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Posted on Aug 6, 2009
AP / Markus Schreiber

An F/A-18 Hornet launches from the carrier Harry S. Truman, the same type of plane Scott Speicher was flying when he was shot down in 1991 during the first Iraq war.

By Scott Ritter

(Page 3)

One man closely involved in helping shape the content and conclusions of this report was none other than Pat Roberts, the esteemed junior senator from Kansas, who sat on the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, and as such was privy to all of the new “intelligence” about Speicher. Roberts was “outraged” by what he was being told. In February 2002, Roberts, now installed as chair of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, wrote a letter to President Bush demanding that Speicher’s status be changed again, this time from “MIA” to “MIA-Captured.”

Such drastic actions could not escape the notice of the American press, and in March 2002 The Washington Times, a well-known outlet for voices sympathetic to the neoconservatives, ran a series of articles that emphasized the possibility of Speicher being held prisoner by the Iraqis and that made liberal use of interviews provided by Sen. Roberts. 

Iraq, in response to these leaks, stated that it was prepared to receive a U.S. delegation headed by Roberts, with one stipulation—that I be included as part of the delegation. Saddam Hussein had directed an Iraqi official who had been closely involved with the U.N. inspection effort to prepare a report on Scott Speicher. This official was well known to me, and in fact we had worked closely together during my time as a chief weapons inspector to resolve numerous sensitive issues. The Iraqis were prepared to accommodate the delegation to do whatever was necessary to resolve the Speicher case, including traveling to western Iraq and interviewing anyone we so desired. I was invited to Washington to meet with Sen. Roberts on this matter.

The senator, who had previously told the press that he thought it very possible that Speicher was alive and wondering why his nation had forsaken him, decided against taking the Iraqis up on their offer, fearing any such visit would be exploited for propaganda value by the Iraqis. (After the war I was able to meet with the Iraqi official, who told me that he had been prepared to take me and the delegation to every Bedouin village and encampment in the area to find out the fate of Scott Speicher. This presumably would have included those Bedouin who in July 2009 led U.S. Marines to Speicher’s burial site in western Iraq.) 

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Having refused to do “whatever it takes” to discover the fate of Speicher, Roberts proceeded to use the Chalabi-sourced “defector” reports as the justification for pressuring the White House into not only stating that Speicher was a prisoner—President Bush did this in his address to the U.N. in September 2000—but also formally changing Speicher’s status to reflect this belief: In October 2002 Speicher was officially redesignated as a prisoner of war.

Following the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the issue of Scott Speicher quickly disappeared.  Investigations carried out by the U.S. intelligence community determined that the “defector” reports that Roberts and the others had relied so heavily on in forming their judgments about Speicher’s fate were fabrications provided by individuals of dubious character. The files of Saddam Hussein’s intelligence and security services were scoured, yielding no information on Speicher being held captive (the United States did find the document prepared by my Iraqi contact in 2002, but immediately dismissed it as a fabrication since all it noted was that Iraq possessed no information about Speicher). By 2004 the U.S. intelligence community had determined that Speicher was not only not being held captive by Iraq, but that he had most probably died back in 1991. Regardless, the Bush administration continued to keep Speicher on the rolls as a prisoner of war, a status that will now change with the discovery of his remains.

There are those, including Scott Speicher’s family, who believe that his tragic story has resulted in improvements in the way in which the United States military will respond to downed airmen in the future. There are those among Speicher’s friends who parrot the charges levied by Roberts and others that “no rescue team was sent out to look for Speicher.” I would note that the majority of those who are leveling this charge never served in the military, let alone combat.

I had the honor of meeting and serving with Col. Jesse Johnson, the commander of Central Command’s Special Operations Forces during Desert Storm. I felt personal frustration in having a mission I had personally conceived and described to Johnson be aborted because in his professional opinion the risk-gain benefit didn’t add up. 

Johnson, a decorated former Delta Force operator who participated in the failed rescue attempt of U.S. hostages in Iran back in 1980, has more combat experience in his right pinkie than those who criticize his call for not sending a team out to investigate the downing of Speicher. What would that team have accomplished? British SAS operatives were in the general area, and were being chased, killed and captured by Iraqi forces.  Johnson had no information to go on in terms of where Speicher’s plane went down, whether Speicher had successfully ejected, or whether he was even alive. 


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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, August 9, 2009 at 11:46 pm Link to this comment

Most appreciated additional comments from the author, even more appreciated is the fact the thread is read by the author, I always wondered about that.

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By samosamo, August 9, 2009 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment

Thanks again, Scott Ritter, even as I believe everything in your original post, I hope those who object or discredit your original post can find the time to believe in what a true patriot warrior you are and stop thinking you would intentionally mislead the people in what you try to report, MUCH more so than the rabble trying to further the illegal war(s) brought to the world by the U.S by the past president and vicepresident for the benefit of the oil companies and the weapons industry.

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By Scott Ritter, August 9, 2009 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment

RESPONSE FROM SCOTT RITTER - PART 1

I’m usually not inclined to respond to the interesting give and take which occurs in this forum in the aftermath of my writing an essay, but rather let the original content speak for itself…usually when one takes the time to read it over carefully, the discrepancies that were imagined tend to disappear.

Having said that, there were comments alluding to reports coming from the Department of the Navy which indicated that Scott Speicher had in fact successfully initiated ejection from his F/A-18 the night he was shot down over Iraq.

The comments also repeated the claims made earlier that Scott Speicher might have had his rescue beacon disconnected and that his new rescue radios did not fit into his flight suit, thereby raising the possibility that he may not have had one available because it would have been separated from him during ejection.

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By Scott Ritter, August 9, 2009 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

RESPONSE FROM SCOTT RITTER - PART 2

I will repeat myself: on the night Scott Speicher was shot down, there was no report of a parachute siting, nor was there any indication of a rescue beacon being activated, nor was any communication established between Speicher and coalition forces. How do I know? I was sitting in the Combat Intelligence Center (CIC) of HQ USCENTCOM in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I always find it odd debating events in which I was a first-hand participant with those who are well-meaning, yet distant second-hand observers. There was absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Scott Speicher had survived the downing of his aircraft. Moreover, there was no firm indication as to precisely where his aircraft had gone down. Add this up, and there was literally no starting point for any search and rescue effort to begin its work. Speicher’s fellow pilots on the USS Saratoga claim that they were able to triangulate, based upon their collective observations, a probable impact area for Speicher’s aircraft, and that this data was forwarded up the chain of command. If this is true, no action was taken. According to these pilots, when Speicher’s aircraft was found in 1995, it was in the very area they had indicated back in 1991. Once the aircraft wreckage was located by an Qatari hunting party in 1993, US satellites were able to photograph the site, and photo-interpreters claim to have found what they believed to be the unique escape and evasion “letter” Speicher had been assigned on his mission. According to Survival, Escape, Resistance and Evasion (SERE) training all aircrew receive, this “letter” is to be carved into the surface of the earth, informing search crews that the individual had survived the shoot-down, and indicating (based upon orientation, a factor again only known to the aircrew involved and rescue personnel)the direction that the E&E attempt was being made.

No specifics of this claim have been made public in formal fashion by the government, probably because the details are still considered classified and sensitive in so far as it relates to current practice.

