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OfflineZahid
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Registered: 01/21/02
Posts: 4,779
Last seen: 12 years, 11 months
Pentagon Now Hiding Dead in 'Transfer Tubes'
    #2069003 - 11/04/03 12:01 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Pentagon keeps dead out of sight
Bush team doesn't want people to see human cost of war
Even body bags are now sanitized as `transfer tubes'


TIM HARPER
WASHINGTON BUREAU

Nov. 2, 2003. 02:13 PM

Bringing out the dead...

Washington?Charles H. Buehring came home last week.

He arrived at the air force base in Dover, Del., in the middle of the night, in an aluminum shipping case draped in an American flag.

When the military truck drove his remains across the tarmac, workers paused and removed their hats.

He was met by a six-member honour guard acting as pallbearers, to allow a "dignified transfer" to the Charles C. Carson mortuary, where he became one of an estimated 60,000 American casualties of war that have been processed there over almost five decades.

"It reminds us we are at war," says Lt.-Col. Jon Anderson, who describes business at the Dover mortuary as "steady."

But America never saw Lt.-Col. Buehring's arrival, days after a rocket from a homemade launcher ended his life at age 40 in Baghdad's heavily fortified Rasheed Hotel last Monday.

Americans have never seen any of the other 359 bodies returning from Iraq. Nor do they see the wounded cramming the Walter Reed Army Medical Centre in Washington or soldiers who say they are being treated inhumanely awaiting medical treatment at Fort Stewart, Ga.

In order to continue to sell an increasingly unpopular Iraqi invasion to the American people, President George W. Bush's administration sweeps the messy parts of war ? the grieving families, the flag-draped coffins, the soldiers who have lost limbs ? into a far corner of the nation's attic.

No television cameras are allowed at Dover.

Bush does not attend the funerals of soldiers who gave their lives in his war on terrorism.

Buehring of Winter Springs, Fla., described as "a great American" by his commanding officer, had two sons, 12 and 9, was active in the Boy Scouts and his church and had served his country for 18 years.

No government official has said a word publicly about him.

If stories of wounded soldiers are told, they are told by hometown papers, but there is no national attention given to the recuperating veterans here in the nation's capital.

More than 1,700 Americans have been wounded in Iraq since the March invasion.

"You can call it news control or information control or flat-out propaganda," says Christopher Simpson, a communications professor at Washington's American University.

"Whatever you call it, this is the most extensive effort at spinning a war that the department of defence has ever undertaken in this country."

Simpson notes that photos of the dead returning to American soil have historically been part of the ceremony, part of the picture of conflict and part of the public closure for families ? until now.

"This White House is the greatest user of propaganda in American history and if they had a shred of honesty, they would admit it. But they can't."

Lynn Cutler, a Democratic strategist and former official in Bill Clinton's White House, says this is the first time in history that bodies have been brought home under cover of secrecy.

"It feels like Vietnam when Lyndon Johnson was accused of hiding the body bags ....

"This is a big government and a big Pentagon and they could have someone there to meet these bodies as they come back to the country."

But today's military doesn't even use the words "body bags" ? a term in common usage during the Vietnam War, when 58,000 Americans died.

During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the Pentagon began calling them "human remains pouches" and it now refers to them as "transfer tubes."

One term that has crept into the U.S. military lexicon, however, is the "Dover test," shorthand for the American public's tolerance for wartime fatalities.

The policy of banning cameras at Dover dates back to the 1991 Gulf War, under Bush's father, Pentagon officials say.

But it has been unevenly applied: You can see photos of soldiers' bodies returning in coffins from Afghanistan at Ramstein airbase in Germany.

Clinton met returning coffins from Kosovo and, in an elaborate ceremony, was on hand for the arrival of the bodies of his former commerce secretary Ronald Brown 32 others killed in a 1996 plane crash.

Pictures were allowed of incoming caskets after the terrorist attack on the USS Cole in 2000 and President George H.W. Bush helped eulogize Americans killed in Panama and Lebanon.

But last March, a directive came down reaffirming the banning of cameras, likely in anticipation of the sheer volume of casualties being repatriated.

At Dover, Lt.-Col. Anderson says the policy is strictly in place to respect the privacy of the families, although he is well aware that there are those who think it was a political decision.

"The administration has clearly made an attempt to limit the attention that would build up if they were showing Dover every day," says Joseph Dawson, a military historian at Texas A & M University.

The White House policy works ? to a point.

If there are no pictures of caskets being delivered to U.S. airbases, citizens don't think of them, analysts say.

