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"Art. 3. In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:

(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria. To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons: (a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; (b) taking of hostages; (c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment; (d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples. (2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for. An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict."

This article does not and has never held any ambiguity for me and I do not believe it has ever held any for the millions of American soldiers (to include the OSS and CIA operatives) who have served in our armed forces since the United States signed these conventions.  I make this statement without reservation and with the backdrop of having served in the United States Army for nearly three decades including several combat tours of duty.   I also say to you that I proudly carried the "Geneva Conventions Card" in my pocket every single day of my military career from the day it was issued to me in basic training.  I carried that card proudly because it represented the moral stature of my nation.  It said to me that no matter what, no matter how I was treated, if I was captured or if I captured an enemy soldier I knew what my country expected of me and what my country stood for and I would never violate that trust.   I would never violate the trusts placed in me by the citizens of our great nation, my comrades in arms and yes, even my enemy.

I thought not to write this post.   I thought not to write it because I have become convinced that Americans, at least that vast multitude that continue to allow themselves to be deluded by the Bush administration, don't care about anything but themselves much less the Geneva Conventions and I would therefore be posting to the wind.   I still believe that and unfortunately I believe it with all my heart but in spite of that stolid belief I had an overpowering need to express my utter disdain and contempt for George W. Bush and the actions of his administration.   So I say to you that in my opinion, this administration possesses not one iota of common decency, honor, or moral character and these attempts on their part to change the United States interpretation of the Geneva Conventions are just one more example of an administration with no moral compass.  This is to me just one more example of a Commander in Chief who has removed his cloak of moral authority and I say God help us all if our elected officials in the House of Representatives and Senate allow this grotesque interpretation of the conventions to become the law of the land because that will be just one more nail in the coffin of our democracy.

Those Are The Sergeant Majors Thoughts On That.

Originally posted to SGT MAJOR MYERS on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 02:19 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I'm glad you overcame your initial thought (15+ / 0-)

      not to post this.  It is important to read it, and to understand its importance, particularly the language you bolded -- that bolding says it all.

      Thank you for sharing your powerful words with us; they are moving on many levels.

      It's no disgrace not to be able to run a country nowadays, but it is a disgrace to keep on trying when you know you can't. ~ Will Rogers

      by vigilant meerkat on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 07:13:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't be surprised you vets, (5+ / 0-)

      to learn that Democrats are better for the military than Republicans.

      Republicans care about profits, Democrats care about people.  And, last I checked, and contrary to what Donald Rumsfeld seems to think, troops are people.

      Lastly, might I remind people about the following "liberals":

      Lincoln - freed the slaves, won the war.
      T.Roosevelt - national park system, won the war.

      W. Wilson - child labor laws, anti-trust busting, won the war.

      F.D. Roosevelt - The New Deal, won the war.

      Truman - desegregated the Army, Federal Housing Act, won the war.

      Eisenhower (that's right, Ike) - Brown v. Board of Education, Interstate System, and the Allied Supreme Commander.

      Kennedy - civil rights, Peace Corps, turned back Russian missiles.

      Clinton - 24 million jobs, low poverty, Bosnia, Kosovo, Haiti.

  •  Sgt. Meyers, thank you. (25+ / 0-)

    Thank you for your service, for your moral integrity, and your courage in posting this diary.  Have you ever been to DKos before?  If you've been around the last few days, you know how the huge majority of people on this site view the issue of torture.  If you haven't, Sir, you're about to have your view reinforced many, many times over.  

  •  we have (27+ / 0-)

    we have fought much bigger wars and much bigger enemies and these rules could be followed, I don't buy this bush crap for a minute.  He wants to be boy king.

    Osama Bin Bathtub. Slip and Falls injuries kill many, many more americans each year than terrorism. Should we be afraid of the tub as well?

    by voter for sale on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 02:11:03 PM PDT

  •  Bravo for your (46+ / 0-)

    wonderful defence of the Geneva Conventions. Many people don't remember the outrage the the Japanese treatment of allied POWS and civilian internees. Some relatives of mine were caught in the Philippines and interned at Santo Tomas.  They had a horrible time. The POWS fate was even worse. The Japanese had not signed the Geneva Conventions. Thanks again. I was in the USAF 1965-1969.

    Compassion is perhaps the chief and only law of human existence. Dostoyevsky

    by Hamish in CT on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 02:13:04 PM PDT

  •  Convincing the deluded is one thing. (10+ / 0-)

    Giving folks a chance to stand shoulder-to-shoulder on what we're all about - that's something else.

    Cheers.

  •  Thank you Sgt. Major (8+ / 0-)

    For once again adding your voice and experience to a critically important matter at a critically important time.

  •  Future soldiers will be denied that pride (35+ / 0-)

     I also say to you that I proudly carried the "Geneva Conventions Card" in my pocket every single day of my military career from the day it was issued to me in basic training.  I carried that card proudly because it represented the moral stature of my nation.

    and that is truly tragic. Thank you for saying this so clearly .

    This is to me just one more example of a Commander in Chief who has removed his cloak of moral authority

    Isn't that exactly what Impeachment was supposed to be for?  

    The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function -- Edward Teller.

    by lgmcp on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 02:21:05 PM PDT

  •  Thank you Sgt Major (10+ / 0-)

    I think you speak for most of you comrads and you're definately not speaking to the wind!

    "An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war."-Mark Twain

    by coloradocomet on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 02:22:29 PM PDT

  •  Where ya been? (8+ / 0-)

    Great to read you again.

    Something's happening here today -- a show of strength with your boys' brigade. Paul Weller

    by jamfan on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 02:29:08 PM PDT

  •  Thank you. (14+ / 0-)

    Everyone in the Armed Forces says the same thing.

    I've watched General Clark asked about this by Chris Matthews and Bill O'Liely and he answered the same way every time....we must always adhere to the Geneva Conventions.

    "This is not a time for a candidate who will offend no one; it is time for a candidate who takes clear stands and kicks ass."....Molly Ivins

    by pelican on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 02:32:13 PM PDT

  •  A silver spoon (7+ / 0-)

    that is what we get for letting a person with a sllver spoon up his ass and a mommies boy get elected to be a president of the U S A.
    thank you for your service and your great comment

    How to make America great and moral; VOTE DEMOCRATIC

    by roxnev on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 02:33:09 PM PDT

  •  from one old soldier to another SALUTE (26+ / 0-)

    I have said the same thing and I concur 100% and I am only a Staff Sergeant  Infantry

    support change: http://securingamerica.com/ccn

    by testvet6778 on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 02:44:10 PM PDT

    •  Only???? (15+ / 0-)

      Come on now, the NCOs are the backbone of any military.  They set the standard.  To all the NCOs out there, keep up the good work.  

      With any luck, like 9-11, 11-7 will change everything, the democrats will take back congress, investigations will occur, the truth will finally come out, and shit-for-brains will end up pulling latrine detail at the federal prison.  

      Of course, you NCO's will face the daunting task of rebuilding the military, again.

      •  I understand the Staff Sgt's point (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sfgb, suzq

        For context, in the Army, a Sargent Major is it's heart and soul.

        A Sargent Major is often a mentor to younger officers due to his experience. He usually knows the thoughts and feelings of the lower ranking EMs.

        In my time in the Army, I never knew a bad Sargent Major. They are simply awsome in their ability to understand the concerns of others and to provide the kick in the butt, the pat on the back or the quiet word that helps others.

        George W. is NOT an incompetent liar, he's had waaay too much practice for that. (-2.25, -2.56)

        by EclecticFloridian on Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 06:15:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Once again you have outlined the (37+ / 0-)

    issue clearly. As a fellow 'card carrier' I am quite convinced that the root of the Bush administrastions deplorable views and approach to this subject are as a result of their almost universal failure to serve in uniform. You cannot be exposed to the battlefield and modern warfare without coming away with a deep appreciation of the need for,and the requirementof following the Geneva Conventions. It is one of those things that show that,even amongst the barbarionism of warfare,we are are still civilised. These guys can't,and never will,get it.

    it tastes like burning...

    by eastvan on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 02:45:51 PM PDT

    •  But if they have doubts or questions, (7+ / 0-)

      perhaps they could have a Congressional Hearing and ask any surviving veterans of of the the Bataan Death March or Korean War POws what the lack of adherance to Genava Conventions can have as consequence. Those soldiers were victims of countries that refused to abide or were not signatories of the Conventions and the price they paid was horrific. to disavow the Conventions would lead to the certainty that any future POws would endure similair mistreatment.

      it tastes like burning...

      by eastvan on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 04:55:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I knew a Battan survivor (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        suzq, kredwyn, Monique Radevu

        When I was a teenager. I can never forget his face.
        When ever the word "haunted" is used in print or in a movie, no matter the context, his face floats up in memory.

