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Dubious Letters From GIs In Iraq as part of the Fall Iraq PR Campaign

A series of letters to hometown newspapers, purportedly written by U.S. soldiers in Iraq, contain identical language, according to the Gannett News Service. The letters praise the U.S. effort to rebuild the war-torn Mideast nation.
Gannett said it had turned up 11 identical letters from soldiers serving in Iraq with the 2nd Battalion of the 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment. Six of the soldiers contacted by Gannett said they knew of the letters and agreed with their substance, but hadn't written them.

But another letter, purportedly written by a GI hospitalized for wounds suffered in a grenade attack, came as a surprise to Pfc. Nick Deaconson of Beckley, W.Va., according to his dad.

The soldier received a congratulatory phone call from his father, Timothy, for getting the letter published in the local newspaper.

"When I told him he wrote such a good letter, he said: 'What letter?'" Timothy Deaconson told Gannett. "This is just not his (writing) style."

An Army spokesman contacted by Gannett said he had been told the letter was written by a soldier, though he did not know the identity of the author.

"When he asked other soldiers in his unit to sign it, they did," said Sgt. Todd Oliver of the 173rd Airborne Brigade. "Someone, somewhere along the way, took it upon themselves to mail it to the various editors of newspapers across the country."

Another purported letter writer contacted by Gannett, Sgt. Shawn Grueser of Poca, W.Va., said he spoken to a military public affairs officer about the situation in Iraq for what he believed was a press release to be sent to his local newspaper.

Grueser said that while he shared the viewpoint expressed in the letter, he was uncomfortable with the fact that the letter did not contain his own words.
"It makes it look like you cheated on a test, and everybody got the same grade," Grueser told Gannett.

The five-paragraph letter praises the U.S. effort in Iraq. For example, letters supposedly written by different soldiers showed up the Tulare (Calif.) Advance-Register and the Boston Globe within two days of each other last month. Here's how the letters describe - in identical language - the situation in Kirkuk, Iraq:

"Kirkuk is a hot and dusty city of just over a million people. The majority of the city has welcomed our presence with open arms. After nearly five months here, the people still come running from their homes, in the 110-degree heat, waving to us as our troops drive by on daily patrols of the city. Children smile and run up to shake hands, and in broken English, shout, 'Thank you, mister.'"

homepage: homepage: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/10/13/iraq/main577716.shtml


How Sick. 13.Oct.2003 10:57

Disgusted

This is exactly, EXACTLY the shit COINTELPRO pulled in their heyday. They attacked alternative news media by sending "letters to the editor" to major papers disguised as local citizens' thoughts. When the alternative publication was a college paper, they sent letters to the university disguised as "disgruntled parents" letters. They supported the war in Vietnam by sending bogus letters to the editor all over the country.

Fortunately, this was a transparant little maneuver. What do we do when they're more sophisticated than this? Yeck.

more reading 13.Oct.2003 12:25

reader

posted previously here:

Olympian exposes astroturf campaign from "US soldiers in Iraq"
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2003/10/273143.shtml

Many soldiers, same letter
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2003/10/273125.shtml

elsewhere on the net:

FAKE 'GOOD NEWS' FROM IRAQ
 http://www.antiwar.com/justin/j101303.html

ASTROTURF LETTERS FROM IRAQ UPDATE
 http://counterspin.blogspot.com/2003_10_12_counterspin_archive.html#106604689260196066
(this has a list of all the corporate media coverage of this story; and it's everywhere)

astroturf letters 13.Oct.2003 17:16

bright eyes

Dear <Name: Independent Media Center>

Believe in Bush

I believe President Bush is demonstrating genuine leadership. His economic
growth package takes us in the right direction by accelerating the successful tax
cuts of <Insert year of most recent tax cut here: 2001>, providing marriage penalty
relief and providing incentives for individuals and small businesses to save and invest.

I am not one of the rich people who will supposedly benefit from this plan
but rather a concerned and hard-working citizen who believes in this
president.