I will say this: as an Aerial Observer-qualified Naval Aviator in my own right (OV-10 Broncos and OA-4 Skyhawks), I am familiar with air operations and related procedures. I am also a trained intelligence officer and photographic interpreter, with extensive experience examining Iraq from overhead. The area where Speicher was shot down was heavily traversed by nomadic Bedouin who moved their flocks of goats and sheep with them. When these animals move, they do so in a manner which scars the earth in a haphazard fashion, creating random patterns which often come together in linear fashion. I have seen numerous examples of this, although none specific to the Speicher case. But my experience with US military photographic interpreters involved in evaluating imagery involving Iraq from 1991-1998 is that there was often quite a bit of wishful thinking going into their analysis. Told to look for evidence of Speicher’s “walking K” E&E symbol, there is no doubt in my mind that they saw something they thought fit the pattern. There is also little doubt that what they saw had nothing to do with Speicher.

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By Scott Ritter, August 9, 2009 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment

RESPONSE FROM SCOTT RITTER - PART 3

In 1995 the Department of Defense gained access to the downed F/A-18 belonging to Scott Speicher. Two things emerged: first, that the condition of his aircraft indicated that while it did not disintegrate in mid-air once it had been hit by an Iraqi surface-to-surface missile (as had been speculated by many, including fellow Navy pilots whom observed a “large flash” from an area where Speicher’s aircraft was operating in at the time it was shot down); and second, that the aircraft had stalled and gone into a flat spin, dropping out of the sky like a rock, before impacting the desert terrain. At some point in time the ejection sequence was initiated, a fact backed up not only by the separated canopy, but also scorch marks on the aircraft cockpit area which were indicative of the explosive charges associated with ejection being initiated.

The point to be made here is that this belated evidence did nothing to alter the original assessment, which accurately stated that no parachute was cited, no beacon activated, and no communications were received from Speicher.

There are some unknowns, such as whether Scott Speicher survived the ejection, and if so for how long. What is clear is that he perished at or near the crash site, and his remains were laid to rest by nearby Bedouins.

One point that needs to be made is that many professionals who were privy to the 1995 crash site investigation findings believed that it was unlikely that Speicher survived the ejection attempt. To be fair, there were those privy to the same information who believed that it was possible, even probable, that he had.

An F/A-18 in a flat-spin creates G-force pressures that make ejection difficult. The pilot would be prevented by these forces from initiating ejection overhead, and would have to pull the ejection handle between his legs. But an aircraft in a flat spin is subjecting a pilot to forces that make even this maneuver difficult. The pilot is being spun violently side to side, and falling straight down at high speed. The other factor is that the condition of the cockpit indicated that there was an onboard fire as a result of the missile impact. Speicher would have been burned, possibly severely so, and there is a probability of oxygen mask failure which would have resulted in a compromised airway due to traumatic heat injury. Even if he were able to have imitated ejection at an altitude which would have permitted survival, Scott Speicher would have been severely injured, possibly even fatally so. But the most likely scenario is that a gravely injured Speicher was able to initiate ejection only at the last moment, and most probably did not survive impact. This is all speculation, but it is provided for those who want to believe that it was feasible for Speicher to have survived and been taken prisoner by Iraq, a fantasy many in the pro-war community wanted America to believe prior to the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

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By Scott Ritter, August 9, 2009 at 5:51 pm Link to this comment

RESPONSE FROM SCOTT RITTER - PART 4

What is known is that there are several examples of US aircrew (Navy)being shot down during Desert Storm, surviving ejection, activating their rescue beacons, initiating and sustaining communication with their rescuers, and actually being plucked from the desert floor by US rescue teams (the case of Navy Lt. Devon Jones, an F-14 pilot shot down on January 21 and rescued on January 22 serves as an example). There are also examples of US aircrew surviving ejection, initiating rescue beacons and communications, only to be captured by the Iraqis moments before the rescue team arrived.

The Iraqis had captured numerous American aircrew during Desert Storm. Some were listed as “missing in action” (like Lt. Robert Wetzel) until the day of their release by the Iraqis, never having their status as POW confirmed by the Iraqis. The Iraqis had also captured a half-dozen elite British SAS soldiers (and recovered the bodies of several others). The capture of these soldiers was never acknowledged by either the UK or Iraq, and yet when the war ended all were returned. The point to be made is that when it came to US (and UK) prisoners during the Gulf War, there is extensive precedent pointing to Iraq releasing even the most politically sensitive of its prisoners (the SAS commandos), and no evidence of their keeping either a POW or the remains of a US/UK service member. Speculation otherwise is simply that—speculation.

I repeat the assertion that I made in the main article—that the decisions made by the relevant commanders during Desert Storm concerning Scott Speicher were sound. There was no compelling reason to dispatch a search and rescue mission deep into enemy territory based upon little or no data relating to the location and/or status of the downed pilot. While I do my best to keep my personal feelings out of a comment like this, I do take umbrage when someone who has no first-hand experience serving in the military, and thus no true understanding of the culture of warriors cited, criticizes those who have served and are familiar with the culture for failing to adhere to a code that says “no man left behind.” The mark of a professional is the ability to make informed, tough decisions under pressure derived from a cold assessment of the situation, and not clouded by emotion. I’ll stick with my fellow professionals on this matter.

I believed I have addressed all of the salient points as put forth by the relevant comments.

I will stand on my credentials as one who has extensive experience in the matter at hand, both in terms of first-hand involvement over an extended period of time, and also as a subject-matter expert whose overall experiences are relevant to the discussion taking place.

I will also stand on my record as an analyst of political-military affairs, as well as the Middle East and Iraq in particular.

I hope this helps put to rest any remaining questions or concerns about what I have written concerning Scott Speicher’s tragic situation. Nothing written here or elsewhere should be viewed by anyone as being disparaging to his courage, service and sacrifice.

Scott Ritter

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By DBM, August 9, 2009 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

Yonian,

There is a discussion which many people have with doctors as they or their loved ones approach end-of-live about how this is to be managed.  The outcome can range from a request “not to be revived” to an expectation that their beating heart will be kept going as long as medical science can manage it.

This is a necessary and common discussion which has traditionally been done free-of-charge by many doctors as a service.  I believe that the current plan includes payment to the doctor for this service.

Those trying to discredit the proposed plan have latched onto this and misconstrued it, amongst other things, to rev up their base. 

To be fair, that base has self-selected over recent years as the most pre-disposed to being fearful.  Fearful of terrorists (although they don’t fear lightning which is just as likely to kill them).  Fearful of crime (although violent crime is statistically at all-time lows).  Fearful of not having “their man” in power and fearful that they will be victimised in the same way their people victimised their enemies when they could.  Fearful of “the other” (i.e. racist).

So, it is not a big leap to be fearful that a change to the medical system is somehow geared at harming them.  This is especially true when the PR from the health industry and the noise from poiticians dependent on lobby money all tell them they need to be afraid.

When you see this crowd disrupting town hall meetings, protesting in favour of big business and going on about the president’s country of birth ... I think it is important to know that their fear is real.  It just makes them difficult to debate with.  That is why I’m so pleased to get someone as articulate as Kristi Lade to make their argument.  I hope you get an answer to your question!

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By yonian, August 9, 2009 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

Mrs. Lade stated “they are going to give our seniors euthanasia counseling”.  If she reads this I would appreciate knowing what her source for this assertion is.

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By Mozzer75, August 8, 2009 at 11:42 pm Link to this comment

Scott Ritter has long been a hero of mine ever since he started talking about the US duplicity in getting inspectors kicked out of Iraq. Luckily, I got a chance to see him in Manhattan once, and his unswervable commitment to unimpeded truth and fact have rightfully informed my opinions of this debacle ever since. Some day, there WILL BE a resident of the Oval Office that will have the courage to give him the Medal of Freedom, because he has been a soldier who has not only displayed the guts and dedication it requires to serve, but also those same qualities it takes to be a REAL citizen.