        He was a strong Dem but had to leave the room anytime any oriental person came in. He tried to control it, but would always fail.

        He did not hate them but the memory trigger for him was overwhelming.

        -- If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all. * Noam Chomsky

        by NCrefugee on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 06:28:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  George Bush (15+ / 0-)

    likes to compare the current situation to WWII.

    Perhaps he should be reminded that in WWII, the US upheld and observed the provisions of the Geneva Conventions, and the German enemy observed them in the case of our prisoners.

    Is the current situation more dire?  Is the US in greater danger than it was from Nazi Germany?  Or is our leadership now more corrupt?

    Then the LORD said unto me: 'Out of the north the evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.

    by curmudgiana on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 02:48:41 PM PDT

  •  Amen, and thank you (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suzq, BurnetO, boofdah, hypersphere01, quadmom

    It is always a worthwhile endeavor to speak the truth. These are heart-breaking times. There are many things that reasonable people may disagree on, but torture is not one of them. How can we even be having this debate in this country in 2006? I want my country back!

  •  Thank you Sgt. Major Meyers (5/0) (7+ / 0-)

    I salute you for your perspective on this very serious issue. A bunch of neocon war planners who never served in uniform have really screwed this country up.

  •  Very well said (6+ / 0-)

    I wish you could lead a contingent of millions of like-minded vets to Washington this week, to stand vigil outside the Congress.

    Thank you for posting the actual language in Article 3.  It's clear you had no trouble interpreting the meaning, but apparently our current government doesn't have your intellectual - or moral - capabilities.

    Good to hear from you again.

  •  josh marshall (23+ / 0-)

    had the best angle this morning:

    if you were to pick the single greatest hypocrisy of the bush presidency, wouldn't it have to be this: that the man who ostentatiously claims jesus as his favorite philosopher (he of "do unto others as ye would have them do unto you" fame) would say, in all seriousness, "common article iii says that there will be no outrages upon human dignity. it's very vague. what does that mean, 'outrages upon human dignity'?"

  •  Sergeant Major, (9+ / 0-)

    you are a credit to your country, your military, and your blog.  We're fortunate to have you here.

    Once I believed some men were good, some men were evil, and I could tell the difference. Later I learned to tie my shoes, and that I'm wrong a lot.

    by Junior Bug on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 03:07:09 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for the heartfelt testimony, Sgt. Major (21+ / 0-)

    As I'm sure you realize, the Geneva Convention is an international treaty and as such part and parcel of international law. The US is not empowered to interpret it contrary to its intention and sprit. Any violation of the provisions in question is a war crime, and it remains a war crime regardless of that the US president, Congress or courts say about it.

    In the first place, going against this weakens the US moral standing in the world. Secondly, those responsible are liable to be tried for war crimes at the Hague. Law professors have recently said that members of Contress voting for such a change would be liable for prosecution under international law. The US military and intelligence services are also so bound.

    None of these "definitions" or changes would make an iota of difference in the court of world opinion on the World Court that tries war criminals. What then is it about?

    The Administration is trying to change US law so they cannot be prosecuted for war crimes in US courts. However, Congress does not have the power to do this without abrogating the Convention itself. SCOTUS has already signaled with Hamdan that it is displeased. They would likely hold the changes passed as law to be unconstitutional and hold the US to its treaty obligations.

    If I were in a senior post right now, I would be worried.

    If not now, when? When they come for you, then it will be too late. Shout it from the rooftops, take it to the streets.

    by tjfxh on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 03:13:50 PM PDT

    •  I think people have forgotten this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sfgb, SLJ, suzq

      Article VI of the U.S. Constitution: treaties are not quaint, optional little cocktail-party agreements to be followed at the whim of the executive. Once ratified, they are the law of the land.

      This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

      The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution[...]

  •  What the Hell... (8+ / 0-)

    ...does Bush know about this?

    c: outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;

    I heard him ridicule it by saying it's vague. Then I thought of Gandhi, MLK, Jimmy Carter, Aung San Suu Kyi and so many others who have struggled and are fighting for the dignity of humanity.
    Now this SOB. He has no dignity, he's surrendered our dignity, now he should be at the minimum out of office or serving time because he doesn't deserve the dignity of his office.

    P.S. I know the quote where Bush said the Geneva Convention is "vague" on a detained person's dignity is out there somewhere, I just think it would be applicable if someone found it.

    Creative Juices "I thought you were going to ask me about the pig." -GWB

    by MichaelPH on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 03:14:22 PM PDT

  •  Great diary Sergeant Major! (28+ / 0-)

    I'm a retired military man myself and I couldn't have said it any better.  

    Bush and Co., IMHO, are trying to retroactively cover their sorry asses by tinkering with the Geneva Convention.  I am of the opinion they have committed or authorized serious breaches of the conventions.  I think it explains Bush's frantic arguments for trying to get Congress to tinker with Common Article 3.  

    Normally, I would cite their lack of service in the military as the reason for their lack of understanding of the Geneva Conventions and Law of Armed Conflict.  However, I don't think one has to have had served in the military to understand the basis and rationale for these rules or to understand why we should abide by its provisions. BTW, rules which, up until now, we have followed pretty closely.  The truth of the matter is that band of thugs couldn't care less about the law and have proven that with reckless abandon.

    If Bush gets his way on Common Article 3, I am certain the honor and reputation of our country will be permanently destroyed and will result in "no-holds barred" warfare in the future.  

    The Republicans- The party of fear, greed and ignorance

  •  You are not posting to the wind (23+ / 0-)

    But those of us who will listen, even at Daily Kos, are too few. Those who seek empire are relentless and have vast resources. They are going to steer us into hell.

    I wrote a diary earlier on how the new Army Field Manual, so heralded as humane, allows for sophisticated torture based on isolation, sleep deprivation, the instigation of fear and futility in the detainee. The result is a wicked brew of neurological disorientation and mental breakdown. -- And all this is supposedly in an army manual that states it adheres to the Geneva Convention.

    The diary was all but ignored by most of the crowd here (with some notable exceptions, including Jerome a Paris, Avila, thl lib, and some others).

    Here's the link for those interested:
    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Bush has shredded international law. The administration nullified Geneva four years ago. Bush wants it codified in domestic law now. McCain is said to say a compromise is feasible. Media Freeze has a top rated diary on how McCain's bill will nix habeas for 1000s of prisoners.

    WTF, indeed.

    "Hypocrite lecteur, -- mon semblable, -- mon frère!" -- Baudelaire

    by Valtin on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 03:22:27 PM PDT

  •  For those people who consider this a (13+ / 0-)

    "Christian Nation" and support abandoning the Geneva Conventions, I say they have strayed very far away indeed.

    Over the past few days, I have been thinking a lot about this affront to our American values.  

    John Fund was on Hardball tonight claiming that the Geneva Conventions weren't exactly the Ten Commandments, but I would have to disagree.  

    The irony is that the humanitarian side of every religion that is represented in this country is reflected in the Geneva Conventions.  The moral high ground is in the Geneva Conventions.  If you love Jesus, you should love the Geneva Conventions because in so many ways they reflect his teachings.

    Bush believes that there is some sort of Third Awakening.  But the Second Awakening came to be in opposition to slavery.  If there is a Third Awakening, will its participants rise up against torture?  Or is this so-called faith really just another step towards the Dark Ages?

  •  Thank-You (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, bee tzu, hypersphere01

    Keep writing and keep speaking out, PLEASE.  Our Country and our Democracy demand this of all of us now.  If we don't fight for America who will.  200 Hundred years we have prevailed and it comes down to a socialpathic man who has been in office 5 years to destroy what many service men have fought and died for.  We have to fight for them and for the future of our children.  I won't quit until I am dead and even then,God willing, I will continue the fight still.

  •  Would you consider... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hypersphere01, old wobbly, offgrid

    forwarding this to Senator McCain, Sen. Warner, Sen. Graham and the Bush idiot?  The Senators' emails can be gotten at www.senate.org.  The prez must be easy to get also.  Thanks for the posting.  It's good to hear from the military on this.  I haven't seen them do the right thing in six years, but I can always hope.

  •  My perspective (13+ / 0-)

    I have to agree that this provision provided no ambiguity for me.  I served 8 years in the Army, and from my first class on the laws of land warfare to the day I ETSed there was never an implication that I could torture, degrade, humiliate, or otherwise render cruel treatment to an EPW or a civilian detainee.

    I am flabbergasted at the implication that this article unclear.  Ones moral compass has to be screwed up beyond recognition to not understand the clear distinctions between authorized and unauthorized actions.  

    Bush feels that we must become our enemy to defeat them.  It’s not true; we must not become the monster we seek to defeat.  Victory will be in not succumbing to the desire to use our enemy’s tactics and instead being an example of liberty and justice to the world.

    "Another terrorism speech by the president is sort of like reruns of Seinfeld. It's on every night and we've memorized most of the lines." --Craig Crawford

    by UTLiberal on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 03:34:51 PM PDT

    •  You said: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sfgb

      Ones moral compass has to be screwed up beyond recognition to not understand the clear distinctions between authorized and unauthorized actions.

      One's mental aptitude plays a roll here too, and while most of those that volunteer to serve are excellent, the demand for troops is such that the bottom of the barrel is accepted now too.

      17. Ne5

      In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

      by Spud1 on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 05:22:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What I ment... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Spud1

        was shrubs "moral compass," nobody should be surprised by THAT statement.  

        I think the US Military received (I put past tense because I cannot testify to todays training) some of the best training in the lawful conduct of war on the planet.  The military trains in such a way that a one handed monkey can be taught to do almost anything, so I don't think that "bottom of the barrel" is a good excuse (it is an excuse, but one I think is a failure of leadership, not of the troops)  

        "Another terrorism speech by the president is sort of like reruns of Seinfeld. It's on every night and we've memorized most of the lines." --Craig Crawford

        by UTLiberal on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 08:28:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And I wonder how well we're training them. (0+ / 0-)

        For me, the problem always starts at the top.  I have a hard time blaming the recruits if the leadership is stinky.

  •  DD Form 2A, 1 Jul 74 (20+ / 0-)

    I was active duty Army from 2 Nov 82 until 15 Jun 92.  The identification card I carried during that time was the form listed in the subject line.

    The header on the front of the card was "US ARMED FORCES IDENTIFICATION CARD" and the footer, "GENEVA CONVENTIONS IDENTIFICATION CARD".  The front of the card also had my picture, name, SSN, rank, and signature.

    The back of the card had the statement: Identification for purposes of the Geneva Convention relative to treatment of prisoners of war of August 12, 1949. Below that was more identifying information: date of birth, weight, height, color hair, color eyes, blood type, and GENEVA CONVENTION CATEGORY. (Category 1. Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.)

    I didn't carry a card with the provisions of the GC as mentioned by SGM Myers, but I did receive periodic training about what they were, and I did carry my ID card which was a constant reminder of the possibilities inherent in being a member of the armed forces.

    I also learned about illegal orders. Abu Ghraib infuriated me. What are they teaching the soldiers in the current Army? What kind of training are they receiving? I have tried to imagine any member of any unit I served with being willing to treat a prisoner as shown in those photographs - and can't. My mind just sputters, "But- but- that's impossible."

    I want any future situation like Abu Ghraib to return to being impossible to imagine, not "business as usual".

    •  i was absolutely disgusted (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marrael, suzq

      i am still mad as hell about that.

      Don't fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating. --Brazil (1985)

      by hypersphere01 on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 03:55:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you. That's profoundly reassuring, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      suzq

      to know that what I thought about us in the past was true.

      So now this one man tries to change everything that is sacred to Americans on the basis of his goals?

      The man is most dangerous.

      And thank you for your service.

    •  I think Bush's abrogation of Geneva in the "GWOT" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      suzq

      which destroyed the absoluteness of the rules, combined with guards lacking sufficient training and the environment of Abu Graib, made the abuses as much as guaranteed.  See the Stanford Prison Experiment (the link includes Abu Graib comparisons).  Under those conditions, normally decent people will commit or accede to atrocities, and it takes a near-saint to stand up and say "stop."

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 10:21:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Add dehumanization & demonization (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Simplify

        The Bush regime coupled Iraq with the emotion laden 9/11, made Hussein into some sort of devil, and said the Geneva conventions don't apply.  Add the cultural, linguistic, and religious differences, and the fact that the CIA was using the same prison to torture people...

  •  WE CARE!!! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dazy, javelina, hypersphere01, bonesy

    You came to the right place.  Thank you for your thoughtful post.

  •  Thank you for Speaking out! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dazy, javelina, hypersphere01

    I know how you feel sometimes, but then I know all these wonderful people who do care and who do fight to keep American a moral light in a sometimes dark world.

    Thank you, Sir, for adding you moral light to this darkness.

  •  Thank you for your strong words (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hypersphere01, Monique Radevu

    They mean a lot, and they are heard.

    The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind. - Thomas Paine

    by javelina on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 03:39:06 PM PDT

  •  Good to see you back, Sgt Major Meyers. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    testvet6778, hypersphere01

    Just when they think they know the answer, I change the question. -Roddy Piper

    by McGirk on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 03:43:13 PM PDT

  •  Thanks you for weighing in on this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dazy, testvet6778, hypersphere01

      with your perspective- it is invaluable. good diary.

  •  What do you think of the new "Warrior Ethos"? (21+ / 0-)

    It seems to have replaced the old Soldier's Creed.  

    I find it un-American.

    Old version;

       "I am an American soldier.

       I am a member of the United States Army--a protector of the greatest nation on earth. Because I am proud of the uniform I wear, I will always act in ways creditable to the military service and the nation that it is sworn to guard ...

       No matter what situation I am in, I will never do anything for pleasure, profit or personal safety, which will disgrace my uniform, my unit or my country.

       I will use every means I have, even beyond the line of duty, to restrain my Army comrades from actions, disgraceful to themselves and the uniform.

       I am proud of my country and it's flag.

       I will try to make the people of this nation proud of the service I represent for I am an American soldier."

    New version here;

       I am an American soldier.

       I am a warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the Unites States and live the Army values.

       I will always place the mission first.

       I will never accept defeat.

       I will never quit.

       I will never leave a fallen comrade.

       I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills. I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.

       I am an expert and I am a professional. I stand ready to deploy, engage and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat. I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.

       I am an American soldier.

    Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. -1.75 -7.23

    by Shockwave on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 03:46:30 PM PDT

    •  WHEN THE F*CK DID THIS HAPPEN??????? (11+ / 0-)

      Everybody copy and save the old soldiers creed.  Something tells me we're gonna need a whole bunch of copies to set things right (hopefully in the not too distant future).

      •  I am trying to find out when and why it happened (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bee tzu, sfRenter

        n/t

        Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. -1.75 -7.23

        by Shockwave on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 04:15:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Been around for a while now (0+ / 0-)

          The Army is borrowing from the USMC, trying to bring more warrior spirit to the soldiers.  My understanding is that it has not replaced the Creed, it is a supplement to.

          Along with this, I remember hearing talk of twice annual rifle qual, increased live fires, more hand-to-hand etc.

          It's to remind soldiers that they are combatants, not to brainwash them.  If you haven't served, you likely don't appreciate how little time some soldiers spend around weapons.

          •  It HAS replaced the Soldier's Creed completely (0+ / 0-)

            http://www.army.mil/...

            Do you know since when?

            The Marines have this code, quite different;

            ARTICLE I:
            I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.

            ARTICLE II:
            I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.

            ARTICLE III:

            If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and to aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.

            ARTICLE IV:
            If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information nor take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them in every way.

            ARTICLE V:
            When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country or its allies or harmful to their cause.

            ARTICLE VI:
            I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free

            I will trust in my God and in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

            This is the one I remember;

            he Code of Conduct

            I am an American fighting in the forces that guard my country and our way of life, I am prepared to give my life in their defense.

            I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.

            If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.

            If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.

            Should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies.

            I will never forget that I am an American fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.

            Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. -1.75 -7.23

            by Shockwave on Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 05:30:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  It's brainwashing soldiers for perpetual war (6+ / 0-)

      Get the Truth - vote Democratic!

      by annefrank on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 03:56:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A simple modification might clear it up (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shockwave, esquimaux

        I am an American - my behavior will reflect my country's beliefs

        I am a human, a member of the human race, a team. I serve the greater good of mankind and will protect humanistic values.

        The mission is peace on Earth, and I will put it first.

        I will never accept that peace can be defeated.

        I will never quit finding peaceful solutions.

        I am disciplined, physically able and mentally willing, trained and proficient in using my best judgment in my peace seaking tasks and drills. I always restrain my arms, my equipment and myself.

