07 May 2019, 10:48 PST, 2nd Edition
Tuesday Morning Think Piece: "Men like Donald Trump is why Kiki Camarena was tortured and murdered... ":
It is said that history repeats itself when humans fail to learn from their errors. That is true. But history also repeats itself when people refuse to accept that an error was an error, or when they refuse to learn history because, to them, the only history that matters is the history they personally make.
The latter occurred today when President Donald Trump pardoned an Army officer named Lt. Michael Behenna who premeditatively tortured and murdered an enemy captive named Mansur Mohamed. And it was actions like Behenna's that have caused and will cause America's opponents or criminals to exercise torture and murder of US soldiers and LE officers. Which is why the Geneva Conventions Toward Prisoners of War were established after WWI, and why the US Armed Forces established detailed codes of conduct in the treatment of battlefield captives.
Let there be no mistake about it. As an officer in the US Army Lt. Behenna was not only trained on the treatment of enemy prisoners, Lt. Behenna was trained to enforce the US Army code of conduct on any men he commanded. And Lt. Behenna knew from the instant he decided not to transport his prisoner, Mohamed, to an Army interrogation unit, but decided to take Mohamed to an isolated spot where he was disrobed and tortured, that Mohamed could not later be surrendered for official interrogation without himself, Behenna, being criminally charged with not only violating Army regulations about the care of captured individuals but also the post-capture treatment.
Behenna claimed his reason for personally conducting the planned-fatal interrogation of Mohamed was to extract information about the killings of American soldiers in Behenna's unit. But as in the case of the torture of DEA S/A Kiki Camarena, no amount of information gathered from Camarena -- nor Mohamed -- would have provided anything their captors didn't already know or couldn't very easily figure out without asking Camarena -- or Mohamed -- a single question.
Camarena's captors did not need to viciously torture Camarena about what he knew of the illegal drug operations of the cartel he had infiltrated because Camarena's captors already knew the full extent of Camarena's travels and contacts within the cartel... any cartel member could easily recite what info he had told Camarena or what Camarena may have seen or heard.
Camarena's captors also did not need to viscously torture Camarena to find out how much of what he learned had been reported to Camarena's DEA group because even an idiot among Camarena's torturers would instantly assume that Camarena had informed his DEA group about everything he had learned.
What is left is the only obvious reason why Camarena was Sadistically tortured: Anger at his successful infiltration, and revenge for the damage Camarena had caused for the cartel.
The same is true for Behenna who already knew how, when and why Mohamed succeeded in the terrorist or military action that resulted in the deaths of two of Behenna's unit members. Behenna also didn't need to personally obtain any additional information from Mohamed that could not be obtained by professional Military Intelligence interrogators under lawful conditions because Behenna's unit had already neutralized Mohamed's small squad which was the immediate threat.
Some Americans applaud Mohamed's brutal torture and murder by Behenna. Some even regret that Behenna was caught and arrested, preventing him from killing more enemy prisoners. But what these Americans -- and this includes the current CINC of the US Armed Forces -- either fail or refuse to understand, is that when Americans go unpunished for committing not only illegal but inhuman acts, that failure to punish is registered deeply in the minds of men who later capture American soldiers and LE officers.
The murder of Kiki Camarena did not occur in a vacuum. Camarena's 1985 torture and murder occurred after extensive news publication of Americans committing torture and murder in Vietnam, along with several highly-watched Hollywood war movies (such as, 'Apocalypse Now', and 'Hearts and Minds') that depicted the violent torture and murder of enemy soldiers either by Americans or under American command. (After Camarena's murder Hollywood would begin to make movies such as 'Casualties of War', 'Platoon', 'Off Limits' and other films that told Americans that battlefield torture and murder were wrong and must never be pardoned. Donald Trump, apparently, avoided those films containing moral training as he avoided serving in uniform to avoid learning Duty, Honor, Country.In short, by committing war crimes against captured opponents Americans license war crimes against Americans by our enemy. Today President Donald Trump did not just pardon Lt. Michael Behenna, Donald Trump de facto authorized the torture and murder of American soldiers in the name of Lt. Michael Behenna by their captors. In other words, when our enemy tortures an American captive they feel they are expressing themselves in a form that American's know best... and approve.
Lt. Michael Behenna was rightfully convicted by military officers conducting a fair trial of unlawful and insidious crimes Behenna was fully aware were crimes. Donald Trump reversed the military court's decision by informing every soldier, sailor, airman or Marine in uniform today that he or she may face trial for a crime they knowingly commit on the battlefield against an enemy person, but their crime will not result in personal punishment... and may well result in personal profit.
Lt. Michael Behenna will one day write a book or sign a movie deal to profit from his decision to torture and murder a prisoner of war. Army Lt. William Calley has spent the last fifty years attempting to sell interviews for thousands of dollars or sell a book or movie deal in which he would personally profit.
Very sadly, too many Americans, and particularly those like Donald Trump who consciously go out or their way to avoid serving in military uniform where they will learn many valuable life's lessons, never learn. Indeed they refute the lessons learned by claiming that the only right is the right that is declared by the victor on the battlefield... and the victors need not concern themselves either with morality or justice. And if Trump and Behenna are to succeed, they will indeed write the new history that future Americans will learn from... and suffer from when it is the enemy's turn to duplicate what Americans are now teaching themselves.
It goes without saying that there is a large group of Americans in uniform today who applaud their CINC's pardon decision only because they hope to express themselves on the battlefield one day as Behenna did... to torture and murder, a Sadistic desire in too many humans. But there is an even larger group of Americans in uniform today who find that what their CINC did today was not only reprehensible but deserving of immediate removal from the White House. In short, Trump has forever lost any support or approval he may have had from many in our military. And Trump's only way to turn that large number around is to convince everyone in our military that Lt. Michael Behenna's Sadistic actions against a prisoner of war were justified, and excusable. Or, in Trump's words, 'if you act like a model prisoner in jail during your war crime trial, you deserve to be forgiven for being a monster on the battlefield.' Words that can only be spoken by a man who was himself so gutless a coward that he avoided, multiple times, his nation's request to serve in uniform.
Men like Donald Trump must now harm our military should there be a future war that requires re-establishment of the Draft... which may call upon his son to serve... or provide escape from service using a weasely device similar to that Donald Trump used to evade service during the Vietnam War. Because if Donald Trump's son, or another Trump relative, is required to serve it is certain that if captured, the enemy will be fully aware of Donald Trump's decision to pardon a war criminal who engaged in pre-meditated, willful Sadism and murder. And if Donald Trump's son escapes service using a device, you can be sure hundreds of thousands of other Americans won't be just shouting "Unfair!", they will do what many Draftees did during the Vietnam War... silently sabotage operations as a matter of routine policy resulting in mission failure.
Today, the Commander-in-Chief of the United States military did our military its greatest disservice, and one in which the bill for future payment will be delivered upon the parents of sons and daughters permanently injured or fatally killed not by an act of combat but by an act of Sadistic revenge... in the name of Lt. Michael Behenna who today revived the name of Lt. William Calley.
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