6.05.2004

Be All That You Can Be

And if you can't be all that you can be, then join the Army and Beat all that you can Beat.

Go read this WaPO piece about Charles Graner, one of those lovable, huggable military guys in Iraq who, by all accounts, should be rotting away in the darkest cells in Abu Ghraib for the rest of his life.

Here is a ringing endorsement from one of his fellow co-workers in the United States:
"Yo, Charles, I heard you got a good left," the guard said mockingly. "You're the toughest wife beater I ever met."

Of course, don't take his word for it. This is his wife's testimony.
"I ran past him and up the stairs to my kid's rooms and I went into Dean's room first (they were both in their own rooms screaming and crying for me). As soon as I got into Dean's room, Charles was behind me and told me to get away from my son. . . . He then grabbed me by my hair a second time, pushed me down, dragged me out of Dean's room into the hallway, into my bedroom, and started banging the left side of my head against the floor."

But... Surely he's a decent father, right?
As for the children, the moment they walked out the door with their mother I washed my hands of them.' Kelle replied, 'But you're their father, Chuck,' and he said, 'Those two no longer have a father.' "

But... surely the Army wouldn't accept a soldier if these type of allegations were hanging over his head, right? Surely the Army wouldn't attempt to provide an excuse for this type of guy to avoid a court hearing, right?
"Cpl Graner will be unable to appear and protect his interests in this case until December 2002 because of his support with the training of the high volume of soldiers deploying overseas with Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle," said the letter, which was written on U.S. Army letterhead.

"This letter is a special request in my capacity as a commander, charged with a mission supporting the national security of this nation, that you delay the proceedings to allow this soldier to perform his critical part in that mission."

OK. Now, I'm getting a little vomitous. There is every indication that the Army should not accept any individual with a record implying this type of aggressive behavior towards his wife and children.... But how did he treat prisoners when he served in Iraq in the first Gulf War?
He remembers that after the riot, when the reservists handed out their boxes of rations, they deliberately did not bother to mention which ones contained pork.

Aww. So he has absolutely no respect for the religious rights of Iraqi prisoners in 1991... But was he ever violent as a corrections officer in the United States?
June 29, 1998. At State Correctional Institution-Greene in southwestern Pennsylvania, the inmates are eating mashed potatoes. Horatio Nimley, who is serving time for burglary, takes a spoonful. His mouth fills with blood. He spits out a razor blade. He screams for help. At first the guards ignore him. Then they take him to the nurse. And then they punch him, kick him and slam him to the floor, and when he yells, "Stop, stop," one of the guards says, "Shut up, nigger, before we kill you."

Graner.

Goodness. So this guy beats the hell out of his wife, leaves his children to fend for themselves, and the Army provides an excuse for him to avoid court. He had a pattern of disregard for prisoner rights in Iraq over a decade ago AND American prisoner rights less than five years before he left to serve again... I was under the impression that there was some type of background check for our military. Evidently, I was mistaken.

Makes you wonder... Do we have our nation's child molesters rebuilding Iraqi schools? Have we sent mobsters over to run the waste disposal systems? I've heard that Ken Lay is looking for a new job. Perhaps he could rebuild the Iraq oil structure. Perhaps Michael Milken could rebuild the financial system. Maybe OJ Simpson could go work in the Marriage License Dept.

But I shouldn't use my own words to tear Graner down. His words will suffice:
"The Christian in me says it's wrong, but the corrections officer in me says, 'I love to make a grown man piss himself.' "




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