        I am an humanly weak, but capable of great things. I stand ready to deploy, engage and pacify the unwilling, even the leaders of the United States of America. I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life as it was always meant to be.

        I am a peace soldier .

    •  Does this have the stamp of approval from the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave

      US army????

      •  Yup. Right off www.army.mil (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        esquimaux, bee tzu

        It replaces the old Soldier's Creed.

        Check it out;

        http://www.army.mil/...

        Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. -1.75 -7.23

        by Shockwave on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 05:37:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wanna bet Bush had a hand in writing that? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Shockwave, esquimaux, Reel Woman

          The new soldier's credo vs. a Bush credo?

          I am a warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the Unites States and live the Army values.

          I am the President and the mascot for my team (cabinet). Since I AM the united states, I serve myself.

          I will always place the mission first.

          Once I make a decision, I will put that decision first and refuse to reconsider it.

          I will never accept defeat.

          I will never admit a mistake

          I will never quit.

          I will never quit denying all my mistakes

          I will never leave a fallen comrade.

          Loyalty to me is more important than a person's competence or ability to do a job properly and I will stick by those who are loyal to me no matter how badly they f*ck up.

          I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills. I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.

          No matter how much people try to get me to think logically, I have the mental toughness to ignore them. Maintaining my youthful physique is a top priority and no matter what domestic or international crisis is going on, setting aside time for myself takes precedence above all else.

          I am an expert and I am a professional. I stand ready to deploy, engage and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat. I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.

          I am an expert at being President. I stand ready to deploy, engage and destroy anybody who dares to try and get in my way to do as I please.

          I am an American soldier.

          I am America and I am a soldier. Yes, I am too much of an abject physical coward to fight in actual combat - (but the elite's place is not to be canon fodder anyway) but as a Political warrior I have dared to cross lines and break laws that few other Presidents have dared or succeeded to pull off (take THAT Richard Nixon

    •  this shit is scary (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave, suzq, Simplify, bee tzu, sfRenter

      I never served and so I've never seen this before.

      Any American can respect these ideals:

      I will always act in ways creditable to the military service and the nation that it is sworn to guard ... I will never do anything ... which will disgrace my uniform, my unit or my country...I will ... restrain my Army comrades from actions, disgraceful to themselves and the uniform.

      But now we have a completely Rumsfeldian creed:

      I am a warrior... place the mission first... destroy the enemies of the United States of America

      This version justifies anything including torture. I'm surprised it doesn't include a personal loyalty oath to the Leader.

      The Four Horsemen of Bushism: War, Corruption, Hypocrisy and Greed

      by esquimaux on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 09:30:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  disgusting n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave
  •  send this to your representatives (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dazy, annefrank, bee tzu

    send this to your local newspaper, local tv news, local radio, national tv news, and even cable shows like Chris Matthews, Rush Limbaugh.

    please send this to K.O.

    Bush should be the worst person in the world for trying to make inhumane tactics (torture) US law.

    Don't fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating. --Brazil (1985)

    by hypersphere01 on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 03:53:01 PM PDT

  •  I am the Infantry, Follow Me! nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annefrank, hypersphere01

    support change: http://securingamerica.com/ccn

    by testvet6778 on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 03:53:47 PM PDT

  •  SGT Major Meyers...., (7+ / 0-)
    ...let us assume for a moment that one of our side is out on the battlefield out of uniform.  Let us say we are 1000 clicks out on a Kawasaki dirt bike calling in air strikes or walking around within the general population, in a burka, calling in air strikes over a satellite phone and we get caught.  What now?  

    Now maybe people can see why we need the GENEVA Convention.  Some are willing to put their ass on line to mitigate non-combatant losses, but it is a sorry day in hell when the administration who lied to get us here is willing to remove the only shred of a chance at humane treatment should our side get caught.

    BushCo Policy... If you aren't outraged, you haven't been paying attention. -3.25 -2.26

    by Habanero on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 03:56:44 PM PDT

    •  More importantly than that... (0+ / 0-)

      because some of my Marine friends say that Geneva is "quaint" because everyone expects to be tortured...

      there is something more important than quid pro quo.

      The person you capture has a family, friends and a community back home.  They are absolutely laser focused on how the most powerful nation in the world will treat this person.  And how we treat this person speaks volumes about the kind of nation we are.
      For every person we torture, we generate 100, 1,000, who knows how many enemies.

      We're not getting good info from torture victims, so I can only conclude that we're doing it for retribution and to get our own rocks off.  But in the process, we're creating enemies.  Since when was the purpose of the Army not to fight enemies but create them?

  •  Thanks Sargeant Major (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, Monique Radevu

    n/t

    "A child miseducated is a child lost" John F. Kennedy

    by Pam from Calif on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 04:06:18 PM PDT

  •  recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, Monique Radevu

    I think I've uncovered the problem.  There is a question as to whether the people pushing to destroy Article III are, in fact, civilized people.  We are talking about Bush, Cheney, and Rummy after all.

    BTW, Sgt. Major Myers, I love your standard closing line.  It reminds me of Forrest Gump--is that intentional?

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D: TELL THE TRUTH. HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE. REPAIR THE DAMAGE. VOTE DEMOCRATIC!

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 04:07:35 PM PDT

    •  the closing line (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      suzq

      is E9 code, since they stand next to the almighty himself, for: it don't matter if you have stripes, bars, oak leaves, or stars on your collar, when the SMAGE speaks, ya better just shut the fuck up and goddamn listen!

      It's just put a little nicer, but we get the meaning behind it. ;)

      "It isn't important to come out on top. What matters is to be the one who comes out alive." -Bertolt Brecht, "Jungle of Cities."

      by Jeffersonian Democrat on Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 06:47:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

      Forget the civilized, I have doubts that Bush et al are even classifiable as human. They certainly don't act that way...

  •  I so strongly agree with you, Sergeant Major. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Babsnc, Monique Radevu

    Thank you for writing your thoughts here.

    Republicans saw the savagery of 9/11 and quickly descended into savagery themselves.

    by lecsmith on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 04:09:54 PM PDT

  •  Bush is no friend of the military. (5+ / 0-)

    It's as simple as that.  It is not enough to compromise the safety of every one of our soldiers, now he must compromise their honor as well.  He is no friend of the military, no friend of America, no friend of humanity.

    More and more the Bush administration puts me in mind of nothing so much as a virulent strain of bacteria, one that uses up its host until there is nothing left of either of them.

    "...the big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart." -- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

    by Roddy McCorley on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 04:10:51 PM PDT

  •  Muslim extremists don't give a damn about the (9+ / 0-)

    Geneva Conventions and any of our soldiers who are captured are in a world of hurt. The right wing is using that as rationale for scraping the GC and for authorizing torture.

    I couldn't agree more with the Sargeant Major. When we stoop to their level, we become the enemy we seek to destroy.

    "Imagination is more important than knowledge" - Albert Einstein

    by Citizen Earth on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 04:13:02 PM PDT

    •  READ THIS (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Liberal Thinking, Psyche, dsteffen

      and if I have broken any rules, forgive me. I feel so emotional about this commentary I just want to get it out there somehow, someway, any way.

      Terrorism Trials in the Light: A Way Ahead?

      JURIST Guest Columnist John Bickers of Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University, says that for all the attention being paid to the procedures proposed for new US military commissions, how those procedures are used - who is to be tried, and when - is a far more vital issue...

      Since President Bush’s September 6 announcement of his draft legislation governing military commissions, considerable ink has been spilled over the nature of the proposed procedures. Foremost among them have been the discomforting refusal of the administration to rule out the introduction of substantive evidence outside of the presence of the accused. This proposal, rejected even by the senior military leaders of the armed forces, may well not survive Congress. Even those endeavoring to execute the commissions argue that the procedures must be improved in several other ways to bring them into compliance with U.S. and international law. Yet it is possible that all of the discussion over what procedures should be used misses a far more vital issue. It may be that how any procedures are used—who is to be tried, and when—reflects a strategic choice more vital to the United States than narrower questions of what sort of review system is appropriate, or whether hearsay should be admissible.

      As the nation has grappled with our new enemy, it has been painfully clear that al Qaeda is not interested in adhering to the limits of the Law of Armed Conflict. The nations of the world, which developed those rules to mitigate the most terrible effects of war for its most helpless victims, have witnessed the results. We struggle not against a nation with whom we can ultimately seek peace, but against a criminal organization.

