TW:suicide, rape, torture
June 25 2013
Iraq war veteran Daniel Somers committed suicide following an arduous battle with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that was caused by his role in committing “crimes against humanity,” according to the soldier’s suicide note.
Somers was assigned to a Tactical Human-Intelligence Team (THT) in Baghdad which saw him involved in more than 400 combat missions as a machine gunner in the turret of a Humvee, in addition to his role in conducting interrogations.
Somers’ suicide note is a powerful indictment of the invasion of Iraq and how it ruined the lives of both countless millions of Iraqis as well as innumerable US troops sent in to do the dirty work of the military-industrial complex.
“The simple truth is this: During my first deployment, I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity,” wrote Somers. “Though I did not participate willingly, and made what I thought was my best effort to stop these events, there are some things that a person simply can not come back from. I take some pride in that, actually, as to move on in life after being part of such a thing would be the mark of a sociopath in my mind. These things go far beyond what most are even aware of.”
Somers also complains about how he was forced to “participate in the ensuing coverup” of such crimes.
Somers’ death serves to refocus attention on the fact that military veterans are committing suicide in droves after being afflicted with PTSD as a direct result of committing atrocities while in combat.
As Somers highlights in his note, 22 military veterans commit suicide every single day. Amongst active-duty soldiers, more than one a day commit suicide, a figure that surpassed the number of US troops killed in combat in Afghanistan.
“And according to some experts, the military may be undercounting the problem because of the way it calculates its suicide rate,” reports the New York Times, adding that experts cannot understand “the root causes of why military suicide is rising so fast.”
However, the root causes are laid bare in Somers’ suicide note. US troops are being ordered to commit atrocities so vile that the only way many of them can cope with the horror of what they have done is by killing themselves.
Examples of atrocities aided directly or indirectly by US troops in Iraq include;
- Orders to slaughter “all military age men” during some operations;
- Torturing detainees – many of whom had never engaged in combat and were totally innocent - at grisly prison camps across the country;
- Raping and torturing children at the infamous Abu Ghraib detention facility while they shrieked in terror. Women forced to watch later begged to be killed.
- Sodomizing detainees with chemical lights and broom sticks;
- Indiscriminately firing upon and killing journalists and children from the air;
- Massacring entire groups of unarmed Iraqis, including children and the elderly in Hadith.
“This is what brought me to my actual final mission. Not suicide, but a mercy killing,” wrote Somers, adding that him living “any kind of ordinary life is an insult to those who died at my hand.”
Read Somers’ full suicide note, obtained by Gawker and published with his family’s permission.
Also it’s a pretty good interview. I don’t even know what to do with that information.
KONY 2012: Invisible Children Founder Admits Group A “Trojan Horse” For God
Jason Russell, the founder of the internationally acclaimed and criticized group Invisible Children, which released the viral video “KONY 2012,” was caught on tape calling his organization a “Trojan Horse” that will allow them to enter the secular world and introduce Christian fundamentalism, according to a report published today by Truth Wins Out founder Wayne Besen.
“This audio clip incontrovertibly shows Invisible Children’s invisible agenda,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “It is not simply about Kony, but being phony and concealing the motivation behind its deceptive campaign.” Besen adds:
Truth Wins Out has obtained exclusive audiotape from a 2005 Christian conference in San Antonio where Invisible Children’s co-founder Jason Russell calls his organization a “Trojan Horse” to introduce the secular realm to his group’s version of Christian fundamentalism. The audiotape reveals that that his organization is particularly focused on targeting youth in public high schools. According to Russell’s remarks (0:44):
“Coming in January we are trying to hit as many high schools, churches, and colleges as possible with this movie. We are able to be the Trojan Horse in a sense, going into a secular realm and saying, guess what life is about orphans, and it’s about the widow. It’s about the oppressed. That’s God’s heart. And to sit in a public high school and tell them about that has been life-changing. Because they get so excited. And it’s not driven by guilt, it’s driven be an adventure and the adventure is God’s.”
Invisible Children is the group that launched a viral video, KONY 2012, that reached millions of viewers worldwide and became an Internet sensation. The ostensible reason for the video was to highlight the brutality of Ugandan LRA leader Joseph Kony.
However, the group raised alarms after researcher Bruce Wilson showed the group was funded by the National Christian Foundation, a fundamentalist outfit that finances extremist right wing organizations and anti-gay groups.
Wilson also discovered that Invisible Children was intimately linked to The Family, the secretive and powerful American fundamentalist group widely considered responsible for Uganda’s draconian “Kill the Gays” bill.
The New Civil Rights Movement has reported on The Family many times. For those still unfamiliar with the shadowy Christianist political group, a quick review:
The Family, also known as The Fellowship, hosts the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. every year, at which the sitting U.S. President always speaks. Past and present political members of The Family are believed to include Sam Brownback, Tom Coburn, Jim DeMint, Pete Domenici, John Ensign, Chuck Grassley, Jim Inhofe, Mark Sanford, Bart Stupak, John Thune, and Strom Thurmond.
The Family is believed to be one of the main principals behind Uganda’s Kill The Gays bill, and its author, David Bahati, is also believed to be a member.
Last month, well-respected investigative journalist and author Jeff Sharlet, who has written two books on The Family said Senator James Inhofe was “lying” when he told Rachel Maddow he was unaware of Uganda’s Kill The Gays bill.
KONY 2012 has had more than 100 million views on YouTube and Vimeo. The group, Invisible Children, today released “Kony 2012 Part II: Beyond Famous,” which purportedly addresses some issues critics have had with KONY 2012.
The Huffington Post notes today:
Invisible Children has released a sequel to its “Kony 2012″ film after more than 100 million viewers helped make the Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony infamous worldwide.
The new film “Kony 2012: Part II – Beyond Famous” released Thursday comes in the wake of worldwide criticism that the original video simplified complex issues related to the years of conflict in Uganda. The sequel aims to provide a more in-depth look at Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army, which turns children into soldiers and slaves as a means to destabilize the government.
In the video, Invisible Children offers what it calls a “comprehensive approach” to stopping Kony, which includes civilian protection, urging peaceful surrender, providing rehabilitation centers in post-conflict areas and arresting Kony.
Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russell, who suffered a highly public mental breakdown on the streets of San Diego, does not play a part in the film.