Body and Booty Count — Body of War and the Continuing Murder Inc., Veterans’ Day Profiteers

This is the shits of America, the more and more irrelevant prattlers of Democracy Now  as we see this pig of a human, three-star general, retired, now getting his triple dipping blood money for a book full of fluff, lies, in this shit story of his shit life as a Murder Incorporated General — Why We Lost: A General’s Inside Account Of The Iraq And Afghanistan Wars by Three-star Criminal General, Daniel Bolger, worth 502 pages of forest-killing propaganda, a faux memoir. This general who’s been to war college after war college on how to bomb, destroy, drone, blast humanity. So Amy and Juan at DN  are helping this hardcover, 502 pages, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, listed at $28, make money. Death dollars. Killer profits.

Summary: A three-star general offers an insider account of the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, explaining how garbled intelligence, poor decision making, and no clear understanding of the enemy resulted in the failure of both missions.

 

Why We Lost

This liar and lip-less white shit male is on the speaking circuit, just coming from National Jewish Radio/NPR, and, as we see Amy and Juan can’t be real radical journalists in this world where normalizing military mindsets and military elites as somehow voice boxes for truth. To be honest, this is terrible for so-called alternative Democracy Now for an after-Armistice Day show on these illegal wars, these genocides.

Listen to this pig, this inside man, this guy who is the reason why this country is empire-down, Blackhawk Dead, another war hero.

Sure, maybe have Jeremy Scahill on, or someone a bit more gutsy than Amy and Juan. The same Phil Donahue who directed Body of War, the story of Tomas Young, who just died Sunday. Shot five days into Iraq, and paralyzed and bitter and angry. Those are the people this pig of a welfare shyster Bolger should be questioned by.

But capitalism is about money, about the murderers getting that book contract. Over and over and over, the murderers from Military-Prison-Policing-Shyster-Pharma-Education-Ag-Big Oil-Big Politics industrial complex. Generals are the Little Eichmann’s of this shit hole empire. Shame on Democracy Now and Amy. It’s the New York toxin, these little men and little women with a cool million each in their pockets shuffling through the Big Apple, talking to agents, to the shit Charlie Rose (in LA now) and the endless PR-Zionist-Capitalists on the East Coast. Endless lines of these One Percenters and their soldiers in the 19 Percent Economic-Murder Inc. Class. Here, another murder incorporated hero, but at least somewhat honest, Richard Clarke:

RICHARD CLARKE: I think things that they authorized probably fall within the area of war crimes. Whether that would be productive or not, I think, is a discussion we could all have. But we have established procedures now with the International Criminal Court in The Hague where people who take actions as serving presidents or prime ministers of countries have been indicted and have been tried. So the precedent is there to do that sort of thing.

AMY GOODMAN: Richard Clarke went on to say that then President George Bush had wanted him to place the blame for 9/11 on Iraq.

RICHARD CLARKE: I resigned, quit the government altogether, testified before congressional committees and before the 9/11 Commission, wrote a book revealing what the Bush administration had and had not done to stop 9/11 and what they did after the fact, how the president wanted me, after the fact, to blame Iraq for the 9/11 attack.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Richard Clarke, former top terrorism—counterterrorism czar. Your response?

LT. GEN. DANIEL BOLGER: Well, I would tell you, I don’t know that war crimes or that is in order; I don’t have enough knowledge about those aspects. I will tell you, though, where Richard Clarke is on very firm ground is the seriousness and the importance of a public hearing as to what went wrong in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

So, he’s an adjunct professor at North Carolina State teaching history. Bullshit. I am sure he is a super-star-overpaid adjunct. How much is his military retirement? He was making $18,000 a MONTH, or more. He will be getting 80 % (or more, sometimes 105 percent of regular active duty income) per month for retirement. Really, it pays to be a murderer.