      There are two distinct models for attacking a criminal enterprise of this kind. In what might be called “the Untouchables” strategy, government forces seek a weak link in the organizational chain, a small fish. They hope to find someone who possesses limited power and limited liability, but knows about the internal workings of the organization. Pressure is put on that person, generally in the form of the stick of severe prosecution paired with the carrot of immunity or a favorable plea agreement.

      The expectation is that the small fish will offer the prosecutors better information and even testimony. The government can then pursue ever larger fish, ever more important targets, until the leader of the organization is brought into a courtroom, and perhaps a prison. Along the way the trials will be stealthy: jurors will be secluded, witnesses will be protected, gag orders will be issued. The government will conduct a secretive campaign, as darkness offers many advantages while pursuing the big fish.

      The other model is that conducted at the InternationalMilitary Tribunal (IMT) at Nuremberg after World War II.
      There the prosecutions began with the most culpable  defendants in the hands of the Allies. The first trial was an elaborate and high profile affair of almost two dozen men and a handful of organizations. Prominent lawyers of four nations served as judges and lead prosecutors (the United States sent the Attorney General for the former role and a Supreme Court Justice for the latter). Imprinted on the consciousness of the world since the IMT are the pictures of Robert Jackson at the podium, Herman Goering in the dock. The world watched on newsreels as the courtroom, crowded with judges, advocates, interpreters, and spectators, heard witness after witness and read document after document. Even in the grainy films that exist the impression a viewer gets is of proceedings conducted under bright light.

      Only after the original trial did other tribunals take up the problems of the lower level leaders, the rank-and-file who participated in the evils. By then, much of the glamour was gone, taking the press with it. There were thousands of trials conducted in what were accurately, if unpoetically, called the “Subsequent Proceedings.”

      Any doubts about which approach the U.S. would use against al Qaeda evaporated upon the announcement that the first defendant to face trial by military commission was to be Salim Hamdan. Hamdan, a driver and bodyguard for Osama bin Laden, has never been alleged by any government agency to be a leader, a planner, or even a major operative. On the contrary, he is a neat parallel with the usual run of drivers and lookouts so often targeted in an incrementalist campaign to bring down a mob. His identity as a small fish was placed into stark relief by the pronouncements of the White House that three legitimate big fish had been seized by U.S. forces: Ramzi Binalshibh, Abu Zubaydah, and the man who is alleged to have hatched the 9/11 plan, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM). The Untouchables strategy took charge of the proceedings, while potential Nuremberg defendants sat in U.S. or allied custody somewhere, seemingly beyond the reach of both the rights they should have been accorded and the justice owed the nation and the world. Little argument was heard about the strategic choice, and the renewed discussion following the president’s announcement has not changed that. This was unfortunate: the competing strategies are based on sets of assumptions that are perfectly opposite, and the possibility that the assumptions did not fit the actual world went sadly unexamined.

      The Untouchables strategy assumes a furtive, finite group. Its target has no real ideology beyond material reward. Although prosecutors may have extraordinary degrees of personal loyalty to overcome, they need not wean participants from any higher calling. In order to turn them, the economics of their position must be altered: the costs to the fish of remaining loyal must be made to be (or to seem) less than those of turning to the aid of the government.

      The Nuremberg model makes an opposite assessment of its foe. It targets a group which may be bound by loyalty or personal gain, but at least in part functions the way that it does because it believes that it is in the right. Because it has a triumphalist ideology, coupled with an odious lack of regard for the value of the humans it victimizes, it is futile to fight it in secret. The group will make claims of its own righteousness in the sunny town square; it will hide its misdeeds in the darkness. If it can keep them hidden, it will continue to grow and attract new followers. In order to fight such a group, the Nuremberg strategy needs light. The press was not allowed into the workings of the IMT out of the generosity of the Allies. The press was the critical player.

      Justice Jackson’s report to president made clear his belief that “the importance of this case is not measurable in terms of the personal fate of any of the defendants who were already broken and discredited men.” Rather, he thought, the lasting importance of the trial was that the demonstration of their crimes would “leave no ground for future admiration of their characters.”

      The peril to the United States, and the world, in clinging to the Untouchables strategy is that it allows the al Qaeda ideology to continue to grow. Operatives and true believers can maintain innocence, even victimization by the United States. A Nuremberg model, a trial of senior personnel, and perhaps the organization itself, would expose to world view the cruelties of al Qaeda, their attacks upon innocents traveling, at work, and even in embassies. Such a trial, with evidence subjected to rigorous cross-examination, conducted before the international press and carried on global television, would expose the deeds of men which might well leave no ground for current, or future, admiration of their characters.In his speech on September 6, 2006, the loudest applause President Bush received was when he announced that KSM and the other high profile detainees had been turned over to the military and should stand trial by military commission. It may have been caused by a hope for justice for these particular individuals. On the other hand, it may signal hope that there is to be a transformation of trial strategy, a change from the pursuit of individual gangsters to an attempt to discredit before a world audience this sinister ideology. Perhaps it reflected the growing awareness that the importance of exposing al Qaeda to the light exceeds even the need for settling the cases of these broken men.

      John M. Bickers is an Assistant Professor at Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University. He recently retired from the US Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

      September 14, 2006

  •  Oh man, SGM, I have missed you (7+ / 0-)

    And you have once again shown why. What a thing. Thank you so much for shining a light into a crevice which should be a pinnacle, a place darkened by these cowardly, ignoble bastards.

    I wish you and your family well, and may we all be happier, safer, and truer come November.

  •  Well Put (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, Monique Radevu

    At his next press conference, Bush should be asked: Only cowards and perverts torture prisoners.  Which are you?

  •  From one vet to another sir, Thank you. n/t (5+ / 0-)

    If you are not part of the change, you may be part of the problem.

    by eaglecries on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 04:46:34 PM PDT

  •  We are your wind. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SLJ, aimeeinkc, annan, bee tzu, Monique Radevu

    I thought not to write it because I have become convinced that Americans, at least that vast multitude that continue to allow themselves to be deluded by the Bush administration, don't care about anything but themselves much less the Geneva Conventions and I would therefore be posting to the wind.

    Thank you, Sir.  The wind carries a great many things to a great many lands.  I, for one, will carry your message with me like you carried the Conventions with you - with respect, honor, and compassion.  Thank you for letting us be your wind.  Thank you for your service.

  •  C'mon - like the rule of law (0+ / 0-)

    would have done anything to stop this.

    17. Ne5

    In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

    by Spud1 on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 05:17:24 PM PDT

  •  As a former soldier (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SLJ, cookiebear, suzq, annan, joesig, Ice Blue, seabos84

    I agree with every word you posted Sgt Major. I wrote a letter to Senator Warner this weekend expressing the same views to him which probably won't make a bit of differance, but I felt better for at least having tried.  I clearly remember those Geneva Convention lectures and we walked away clear about our role and the role of all governments in this matter. It was not unclear or vague to us and it is not to those who actually serve in uniform.  The President and his minions are showing their disdain for the soldier and for the safety of all who serve. When our government decides it is fine for us to torture means they have no problem with our soldiers being tortured and I simply can not agree with that.  For these so called Christians to ignore the Golden Rule is beyond my understanding.   Thank you Sgt Major- I salute you for speaking out.

    •  trying and failing BEATS doing nothing ;) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ice Blue, bee tzu

      I hate letting the bastards think that everyone is going to let them off the hook.

      rmm.

      http://www.liemail.com/BambooGrassroots.html

      by seabos84 on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 05:32:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I hope all you vets can convince AmVets (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Overseas

      to speak out about this plan to dishonor the uniform.

      This "program" of the Bush Administration will bring dishonor on generations of Americans who died for the honor of that uniform.

      Abu Ghraib showed that expediency and the use of civilian and contract interrogators over military line personnel dishonored the Army.  Allowing such techniques to be made "lawful" will remove any remain moral standing the US has in the world.

      Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under. H. L. Mencken

      by captainlaser on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 07:33:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  'I would never violate the trusts ..." = (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suzq

    a global citizen's code,
    a military professional's code,

    a code we citizen taxpayers are fortunate to benefit from,

    and a code which must be defended, down to the last period, comma,

    and shred of integrity.

    rmm.

    http://www.liemail.com/BambooGrassroots.html

    by seabos84 on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 05:31:26 PM PDT

  •  You speak with moral authority (0+ / 0-)

    I say God help us all if our elected officials in the House of Representatives and Senate allow this grotesque interpretation of the conventions to become the law of the land because that will be just one more nail in the coffin of our democracy.

    Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government.

    by JEB on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 05:36:23 PM PDT

  •  Thanks once again, Sergant Major, for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Babsnc, Monique Radevu

    putting the truth out there. I can see why you would struggle with writing this but am so glad you did. I have been wondering where the voices of the military are and when we would hear them. This is a huge issue to me as well.

    I grew up proud, knowing that my country was different. We knew the value of human beings and we knew that torture was very bad, and we would not ever do it. What are little kids to think now of their country?

    All along one of my big concerns has been for the soldiers now and what a difference this change wrought by Bush could make to their treatment should they be captured. We must wake up to this threat and stop it.

  •  It's not how you treat a vanquished enemy (12+ / 0-)

    when the world is watching. It's how you treat them when only you are there.
    Have American soldiers committed acrocities and war crimes? Yes. But overall the reputation and honor of the vast majority has been we treat our vanquished enemies with honor, dignity, and respect. To give that up does dishonor to the thousands of American fighting men who have gone before. Bush has no idea of what he does, and more so, that his father, who fought in WWII, allows hin to do this is dishonorable.
    Torture is UnAmerican.

    We have lost touch that we are a nation born of treason and revolution.

    by victor lazlo on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 06:03:49 PM PDT

  •  Hey smage, speaking 9 to 9, (7+ / 0-)

    this stuff scares me.  Personally.  I've been that guy way way out there.  No details, but I will tell a little story about the conventions for your audience here.  This one's not about me.  Remember those pictures of the Special Forces soldiers on horseback, in beards and native garb, riding into combat with the Northern Alliance?  Were they in uniform?      Yes, because we adhere to the GC's, they were.  In uniform, according to the Law of Armed Conflict and the Conventions, means carrying weapons openly, an established chain of command, and a uniform item recognizable from a distance.  Look a little carefully--same boots, maybe the same kaffiyeh, maybe something else uniform for all of them.  Why?  Because we know and respect the law, and want to be able to claim protection under those conventions for our guys.  WE WANT THE FUCKING PROTECTION FOR OUR GUYS.  If you're not one of those guys, never were one of those guys, don't have any relatives or friends who is one of those guys, well...fuck 'em.  The Conventions are a quaint anachronism.  

  •  What has been called into question (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tryptamine, Ahianne, SLJ, odenthal, Overseas

    in the matter of Article 3 is not the character or motives of George W. Bush, it is our character as the people of this nation. Will we chose to live in and act out of fear? Then we have lost the war, no matter how many terrorists we torture and kill. Are we a civilized people, or not?

  •  My daughter is a newly deployed PFC (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marrael, SLJ, suzq, joesig, Fury, maryru

    Sergeant Major, I can only hope that she finds you, and many others like you, in her chain of command.

  •  Civilized peoples says it all (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suzq

    What did the Germans and Japanese have in common after World War II?

    Hint: think Milosevic.... and The Hague.

    When civilized peoples stop following the Geneva Convention, they become War Criminals.  

    If George Bush wants to self-nominate himself for The Hague, he is going about it the right way.

    Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under. H. L. Mencken

    by captainlaser on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 07:21:27 PM PDT

    •  That is exactly (0+ / 0-)

      why they are trying to protect themselves from future prosecution by retro-activly making what they have already done "legal".

      Where is the outrage on the Right? They are letting this happen on their watch. The congressmen have rotted from the inside, the partisans are looking the other way, but what about the sane WWII vets, and others like this, that could pull them back from the brink from within?

      "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."-George Orwell

      by Babsnc on Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 07:16:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately for them (0+ / 0-)

        The Constitution contains a clause saying that international laws and treaties supercede federal laws. No matter how many laws they get passed to make them immune from prosecution, the rest of the world will still call them war criminals.

  •  that you for this diary (0+ / 0-)

    I find this whole subject so deeply disturbing, I haven't been able to read or listen to anything about it.  Yours is the first piece I've read.  Every member of the U.S. Congress should be made to read this diary.

  •  Men and women who wear the uniform (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suzq

    know what it means to act with honor even in combat.  America needs more voices like yours, Sgt Major Meyers.  

  •  Thank you SIR! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SLJ, suzq, Overseas

    Wonderful post.

    I opened it thinking, "This will be interesting," but am completely blown away by your words. By your presentation.

    By your quotes from the Geneva Convention.

    I personally agree, it is important to me that the Geneva Convention be followed. And I think it is to MANY many people in our country.

    FWIW, I was out walking my neighborhood tonight, talking to people as I'm running to be a "PCO" in my local Democratic party. As I walked, I also collected email addresses, and asked people if they'd like to come to house parties. Most of them were interested! I'm just saying that to tell you that I'm doing something to "Take My Country Back" from these nitwits.

    Thanks again.

    Be good to each other. It matters.

    by AllisonInSeattle on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 08:09:56 PM PDT

  •  We love ya Man (0+ / 0-)

    and your words have brought tears to my eyes.

    "No, I don't want to respond to him. He's at 20 percent in the polls. No one listens to him. He has no credibility. It's ridiculous." - Joe Biden on the VP

    by The Lighthouse Keeper on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 08:11:21 PM PDT

  •  Standing a little straighter (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suzq, Militarytracy

    since reading this, BTW.

    And just might print out the Geneva Conventions and add them to the wall next to my Bill of Rights -- what you see when you walk in the door to my house.

    Be good to each other. It matters.

    by AllisonInSeattle on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 08:18:02 PM PDT

  •  The shrub and his cabal (0+ / 0-)

    have no moral compass, never did, never will. Thank you Sgt. Major, both for your diary and your years of service to OUR nation. Glad you didn't heed your first thoughts but decided to post this outstanding work.

  •  The arguments used against torture blow me away. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Babsnc, suzq, Rachel in Vista

    The argument being most commonly voiced against torture is thus: "We shouldn't torture prisoners because if we break the Geneva Convention, other countries will be more inclined to break it when dealing with our own soldiers if they're captured."

    That's about the weakest argument I've heard, and it angers me that it's the best one we can use because certain lowlifes in our country can't seem to comprehend arguments such as:

    "Torture produces unreliable information and is ineffective as an interrogation tool,"
    "No human being deserves to be tortured,"
    "Torture violates basic human rights that we, as Americans, believe every person has,"
    and
    "We, as a country, are above torturing prisoners and will not engage in it, nor allow it to happen to our prisoners by extraditing them to a third country which condones it."

    "A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine." - Thomas Jefferson

    by EsnRedshirt on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 08:18:59 PM PDT

  •  Amen, Sgt.!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marrael, SLJ, suzq

    Every time I hear a member of the military smack Bush in the face like that I gain a little bit of faith back in this country!

    "One of the hardest parts of my job is to try to connect Iraq to the war on terror." George W. Bush, CBS Evening News 9/6/06

    by danger durden on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 08:23:04 PM PDT

  •  If too many Americans don't care.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marrael, SLJ, suzq, Overseas

    ...it's because they are not hearing enough testimonials from current and ex military like you.  That's not the fault of the honorable men and women of the armed services.  The media just haven't given enough attention to these testimonials yet.  We shouldn't be hearing anything about sordid crimes, trivial court cases, or celebrity shennanigans when there are monumental issues like this before us.

    Thanks for posting this and your eloquence is much appreciated.  You're views and those of the honorable veterans like you probably won't do much to change the minds of extremists.  They're a lost cause anyway. But, normal people would find your views compelling.

  •  Right on the money, Sgt Major. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SLJ, The Raven

    When I first read the text of Article III of the Geneva Convention a couple of days ago, all I could think of was, What the hell is their problem in interpreting this? It says NO TORTURE. It says we treat people HUMANELY. Do we really need someone to explain that any further? Do they really think that waterboarding could, in any possible universe, meet that criteria?

    I think this is insanity. We should not even be discussing which methods of torture are acceptable. If we are doing anything to a person that, through sheer terror (how's that word for ya?) of what has been done or what might done, we hope to elicit information, we are breaking international law and we are committing horrible crimes against humanity.

    Personally, I don't care if someone has or has not committed terrorist acts. Lock them up forever and throw away the key, but it should never, never be ok for us to torture. Nothing good can come of that.

    I am beyond your peripheral vision, so you might want to turn your head. -Alana Davis

    by Rachel in Vista on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 08:49:25 PM PDT

    •  Hang on, sister (0+ / 0-)
      Personally, I don't care if someone has or has not committed terrorist acts. Lock them up forever and throw away the key

      Your comment was great and I completely agree with it, up to the last paragraph. Locking people up and tossing away the key is one of the key grievances against mankind that led to our adoption of the Great Writ - habeus corpus - which means that the government cannot do that to you without due process.

