To the best of my recollection, I have never contacted any television personality ever before to voice my dissatisfaction with something they did or said; however, when FOX’s “Fair and Balanced” Bill O’Reilly went on the attack of 21 year- old Army reservist Lynndie England for her participation in the 2004 Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal of naked prisoners, I had to let him know what I thought, and, of course it was exactly what millions of others viewing the picture thought: Lynndie was simply following orders. Vice President Dick Cheney in his 2011 book IN MY TIME said President Bush went to the Pentagon to view photos that had been made public about the Abu Ghraib prison.
While there were seven soldiers involved in this scandal, CNN on 5/7/2004 reported “Female soldier in abuse photos charged” for holding a dog leash around the necks of naked Iraqi prisoners assaulting Iraqi detainees and conspiring to mistreat them. I remember the picture like it happened yesterday when I saw it on O’Reilly but unfortunately the photo is no longer available.
The May 10, 2004 NEW YORKER magazine claimed American soldiers had brutalized and tortured Abu Ghraib prisoners and Lynndie who had joined the Army Reserves to get money for college and aspired to be a meteorologist, became the most prominent ‘Woman at War’story to emerge from recent U.S. military. My dictionary says torture is an act of inflicting excruciating pain but no such torture existed. She is standing in the picture with the dog leash in her hand, a cigarette in her mouth, five months pregnant and a thumbs up to her co-conspirator friend, Spc. Charles Graner, the father of her soon to be baby.
LYNNDIE ENGLAND CHOSEN TO HUMILIATE MUSLIMS PRISONERS
In the spring of 2002, the CIA sought further advice on what methods could legally be used to interrogate prisoners at Abu Ghraib. A new policy was issued in December 2004 but by then the damage had been done. CIA officers had been told their backs were covered and they were operating legally. Then we saw over and over again the picture of Lynndie England with the naked prisoners on a dog leash and a cigarette in her mouth. The media portrayed her as not being the brightest bulb in the package but military did accept her and it was my opinion because the Muslim men hate women in authority over them, she was put in charge of humiliating them.
O’REILLY RAILING ABOUT LYNNDIE ENGLISH
Unlike Lynndie who enlisted in the military so she could go to college, O’Reilly admitted in his Epilogue of LAST DAYS OF KENNEDY, he escaped the military by going to college. And now this shameless O’Reilly kept railing on Lynndie so I sent him a pithy email:
What Lynndie did was stupid but for a guy like yourself who has never given one day of military service to his country, to berate her like you’re doing is yellow journalism.”
He responded by sticking his angry finger into the screen as he loudly proclaimed,
You know, you are sadly misguided Ms. Freauf. You have no idea what I’ve done for this country at any level. You who use personal attacks when they disagree with someone lowers the discourse. Think about it.” Fortunately I happen to be watching with the video running and so now, years later I share the story. On 10/7/2005 a woman called into his radio talk show and suggested the Bush kids go to Iraq. O’Reilly called her a “besmirch merchant.” So now that he’s no longer on FOX, maybe he can open up a deli with all his baloney.
CNN reported on 5/7/2004 Lynndie and others were charged with committing an indecent act, assaulting Iraqi detainees on multiple occasions and conspiring with Spec. Charles Graner that brought discredit upon the Armed Forces. She was convicted of six counts involving prisoner mistreatment and posing with a pyramid of naked detainees and pointing at the genitals of prisoners while a cigarette hung from the corner of her mouth. The photos sparked outrage and she was sent to prison.
ENGLAND REFUSES TO APOLOGIZE
Attorney Roy G. Hardy, who appeared with family members said England was five months pregnant and that Graner was the father. England’s defenders called the news conference to ask reporters to leave the family alone and to offset public impressions left by the photos of England. Speaking eight years after the appalling images of U.S. soldiers abusing prisoners that brought shame on the Nation, and after sustaining burns to her neck and chest from splattered chicken grease at the prison kitchen where she was serving her sentence, England refused to apologize. Her sister, Jessica Klinestiver said “Certain people in the Army told her to do what she did and she followed orders.”
