In 2005, Army Colonel Ted Westhusing, was working for the now famous General David Petraeus in counterterrorism and special operations.
On June 5th, he committed suicide with a single bullet to his own head from his M9 Beretta. He began as a man who truly believed in this invasion and in his mission. He was a church going English professor at West Point. When the Texas Observer covered it, he was the highest ranking US military officer in Iraq at the time who had died.
The disillusion that killed Ted Westhusing is part of the invoice that America will be paying long after the United States pulls its last troops out of Iraq.The cause of death” Not a gunshot wound. But the revelation that the mission and its supporters was corrupt, immoral, and rife with torture and abuse.
The Colonel was one of those men whose beliefs about the rightness of his cause was so deep, that when the truth was uncovered, the logical and emotional and spiritual scaffolding that supported everything he lived for had collapsed. He uncovered a truth that he was working not for freedom but for American corporations. That we were not there to do anything but grab oil and money and protect the political cronies of his commanders.
This note was written to an unnamed commander.
"Thanks for telling me it was a good day until I briefed you. [Redacted name]—You are only interested in your career and provide no support to your staff—no msn [mission] support and you don’t care. I cannot support a msn that leads to corruption, human right abuses and liars. I am sullied—no more. I didn’t volunteer to support corrupt, money grubbing contractors, nor work for commanders only interested in themselves. I came to serve honorably and feel dishonored. I trust no Iraqi. I cannot live this way. All my love to my family, my wife and my precious children. I love you and trust you only. Death before being dishonored any more.Link here:
"Trust is essential—I don’t know who to trust anymore. Why serve when you cannot accomplish the mission, when you no longer believe in the cause, when your every effort and breath to succeed meets with lies, lack of support, and selfishness? No more. Reevaluate yourselves, cdrs [commanders]. You are not what you think you are and I know it."
Texas Observer link:
While we watch the rightwing noise machine try and cover up mess in Iraq, while we watch mainstream media participate in this lie, while we scratch out heads and wonder what happened to our country, it’s good to see that there are some who live by the truth they see with their own eyes: that this entire invasion has been nothing but a power play. His death was the direct result of the policies of George W. Bush.