Instead of attacking the president, the media should help to support and
further unite our country in this time of crisis.

<Name: Bright Eyes>

Manufactured Crisis 28.Oct.2003 10:34

Gramsci

Bright Eyes:

The Danish Existentialist Writter Soren Kierkegaard would have admired your faith. If fact the mentality of the American public is much like that of Abraham leading his son Isaac into the mountains to be a sacrifice for God. Isaac meant the world to Abraham but if God had given the orders sacrifice Isaac than Abraham would obey. This turned out to be only a test of Abrahams faith and he never had to sacrifice Isaac, this is were fact departs from fiction (my apologies to fans of the old testament).

Americans have been sacrificing Isaac since 9/11. Liberty is the bedrock that America was built on (Liberty for white people anyways) and is the value Americans cherish dearest. You have the right to bear arms to defend yourselves from those who threaten your liberty as should all. So why is it that you will let precious liberty be sacrificed for the security of your country when it is the actions of your country that jeopordize it's stability. I would be hopping mad if my country started wars with other countries that were not a threat, under false pretences then told me that they have the right to investigate what I read at the Library because the people who's sons and daughters they have just finished killing might feel like getting even. I know I would sure feel like a fool saying "lets stand behind our leader during this time of crisis" when he delved our country into crisis and is busy taking away our liberty in the name of saving our liberty. I'll keep your wallet so it won't get stolen if you like

Which 6th grager did they get to write this one? 28.Oct.2003 13:38

zofeone

If you were going to manufacture a letter about how good it is in Iraq, wouldn't you at least make it sound like someone older than a sixth grader wrote it? And I highly doubt that the children are running up to our troops, shouting "Thank you, Mister". please..

A Few Genuine Letters From Iraq 28.Oct.2003 17:00

Airborne Mom

I would have to agree that there is compelling evidence to prove there was indeed a "form letter". However, the gist of the letter is the same exact information I have received from my son, who is in Iraq....and with the 173rd Airborne.

I will share some of his letters - verbatim.

1. (4/15/03 email from Iraq)
hi mom, .... its been a little hectic around here they have been having me drive all over northern iraq and further south to. looks like saddam had his ass handed to him again. really miss you guys. this is probably the saddest place i have ever even seen. all the kurds and natives are so happy to see us. they run up next to the vehicles waving smiling givings thumbs up and saying thank you we love you. it brought tears to my eyes the first time i saw them. this is a beautiful country though. someday after the rebuilding of iraq you should see this place. send disposable cameras. i tried to call today at 7 am your time but no answer. i hope i get another chance. i will tell you about the jump in person. you have to see some of the things i have collected here. i love you guys...see. you soon i hope.

love, xxxxxxx

Airborne Mom's comments: I edited my son's name out of the email. If he choses to make himself known and be hounded by the press, that will be his decision. I will not make it for him. FYI - To the previous poster: Yes, the Iraqi people really do come running up to the soldiers thanking them. I have pictures of my son with Iraqi people smiling and hugging him. They were celebrated as heroes by the Iraqi people and the Kurds. I hope they get the same heroes welcome home when they return to the USA.

2. (July 19, 2003 - letter from Iraq)
Dear Mom,
As you know by now, I won't be home for quite a while. Don't be disappointed. You knew it was possible this would happen. I told you so. I am not too bummed out either. I think everyone should spend one year in a 3rd world country. It teaches you alot about yourself and friends. It also makes you appreciate everything you take for granted - like a pair of shoes, air conditioning, personal hygiene, roofs, and rights. Anyway - it is not so bad and I will be HOME - it will always be home to me.

Love, xxxxxxx

Airborne Mom's comments: My son sounds proud of what he is doing. I have talked with him on the phone occasionally as well, and he has told me that he feels pride in being part of liberating a country. I am proud of him too and support the work he is doing. It is a shame that the "form letter" was written.....but I have to wonder if maybe the reason why isn't a little more obvious. The press is so biased against this war effort in Iraq and our President, perhaps somebody thought to try to make a dent in the other direction just to even things out a bit. It doesn't sanction the "form letter", but it does make it understandable in my opinion. It would help if the news media would simply report the news instead of try to create a sensational story.

I don't think so 28.Oct.2003 20:11

Can't we all just get along?

to Airborne's mother,

I hope your son remains safe during the remainder of this endless conflict. It's a pity so many people, Americans and Iragis, have suffered.

I'd beg to differ that the press has been against this war. There's been a little criticism recently due to the longevity, continued bloodshed, and inability to find weapons of mass destruction. But overall, the press has been quick to blow the patriotism bugle, to confound the differences (and lack of connection) between Iraq and Bin Laden, and to strongly underreport the economic implications (driving forces?) associated with this war. We are, in fact, paying for our oil in blood, and meanwhile some people are going to get very, very rich.

I hope, Airborne's mother, that you actually exist, and you aren't just the next level of sophistication of the new cointelpro effort (as someone mentioned above). After all, no one would have figured out the letters thing if some idiot had been wiling to write unique letters each time. Surely we can expect them to get more sophisticated than that.

Support the troops: bring them home.

Loss of memory? 29.Oct.2003 00:07

Historian

Did we lose our memory here?
only 40 years ago people had the same dillemas. And where did that get them? Now they get veteran benefits cuts. The fathers and mothers now old people have no grandchildren on their laps cos of that war.
If wars are sometimes necessary that is to help prevent future wars. Am I right? There will never be a reason ''good'' enough to start a new war.
And if somebody disagrees with these facts he/she can just be sure that the sons of the ''benefited'' ones are not in the new Vietnam. Only the sons of the working people and of the less whealthy classes.
History knows and teaches to those who wish to know.
Not need to be a scientist in order to read. So do so, and swich off that damn TV...........


H

Group Hug 29.Oct.2003 09:03

Airborne Mom

I am all for everyone getting along. In fact, I don't require that others hold my opinions as a pre-requisite to getting along. So, no hard feelings here. I just had my opinion and wanted to share it. I am glad we live in a country where we can speak freely. And I am glad for the opposing view to help lend "balance" to mine.

And.....yes, I really do exist.....and am touched and appreciative of your kind concern for our soldiers. They are in fact only boys......each one of them is someone's son......and one of them is mine.

Thanks,
Airborne Mom :-)

NO STORY, PRESS GET OVER IT!! 31.Oct.2003 18:00

Staff Sergeant Robert Durbin, 2-503 Infantry-Iraq allen.durbin@us.army.mil

The press needs to get over this, there is no story here, this wasn't a plot by the Pentagon or President Bush's administration to boost support! This was simply a home town news release article the senior leadership in the Battalion sent out to the younger soldiers' home town news papers. It amazes me that the Press has nothing else to talk about, go find dirt on someone else because there is none to be found here!! Spend your time and resources on finding some bad guys somewhere, leave us the hell alone if you don't have somthing good to say, the people you keep writing trash about are the people who have fought and continue to fight to give that right, show some damn respect!

Staff Sergeant Robert Durbin 2-503 Infantry-Iraq

THANK YOU Sgt Durbin ! ! ! 03.Nov.2003 13:45

AirborneMom

Sgt Durbin,
Yours is the first comment that makes good sense. And you also confirm my suspicion that the press is/was trying to "create a story". The information in the "letters" are the exact things my son has been telling me. It full of nothing but factual information.

Unfortunately, there will be some who consider us the "next layer of sophistication" in some gigantic cover up and/or hoax, but in fact, we are genuine American citizens.

Thank you for your service to our country. God Bless you and God Bless the 173rd. As you continue to do your job so admirably, I will continue to pray that you and all of the soldiers come home safely. Go HERD!!!


