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Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead

by : Gail Vida Hamburg
Wednesday March 23, 2005 - 05:25
57 comments
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Is That Respecting Our Soldiers?

by Gail Vida Hamburg

The state funeral in Rome last month for Nicola Calipari - the Italian intelligence officer who rescued a kidnapped journalist from Iraqi captors, only to be gunned down by jittery American soldiers at a checkpoint in Baghdad - was a national event that united all Italians, merging their raw sorrow with the singular grief of his widow and children. It was the second time Italy pulled out all the stops for its Iraq War dead. In November of 2003, it staged an elaborate state funeral for nineteen of its citizens, killed in a suicide truck bombing in Nasiriyah.

In both instances, Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, his ministers, President Carlo Ciampi, and an honor guard in full-dress uniform stood with grieving families on the tarmac of Rome’s Ciampino military airport to receive their dead. There were national days of mourning and public visitation hours to the reposed, and at night, the Coliseum’s lights were dimmed in a mark of respect.

All Italy watched (on television) as officers from Italy’s civil services carried the flag-draped coffins past honor guards representing every branch of the military. The Carabinieri (paramilitary corps), in their regal uniforms and blue-and-red plume hats, stood guard while lone buglers played the Last Post and other laments. Stricken Italians lined the routes of the funeral cortege to pay their respects, before the bodies were entombed in Rome’s war memorial.

The participation in these last rites symbolized a shared sacrifice between those who prosecute wars, those who must fight them, and those who grieve and honor them-not just the dead and their families, but the entire nation. The pageantry on display was no more excessive than the heroism of the fallen, for surely there can be no greater excess than surrendering one’s life for the country.

America, on the other hand, with 1,516 U.S. fatalities in Iraq as of March 16, 2005, pays little public attention to its war dead. Indeed, aside from the printed obituaries in metro sections of dailies, there is little acknowledgment by the government or substantial reporting in the media of the soldiers who perish in Iraq and the families they leave behind. We do not see or hear them. They die alone on the hot sands of Iraq and their survivors grieve privately on American soil.

This administration, which asks for courage and resolve from the military, can find in itself neither courage nor resolve to embrace them in death. According to Pentagon rules, “There will be no arrival ceremonies for, or media coverage of, deceased military personnel returning to or departing from Ramstein [Germany] airbase or Dover [Del.] base, to include interim stops.” Last year, defense contractor Maytag Aircraft fired civilian workers, Tami Silicio and David Landry, for taking photographs of soldiers’ coffins at an airbase in Kuwait. The photographs surfaced at www.memoryhole.com after a Freedom of Information Act request by First amendment advocate, Russ Kick.

Even acknowledging soldiers’ deaths through meaningful tributes upsets many in the war faction. When Nightline anchor, Ted Koppel, broadcast a tribute to the soldiers who had died in Iraq by reading their names off camera while the photographs of the dead men and women were projected on the screen, supporters of the war cried foul.

The President has also made it his policy not to attend military funerals. If he believes our military is fighting for noble ideals, if he admires, as he says, their valor and sacrifice, why must he absent himself from their funerals or prevent our witness of their final return? Why must our war dead come home like thieves in the night?

Many mothers and fathers and children of dead soldiers are wrestling with their gods and demons, trying to find meaning for the holes in their hearts. Recognition of their departed - not with lavish state funerals, but public acknowledgment and remembrance of their sacrifice - may not give the families the meaning they seek, but it could show them that America honors and values their irrevocable loss.

In July of 1965, at the height of the Vietnam War, President Lyndon Johnson spoke with a previously elusive candor. “I do not find it easy to send the flower of our youth, our finest young men, into battles. I have seen them filled with hope and life. I think that I know, too, how their mothers weep and how their families sorrow.”

But president Bush doesn’t know and neither do we. His war machine brings our fallen soldiers home from Iraq, dead as dead can be, and drops them down the well of forgetting. forgetting.

Do you hear the thud? Can you bear it?

http://www.interventionmag.com/cms/...



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> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Wednesday March 23 - 10:40 - Posted by 82e23318ba184e41...

This is nothing but left-wing propagandist diatribe. Since the number of Americans serving in Iraq is far greater than the number of Italians, and they are involved more in combat situations, the number of casualties is also greater. To have a "state" ceremony every time a U.S. serviceman dies would not be practical or prudent.
Furthermore, the reason why the administration here would not want the media concentrating on the casualties (rather than the overall success of the war) is because it only serves to stoke anti-war sentiment — much like the media did during the Vietnam War. During that time, it greatly (and negatively) affected the morale of our soldiers. Why would we want that to happen again?
Anyone who thinks that removing Sadaam from power via war was wrong and agrees with Ms. Hamburg’s assessment about hiding our dead is a hypocrite. Sadaam hid his dead — only they were not soldiers, they were ordinary citizens, women, and children. Are U.S. lives more important than the lives of those Sadaam was massacring simply because we are Americans?
The anti-war faction will say that the lives of our servicemen were wasted by a senseless war or a "war for oil". They will also say we killed women and children in the prosecution of the war. But they never admit that 1.) No modern war was ever conducted with greater attempt to avoid civilian casualties, 2.) The total number of lives lost in the prosecution of this war will never amount the number of dead racked up by Sadaam’s regime and 3.) The number of lives saved by this action is innumerable.
Ms. Hamburg’s attempt to belittle the Bush administration and subvert the war effort is ludicrous. Bill Clinton killed (American!) civilians in Waco, and then did nothing to bring to justice the parties behind the 1993 WTC bombing. The former incident proves he was incapable of making rational decisions regarding the use of force, and, eight years later, the later incident cost 3,000 more (mostly American) lives.
***Note: I try not to distinguish between "American" and "non-American" lives, but since the anti-war faction in this country seems preoccupied by how many lives "we" lose, rather than the total number of lives lost (or saved for that matter), I have used the label in parenthesis above to help them process the information given.




You ignorant fool!!!
Wednesday March 23 - 17:14 - Posted by f28bff3d36fb0d86...

You’re soooo blinded by the right wing propaganda that you dont even believe it yourself!! people like you are nothing but sheep who follow an idiot like George W.Bush. It’s true that red staters can’t think for themselves and you’re a living proof of that!!



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Wednesday March 23 - 17:43 - Posted by 9e52881801ee9aef...

Your response to Ms. Hamburg’s commentary misses the mark all together.

The declaration of war against Iraq was a war of CHOICE and not a war of DEFENSE or NECESSITY. Since you prefer to adopt the moral "high ground", since when it is acceptable to initiaite conflicts and abbrogate international law? Yet, this is exactly what the Bush Administration has done.

The drving force for starting this conflcit was the desire of the Neo-Con’s to sew up control of the vast oil and natural gas reserves within Iraq. This objective was a part of a greater strategy promulgated by this group who understood that for the United States to maintain its economic dominance, the engine had to secure dependable and cheap sources of petroleum. The main upcoming threat to this dominance is China, whose energy demand will eclipse that of the US. The three largest suppliers of oil in the region are Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran, with the Gulf States pulling up fourth place. Saudi Arabia’s reserves had maximized earlier and Iraq offered the greatest opportunity for explotation to quench the demand for oil for the coming decades. These people also concluded that Sadaam Hussein would not allow American or Western oil interests into the country to invest more efficient means of production. Hence, the strategy was crafted to forcibly eject Hussein from the country and put in a government that would be fully sympathetic to the needs (directives) of the United States.

It all was to happen just as planned in the minds of Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Bolton, Feith, Rice, and a whole host of operatives behind the curtain. But by not putting sufficient ground troops into Iraq early after toppling Hussein, the United States has lost that initiative. Should the recent elections stabilize the country, the United States still could be a long-term loser since a Shiite dominated parlilament may decide its best interest are to align with Iran. The Kurds in the North have control over large reserves of oil and natural gas that they intend to hold as bargaining chips, as do the Shiites in the south. As is the case with most conflicts, the "Laws of Uninteded Consequences" play out in a perverse sor to f away. And so it could be in Iraq.

Sadaam Hussein was an evil person. No question about it. He killed many of his countrymen. Many of these were killed, as were Iranians, with chemical agents provided by the United States. Many more were executed after the First Gulf War in the aftermath of the encouragement to have the people rise up and revolt against Hussein, all the while United States watching over all of this happening with a blind eye and no intent to step in and halt the slaughter. Orders were given to American fighter planes and gunships circling above NOT to intervene even though the mayhem and death on the ground was being reported to CENCOM. So, if you wish to be a moralist, then it seems you ought to be outraged at Bush ’41 and his Cabinent (which included Cheney and many other prominent Neo-COns who have positions of power with Bush ’43/’44).

What makes this situation even more heinous than Vietnam is the hypocrisy surrounding the pretext for war against a third world nation that was decimated with almost ten years of economic sanctions. The United States knew the real threat Iraq posed to the world and it knew Hussein could easily be toppled in a sort conflict. Americans were sent into battle under fraudulent cover (remember the reasons: possession of WMD’s nuclear threat, imminent threat to US national security and allies...) and their lives were treated as cheap expendible resources by an Administration that has no real desire to see democratic institutions prevail in the region if they don’t wish to be our lap dog for sending their petroleum products to the United States.

If Bush and company truly "support" our troops and believe in the nobleness of the cause, they would have the courtesy and decency to meet the dead and wounded returing from Iraq rather than allowing these souls to be wisked into Dover Air Force Base under the cover of darkness in military transport aircraft every night. The light of truth will expose the Bush Administration for the evilness within. The rest of the world will step aside as our arrogance puses these people onto their own swords in their rush to dominate other people and nations.



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Wednesday March 23 - 18:07 - Posted by 10fc2f238802d6ed...

There are many military dictators in this world and it is apparent to the clear thinking, what you call "left wing" that there are other reasons for this war than getting rid of a cruel leader. What happened to those weapons of mass destruction? Those who blindly follow Bush’s politics seem to conveniently forget that this war was not started as one of liberation, but one to supposedly "protect" the American people and the world from nuclear/biological/chemical weapons. REMEMBER???



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Wednesday March 23 - 18:18 - Posted by b8fcd8a259f7af59...

Remember all those saddam killed with those weapons?? We had to argue with the UN for so long about going in, in the first place that they had plenty of time to hide them or get rid of them entirely....Saddam was evil but by no means an idiot.



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Thursday March 24 - 04:40 - Posted by 36128142307874e0...

The history will show the truth, Saddam Hussein was our C.I.A. puppet (this is no secret to people who seek the truth) and we supported him for 20 plus years and provided him with the chemical and biological weapons he used on his own people. When he commited these acts we turned a blind eye since we didn’t care about those people then or any other time, we have gone in there and killed another 100,000 far more than Saddam....what about that you stupid bastard, where is your phony argument now???



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Thursday May 12 - 18:40 - Posted by 503fbdeaa7a78097...

Calling this person a ’bastard’ is counter-intuitive, in that it gives normal bastards everywhere a bad name!



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Thursday March 24 - 04:36 - Posted by 36128142307874e0...

What a bunch of crap...tin foil man you are such a complete joke with your excuse making for Bu$hco...."the U.S. had far more casualties so we can’t have state funerals it would hurt troop moral, etc., what bullshit. When did a "democracy" become so scared of the truth?



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Thursday March 24 - 06:01 - Posted by 34543c268d538a8e...

Was that a troll, or do there really exist people who have such simplistic faith in their government?



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Thursday March 24 - 06:24 - Posted by c71dbf1d5e448974...

This writer indicated that Bill clinton did nothing after the 1993 WTC bombings.I am Canadian and even i know that there was a response to that attept.Unlike this response of Bush to go to war against two countries one of which never had any ties at all to terrorists(iraq).Ask your self this when you think this is such a good war that your country has found itself in.How stands to gain from this war?Iraqis?Not so far!After the first gulf war the Iraqis rebuild there whole country with in a year.In Bagdad today they are lucky if they get 6 hours of electricity never mind the fact that they have serious water and sewage problems!Further more unemployment rate in the country before the war was 20-25% today it stands at almost 70%.Food was rationed before the war..... surely you would think after such a great liberation as your government calls it there would be no more rationing or atleast get more ration , but two years later they recieve no more than before the war when they depended on the oil for food program.After the fisrt gulf war president Bush became a billionaire almost over night.......Clinton did send air strikes into Afganastan to attempt to kill Bin Laddin.Not send everyone to kill more the 15,000-100,000 civilians as bush has done.Its amazing that such a powerful country is brought to its knees by someone thier own CIA funded and trained.Maybe if the US is truely devoted to democracy and freedoms they should look at that foriegn policies a little more closely.Belive it or not my southern nieghbors Bin Laddin wants democracy too!!!Best of wish to the families of military personal now serving in Iraq.I sencerly hope your loved ones return home ASAP...Safe and sound.

Yours Michael Sidebotham



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Tuesday March 29 - 05:22 - Posted by d411caca42c0a06c...

You need to wake up!!!! You have not lost your son in this war, have you? You did not take a trip to Iraq to see the reality for yourself, did you? [nop, to dangerous!!] WELL I HAVE!!! And YOU WILL NOT SEE IT ON CNN !!! Open your eyes...



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Wednesday March 23 - 14:27 - Posted by 1ebd73fbe1f545ca...

They learned that during the Vietnam war that body bags on public display swung the population to become totally anti-war.The other reason is the total disdain the corporate gangsters at the helm of the US have for ’grunts’ of all ranks. ’’Military Men are just stupid dumb animals to be used as pawns in Foreign Policy’’ -Henry Kissinger in ’’Kiss the Boys Goodbye’’.

From the military perspective, the three-time Medal of Honor Marine, Major Gen. Smedley Butler stated: “I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer; a gangster for capitalism. I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation, held in abeyance, while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.”




> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Wednesday March 23 - 15:59 - Posted by b8fcd8a259f7af59...

President Bush cannot attend the funeral of every soldier we have lost because of sheer number. The people you forget to ask the opinion of is the soldier itself. You choose not to understand that the majority of soldiers(not all I understand) but the majority support this war and the president and fight bravely and do not need pomp and circumstance to understand how honored they are. Personally speaking, my husband, stationed in Iraq as I write, would not like all that attention. Its not who he is. He is a quiet hero. He fights for the cause not the glory. After all isnt that more important?




> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Wednesday March 23 - 17:20 - Posted by f28bff3d36fb0d86...

What freakin’ majority are you talking about? What glory are you talking about? what’s so glorious about starting a war based on lies and distorted information? what’s the glory of more than 100,000 dead iraqis and over 1500 dead soldiers? you’re nothing but a misguided fool who buy into the garbage laid out by President Moron and his inner circle of chickenhawks!! BTW, there is NO MAJORITY in this country!!



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Wednesday March 23 - 18:29 - Posted by b8fcd8a259f7af59...

I dont blindly follow Bush but I do believe the word of my highly intelligient husband who is there in Iraq working for and with the people of Iraq....whom during raids of their very own homes my husband is conducting come up to him to shake his hand and thank him and AMERICA for giving them a chance for a future. No I am not blind I see through the eyes of my husband who sees beyond political and only sees the eyes of the people there who only want desperately what we want. Dont lose sight of them in your fury to prove George Bush wrong. Dont forget the schools and hospitals and streets we are rebuilding and the countless lives we have saved and the thousands and thousands of Iraqis who are working with us to change their lives. Dont sit blindly and judge safely from your home. Get really involved, like my husband...his 6 and 8 year old children understand why daddy has to be away so kids like them dont have to be scared at night. It may take years to rebuild Iraq but it took us many years to build America too. They are just as worth it as any person who enjoys freedom and a future.



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Wednesday March 23 - 20:39 - Posted by e62cbfff7c3f0dac...