9/11 AND THE POLICE STATE
The July 24, 2006 NEW AMERICAN entitled the EMERGING POLICE STATE – Imprisonment without trial and the torture of prisoners are hallmarks of an oppressive police state has offered additional information. The Bush administration – from President Bush on down- has openly defied the plain meaning of the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits “cruel and unusual punishments,” and the Seventh Amendment right to a “speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury,” so this explains why the CIA farms out torture to the most barbaric governments on Earth such as Egypt, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Syria. And, of course Lynndie England apparently received neither the seventh or the eighth consideration in her trial.
In addition, Jack Monnett in his 2009 book 2 AWAKENING TO OUR AWFUL SITUATION notes the Founders frequently spoke out against standing armies – enlisted military troops during times of peace. They were concerned that those in power might use military force for subjugation of the citizenry and, consequently, work against the public will. James Madison wrote that:
A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defense against foreign danger have always been the instrument of tyranny at home.
The dreaded consequence of a standing army was that it might be used against the American public. Fearing the use of military power under the control of the Commander-in-Chief, Congress passed the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. As seen then, and even more often now, various dictators throughout the world have engaged national armies to control and force allegiance to unpopular policies and regimes. With concern that this might happen in the United States, thus overthrowing individual liberties and representative republicanism, specific legislation that could not be misinterpreted was written to prevent the unwarranted use of standing armies. The Posse Comitatus Act stated:
From and after the passage of this act it shall not be lawful to employ any part of the army of the United States, as a posse comitatus, or otherwise, for the purpose of executing the laws, except in such cases and under such circumstances as such employment of said force may be expressly authorized by the Constitution or by act of Congress
In keeping with local government ideals and maintaining direct responsibility to citizenry, authority was intended to reside within the jurisdiction of a local sheriff rather than under federal control.
In place, Posse Comitatus is a hindrance to the mischief of standing armies and the potential of martial law. Monnett then goes on to say recently the Posse Comitatus Act came under reevaluation. John R. Brinkerhoff, speaking for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), wrote that “new rules are needed to clearly set forth the boundaries for the use of federal military forces for homeland security. The Posse Comitatus Act is inappropriate for modern times and needs to be replaced by a completely new law….(The administration should initiate action to enact a new law…for using military forces for homeland security and for enforcing the laws of the United States.)
V.P. BIDEN WANTS OUTRIGHT REPEAL OF POSSE COMITATUS
So, along with several military leaders, V.P. Joseph Biden “has been waging, since the mid-1990s, in consultation with the Republican counterparts”, a battle for the outright repeal of the Possee Comitatus Act was taken; however, writes Monnett, even though the act has still not been repealed, provisions of the 1999 Defense Authorization Act, the PATRIOT Act of 2001, and the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 have all but removed the intent of Posse Comitatus. The wedding of combat-trained troops with local law enforcement appears to be America’s direction. For the first time in America’s history, on September 30, 2008, a standing army- intended to be a permanent presence- was assigned to the United States.
Many thanks to Jack Monnett for additional research on the Posse Comitatus. I know he reads the NewsWithViews.com Articles because he mentions two current contributors and two former. The book is available from Nauvoo House Publishing, P.O. Box 3435, Elgin, Oregon 97827 Cost $17.95 PHONE: 541-437-0217
BUSH ADMINISTRATION CAUSED ENGLAND’S PROBLEM
The Bush administration promulgated a new torture policy shortly after 9/11 which gave the green light to any kind of torture by American interrogators. Justice Department Assistant Attorneys General Jay S. Bybee and John C. Yoo explained in a 2002 memo that for an action to be deemed torture, physical pain “must be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.”
It went on to report about one named al Habashi who testified that throughout his 18 -month incarceration in Morocco his interrogators cut his chest and genitals with a scalpel monthly, and subjected him to psychological torture in-between. This was al Habashi’s introduction to the Bush administration policy of “extraordinary rendition” where the CIA farms out torture to the most barbaric governments on Earth. A detainee under such a situation would understandably be willing to “confess” whatever the interrogator wanted.