Fuck this Veteran’s Day — these pigs, generals, make more in retirement pay than active duty pay. This is murder-murder incorporated, the pigs of corporate welfare. Shame on him even appearing anywhere, and shame on the Zionists and White Privilege class for giving this guy a million-buck book advance. And shame on on Juan and Amy. Here, it pays to be a killer general, USA-Style!

Beyond the Beltway:

The new pension rules were part of the 2007 Defense Authorization Act to address concerns that the military would lose too many experienced generals and admirals during wartime.

Previously , the maximum annual pension was based on an officer’s pay at 26 years of service. Now, a four-star officer retiring in 2011 with 38 years’ experience would get a yearly pension of about $219,600, a jump of $84,000, or 63% beyond what was once allowed. A three-star officer with 35 years’ experience would get about $169,200 a year, up about $39,000, or 30%.

The highest pension, $272,892, is paid to a retired four-star officer with 43 years of service, according to the Pentagon. Before the law was changed, the typical pension for a retired four-star officer was $134,400. The top pay for an active-duty officer is capped at $179,900; housing and other allowances boost their compensation an additional third.

We pay this creep, who has a special appointment in the History Department at NC State University, I am sure, for a cool $90-K a year, miss-teaching history, probably two classes a quarter, with a dozen graduate teaching assistants thrown in. They continue making money for their crimes, and now the crime of not teaching anything worth note, the teary-eyed Board of Regents in NC giving a fucking general more blood money . . . while the state bleeds . . . while real hard working adjunct faculty get shit for wages, a la $10 an hour teaching PT history or English or you name it.

Listen to this wimp:

AMY GOODMAN: Just last week, I went to Vienna, Austria, and I interviewed Robert Kelley

LT. GEN. DANIEL BOLGER: Sure.

AMY GOODMAN: —who is a former director of the IAEA for the Iraq Action Team—

LT. GEN. DANIEL BOLGER: Absolutely.

AMY GOODMAN: —what is known as a U.N. weapons inspector. He expressed regret over the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, saying his team’s observations on the ground in Iraq went unheeded by U.S. officials.

ROBERT KELLEY: I feel very bad about what happened in 2003. It’s extremely embarrassing that the country ignored the people who were in Iraq making the observations and didn’t take us into account. And when the U.S. sent this team in, two months after the war or so, the leader of the team, after two months, quit. And his statement was: “We were all wrong. They had no weapons of mass destruction.” Well, we weren’t all wrong. The people who were in the field were saying there’s nothing there.

AMY GOODMAN: That is Robert Kelley, former director at the IAEA for the Iraq Action Team, what we call a U.N. weapons inspector.

LT. GEN. DANIEL BOLGER: Sure.

AMY GOODMAN: Saying they weren’t there.

LT. GEN. DANIEL BOLGER: No, I mean, again, residual program was what existed, several—as The New York Times pointed out, several thousand rounds. We certainly saw the remainder of that. I mean, when I was in Baghdad, they were still removing yellow cake uranium leftovers from the Tuwaitha plant, the old Osirak plant that the Israelis had bombed in 1981. So there were pieces and parts. And intelligence work is never—is never complete. I think one of the things that we’ve certainly got to remember is the atmosphere of the time. I mean, one thing that interested me when I was researching the book we’re talking about here, the vote for the authorization for the use of force in Iraq in 2002 was even more decisive than the one in January of ’91. And—

Body of War, by Phil Donahue, at least gets some air out of the air pipes of Amy Goodman:

AMY GOODMAN: Phil, you, after your legendary career, what, 29 years on The Phil Donahue Show, you came back and were a—continued to broadcast on MSNBC, prime-time slot, right before the invasion of Iraq. You were the most popular show on MSNBC at the time. And then right before the war, you were unceremoniously dumped. And a secret, later, memo came out of NBC that they didn’t want to have an antiwar voice in their flagship show as the other networks were waving the American flag.

