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Thread: Platoon defies orders in Iraq

  1. #1
    ruthie's Avatar Poster
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    October 15, 2004

    Platoon defies orders in Iraq

    Miss. soldier calls home, cites safety concerns
    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.No military officials were able to confirm or deny the detainment of the platoon Thursday.

    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had similar complaints from military families about vehicles that weren’t armor-plated, or bullet-proof vests that are outdated.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.”
    from Army Times

    Yup. Let's keep hearing from the administration how "we take care of our troops". It's a bunch of bullshit. Many of the troops have family members sending equipment from home because they are not properly armed.
    Sounds like they might be getting Gitmo treatment...where are the lawyers? America needs to wake up
    Don't read what isn't there.

    anywhichway

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    Busyman's Avatar Use Logic Or STFU!!!
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    I heard about families buying body armor for the loved one's in Iraq but damn.

    I'll have to wait and see about this though.

    President Bush is supposed to be the so-called "military" President. If all this money for the war isn't being spent for the war he is one traitor bitch...but I won't jump to conclusions.

    Many of you don't actually know soldiers in Iraq but I do and take shit like this to heart.
    Silly bitch, your weapons cannot harm me. Don't you know who I am? I'm the Juggernaut, Bitchhhh!

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  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    ruthie's Avatar Poster
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    Quote Originally Posted by Busyman
    I heard about families buying body armor for the loved one's in Iraq but damn.

    I'll have to wait and see about this though.

    President Bush is supposed to be the so-called "military" President. If all this money for the war isn't being spent for the war he is one traitor bitch...but I won't jump to conclusions.

    Many of you don't actually know soldiers in Iraq but I do and take shit like this to heart.
    We've been to several protests, and a Veterans Vigil for the Fallen. At that particular event, (and one we attended 10/2 in DC) Iraq Veterans Against The War were there. They spoke about what has been happening. Also, Military Families Speak Out were there, and had quite a bit to say on the subject matter.
    Don't read what isn't there.

    anywhichway

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    bigboab's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +1
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    Is this why they are sending the Black Watch up to that area?
    The best way to keep a secret:- Tell everyone not to tell anyone.

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
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    Thankfully there will be lawyers, Ruthie. No automatic shooting, beheaded or such and branded as traitors.

    I am thankful it is this way in our country, under any Administration. It doesn't seem like any soldier in any war under any administration gets everything he needs. Were it so, we would send them in a nice warm bubble with all their needs met, or better yet, we would not be sending them, period.


    A touch of irony here, no? These soldiers were sent on a mission to carry needed petrol (supplies) to their comrades, were they not????
    Last edited by Everose; 10-17-2004 at 02:05 PM.

  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Everose
    Thankfully there will be lawyers, Ruthie.

    I am thankful it is this way in our country, under any Administration.


    A touch of irony here, no? These soldiers were sent on a mission to carry needed petrol (supplies) to their comrades, were they not????
    Tell that to those in Cuba

    Granted, that they were going to take supplies to their comrades, its still the responsability of the commanders to protect a logistics convoy.

    If that Convoy includes trucks that are unlikely to even make the distance, and are carrying Dangerous Cargo, then that is even more so.

    Western Armies often send Combat Troops on risky missions, thats what they are trained for.

    Logistics are there to transport needed supplies...they are not primarily trained as Infantry, they are Drivers, Warehousemen, Clerks... ie: The trades that are required in a Trucking Company, with basic Infantry Skills added.

    This is why they are escorted on their Journeys.

    If you try and get Infantry to fire Artillery, you'll kill more of your own guys than the enemy. Likewise, the Artillerymen may have basic Infantry Training, but they are not Infantry... the grunts would do a much better job of any mission with a hugely reduced casualty rate.

    To ask Trained personnel to try and master Trades and Training that they do not possess "On the Ground" in a Combat Environment is, to all intents and purposes, a suicide mission... Skills need time and training to be aquired.

    Sorry for my rant, however being an Ex Artilleryman myself, I can see their point in this...

    An It Harm None, Do What You Will

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruthie
    Yup. Let's keep hearing from the administration how "we take care of our troops". It's a bunch of bullshit. Many of the troops have family members sending equipment from home because they are not properly armed.
    Sounds like they might be getting Gitmo treatment...where are the lawyers? America needs to wake up

    Thankfully there will be lawyers, Ruthie. No automatic shooting, beheaded or such and branded as traitors.

    I am thankful it is this way in our country, under any Administration. It doesn't seem like any soldier in any war under any administration gets everything he needs. Were it so, we would send them in a nice warm bubble with all their needs met, or better yet, we would not be sending them, period.

    A touch of irony here, no? These soldiers were sent on a mission to carry needed petrol (supplies) to their comrades, were they not????


    Rat--imho the irony stands.
    Last edited by Rat Faced; 10-17-2004 at 03:17 PM. Reason: Quote tags fixed

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruthie
    Yup. Let's keep hearing from the administration how "we take care of our troops". It's a bunch of bullshit. Many of the troops have family members sending equipment from home because they are not properly armed.
    Sounds like they might be getting Gitmo treatment...where are the lawyers? America needs to wake up
    Quote Originally Posted by Everose

    Thankfully there will be lawyers, Ruthie. No automatic shooting, beheaded or such and branded as traitors.

    I am thankful it is this way in our country, under any Administration. It doesn't seem like any soldier in any war under any administration gets everything he needs. Were it so, we would send them in a nice warm bubble with all their needs met, or better yet, we would not be sending them, period.

    A touch of irony here, no? These soldiers were sent on a mission to carry needed petrol (supplies) to their comrades, were they not????


    Rat--imho the irony stands.

    Oh i see...

    Rather dead for no reason, than sent with an escort, as Standard Operating Procedures require....

    They have a defence, in that if they were ordered to go against SOP's, then they have every right to refuse... at least in the UK forces they have, and i would assume that the US forces would also look at it this way...

    An It Harm None, Do What You Will

  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rat Faced
    Oh i see...

    Rather dead for no reason, than sent with an escort, as Standard Operating Procedures require....

    They have a defence, in that if they were ordered to go against SOP's, then they have every right to refuse... at least in the UK forces they have, and i would assume that the US forces would also look at it this way...

    Please re-read my post, Rat. In America, we do have lawyers that will handle this. You are very right. They do have a right to refuse, and I am thankful for this. I am sorry you could not see the simple irony in the fact that Ruthe was saying our soldiers cannot get the supplies they need and these soldiers were carriers of supplies.

  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Everose
    Please re-read my post, Rat. In America, we do have lawyers that will handle this. You are very right. They do have a right to refuse, and I am thankful for this. I am sorry you could not see the simple irony in the fact that Ruthe was saying our soldiers cannot get the supplies they need and these soldiers were carriers of supplies.
    Ah..

    My appologies Everose, not at my best today...

    An It Harm None, Do What You Will

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