Sunday, March 18, 2007
I wonder how many people who'd marched to little if any effect at the Pentagon yesterday were thinking of Col. Ted Westhusing’s suicide almost two years ago, much less the circumstances surrounding it, much less how much more significance just thinking of the sordid, corrupt circumstances surrounding his death would give this march?
Maybe I’m cynical but I just can’t picture the likes of Aravosis and Sudbay of Ablog or KayinMaine or any of the other thousands who were there carrying picket signs demanding real answers into the abrupt death of Westhusing, who was, ironically, considering the choice of day for the march, found dead in a trailer in Camp Dublin.
Over a year ago, Wayne Madsen of the Madsen Report wrote about the circumstances surrounding Westhusing’s apparent suicide. I don’t buy into Madsen’s conspiracy angle that his suicide was forcefully assisted. After all, why would his alleged assassin bother to forge a recently-surfaced suicide note fingering the two generals that his death could only protect (General David Petraeus and Maj. General Joseph Fil)?
However, whether we’re looking at a murder of a command-level Army officer to kick off yet another conspiracy or the legitimate suicide of a man who was to be reunited with his family in 21 short days, we’re still looking at a tragedy in several ways and on so many levels.
Let’s talk a look at the actual facts in Madsen's 14 month-old article:
Just after Westhusing’s body was found, both Petraeus and Fils were suddenly reassigned as far away from Westhusing’s corpse as possible. In fact, Petraeus was sent to Fort Leavenworth and Fils to Fort Hood. And while unlikely is the idea of Westhusing turning gumshoe and uncovering evidence linking USIS (a Carlyle Group-owned security contractor supplementing US forces) and Iran-Contra, we do know that Westhusing was personally and professionally anguished over what he saw as military indifference to the rampant corruption and abominable abuses that he’d seen and heard committed against the Iraqi people by these very same US Investigations Services mercenaries.
Westhusing was one of the nation’s leading military ethicists. How did they reasonably expect him to react when forced to witness such barbaric behavior?
He went through all the proper channels like a good soldier and was patted on the head and told that it would be taken care of. However, after a vaudeville impression of an investigation, the Army determined that there had been “no contractual violations” on the part of USIS. In the beginning, Westhusing had nothing to go on but an anonymous four page letter but you have to consider that Westhusing’s mood became ever-darkening after some digging on his own confirmed the letter’s charges.
In his suicide note, Westhusing was said to have named both Petraeus and Fils and had charged them with enabling these abuses by simply looking the other way. At the very least, that would explain the abrupt stateside reassignments of both generals.
Let’s a take a brief overview of what’s happened since Westhusing’s June 5, 2005 death:
Former Major Gen. David Petraeus is now a four star general in charge of the US military in Iraq and on a breakneck pace to make the Joint Chiefs. The Iraq War has been very good, as good as it has been for Halliburton, for Petraeus’s career. In less than three years, he’s been promoted by Congress from two to three to four star general and is now answerable to only a handful of people on the planet, including the idiot pictured below who’d put him in for this promotion.
The jury’s still out on Petraeus’s actual competency. At the time of Westhusing’s final posting, Petraeus was on his second tour in Iraq training Iraqi security forces. But what’s missing from the general’s official, glowing biography is that much of that training was outsourced to private contractors owned by the same Carlyle Group that had once harbored in its mahogany-paneled boardrooms the father of the idiot pictured above.
When Westhusing discovered that not only had USIS mercs had slaughtered supposed insurgents in Fallulah (they’re not supposed to engage the enemy, according to DoD regulations, but then again, they’re not supposed to bilk the US taxpayer by shorting the Iraqi security forces of trainers in order to fatten their profit margin) but that they’d impassively watched or perhaps had even participated in the slaughter and possibly rapes of Iraqi civilians, the military ethicist, a man with a probing and complicated intellect, couldn’t very well be expected to sit still for it.
Which only makes his miscasting at Camp Dublin all the more puzzling.
None of it makes sense except the corruption and human rights abuses themselves. There are too many unanswered questions surrounding Westhusing’s alleged suicide and why the Army felt the need to distort and otherwise fabricate evidence (such as alleging that Westhusing had requested hollow point slugs, and one had killed him, when he hadn’t) if the suicide was exactly as they had reported it.
Making the least amount of sense is the promotion of Petraeus, at the time a three star general who got a fourth star thrown at him courtesy of the Democratically-dominated Congress, a man who’d overseen the training of the indigenous forces that could’ve likely been the same ones who’d raped that Sunni Iraqi girl that’s resulted in so many fatal reprisals.
But then again, this is Bizarro world, a wonderful world in which diamonds are discarded and pebbles polished, a world in which whistleblowers are fired, reassigned or even outright killed just for having a conscience and trying to maintain some semblance of honor. Think of Bunny Greenhouse. Think of Carol Lam. Think of Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame. Think of Ted Westhusing decomposing under our feet and his family. Then think of this: