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Author Topic: A dying veteran's letter to George W. Bush & Dick Cheney Back to Topics
md11capt

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Message Posted: Mar 19, 2013 3:43:05 PM

The Last Letter A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran To: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From: Tomas Young

The Last Letter
A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran

To: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
From: Tomas Young

I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.
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Panama19
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Message Posted: Mar 29, 2013 12:34:19 PM


PiqueOil, "In Mr. Young's case, his thoughts are of killing himself, not innocent bystanders. That leaves him wholly outside of the suicide bomber category"

The wish to use one's death to bring down those one hates is the similarity.

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101Speedster
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Message Posted: Mar 29, 2013 11:41:07 AM

War is hell.
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PiqueOil
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Mar 29, 2013 11:38:20 AM


Panama19,

You wrote this: "Quite a number of suicide bombers fail to kill anyone but themselves, but it is the desire to take their enemies down that defines them - not their success or lack of success in the operation. It is the thought that counts."

Yes, thoughts count, of course. In Mr. Young's case, his thoughts are of killing himself, not innocent bystanders. That leaves him wholly outside of the suicide bomber category.

Consider, too, that terrorists aren't defined by their thoughts. Nor by bad wishes, harsh comments or hyperbole. They're defined by actions.

Their attempts to kill innocents or their success in killing innocents is what makes them terrorists, not any unpleasant thoughts they might have.

We don't know the name of Osama bin Laden because he had extraordinarily disagreeable thoughts about Americans. Timothy McVeigh's infamy is due to his murderous acts, not any extravagant hyperbole or unduly harsh criticism he had for our government.
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AFSNCO
Champion Author Montgomery

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Message Posted: Mar 29, 2013 8:16:58 AM

Panama, during my first tour in Iraq we would see that a lot. It was almost seemed like a video game to them to see how close they could get to the blockade before their vehicle would get blown up. It was amazing how from my first tour in Iraq to my second how much the security of our own forces while on the bases had improved.
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Panama19
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Message Posted: Mar 29, 2013 12:50:49 AM


PiqueOil, "It's my contention that Mr. Young is not similar to terrorists because he is not killing innocent people"

The similarity is that he is attempting to harm his "enemies" with his suicide - not that he is killing them.

Quite a number of suicide bombers fail to kill anyone but themselves, but it is the desire to take their enemies down that defines them - not their success or lack of success in the operation. It is the thought that counts.

In contrast, these are soldiers that also willingly gave up their lives - that others might live.

There is a vast difference in giving up one's life to save others' lives and giving up one's life to tear down those one dislikes.

The difference is as large as the difference between heroism and terrorism, or between courage and cowardice.

Mr. Young does not have my respect or admiration.

True soldiers do.


[Edited by: Panama19 at 3/29/2013 12:53:39 AM EST]
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AFSNCO
Champion Author Montgomery

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Message Posted: Mar 27, 2013 10:04:17 AM

OK...gotcha. I was trying to make the connection. But I agree. Someone that decides to take their own life without taking someone with them is just dumb, not a terrorist.
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PiqueOil
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Message Posted: Mar 27, 2013 9:53:02 AM


AFSNCO,

My comments refer to this portion of a previous post from Panama19: "He died with clenched jaw and determination by his own choice and his own hand - similar to suicide bombers in that he sought to inflict damage upon his political 'enemies' with his death."

It's my contention that Mr. Young is not similar to terrorists because he is not killing innocent people. The taking of innocent life is a crucial ingredient of terrorism.

Nothing I have read suggests he has ever hinted at killing an innocent person or threatened to kill an innocent person. He has talked of taking his own life, yes, but no one else's life.

So while he might be unfairly critical of Cheney and Bush, and while he might unfairly blame them for his injuries and his own impending suicide, none of that makes him "similar to suicide bombers."

I'm not sure Mr. Young is incorrect in much of what he says about Cheney and Bush. But even if he is completely incorrect, until and unless he begins to threaten and kill innocents, he's just an American freely expressing his strong opinions.





[Edited by: PiqueOil at 3/27/2013 9:56:16 AM EST]
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AFSNCO
Champion Author Montgomery

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Message Posted: Mar 27, 2013 9:33:40 AM

Pique, this will shock you but I agree. However, I looked but could not find where Panama said it was a terrorist act.
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PiqueOil
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Message Posted: Mar 27, 2013 8:47:16 AM


Panama19,

You wrote, "Mr. Young is free to criticize this country and its policies with which he disagrees, but he steps over the line when he commits suicide and tries to blame his death on his political enemies."

We disagree that he has crossed some line that makes him like a terrorist. He lacks an ingredient key to terrorism: the killing of innocent people.

It's not an act of terrorism to be harshly critical, or to lay blame where it doesn't belong.

