Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Sgt. Tim Boggs' Letter To The New York Times

Sunday, June 25, 2006
Letter to NY Times

I recently wrote a letter to the NY Times in response to their decision to print information concerning a U.S. secret program designed to track financial transactions of suspected terrorists. I'll post the letter in full below. I urge everyone to write to the NY Times and their congressmen and let them know how you feel about the NY Times yet again sharing secret information with America's enemies.

Mr. Keller,

What ceases to amaze me about your paper is the lengths you are willing to go to make headlines and sell papers. Who cares if those headlines help the enemies of America, you guys are making money and that is what it is all about in the end right?

Your recent decision to publish information about a classified program intended to track the banking transactions of possible terrorists is not only detrimental to America but also to its fighting men and women overseas. I know because I am a sergeant in the army on my second tour to Iraq. As I am sure you don’t know because you aren’t in Iraq, and I am sure never will be, terrorism happens here everyday because there are rich men out there willing to support the everyday terrorist who plants bombs and shoots soldiers just to make a living. Without money terrorism in Iraq would die because there would no longer be supplies for IED’s, no mortars or RPG’s, and no motivation for people to abandon regular work in hopes of striking it rich after killing a soldier.

Throughout your article you mention that “ the banking program is a closely held secret” but the cat is out of the bag now isn’t it. Terrorists the world over can now change their practices because of your article. For some reason I think that last sentence will bring you guys pleasure. You have done something great in your own eyes-you think you have hurt the current administration while at the same time encouraging “freedom fighters” resisting the imperialism of the United States. However, I foresee a backlash coming your way. I wish I had a subscription to your paper so I could cancel it as soon as possible. But alas, that would prove a little tough right now since I am in Iraq dealing with terrorists financed by the very men you are helping.

Thank you for continually contributing to the deaths of my fellow soldiers. You guys definitely provide a valuable service with your paper. Why without you how would terrorists stay one step ahead of us? I would love to hear a response as to why you deemed revealing this program a necessity, but that will probably come as soon as the government decides to finally put you guys behind bars where you belong.

Tim Boggs

Keep pressuring the NY Times and your congressmen, it the only way anything might be done about this situation. Tell your congressmen that what the Times is sharing with the world is hurting American soldiers. Feel free to copy my letter in full and send it to your congressmen as well.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Of Marines and Congress "men": A Soldier's Perspective


I found this at T. F. Boggs site: Boggs is on his 2nd tour in Iraq.

Monday, May 29, 2006
Of Marines and Congress"men"

Lately a lot of media coverage has been directed towards the actions of a few marines in Haditha, Iraq last November. The marines killed 24 Iraqis after a roadside bomb hit their convoy on November 19th 2005. After the dust settled on that day 1 marine and 24 Iraqis were dead, and of the 24 dead Iraqis 15 of them were supposedly innocent civilians. Since then an investigation has been opened concerning the events and everyone has an opinion about what happened that day. Congressman, ex-marine, and failed human being John Murtha has already publicly declared that the marines killed the civilians “in cold blood.” All this before the trial has even taken place.

What you will not hear in the media and what no one but someone in the military could understand is that sometimes, and I am most likely hanging myself out to dry here, the killing of innocent people in a war zone is understandable. Now notice that I did not condone the killing of innocent people but instead I said that it is understandable coming from the viewpoint of someone who has served in a combat zone. In no way is killing an innocent person right, rather, it is a morally reprehensible thing to do. However, in the heat of the moment, when split second decisions mean the difference between life and death, your mind can become cluttered and the will to survive takes over.

Most of the marines there that day were on their third deployment to Iraq and most likely had seen their fill of death and destruction. I am speaking from the viewpoint of someone who has seen limited combat action but I also understand what it is like to venture back into a combat zone after making it out safely once before. On my first deployment I sought out as much adventure as I could possibly get, which wasn’t much. The whole year was a new adventure for me and was possibly the best time of my life. My second deployment has been much different though. I do my job without question but I often have feelings of restraint and at times simply want to make it back home in one functional piece.

The thing to understand about combat veterans is that they can grow tiresome of the day-to-day bullcrap that they have to put up with i.e. ever changing Rules of Engagement, an unidentified enemy, and the restraints placed upon them in the name of “winning hearts and minds.” Oftentimes it can become too much to continually watch your buddies die or get hurt when there is nothing you can do in their defense. Such is the nature of IED’s. When convoys are hit with roadside bombs there is oftentimes nothing that can be done at the moment. Terrorists or criminals, however you want to look at them, hide some distance away out of sight and detonate IED’s or even place the IED’s in such a manner that they are victim detonated i.e. land mines, trip wires, and laser beams. It is a frustrating situation when someone you know gets hurt and there is nothing you can do about it.

I imagine the marines that day were fed up with all of the aforementioned things. Sometimes it simply becomes too much to deal with day after day. Have you ever had a bad day at work and wanted to snap at the smallest thing? Have you ever been fed up with your spouse and snapped at your children as a result? Although not on the same scale as killing, these examples are much like what soldiers face daily. There is only so much you can expect of 18-25 year olds given the task to kill bad guys. When you were 18 did you have the benefit of a lifetime of experiences and wisdom? Do you think you would be able to watch your best friend die and then restrain yourself when you knew his killer was within a quarter mile of you?

And we wonder why the media is so incapable of reporting on such issues. Have they themselves lived through the things they are reporting on? Have they ever spent time in the military? Are they professional enough to report what happens day in and day out without interjecting their own opinion? Most of the time I would say no to each one of these questions. There are a few exceptional reporters but for the most part they fail miserably when it comes to military matters, and these past few years it is the military that matters whether you believe we should be in Iraq or not.

Now the likes of John Murtha and the rest of the pathetic lefties want to turn this incident into another Abu Gharib so that the president’s approval rating will drop even further and will give them an edge when they put up whatever pitiful candidate they can muster in 2008. The state of politics is so pathetic that politicians are willing to see the lives of heroic soldiers ruined in order to keep their job. They are willing to damage the reputation of America and make a mockery of it’s military in order stay in Washington.

I asked the Iraqis I work with the other day what they thought about the incident at Abu Gharib and they replied that is was a shameful thing. When they finished answering I asked them what they thought about Iraqis killing American contractors and then dragging their bodies through the streets and celebrating. They looked at me and replied that that was also a shameful thing. When I told them that Americans were horrified about the actions of the soldiers at Abu Gharib they looked bewildered and ashamed that their own people celebrated the death of American civilians. When are we going to start applying the same standards to the Iraqis that we do to our soldiers? Is it okay for them to kill our civilians while we bemoan even the accidental deaths of Iraqi civilians?

Is it too much to ask that our politicians defend their military when it sacrifices so much for them? Is it too much to ask that our government stand behind these marines when they need their help the most? Is it too much to ask that the marines be given a fair trial before lowlifes like John Murtha condemn them in the court of public opinion before their real trial even takes place?

Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?