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By Gibby, August 8, 2009 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Klade,

“Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.”

Albert Einstein

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By ChaoticGood, August 8, 2009 at 10:02 pm Link to this comment

I have read about how the founders of our Nation argued extensively about the trade-offs if they decided to throw off the yoke of imperialist Britain. Many people valued their safety and their lives above the chance for freedom.  They rationalized their fears behind arguments about “loyalty to the crown”. They did not fight and many moved to Canada.

The leaders of the Revolution were rich landowners for the most part.  They hated the trade policies and taxes levied against them. They used guerilla attacks against British to enrage the british troops and incite them to fire on Americans in the streets. These brutal british tactics enraged the American populace and allowed the rich landowners to raise an army. The British Monarch’s hubris played into the hands of the American Revolutionaries.

The lesson is that money is the main reason America has always gone to war.  All the other arguments about danger, honor, pre-emption are just ruses to get the common man upset so he will go and die to protect the moneyied interests.

Your real masters are the multi-national corporations and you don’t know it.  If they weren’t your masters then why bail out the “Masters” first with tax money if they weren’t important.  The health of AIG and BofA are more important than your health care, your childrens education and your life.  The fluctuations of the stock market is the pulse of the beast. 

The American Military has always been the tool of these craven, coward moneyied elites.  Companies like Blackwater, and Halliburton are visible proof of what I say.

The tragedy of Speicher is that his life was played by the Military/Industrial complex while he was alive and then his death was used by craven, cowards as grounds to incite another war.  It seems to me that the least Halliburton should do is give Speicher’s family a pension or a medal for their lost son’s bravery and death.

It is sad to see otherwise sane individuals be deluded so badly by the drumbeats to war, staged by soulless corporations, craven politicians, and yellow-journalism rags like Fox News, for their own benefit.

I guess this is just the next stage of American feudalism.  Maybe America will grow up someday and realize that as the common man fights and kills his brother, the macchiavellians are laughing all the way to their taxpayer subsidied banks.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 8, 2009 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

Well Klade I see the chip grows ever larger as you protest too much. I certainly don’t hate you or love you either beyond as a fellow being on this self benighted planet.

Having piece of paper with a wish list on it hardly constitutes a reason for a blockade, invasion and mass killing of its inhabitants does it? The weapons Saddam had were sold to him by his allies the USA, British etc. in the beginning. When the USA turned on him he had already asked permission to take back Kuwait which we had no treaty with. So he foolishly fell into the trap. That is what you get for being the junior partner to the Boss of Bosses. Saddam was his same homicidal self, it was the USA who changed.

The USA forced him to join them after he attacked Iran after the puppet state of the USA fell in 1979. No weapons or cachets of recent vintage were found. Locating the decayed pieces of a gun then showing it can be assembled doesn’t make it a dangerous item. Just a facile ruse to attack a weak country for its oil. All the USA wanted was some other murderous thug in place of Saddam, that was all.

True I am an Atheist, but I am not all bad. Neither are you if you give peace and understanding a chance.

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By DBM, August 8, 2009 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment

Hmmm ... finally we get a genuine Repub conservative who can think and spell (Kristi) and people start name-calling and we lose the chance of analysis of her thoughts and opinions.  This is an opportunity lost!

If you go look at the couple of articles about the “Birther” movement you will find the sort of conservative comments we normally see on this site (less than cerebral).

Kristi, come back!  I find it hard to believe you are a Fox News watcher ... when I’ve turned it on I struggle to see how anyone with brain cells can stand it!

Better yet, Kristi, if you really can support a conservative viewpoint, please have a look at some of the economic or domestic policy discussions going on.  I happen to think that the patriotism / service-is-always-good angle will go a long way in foreign policy but I’d love to hear someone actually defend the Fox/Repub positions on only giving money to the rich (as long as they pretend to support “family values” and “the troops”).

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By samosamo, August 8, 2009 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment

By KLade, August 8 at 12:04 am

““You are more than correct that it is our duty to question authority.  I question what is going on in our country EVERY day.  Our government is taking over all big businesses (Banks, Car companies, health insurance),”“
***************************************************

Ever so true, question authority demand answers and reasons, do what you can to make those senators and your representative explain truthfully what they are doing and why.

But I take issue on your idea that our government is taking over all big businesses, my view is the opposite, big business is taking over our government and I don’t believe I have to explain any more than with lobbyists writing bills to be passed as laws for their benefit and by lobbyists with the use of big chunks of money to have our elected people gut laws of regulation for them to be ‘unfettered’ while ‘doing business’ is an ostensible government acting out the actual big business dictates and I still haven’t touched on the taxpayers subsidizing big business.

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By Leefeller, August 8, 2009 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment

“I do worship God and cannot imagine what it may be like not to worship him.  It is He alone that receives any glory I come across.”

Yes of course, god is on ones side, so anything one dose is acceptable.  The Germans believed god was on their side, the Brits believed god was on their side during WWII, could it be both sides were wrong? The suicide bombers have god on their side too, what can one make of all this god talk?

We spend about 1 trillion dollars a year on the military budget, the Republicans oppose a National Medical plan because it will cost ! trillion dollars a year, and I suppose because they are inclined to support profits for the insurance companies and of course the Military Complex.

Something is wrong when causing death is so important in the name of what, defending our soil, this land, for god?  A sickness is among us and it is not the swine flu.

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By KLade, August 8, 2009 at 3:40 pm Link to this comment

Here it is - my final performance here unless and until Big-B comes up with a defense for anything I said in my ‘questioning authority’ post.  Nothing can top my being called a Fox News flag sucking moron for me.  It just doesn’t get any better than that.  Fare thee well dear liberal people. 

____________________________________________

Big B - Yeppers.  Here I am the Fox flag sucking moron.  I note you did not choose to even attempt to defend anything I said about what is going on in the country.  Come on, you are the one who sounds bitter.  Here you had this peaceful place all to yourself so you could all preach to the choir and then one fine day here comes Miss Fox News Conservative low on neuron flag sucking moron. Yep, here I come and I defend every position with facts and numbers and even ask you to attempt to disprove them.  You do not.  You come back and call ME, the so called moron, more names even after Poco pointed out people do that when they cannot defend their position.  I suppose it is a scary thing for you to imagine you could be wrong and that our patriotism may not be phony, but I do hope you will read what I asked you to defend and come to grips with what you got here because even if the Repubs were as bad as you say, they didn’t dream of doing to you what is happening while you think of catchy things to call me.  But I will tell you this, they like you A LOT.  You liberals don’t SAVE us from anything except rationality.  If Obama is your idea of a savior I think I will leave you with a bumper sticker I saw today, yes they are still apparently allowed to be sold in some places or someone is hiding a printing press from the Gestapo - here ya go.  B.O.  Smell the Change. smile

I still challenge you to answer my original points.  You seem to avoid anything with rationale and skip to new and improved names. But you know, I understand, when that’s what you’re good at…

All my best,


Kristi or Also known to you here as The Fox News Flag Sucking Moron

P.S.  Scott Ritter - Mr. expert on each topic because as the saying goes and appears to be true among your throngs of worshippers here, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”  You said something to the effect of no parachute was seen and no beacon was picked up - the Navy just released a report that says he did indeed eject.  In addition, just so you can catch up to the rest of us out here in Fox News flag sucking land, the pilots disconnected their beacons so the Iraqi’s wouldn’t pick it up that night and his radio would not have fit in his flight suit.  They were new radios and there was no place to secure them on the suit.  If I missed anything, please feel free to contact me for my expertise since as a concerned citizen and modest housewife I have somehow managed to pick up things you did not.