Assistant Attorney General John Yoo’s testimony does far more than make al Habashi’s description of his torture credible; it also puts to rest the administration claim that the abusive excesses of Abu Ghraib and other detainees throughout the CIA rendition program were cases of “renegade” agents. Abu Ghraib was not a case of a few jailers who have gone wild, but rather part of the program approved by the Bush Administration, which openly claimed the power to torture – regardless of what the law as passed by Congress said. Bill boasted he always took the Jesuit creed that says he should know right from wrong. Did “fair and balanced” Bill O’Reilly report these foregoing facts before attacking England?
Well, lets see what O’Reilly has done besides write books, donates the proceeds to possible immoral charitable organizations of his choice, supports disabled veterans from wars he approved, travels with another scallywag called Dennis Miller performing their PoohBahs across the country and covered some wars from a safe distance on the balcony but to his credit in one last interview with Ryan Mauri of the Clarion Project O’Reilly tried to expose about 22 places across America with an estimated 3,000 members that have Muslim training camps. To readers who have consistently opposed these Middle East interventionist wars by the U.S., it’s Blow Back Time.
In 2014 we heard about O’Reilly’s Sexual harassment case that FOX wanted to forget. He was also seeking gag orders on his own wife and children in order to prevent details from his custody battle from emerging. He had a string of controversies over that year. In February, a number of former colleagues came forward claiming that the FOX News host had exaggerated his own experiences in the Argentine war zones. That same week O’Reilly was accused of lying about his minor cameo in the story of the JFK assassination and more claims were exaggerated about his coverage of the LA riots. In his opening monologue on June 24, 2014 he said Obama was NOT a Muslim. He was NOT born in Kenya and said he had the facts to prove it. In fact, to prove his point he called Obama’s grandma a liar because she says he was born in Kenya.
O’REILLY GIVES EAST GERMAN GUARD THE FINGER
In his book A BOLD, FRESH PIECE OF HUMANITY, of course, that was all about him. He tells about arriving in Germany and found the communist wall dividing that country to be offensive and depressing. And then he admits from his safe haven across the divide, he actually gave an East German guard the finger, something he rarely does.
In 1985 the KATU-TV in Portland, Oregon was hoping to replace a long-time Oregon anchorman who was retiring and station management was looking for someone to attract younger viewers so they brought in a hotshot from the East coast and paid me big money, he said. Yes, the hotshot was the bold, fresh guy – the same guy who totally missed the 2008 meltdown reminiscent and perhaps worse than 1929.
O’REILLY READY FOR RETIREMENT IN 2005
NEWSDAY reported in October 2005 O’Reilly may be withering in a furnace of hate and the TV and radio star and author told of death threats and retirement. He turned 56 in September 2005 so he hung out at FOX for another 12 years with body guards and security. He said after an interview with Donahue he got lots of e-mails – all generated from liberal left wing blogs. He says the zombies can’t even think for themselves. Someone has to tell them what to say. He said they all use the same wording right down to the misspelled words. I’m sure O’Reilly speaks here for many other celebrities who wonder if they might be next. Sean Hannity on FOX noted on his 4/24 show that he, too, has been lied about but remained quiet until now. He says liberal fascism is alive and well and he’s hired attorneys. He will take it no more.
NEWSWITHVIEWS GIVE THEIR TWO CENTS WORTH
I think NWV contributor Devvy Kidd and I were perhaps the most prolific contributors to articles criticizing O’Reilly which are still posted on News With Views. Joe Kress said FOX News was unfair and unbalanced and O’Reilly was a stooge for Rupert Murdock. Dave Daubenmire said we should all turn off O’Reilly And Randy Murray claimed O’Reilly was a card-carrying progressive neo-con full of himself and not to be taken seriously. Lloyd Marcus on the other hand, wanted O’Reilly to keep his right-on commentaries coming and was happy the way O’Reilly boldly called out all of the usual suspects, Sharpton, Jackson, the Congressional Black Caucus and Obama.
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