Respectfully,
AirborneMom
p.s. And for the rest of the reading public, please explain this. President Bush had better than 70% approval for this war, but now approval has fallen. I just wonder what in the hell people expect. The President doesn't have the luxury of going in and doing a half-assed job and then just changing his mind. You have to finish what you start. The 70%+ who backed the President in the beginning should be standing by him today. I mean.....think about it ! ! Our country would go to hell in a hand basket if it were run by the "polls". Get a backbone people.....we have to finish what we start!

there most definitely is a story 03.Nov.2003 14:15

air

Though it may be a story you don't want to hear. The story is this: the war is going very badly, for everyone involved. These letters show what level of dishonesty the military will stoop to in an attempt to increase support for a failing effort. No one is saying this was a pentagon plot, and it doesn't have to be, because it is already fraud committed by the individuals who signed other names to letters that they (perhaps) wrote.

To answer AirborneMom who wants to know why support for Bush has fallen. The answer is simple: this war was predicated a long series of lies. There were lies about Hussein possessing weapons of mass destruction (including nuclear weapons) and Iraq being a threat; there were lies about the length of time this war would take and the costs involved (it was suppose to be $1.7 billion, remember); there were lies about the objectives (the first thing the US did: secure the oil fields and transfer control to Haliburton who gave $33 million to Dick Cheney in 2000) and the beneficiaries of this war (the most obvious beneficiaries being Dick Cheney and anyone invested in Carlyle Group which includes Bush and his administration as well as the bulk of the Bin Laden family and other high ranking Saudi officials).

You can expect to see Bush's approval drop sharply as this conflict continues. The next time Bush tries to authorize money for the war, he may not be able to come up with it as congress sees this as a sinking ship. People do not want their taxes going to make other people richer. There is already a strong movement rising on army bases to bring the troops home, which is historically unprecedented to have so many military families objecting so early in a conflict. And it only fuels these families that they were lied to about the length of their tours in Iraq and that Bush has been trying his hardest to cut military benefits to active soldiers and veterans (thankfully most of congress didn't even entertain the notion).

"we have to finish what we start"

It's that kind of thinking that led to almost 60,000 US deaths and 3,000,000 Vietnamese deaths in Vietnam. At what point does the cost in lives and dollars outweigh whatever objective the US is trying to achieve? Since the government can't even articulate what their objective is (without being caught in a mess of lies) I suspect that for most people in this country will find that point fairly soon if they haven't already.

Yes! Finish What We Start! 03.Nov.2003 17:27

Bush Supporter

Yes! We need to finish what we start. And No! I doubt it will be another Viet Nam. It seems a little early to be deciding this is "another Viet Nam", unless the person sharing that information is privy to the war plan. I have faith that our President will NOT in fact turn this into another Viet Nam.

If we don't "finish what we start", we will do exactly what we did in Somalia. Run away and send a message that we are "weak". I believe it was our perceived "weakness" that lead to the 9/11/01 attacks. We looked weak and attackable after 9/11. We made ourselves look like "easy targets". I believe that was the Clinton administration that was responsible for the Somalia fiasco.

Yes! Finish what we start! This is a "war on terror". It is my understanding that the plan is to go after the terrorists rather than wait for them to attack first. Sounds like a good plan to me. I don't want another 9/11.

If Saddam did NOT have WMD, then he was an absolute fool to not come clean. He was a complete idiot to hold the inspectors at bay and refuse to allow interviews with scientists. There was irrefutable evidence that he had WMD at one time. Look at the holocaust brought on the Kurds by Chemical Ali. That is not a fabrication. I am not convinced there is no WMD. I would not besurprised if we stalled so long waiting for the spineless French to get on board, it allowed time to get the WMD to some safe place, like Syria. Then again, maybe Saddam was a complete idiot. Maybe he didn't have any WMD, and he called our bluff and let the war oust him from power, but somehow I just don't think so. Madman, terrorist, evil dictator, SOB, DEFINITELY!! Complete idiot, NOT LIKELY.

Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion. And all of this is just MY opinion. I won't pretend to spew "facts" and act as though I have information as some people do. And I won't spew information that was written by an unconfirmed source as "fact". Just because someone "wrote it down" does not make it a fact. I am not that gullible.

astroturf 03.Nov.2003 17:54

air

Do you think that posting the same statements under different names will fool anyone?

"I am not that gullible."

Yes, you are, and you admitted it by regurgitating lies that have been fed to you through tv. Hussein did not refuse "to come clean"; he stated repeatedly that he did not have weapons of mass destruction and he allowed weapons inspectors unrestricted access to his country for months prior to the US invasion. Did you forget that part? Remember Bush and the rest of the administration using smear tactics on Hans Blix because he stated truthfully that he didn't find anything, just like the US team has not found anything in 6 months of searching the country. But, of course, you believed Dick Cheney when he said that "we know exactly where those weapons are", didn't you? Don't you think the american people deserve an explanation for all the lies that were told to justify the war? Don't you think we should be suspicious of Bush's connections to Bin Laden and of Cheney's huge payoff's from Haliburton?

No, of course, it's easier to just blame Clinton. Haven't you figured out that no one is buying that bullshit rhetoric? What would you have done if Clinton's first business partner was Timothy McVeigh's brother? That would have been juicy right; the papers would have gone nuts over that one. And yet, no one seems to care that Bush's first business partner was Salem Bin Laden, Osama's brother. Just a coincidence right? Just like it was just a coincidence that Bush's brother Marvin was in charge of security for the WTC and Dulles airport prior to 9/11. Of course it must have been Clinton's evil mind control powers that made John Ashcroft stop flying commercial planes months before the attack and caused Bush to do nothing about the intelligence report given to him prior to 9/11 about how Osama Bin Laden was determined to strike the US and would likely be using hijacked planes as weapons to crash into targets such as the WTC and the Pentagon. I'm sure that wily Clinton somehow made George W. Bush sit in a classroom of kindergarteners while the US was under attack. I'm sure it was Clinton that secretly snuck into the Whitehouse on 9/11 to make sure 2 of the Bin Ladens (with links to the hijackers) were allowed to fly around the country with White House approval while all other air travel was grounded. I bet Clinton's evil deeds go back even farther. Of course, it was Clinton that made GW avoid vietnam and join the air national guard, and then made him go awol for a year. I bet Clinton can even be blamed for Jr.'s drug and alcohol problems.

The bottom line is that Bush has one goal, occupation of Iraq, and its oil fields, and awarding reconstruction contracts to his rich friends. If you don't want to see the soldiers leave Iraq, don't worry, they will never be pulled out as long as Bush is president. And we can look forward to even larger deficits as Bush spends taxpayer dollars in contracts to his friends and supporters while simultaneously cutting their taxes. But how long will people support a war that robs them of money and the lives of their loved ones for no discernable purpose? Not very long from the looks of it. We've only been in Iraq for about 8 months and Bush's approval ratings have dropped like a rock. Of course, people were gullible, they believed that Hussein had weapons and that he was a threat and that the war would be short and cheap. Of course, these were all lies, treasonous ones at that as most terrorism experts agree that we are less safe now that we have increased the anger and hostility toward the US. There has already been one major attack on Bush's watch; it would not surprise many if there was another.

For anyone that doesn't want another 9/11 you'd better take spend some time learning about why 9/11 happened, including all the political and economic facets of the attacks. If not, you will just continue to be manipulated for the profit of others.

"There was irrefutable evidence that he had WMD at one time."

Of course, the US was busy selling chemical weapons to Hussein throughout the 80's. When Congress tried to sanction these sales they were told by Reagan and then by Bush Sr. that that would be hasty because Hussein was our ally. Now, think hard about when Hussein gassed the Kurds and think about why he knew he could get away with it. Could it be because he had the support of the White House?

"the spineless French"

That makes me laugh that someone could be so deluded; well that is your right. All I can say about the French is that they had enough spine to stand up to the most economically and militarily powerful nation on the planet which is more than can be said about most.

Are you still sure that you're not gullible? It sounds like it's time to turn off the tv and start educating yourself to what has really been happening.

Bush Supporter 03.Nov.2003 18:54

Bush Supporter

Astroboy,
My wife is AirborneMom. I am a "Bush Supporter". Are there rules that state only one of us can post a reply? I was unaware of them.

no rules, but thanks for the clarification 06.Nov.2003 12:51

air

But it is very common for people to post repeatedly using different names to try and convince people that others support their views. Your rhetoric was so similar to your wife's that I confused you, and for that, you have my apologies. However, at least people reading this will be clear on your relationship, which I'm sure will be quite beneficial.

But since you support Bush I have a few questions for you:

1) Does it bother you that Bush has maintained close business ties with the Bin Laden family for several decades?

2) Does it bother you that Bush wanted to see benefits for soldiers and veterans cut?

3) Does it bother you that Bush was briefed on an impending attack and did nothing about it?

4) Does it bother you that Bush sat in a classroom and did nothing while this country was under attack?

5) Does it bother you that taxpayer money (via defense and reconstruction contracts) is going straight into the hands of companies who financially benefit Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld?

6) Does it bother you that the first objective in the war was to secure the Iraqi oil fields and that those oil fields were immediately put under the control of Haliburton who paid Cheney $33 million in 2000 and recently awarded him a $500,000 "bonus" and maintains a blind trust and deferred compensation for him?

7) Does it bother you that 2 of the Bin Laden's (Omar and Abdullah) who had known links to several of the 9/11 hijackers were allowed to fly around the country with White House approval for several days while all other US air travel was suspended?

8) Does it bother you that the House just refused to criminalize war profiteering in Iraq and Afghanistan?

9) Does it bother you that Saddam Hussein worked for the CIA (beginning in 1959) and was supported for 30 years economically, militarily, and politically by the United States?

10) Does it bother you that Bush and his administration lied about their knowledge of Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction"?

And if not, why not? Because all of these things (and many more) bother me.

AstroBoy 10.Nov.2003 11:57

Bush Supporter

To prove my point that you can find anything written by someone to support your argument, I am providing a link for you to check out some opposing views.

 http://slate.msn.com/id/2090636/

I don't pretend to have done my own independent research on this topic. My source is no better than yours. It is an opinion of a person who has done some research to try to make a point. A writer (source of information) can omit information if he chooses to try to prove a point. You have sources of information, and I have provided you with another source of information. It really depends upon your political persuasion how each person will put his own spin on it.

And anyone who doesn't believe it is all about the spin media puts on things, ask yourself this question. Why don't we hear many reports about what is going on in the southern region of Iraq? There are entire regions that are succeeding at implementing a democracy. The southern areas of Iraq are peaceful. The area of Iraq in and around the Sunni Triangle is where the greatest unrest lies. The Baathists have a stronghold in this area and are rallying to hold onto there old way of life. You would think this is going on all over Iraq based upon what we hear in the news. Anyone who is interested should do your own independent research on that and see what you learn. The liberal news media does not support President Bush's successes in Iraq, which is why we don't hear the good news. This is just my opinion.

I am not trying to influence your politics, nor do I feel like demanding that you prove anything to me. And I don't feel compelled to win and influence your point of view. I doubt it is for sale any more than mine.

I believe that this entire thread started because of the form letters from Iraq. I have seen some genuine letters from a soldier serving in Iraq that verify some of the same information in the form letter. Our comments have been directed at pointing out that although there was obviously a form letter sent to some home town newspapers, the information in the letters is in fact the truth. The media tried to make it sound like a lies were being told. Our son, who is a soldier serving in Iraq, has told us and written us the same things that are written in the form letter. The letter sent to the hometown newspapers contained truths. This is one thing I know to be a fact. My source has been verified. There is no speculation.

you didn't answer my questions 10.Nov.2003 13:25

air

If you want source material I'd be happy to provide it. But if what you want to do is have me debunk the shoddy journalism that you feel supports your beliefs I would be happy to do so. Be forewarned, you'll need to do some thinking, and be willing to learn quite a bit.