I wouldn’t disagree with what you are saying and I think this goes beyond self righteous chest beatings about who is right and who is wrong. I lost my brother in Iraq. He went with the hope of doing something positive in a terrible situation. But his experience was much different than your husbands. Not everyone was happy to he was there, and they weren’t just ’insurgents.’ All of the soldiers I talked to can see that there is a lot of good work to be done there. With that said, there is nobility in what your husband is trying to do over there. My biggest question is: Is this worth American and Iraqi lives? For as much as we have suffereed, they have suffered perhaps 10 fold. And, can the Iraqis rebuild themselves? They have been at this much longer (civilization) than we have. The stories of the good we do are not enough, in my eyes, to justify the death and destruction our occupation brings to our homeland and theirs. Must we help them rebuild? Absolutely. Do we have to give Halliburton and Bechtel 40% mark ups on the contracts when they sub out to Iraqis anyway? No. And do our soldiers have to ride around all day as targets and cannon fodder for an insurgency the Iraqis are better suited to deal with than we? Well, you know my answer to that already. But, again, your husband’s sacrifice is not in vain, he is representing himself, his family and his country with honor. I only wish our leaders had hearts of gold like your husband.



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Wednesday March 23 - 23:02 - Posted by 18a88120a1d40b78...

Who’s judging blindly? I know what i’m saying because I know a friend who has been in Iraq recently and guess what? he tells me that Iraqis have no jobs, there are no reconstruction projects whatsoever, so I dont know what part of Iraq your husband was. Iraqi police are badly trained so no wonder they get killed quickly. You consider Dubbya a "strong leader" (which makes me puke) then you’re as blind as hell and keep on living in your faith based fantasy world like the rest of your fellow right wing lunatics.



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Thursday March 24 - 01:03 - Posted by 90732515db7b80d9...

who’s lives have you saved, never mind blindfoldedly American soldiers firing on to civilians never caring to check whether they are targetting the right people. Americans are so coward that even if they hear a noise of mouse they go crazy rampage and start firing all over the place killing always civillians and nothing else.

talk about schools and hospital buildings. how many have you built? where’s the evidence? infact i know that they are (the Moron americans)destroying more than rebuilding.
think about the events in Falluja. complete media blackout. destroying homes and civillian buildings. most of all blasting the Falluja General Hospital so that no count could be made of civillian deaths. add to the surprise killing 18 Doctors and 26 nurses with point blank shot, what for? is your thick skull taking anything on board.

let me tell you the reason for destroying the hospital. it was the American’s first target in initializing of the deadly attack in Falluja. so that no wounded could be treated and the doctors cannot record any deaths unlike the previous attack on Falluja the doctors recorded 10,000 )ten thousand) deaths.
tell me one thing, if American army is so great and very humane then why are they so afraid of recording the deaths of civillian casualties?



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Thursday March 24 - 09:25 - Posted by 36128142307874e0...

Military wife, honey you’re on the wrong web site. People here despise Bush and anything he is involved with. They think your husband has no morals, etc., you should not bother coming here to post your comments. You should save your opinions for some of the many military web sites, go to Google search and you will find hundreds of them, or look for the Republican sites, I’m sure your comments will be very welcome there. Here you will get ridiculed and shot down just like an innocent Iraqi child when your husband meets up with one.



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Thursday March 24 - 04:47 - Posted by 36128142307874e0...

Lady, with all due respect, your husband is an idiot and so are you. Now you are going to claim you are a Christian. What ever the hell happened to Jesus’s words of do unto others, love your enemy, and by the way the Iraqi people never did one thing to this country and your husband and his moron buddies have killed 100,000 of them in the most dishonorable way with cluster bombs and depleted uranium and weapons of mass destruction. I guess a low I.Q. helps when you try to explain how your family and you are involved in something so disgusting and immoral, then you can run over to the church and proclaim that Jesus loves you and that the world owes you some thanks for being immoral and having no ability to see right from wrong.



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Friday March 25 - 05:12 - Posted by 62337a3f229ed6bb...

Your husband, if he still believes he is serving his Country for a just cause, is a fool!! He is taught to follow orders blindly and without question but you should wake up. If there was supposedly and election, and we have supposedly trained so Many Iraqi Police , and the majority of Iraqi’s want us out, why are we building permanent bases, why don’t we start pulling out. It IS their Country, let them run it, like they want. Isn’t that what Democracy is all about!
The sooner you realize he is over in Iraq to secure billions of dollars of profit for US Corporations, and control of the oil, the better.
These words seem harsh but until people stop trying to be so polite, and state the TRUTH, this war will never end!!



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Wednesday March 23 - 16:14 - Posted by c68de24953fa6f67...

Gail:

You are so right. Bush and his regime are afraid to let the American public see the horror they have unleashed on the children that he has sent to war. They know only too well that the outcry would be immediate and a call to pull out of Iraq would soon follow. Moreover, since Bush saw fit to shirk his military service, he has no experience in facing the reality of combat. More than Bush’s failure however, is the unconsionable failure of our once free media. They are now corporate controlled tools for the neo-conservatives and all others who are afraid to face the truths about Iraq. America will long regret this period of history when it abandoned its sense of honor and commitment to truth. Those who voted for Bush in 2004 should bear the greatest shame for compromising our national values.

Bob Tanner
USMC Veteran 1971-1973




> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Wednesday March 23 - 18:33 - Posted by b8fcd8a259f7af59...

George Bush did not send children to Iraq he sent MEN like my husband who are there and completely believe in the cause.



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Thursday March 24 - 23:04 - Posted by c68de24953fa6f67...

Bush DID send our children! It doesn’t matter how old or how young they are. They are our children being sent to do what he so casually avoided when he was in the Texas Air National Guard. Our family members in the armed forces signed up to defend our nation and for that they should all be honored. But they most certainly did not sign up to serve a president who has sent them into harm’s way based on nothing more than lies and his personal political agenda. The brave are sent to fight and die for a cowardly liar who has cut their veterans benefits while they were away at war. Some leader.



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Thursday March 24 - 23:28 - Posted by 18a88120a1d40b78...

What cause?? WAKE THE HELL UP YOU IGNORANT FOOL!!! You red state people are so stupid, mentally challenged, homophobic. and a bunch of MORONS!! wait til your president SHRUB raids social security, turns our country bankrupt and maybe then you’ll realize things but when you do, it’ll be too freakin’ late. The war in Iraq is immoral, illegal and not worth fighting for!!! over 1,500 soldiers are dead for nothing!! they all died for a freakin’ LIE, get it??



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Thursday December 15 - 03:22 - Posted by 76d6efb51a730be9...

GWBush has sent plenty of our citizens to Iraq to participate in war. I am sorry for, and mourn the loss of your sons and daughters. If your husband believes in the terroristic tactics of GWBush, he has that right. However, your generalization concerning the war, that GW did not send children to Iraq, is blatantly incorrect. He certainly did. My son in law was one of them. While he may be old enough to fight for his country, he is not old enough to drink in it. Whether you believe in this war or not, you need to know that not everyone who is required to go to Iraq believes in it.



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Wednesday March 23 - 16:22 - Posted by 62337a3f229ed6bb...

Each time this Administration hides a person who has died in the war they are displaying their guilt. They should want to honor the soldiers. They are trying to cover up their mistakes.




> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Wednesday March 23 - 16:51 - Posted by 4672b28c9a2749b4...

Your correspondent Gail Vida Hamburg is as objective as Sean Hannity with a big difference. At least he doesn’t claim to be unbiased.

Americans honor their war dead and the President does, too. I am sure that the America-haters would complain if we honored them any more. Regardless, we will honor them and their sacrifice.




> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Wednesday March 23 - 17:21 - Posted by 8da6d15b1c312827...

Being a wife with her husband over in Iraq, I know what this is like on the family members. I’ve personally lost two very good friends in this war, and I can’t say that I would feel it appropriate if we displayed their death like some sort of parade. At both funerals, the families were paid their respects in a personal and tackful way. The towns the soldiers lived in were very caring, making signs and by offering to help the families in any way they could. I know that if my husband were to be killed, I would not want a huge display shown to the world. Let me mourn with the important people in my life, not with the whole country or world watching. In the USA, our daily lives are conducted more privately than most other countries and that’s OK. Like I mentioned before, our towns, friends and family are the important factors while dealing with a loss, not a world of people who never knew the fallen.




> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Wednesday March 23 - 17:38 - Posted by 4c94fd61e804347f...

How blind can you be, that you see only one side of the coin. You conveniently forget the other dead, Iraqui people! USA soldiers are in Iraq to repress the population, to occupy the land. The prize is oil and greed, and the pay is in blood. If you select to defend it, you are no better than those, who shoot and bomb!



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Wednesday March 23 - 21:56 - Posted by b64e802f413bf1ca...

To start with, I hate George Bush. However, I can understand this message. Do you all remember the reaction of many other countries when 9/11 was broadcast ? They threw parties in the streets, cheering and burning flags. Broadcasting the arrival of american dead would probably just cause the same reaction in many regions. and FYI, I’m canadian not american, but I still feel it is absolutely horrible for anyones death to be a celebration. So long as they are remembered by one, they are honored forever.



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Wednesday March 23 - 17:41 - Posted by 4c94fd61e804347f...

response to the wife..How blind can you be, that you see only one side of the coin. You conveniently forget the other dead, Iraqui people! USA soldiers are in Iraq to repress the population, to occupy the land. The prize is oil and greed, and the pay is in blood. If you select to defend it, you are no better than those, who shoot and bomb!




> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Wednesday March 23 - 18:22 - Posted by ea0924b4229926f7...

The Pentagon has just ordered that when members of the U. S. Marine Corps casualty teams call upon survivors to advise them that they have lost a loved one in Iraq they may no longer wear their impressive and distinct dress blue uniforms, as this magnifies images of war dead in the mind of the public. Our war dead may no longer be honored in the slightest.

The U. S. administration is in denial and is intent upon concealing the true facts from the American public. What is next? Will a military chaplain have to sneak up to the home of a wife or mother in the middle of the night so that he is not seen by the citizenry? Or will an impersonal telegram soon be considered sufficient?

Jim Brown, Texas, USA.




> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Thursday March 24 - 04:55 - Posted by 36128142307874e0...

Until recently Donald Rumsfeld would not even take the time to sign a condolence letter to the families of the dead soldiers, he had an automation signature machine sign his letters (a form letter) and if that shows how much he cared, then I am Marilyn Monroe. Henry Kissenger said it best, "Soldiers are nothing but dumb animals" ain’t it the turth.



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Friday March 25 - 02:26 - Posted by 97b976ea031f904d...

Do you have a source for that information?



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Saturday March 26 - 15:41 - Posted by 6e072ea581bc3316...

Sorry for the delay in answering your quite pertinent question. I have been away. I should have given a source in my original note, and for that I apologize.

I read this in a newspaper, but as I read at least 4 every day I just cannot remember which was the one. This morning I googled "Marine Corps casualty teams" and found this article in the Chicago Tribune: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...

I feel that a bit of that article merits a quote:

"With the toll of Marines killed in Iraq mounting, the Marine Corps is no longer requiring the Marines notifying families of such deaths to wear the corps’ distinctive dress blue uniform.

Authorized by the Marine Corps’ commandant, Gen. Michael Hagee, the change was made because the public is beginning to associate the blue uniform with death and tragedy, officials said. It is usually worn during ceremonial or joyous occasions

Officers and senior enlisted Marines making notification visits are now ordered to wear the corps’ green uniform, known as alphas.

The switch has caused consternation among active-duty and retired Marines, but some, including recruiters and casualty assistance officers, applaud the switch. Others say it smacks of disrespect for the dead Marines and their families.

"Casualty notification is a solemn event and deserves full honors," said Col. John Toolan, who disagrees with the switch.

Toolan, who led the 1st Marine Regiment during the 2003 assault on Baghdad and April’s offensive in Fallujah, said the dress blues were a perfect symbol of "a noble profession that must often balance the euphoria of battles won and the pain of brothers lost."

I think that Colonel Toolan’s comments tell it all. They are from a Marine commander who had the sad task of sending some of his Marines home in those concealed flag-draped coffins.



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Thursday March 24 - 03:06 - Posted by 0d06f27b3b26d4f5...

HIDING OUR WAR DEAD???? .... How true!!!!

USA changes Iraq military death numbers...

The American body count is actually over "4,400" as the USA doesn’t count the death once the sick or injuried are placed on the plane. If they die in transit, in the USA or German Military Hospital it’s not a Iraq war related death. It’s called something else. The actual death total is way over 4,400 USA Military.

Iraq citizen death count is over 150,000 in two years ... it would have taken Iraq Police 20 years to have killed 20,000 citizens let alone 150,000 in two years.

Lets see ....... we’ve lost 2,300 Americans on 9/11 during the "Saudi Arabia" air attacks ....... we’ve lost "4,400" American Military in Iraq, ....we’ve killed 150,000 Iraq’s while saving them from themselves,.... we’ve injured over 20,000 American Military, .... we dirty bombed Irag and our own American Military with Depleted Uranium so the cancers should start in a couple of years .....we’ve spent over 200 Billion dollars we don’t have, ....the rest of the world hates America,..... we lost all our allies, ...we’ve lost 9 Billion dollars in Iraq and can’t find it (check Bush and/or Rummy’s bank account in the Cayman or Cook Islands), ....lost another 2 billion dollars during one helicopter ride (bank transfer probably to Bush bank account in Cayman or Cook Islands) ), ....our country is going bankrupt ....Republicans stole the 2000 and 2004 elections, .....Vote fraud occurs in Ohio, Florida, New Mexico etc. ...... Male Whores in the White House Press Core, ... a US Senator requests a computer programer to make a vote program to flip the vote, ..... and our US Congress holds emergency hearings over steriod use in baseball some Florida Womans right to die?????????????????????

What is wrong with this picture?????????????????????????

What is wrong with this White House and Congress?????????????????????????




> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Friday March 25 - 05:19 - Posted by 62337a3f229ed6bb...

RIGHT ON!!! That is only the half of what these "insurgents" in the White House and Congress (don’t forget the 2002 Election for Congress was stolen also) have done. Give them credit for having screwed up so much in such a short time!
GOD BLESS ALL IN IRAQ!!



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Thursday March 24 - 03:29 - Posted by c1f14c48ebddc891...

Maybe once all you people finish arguing about whether it is necessary to honor war dead, you can focus on WHY they are being hidden : to deceive and maintain control of propaganda. An administration that will go to these callous lengths to prevent a backlash to their insane power grab has done much more than we’ll ever know to get this far. And do you think that any of those flag-draped coffins belong to the off-spring of the rich and influencial, such as politicians?




> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Thursday March 24 - 05:04 - Posted by 36128142307874e0...

No, the flag draped coffins belong to stupid bastards who thought they could get paid to go kill some "rag-heads" and get their aggressions out with a little target practice and use some big guns and ride around in tanks and get the hell away from some stupid bitch he had the misfortune of marrying...look at Lindie and Charles and the rest of the debauchers having XX rated screw fests in the evenings while being Christians married in the churchs....wake up people, the truth is out there try to believe it instead of all of that pious feel good crap these brainwashed military families try to believe.



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Thursday March 24 - 06:45 - Posted by f4d37b115d7b8e16...

You people are sick... that’s all I can say. Truly sick! May God forgive you for your hatred towards the very men and women attempting to keep you safe and sound in your cozy homes! The same individuals who allow you the luxury to say such assanine comments! Grow up!



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Thursday March 24 - 09:03 - Posted by 36128142307874e0...