PHIL DONAHUE: Yes, that was a memo published by The New York Times, and it was written up by a Republican pollster, who took a survey, where they put 25 people in a room and showed them one of my aggressive programs, and most of the people didn’t like me, was the result. I was called in to Neal Shapiro’s office and informed.

AMY GOODMAN: He was at NBC at the time.

PHIL DONAHUE: He was then, yeah; he’s now head of PBS here in New York. So, it was definitely a political termination. And it’s interesting, because during that time, they were terrified. This is—you should know that this is October through—say, August through January—August of ’02 through January and February. The invasion was April of 2003.

AMY GOODMAN: March.

PHIL DONAHUE: And I was gone by then. But this is not long after the towers. And so, you know, corporate media—

AMY GOODMAN: You were replaced by Michael Savage.

PHIL DONAHUE: I was replaced by Michael Savage. So, they couldn’t wait to outfox Fox. And I had to have two conservatives for every liberal. And they wanted me to do entertainers. You know, don’t do political. It’s a very interesting study in the thinking at that time. Liberals were terrifying to them. They were afraid of liberals. Liberals weren’t patriotic. Liberals were blaming the victim. Dissent was totally, totally unwelcome and unpatriotic.

AMY GOODMAN: And yet, you persisted, knowing the climate.

PHIL DONAHUE: Well, I guess so, I mean, you know, at my own peril. But, you know, no sad songs for me. I’m a lucky guy. You know, I got a little money. But we have to wonder whose voice wasn’t heard, you know? That didn’t have the kind of ability to do this kind of thing and at least survive a little while.

The hero is Tomas Young, as are millions of parents and others like him, former grunts put through the grinder, against this General, against this WAR and all wars for the Fortune 1000. Look, I could give a long account with my own connection to the military, with a father 32 years in both AF and Army, both as an enlisted guy and warrant officer, cryptography, signal corps, shot twice in Vietnam and fought in the Korean war. Or my uncle on one side of the family in a submarine for the British and the other for the Germans in WW 2. Or my own namesake, my grandfather, who was a WW 1 air lieutenant for the Germans, flying bi- and tri-planes, with wings made of paper. I will, and that will take some time, some big time.

For now, which ones voted against Bush War? Obama? No. Kerry? No. Clinton? No.

In the Senate, the 21 Democrats, one Republican and one Independent who courageously voted their consciences in 2002 against the War in Iraq were:

* Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii)
* Jeff Bingaman (D-New Mexico)
* Barbara Boxer (D-California)
* Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia)
* Lincoln Chaffee (R-Rhode Island)
* Kent Conrad (D-North Dakota)
* Jon Corzine (D-New Jersey)
* Mark Dayton (D-Minnesota)
* Dick Durbin (D-Illinois)
* Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin)
* Bob Graham (D-Florida)
* Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii)
* Jim Jeffords (I-Vermont)
* Ted Kennedy (D-Massachusetts)
* Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont)
* Carl Levin (D-Michigan)
* Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland)
* Patty Murray (D-Washington)
* Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island)
* Paul Sarbanes (D-Maryland)
* Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan)
* The late Paul Wellstone (D-Minnesota)
* Ron Wyden (D-Oregon)

Think of all those Zionists and businessmen and women who voted for the war. For the killing. For the lies. For the murdering. For the industrial military-IT-Walmart complex of feeding the war machine with our trillions of dollars in tax money to pay the evil doers — Capitalists.
Read some facts, not up to date, but still telling: Here, more!
Troops in Iraq – No U.S. troops remain in Iraq. The last 13,000 U.S/ troops were withdrawn in December 2011.
U.S. Troop Casualties – 4,487 US troops; 98% male. 91% non-officers; 82% active duty, 11% National Guard; 74% Caucasian, 9% African-American, 11% Latino.
19% killed by non-hostile causes.
54% of US casualties were under 25 years old.
72% were from the US Army
Non-U.S. Troop Casualties – Total 316, with 179 from the UK
US Troops Wounded – 32,223, 20% of which are serious brain or spinal injuries. (Total excludes psychological injuries.)
US Troops with Serious Mental Health Problems – 30% of US troops develop serious mental health problems within 3 to 4 months of returning homeUS Military Helicopters Downed in Iraq – 75 total, at least 36 by enemy fire