The upside of the article you mentioned is that it provided its sources, which makes debunking its claims a lot easier. So, what we have hear is CPI (a nonpartisan, nonprofit research and watchdog group) reporting that those companies that contributed heavily to the Bush campaigns in 2000 and 2004 received reconstruction contracts worth billions of dollars. Drezner is asserting that there is no evidence to support this.

This what is called a classic straw man argument. This is when a person invents the argument of one's opponent and then discredits it. In this story the straw man is very easily identified: "If the corruption argument is true, then the size of campaign contributions should be strongly and positively correlated with the size of government contracts."

This is complete bullshit. There is no reason why the size of the contributions should be correlated with the amount awarded in reconstruction contracts. Drezner then does the math to show that his false argument only shows a weak correlation. However, he has just misdirected (or "spun") his readers. Science is only good when the claims themselves are logical and this one is not. The real correlation is that those companies that contributed heavily to Bush received reconstruction contracts and those that did not contribute heavily (or have other ties to the administration) did not. That is the correlation, and you'll notice that Drezner doesn't address it at all in his article.

The other thing that is missing from this article is, of course, the financial connections outside of campaign contributions. For example, Drezner tries to prove his false assertion by noting that companies like Halliburton contributed *only* $2 million to the campaign but received a contract for more than $2 billion (and actually, since Halliburton was given control of Iraq's oil fields that contract may be worth substantially more, perhaps even trillions of dollars, if only the Iraqi resistance would stop blowing up their pipelines). However, this neglects that Dick Cheney was paid $30 million by Halliburton in 2000, that he receives deferred compensation from Halliburton (rumored to be as much as $1 million a year as well as bonuses ($500,000 bonus a couple of months ago), and that Halliburton maintains a blind trust for Cheney for an undisclosed amount.

So here we have a known tax-looter, Dick Cheney, who ran Halliburton from 1995 to 2000. He managed to steal millions of dollars a year from US taxpayers by increasing off shore accounts from 9 to 44 and reducing the company's taxes by $220 million a year. He then pushes for invasion of Iraq with the first objective of the military being to secure the oil fields and have them put immediately under the control of Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown, and Root. For this, he receives a $500,000 bonus despite the obvious conflicts of interest. And with Halliburton now set to distribute Iraq's oil, their $30 million payoff to Cheney looks like a sound investment.

What's worse is that they are not hiding any of this. They rely solely on people like yourself Bush Supporter to cling to whatever unintelligent piece of drivel that sounds like it makes sense (like the article you referenced). The sad thing is, it is so easy to point out what they are doing, and how they are getting away with it. And some people are just so gullible that they fall for it. Are you that gullible? Do you really want your son to be in harm's way so that the Bush administration can make billions, if not trillions, of dollars straight the pockets of US taxpayers and Iraqi oil fields? Are you disputing any of the facts that I have mentioned in any of my posts? Would you like a list of source material? Would that make you feel better?

"The media tried to make it sound like a lies were being told"

If you choose to see it that way but I don't remember any story saying that what was in the letter was lies, but that letters themselves were frauds (and hence lies in the sense that they did not come from the soldiers whose names were signed). However, it is true that many soldiers report things quite differently. Many are not planning on re-enlisting because they've woken up to the fact that this war was predicated on a series of lies and that they are not, in fact, welcome. Of course, how a soldier feels will be quite dependent on where they are, the information they are able to receive about what is happening elsewhere in Iraq and elsewhere in the world, and their particular assignments and the beliefs of the soldiers around them. So while it may the truth for your son, and for others, it is not the truth for everyone (which is what the form letters were attempting to convey). I'm sure you don't support fraud just because it conveys a point of view you agree with, right?