Those are commonplace acts; so common that even you might have committed one or two of them once or twice in your life.
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teacher_tim
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Message Posted: Mar 26, 2013 3:45:34 PM

How is he different? He is writing to liberals' Public Enemies #1 and #2, not Obama.
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noseatbelt
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Message Posted: Mar 26, 2013 3:42:50 PM

A year or so ago, I put a letter on here from a marine that was hurt in Iraq, and, was also slowly losing his fight to live. he was questioning how obama was treating people in the military. Instantly, there were liberals on here saying his story wasn't true, and he just hated obama. How is this guy any different, other then he hates bush?
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nstrdnvstr
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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2013 4:45:37 PM

KatmanDo, so are those commercial fishermen, and farmers, for that matter, "supporting and helping to fulfill an essentially mercenary goal of achieving power for the politicians calling the shots -- cloaked in the guise of "serving their country" since the food they collect feeds the soldiers that protect our country?
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Panama19
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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2013 11:51:20 AM


AFSNCO, "Pigue, I think below someone posted a link to where he has died"

That is possible, but I have not been able to find that notice. He seems to have still been alive two weeks ago.



[Edited by: Panama19 at 3/25/2013 11:52:07 AM EST]
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Panama19
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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2013 11:32:46 AM


PiqueOil, "One could easily assume about you, as you do about him, that you wish harm on your political 'enemies'."

The difference, of course, is that I am not killing myself and blaming liberals for my death.

It is true too that I have a low opinion of liberals and their dysfunctional and self-destructive policies and I am free with my criticism for both - but I point out their actual short-comings rather than creating issues to blame on them.

Mr. Young is free to criticize this country and its policies with which he disagrees, but he steps over the line when he commits suicide and tries to blame his death on his political enemies.

It is an outrageous politically-motivated lie to blame Bush or his administration for Mr. Young's personal choice to kill himself.

Mr. Young could just as easily have chosen to use his experience and example in a way as constructive as possible to both himself and his society. This would be more consistent with a man that chose to put his life on the line for his country.

Had he done that he would have had my admiration for rising above personal challenges rather than my contempt for being a weak and bitter person attempting to spew his venom on those with whom he disagrees politically.

Regardless of his politics.


[Edited by: Panama19 at 3/25/2013 11:38:07 AM EST]
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KansasGunman
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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2013 10:54:24 AM

I don't like whiners, Vets or otherwise and have little respect for this guy.

Being a Vet and having served ten years during troubled times back in the late 60' and early 70's and taking a whole lot of crap and disrespect from worthless degenerate hippies and anti-Vietnam pukes I've known a whole lot of brave men who also served their country and many suffered horrific wounds but didn't go around whining about it or blaming others...they moved on and made something of their lives.

[Edited by: KansasGunman at 3/25/2013 10:58:25 AM EST]
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AFSNCO
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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2013 10:30:57 AM

Pigue, I think below someone posted a link to where he has died.

War is unfortunate and things happen. I never want to see anyone die and even have remorse for our enemy at times because so often they are out gunned by our military. I have witnessed suicide attacks that have led to absolutely zero fatalities or injuries on our side while the enemy has lost so many. One such happened as the invasion combat was coming to a close and we were already in Baghdad. I was about 20 clicks south of the capital and one of the "unorganized militia" that were roaming the country side decided to come at us as we were parked. They drove straight at us across the desert and never even got close to us and the body count was over 120.

BTW, I do think a lot of our vets get shafted by the VA. I have been retired over a year now and still have not received one VA benefit. They have been dragging their feet on my claim since January of last year.
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PiqueOil
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Message Posted: Mar 25, 2013 9:25:10 AM


AFSNCO,

You wrote this: "BTW, this guy did not like Bush and Cheney and KILLED HIMSELF!"

As far as I can tell, the news of his death is premature. He is alive.

But yes, he certainly does not like Bush and Cheney, and yes, he has been making political statements with his life and his planned demise.

According to the Kansas City Star, this man has spent his adult years paralyzed from the chest down and has been unable to eat solid foods since the removal of his colon last November. He has a few other other odds and ends bothering him, including brain damage.

You are free to disagree, but I assume that if this man were healthy, he wouldn't be talking about killing himself.

"Hmm...so how often are you going to bust on people for taking shots at FoxNews? Never I know but I had to ask!"

No. I was pointing out that your criticism of him was trite and petty. He has nothing to do with the TV network and teachers you disdain. It would be just as odd and inappropriate to link him to Monica Lewinsky and Michael Moore.

While it's undoubtedly fun to take random shots at teachers and MSNBC, it's worth noticing that they have no actual, real-life link to the man whose spine was severed by a sniper's bullet.

***

Panama19,

You wrote this: "He died with clenched jaw and determination by his own choice and his own hand - similar to suicide bombers in that he sought to inflict damage upon his political 'enemies' with his death."

Let's say he had already ended his own life. Unless he did it by strapping a bomb to himself and blowing innocent people to bits, there would be no good reason to compare him to terrorists.

In this country, we're free to express strongly held opinions. That right is something you enjoy, too, of course. But look at his expressions of his opinions and your expressions of your opinions about the current president and liberals in general. One could easily assume about you, as you do about him, that you wish harm on your political "enemies."

Wishing that a political enemy would be charged with crimes and convicted in our criminal justice system is not the same as blowing yourself up and taking others with you, however. The former involves due process, no violence and no deaths, while the latter is a violent act that kills innocent people and excludes due process.

