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U.S. troops defies orders in Iraq

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  • U.S. troops defies orders in Iraq

    Before some of you conservitive people think I made this up
    check out

    Platoon defies orders in Iraq
    Miss. soldier calls home, cites safety concerns

    By Jeremy Hudson
    The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger

    A 17-member Army Reserve platoon with troops from Jackson, Miss., and around the Southeast deployed to Iraq is under arrest for refusing a “suicide mission” to deliver fuel, the troops’ relatives said Thursday.
    The soldiers refused an order on Wednesday to go to Taji, Iraq — north of Baghdad — because their vehicles were considered “deadlined” or extremely unsafe, said Patricia McCook of Jackson, wife of Sgt. Larry O. McCook.

    Sgt. McCook, a deputy at the Hinds County, Miss., Detention Center, and the 16 other members of the 343rd Quartermaster Company from Rock Hill, S.C., were read their rights and moved from the military barracks into tents, Patricia McCook said her husband told her during a panicked phone call about 5 a.m. Thursday.

    The platoon could be charged with the willful disobeying of orders, punishable by dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of pay and up to five years confinement, said military law expert Mark Stevens, an associate professor of justice studies at Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount, N.C.

    On Friday, the Army confirmed that the unit’s actions were under scrutiny.

    “The commanding general of the 13th Corps Support Command has appointed the Deputy Commander to lead an investigation into allegations that members of the 343rd Quartermaster Company refused to participate in their assigned convoy mission October 13,” said Lt. Col Steven A. Boylan, a spokesman for U.S. Army and multinational forces in Iraq.

    “The investigating team is currently in Tallil taking statements and interviewing those involved. This is an isolated incident and it is far too early in the investigation to speculate as to what happened, why it happened or any action that might be taken,” Boylan said.

    “It is important to note that the mission in question was carried out using other soldiers from the unit,” Boylan said.

    Boylan also confirmed that the unit is stationed in Tallil, a logistical support air base south of Nasiriyah.

    Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said he plans to submit a congressional inquiry today on behalf of the Mississippi soldiers to launch an investigation into whether they are being treated improperly.

    “I would not want any member of the military to be put in a dangerous situation ill-equipped,” said Thompson, who was contacted by families. “I have had similar complaints from military families about vehicles that weren’t armor-plated, or bullet-proof vests that are outdated. It concerns me because we made over $150 billion in funds available to equip our forces in Iraq.

    “President Bush takes the position that the troops are well-armed, but if this situation is true, it calls into question how honest he has been with the country,” Thompson said.

    The 343rd is a supply unit whose general mission is to deliver fuel and water. The unit includes three women and 14 men and those with ranking up to sergeant first class.

    “I got a call from an officer in another unit early (Thursday) morning who told me that my husband and his platoon had been arrested on a bogus charge because they refused to go on a suicide mission,” said Jackie Butler of Jackson, wife of Sgt. Michael Butler, a 24-year reservist. “When my husband refuses to follow an order, it has to be something major.”

    The platoon being held has troops from Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, Mississippi and South Carolina, said Teresa Hill of Dothan, Ala., whose daughter Amber McClenny is among those being detained.

    McClenny, 21, pleaded for help in a message left on her mother’s answering machine early Thursday morning.

    “They are holding us against our will,” McClenny said. “We are now prisoners.”

    McClenny told her mother her unit tried to deliver fuel to another base in Iraq Wednesday, but was sent back because the fuel had been contaminated with water. The platoon returned to its base, where it was told to take the fuel to another base, McClenny told her mother.

    The platoon is normally escorted by armed Humvees and helicopters, but did not have that support Wednesday, McClenny told her mother.

    The convoy trucks the platoon was driving had experienced problems in the past and were not being properly maintained, Hill said her daughter told her.

    The situation mirrors other tales of troops being sent on missions without proper equipment.

    Aviation regiments have complained of being forced to fly dangerous missions over Iraq with outdated night-vision goggles and old missile-avoidance systems. Stories of troops’ families purchasing body armor because the military didn’t provide them with adequate equipment have been included in recent presidential debates.

    Patricia McCook said her husband, a staff sergeant, understands well the severity of disobeying orders. But he did not feel comfortable taking his soldiers on another trip.

    “He told me that three of the vehicles they were to use were deadlines ... not safe to go in a hotbed like that,” Patricia McCook said.

    Hill said the trucks her daughter’s unit was driving could not top 40 mph.