Astroboy Get a Grip 12.Nov.2003 06:28

Bush Supporter

Astroboy,
I don't give you a list of questions and demand answers. And I won't give you the upper hand by scurrying to answer your questions. In fact, I ignore them. You are one person. You are entitled to your opinion, and I am entitled to mine. Unlike you, I have not resorted to personal attack. Go back and read what you have written. You sound hysterical. Who do you need to convince, me or yourself? I laughed after reading your last post. I appear to have gotten under your skin, and I wasn't even trying.

You talk about the "many soldiers who won't be re-enlisting". What is your source Astroboy? How many soldiers do you personally know? I know many soldiers, and they are proud of the job they are doing. My son enlisted after 9/11 because he wanted to do his part to fight the war on terrorism. And the entire group of enlistees he went through basic training with are young men just like him. Show some respect. These young men, and those in uniform who preceded them, are the very ones who give you the right to spout your opinions.

I suggest you take your one voice and your one opinion to the polls in November 2004. May the best man win.

perhaps you're seeing what you want to see 12.Nov.2003 12:18

air

I hate to burst your bubble but you haven't upset me in the least. I'm simply doing my best to educate you; to expose you to information of which you are not presently aware. The internet is not conducive to communicating emotions so I write everything in an emotionally neutral tone. It would interest me to know what I said you thought was "hysterical" or for that matter what you perceived as "a personal attack." My list of questions is the same I've asked many people, it is not an attempt to "gain the upper hand" as you put it and I'm not demanding answers. But I am curious why the actions of this president don't seem to bother you if you are actually concerned with the safety and prosperity of this nation or support the principles of democracy and the rights granted by the Constitution. I am legitimately curious how some soldiers can continue to support this president. I have many career military in my family and not one of them supports this president or the war in Iraq. You wanted the source for soldiers not re-enlisting. The poll was conducted by Stars and Stripes, I'm surprised you haven't heard about. You can read about it here:

 link to www.washingtonpost.com
 http://www.msnbc.com/news/980954.asp?0sl=-13

How does your son feel about enlisting to "fight terrorism" only to accomplish what Bin Laden sought to do for decades: the removal of Saddam Hussein from power? If you go down the checklist of everything Bin Laden has been fighting for over the past couple of decades you'll see that the US has now helped him accomplish every one of his goals. US troops have been removed from Saudi Arabia; anti-US sentiment is on the rise in the Middle East and among Muslims everywhere; a new Iraqi resistance is being mobilized. These are all things Bin Laden wanted. Now, as a Bush supporter you must know that Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11 nor did he have any weapons of mass destruction. And you're probably not aware that Bin Laden and Hussein hated each other but you should feel free to research the matter to educate yourself. Hussein's role as a moderate Muslim and support for a secular government is, of course, why the US put him into power and supported him for 30 years. That is sharp contrast to Bin Laden who was trained and financed by the CIA because of his strong fundamentalism, which the US felt, would keep the Soviet Union in check. The US certainly has an interesting history of involvement in the Middle East. Well worth the time to research and understand if you truly want to understand what is happening today, and why.

"These young men, and those in uniform who preceded them, are the very ones who give you the right to spout your opinions."

Sorry, I have to disagree. It is the citizens of this country who uphold the rights guaranteed by the Constitution that protect the right to free speech. And while some of those people may be soldiers, many of them are not, and many soldiers do not uphold those rights. Anyone who is at war right now is complicit is subverting the Constitution since the Constitution of this country expressly restricts the right to declare war to the legislative branch of government, that is, the congress. Anyone who goes to war at the order of the president is violating the Constitution and falling victim to what Jefferson called "the tyranny of the kings" which he was trying to prevent but placing the authority to go war exclusively within the legislative branch, not the executive branch.

I've answered all of your questions (in all your posts), and I don't feel I've given you the "upper hand" (as if this is some sort of contest). Perhaps now you will feel more comfortable responding to mine.