Number one there is no God. This is a proven fact, there is NO evidence of any prayer being heard or answered, just the mere fact that Bush is the leader in this country proves there is no God. What God would allow that turdblossom to be the leader of anything? Number two, you don’t understand, the dumbasses that go into the military are enablers for people like Bush to go around the world telling other soverign nations what to do and when they won’t do as he tells them, the scumbag braindead soldiers go out and do Bush’s dirty work for him (of course they do not know better, they are braindead). Number 3, we don’t think we are safer because of this Nazi policy of invading soverign nations and overthrowing their leaders so our C.I.A. can take over their country too. Number four, this kind of crap endangers every American by making us hated around the world and making us a target. Number five, Iraq was no threat to us ever and never would have been and only braindead people like you want to think otherwise. Number 6, you belong on a GOP website pumping bullshit for Bush so do us all a favor and push your shit somewhere else.



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Thursday March 24 - 09:12 - Posted by 36128142307874e0...

Do some soul searching, look inward and ask yourself if you really believe we had to send soldiers to Iraq to kill 150,000 souls. If your answer is yes, then you will have to answer to your God for your part as an accomplis.



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Thursday March 24 - 16:31 - Posted by 1ebd73fbe1f545ca...

All the deaths are tragic- whether it the cluster-bombed disembowelled Iraqi child or the US misguided hired killer, decpitated by a roadside bomb. BUT, it is all the more tragic when a draft dodging billionaire sits in the White House, illegally, and declares ’’I feel Good’’ at reports of the billion$ operation ’Shock and Awe’ bringing misery and death to thousands, leaving the World to despise the US.



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Thursday March 24 - 19:17 - Posted by 27442f85c5ecdd82...

What happened to the country I grew up with and was taught to love? A country that honored truth and human dignity, that faught to preserve basic human freedoms against fascist agression. Now we outsource jobs to make the few richer, while expecting the average consumer to spend ever more on goods no longer made in America. Where corrupt business executives line their pockets and cause thousands to loose there jobs, pensions, and hope for the future. Yet not spen a day in jail, while they hide their ill gotten gains in property owned by their wife. We have become obsessed with trivial minusia that attempts to keep us occupied; steroid use in baseball, one families tragic battle over a brain dead individual, the pathetic daily show of a sex pervert coming to court in pajamas, and arguing over the display of the ten commandments. All the while millions struggle with no health care, where minimum wage increases are voted down, where hatred towards America increases daily due to greedy, misguided attempts at foreign domination. Does anyone else see a trend here? Wait and see, in a few more years when we all serve a few multi-national corporations by working at lowest wages while they sell whatever at the highest cost. While they mis-direct our attentions to ridiculus issues, use nationalistic ferver to keep us divided and buy what few elections are left in the world. Wake up and look around at what is going on. Get a copy of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and read the whole thing. I think you will see alot of issues that apply to us today. Goverment should serve the people, not the other way around. Our heratage is a bunch of misfits that threw off the oppressive shackles of a corrupt government to form a new one that serves the people. Read the declaration and see if it doesn’t give you some things to think about.



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Thursday March 24 - 21:36 - Posted by 147dfe125a9c2357...

Woa partner. I never asked any of those people to do that for me. I am not indebted to anyone for doing things they only think they are "doing" for me. Again, I state, I never asked ANY man or woman to strap up and "keep me safe." Most people join the army out of lack of oppurtunity or to get college paid or to get job placement, if they even live that long to reap the "benefits." You can’t deny this. MOST PEOPLE JOIN THE ARMY TO PAY FOR COLLEGE, not to protect me. I assure you they are not thinking of me when they are signing that line. They are thinking about the $8,000 signing bonus. Sadaam never posed a threat to ME, so out of here with that guilt trip headtrip. Furthermore, my life isn’t worth saving. There is no reason those people have to die to "keep me safe" when my life is worth no more than theirs. That is sick. Sick and inhumane to think that death and state-sanctioned murder are necessary to keep you safe. That you think your life is worth being protected at the expense of hundreds of thousands of dead people (soldiers and civilians alike) and their shattered families. I can defend myself, and if I can’t, let the will of God be done.



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Friday March 25 - 03:18 - Posted by 3e880f7649d6b7a3...

the men of yours making us safe, from WHO and What? you stupid fat lamp. from terrorism and 9/11. no, terrorism is a fantasy of your country and the 9/11 was made to happen by your president and his entrouge and CIA. and now following the mad dog blindfoldedly you call us sick.The mad Bush created 9/11 so he can go on killing spree to test his weapons and enhance where necessary.

did you know that? oh.... how can you? i forgot.... that you all in America are the blind fockers. but let me tell you one thing..... your president is not working hard to create wealth from Iraq nor droping a single drop of blood or sweat to gain the wealth that would be possible by sacrificing the men from your country, so their blood is given for the sake of Bush. he would not share the wealth with the dead men/womens family. forget about sharing, he even decreased the allowances given to the soldiers who went to Iraq and significantly reduced the benefit to the wounded and dead soldiers. let me quote you a story printed on New York Times. the soldier was wounded in Iraq and therefore, absent from duty. for that month they deducted the amount of money from his pay packet for the days absence. how good can it get. that’s the sort of sacrifice your men are giving and for what?

your president is using tax payers money to pocket his own gains, but he does not have to answer to anyone because its tax payers money and he is not accounted to anyone. otherwise the money would not have been used in the way it did. your country is becoming the concept of butter/gun. and your Bastard Bush has chosen gun over its people??!!!!!!

the world has become more dangerous from the like of your men and mad dog Bush. people are not talking America as a saviour but the opposite that America has made the world a living hell, because its got power and money so it bypassess all international norms and laws to achieve its gain. in the process who dies and who does not the president do not care. nevermind caring about your men!!! you thick skull brain dead.



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Friday March 25 - 05:25 - Posted by 62337a3f229ed6bb...

There ARE NO men and women protecting me and my home, they are all in Iraq. If there were a natural disaster in the US now we would be in tough shape!! Our national guards are in Iraq and as far as the other countries helping us after bush has alienated the, let’s just say their response would be VERY slow!
Wake up, yourself, you are believing all the propaganda fed to you. You do have a mind, please try to use it. The sodiers are being used, and if you knew what was going on you would try to bring them home as this is the only true way to rspect them!



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Tuesday March 29 - 00:33 - Posted by fc0a1f47284ece74...

in response to calling us sick..... who are you to call us sick when you have no brain to understand what freakin lier you president is!!

you say these men are there making us safe? safe from who exactly? from Saddam Hussain who in real fact did not have no WMD, when Collin Powel another Moron managed to show it in the U.N. bulding. such a shame that he could not find it after so much certainty from the hypocrisy and pathological lies. Yes America is the Most Dangerous Pathological lier ever existed in this world.

to get back... making us Safer and lie in our cozy bed... Mr/Ms. did you ever thought for a while to see the amount of terrorism unleashed in Iraq by your president? if you don’t call this terrorism, and call it good for the country then why dont you ask your born illegitimate president to portray everything in media. why is his force killing media people even the Americans who want to report truth do not go unscathed? can you answer that......?

these soldiers are risking their blood, but for who? only for the illegitimate Bush. who wants to make billions out of Iraqi oil. so hes letting his servants do the dirty work in the name of freedom when he himself restrict others from the same.

TERRORISM HAS A VERY SIGNIFICANT CONNOTATION WITH AMERICA.... BECAUSE IT IS THEIR FANTASY...... PUT FEAR IN PEOPLE AND RULE!!! USING THE FEAR OF THE MASS COMMIT MURDER, INJUSTICES, LOOTING AND MOST OF ALL DENY HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE FREEDOM THAT ONE ALWAYS MENTION IN SPEECH BUT ACT AGAINST IT. tell me, did your presdient keep you up to date with his capture of supected terrorists.? No, because none of them could be charged as their was no evidence. many are captured under false pretence.

it is the illegitimate man’s fantasy by letting his own men killed for him to gain the wealth. do you think and those wife who support their immoral husbands in Iraq will get a slice of the share of the wealth these terrorists in the Bush Administration accumulating in Iraq? the answer certainly is No... because billions of dollars are already heading in to some freakin secure accounts of this administration away from the public eye. But the money used to fund the war is coming from the tax payers. illegitimate Bush knows he is not accountable as to how he spends the money because it is not comming from his own pocket. there is a frase... that which does not come out from your pocket, so you are not accountable. that’s how it is like now.

going back to the point.... Never mind sharing the wealth, the beloved man of America cut the allowances of the soldiers in Iraq. the mean man even went that far, that one soldier was injured in the battle and was absent. therefore, his pay packet for that month was minus the amount of days absent from duty. How Low is that??!!!!!!! source from Washington Times.

lastly, your idiotic country did not make the world a safer place but A LIVING HELL. more dangerous than it was before. arrogant foolishness of America is causing more lives but of course no other life is valuable as Americans the Greedy Pigs who are never SATISFIED. To be An American And to be Proud is very embarrasing because you lot are a two faced cows.