You are no more a terrorist than he is, and vice versa.
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AFSNCO
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Message Posted: Mar 24, 2013 10:16:36 PM

Stories like what? That this guy made a political statement by killing himself? That this guy volunteered to join the military in the middle of a war and then got wounded so decided to blame the politicians for his injury after he volunteered to join the military?

I have sympathy for wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen that volunteer to defend their country. I do not have sympathy for someone who decides to kill themselves.

[Edited by: AFSNCO at 3/24/2013 10:17:31 PM EST]
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DriverMatt
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Message Posted: Mar 24, 2013 1:03:56 AM

A truly sad situation. Stories like this are probably the "tip of the iceberg".
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Panama19
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Message Posted: Mar 23, 2013 12:49:58 AM


PiqueOil, "Of special interest to me is your Stephen Hawking Standard to be applied to those dying long and painful deaths"

Those choosing to die from self-imposed starvation while claiming it is the fault of their political opponents leave little room for pity or sympathy.

He died with clenched jaw and determination by his own choice and his own hand - similar to suicide bombers in that he sought to inflict damage upon his political "enemies" with his death.

He was not a victim of the Bush administration or its policies.

He was a political extremist.


[Edited by: Panama19 at 3/23/2013 12:51:47 AM EST]
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AFSNCO
Champion Author Montgomery

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Message Posted: Mar 22, 2013 10:40:14 AM

BTW, this guy did not like Bush and Cheney and KILLED HIMSELF! You see he lost credibility in his firat paragraph talking about Bush being AWOL...a myth perpetuated by the media with fake letters. This guy was not dying other than to make a political statement against Bush and Cheney.

EDIT: He was not dying from anything. He made a concious decision to die.

[Edited by: AFSNCO at 3/22/2013 10:44:34 AM EST]
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AFSNCO
Champion Author Montgomery

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Message Posted: Mar 22, 2013 10:35:38 AM

"It doesn't really matter if one in the U.S. military is engaged in a combat position or a support position as listed above, they are all helping to fulfill an essentially mercenary goal of achieving power for the politicians calling the shots -- cloaked in the guise of "serving their country". Fundamentally, they are little different than civilians who engage in very dangerous occupations, such as commercial fishermen. Commercial fishermen also serve their respective countries in the pursuit of putting food on the table for their families."

You need to buy a vowel...
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AFSNCO
Champion Author Montgomery

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Message Posted: Mar 22, 2013 10:33:59 AM

"You took cheap shots at a dying man. The dim crack about MSNBC, for instance, and the one about teachers. I get that he's a liberal and that you don't like liberals, teachers and MSNBC. But why not elevate your criticisms slightly when it comes to a dying fellow veteran?"

Hmm...so how often are you going to bust on people for taking shots at FoxNews? Never I know but I had to ask!

Next, if he wanted to express his liberal views and not be in harms way it was a suggestion he should have been a teacher. It wasn't a knock on teachers but a truth that the teaching profession is filled with liberal thinking people.

Finally, yes, I am pointing out that this man knowingly volunteered for military service knowing that with about 99.9% certainty that we were going to go to war. He got injured in the profession he volunteered for and that is now someone else's fault. At what point does this man take responsibility for his choices in life? The military's main purpose is to kill people and break things. Unfortunately people die in the process on the good guys' side. It is sad, it is unfortunate, but it is the cold hard truth and that is the problem with liberals. They want war to be clean and there is nothing clean about war.

FYI, I still have nightmares about some of the things I have done and have seen. I will wake up and then not be able to sleep for days because I am afraid the dream will start again. But I do not blame anyone. I made my life choices, I am proud to have served my country, proud of the decorations I have received, and I know that my kids and the rest of my family are proud of my service. I do not blame politicians because I am missing half of a finger or that my knees are so sore at times that I cannot get out of bed or out of my car/truck. There are times that my back is so sore and out of alignment that it makes it hard to stand for more than 10 minutes. But do you know what...when that happens I remember being in combat with my friends, extended family, brothers and sisters, the ones still here to tell their story and the ones that have nothing left but a legacy. No politician made me sign on the dotted line...not a one...and I am a 4 war/conflict veteran FYI...Gulf War, Greneda, Panama Canal, and Global War on Terrorism.
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PiqueOil
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Message Posted: Mar 22, 2013 9:05:17 AM


Panama19,

I thought that in a previous post you were noting your opposition to a dying veteran's political views --- perhaps best described as a dying man's diatribe --- without taking cheap shots at him.

You cleared that misunderstanding up.

Of special interest to me is your Stephen Hawking Standard to be applied to those dying long and painful deaths. Perhaps like me, they were unaware of your exacting standards regarding their pain and their deaths.
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Panama19
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Message Posted: Mar 22, 2013 7:44:52 AM


KatmanDo, "It doesn't really matter if one in the U.S. military is engaged in a combat position or a support position as listed above, they are all helping to fulfill an essentially mercenary goal of achieving power for the politicians calling the shots -- cloaked in the guise of 'serving their country'."

This is what passes for patriotism on the left and goes a long way toward explaining why the left is constantly attempting to defund the military.