      This is very important, because it's one of the things the White House is strugging so viciously this week to overturn. Cheney would like nothing better than to be able to hold a detainee and have that person tortured and keep that person in custody, forever, without ever having to charge that person with a crime.

      So how about it, can we keep habeus corpus too? If we catch you and place you into custody, eventually you will be informed why, and you'll have your case reviewed by a court. That way, if you're innocent (like the AP reporter at Gitmo), you'll eventually get out.

      Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

      by The Raven on Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 05:07:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oops. (0+ / 0-)

        That came out totally wrong, and I can see where you misunderstood me. I certainly didn't mean we don't give people a fair trial. And I also didn't mean that I don't care if we lock people up forever. I was trying to say that if they have done something wrong, it doesn't justify torture. I then neglected to say, IF THEY HAVE BROKEN THE LAW, lock them up forever and throw away the key.

        I am beyond your peripheral vision, so you might want to turn your head. -Alana Davis

        by Rachel in Vista on Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 06:49:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sgt Major Myers: Thank you from the bottom of my (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SLJ, suzq, Militarytracy

    heart for this incredibly touching and eloquent explanation of how the Geneva Conventions personally affected you.  Thank you for having the courage to serve in the military - something I could never have done.  Thank you for all you have done for our country.  And most of all, thank you for writing this diary and letting people know that people in the military do not think the way Rumsfeld, Bush, and Cheney think. I just wish this could be on the front page of every single newspaper in the United States!!!

    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not." -The Lorax, by Dr. Suess

    by docangel on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 08:57:24 PM PDT

  •  I wonder (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SLJ, suzq, Fury, Overseas, Reel Woman

    This article does not and has never held any ambiguity for me and I do not believe it has ever held any for the millions of American soldiers (to include the OSS and CIA operatives) who have served in our armed forces since the United States signed these conventions.

    Whereas I hope that what you state is the case for the bulk of our forces, I do fear that perhaps it is not.  That the belief in the solidity and rightness of the Geneva Conventions, their intent as well as their actual words is being jiggered down.

    I have written this before and it was from about a year ago but it still sticks with me.  It has affected my service ever since.  A year ago, plus or minus a few months, my Air Force Reserves unit received our annual LOAC briefing which includes references to the Geneva Conventions.  Unlike previous years where we would view an actually very well made video about the Law of Armed Conflict and Geneva, our very own JAG gave an off-the-cuff briefing on the subject.  He went over, very briefly, the basic rules but then in cavalier manner poo-pooed the Geneva Conventions being applied to the combatants we take in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He basically was spouting the shit coming out of the Bush Administration and the Pentagon that we can dispense with much of the Geneva Conventions for these prisoners.  He didn't go over just what this meant, as in, what precisely was to be dispensed with in prisoner handling in these conflicts, but he did make it clear that things are "different" in the war on the tactic of terra.

    I was apalled and shocked.  It upsets me to this day, over a year later, as if I had just heard the briefing.  Abu Ghraib almost broke me from the service.  When all that crap came out I came so close to quitting the service.  I didn't quit and hoped that everything would be resolved properly.  As we all know it hasn't resolved properly.  Only the very bottom rungs of the ladder were punished while every single officer with supervisory responsibility dived for cover and skated.  My faith in the military, the leadership, was shaken but not totally broken.  Then came this briefing from a JAG spouting official policy that Geneva doesn't apply.  And I KNOW that many people bought it.  A few, such as myself and a few others, don't accept the new line.  The Geneva Conventions apply.  Period.  No exceptions.

    When an official JAG says the Conventions don't apply, it HAS to have an effect.  It DOES erode the belief in the Conventions by many service members.  The only saving grace in my eyes is that being Air Force, it is highly unlikely that any of us will deal with prisoners so worrying about how Geneva will, or wont, be applied is largely academic.  It is still unacceptable.

    I have lost ALL pride I once had in service.  I can only barely tolerate standing at attention while the flag is traipsed forward during formations and the anthem played.  All the patriotism and pride I would once have felt is dead.  I serve still but quite honestly I don't know what I'm serving.  I've got 15 years of service accumulated so at this point it is almost just a habit.  That's practically all I have left.

    Right now I am biding my time.  I can only hope that there will a clean sweep, soon (2008?) of government and, most importantly, the Pentagon.  This crap that Geneva doesn't apply comes from the Pentagon.  It doesn't matter that it starts at the Whitehouse, the generals have to go along with it to float it down to our level.  The lot of them needs to go.

    Reichstag fire is to Hitler as 9/11 is to Bush

    by praedor on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 09:00:16 PM PDT

    •  Please, get out. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SLJ, Jeffersonian Democrat

      Or, initiate an IG investigation (anonymously, if need be), with names, dates, and supporting testimony.  Moping around, no pride, no courage, no anger...does no one any good.  

      •  Not moping (0+ / 0-)

        I perform my duties perfectly well.  I simply lack pride in the uniform.  I have no patriotic pride in the flag and could not care less whether or not it is displayed, bent, folded, or mutilated.  I feel virtually no patriotism whatsoever.  I DO have a very strong abiding love and devotion to the Constitution and what IT represents...which is NOT our country at this time and is certainly not reflected in the current regime in Washington.

        I remain in service because I want to be among the first to know if really inappropriate action will ever be called for, so I can respond in accordance with the oath to the Constitution.  I don't want to be surprised by any nasty shit as a civy.  I want to be in a position to take action to stop any prisoner abuse I might ever come across (up to and including putting a US bullet into any US personnel abusing/torturing prisoners, if necessary).  

        I feel a grim duty to remain while the country, its government, and its official military falls down the crapper.  I can at least try to mitigate.  Civies aren't in the position to do that.

        Reichstag fire is to Hitler as 9/11 is to Bush

        by praedor on Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 04:41:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  In a country where hate is a family value (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      praedor

      It's little surprise that Americans revel in torture.

      I'm convinced that this immorality runs deeper than the current administration, or even the current GOP.  It is AMERICANS who do not appreciate what it means to be civilized.  We are a nation of barbarians.  It starts in grade school where the "nerds" are ostracized for being smart, and adults are exactly the same, except their bullying is a bit more subtle and nuanced.  Intellectualism is demonized in popular culture, and with it, any semblance of a rational moral framework.  

      I'm at the point where, if torture is "legalized" by congress, or if somehow the Supreme Court validates Bushco's torture programs, I'm going to investigate a move to New Zealand.  What good is it to fight for the rights of a people who don't even want their rights?  And now, with our "leaders" seriously debating the codifying of torture into the law of the land, I am so ashamed to call myself an American.

      "When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat." ~ Mark Twain, on watermelon

      by Subterranean on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 11:41:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        praedor

        I believe it was Georges Clemenceau who said: "America may be unique in being the only country to jump from barbarism to decadence without touching on civilization on the way through." Of course, since so many Americans can't stand the French, who's going to listen to this.

    •  Don't Go (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      praedor, BR Janet

      I have spent most of my professional career making and repairing subs and surface ships, and jet engines as well as componants for the military. The very idea that this mad regieme is directing my jets is a athemea to me.

      America was the hope of the world when he took office. Now it is the world's nightmare!

      Don't go, when this is all over, the brave have to be there to testify.  

  •  I just wanted to be one more person (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poe

    to say thank you, Sergeant Myers.

  •  I am the last Dkosser... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poe, suzq, Militarytracy, dannybill

    ...to read the Esquire piece on The Geneva Conventions-- this is a long, well-written narrative. If anyone else has not sat down for this astounding read, please have at it. You won't be sorry. I've been away for a few weeks and feel certain it has been discussed and diaried but just in case you haven't seen it, here's the link to the most amazing story I've read in a long, long time. It is in harmony with this diarist.

           August 2006, Volume 146, Issue 2
             
             Acts of Conscience

           By John H. Richardson
           Esquire
           http://www.esquire.com/...

           Here, at great personal risk, an elite Army interrogator comes forward to reveal his experience at a secret prison camp in Iraq. And more like him will follow. The story of Human Rights Watch and the search for the truth about the United States military and torture.

           THE RENTED CAR blasts down the Strom Thurmond Highway toward Georgia, taking Marc Garlasco to his meeting with the Army interrogator. Balmy air pours in the window.

