Views of a Veteran

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Freedom of Speech?!

Well I have been doing a lot of reading lately. Reading that involves no only books but different blogs floating around the Internet. Some of these blogs are pro-war, some anti-war, and some are about finger painting.
After reading these blogs it make me proud to have been able to fight for my country and for the freedoms we have. The main freedom everyone seems to throw out if Freedom of Speech. According to Wikipedia the 1st amendment is as follows:

First AmendmentEstablishment clause, freedom of religion (Free Exercise Clause), speech, and press, and peaceable assembly as well as the right to petition the government.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Now that is what is says in the Bill of Rights, but if you were to ask an ordinary person on the street it would be more like this:
“The first amendment means I can say what I want, about whomever I want.”
The problem with that statement is, you can not go around slandering people, that is not covered under the first amendment. For those who do not know what slander is her is the definition from Dictionary.com :
slan·der /ˈslændər/
–noun
1. defamation; calumny: rumors full of slander.
2. a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report: a slander against his good name.
3. Law. defamation by oral utterance rather than by writing, pictures, etc. –verb (used with object)
4. to utter slander against; defame. –verb (used without object)
5. to utter or circulate slander.
Now with that all covered lets get to whats on my mind.
How can a person, weather its a mom, dad, politician, or solider/Maine have the right to go around the country and the world for that fact, write books, and DVDs about the atrocities that may or may not be occurring in Iraq? How can these people get away with “slandering” their former commanders, team mates, and friends? How can they go around blowing lies and rumors around without actually evidence to back them up? How can the media be allowed to report on these people, repeating what they are saying without proving them to be true or false?
Well I have a few answers in my mind, but i would really love to hear what other folks have to say about it. In my mind the media and the folks spewing this crap unchecked can get away with it, because we allow it to happen. We as a country and society allow these people to go around saying these things with out backing them up with some kind of evidence.
If the killing of civilians was happening on purpose in Iraq, there would be more then a handful of soldiers or marines talking out. Especially if commanders and leaders were ordering their troops to perform such act would not fly. As a squad leader, I would never follow a command form a higher up that stated to kill innocent civilians. That is an unlawful command, and as such I am obligated not to follow it no matter the punishment I might receive. this is a right that every U.S. Solider, Sailor, Marine, and Airmen has. We have the right to dis-obey a direct or indirect order if it is unlawful according to the UCMJ.
Now I know that in the “fog” of war that civilians get killed, and that is a shame. But, and this is the biggest but in the world, they are killed in cross fire, or fire that was brought upon them because of a threatening act the had committed towards American forces. In other words, if a battle is raging in an alley and a man, woman, or child walks out of a building into the middle of that firefight, then that is a painful accident. If a car full of civilians does not stop at a checkpoint that is clearly marked and proceeds to speed up towards American or Iraqi forces, that vehicle is fired upon. Afterwords if that car is full of civilians then again that is a painful accident. these types of things are covered with in every soldiers ROE (rules of engagements).
While I was in Iraq we were made to carry the ROE in our pocket. We were provided with a lamented copy of it to carry on us at all times. If a anyone were to ask you for it, you better have had it on you or there was punishment for not having it.
The one thing that I have a problem with is this: if these things were going on and these people saw this or did this, were is the proof? Where are the countless stories that would come out about these incidents? If a line company of Marines (that’s 200 Marines) or even a platoon (that’s roughly 30 Marines), were to fire upon innocent civilians or demonstrators on purpose, wouldn’t there be more then 1 or 2 of them speaking out? Wouldn’t there have been some kind of evidence like photos by a embedded journalist of this happening? If not, then why is it that 1 or 2 people are able to run there mouth about things that never happened and get away with it? how can they right books and make DVDs and get paid large amounts of money for a bunch of lies? Where are the “media” that is suppose to investigate these claims and bring out the truth? How can guys like Jimmy Massey able to live off of these lies? (http://www.jimmymassey.com/), but yet when a journalist writes a story de-bunking his claims:(here is an excerpt of Ron Harris de-bunking Massey’s claims: http://michellemalkin.com/2005/11/06/an-anti-war-smear-artist-exposed/) Again I look forward to hearing some other views of this issue, and this isn’t the only story out there like this, I am sure there are plenty more that I have yet to read about.
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March 4, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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