins said she raised them all to look up to their older brother.


“They’re devastated,” Feggins said.


Feggins declined to talk in detail about Nelson’s personal life.  “He’s a grown man,” Feggins said. “He was a grown man.”


Feggins said her relationship with her son went through some cool times.  “Me and him, we didn’t always see eye to eye, but we were best friends,” Feggins said.


Feggins said her son never married or had children.


Since the start of the Iraq invasion in 2003, 177 Fort Carson soldiers have been killed, including 55 deaths from enemy fire.  Seventy-two soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team have been killed.



Hilo Soldier Dies On 4th Tour In Iraq


December 17, 2006 The Honolulu Advertiser


HILO, Hawai'i — A Big Island man who was on his fourth tour in Iraq died Friday of injuries he suffered two weeks ago when a roadside bomb exploded near an armored Stryker vehicle he was riding in as part of a convoy, a family member said.


Henry Kahalewai, 44, was a senior enlisted man who planned to retire next year after 20 years in the Army to build a home on land he owned in Upper Puna, said Joseph Aguiar, Kahalewai's cousin.


Kahalewai had a grown son who lives in Honolulu, and two younger daughters who lived with him and his wife in Tacoma, Wash., Aguiar said.


"He's our hero.  Four tours of Iraq is enough for one person," Aguiar said.


Kahalewai was born and raised in Hilo, and enlisted in the Army because job and career opportunities in Hilo were limited at the time, Aguiar said.  "He wasn't comfortable, and he decided, well, he liked the military life," he said.


Aguiar, who lives in Kea'au, said his cousin had expertise in armored vehicles, including tanks and the Stryker.


Kahalewai came from a family with a long history of military service, including Kahalewai's father, grandfather, and his uncle. Kahalewai's father left the Big Island to be with his son before he died, Aguiar said.


"God knows how he's hurting right now," Aguiar said of Kahalewai's father


Aguiar said Kahalewai was outgoing, and called him "a true Hawaiian spirit."


"He was a very good man," Aguiar said. "He was just a bundle of life, in the cold he was warmth, the warmth of our life.


"He was in there trying to take care of good old Uncle George Bush's problem, and four times he went back."



The Generals Lie While Troops Die:

IEDs Kill At Highest Rate Of War


[Thanks to Mark Shapiro, who sent this in.]


A previously unpublicized assessment generated by the Republican staff of the House Armed Services Committee and obtained by the Globe effectively accused the generals of hedging the truth when Congress asks what they need to protect the troops.  [Isn’t that sweet?  Generals don’t lie.  Oh no, they “hedge the truth.”]


December 17, 2006 By Bryan Bender, Boston Globe Staff


WASHINGTON -- US troops in Iraq are dying in roadside bombings at a higher rate than any period since the war began -- some in follow-up attacks in the same locations -- but commanders still have no effective means to monitor the deadliest routes for patrols, according to Pentagon officials and documents.


Military deaths from roadside bombs have hit an all-time high in recent months: In October, 53 US troops died from improvised explosive devices, while in November, 49 troop deaths were blamed on so-called IEDs -- the second and third highest monthly tolls of the war, official statistics and casualty reports show.


That is far higher than the overall monthly average of 28 IED-related deaths since July 2003, when the data were first compiled.  And in the three previous months, between 22 and 29 soldiers and Marines died from roadside bombs.


Officials at the Joint IED Defeat Organization admit that most of the billions of dollars they get each year goes to developing high-tech gear to detect or disarm bombs rather than addressing the root of the problem: finding out where the bombs come from and who is planting them.


December is on track to become the deadliest month of all.


According to news reports, 53 soldiers died as of Dec. 16; Pentagon data indicates that roughly 60 percent of all casualties this month came from roadside bombings. Throughout much of the war, IEDs have caused about half of all US combat deaths in Iraq, according to a September study by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.


That has spurred outrage among military officers, Pentagon contractors, and members of Congress.  They charge that, after spending billions of taxpayer dollars to address the problem there is still virtually no solid intelligence on how the bombers operate.


Senator Gordon Smith , a Republican from Oregon who had been a longtime supporter of the Iraq war, put it bluntly in his critique of the Iraq war on the Senate floor last week:


"I, for one, am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way, being blown up by the same bombs day after day.  That is absurd.  It may even be criminal.  I cannot support that anymore."


The Joint IED Defeat Organization, which had been hailed as the "Manhattan Project" of the roadside bomb problem, "has been a disaster," said Ed O'Connell , a counter-insurgency specialist at the government-funded Rand Corporation in Santa Monica, Calif. , who has advised US commanders in Iraq.


Cheap and lethal, roadside bombs are the tactic of choice for both Sunni and Shia Muslim insurgent groups opposed to the US military presence.


"We can't even detect their explosives," said Loren Thompson , a military specialist at the Lexington Institution, an Arlington, Va., think tank that supports strong military preparedness.  "We don't have the resources to police or survey every road. The IED problem is a case study of how military transformation has failed.


That lack of intelligence, however, is not only blamed on the IED office but also on commanders in the field, who some specialists say aren't forthcoming about the extent of the problem.


A previously unpublicized assessment generated by the Republican staff of the House Armed Services Committee and obtained by the Globe effectively accused the generals of hedging the truth when Congress asks what they need to protect the troops.  [Isn’t that sweet?  Generals don’t lie.  Oh no, they “hedge the truth.”]


The 2005 congressional report said that on numerous occasions, generals assured lawmakers that they have "complete (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) coverage over the respective theater battlespace; and in effect, 'they get everything.' " That has repeatedly been proven wrong, it said.


"The assumption then has always been that the troops also 'get everything' in the way of warning and intelligence, but this has not been the case," the report said.


"The fact that the enemy still has the ability to go out at night and set dozens of IEDs, mine and cut pipelines, and have hundreds of new recruits coming in to join and reinforce the insurgent forces undetected gives testament to the fact that something is gravely wrong."  [Right.  It’s called an “occupation.”  For some odd reason, Iraqis don’t want to live under a military occupation dictatorship commanded by George W. Bush.  Imagine that.  That’s what’s “gravely wrong.”  T]








10.28.06:  US soldiers man a spot checkpoint setup around the Karada neighborhood in central Baghdad.  .(AFP/Ali al-Saadi)









Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair autographs an armored vehicle during his visit to British troops in Basra Dec. 17, 2006.  (AP Photo/Eddie Keogh/pool)


[This is a message to Americans from Rose Gentle.  Her son Gordon was killed in Iraq.  She leads a campaign to bring all the Scots and other troops home from Iraq, now.  Her words carry more weight, and contain more truth, than 5000 pages of bullshit from the politicians.  T]


From: Rose Gentle

To: GI Special

Sent: December 18, 2006 9:34 AM


when  i saw  tony blair  in  iraq. i was so mad


how  can this bit of dirt  stand with our  troops  when he is the one that is geting  them  kilied, and  to autograph  an  armored  vehicle


its  just a shame  that  he will  not  be in it  by him self  and  it  gets blown  up ,


our  troops  dont want his  autograph


:: Article nr. 29357 sent on 28-dec-2006 11:04 ECT


:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

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