Thursday, March 15, 2007


The death of Col Ted Westhusing in Iraq is getting some recent coverage. Back in Nov. 2005 the LA Times ran an article (behind a pay wall, now) that raised some questions about the verdict of suicide that the military reached.

Now Robert Bryce has written a long piece about Westhusing, made possible because of newly released documents under the Freedom of Information Act, that, without dwelling on any murder speculation, is as damning a piece of reporting as I've ever seen.

Here is Westhusing's suicide note, it was found by his body, written in large block letters:
Thanks for telling me it was a good day until I briefed you. [Redacted name]You are only interested in your career and provide no support to your staff no msn [mission] support and you don’t care. I cannot support a msn that leads to corruption, human right abuses and liars. I am sullied no more. I didn’t volunteer to support corrupt, money grubbing contractors, nor work for commanders only interested in themselves. I came to serve honorably and feel dishonored. I trust no Iraqi. I cannot live this way. All my love to my family, my wife and my precious children. I love you and trust you only. Death before being dishonored any more. Trust is essential I don’t know who trust anymore. [sic] Why serve when you cannot accomplish the mission, when you no longer believe in the cause, when your every effort and breath to succeed meets with lies, lack of support, and selfishness? No more. Reevaluate yourselves, cdrs [commanders]. You are not what you think you are and I know it.

COL Ted Westhusing

Life needs trust. Trust is no more for me here in Iraq.
His commanders were Generals Fil and Petraeus. Read the whole damned article.

At the time, my thought was that if he had been murdered, it would have been done by the contractors. If that were true, I imagined that there would be payback, sooner or later, even if there was a cover-up. That the army (and his comrades) would allow a exemplary officer such as Westhusing to be offed by some thieving contractors without consequences seemed impossible to me.

Now, it's clear that suicide or not, Westhusing's charges highlight the morass that the US military wallows in. His 'suicide' was convenient for people in the military as well. Petraeus's unchallenged testimony before his unanimous approval by the Senate proves that the complicity is unbounded, there are no crimes that we cannot ignore, hide or whitewash.

And as Senator Clinton said today, ain't no way we're leaving Iraq.


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