Unfortunately, a hard leftist is in the White House today, and has appointed a cabinet of like-minded "patriots" to carry out his vision in war time.

God help our country now.

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KatmanDo
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Message Posted: Mar 22, 2013 2:20:31 AM

"There are many jobs in the military that have NOTHING to do with being a "mercenary". There are jobs just like the ones in civilian life, dentists, dental assistants, trainers, veterinarians, even lawyers."

It doesn't really matter if one in the U.S. military is engaged in a combat position or a support position as listed above, they are all helping to fulfill an essentially mercenary goal of achieving power for the politicians calling the shots -- cloaked in the guise of "serving their country". Fundamentally, they are little different than civilians who engage in very dangerous occupations, such as commercial fishermen. Commercial fishermen also serve their respective countries in the pursuit of putting food on the table for their families.
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nstrdnvstr
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Mar 21, 2013 2:14:14 PM

KatmanDo, ""anyone that joins the military knowing full-well a war is ongoing or emminent, and then complains about it joined the military for the wrong reason or without really considering their options in life."

I tend to agree. If a person's not a mercenary at heart, then they have no business joining today's US military. I feel pretty bad for those families who send their kids off to the military for altruistic reasons, fantasies like "to serve or defend their country"."

There are many jobs in the military that have NOTHING to do with being a "mercenary". There are jobs just like the ones in civilian life, dentists, dental assistants, trainers, veterinarians, even lawyers.

It is demeaning to call all our soldiers, no matter what their job a mercenary!
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nstrdnvstr
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Mar 21, 2013 2:07:03 PM

md11capt, "Bush Convicted of War CrimesThe prosecution occurred at the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal Foundation, a private organization chartered under Malaysian law. It has no endorsement from any government worldwide and is anything but an institution of global acclaim, but it is still very significant because it has been created by those with power to persuade the ICC..."

Yeah, good luck with that going anywhere.

If they were a serious group, they would have gone after Clinton for Operation Desert Fox.

[Edited by: nstrdnvstr at 3/21/2013 2:07:56 PM EST]
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gocatgo
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Message Posted: Mar 21, 2013 1:37:45 PM

Mighty sad. But what is sadder is how little sympathy there is from the usual suspects on the right about the plight of those that have sacrificed so much.
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Panama19
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Message Posted: Mar 21, 2013 12:45:04 PM


PiqueOil, "Take a look at Panama19's post. It's clear that the poster isn't thrilled with Tomas Young, but no cheap shots are taken"

You are right that I am less than thrilled with Mr. Young. My war was Viet Nam and I had my fill of "Veterans against ..." in the '60s. They were a bunch of malcontent counter-culture types then and would appear to be the same today, from what I have read about this fellow.

Soldiers today that volunteer during wartime when multiple combat tours are a guarantee tend to understand what is at stake for our nation, and they write a blank check payable to their nation for an amount up to and including their own lives.

I have nothing but respect and admiration for people that put their lives on the line that others may live.

Mr. Young does not live up to their example, IMHO, and does not deserve the respect due those that serve selflessly to protect the rest of us.

I am sorry for his misfortune, but there are many other wounded warriors that maintain their convictions and the backbone to fight on in the face of crippling injuries to continue making contributions to their country.

Mr. Young had more physical capacity than Stephen Hawking for instance, yet descended into a personal pity-party rather than struggling to rise above it and make whatever contribution to society he was able to make.

Instead he killed himself.

What a waste.

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md11capt
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Message Posted: Mar 21, 2013 11:49:08 AM

Bush Convicted of War CrimesThe prosecution occurred at the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal Foundation, a private organization chartered under Malaysian law. It has no endorsement from any government worldwide and is anything but an institution of global acclaim, but it is still very significant because it has been created by those with power to persuade the ICC. Those condemned are Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and former deputy assistant attorney general John Choon Yoo, former assistant attorney general Jay Bybee, and former counsels Alberto Gonzales, David Addington and William Haynes.

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nstrdnvstr
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Mar 21, 2013 10:09:14 AM

Katmando, ""A dying veteran's letter to George W. Bush & Dick Cheney"

It doesn't sound like that dying veteran will be available to testify when Bush and Cheney are tried for war crimes at the International Court in The Hague for launching that war. "

What war crimes?

If only you knew what you were talking about! Let me ask you, which president made it official US policy for regime change in Iraq? Who was it that said "Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process,"?

And who said "No confidence can arise that proscribed programs or items have been eliminated" and "The Iraqi regime has allegedly misplaced 1,000 tons of VX nerve agent- one of the most toxic ever developed."?

Saddam was a threat both parties stated as much, many times!
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PiqueOil
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Message Posted: Mar 21, 2013 9:47:35 AM


AFSNCO,

Take a look at Panama19's post. It's clear that the poster isn't thrilled with Tomas Young, but no cheap shots are taken.

***

Panama19,

You wrote that Young "evidently doesn't see his hand or his choice in any of this." That appears to be the case, yes.

I'm just speculating here, but it might be that he understood how critical his decision to join the military had been and that that knowledge was perhaps as difficult to accept as his slow and painful descent toward death as a young man.

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Panama19
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Message Posted: Mar 20, 2013 6:00:33 PM


Thomas took a hit from a sniper on his fifth day in-country in 2004.

He subsequently joined "Iraq Veterans Against the War" and attracted a following at protests and peace rallies, and appeared in the film "Body of War".

He committed suicide in 2013, and tried to make this a political act as well.

He died by his own choice and his own hand and now would have us believe it is Bush's fault.

Seems to me that he had a major hand in his fate; he volunteered for military service in war time and was wounded as soon as he got to the war - before he saw much service there.

Then for the next decade he protested against the war.

Then he committed suicide.

But he evidently doesn't see his hand or his choice in any of this, and seeks to blame Bush for his misfortunes instead.

Tough break and I’m sorry to hear about it, but he did it to himself by his own reactions.

Sorry ‘bout that, G.I.

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KatmanDo
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Message Posted: Mar 20, 2013 5:50:52 PM

"anyone that joins the military knowing full-well a war is ongoing or emminent, and then complains about it joined the military for the wrong reason or without really considering their options in life."

I tend to agree. If a person's not a mercenary at heart, then they have no business joining today's US military. I feel pretty bad for those families who send their kids off to the military for altruistic reasons, fantasies like "to serve or defend their country". Their country hasn't been truly at risk now in a long, long time. Don't feel like being a pawn in somebody else's power struggle? Then remain a civilian and do something useful. Do you lack purpose in your life? Then go ahead and enlist, you may very well find your calling.
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PiqueOil
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Message Posted: Mar 20, 2013 5:29:19 PM


AFSNCO,

My experience in the military is as deep and wide as your experience in dying.

"Hmm...so you do not like that I used a political tone in a political forum. Ok..."

You took cheap shots at a dying man. The dim crack about MSNBC, for instance, and the one about teachers. I get that he's a liberal and that you don't like liberals, teachers and MSNBC. But why not elevate your criticisms slightly when it comes to a dying fellow veteran?
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Bell30012
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Message Posted: Mar 20, 2013 3:53:43 PM

I am a Conservative and I don't believe we should have went into Iraq nor Afghanistan. Not with boots on the ground and our forces in harm's way. However, I believe that both Bush and Obama have made the decisions that they believe in their hearts to be the best for this nation. They just have far different ideas than I do. I served 21 years in the military. It was with a heavy heart that I tendered my retirement papers. This perpetual war machine was the reason.

Our country has forgotten that we are even at war, it has lasted so long. No one sees the flag draped coffins arrive and rarely does the news media cover the ongoing conflicts. I love this country but I am not blind to its problems. One of our biggest issues is that we are always the country that intervenes, even to our own peril. We have the technology and capability to remove a country from the map. We have the might to make an area uninhabitable for decades to come. We have the power to destroy our enemies with a fury that hasn't been seen before. But we lack the resolve to use it.

The soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors that we send into battle are forced to use a set of rules that our enemies don't abide by. Our service members are often unable to return fire due to the risk to civilians. WAR IS WAR. You have to crack a few eggs to make an omelet. In 1945 the world respected the United States. They feared us. But over the years we've taken the teeth out of the animal. Now we drive SUV's, our kids wear helmets when riding bicycles and we don't allow people to defend themselves even in their own homes. Where will our country be in another half a century?
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AFSNCO
Champion Author Montgomery

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Message Posted: Mar 20, 2013 10:49:36 AM

"His words are undeniably bitter and angry and undeniably political, too, but then so are the ones you aim at him.'

Hmm...so you do not like that I used a political tone in a political forum. Ok...
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AFSNCO
Champion Author Montgomery

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Message Posted: Mar 20, 2013 10:48:17 AM

Pique...your military experience is what? Yeah...thought so! We volunteered knowing full-well that we could go to war. Some of us joined during peaceful times hoping it would never come but it did! I served in the first Gulf War, Greneda, Panama, and more times than I liked in the current conflict.

However, this guy joined during a war knowing he was going to go to war and then turns around and blames politicians? That is exactly my point and thanks for helping make it!

As for scathing against Obama, no, anyone that joins the military knowing full-well a war is ongoing or emminent, and then complains about it joined the military for the wrong reason or without really considering their options in life.
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PiqueOil
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Mar 20, 2013 9:38:58 AM


AFSNCO,

Apparently no one "forced this guy to join the military." He offered this explanation in his letter: "I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens."

What a crappy reason for joining the military, eh? No wonder you attack him.

I wonder if a dying veteran had written a scathing letter critical of Obama if you would be similarly snide and disdainful.

It's nice that you threw in a shot at teachers, of course. It's difficult to know which is worse: someone devoted to education or a veteran who holds political views that don't mesh with your own.

And you link him with MSNBC, too; another contemptuous dismissal from you.

