Death Among The Scrub

At the end of last year, 2017, word came out of the death of an American Green Beret possibly at the hands of some SEALs……I wrote about this situation awhile back….

https://lobotero.com/2018/01/13/death-in-mali-2/

So far not much info has come out of the so-called investigation that is until over this past weekend when a new twist was announced……instead of two SEALs being held there seem to be a couple Marines that are getting some scrutiny….as well.

The military is investigating whether two special forces Marines played a role in the choking death of a Green Beret in Mali last year and the possible cover up of how it occurred, according to five U.S. defense officials.

Two Navy SEALs from the famed SEAL Team 6 are already under investigation for their involvement in the strangling death of Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar during the predawn hours of June 4, 2017. Melgar, 34, died in embassy housing he shared with other service members in Bamako, capital of the West African nation.

A September 2017 Army Criminal Investigative Division report about the incident quotes Navy SEAL Tony DeDolph saying he and Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar were wrestling at 4 a.m. when a fellow SEAL Adam cranston Matthew came in and joined in the horseplay. According to the SEALS, the men fell down together and when they stood up Melgar wasn’t breathing.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/africa/military-investigating-if-two-marines-played-role-green-beret-s-n873141

A new twist….but the part that fascinates me is that the MSM has pretty much ignored this story….a story of Americans killing Americans……I guess the Hollywood image of the SEALs must be upheld at all costs, right?

This gets no coverage and soon we will be bombarded with a royal wedding….which has NO news value whatsoever…..and its entertainment value is dubious at best.

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Niger (But It’s Classified)

When I was in the hospital for surgery special ops troopers were killed in the West African nation of Niger…of course there was much confusion and false info circling around the deaths of which I wrote several post on…..https://lobotero.com/2018/03/20/explain-niger-please/

The Pentagon promised to have an answer to everyone’s question by January of 2018…..and four months later an explanation has been issued….

The Defense Department found no single cause, but rather “individual, organizational and institutional” errors, including insufficient training and preparation, caused the death of four US soldiers and at least five Nigerien soldiers in a bloody Special Forces mission in Niger, according to an eight-page summary report. The Oct. 4 ambush took the lives of Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, and Sgt. La David Johnson. In all, the investigative team interviewed 143 witnesses, reports the Washington Post. It “examined documentary, photographic, audio, video and testimonial evidence,” per CNN. One survivor even returned to the battlefield with the team. The patrol was submitted and approved as a low-risk recon assignment, but the team was actually on a high-risk mission searching for Islamic State leader Doundoun Cheffou; their true mission was never approved by the proper chain of command, though the team notes this was a result of “sloppiness” rather than an intent to deceive.

The patrol, which did not rehearse the mission before setting out and was missing key equipment and training, encountered light fire at first but then was engaged by a larger group of militants on motorcycles and in trucks mounted with machine guns. The report found that the arrival of French Mirage planes disrupted the fight and may have saved lives, reports the New York Times. The remains of three of the US soldiers who were killed were retrieved quickly, but the body of La David Johnson was not retrieved until the evening of Oct. 6. The delay in recovering Johnson’s body had led to speculation that he had been taken captive. That speculation was bolstered by locals who said that they saw the body and that Johnson’s hands appeared to be tied behind his back. The report, nevertheless, concluded that his hands were not bound and he was killed in action while “actively engaging the enemy.” The full report remains classified

As usual the American people may NEVER know the truth about these deaths for the report will be classified.

The Pentagon’s newly released 8-page report on the Niger incident had a very clear narrative. From the moment local commanders endorsed the mission to the recovery of the four bodies of slain US soldiers, the report goes out of its way to lionize everyone’s actions, and downplay errors.

This makes sense, because underlying these conclusions is the fact that the Pentagon has no intention of holding anyone to account for the mistakes made. Yet the summary report’s decision to tread very lightly on a lot of potentially embarrassing specifics means that it ultimately raises a lot more questions than it answered.

http://theantimedia.com/pentagon-report-niger-raises-questions/

I will be dead and gone if the truth is ever known.

A Sunday Thought

First of all….I wish all my mothers a very pleasant and happy Mothers Day.

In the past week there has been a bunch of interest, especially on Twitter, about John McCain’s last wishes when he passes…..

