Few American chief executives have lavished as much praise upon the U.S. military as President Barack Obama. Yet day after day reports appear in the mass media about war crimes, atrocities, and abuses attributed to that same armed forces and its leadership — mostly on foreign battlefields but also back home.
“Good morning, everybody,” the president intoned cheerily during a January 5 visit to the Pentagon to explain Washington’s latest war policy. “The United States of America is the greatest force for freedom and security that the world has ever known. And in no small measure, that’s because we’ve built the best-trained, best-led, best-equipped military in history — and as Commander-in-Chief, I’m going to keep it that way.”
Obama was even more effusive during his State of the Union Address January 25, declaring of the military that “this generation of heroes has made the United States safer and more respected around the world….
“These achievements are a testament to the courage, selflessness, and teamwork of America’s armed forces. At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down, they exceed all expectations. They’re not consumed with personal ambition. They don’t obsess over their differences. They focus on the mission at hand. They work together. Imagine what we could accomplish if we followed their example.”
Yes, just imagine! Within days and weeks of these tributes this took place:
• A video of U.S. Marines urinating on the corpses of Taliban suspects became public, obliging the American secretaries of Defense and State to issue apologies to the Afghan government and people.
• The Pentagon reported the rate of violent sexual crime within the armed forces increased 64% since 2006, noting that “rape, sexual assault, and forcible sodomy were the most frequent violent sex crimes committed in 2011.” There were 3,191 reports of sexual assault throughout the military last year but Secretary of Defense Panetta acknowledged in January that a more realistic estimate for such assaults “actually is closer to 19,000.” Active-duty female soldiers ages 18 to 21 account for more than half of the victims. Women are 14% of the military ranks but account for 95% of sex crime victims.
• A just discovered photograph emerged in February of another group of Marines posing with the exact replica of the Nazi SS flag. Outrage over the photo, the press reported, “threatened to snowball into the latest war-zone scandal for the Marine Corps.” The Marine commander declared, most improbably, that they didn’t know what the flag stood for. The murderous black uniformed Waffen-SS was a military wing of the Nazi Party.
• The retired commander of Special Operations forces, Lt. Gen William G. Boykin, known for his harshly anti-Muslim remarks, withdrew from speaking at West Point’s February 8 National Prayer Breakfast after protests. Following the 9/11 attacks, the general “described the fight against terrorism as a Christian battle against Satan,” reports the New York Times. “Since his retirement in 2007 and a new career as a popular conservative Christian speaker, Boykin has described Islam as ‘a totalitarian way of life’ and said that Islam should not be protected under the First Amendment.”
• The last and most responsible of the Marines charged in the 2005 Haditha massacre of 24 Iraqi civilians, Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, received no jail time after he pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty in order to avoid charges of involuntary manslaughter, Democracy Now! reported. “Under his sentencing, Wuterich now faces a maximum penalty of a demotion to the rank of private.”
,.... and the list continues on with the rest of this article at Dissident Voice.