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By KLade, August 8, 2009 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

A continued thought to Night-Gaunt -

Using the troops missing limbs and war related maladies to say the war was wrong is in itself preeminently bogus because these soldiers volunteered to do what they did and many of them would do it again if given the chance.  Saying what they did was not worth the cost is offensive and disingenuous to them.  Countless heroes actually do heal and then plead to return because they feel it is honorable.  There are, admittedly, always a small number of them who decide they don’t agree with the cause.  Most will tell you they can recognize what a difference they are making on a daily basis there and they are proud of the job they have done and continue to do.  I can say this because I, Kristi Lade, have written to them, sent them care packages, thanked them and yes, even listened to their fears and thoughts.  So, at least. what I am saying does come from a place with at least a modest amount of knowledge.  Yes, there was/is a price and yes, it is an immense one that cannot be repaid, but a cheap shot from anti-war people to point to their afflictions and say that is the reason we should not go to war.  Their injuries are not to be used to make your point, rather you should say thank you.  These men and women deserve your gratitude and respect, not necessarily your pity.  If they wanted it or felt they needed it, they more than likely would not have volunteered to be in the military in the first place.  They did what they did for you.  Aristotle understood this long before your time.  He said, “We make war that we may live in peace.”  I do not like war.  I hate it.  I know no one who actually likes it.  It’s sad and horrible… Just as many are impassioned when it is suggested that Democrats are not patriotic, Conservatives are incensed at the implication that because we support the troops and their mission so devotedly that it means we are warmongers.  Either postulation is irrational.

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By KLade, August 8, 2009 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment

Dear NIGHT-GAUNT,

Thank you for highlighting my name.  I already knew it, but seeing it like that from you is just - well, special.  That also HIGHLIGHTS the fact that you are hiding behind a ‘call sign’ while seeming so proud to point out who I am.  Yep, that’s me. KRISTI LADE.  Others can only imitate my awesomeness…

I will explain why there was indeed an Iraqi threat,  beginning with all the failed sanctions.  Sanction after sanction was placed upon Iraq with the threat of action if they did not comply.  The signal that sent alone, was dangerous to world security.  It carries the same psychological impact of a child being told if they continued an action, there would be a reaction then, NOTHING occurs.  Iraq knew the worlds voice meant nothing.  That alone is a threat, not just to us, but to the entire civilized world because Iraq was not the ONLY country watching. Countries that have plenty of nuclear weapons were watching.  Don’t think for one millisecond if Saddam had one that he wouldn’t have used it on one of his enemies (us).  The man tortured and killed his own people in atrocious ways not even imaginable by most normal people.  The sanctions said there were would be serious consequences and there were.  You would rather we all make idle threats and see what comes of that later?  Not me, NIGHT-GAUNT.  Also, how was allowing Iraq to overtake an innocent country (Kuwait), that happens to be an important ally, not a threat in your eyes? How was Saddam himself not considered a WMD with all of what he did and what he threatened.  If he did not have them or the capability to get them ASAP, why didn’t he just comply?

According to the final report of the Iraqi Survey Group, that so many hold up as evidence that ‘Bush lied,’ under the noses of the inspectors, Iraq had maintained the capability of beginning production of say Anthrax within a week and to make over ten tons of it a year.  If the inspections were so thorough and final, how was Iraq able to cultivate the aptitude to kick that up so expediently?  What about the centrifuges buried beneath peoples gardens?  What do you think that was about? Do you think it made the flowers more colorful somehow?  It took years before some Migs were found under the desert sand.  They sure spent time hiding stuff didn’t they?


Now lets point out our current Secretary of State.  Do you trust her?  I hope so because she has a very important job.  In October of 2002 she, Hillary Clinton, stated the following, “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program… He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members ... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.”  Note all the WILLS in her statement.  She seemed pretty sure of herself to me.  She was privy to the same information Bush was.  Given ALL that, she came to the same conclusion, but somehow it was wrong and can be blamed ONLY on Bush and conservatives.  You guys are calling ME blind?

 

In closing, I do not worship my country.  I respect the ideals it was built upon and the men and women who bravely defend it.  Yes, DEFEND it as it has been since it’s conception so that people like you and I can argue about our opinions in complete freedom irregardless of if we like each other or not.  The President might read that someone disagrees with him personally and we will all wake up tomorrow in the same freedom thanks to the soldier.  However, you said you worship nothing.  I will pray for you on that.  I do worship God and cannot imagine what it may be like not to worship him.  It is He alone that receives any glory I come across. 


Regards,

The one you love to hate

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By Virginia from Virginia, August 8, 2009 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

Scott Ritter, you are a true patriot.  You care about America’s principles and don’t just blindly support any action that America undertakes.  I heard you speak via C-SPAN at DC’s St. Aloysius Church in 2002 (BEFORE our attack on Iraq) citing the details about your conclusion that Iraq’s WMDs had been either all or mostly destroyed.  You reported that you were THERE in Iraq - right at the sites where those WMDs had been destroyed when you conducted that investigaton.  I have many times begged C-SPAN to repeat that program featuring your talk but no such luck.

Pat Roberts has put his career before his country countless times.  Recall his agreement to investigate the false report of Iraqi WMDs but only after investigation of other 9/11 events.  After delaying that initial 9/11 report, Roberts then reneged on looking into the fake WMD stories - saying no one was interested in that issue.  HUNH???

Mr. Ritter, I can only hope you can get the Kansas City Star to print this, your current article about Roberts meddling into the circumstances of the death of Captain Speicher.  Our country is in desparate need of principled senators with character and does not need political hacks such as Roberts.

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By NorCalNative, August 8, 2009 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Scott Ritter is a voice of reason and sanity against the tyranny of the Military Industrial Congressional Complex. He’s the polar opposite of our jingoistic politicians.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 8, 2009 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

No Kristi Lade, Capt. Speicher wasn’t “defending our soil” at all. There was no threat and never was a threat from Iraq at all. So that specious argument denigrates his sacrifice for the Powers That Be reasons which have little to do with what they told us and him. His very fact of being there to get killed is proof of his being used. [Note: Iraqis had more freedom and better standard of living before being “liberated” by the USA.]

Ritter wasn’t talking about himself but his country and the things is does in the guise of patriotism and “heroic” military action to get the realpolotik job done. Capt. Speicher was just another needless casualty of that war that is still going on now. I wonder how many Iraqis he killed before his death? Over 3 million deaths of Iraqis since 1990 were directly or indirectly cause mainly by the USA and its insidious machinations.

The only good thing out of this is that some might now remember the USA had attacked Iraq in 1990 onward for no legitimate reason. That war crime needs to stop and those involved in planning &perpetrating; it need to be brought to justice.[The upper echelon from the president down to the generals and any individual soldier that violates the Geneva Convention and any other law the USA has signed on to.]


Yes, the USA is expert at duping, bribing and frightening other countries and the near useless UN to approve its actions both in the past and recently. Why else has no other country attempted to obstruct the USA in its move into the Middle East to secure a base from which to affect the surrounding oil rich areas? [Iraq.]

Glory to the troops, both surviving and dead, is truly a cheap commodity in comparison to the missing limbs and trauma and other maladies all war related. Those cost and historically the USA has been reluctant to pay them adequately. Go back to the Revolutionary War (1775-1814). To see onward to today to show just how much the troops get in support both on the battlefield and afterward. It is sordid and sad.