It seems does not want Trump at his funeral…will accept Pence but not the president……

As Arizona Sen. John McCain gets his affairs in order, focus has moved to the 81-year-old’s funeral. NBC News reports that former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have each been asked to deliver eulogies at the event at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, while President Trump hasn’t even received an invite. McCain, battling brain cancer, has reportedly asked Vice President Mike Pence to attend in the president’s place in a move that “highlights the depths of the Trump-McCain feud,” dating to 2015, when Trump insulted McCain’s years as a POW in Vietnam, per Vanity Fair. As CNN’s Jake Tapper puts it, per HuffPost, “This is a real moment for the country where an American hero, somebody beloved in many, many ways is saying, ‘I don’t want this guy at my funeral.'”

Sen. Orrin Hatch thinks McCain should reconsider. “John should have his wishes fulfilled with regard to who attends his funeral,” but it’s “ridiculous” not to invite Trump, he tells CNN. “He’s the president,” and “would be a very interesting speaker and would do a good job for John,” the Senate’s president pro tempore says. In an editorial at the Boston Herald, Michael Graham even argues Trump “belongs at McCain’s funeral.” “Chances are there never would have been a President Trump” without McCain, who attacked the GOP base before Trump rallied it, Graham writes. But Rep. Gregory Meeks, a Democrat, disagrees. As “McCain is known for being honest, just the opposite of Donald Trump,” inviting Trump to his funeral “would be a mischaracterization of who he is,” Meeks says.

Let me tell Orrin Hatch what to do and save the McCain family for having to deal this Trumpian a/hole.  Piss Off!

Why would McCain do anything after the disrespect that Trump has shown him in the past?

Do not get me wrong there is very little that I like about McCain’s politics but as a veteran I will show the respect he deserves for serving his country in the military.

You want more respect for the president then someone tell him he needs to show more respect for others.  He can stay home and spend his time playing on Twitter and watching fake news TV….it is what he does best.

And speaking of disrespect…..a GOPer knows how to do it…..

There was “discomfort” during a closed-door White House meeting of communications staffers Thursday when special assistant Kelly Sadler made light of Sen. John McCain’s terminal illness, sources tell the Hill. Sadler, discussing the Republican senator’s opposition to Gina Haspel becoming CIA director, said: “It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway,” the insiders say. Two sources confirmed to the AP that Sadler made the insensitive remark, leaving them “shocked and stunned.” The White House didn’t dispute reports of the comments, but it said in a statement: “We respect Senator McCain’s service to our nation and he and his family are in our prayers during this difficult time.”  (Sense the Trump admin will not answer the question we can assume that they agree with everything this toad had to say)

McCain, 81, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer last year and is being treated in Arizona. Wife Cindy McCain fired back at Sadler, tweeting: “May I remind you my husband has a family, 7 children and 5 grandchildren.” But Sadler wasn’t the only one making offensive remarks about McCain on Thursday, the Washington Post reports. Fox Business Network host Charles Payne apologized after a guest, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, claimed that McCain’s time as a POW in Vietnam showed that torture works. “That’s why they call him ‘Songbird John,'” McInerney said, though there’s no evidence that McCain betrayed his country. Payne tweeted an apology for the guest’s “false and derogatory remark.”

Time for some civility in the White House starting with the man in the PJs watching FOX and eating a Big Mac.

Sunday is over for me….I will retire to the library and spend the day doing what I do best…..reading.

On an added note:  Some say that I am a Trump “hater” that is a cute insult and the best I can say is BITE ME!

I dislike Trump and his people…they are insulting, disrespectful, petty and pathetic……and their handling of the subject of this post illustrates my accusation……

“It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway,” Sadler said. Said Sanders: “I’m not going to validate a leak one way or the other out of an internal staff meeting.”

When asked why she wouldn’t just offer up an apology, she replied, “I’m not going to get into a back and forth because, you know, people want to create issues of leaked staff meetings.” ABC News characterizes Sanders as having had “multiple opportunities to condemn Sadler’s comments” but declining to do so. Sanders confirmed that Sadler, a special assistant to the president, did not lose her job over the comment, which was made in a room filled with about 20 people, some of whom apparently gasped at the remark. Former Vice President Joe Biden did have something definitive to say on the issue Friday. “People have wondered when decency would hit rock bottom with this administration. It happened yesterday,” Biden said in a statement.

It is stuff liked this that brings me to my dislike…..I believe if you want respect then you need to give respect……

I await the excuses from the Trump apologists (Like that term….where have the dullards heard it before?)