IRAQI TROOPS, CIVILIANS & OTHERS IN IRAQ

Private Contractors in Iraq, Working in Support of US Army Troops – More than 180,000 in August 2007, per TheNation.com

Journalists killed – 150, 98 by murder and 52 by acts of war

Journalists killed by US Forces – 14

Iraqi Police and Soldiers Killed – 10,125, as of July 31, 2011

Iraqi Civilians Killed, Estimated – On October 22, 2010, ABC News reported “a secret U.S. government tally that puts the Iraqi (civilian) death toll over 100,000,” information that was included in more than 400,000 military documents released by Wikileaks.com.

A UN issued report dated Sept 20, 2006 stating that Iraqi civilian casualties have been significantly under-reported. Casualties are reported at 50,000 to over 100,000, but may be much higher. Some informed estimates place Iraqi civilian casualities at over 600,000.

Iraqi Insurgents Killed, Roughly Estimated – 55,000

Non-Iraqi Contractors and Civilian Workers Killed – 572 as of August 30, 2011

Non-Iraqi Kidnapped – 306, including 57 killed, 147 released, 4 escaped, 6 rescued and 89 status unknown.

Now, look at these facts about the profiteers, the Little Eichmanns and shysters incorporated:

Lost and Reported Stolen – $6.6 billion of U.S. taxpayers’ money earmarked for Iraq reconstruction, reported on June 14, 2011 by Special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction Stuart Bowen who called it “the largest theft of funds in national history.” (Source – CBS News)

Last known holder of the $6.6 billion lost: the U.S. government.

Missing – $1 billion in tractor trailers, tank recovery vehicles, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and other equipment and services provided to the Iraqi security forces. (Per CBS News on Dec 6, 2007.)

Mismanaged & Wasted in Iraq – $10 billion, per Feb 2007 Congressional hearings

Halliburton Overcharges Classified by the Pentagon as Unreasonable and Unsupported – $1.4 billion

Amount paid to KBR, a former Halliburton division, to supply U.S. military in Iraq with food, fuel, housing and other items – $20 billion

Portion of the $20 billion paid to KBR that Pentagon auditors deem “questionable or supportable” – $3.2 billion

U.S. Annual Air-Conditioning Cost in Iraq and Afghanistan – $20.2 billion (Source – NPR, June 25, 2011)

Fuck this Veteran’s Day, all veteran’s days, in America the Empire:

Tomas Young:

From Young’s letter, published on TruthDig:

I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.

Body of War, a film by Ellen Spiro and Phil Donahue, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to several standing ovations and acclaim. It won Best Documentary from the prestigious National Board of Review and was nominated for Best Documentary from Producer’s Guild of America. Body of War was short-listed for an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary and was released theatrically through Landmark Theatres. Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro were featured in a special on Bill Moyers , as well as appearing on all the major networks and publications.

Body of War is an intimate and transformational feature documentary about the true face of war today. Meet Tomas Young, 25 years old, paralyzed from a bullet to his spine – wounded after serving in Iraq for less than a week.

Body of War is Tomas’ coming home story as he evolves into a new person, coming to terms with his disability and finding his own unique and passionate voice against the war. The film is produced and directed by Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro, and features two original songs by Eddie Vedder. Body of War is a naked and honest portrayal of what it’s like inside the body, heart and soul of this extraordinary and heroic young man.

Body of War unfolds on two parallel tracks. On the one hand, we see Tomas evolving into a powerful voice against the war as he struggles to deal with the complexities of a paralyzed body. And on the other, we see the historic debate unfolding in the Congress about going to war in Iraq.

The film opens as Tomas and his fiance Brie prepare for their wedding. However, because of his disability, we see how the simple everyday activities for Tomas are involved and challenging. War is personal and the film takes us into the skin and bones of what it means to have no control over basic bodily functions. In many remarkable scenes, we directly experience how vulnerable and open Tomas is as he interacts with his wife, family, and friends.

For their honeymoon, Tomas and Brie journey to Camp Casey, the anti-war encampment in Crawford, Texas, down the road from President Bush’s Texas ranch. It was here that Cindy Sheehan galvanized the world’s media and jump started a new and growing anti-war movement. Cindy’s son Casey and Tomas were both shot on the same day in Iraq. Tomas speaks publicly, gives interviews, finding his new voice and role. As the film progresses, we witness Tomas’ evolution into a powerful leader, finding fresh abilities out of his disability and expressing his new form of patriotism. He is interviewed by Mike Wallace for “60 Minutes” and featured in a photo essay in The Nation magazine.

On a parallel track, Body of War follows the historic deliberations in Congress to grant President Bush authority to invade Iraq. During the fall of 2002, both Houses debated the Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Forces against Iraq (H. J. Res 114). The House of Representatives adopted the resolution on October 10, by a vote of 296-133. The next day, the Senate passed it by a vote of 77-23.

In the film, scenes of Tomas speaking out against the war are interspersed with the packaged debate in both houses of Congress, and the vote by vote tally in the U.S. Senate. (The vote on this resolution remains highly controversial five years later. In the current presidential campaign, the vote comes up again and again.)

The foremost voice of restraint in Congress was Senator Robert Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia, the longest serving senator in U. S. history, first elected in 1958. His eloquent opposition to this momentous resolution is vividly captured in Body of War.

In the final riveting scene, the two streams of the film come together, as Tomas visits Senator Byrd in his office on Capitol Hill. Together, they review the historic Senate vote and read aloud the names of the “Immortal 23” who stood against the war.

Listen to Byrd, senator, RIP:

 ROBERT BYRD SUMS IT UP — THE WEST VIRGINIA SENATOR ON THE IRAQ WAR . . . while there was still time to stop it

2002

To contemplate war is to think about the most horrible of human experiences. On this February day, as this nation stands at the brink of battle, every American on some level must be contemplating the horrors of war.

Yet, this Chamber is, for the most part, silent — ominously, dreadfully silent. There is no debate, no discussion, no attempt to lay out for the nation the pros and cons of this particular war. There is nothing.

We stand passively mute in the United States Senate, paralyzed by our own uncertainty, seemingly stunned by the sheer turmoil of events. Only on the editorial pages of our newspapers is there much substantive discussion of the prudence or imprudence of engaging in this particular war.

. . . This nation is about to embark upon the first test of a revolutionary doctrine applied in an extraordinary way at an unfortunate time. The doctrine of preemption — the idea that the United States or any other nation can legitimately attack a nation that is not imminently threatening but may be threatening in the future — is a radical new twist on the traditional idea of self defense. It appears to be in contravention of international law and the UN Charter.

. . . Here at home, people are warned of imminent terrorist attacks with little guidance as to when or where such attacks might occur. Family members are being called to active military duty, with no idea of the duration of their stay or what horrors they may face. Communities are being left with less than adequate police and fire protection. Other essential services are also short-staffed. The mood of the nation is grim. The economy is stumbling. Fuel prices are rising and may soon spike higher.

. . . This Administration, now in power for a little over two years, must be judged on its record. I believe that that record is dismal. In that scant two years, this Administration has squandered a large projected surplus of some $5.6 trillion over the next decade and taken us to projected deficits as far as the eye can see. This Administration’s domestic policy has put many of our states in dire financial condition, under funding scores of essential programs for our people. This Administration has fostered policies which have slowed economic growth. This Administration has ignored urgent matters such as the crisis in health care for our elderly. This Administration has been slow to provide adequate funding for homeland security. This Administration has been reluctant to better protect our long and porous borders.