Dawson says television pictures of the wounded at Walter Reed would be a jolt to Americans as they head out to dinner or are thinking of the week's NFL matchups.

Right now, he says, they likely equate war casualties with highway accidents: They know both kill and don't need to see graphic photos.

"The administration may have to come to grips with this in the months to come. This strategy depends on how long this war goes on. I have to wonder whether it might be a good idea to have a monthly remembrance to reflect on how this campaign is going."

The need for reflection in America is important, Dawson says, because the country seems to have lapsed back into a state of complacency.

"The country should be asking whether these men and women are putting their lives on the line for a justifiable purpose."

The Bush strategy, he says, is to divert focus from the dead and the wounded until ? or if ? his administration's policy can be judged a winner, then laud the men and women who gave their lives for freedom.

But it is really rooted in the perception in some quarters that the media cost the U.S. the Vietnam War.

There are parallels between Vietnam and Iraq in the words used by the president and in media coverage, even if there is so far no comparison in duration or casualties.

Whereas Lyndon Johnson and his top general, William Westmoreland, spoke of "steady and encouraging success" in Vietnam when they knew differently, Bush last week said the car bombing of the Red Cross showed the "progress" of the American campaign because insurgents were becoming more desperate.

Johnson called U.S. bombing missions "limited in scale" or "commensurate with need" and groused about news coverage. Bush also says the national media are not telling the truth and keeps implying the war in Iraq is needed to prevent another attack on U.S. soil.

Also like the Vietnam era, more attention is being given to U.S. victims the longer the conflict drags on.

The Associated Press last week ran the names and hometowns of all victims since the Iraq invasion began.

In 1969, Life magazine published a famous, black-covered edition consisting entirely of portraits of 250 young Americans who died in Vietnam in one routine week.

Dawson remembers, because his parents cancelled their subscription.

Television images of American soldiers in combat interrupted Americans' dinners nightly during the Vietnam War.

Clinton took his troops out of Somalia after a photo by the Toronto Star's Paul Watson, showing crowds cheering as a dead American soldier was dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, was beamed around the world on news wires.

Increasing casualties in Iraq have had no such dramatic effect on Bush, but that could change if more attention is paid to the wounded coming home and the way they are being treated.

Walter Reed officials did not return calls seeking comment, but the crush of casualties in late summer was such that outpatients had to be referred to hotels in nearby Silver Spring, Md., because the hospital was full.

The Washington Times said the hospital had treated about 1,700 patients from Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"Rarely have we seen so many young patients at one time," a spokesperson said.

Montana soldier Adam McLain, recovering from injuries when a military Humvee drove over his leg and head in Baghdad, told the newspaper from his hospital bed: "I didn't realize how many people were without limbs or without eyes. It's just depressing. I feel lucky. I have all my limbs."

The situation at Walter Reed and the administration's perceived indifference were highlighted last week by Cher, who visited troops there, then called an open-line show on C-SPAN, the U.S. network that broadcasts congressional debates and other political events.

She did not initially identify herself.

"Why are Cheney, Wolfowitz, Bremer, the president ? why aren't they taking pictures with these guys?" she demanded, referring to Vice-President Dick Cheney, Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and the civilian administrator in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer.

"I don't understand why these guys are so hidden, why there are no pictures of them."

Cher also criticized the media for ignoring the "devastatedly wounded."

"Don't hide them," she said. "Let's have some news coverage where people are sitting and talking to these guys and seeing their spirit."

For every Jessica Lynch, the wounded soldier who returned to a hero's welcome and a book and movie deal, there is a Shoshana Johnson.

Johnson, shot through both legs and held prisoner in Iraq for 22 days, will receive 30 per cent disability benefits, about $700 per month less than her colleague Lynch.

Johnson is black, Lynch is white and the Johnson family says that is the difference.

There is also an ongoing investigation into the condition of patients awaiting treatment at Fort Stewart, Ga., where hundreds of sick and wounded soldiers say they are languishing in dirty barracks waiting months for needed medical treatment.

They say they must hobble across sand to the use the bathroom, are housed 60 to a barracks and must pay for their own toilet paper.

Only recently did the Senate successfully demand the White House stop charging wounded soldiers $8.10 per day for their hospital meals.

Congress also had to step in to increase danger pay and separation pay for soldiers, as it appeared the Bush administration was set to let them expire on Sept. 30.

When Congress formally approved funding for military operations and reconstruction in Iraq, it carved Bush's request for $87 billion by about $2 billion.

Much of that money will instead be spent ? over White House objections ? on improved health-care benefits for those in the military reserve and National Guard who are serving in Iraq.