Closing Thought–16Apr18

For about a 2 weeks the Palestinians in Gaza have been protesting on the border with Israel……massive non-violent protests by Palestinians…..and the MSM is doing their part to protect Israel by not reporting these protests….

The MSM will make it a headline if a Palestinian attacks an Israeli with a knife…..but NOTHING is reported about the Israelis arresting children some as young as 11 years old or the deaths of protesters for throwing a stone or the theft of land or the destruction of crops….none of this is worthy for the MSM.

One and only one journalist has stepped up and do what others are refusing to do…….

MSNBC news anchor Chris Hayes is receiving plaudits from human rights defenders and other progressive journalists after airing a segment on Wednesday night which offered a rare example of a major U.S. cable news outlet providing critical coverage of Israeli crimes against Palestinians.

While most network and cable news outlets have either ignored the story, or offered uncritical or equivocated coverage, of last Friday’s mass shooting of Palestinian protesters along the Gaza border by Israeli troops, Hayes’ segment included a harsh condemnation of the disproportionate, unjustifiable, and “unconscionable” use of force.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/05/msnbcs-chris-hayes-applauded-doing-what-few-prominent-us-journalists-do-report

MY hat is off to Chris Hayes and he has a new follower…..now he needs to do a critical report on the BDS and the banning of the action by some states……

More news that does not usually make it into the evening news…..

 Yaser Murtaja had often filmed from the sky, but he never lived to fulfill his dream of flying on an airplane through the clouds.

The young journalist shot drone images and video for Ain Media, a small Gaza-based news agency he started five years ago. Just two weeks ago, he posted an aerial photo of Gaza City’s port on Facebook. “I wish that the day would come to take this shot when I’m in the air and not on the ground,” he wrote. “My name is Yaser Murtaja. I’m 30 years old. I live in Gaza City. I’ve never traveled!”

It was one of his last posts.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/palestinian-journalist-in-vest-marked-press-shot-dead-by-israeli-troops-in-gaza/2018/04/07/ac57b524-3a30-11e8-8fd2-49fe3c675a89_story.html

It appears that protesting civilians need to be handled by missile firing drones…..

At least 21 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since they started Land Day protests last Friday — An Israeli air raid killed another Palestinian protester near the Gaza Strip‘s border on Thursday, Palestinian health officials said … The death brings the total number of Palestinians killed in the last week at 21. The mass protests, called “the Great March of Return”, were organised by civil society groups and supported by all political factions to call for the right of return of Palestinian refugees. It marked the beginning of a six-week sit-in, starting on Land Day, an event that commemorates six Palestinian citizens of Israel who were shot dead by Israeli forces after protesting the government’s confiscation of large swaths of Palestinian land on March 30, 1976. The sit-in ends on May 15, or Nakba Day, which will commemorate 70 years since the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians by Zionist militias from their villages and towns….
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/israeli-airstrike-kills-palestinian-gaza-border-180405114443912.html

It will be interesting what it will take for the media to actually cover news……

Closing Thought–31Mar18–#2

I had to break with my tradition of one closing thought on week days……I break it because of the news of another American death in Syria….

A roadside bomb in northern Syria killed two coalition personnel, including an American, and wounded five others in a rare attack since the US-led coalition sent troops into the war-torn country, a US defense official said Friday. The military didn’t say where the attack took place, but it came hours after a Syrian official said a roadside bomb exploded in the tense, mixed Arab-Kurdish town of Manbij not far from the border with Turkey, per the AP. A US military statement said the attack happened Thursday night and that the wounded were being evacuated. A DOD official in DC said one of the two killed was an American service member and the other was of another nationality that the official wouldn’t specify. No other information on the American was immediately available.

Earlier Friday, US military rep Col. Ryan Dillon couldn’t yet say who was behind the attack. “We have our initial assessment and thoughts … but we won’t provide [them] until [an] investigation is complete,” he said. Dillon added the coalition has had other fatalities in Syria over the past three years, though “perhaps by different means.” The head of the Manbij Military Council, an Arab-Kurdish group backed by the US, said the bomb went off around midnight hundreds of yards from a security headquarters that houses the council. The town has seen small explosions, protests, and an assassination attempt on a council member in recent weeks. Local officials blame Turkey and other adversaries for trying to sow chaos in the town that was controlled by ISIS militants until the summer of 2016.

Sad news indeed…..IST sends our condolences to his family.

I wish that these posts were a thing of the past….we are reporting too many deaths in too many endless wars.