In foreign policy, this Administration has failed to find Osama bin Laden. In fact, just yesterday we heard from him again marshaling his forces and urging them to kill. This Administration has split traditional alliances, possibly crippling, for all time, International order-keeping entities like the United Nations and NATO. This Administration has called into question the traditional worldwide perception of the United States as well-intentioned, peacekeeper. This Administration has turned the patient art of diplomacy into threats, labeling, and name calling of the sort that reflects quite poorly on the intelligence and sensitivity of our leaders, and which will have consequences for years to come.

Calling heads of state pygmies, labeling whole countries as evil, denigrating powerful European allies as irrelevant — these types of crude insensitivities can do our great nation no good. We may have massive military might, but we cannot fight a global war on terrorism alone. We need the cooperation and friendship of our time-honored allies as well as the newer found friends whom we can attract with our wealth. Our awesome military machine will do us little good if we suffer another devastating attack on our homeland which severely damages our economy. Our military manpower is already stretched thin and we will need the augmenting support of those nations who can supply troop strength, not just sign letters cheering us on.

The war in Afghanistan has cost us $37 billion so far, yet there is evidence that terrorism may already be starting to regain its hold in that region. We have not found bin Laden, and unless we secure the peace in Afghanistan, the dark dens of terrorism may yet again flourish in that remote and devastated land.

Pakistan as well is at risk of destabilizing forces. This Administration has not finished the first war against terrorism and yet it is eager to embark on another conflict with perils much greater than those in Afghanistan. Is our attention span that short? Have we not learned that after winning the war one must always secure the peace?

And yet we hear little about the aftermath of war in Iraq. In the absence of plans, speculation abroad is rife. Will we seize Iraq’s oil fields, becoming an occupying power which controls the price and supply of that nation’s oil for the foreseeable future? To whom do we propose to hand the reigns of power after Saddam Hussein?

Will our war inflame the Muslim world resulting in devastating attacks on Israel? Will Israel retaliate with its own nuclear arsenal? Will the Jordanian and Saudi Arabian governments be toppled by radicals, bolstered by Iran which has much closer ties to terrorism than Iraq?

Could a disruption of the world’s oil supply lead to a world-wide recession? Has our senselessly bellicose language and our callous disregard of the interests and opinions of other nations increased the global race to join the nuclear club and made proliferation an even more lucrative practice for nations which need the income?

In only the space of two short years this reckless and arrogant Administration has initiated policies which may reap disastrous consequences for years.

One can understand the anger and shock of any President after the savage attacks of September 11. One can appreciate the frustration of having only a shadow to chase and an amorphous, fleeting enemy on which it is nearly impossible to exact retribution.

But to turn one’s frustration and anger into the kind of extremely destabilizing and dangerous foreign policy debacle that the world is currently witnessing is inexcusable from any Administration charged with the awesome power and responsibility of guiding the destiny of the greatest superpower on the planet. Frankly many of the pronouncements made by this Administration are outrageous. There is no other word.

Yet this chamber is hauntingly silent. On what is possibly the eve of horrific infliction of death and destruction on the population of the nation of Iraq — a population, I might add, of which over 50% is under age 15 — this chamber is silent. On what is possibly only days before we send thousands of our own citizens to face unimagined horrors of chemical and biological warfare — this chamber is silent. On the eve of what could possibly be a vicious terrorist attack in retaliation for our attack on Iraq, it is business as usual in the United States Senate.

We are truly ‘sleepwalking through history.’ In my heart of hearts I pray that this great nation and its good and trusting citizens are not in for a rudest of awakenings. . .

Paul Haeder's new bio is about suspending all those credentials, all those titles, all those in-the-trench experiences he's acquired and worked hard on in his 64 years (2021): Novelist, essayist, journalist, social worker, college and K12 educator, environmental warrior. Terms and avocations more meaningless as cancel culture rises and rises from left and right insanity. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 16 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.