His words are undeniably bitter and angry and undeniably political, too, but then so are the ones you aim at him. Obviously, you don't pull your partisan punches even when it comes to a fellow veteran as he's dying.
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AFSNCO
Champion Author Montgomery

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Message Posted: Mar 20, 2013 8:22:43 AM

I guess this guy watched too much MSNBC. Wonder who forced this guy to join the military in the first place? It is sad when a veteran who is asked to do his job and in the course of it gets injured and then blames everyone else for their choice of profession. If he didn't want to go to war he should have become a school teacher where his liberal ideas would fit in perfectly!
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jeskibuff
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Mar 20, 2013 6:56:05 AM

KatmanDo said: "It doesn't sound like that dying veteran will be available to testify when Bush and Cheney are tried for war crimes at the International Court in The Hague for launching that war."

Oh, he'll be there and so will you. Maybe even on the same night if you both are sleeping soundly and fall into an REM state.
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KatmanDo
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Mar 20, 2013 2:25:59 AM

"A dying veteran's letter to George W. Bush & Dick Cheney"

It doesn't sound like that dying veteran will be available to testify when Bush and Cheney are tried for war crimes at the International Court in The Hague for launching that war.
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worryfree
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Message Posted: Mar 20, 2013 12:41:00 AM

An authorization by Congress was sought by President George W. Bush soon after his September 12, 2002, statement before the U.N. General Assembly asking for quick action by the Security Council in enforcing the resolutions against Iraq.[4][5]

Of the legislation introduced by Congress in response to President Bush's requests,[6] S.J.Res. 45 sponsored by Sen. Daschle & Sen. Lott was based on the original White House proposal authorizing the use of force in Iraq, H.J.Res. 114 sponsored by Rep. Hastert & Rep. Gephardt and the substantially similar S.J.Res. 46 sponsored by Sen. Lieberman were modified proposals. H.J.Res. 110 sponsored by Rep. Hastings was a separate proposal never considered on the floor. Eventually, the Hastert-Gephardt proposal became the legislation Congress focused on.

Introduced in Congress on October 2, 2002, in conjunction with the Administration's proposals,[2][7] H.J.Res. 114 passed the House of Representatives on Thursday afternoon at 3:05 p.m. EDT on October 10, 2002, by a vote of 296-133,[8] and passed the Senate after midnight early Friday morning, at 12:50 a.m. EDT on October 11, 2002, by a vote of 77-23.[9] It was signed into law as Pub.L. 107–243 by President Bush on October 16, 2002.

United States House of RepresentativesParty

Yes

Nays

PRES

No Vote

Republican 215 6 0 2
Democratic 82 126 0 1
Independent 0 1 0 0
TOTALS 297 133 0 3
82 (40%) of 208 Democratic Representatives voted for the resolution.
6 (<3%) of 223 Republican Representatives voted against the resolution: Reps. Duncan (R-TN), Hostettler (R-IN), Houghton (R-NY), Leach (R-IA), Morella (R-MD), Paul (R-TX).
The only Independent Representative voted against the resolution: Rep. Sanders (I-VT) Reps. Ortiz (D-TX), Roukema (R-NJ), and Stump (R-AZ) did not vote on the resolution.United States SenateParty

Ayes

Nays

No Vote

Republican 48 1 0
Democratic 29 21 0
Independent 0 1 0
TOTALS 77 23 0
21 of 50 Democratic senators voted against the resolution: Sens. Akaka (D-HI), Bingaman (D-NM), Boxer (D-CA), Byrd (D-WV), Conrad (D-ND), Corzine (D-NJ), Dayton (D-MN), Durbin (D-IL), Feingold (D-WI), Graham (D-FL), Inouye (D-HI), Kennedy (D-MA), Leahy (D-VT), Levin (D-MI), Mikulski (D-MD), Murray (D-WA), Reed (D-RI), Sarbanes (D-MD), Stabenow (D-MI), Wellstone (D-MN), and Wyden (D-OR).
1 (2%) of 49 Republican senators voted against the resolution: Sen. Chafee (R-RI).
The only Independent senator voted against the resolution: Sen. Jeffords (I-VT)
Final Congressional vote by chamber and party, October 2002
[edit] Amendments offered to the House Resolution

[edit] The Lee Amendment
Amendment in the nature of a substitute sought to have the United States work through the United Nations to seek to resolve the matter of ensuring that Iraq is not developing weapons of mass destruction, through mechanisms such as the resumption of weapons inspections, negotiation, enquiry, mediation, regional arrangements, and other peaceful means. Sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA).[10]Failed by the Yeas and Nays: 72 - 355 [11]
[edit] The Spratt Amendment
Amendment in the nature of a substitute sought to authorize the use of U.S. armed forces to support any new U.N. Security Council resolution that mandated the elimination, by force if necessary, of all Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, long-range ballistic missiles, and the means of producing such weapons and missiles. Requested that the President should seek authorization from Congress to use the armed forces of the U.S. in the absence of a U.N. Security Council resolution sufficient to eliminate, by force if necessary, all Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, long-range ballistic missiles, and the means of producing such weapons and missiles. Provided expedited consideration for authorization in the latter case. Sponsored by Rep. John Spratt (D-SC-5).[12]Failed by the Yeas and Nays: 155 - 270 [13]
[edit] The House Rules Amendment
An amendment considered as adopted pursuant to the provisions of H.Res. 574 [14]Sponsored by House Rules.[15]Resolution (H.RES.574) agreed to by voice vote [16]
[edit] Amendments offered to the Senate Resolution