  •  Degrading our military (5+ / 0-)

    Thank you for this diary. Your sentiments echo exactly those of a colleague of mine, a former Army Ranger with combat experience. A couple of years ago, when this started out, we had a conversation (initiated by him; he's very conservative and I generally don't talk politics with him) about treatment of prisoners, whether they are combatants or just vaguely "suspects" of something. He outlined all the reasons maltreatment was a bad idea - first, it's just morally wrong; second, by doing so, we renounce our stand against unsavory regimes who do the same; third, torture doesn't get you good, or any, intelligence; fourth, our misbehaviour directly increases the chances that our own servicemen and women will be mistreated; and fifth, torture can be the tipping point that ends up radicalizing someone. Made perfect sense to me, even though I've never been in the military.

    By pushing these policies, aside from whatever other harm that causes, Bush is degrading what it means to serve in the U.S. armed forces. Not only for those who are forced to engage in these awful practices, but also, I would argue, for everyone else, by making it seem like this is what any good soldier agrees with.

  •  Right on (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suzq, Militarytracy, dannybill

    ...I have become convinced that Americans, at least that vast multitude that continue to allow themselves to be deluded by the Bush administration, don't care about anything but themselves much less the Geneva Conventions...

    Unfortunately, I must agree.  Americans worship wealth above any other God, and such a fundamental value is difficult to imagine changing during our generations.  Their idea of honor, valor, and justice is derived from cheesy cowboy flicks and brain-dead action/revenge flicks; someone crosses you, you grab your gun and go get even!  American values come from the TV, not from literature or political documents.  

    Even the churches are justifying the hate harbored by bigoted and stupid Americans.  Homophobia is now considered a value.  Misogyny is a value.  It is no surprise that these same people think torture is just great.

    "When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat." ~ Mark Twain, on watermelon

    by Subterranean on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 10:50:13 PM PDT

  •  Remember.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suzq

    Always remember the Golden Rule. A little to ambiguous for GW.

    http://blog.elephantcrap.com

    by dannybill on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 10:56:21 PM PDT

  •  I thought maybe we lost you (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suzq, OpherGopher, Militarytracy, ritzl

    I was just thinking about you the other day, Sgt. Major. I'm glad to see you're still cruising through once in a while.

    Now, with regard to your latest diary; this part in particular:

    ...I have become convinced that Americans, at least that vast multitude that continue to allow themselves to be deluded by the Bush administration, don't care about anything but themselves much less the Geneva Conventions and I would therefore be posting to the wind.   I still believe that and unfortunately I believe it with all my heart but in spite of that stolid belief I had an overpowering need to express my utter disdain and contempt for George W. Bush and the actions of his administration.

    You know what? Those bloody-minded disciples of greed have a universal flaw; they are perfectly content to always let others do their fighting for them.

    You know something else? We can beat that.

    I don't care how many nemeses there seem to be in the streets or in public office; we will overpower any malignancy they serve and ultimately preserve the ideals that civilize us. We have the greater will and the higher purpose. Besides, failure is not an option.

    We will not lose this fight for America's dignity and honor because this country is not going to die on our watch.  

    So keep writing, bringing your experience and insight to bear on our common cause. Because it's certainly helped me reel my anxiety in more than once and it's just nice to have you around.

    The soul that is within me no man can degrade. - Frederick Douglass

    by Kimberley on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 11:26:10 PM PDT

  •  Thank you, Sergeant Majors (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suzq

    Your words have all the more moral authority given your years of honorable service.

    While I've never served, you might find my father's story to be of interest. He was a sargeant in the Israeli army, serving in the '56 war on active durty and the '67 war as a reservist. While serving in Gaza, he came upon some enlisted men beating up on an Arab man for no reason other than that he was Arab. While he outranked them he was not in their unit and thus did not have authority over them. However, he felt it was his duty to intervene, so he reprimanded and then reported them. This ended the beating, but eventually resulted in his army career being damaged to the point where he decided to not pursue a long-term career in it. He's had decades to reflect on this decision, and still believes that it was absolutely the right thing to do, and is proud of having done it. No doubt you'd agree. And no doubt Bush & Co. wouldn't.

    This country and its military is better than its current political leadership, and patriots like you prove it. So long as there are people like you in the military and in positions of leadership, then all hope isn't lost. Thanks again, Sargeant Majors!

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

    by kovie on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 11:34:15 PM PDT

  •  Thank You (0+ / 0-)

    Every thank you here really represents a thousand. Don't believe for one minute that this doesn't make a difference. A great man once said:

    The only way to make a difference is to look out there and tell the truth about what you see.

    (John Hanley, Founder of Lifespring)

    Liberal Thinking

    Think, liberally.

    by Liberal Thinking on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 11:46:16 PM PDT

  •  We don't talk about it much in our house (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kimberley, suzq

    right now.  Feels like my husband is just so taken back that he would rather not "go there" and we just wait for the final word on what is going to happen here with interpretation of the Geneva Convention.  Before 9/11 the family viewed my husband's job as just a job like everybody else's job, after 9/11 it has become a much bigger factor in our family's identity and I hope they don't take away from us what little respect we can find in the family sacrifices made under this administration because God knows they have taken away just about all of it thusfar.

    In the Pajamahadeen I'm Scooby-Doo!

    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 06:04:19 AM PDT

    •  Just (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      i love san fran, kestrel9000

      hold your head high and know that millions of Americans appreciate and respect you and your sacrifices.  This Sergeant Major damn sure does and always will.  My family sacrificed much more than I did and I know I would not have survived what I had to endure without them.  God bless.

      "Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft!" - Theodore Roosevelt

      by SGT MAJOR MYERS on Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 08:31:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hey, Militarytracy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Militarytracy

      You just have to believe that enough of us are committed to preserving those protections for our servicemen and servicewomen. I know I'm not alone here. We are not going to let them steal anyone's legacy or belittle honorable service and turn our troops into some kind of pawns that divorce them from their dignity as professional soldiers.

      I'm prepared to walk from Denver to Washington DC if I have to, to make this point clear: Neither this Executive branch nor our Congress are going to degrade these protections for our troops or renounce this pillar of our civilization as a country. We are going to stop this - and we are going to do it without torturing or killing a soul.

      The soul that is within me no man can degrade. - Frederick Douglass

      by Kimberley on Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 10:13:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, you see, the Clenis(TM) destroyed the moral (0+ / 0-)

    foundations of the universe. I've actually read opinions that the reason Chimpco's crimes are greeted with utter disinterest by the electorate is because the fecocephalic masses figure, "All politicians are corrupt. Just look at the evil, evil Clenis(TM)!" Thus, Chimpco is immune to criticism, all thanks to the Clenis(TM). And because that evil, evil organ has trashed the moral foundations of the universe, he's reopened Pandora's box. We can't expect the nation to behave morally when the PRESIDENT has an AFFAIR, can we? I thought not.

  •  I hope that Bush will be arrested to restore the (0+ / 0-)

    honor and integrity of the United States, which you so well represent.

    It seems more and more likely that the only way to restrain this guy and his legions is to subject them to war crimes trials, trials which they deserve by the way.

    By the way I support an international trial to show that the is never any moral justification for violating international law.

    Thank you by the way for your integrity.

  •  Kudos for your stance & diary (0+ / 0-)

    As someone who has been labeled "unpatriotic" the vast majority of my life because I have been and always will be the "L" word (liberal), your feelings are shared.

    You wrote:

    I also say to you that I proudly carried the "Geneva Conventions Card" in my pocket every single day of my military career from the day it was issued to me in basic training.  I carried that card proudly because it represented the moral stature of my nation.  It said to me that no matter what, no matter how I was treated, if I was captured or if I captured an enemy soldier I knew what my country expected of me and what my country stood for and I would never violate that trust.   I would never violate the trusts placed in me by the citizens of our great nation, my comrades in arms and yes, even my enemy.

    While I don't carry the "Geneva Conventions Card" with me, it was the knowledge that our country was basically good, well-intentioned and moral that has also made me think my country's problems were "fixable."

    To be honest, I no longer believe that this country is fixable. I feel shame, shame because we can no longer claim moral decency. I feel shame on behalf of dedicated patriotic servants such as yourself that you can no longer hold your head high, or feel sure of the virtue of your leaders who would put you in a position of torturing -- and being tortured.

    That we are even discussing "torture" tells us we have a problem that is bigger than all of us. The sheer blasphemy is that this current debate should not be held at all. Honorable leaders would not need "clarification."

    Thank you for an eloquent post. It was painful for me to read. No doubt, it was highly painful for you to write.

    "You can count on Americans to do the right thing after they've tried everything else." -- Winston Churchill

    by bleeding heart on Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 08:01:33 AM PDT

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