Worshiping the state and glorifying the military are elements of a dictatorial state. Be wary of them, I certainly am. I worship nothing and am skeptical, but not close minded about everything.

The USA has for a long time had both imperial, fascist and authoritarian tendencies. They have all never been so powerfully expressed as they are today. We need to negate with common sense and serenity of our point of view, and return to the best aspects of our republic, not its worse.

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By Big B, August 8, 2009 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

It’s nice that some real life, Fox watching, flag sucking morons sharing their opinions at this site for once. What is really surprising is just how bitter the wacko right is these days. Of course, I suppose I would be bummed if I just came off of nearly 40 years of political and social control of this once great nation, only to see that nearly every theory, political, economic and social have gone down in flames. And when your last ditch effort is to hold the ramblings of Hannity, beck, and O’reilly as gospel, well, what can be said for you? I do feel your pain however, for I am a liberal, and I lost on Nov 8th too.

But as for the original discussion, do you think we could go a day without a neo-con senator using the military as a political means to an end to further solidify his already unflapping support in his or hers already dim politcal district. We should not be surprised by this phoney patriotism, for many a neo-con in the last 40 years has wrapped himself in flag and used the military to appeal to the lowest common denominator, the ground fruit.

It’s a shame that the dimmest of our countrymen are taken advantage of by the military industrial complex nearly every day. But they should not feel too bad, for they do it to all of us.

We liberals have always been able to jump in and save america from itself on many an occasion in the past, but this time I fear we may be too late.

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By Poco, August 8, 2009 at 7:31 am Link to this comment

Oh, and KLade, about that Roman horse. He was a conservative, he voted nay on everything.

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By Poco, August 8, 2009 at 7:20 am Link to this comment

KLade,
If they had their way we would all be living merrily in a communistic world of leisure and lack of want. They would be able to make themselves feel good at your expense. They would be the ones to decide what is and isn’t worth fighting for and if you leave that to them the list would be pretty small. They would have their heroes but those are to be eaten not admired.
I’ve found that it is natural for some to want to be lazy intellectually. To have to think requires some effort.
You notice, however, that I do not contend that any system is perfect. I do believe that dissent is necessary but I also believe that our system is best over all the others that have been tried to this point.
While debate is healthy but I don’t like to see people getting verbally beaten up over what they say or believe. When people stoop to that level it is best to get down there with them and slug it out. It seems that both sides have a tendency to begin calling each other names to show their lack of intelligence.
The left, though, has a tendency to want to shout all others down. You can witness that on college campuses around the nation. That tactic is used when they know that their side of the argument has a lack of intellectual integrity. You know, those debates in which, should you let the other side have their say, you would end up looking pretty stupid or may have to reassess your position. That, again, would require intellectual exercise. You might have to make decisions that would make you feel uneasy, heaven forbid.
I make fun of the state of Iowa. One would think that people there would be pretty right wing. It would seem that just the opposite is true. Their Supreme Court justices have taken a concept that has worked for centuries, marriage between one woman and one man, and perverted it into allowing two of the same gender to marry. Now that may make some of the liberals feel very good about themselves and their state but follow the progression. Because of that judicial legislation the animal lovers now want swine and other creatures to have certain rights also. Doesn’t seem so far fetched now does it? If the hogs get the vote humans may end up being the food. After all didn’t the Romans have a senator that was a horse?
Keep smiling…..

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By Leefeller, August 8, 2009 at 6:56 am Link to this comment

Vietnam evader Bush showed inflated hypocrisy with his spotty attendance in the National Guard which was exempt from going to Vietnam at the time, Bush by attacking   Iraq and sending in the National Guard raised some eyebrows but not enough. Bush showed a blatant hypocrisy and disregard for the National Guard by his actions. In fact most of the folks who seem to love war so much usually make sure they and their families are exempt. As Chaney said, so!

It is one thing to serve in the Military and another to be blind to reality. Comments suggesting any war the USA creates is defending our soil seems tainted by rose colored glasses or even blindness. One could use the same arguments for any other country who has gone to war in history?

Looking at Afghanistan and Iraq, one may ask who is defending what? Manipulation of other countries seems most important in the defense of our soil, only in the seemingly deluded minds of opportunists. Causes are promoted as patriotic because they prefer to have the rally and support, why does it seem peace is not considered patriotic?

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By KLade, August 8, 2009 at 6:38 am Link to this comment

Thank you Poco for putting things into perspective.  You are so correct, there truly isn’t much to argue with here. Not only that, but continuing to do so only distracts from my generic flag sucking. LOL (I am actually glad I was called that - I haven’t laughed so hard in days =)!!  I know who I am and where I’m from.  My comments here were merely a mild distraction from Fox News.  Thanks again ~ K. Lade

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By Poco, August 8, 2009 at 2:02 am Link to this comment

ChaoticGood,
Whoa, dude! Is that what you read between the lines? You are good.
How about Kerry? He wasn’t much of a leader but would you consider him craven and a coward? If you say yes we may be in some agreement here.
Were I a bit more sober I would engage you, sir, in a literary fisticuffs that you would not soon forget. I would cite instances and dates. I would throw down names, damn it, and let the chips fall where they may.
But, instead, I will only toast your insignificance. After all, you are a bit silly.

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By ChaoticGood, August 8, 2009 at 1:12 am Link to this comment

Poco,
You really believe that the politicos that sent troops to Vietnam didn’t realize that there was no way to win, don’t you.

The French tried for a generation and failed.  We were defeated in Vietnam.  It was a loss, a defeat and our soldiers died for a political fantasy of proving something to China and the USSR.

The soldiers were loyal and brave and deserve respect for that, but they were used by the political leadership as pawns.  The leaders were craven cowards.  McNamara was a monster.

Equally craven was the Bush who hid from Vietnam in a rich kids safety zone.  Then for his glory he just could not wait to waste soldiers lives by attacking a country that had absolutly nothing to do with 911. He and the nefarious Rumsfeld and the treacherous Cheney convoluted the truth and knowingly led us into a war with no chance of winning.  Unless you think what is happening now as we are kicked out with “our tail between our legs” as a “win”.

That was and is a craven and cowardly act, for which justice is still unserved.  The Bush Doctrine of preemptive war is a war-crime in itself. A more cowardly and craven act by a leader is hard to imagine. Perhaps the debacle at Abu-Ghraib is another example.

You can witness the crimes of wanton warfare and feckless cowardice and still not believe your own eyes. You seem to want to trust them even though they betrayed us all. Scott Ritter warned us early and often, but we did not listen.

Enjoy your cheese sandwich and say “hi” to Hannity for me.

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By Poco, August 7, 2009 at 11:57 pm Link to this comment

ChaoticGood,
I feel so honored that you mentioned me. I stand in awe of your intelligence. And the “If these folks had just one more neuron between them they would be able to have a synapse” line was a real zinger. I am hurt to the soul. Hopefully, I will recover by the morn.
I am glad I found out that military leaders are craven, cowards also. Always wondered about those medals and awards. Thanks for clearing that up for me too.
Sorry to make this so short. Have to get back to the Limbaugh show, or fix the mower, or maybe make a cheese sandwich. Get the point? You are not important to just about everyone in the universe, except, maybe, to your mommy.

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By ChaoticGood, August 7, 2009 at 11:43 pm Link to this comment

Hippie4ever,

Your comment is very true.