[edit] The Byrd Amendments
To provide statutory construction that constitutional authorities remain unaffected and that no additional grant of authority is made to the President not directly related to the existing threat posed by Iraq.Sponsored by Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV).[17]Amendment SA 4868 not agreed to by Yea-Nay Vote: 14 - 86 [18]To provide a termination date for the authorization of the use of the Armed Forces of the United States, together with procedures for the extension of such date unless Congress disapproves the extension. Sponsored by Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV).[19]Amendment SA 4869 not agreed to by Yea-Nay Vote: 31 - 66 [20]
[edit] The Levin Amendment
To authorize the use of the United States Armed Forces, pursuant to a new resolution of the United Nations Security Council, to destroy, remove, or render harmless Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons-usable material, long-range ballistic missiles, and related facilities, and for other purposes. Sponsored by Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI).[21]Amendment SA 4862 not agreed to by Yea-Nay Vote: 24 - 75 [22]
[edit] The Durbin Amendment
To amend the authorization for the use of the Armed Forces to cover an imminent threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction rather than the continuing threat posed by Iraq. Sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL).[23]Amendment SA 4865 not agreed to by Yea-Nay Vote: 30 - 70 [24]
[edit] Weapons of mass destruction and Al-Qaeda

Further information: Iraq and weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda Colin Powell holding a model vial of anthrax while giving a presentation to the United Nations Security Council.
Two of the twelve reasons within Public Law 107 - 243 - Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 for invading Iraq were the capability to produce and/or the possession of weapons of mass destruction and active links to al Qaeda have been challenged.[25][26][27] The post-invasion Duelfer Report stated that Hussein had still not given up on trying to produce WMD in 2003.Saddam wanted to recreate Iraq’s WMD capability, which was essentially destroyed in 1991, after sanctions were removed and Iraq’s economy stabilized. Saddam aspired to develop a nuclear capability—in an incremental fashion, irrespective of international pressure and the resulting economic risks—but he intended to focus on ballistic missile and tactical chemical warfare (CW) capabilities.[28] The report also stated that Hussein did not want to appear weak. To deter his enemies, he intentionally deceived the world into thinking he still had WMD. There was a "balancing act" between cooperating with the UN and keeping a "strategic deterrent".[29]

A 2007 report by the Inspector General of the Department of Defense, declassified and released at the request of Senator Carl M. Levin (D-Mich), asserted that the claims of an operational working relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda, as put forth by a key Pentagon office in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq, were based on dubious or unconfirmed reports.[30] President Bush has, since the invasion of Iraq, explicitly stated that Iraq was not involved in 9-11, which has also been concluded by subsequent reports,[31] and al-Qaeda were operating in areas outside of Saddam Hussein's control. Also, the day before she voted on the resolution, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton said during a speech on the Senate floor that there was no dispute that Hussein was not involved in the September 11th attacks.[32] Nevertheless, BBC News, The Christian Science Monitor, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Institute for Public Accuracy, and Media Matters for America contend that members of the administration repeatedly over the years made suggestive statements with the implied message there was a link between Saddam Hussein and the attacks.[33]

The Bush administration initially suggested the discrepancy between the allegations and the subsequent findings was due to failure by the intelligence community. However, it became apparent that, prior to the invasion, these allegations had already been widely disputed,[34] which had purportedly been reported to the U.S. administration. An in-depth investigation into the nature of these discrepancies by the Senate Intelligence Committee was frustrated, according to the New York Times.[35] The Robb-Silberman Commission stated that the President's Daily Briefs from the intelligence community tended to repeat information in a misleading way. The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) provided to Congress was more "nuanced" and less "alarmist" than information given to the President.[36] However, the vast majority of Senators did not read the NIE and relied on briefings by the administration. Among those who have stated they did not read the NIE and voted positively for the Iraq Resolution are the former Senator and current United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senator John McCain, and former Senator John Edwards.[37]

The Bush administration asserted that two small trailers that had been found in Iraq were "weapons factories," despite the fact that U.S. intelligence officials possessed evidence to the contrary at that time.[38] Weapon inspectors were given access to the alleged weapon factories, despite statements to the contrary by the Bush administration. Continuing these inspections was made impossible by the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq which forced the U.N. inspectors out, ignoring their requests for more time.[39]

Skeptics argue that the administration knowingly distorted intelligence reports or ignored contrary information in constructing their case for the war.[40][41] The Downing Street memo and the Bush-Blair memo are used to substantiate that allegation.[42] Congressional Democrats sponsored both a request for documents and a resolution of inquiry.[43]

[edit] Legality

Main article: Legality of the Iraq War

[edit] International law

Further information: United Nations Charter and International law

There have been no findings by any legal tribunal with both legal authority and legal jurisdiction that any laws were violated. There are only two legal tribunals with both authority and jurisdiction to make such a finding: (1) The US federal courts and (2) the United Nations. Advisory opinions are prohibited in US Courts and are also prohibited by the UN Charter unless the security council authorizes them. There are no relevant advisory opinions or legal finding regarding the legality. The United Nations security council has made no findings on the issues.