--------------------


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Invisiblez@z.com
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Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 2,876
Loc: ATL
Re: Pentagon Now Hiding Dead in 'Transfer Tubes' [Re: Zahid]
    #2069187 - 11/04/03 01:27 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Zahid said:
Bush does not attend the funerals of soldiers who gave their lives in his war on terrorism.



Wow is this guy grasping at straws.


--------------------
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." - C.S. Lewis

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: Pentagon Now Hiding Dead in 'Transfer Tubes' [Re: z@z.com]
    #2069255 - 11/04/03 02:13 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

I thought we usually brought the bodies of our dead soldiers back on a naked crowd surf party kind of thing.

Do we not do that anymore?


--------------------


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OfflinePsilocybeingzz
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Re: Pentagon Now Hiding Dead in 'Transfer Tubes' [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #2069347 - 11/04/03 03:48 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

"grasping at straws."

well , lets just wait until this war FULLY looks like NAM, then we will see some cool news in the press wont we
dead bodies etc

thats great for approval rattings right?


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Invisiblecarbonhoots
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Registered: 09/11/01
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Loc: BC Canada
Re: Pentagon Now Hiding Dead in 'Transfer Tubes' [Re: z@z.com]
    #2069371 - 11/04/03 04:09 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Zahid said:
Bush does not attend the funerals of soldiers who gave their lives in his war on terrorism.







I'm waiting for luvdem to inform the thread that Clinton didn't attend these sorts of funerals either


--------------------
  -I'd rather have a frontal lobotomy than a bottle in front of me

CANADIAN CENTER FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES


Edited by carbonhoots (11/04/03 04:11 AM)


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: Pentagon Now Hiding Dead in 'Transfer Tubes' [Re: carbonhoots]
    #2069441 - 11/04/03 04:47 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Abraham Lincoln did.


--------------------


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 34,214
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Re: Pentagon Now Hiding Dead in 'Transfer Tubes' [Re: Zahid]
    #2069502 - 11/04/03 05:49 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

So what?

Should Bush have attended all 359 of those funerals? I can just imagine the writer then bitching about Bush being away from the office all the time.

His whine about the different terms for the transport containers is just as foolish. Just as foolish as the change from illegal aliens to undocumented workers.

No gov worker has said a word? Which person should they choose to speak about?

Clinton met some returning bodies? So what? Clinton rarely did anything that didn't benefit Clinton. You don't think he was there for any other reason I hope?

The article is lame.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 34,214
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Re: Pentagon Now Hiding Dead in 'Transfer Tubes' [Re: carbonhoots]
    #2069504 - 11/04/03 05:51 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

I'm waiting for luvdem to inform the thread that Clinton didn't attend these sorts of funerals either



I don't know if he did or not. I find funerals and all the trappings to be a barbaric practise that should have ended long ago.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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InvisiblePsiloKitten
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Re: Pentagon Now Hiding Dead in 'Transfer Tubes' [Re: Zahid]
    #2069528 - 11/04/03 06:29 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Clinton started this practice, but it was never enforced during his tenure. Bush likes to enforce it. Clinton actually gave reverence, even in light of it to returning dead.



You wont see a similar pic of Bush.

It's all psyops -- the american people would realize that it was a real war not a big made for tv movie if they showed the truth. So they continue to santitize and sheild the masses from reality.


--------------------


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OfflineZahid
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Re: Pentagon Now Hiding Dead in 'Transfer Tubes' [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2069770 - 11/04/03 10:37 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Should Bush have attended all 359 of those funerals?

Yes.


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InvisibleEvolving
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Re: Pentagon Now Hiding Dead in 'Transfer Tubes' [Re: Zahid]
    #2069852 - 11/04/03 11:04 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Zahid said:
Should Bush have attended all 359 of those funerals?

Yes.



Riiiiiight, that would require a mass grave if he were to get back to his golf game in time.


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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InvisibleEdame
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Re: Pentagon Now Hiding Dead in 'Transfer Tubes' [Re: Zahid]
    #2070192 - 11/04/03 05:37 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Only recently did the Senate successfully demand the White House stop charging wounded soldiers $8.10 per day for their hospital meals.




Did they really charge their own soldiers for their hospital meals? That sounds fucked up to me.


--------------------
The above is an extract from my fictional novel, "The random postings of Edame".
:tongue:

In the beginning was the word. And man could not handle the word, and the hearing of the word, and he asked God to take away his ears so that he might live in peace without having to hear words which might upset his equinamity or corrupt the unblemished purity of his conscience.