“Clearly religion isn’t the only refuge of scoundrels; we can add hiding behind the flag, the military and one’s children.”

Usually these debates with military types starts with personal attacks, then it goes to non-sequiter arguments, followed by mis-quotes and “straw-men”, then usually you get something about how many military people have fought wars throughout history in their family.

The military minded are very sensitive about the honorable death of comrades and anyone who dares to suggest that those deaths were useless will hit a “raw nerve”.

The horror lurking in the military mind is that their leaders are craven, cowards who will order them to die for nothing.  This is the main reason for all the ceremonies that take place in the military.  The need to have honor and purpose is necessary for someone to give up their life and these ceremonies and their badges and awards reaffirm their “value” to society and to each other.

Klade has exhibited most of these traits already, specifically mis-quotes and straw-men.  Klade also exhibits projection as well.  Most interesting for sure.  Poco has now chimed in with an additional Ad Hominem, but I am not sure where it was aimed.  I think Poco was trying to be cynical. 

But Poco doesn’t seem to remember that Sadaam was our ally for many years and much of his advanced weaponry including gas was acquired through the relationship with Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.  Poco also does not seem to remember that we went to war to prevent Sadaam from launching a nuclear strike on America, not because he was killing innocents. 

I guess history and facts don’t mean much when you just want to satisfy your need to be right.  It is sort of like listening to Rush Limbaugh, since most of the talking points come from him and Hannity. 

If these folks had just one more neuron between them they would be able to have a synapse.

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By hippie4ever, August 7, 2009 at 11:10 pm Link to this comment

Clearly religion isn’t the only refuge of scoundrels; we can add hiding behind the flag, the military and one’s children.

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By Poco, August 7, 2009 at 10:24 pm Link to this comment

KLade,
How dare you bring up the fact that Sadaam was killing innocents (as were the Germans in WWII, you know the war we needed to get into according to ChaoticGood).
Must I explain to you that arguing with fools is foolish? You cannot change the minds of people without minds.
Sorry to disillusion you.

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By KDB, August 7, 2009 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment

Overdue time for Pat Roberts to go.  The guy is
so brainwashed with his military importance it
stinks. Kansas deserves far more than this sick
guy has to offer.

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By KLade, August 7, 2009 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment

Dear “Big B,”

First, I can guaren-dang-tee you ALL my thoughts are my own!  Can’t you handle that someone has a thought that is not YOUR own?  I would not “gleefully” march anyone into the fires of Hades to avoid questioning authority.  I question authority all the time.  Don’t look now, but I was questioning Scott Ritter’s authority on this very article. I am questioning your self proclaimed authority that I am a flag sucking zombie…oh, a generic one at that.  If I am so much of that, why did you even waste your time responding to me?  It’s because deep down some of the points I had ring true in the thinking part of your brain and you cannot handle that.


You are more than correct that it is our duty to question authority.  I question what is going on in our country EVERY day.  Our government is taking over all big businesses (Banks, Car companies, health insurance), they are going to give our seniors euthanasia counseling for God’s sake and determine the VALUE of their life - if it’s the value of an unborn infant in certain cases, I fear for us all, they are employing Czar’s in every state to tattle on each other (thoughts of Gestapo ring through my head) and repaying their school loans for doing so, on the White House web site they asked people to report anyone they saw disagreeing with the president’s health plan, and on the cash for clunkers web site they let you know if you participate in their program you grant them access into your computer and give up your Constitutional right to privacy (which is illegal).  Obama fired an Attorney General for looking into fraud in Americorp because the gentleman in question was a friend of his - he had previously fought so hard (his own story) during his time as Senator to make it so no one could fire an Attorney General and then as President he broke his own rule - Attorney General’s are supposed to report to us.  It makes no sense that they could be fired arbitrarily.  Recently Obama called the actions of a police officer stupid and suggested it was racist all before he knew the whole story.  Instead of Pelosi trying to reach out to the angry masses all over the nation speaking out against the healthcare plan, she says they are carrying swastikas.  Really!?  If that is true, why is she the only one saying it or seeing it.  Vicious misinformation campaign.  Umm, why would someone do that?  I am sitting here watching this happen in my own country and then listening to you not back anything you say up with facts - just arbitrary name calling and THEN call ME and others dim American Sheeple? 


Big B, you have some serious splaining to do.  Can you claim in an educated manner that anything I said above is not true and back it up with facts - not name calling? Come on and try not be a mindless drone.  And by the way for ColoradoKarl - I think I am the courageous one posting all I just did since I now open myself up to being reported to the White House for exactly what Big B said I did not do - questioning authority. 

I pray there are more honroable heroic people like Speicher to protect us from all that is taking place, or the jackboot won’t be from a foreign dictator named Raul, but someone we supposedly elected here in our own country.
Regards,


K. Lade

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By Big B, August 7, 2009 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment

KLade

You appear to be just another generic flag sucking zombie who would gleefully march us all into the fires of hades if it meant you would never have to question authority or come up with an original thought. I would like to point out that it is not your right to question the actions of your government, IT IS YOUR DUTY! If you think that our leaders should not be questioned then there are any number of nations in the world that would appreciate another mindless drone of a citizen. However, you may not like living in the third world under the jackboot of some dictator named Raul.

It’s time we all begin to question the sometimes horrific actions of that most sacred of american cows, our military. If you think that they are overseas right now defending truth, justice and the american way, then you might as well be living in that ridicules 1950’s television show with the rest of the dim american sheeple.

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By coloradokarl, August 7, 2009 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment

Ritter IS a Patriot and maybe a hero, The courage of this outspoken Man is both refreshing and a lesson to future generations on how to be an American. Chalabi was the catalyst and someone should kick his ass. I can imagine the Neo-Cons now, when the light bulbs of their minds lit up and they realized they could pull this whole financial scam off. Some industrious financial whizz should look up all the financial records from ALL the players and find the corelation and the time line, I bet it plays out into a book deal. ” Hey George, let us buy some Raytheon stock. Wadya Think???” These low-lifes caused the premature deaths of what? 150,000 people?

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By KLade, August 7, 2009 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment

ChaoticGood,

You are right about one thing, I did not really need to accuse you of hating America.  You do a good job of describing what we stand for in a self-deprecating way all on your own.  I just called it like I see it, much the same way that you feel you are doing.


I was also not suggesting you were saying Democrats hands were clean - you suggested that on your own when you used “Republican” as a qualifier to Mr. Roberts being from Kansas City and therefore backwards.  Then you go on to add that it is where you are from.  Coincidence?  You were the one that said it, not me.


I defended my position with a lot more than just stating that you ‘seemed’ to hate America which was at the very end of what I said..  Notice I didn’t even say you definitely did, I said “seemed.” I guess asking you that was a case of the truth hurts because it stirred a big ole hornets nest.  You name called Pat Roberts and then called me blind.  Is that how you defend your position?  Name calling!?


That last sentence of yours, you know the one about the ‘lunatic liberal,’ well, that was ALL YOU for the record.  I did not say it, you did.  I personally can defend who I am and what I stand for all night long without the need for name calling and I certainly would not be ‘smart’ enough to try to make my point by calling myself names! 


I am patriotic and and do not agree with you that our country is “unreasonable.”  Again you said that. Our entire country is not reasonable?  Really?  Well, if that is how you feel, keep on working for ‘change.’ Those of us who appreciate our reasonable country don’t need your opinion anyway.