Kid’s Crusade

A Saturday and a big day…….the grand kids of Boomers will take to the streets….

Today is the day that the children have decided to protests the gun deaths……the March on DC by thousands of kids that are fed up with their peers being targets for a/holes with a gun…and the adults doing nothing.

Kinda reminds me of my days in protests during the Vietnam War….Bill Murray agrees…..

The students in Florida pushing for an end to gun violence after the Parkland mass shooting remind Bill Murray of the students who pushed for an end to the Vietnam War half a century ago. “It really was the students that began the end of the Vietnam War,” the actor writes in an NBC op-ed. “It was the students who made all the news, and that noise started, and then the movement wouldn’t stop. I think, maybe, this noise that those students in Florida are making—here, today—will do something of the same nature.” “For students to be worried about what could happen to them at school, that makes for a horrible moment,” Murray says. “It’s just a horrible place for us to be at.”

Murray praises the idealism of students like the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School survivors, who joined gun control protests within days of the shooting that killed 17 staff and students. “The thing that’s so powerful about students is that, when you haven’t had your idealism broken yet, you’re able to speak from a place that has no confusion, where there is a clear set of values,” he says, though he believes that idealism survives in everybody’s conscience. “Sometimes it’s just a whisper, but, in some people, it’s a shout,” he says. Click for the full column. Murray is one of many celebrities supporting Saturday’s March for Our Lives anti-gun violence event, CNN reports. The protest, led by Parkland survivors, will involve a rally in Washington, DC, and sister protests in hundreds of other cities.

These kids are still protesting and talking….39 days on from the last big school massacre…..I do not think the they will go away the way politicians are hoping…..

Thoughts on this protests from comedian Lewis Black…I think his political commentary is spot on…..

May you enjoy your day….I will be back tomorrow…… I will return with stuff….chuq

My Lai–50 Years On

Closing Thought–16Mar18

Your Daily History Lesson…….

When I was teaching class at university I asked my class to find Vietnam on a map….15 students…..14 wrong answers….the only correct was a vet of that war…..in their defense they did not know the name Arafat or Begin…..I would bet that it is not much better these days of the information revolution.

How many people remember a Lt. named Calley?  How many remember a town named My Lai?

When I ask a class of college students how many have heard of My Lai, only a few if any raise their hands, tentatively. Even they are unsure what it was, or where, or when, or who was involved. Why have we forgotten the nadir of the Vietnam War? Is our collective amnesia accidental or willful?

March 16 marks the 50th anniversary of the date that does not live in infamy. Does it for any Americans? In 1968, American soldiers slaughtered animals, raped villagers, and murdered 109 “Oriental human beings” in My Lai. That was the number cited in a court-martial 18 months later.

https://original.antiwar.com/Russell_Vandenbroucke/2018/03/15/my-lai-amnesia-fifty-years-on/

Today is the 50th year anniversary of the massacre……

Americans, including GIs, were losing their once reflexive faith that the U.S. military, with all its skill and firepower, would prevail in Vietnam as it had so often throughout history. Also shattered was the faith that America’s fighting forces were inherently more virtuous than their enemies. The unraveling of that conviction began in earnest in 1969 with the revelation that American soldiers had murdered hundreds of unarmed and unresisting women, children, babies, and old men in the village of My Lai.

For many people, the shocking news came first in the form of several horrifying photographs. One shows almost two dozen dead Vietnamese bodies on a dirt road. Many have fallen in a twisted pile; some are partially naked. Another photograph shows a woman lying in a field with her legs drawn up under her body. Her conical straw hat has flipped off her head. If you look closely you can notice that a large portion of her brain lies exposed beneath the hat.

https://original.antiwar.com/Christian_Appy/2018/03/15/our-boys-50-years-after-the-my-lai-massacre/

To be fair……we must hear from the people that were there….the survivors…..

It was the sweet potato harvest season, so Ha Thi Quy woke up early to find a good spot in the village to dry slices of the delicately flavored tuber to sell.

She noticed some American soldiers in the village, but that didn’t alarm her.

“There are no Vietnamese troops here, so why should they start shooting?” Quy recalled her self-assurance in a bitter question that she still has not found the answer to……

https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/vietnamese-survivors-remember-my-lai-massacre-with-horror-and-confusion-3723079.html

Scars of war are the worse to bear…..

I begin my weekend…..lost in memories to times long ago…..chuq