[edit] International law - right of pre-emptive self defense

There is no requirement in international law that the United States (or any nation) seek permission to initiate any war of self-defense.[44] "The United States government has argued, wholly apart from Resolution 1441, that it has a right of pre-emptive self-defense to protect itself from terrorism fomented by Iraq.[45] Although this position has been intensively criticized, without any legal finding for support, claims for legality or illegality are merely debates. To prove illegality it would first be necessary to prove that the US did not meet the conditions of necessity and proportionality and that the right of pre-emptive defense did not apply.[46]

[edit] International law - United Nations
This section may contain original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding references. Statements consisting only of original research may be removed. (January 2012)

The other option for proving the invasion was illegal would be to prove that an order by the Security Council enforcing Article 40[47] was not complied with. If it were proven that the Security Council did not authorize the invasion this alone would not establish that the invasion was illegal.[citation needed]

Although by Article 39[48] any member may raise issues with either the General Assembly or the Security Council, Article 23[48] delegates the issue of wars of aggression to the Security Council. "In order to ensure prompt and effective action by the United Nations, its Members confer on the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and agree that in carrying out its duties under this responsibility the Security Council acts on their behalf.[49]

[edit] U.S. law

Further information: Doe v. Bush, US Constitution, and US law

The invasion was reviewed by the US federal courts and it was determined to be legal.

In early 2003, the Iraq Resolution was challenged in court to stop the invasion from happening. The plaintiffs argued that the President does not have the authority to declare war. The final decision came from a three-judge panel from the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit which dismissed the case. Judge Lynch wrote in the opinion that the Judiciary cannot intervene unless there is a fully developed conflict between the President and Congress or if Congress gave the President "absolute discretion" to declare war.[50]

[edit] Legal debates - U.N. security council resolutions

Debate about the legality of the 2003 invasion of Iraq under international law, centers around ambiguous language in parts of U.N. Resolution 1441 (2002).[51] The U.N. Charter in Article 39 states: "The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security". If the Security Council determines that the charter's requirements are not met, international law then describes it a war of aggression.

The position of the U.S. and U.K. is that the invasion was authorized by a series of U.N. resolutions dating back to 1990 and that since the U.N. security council has made no Article 39[52] finding of illegality that no illegality exists.

Resolution 1441 declared that Iraq was in "material breach" of the cease-fire under U.N. Resolution 687 (1991), which required cooperation with weapons inspectors. The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties states that under certain conditions, a party may invoke a "material breach" to suspend a multilateral treaty. Thus, the U.S. and U.K. claim that they used their right to suspend the cease-fire in Resolution 687 and to continue hostilities against Iraq under the authority of U.N. Resolution 678 (1990), which originally authorized the use of force after Iraq invaded Kuwait.[53] This is the same argument that was used for Operation Desert Fox in 1998.[54] They also contend that, while Resolution 1441 required the UNSC to assemble and assess reports from the weapons inspectors, it was not necessary for the UNSC to reach an agreement on the course of action. If, at that time, it was determined that Iraq breached Resolution 1441, the resolution did not "constrain any member state from acting to defend itself against the threat posed by Iraq".[55]

It remains unclear whether any party other than the Security Council can make the determination that Iraq breached Resolution 1441, as U.N. members commented that it is not up to one member state to interpret and enforce U.N. resolutions for the entire council.[56] In addition, other nations have stated that a second resolution was required to initiate hostilities.[57] John Conyers, Robert Parry and Marjorie Cohn assert that the Iraq war was a violation of the U.N. Charter and as such a war of aggression (a crime against peace) and therefore a war crime.[58] Kofi Annan too has said the war in Iraq is an "illegal act that contravened the U.N. charter."[59] Some scholars, including Cornell law professor Michael Dorf, have argued that treaties are binding on the U.S. under international law.[60]

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Cliffisher
Champion Author Wisconsin

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Message Posted: Mar 19, 2013 10:44:05 PM

Spelling error.

S/B Hubris
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Cliffisher
Champion Author Wisconsin

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Message Posted: Mar 19, 2013 6:49:40 PM

Hubrus
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md11capt
Champion Author Denver

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Message Posted: Mar 19, 2013 6:15:23 PM

Ten Appalling Lies We Were Told About Iraq It was a systematic campaign to frighten the hell out of us about the threat of Hussein, and almost none of it was true.
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noseatbelt
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Mar 19, 2013 5:21:04 PM

he forgot to include democrats in his letter, they nearly all voted to go there, so why just blame bush, and cheney?
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jeskibuff
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Mar 19, 2013 5:18:55 PM

He's got all the liberal talking points down. Maybe he's channeling Cindy Sheehan. Whatever he is, he's not at all intelligent enough to think on his own.
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Cliffisher
Champion Author Wisconsin

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Message Posted: Mar 19, 2013 4:59:46 PM

(The last part of his letter to Bush)

"My day of reckoning is upon me. Yours will come. I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live. I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness"
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