Also, you said we start wars to give the troops glory.  You call that statement true respect of the troops?  Stop one next time you see them and see what they think of that statement and if they feel they were respected by you. PS - None of us need to GIVE them glory - they do that all on their own.  I guess you truly do not get that aspect of it.  They volunteered to defend and protect our interests - we did not force them.  That is where the real glory is in doing something out of love.


In closing, I sir/ma’am, do not ‘Act” like anything.  I am who I am…who I am. I am not really concerned with if you like me or not.  I love my country and my relatives have fought for this country beginning with the Revolutionary War.  You may feel the need to ‘Change” that, but I feel the need to protect and preserve it.  It has gotten us where we are today which last time I checked was the land of the free and a lot to be thankful for.


Respectfully,

K. Lade

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By samosamo, August 7, 2009 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

There are a lot of really sick ‘children’ out there and most seem to inhabit the halls of congress and the corporate world, and for anyone of those demented fools to act as this roberts character has, most especially for HIS OWN personal, financial and political gain, should most definitely resign from their positions as they are NOT serving the people of the United States, but their corporate puppet masters.

Thanks, Scott Ritter, for another one of your insightful articles that either removes or prevents the mud that so many ‘faithful’ heretics like to throw in everybody’s eyes as their image of how this country should be for all.

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By ChaoticGood, August 7, 2009 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

Klade,
So you defend your position by accusing me of hating America. The Ad-Hominem attacks are typical of those who really cannot defend anything. Really you must be joking or you have really drunk the Republican/Militaristic Kool-aid.

You act as if criticism of America’s penchant for war as an enterprise is something new.  Ever since wars began, soldiers lives have been “used” by their “betters” for political adventurism.
If anything offends me at all is that America is so willing to waste lives on petty issues in demonstration wars (all wars since Vietnam have been just that, especially the adventures in Iraq).  I exclude WWII because there was real need to go to war then.

That is why the Constitution demands Congress Declaration of War.  So Presidents cannot invade for political expediency.

If you cannot tolerate the word “waste” in conjunction with America’s wars then I think you are just willfully blind.  Your need to demand “purpose” for the soldiers deaths to somehow justify those deaths is understandable, but it is misplaced patriotism, when your patiotic fervor should be aimed at the feckless politicians and corporatists who sent them to die for America for no reason.

If you cannot understand the war dynamics necessary when you have a professional military, then you really are blind.  Does the phrase Military/Industrial Complex ring a bell?

Finally, I must say if it must be said, that my love for America includes the need to change it when it must be done.  Endless “lip-service” honoring brave troops as a dodge for really respecting them is a low crime indeed. 
You don’t send troops you respect into demonstration wars you know you cannot win, pervert their mission into society building and then watch as they are slowly decimated, all the while telling the American public that winning is almost at hand. Are these the friends of the Military?  I think not.

I will work tirelessly for change that truly respects the military and the sacrifices of its patriots.  The military is becoming more like a video game every day and this must stop.  The trivialization of War must be halted.

As to the issue of the enablers of the Iraq debacles, I never claimed that Democrats hands were clean as you seem to suggest.  Warmongers and elitists come from both sides of the tracks.

I claim that Kansas is backwards because I lived in Missouri for many years and know Kansas very well.  That is my opinion of the place.

As far a Pat Roberts is concerned, I have watched him for years on CSPAN and I consider him to be in the same league as Senator Inhofe from Oklahoma. My opinion is that they are both mindless obstructionists and partisan hacks. They substitute “talking points” for reason.  I detest this type of politician because they wave the flag and wear a cross on their sleeves while undermining reason and sowing the seeds of discord.  In any reasonable country they would not be tolerated.

So, if you must label me as just another lunatic liberal “blame America first” elitist who you should ignore, then so be it.

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By KLade, August 7, 2009 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

ChaoticGood,

Your commenting on Roberts being from a “backward state” amazes me.  The hero this article is supposed to be about is from that neck of the woods before he moved to Florida as a teenager.  You are insulting him at the same time. As you will note from my response to Leefeller, The Gulf War was not a United States issue, but a coalition one of thirty odd nations that had U.N. approval.  Which war are you talking about? Are you certain you even know.  Whichever one involved a Republican, right?  Even if you are talking about the second Iraq War, it did have congressional approval including many democrats who now claim it was wrong.  You slam Roberts because he is a Republican and yet you say nothing about it being Clinton (a dem) who brought Speicher to the publics attention in the Rose Garden, or Senator Nelson (a dem) who continued to ask questions about Speicher long after Roberts was silent on the matter.  Then, you insult all our troops by claiming none of their battles had purpose.  Why do you seem to hate America so much?

Respectfully,

K. Lade

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By KLade, August 7, 2009 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller,


First of all, thank you for your service to our nation. My husband, father, and father in law served as well.  It should be mentioned that my father in law served several tours in Vietnam and he does not share your view. 

I do not agree with you that my comment was “shortsighted,” as you said. Regardless of whether you agree with our countries involvement in Iraq or not, Captain Speicher did what he was called on by his country to do and he did so in defense of our nations security. Contrary to what some people believe, what goes on in other places has a profound effect here at home. Instability elsewhere effects us whether we wish to live in a bubble or not.  Ignoring it does not make it go away, nor does waiting around for it to come to our shores. 


When one of our service members, like yourself, is placed into foreign country in harms way, he or she is most definitely in defense of our homeland.  At the time of the Gulf War, Iraq had invaded a largely defenseless nation, Kuwait.  The war was not initiated by the US alone, but thirty something coalition nations and it also had U.N. approval. Saddam had previously gassed his own people, drained swamps that they depended on for sustenance, and been at war with Iran. To attempt to prevent war, Saddam used human shields (Westerners). This was not an innocent man and he had big plans to do harm. 

In answer to your question, yes, you were defending our homeland when you went to Vietnam - however unknowing it was or is for you.  Preventing the collapse of South Vietnam and the spread of communism was a noble cause and defended our country by slowing its spread. We were not entirely successful in that war, but the original cause was just.  When the President called on you to serve, you did so, and for that you defended your country.


I do not believe ‘defense’ replaced the word ‘offense.’  However, at times offense can be a defense.  There are times we must act first in order to defend our country.  Some may call this offense, but I call it not waiting around for something really bad to happen.  We cannot afford to ‘react’ to things all the time - sometimes we need to act to prevent them.


“Peace Through Strength.” Ronald W. Reagan


Respectfully,


K. Lade

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By ChaoticGood, August 7, 2009 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

When drumming up reasons to go to war, politicians always make up things and distort reality.  That’s why the Constitution of the United States gave power to wage war to the Congress, not the President.  Congress was supposed to take their time and not get stampeded into “foreign” entanglements.  At least that was how it was supposed to work.  Pat Roberts is a Republican from a backward state so what should you expect from him.  If the Kansans want this imbecile representing them, that is their right. This story is just another in the sad pageant that plays out when a country opts for a mercenary army. You must have something for them to do, so you start wars to give them glory, purpose and give boosts to the economy as a bonus.  We are getting just what we want, endless wars against all boogeymen.  America will grow up someday, I hope and lay these soldiers to rest.

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By Leefeller, August 7, 2009 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

“Captain Speicher is coming home to Jacksonville, Florida, next week to be laid to rest on the soil he so bravely defended”.

This seemingly shortsighted concept of defense may be what is wrong with the grand scheme of things, as it is being fed and portrayed.

As a Vietnam vet, was I unknowingly defending our soil as did circa 55 thousand veterans who died? And all this time I thought is was for bull pucky. Defense seems to have replaced the word offense, neither mean what they should.