    “They knew there was a 99 percent chance they were going to get ambushed or fired at,” Hill said her daughter told her. “They would have had no way to fight back.”

    Kathy Harris of Vicksburg, Miss., is the mother of Aaron Gordon, 20, who is among those being detained. Her primary concern is that she has been told the soldiers have not been provided access to a judge advocate general.

    Stevens said if the soldiers are being confined, law requires them to have a hearing before a magistrate within seven days.

    Harris said conditions for the platoon have been difficult of late. Her son e-mailed her earlier this week to ask what the penalty would be if he became physical with a commanding officer, she said.

    But Nadine Stratford of Rock Hill, S.C., said her godson Colin Durham, 20, has been happy with his time in Iraq. She has not heard from him since the platoon was detained.

    “When I talked to him about a month ago, he was fine,” Stratford said. “He said it was like being at home.”

  • #2

    Do you think this is great? Do you think they'll get away with this? There is a price to be paid for disobeying an order. Most soldiers in Iraq are proud to be serving their country and know that they may be hurt or die. Let's pray for these and all our troops serving in Iraq and througout the World.


    • #3
      "Support our troops"

      By bringing them HOME and not in body bags.


      • #4
        Pastor Rivera you are a radical! A man who believes in war instead of peace. A man who does not care if the facts are actually false. I bet G.I. Joe was your first present and a Daisy was your first toy. God does not want war to be unjust promoted by lies and deceit. No man of God promotes war and expect men to die for oil. He who stikes falsely in the name of God and promotes WAR in the name of PEACE when the opposing Army had nothing to do with the "reason (there is none)" is bound to go to HELL! Rivera can you list the countries we are going to invade to promote CAPITALISM? How about Haiti for starters?

        Why do I have to wait till February to get Acerolas from Costa Rica while Puerto Rico has the most in the world and are ready to export?
        If you talk to God, you are praying; if God talks to you, you have schizophrenia.
        Thomas Szasz


        • #5
          I am with Rivera33 on this one.

          I am clearly not for the war in Iraq and Bush's policies. I however, believe this particular incident is disturbing. The key to a strong defense is a cohesive and dedicated military. These support troops are their combat colleagues lifelines. Their disobedience of their orders likely endangered the lives of other american soldiers.

          We are caught in a mess in Iraq right now, but soldiers cannot be allowed to disobey orders.

          Now, to those fighting in Iraq, help is on the way. Hang on for just a few more months. We will answer you SOS on November 2.



          • #6
            My views fall somewhere in the middle on this one. For one, I agree that soldiers must follow the chain of command. That is probably one of the first rules you learn when you enter the military. Soldiers must follow orders, that is what they must do.

            On the other hand, the soldiers on the ground like the leutenants or sergeants often have a better understanding of what's happening on the ground than those in the higher ups. So if they felt that going to that part of Iraq ill equipped could end up costing them their lives, then I could see why they chose not to. I can sympethise with them. I can only assume that there must be a tug of war happening in a soldiers head. One it's their duty to their country to follow and implement their orders. Second it is their duty to their troops to keep them safe (as reasonably as they can in times of war).

            Someone made the call not to go and they should be held accountable. There may have been troops out there that really needed the fuel to accomplish their mission and get back to their base ASAP. But I think they should be given leniency because they shouldn't have been ordered to go into dangerous territories ill equipped. They need to reassess how this war is being fought and how our troops are being equipped. Over 1,090 american soldiers have lost their lives and many from ambushes while traveling along Iraqi roads.


            • #7
              That's correct.

              The really disturbing issue here (besides the indiscipline) is why are armed escorts not available for dangerous resupply missions?

              A lot of things have been stinking over there for a while, eventually the stench will be so big it will no longer be ignored or covered up.



              • #8

                Jane, how are you? First in response to your earlier threat, I am not qualified to be a pastor. Secondly, like you I am against war and as God to end it! However, I believe in going after terrorists anywhere they are at. I believe in preemptive attacks against them. However, I want to serve with brave men. The pure antiwar protestors are probably the biggest couwards in the World. They sound happy to give up their country to an enemy.

                In the same way I need friendships with those of you that call me names and stuff, I also wish from friendships with our enemies. But sometimes they would rather kill me than be a friend. So we fight. Aamericans, for the most part, are not chicken. Traditionally they fight and win. Therefore, I will continue to side with those that are patriotic!