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Thursday March 24 - 16:16 - Posted by 2959eb8dfd5c6566...

To the wife of a soldier in Iraq:

Did you know your husband is running around helping the Iraqi people in heaps of DU, that will effect him and subsequently if you plan on having children...if not, it will just be him, not to worry.

Did you know the anthrax vaccines they’re giving your husband is poisoning him.

Did you know that just because your husband is a good man, bad men don’t give a shit about him or the people of Iraq, he is just window dressing and low priced security for Bush’s oil barons.

Did you know that by supporting your husband in Iraq, to stay in Iraq, for as long as???? He will just become more sick or experience things he may not be telling you about, so that you don’t become worried?

Did you think about the bad things he has witnessed or ordered to do(that he didn’t have to), that may effect his psychological condition when/if he comes home.

Will you be as excited to know that your husband died to bring pseudo-freedom to Iraq, while the same constitution he is supposedly defending is being ripped to shreds in the name of freedom here at home.

You can put your rosey colored glasses back on now and hope that your husband comes home safe when bush and his handlers decide to let us know what exactly their plans are(we already know-Iran, Syria, Venezuela). For now, you can enjoy channel to channel coverage of terry schiavo, as you know, she is more important to the corporate media and congress then your husband.

The bright side is that we will have to implement a draft if we are to bring freedom to all these unfortunate people in the world, while we cut funding to our social programs here,(as long as they’re sitting on some commodities: 1million die in Rowanda in 3 months but no oil there, so your not interested, are you?)

If you think this is leadership, you have passed the point of no return:

THE POINT OF NO RETURN

Dictators do not appear overnight. They must gradually assume more and more power over time so that the population does not realize what is going on, or does not feel it is worthwhile to object.

But to maintain control, dictators "seduce" their population into greater and greater atrocities, over time. There is more than simply acclimating the population involved to the dictator’s agenda. By tricking the population into acceptance of greater and greater atrocities, the dictator will eventually reach a position where the people will be too afraid to examine what they themselves have become. Trapped by the fear of examining themselves, such people turn into the most fanatical of the dictator’s supporters. They dare not look at the dictator’s evil for to do so is to look at their own. Once the dictator can trick his people past that point, they are his slaves. Hitler used this tactic. So did Stalin.

The people of the United States stand at that point right now. That the US Government is using torture on POWs (just as Hitler did) is beyond argument. One can either stand up and denounce that torture and demand the firing of all who took part in it (and the end of the war), or one is by default complicit, an accessory after the fact, seen by all to condone such barbarism.

Anyone who steps across that line is trapped. Unable to look at what they themselves have become they will refuse to look at what the government has become, indeed will create or accept any justification, no matter how thin and transparent, rather than question that government. And indeed this web site gets email from people who have already crossed that point, and are trying to explain why torture is really necessary "this time".

So, you are down to a choice. There is no more being neutral, or sitting on the fence. As Bush himself said, you are either with him or against him, and unless you are actively against him and his war machine, then he wins by default. Unless you stop them now, sooner or later, Bush and the NeoCons will succeed in turning this nation into the 21st century version of Nazi Germany, powered by fanatics so afraid to look in a mirror that they will inflict any pain on any people, rather than do so.

Time to decide.

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/n...




> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Thursday March 24 - 19:27 - Posted by 824cfc313862af80...

I would never go so far as to call our soldiers "dirty scumbags". That’s taking it way to far man, way too far. I’m not for the war in any way and I agree that our leaders are about as corrupt as they can get but our soldiers didn’t plan the war nor did they sign up for war. Granted, some did. A few may have signed up for "target practice" but mostly the soldiers in Iraq and elsewhere are there because life gave them litte other options than joining the military. Increasing poverty and job losses is the best recruitment campaign the military has to offer. Of course, many military personnel believe that they war is just, but that’s only because they have to. They can’t just leave or say "sorry, i don’t believe in the war". Some have tried, and failed. Our soldiers deserve our compassion. We can be against the war but we should blame who is really at fault.

And yes I find it sad that our media and government will not honor our war dead and yet they’ll spend months paying tribute to some woman who’s been practically dead for 15 years.

And for those of you who support the war and George Bush in the name of God....Onward christian soldiers, may you rot in hell.




> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Sunday March 27 - 14:42 - Posted by 93bb7f1ebb423e41...

PENTAGON DENIES MOTHER’S PLEA FOR PHOTO

WASHINGTON — A single red rose in hand, Karen Meredith leans over her son’s simple white stone marker at Arlington National Cemetery.

Tears fall before words.

It’s her first visit since she buried 1st Lt. Kenneth Michael Ballard, a fourth generation soldier, last fall.

Still fresh, like the soil churned behind her son’s grave for another row of dead, is her anger. Anger at the way the Pentagon refused her sole wish when her son was killed by a sniper last May to photograph his casket returning from Iraq.

Meredith wanted to capture the way fellow soldiers respectfully draped the American flag across the casket, tucking the sides just so, and the way an honor guard watched over him as he was unloaded from a cargo plane.

But the Pentagon firmly said "no." It was against regulations and would violate the privacy of family members of other slain soldiers.

"It’s dishonorable and disrespectful to the families," said Meredith. "They say it’s for privacy, but it’s really because they don’t want the country to see how many people are coming back in caskets."

The Pentagon’s reasons for denying the media access to the caskets returning to Dover Air Force Base are widely reported and legally contested. What isn’t so well known is that the Pentagon refuses to allow the families of dead soldiers access to the caskets returning to Dover and other military bases.

"It’s bad enough that they won’t let the country see the pictures of the caskets, but a grieving mother?" asked Meredith. "It’s unforgiveable after what I lost."

The Department of Defense defends its policy, which was created in 1991 by then-secretary of Defense Dick Cheney. The policy protects the privacy of families who have lost loved ones in the war and who may not want their son or daughter’s casket inadvertently photographed, said Lt. Col. Barry Venable, a Defense Department spokesperson.

What families of dead soldiers really want is "the expeditious return of their remains," not photographs at Dover, Venable said.

The department strongly discourages family members from coming to Dover to watch the caskets of the dead unload. "It’s a tarmac, not a parade ground," Venable said. The caskets arriving at Dover are similar to the "hearse pulling up to the back of a funeral home," he said.

Meredith says she was prepared to lose her son in battle. What she wasn’t prepared for was the way the military treated her when he died from a sniper’s bullet in the head. She doesn’t understand how a single photograph of his casket for her own personal album would violate her own privacy.

"It is ironic that this policy denies us the very freedoms of the press and speech my son — and so many like him — gave their lives to protect," Meredith says.

Some families think the caskets should be photographed. Some families say they shouldn’t. There is no consensus on this point, said Joyce Raezer, director of government relations for the National Military Family Association, a Virginia-based nonprofit organization with 30,000 members.

The organization does not have an official opinion about requests like Meredith’s, but Raezer believes from her conversations with families who have lost a loved one that most would support allowing the family of a dead soldier to have a photograph. She suggests that the military take the photo when the casket arrives and include it in the materials they routinely give to families when there is a loss.

"There is a difference between taking photos and showing it to the world every time a plane comes to Dover and taking a photo for a personal memento for the family," Raezer said.

Open government advocates are rallying behind Meredith and other family members who want to see photos of their loved ones at Dover. They view this as another attempt by the Bush administration to keep the actions of the government secret. They suspect that the ban is to prevent the public from getting too upset about the war in Iraq.

"I think it’s a atrocious that they won’t allow photos," said Rick Blum, executive director of Openthegovernment.org, an umbrella organization of conservative and liberal organizations concerned about excessive secrecy in government. "The pictures show the true cost of war and the honor and the respect that the military gives to their sacrifice."

Other open government advocates suspect that there may be political reasons for denying the public access to photograph the caskets.

"The policy keeps these remarkable images off the front pages and off television as if out of sight could mean out of mind," said Tom Blanton, executive director of the National Security Archive, a nonpartisan research institute based in Washington. "The policy disguises this steady, mounting toll."

The Pentagon’s policy of banning photos at Dover is being challenged in federal court by Ralph Begleiter, a journalism professor from the University of Delaware.

Begleiter has requested all still and moving images of fallen soldiers returning in caskets dating back to October 2001 when the war in Afghanistan started. He filed his request under the Freedom of Information Act, a federal law that requires agencies to make records and materials available to the public, with the support of the National Security Archive.

"This is not a partisan political issue," said Begleiter in a release about his lawsuit posted on the Internet. "It’s all about allowing the American people to accurately and completely assess the price of war." The case is still pending.

Venable, the Pentagon spokesperson, said there have only been two instances where the department has permitted photographs of caskets since the policy was put in place in 1991.

In 1996, Clinton personally oversaw the return of 33 caskets containing the remains from Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown’s plane crash in Croatia. In 2000, the Pentagon allowed photos of caskets from the al-Qaida attack on the USS Cole in 2000.

The National Security Archive keeps its own tally of examples where the images of caskets were released to the public.

The organization cites eight other examples where photos of caskets arriving at military bases were allowed, including the return of Americans killed in the 1998 al-Qaida terrorist bombing in East Africa; the caskets of six dead soldiers who died in a training accident in Kuwait in March 2001 were photographed at Ramstein Air Base; and in September 2001, the the Air Force published a photograph of the casket carrying the remains of a victim of the al-Qaida attacks on the Pentagon.

Exceptions to the rule stopped when the war in Iraq began.


March 24, 2005, “The Barre Montpelier Times Argus”

By Rebecca Cox News Service

http://www.timesargus.com/apps/pbcs...

© 2005 Times Argus



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Sunday March 27 - 15:04 - Posted by 93bb7f1ebb423e41...

PENTAGON DENIES MOTHER’S PLEA FOR PHOTO

“A single red rose in hand, Karen Meredith leans over her son’s simple white stone marker at Arlington National Cemetery.

Tears fall before words.

It’s her first visit since she buried 1st Lt. Kenneth Michael Ballard, a fourth generation soldier, last fall.

Still fresh, like the soil churned behind her son’s grave for another row of dead, is her anger. Anger at the way the Pentagon refused her sole wish when her son was killed by a sniper last May to photograph his casket returning from Iraq.

Meredith wanted to capture the way fellow soldiers respectfully draped the American flag across the casket, tucking the sides just so, and the way an honor guard watched over him as he was unloaded from a cargo plane.

But the Pentagon firmly said ‘no.’ It was against regulations and would violate the privacy of family members of other slain soldiers.

‘It’s dishonorable and disrespectful to the families,’ said Meredith. ‘They say it’s for privacy, but it’s really because they don’t want the country to see how many people are coming back in caskets.’"


From “The Barre Montpelier Times Argus, “ March 24, 2005.
More at: http://www.timesargus.com/apps/pbcs...



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Tuesday March 29 - 14:53 - Posted by 1ebd73fbe1f545ca...

Look at the bigger, simple picture -crooks embarked on an illegal robbery with genocide. The robbery takes time. During that time they do not want the US population the question the spoon fed crap from their media. Therefore they won’t show flag draped coffins being unloaded.



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Wednesday March 30 - 08:11 - Posted by 36128142307874e0...

Real men, the ones who have the courage to tell the truth about what is going on in Iraq will admit to the atrocities that the U.S. is commiting there. The soldiers who have left Iraq and come home with tears in their eyes and guilt in their hearts, and sorrow for what they have done to others, and to their own lives that will never be the same, having to live every day with the guilt of having taken part is something this terrible is like a life sentence with no possibility of parole.



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Friday April 1 - 16:12 - Posted by d71a52b99b427d14...

Now we are even hiding our wounded servicemen from public view, one more step in concealing the human cost of the U.S. administration’s unjustified and illegal war. The U.S. serviceman’s newspaper, "Stars and Stripes," reports that USAF flights evacuating those wounded in Iraq to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, after initial treatment in Germany, fly only at night.

Critics say the practice is similar to the White House ban on the filming of honor cordons repatriating war dead to U.S. soil in flag-draped coffins, and this practice extends the dishonor of our dead to include our wounded. “It’s just shameful that the military would try and sneak them in like this and hope no one notices their wounds," states a former Navy officer, shrugging off the night cold among about two dozen protestors outside the Walter Reed gates.

More at http://www.estripes.com/article.asp...



> Hiding Our War Dead. Italy Publicly Honors Its War Dead, America Hides Its Dead
Thursday September 8 - 01:02 - Posted by 864b09a2ff36b8fd...

WHO HIDES THE BODIES OF FALLEN US SOLDIERS,RETURNING.







JUDGE ROSEMARY COLLYER: SOCIOPATH AND MURDERER
Monday 21 - 13:00
by David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
Much more better than the molotov coktail: the money off cocktail!
Monday 21 - 10:07
by Yann Bourhis
Launch of the ABUJNA Abu Jihad Palestinian News Agency
Saturday 19 - 02:39
by News Palestine
SURROUND THE EUROPEAN BUSINESS SUMMIT!
Friday 18 - 12:15
"Renewable ethanol" is utterly false Lobbyocracy and Corporatocracy greenwash
Friday 18 - 09:44
by Dr Gideon Polya
Survival Is the Saudi Key Word
Friday 18 - 08:46
by Nicola Nasser
THE SECOND MYSTERY AROUND MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT MH370
Thursday 17 - 17:45
by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Judge Asked To Recuse Himself In EU Human Rights Case
Thursday 17 - 13:41
by WireNews+Co
Thursday April the 17th is the Palestinian Prisoners Day
Wednesday 16 - 10:20
Disaster Draws Nigh : A Great Choice Beckons
Tuesday 15 - 11:55
by SON OF A BUSH
A Cacaphony of Paltry Frogs : It’s all over but the shooting
Monday 14 - 22:40
by Daniel Patrick Welch
HURTLING INTO DARKNESS: AMERICA’S GREAT LEAP TOWARDS GLOBAL TYRANNY
Monday 14 - 19:16
by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Voices of Ukraine: ’Kiev, People Are Not Cattle!’
Saturday 12 - 03:10
by Johnny Canuck
Nuclear Dangers in Ukraine Crisis
Thursday 10 - 09:30
Fifty years after the overthrow, in Brazil, of democratically elected president Joao Goulart, Washington’s support to the coup must not be forgotten
Thursday 10 - 08:52
by TOUSSAINT Eric
The Red Line and the Rat Line
Thursday 10 - 08:44
by Seymour M. Hersh
Assad Is There to Stay
Wednesday 9 - 11:33
by Nicola Nasser
THE LIMP LEFT CLING TO REL-LIE ABLE OBAMA
Monday 7 - 18:55
by Son OF A BUSH
Putin Flushes the US Dollar: Russia’s Gold Ruble Payments System Delinked from Dollar?
Monday 7 - 09:46
by Umberto Pascali
South Sudan Facing Famine Crisis
Sunday 6 - 05:51
by Brian McAfee
Climate inaction from explict denialism and effective climate change denialism
Saturday 5 - 17:42
by Dr Gideon Polya
Tératologie paraphysique
Saturday 5 - 10:40
by
moderated
Drugs and politics: how Rafael Louzán played his opponent
Friday 4 - 19:19
by libertavigo
AMERICA: THE MOST CORRUPT DEMOCRACY MONEY CAN BUY
Friday 4 - 03:44
by David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
Current Philippine Government And Military Using ongoing Extra-Judicial
Wednesday 2 - 01:29
by Brian McAfee
letter of april to Obama.
Tuesday 1 - 19:19
by kakine
Western hypocrisy re Crimea-Russia re-union versus Israeli Occupation & genocide
Tuesday 1 - 05:12
by Dr Gideon Polya
Rafael Louzán and Hermelino Alonso: opening the doors for drugs
Monday 31 - 11:24
Tens of Thousands First Nations Children Died in Canada’s Residential Schools
Sunday 30 - 10:59
by Johnny Canuck
UKRAINIANS SOON TO SCREAM : " I M F ’ D "
Sunday 30 - 04:15
by SON OF A BUSH
Japan Stops Treating Radioactive Water
Friday 28 - 22:34
by Bob Nichols, Project Censored Award Winner
Casablanca-Morocco: Stop union-busting at Total Call.
Wednesday 26 - 19:30
by U.M.T.
Confirming the Tony Benn commemoration
Wednesday 26 - 10:48
by Stop the War Coalition
Time to grab guns and kill damn Russians – Tymoshenko in leaked tape
Tuesday 25 - 11:37
We should find better heroes than Meir Har-Zion
Monday 24 - 11:15
by Yossi Sarid
OBAMA IS A PEACH : VERY IMPEACHABLE
Saturday 22 - 19:35
by SON OF A BUSH
Ukraine - Who Will Benefit From An IMF Bailout?
Saturday 22 - 04:37
by Johnny Canuck
American Republic Manifestum Treatise is free to download
Friday 21 - 19:26
by Willam Morgan
1 comment
Michelle Bachelet Returns To Her Old Job, Being President Of Chile
Wednesday 19 - 23:27
by Brian McAfee
Counterproductive Reactive Saudi Policies
Tuesday 18 - 11:38
by Nicola Nasser