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By KLade, August 7, 2009 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

I stand corrected.  I missed where Mr Ritter did, in the end, mention Scott was coming home.  I apologize for my oversight.

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By KLade, August 7, 2009 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

Wow! Where to start? Was this article just an excuse to attack Senator Roberts, or what?  You know the Marine Motto, but you didn’t mention the military credo of “Leave no Man Behind” at all. That motto should have been enough of a reason to bring Scott home. Perhaps you should commit that one to memory as well - you seemed to have missed the full revelation of that along the way.


You, Mr. Ritter, mention that Speicher, a hero (my word , not yours), was “used” as a reason to go to war - aren’t you using him now as a reason to attack Senator Roberts? Frankly, your timing lacks the most basic sense of taste.  Captain Speicher is coming home to Jacksonville, Florida, next week to be laid to rest on the soil he so bravely defended.  Yet, I don’t see one ‘Welcome Home’ from you in your article.  It wasn’t about Scott at all.  The article is about Senator Roberts and your personal vendetta merely using Captain Speicher’s return home as a reason to attack him.  You should be ashamed, but something tells me that you won’t be.

I am one of those individuals who has followed Captain Speicher’s story for years and frankly it is almost like you are having a several year delayed reaction.  Senator Roberts hasn’t even mentioned Speicher publicly for what seems like ions, yet he is the one you go after? Senator Nelson (a Democrat), on the other hand, has continued to raise questions about Scott and you don’t mention him at all. 

Then, you state “Bush administration’s fraudulent use of intelligence to justify its WMD-based casus belli for invading Iraq.”  I can only surmise that you are suggesting President Bush used Captain Speicher as well.  I can find ONE time Bush mentioned Speicher publicly (on the floor of the United Nations) and he didn’t even mention his name - he stated, “...one American Pilot among them!” Look it up.  Also, I think it’s important to note that it was President Clinton who first changed Scott’s status just before he left office.  He mentioned Scott, by name, on the White House lawn. How was it all Bush who pushed the Speicher cause?  It wasn’t, it just a convenient manipulation of facts for you to sell your wares.


Your statement mentioning that Roberts distorted facts and manipulated truth…is especially poignant considering you did so in the above article.  Captain Speicher was found a fairly large distance from the crash site and no one knows as of yet the circumstances of his death.  Here in the United States people usually have the common sense to know that just because a body is buried in a certain place, does not mean the person died there.  Or, everyone would have go to a cemetery and die directly next to their graveside.
 
Is this an “I told you so” moment for you, sir?  If so, you need some serious schooling on class.  You may have been in the Marines for twelve - even thirty years - and yet, I personally do not sense the decorum of my daughter who is thirteen and just in her second year of the Civil Air Patrol.  I think, in your case, it is not the quantity of the years spent serving, but the quality - and personally it appears to me, Senator Robert’s had a more quality military experience - one that allows him to admire, respect, and honor our military service heroes in the manner they so deserve.

Captain Speicher’s homecoming is NOT about you, Mr. Ritter.  It is about Scott, his family, and friends.  It is about the ultimate sacrifice.  It is about “Greater Love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” ~ John 15:13. It is about the United States honoring commitments made.  It is about never giving up.  It is about faith AND it is about time you get beyond whatever possessed you to use Speicher as a platform for your hatred and garner of self attention. 

God Bless Captain Speicher and his family and friends as this true American hero comes home to a homecoming, so richly deserved!

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By Kristi Lade, August 7, 2009 at 9:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow! Where to start? Was this article just an excuse to attack Senator Roberts, or what?  You know the Marine Motto, but you didn’t mention the military credo of “Leave no Man Behind” at all. That motto should have been enough of a reason to bring Scott home. Perhaps you should commit that one to memory as well - you seemed to have missed the full revelation of that along the way.

You, Mr. Ritter, mention that Speicher, a hero (my word , not yours), was “used” as a reason to go to war - aren’t you using him now as a reason to attack Senator Roberts? Frankly, your timing lacks the most basic sense of taste.  Captain Speicher is coming home to Jacksonville, Florida, next week to be laid to rest on the soil he so bravely defended.  Yet, I don’t see one ‘Welcome Home’ from you in your article.  It wasn’t about Scott at all.  The article is about Senator Roberts and your personal vendetta merely using Captain Speicher’s return home as a reason to attack him.  You should be ashamed, but something tells me that you won’t be. 

I am one of those individuals who has followed Captain Speicher’s story for years and frankly it is almost like you are having a several year delayed reaction.  Senator Roberts hasn’t even mentioned Speicher publicly for what seems like ions, yet he is the one you go after? Senator Nelson (a Democrat), on the other hand, has continued to raise questions about Scott and you don’t mention him at all. 

Then, you state “Bush administration’s fraudulent use of intelligence to justify its WMD-based casus belli for invading Iraq.”  I can only surmise that you are suggesting President Bush used Captain Speicher as well.  I can find ONE time Bush mentioned Speicher publicly (on the floor of the United Nations) and he didn’t even mention his name - he stated, “...one American Pilot among them!” Look it up.  Also, I think it’s important to note that it was President Clinton who first changed Scott’s status just before he left office.  He mentioned Scott, by name, on the White House lawn. How was it all Bush who pushed the Speicher cause?  It wasn’t, it just a convenient manipulation of facts for you to sell your wares.

Your statement mentioned that Roberts distorted facts and manipulated truth…is especially poignant, considering you did so in your above article.  Captain Speicher was found a fairly large distance from the crash site and no one knows as of yet the circumstances of his death.  Here in the United States people usually have the common sense to know that just because a body is buried in a certain place, does not mean the person died there.  Or, everyone would have go to a cemetery and die directly next to their graveside.

Is this an “I told you so” moment for you, sir?  If so, you need some serious schooling on class.  You may have been in the Marines for twelve - even thirty years - and yet, I personally do not sense the decorum of my daughter who is thirteen and just in her second year of the Civil Air Patrol.  I think, in your case, it is not the quantity of the years spent serving, but the quality - and personally it appears to me, Senator Robert’s had a more quality military experience - one that allows him to admire, respect, and honor our military service heroes in the manner they so deserve.

Captain Speicher’s homecoming is NOT about you, Mr. Ritter.  It is about Scott, his family, and friends.  It is about the ultimate sacrifice.  It is about “Greater Love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” ~ John 15:13.  It is about the United States honoring commitments made.  It is about never giving up.  It is about faith, AND it is about time you get beyond whatever possessed you to use Speicher as a platform for your hatred and attempt to garner self attention.  God Bless Captain Speicher and his family and friends as this true American hero comes home to a homecoming that is so richly deserved!

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Purple Girl's avatar

By Purple Girl, August 7, 2009 at 4:40 am Link to this comment

The Repugs credo is “Have no Shame” or intgrity. Look at the publicity stunt they pulled with Tillmen death and the female soldiers “hospital Rescue”.
When it comes to Repugs, Americans should recognize the fact that ‘If their lips are moving, they are lying’

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By C. Curtis Dillon, August 7, 2009 at 2:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This sad tale only reinforces my belief that politicians lack any sense of moral center or even common decency.  To wrap themselves in the story of this brave pilot and use his legacy to advance their sick agenda is a betrayal beyond comprehension.  Pat Roberts needs to be removed from the congress ASAP.  The people of Kansas deserve more from their elected representative than this sick clown.  But, sadly, I’ve come to expect only the worst from our “leaders”.  They truly don’t care about anything but their personal aggrandizement and the power game in Washington.  Perhaps it is time to throw all of them out and to start over with a clean slate.

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