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DAZIBAO
Neo-Nazis and far-right protesters in Ukraine 3 live-stream
Friday 24 January
2 comments
The far-right in Ukraine are acting as the vanguard of a protest movement that is being reported as pro-democracy. The situation on the ground is not as simple as pro-EU and trade versus pro-Putin and Russian hegemony in the region. When US Senator John McCain dined with Ukraine’s opposition leaders in December, he shared a table and later a stage with the leader of the extreme far-right Svoboda party Oleh Tyahnybok. This is Oleh Tyahnybok, he has claimed a "Moscow-Jewish mafia" (...)
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Hugo Chavez is dead (video live)
Wednesday 6 March
by : Collective BELLACIAO
President Hugo Chavez companeros venezueliano died after a long battle with cancer.
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International initiative to stop the war in Syria Yes to democracy, no to foreign intervention!
Thursday 13 December
Your support here: http://www.peaceinsyria.org/support.php We, the undersigned, who are part of an international civil society increasingly worried about the awful bloodshed of the Syrian people, are supporting a political initiative based on the results of a fact-finding mission which some of our colleagues undertook to Beirut and Damascus in September 2012. This initiative consists in calling for a delegation of highranking personalities and public figures to go to Syria in order to (...)
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THE KU KLUX KLAN ONCE AGAIN CONTROLS INDIANA
Monday 12 November
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
7 comments
At first glance, the results of America’s 2012 election appear to be a triumph for social, racial, and economic justice and progress in the United States: California voters passed a proposition requiring the rich to shoulder their fair share of the tax burden; Two states, Colorado and Washington, legalized the recreational use of marijuana, while Massachusetts approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes; Washington and two other states, Maine and Maryland, legalized same-sex (...)
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I’VE DECIDED TO "WASTE" MY VOTE
Sunday 28 October
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
In a 2004 episode of Comedy Central’s animated series South Park, an election was held to determine whether the new mascot for the town’s elementary school would be a “giant douche” or a “turd sandwich.” Confronted with these two equally unpalatable choices, one child, Stan Marsh, refused to vote at all, which resulted in his ostracization and subsequent banishment from the town. Although this satirical vulgarity was intended as a commentary on the two (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART IV
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
1 comment
PART I PART II PART III If there is one major inconsistency in life, it is that young people who know little more than family, friends and school are suddenly, at the age of eighteen, supposed to decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, because of their limited life experiences, the illusions they have about certain occupations do not always comport to the realities. I discovered this the first time I went to college. About a year into my studies, I (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART III
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART II PART IV Disillusioned with the machinations of so-called “traditional” colleges, I became an adjunct instructor at several “for-profit” colleges. Thanks largely to the power and pervasiveness of the Internet, “for-profit” colleges (hereinafter for-profits) have become a growing phenomenon in America. They have also been the subject of much political debate and the focus of a Frontline special entitled College Inc. Unlike traditional (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART II
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART III PART IV Several years ago, a young lady came into the college where I was teaching to inquire about a full-time instructor’s position in the sociology department. She was advised that only adjunct positions were available. Her response was, “No thanks. Once an adjunct, always an adjunct.” Her words still echo in my mind. Even as colleges and universities raise their tuition costs, they are relying more and more on adjunct instructors. Adjuncts are (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART I
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART II PART III PART IV When The Bill of Rights was added to the United States Constitution over two hundred years ago, Americans were blessed with many rights considered to be “fundamental.” One conspicuously missing, however, was the right to an education. This was not surprising given the tenor of the times. America was primarily an agrarian culture, and education, especially higher education, was viewed as a privilege reserved for the children of the rich and (...)
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Monday 30 July
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
3 comments
If there is one universal question that haunts all human beings at some point in their lives, it is, “Why do we die?” Death, after all, is the great illogic. It ultimately claims all, the rich and the poor, the mighty and the small, the good and the evil. Death also has the capability to make most human pursuits—such as the quest for wealth, fame and power—vacuous and fleeting. Given this reality, I have often wondered why so many people are still willing to (...)
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Thursday 28 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
6 comments
How much corruption can a “democracy” endure before it ceases to be a democracy? If five venal, mendacious, duplicitous, amoral, biased and (dare I say it) satanic Supreme Court “justices”—John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy—have their way, America will soon find out. In several previous articles for Pravda.Ru, I have consistently warned how the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision is one of the (...)
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DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS, PART TWO
Tuesday 12 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
1 comment
Imagine, if you will, that the United States government passes a law banning advertisers from sponsoring commercials on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show or Rupert Murdoch’s Fox (Faux) “News” Network. On one hand, there would be two decided advantages to this ban: The National IQ would undoubtedly increase several percentage points, and manipulative pseudo-journalists would no longer be able to appeal to the basest instincts in human nature for ratings and profit while (...)
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DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS
Thursday 7 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
4 comments
LIVE, from the State that brought you Senator Joseph McCarthy, Wisconsin voters now proudly present, fresh from his recall election victory, Governor Scott Walker! At first glance, it is almost unfathomable that anyone with a modicum of intelligence would have voted to retain Scott Walker as Wisconsin’s governor. This, after all, is a man who openly declared he is trying to destroy the rights of workers through a “divide and conquer” strategy; who received 61% of the (...)
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Tuesday 13 March
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
2 comments
A question I’ve frequently been asked since I began writing for Pravda.Ru in 2003 is, “Why did you become disillusioned with the practice of law?” This question is understandable, particularly since, in most people’s minds, being an attorney is synonymous with wealth and political power. I’ve always been reluctant to answer this question for fear it will discourage conscientious and ethical people from pursuing careers in the legal profession—a (...)
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Monday 13 February
by : David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
3 comments
Don’t say I didn’t warn you. In my article The Greatest Threat to America, I stated that the five so-called “conservative” members of the United States Supreme Court—Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Roberts and Kennedy—“have destroyed American democracy and its fundamental freedoms more ruthlessly and effectively than any terrorist group in the world” (Pravda.Ru 01/27/2010). They accomplished this in the 2010 case of Citizens United v. Federal (...)
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