And God, hearing this desperate plea from His creation, wrinkled His mighty brow for a moment and then leaned down toward man, beckoning that he should come close so as to hear all that was about to be revealed to him.

"Fuck you," He whispered, and frowned upon the pathetic supplicant before retreating to His heavens.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 34,214
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Re: Pentagon Now Hiding Dead in 'Transfer Tubes' [Re: Edame]
    #2070205 - 11/04/03 05:42 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Yes.

Yes it was.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Invisiblecarbonhoots
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Re: Pentagon Now Hiding Dead in 'Transfer Tubes' [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2070336 - 11/04/03 06:49 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

I don't know if he did or not. I find funerals and all the trappings to be a barbaric practise that should have ended long ago.





Now that is interesting. A full discussion of this surely don't belong in PAL

A simple yes or no...

As one who believes funerals should not exist, did you/will you boycott your mother's/father's funeral, and would you not have one for your children/brother/sister/friend(s)?

It could be a protest of sorts! Against barbarism!

Oh sure, you'd be a minority but history will be on your side!

"Luvdemshrooms...a social pioneer in the way we deal with loss of our loves ones..."



--------------------
  -I'd rather have a frontal lobotomy than a bottle in front of me

CANADIAN CENTER FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES


Edited by carbonhoots (11/04/03 06:51 PM)


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 34,214
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Re: Pentagon Now Hiding Dead in 'Transfer Tubes' [Re: carbonhoots]
    #2070393 - 11/04/03 07:13 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

As one who believes funerals should not exist, did you/will you boycott your mother's/father's funeral,



Nope, I'll go because it will make my family members happy. Just because I dislike funerals doesn't mean I can't be there to give them support.



Quote:

and would you not have one for your children/brother/sister/friend(s)?



That would depend on their wishes. I'd respect whatever they were.


Quote:

It could be a protest of sorts! Against barbarism!

Oh sure, you'd be a minority but history will be on your side!

"Luvdemshrooms...a social pioneer in the way we deal with loss of our loves ones..."



That's your idea of not discussing a subject? How long does it take you to say hello?


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Invisiblecarbonhoots
old hand

Registered: 09/11/01
Posts: 1,351
Loc: BC Canada
Re: Pentagon Now Hiding Dead in 'Transfer Tubes' [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2070681 - 11/04/03 08:29 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

I just think placing action behind your beliefs, even if it isn't popular, is a good measure of character.

Hello takes me less than one second to say.





--------------------
  -I'd rather have a frontal lobotomy than a bottle in front of me

CANADIAN CENTER FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 34,214
Loc: Lost In Space
Re: Pentagon Now Hiding Dead in 'Transfer Tubes' [Re: carbonhoots]
    #2070739 - 11/04/03 08:42 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

I just think placing action behind your beliefs, even if it isn't popular, is a good measure of character.



It sure is, but given a choice of action, or standing by my family, I'll have to choose the latter. And to me.... that's just as great a measure of character. They've been there for me, the least I can do for them is be there for them.


Quote:

Hello takes me less than one second to say.



Twas but a jest.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Offlinerommstein2001
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Re: Pentagon Now Hiding Dead in 'Transfer Tubes' [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2071109 - 11/04/03 10:14 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Seems to me that if he were to attend all those funerals, since they were spaced out, he'd be at a funeral nearly everyday since the start of the war.


--------------------



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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: Pentagon Now Hiding Dead in 'Transfer Tubes' [Re: rommstein2001]
    #2071253 - 11/04/03 10:49 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

I know, they could be creamated, and given to him to place on his mantle.


Collect em' all!


--------------------


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: Pentagon Now Hiding Dead in 'Transfer Tubes' [Re: carbonhoots]
    #2093201 - 11/11/03 05:57 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

I'm waiting for luvdem to inform the thread that Clinton didn't attend these sorts of funerals either



According to this article, he didn't.





Tuesday Nov. 11, 2003; 1:35 p.m. EST
Bush, Clinton and Military Funerals

The press is trying to gin up a particularly insidious scandal against President Bush, claiming that he doesn't appreciate the sacrifices of U.S. troops in Iraq because he hasn't attended any military funerals.

Media rhetoric on this subject has become particularly toxic of late.

New York Times columnist Frank Rich got the ball rolling last week when he complained to CNN that the White House knows how images of Bush attending military funerals would "speak more than 1,000 words, and they want to censor them, basically."

Not to be outdone, the Times' Maureen Dowd carped sarcastically on Sunday:

"It's understandable why, going into his reelection campaign, Mr. Bush wouldn't want to underscore that young Americans keep getting whacked over there, and we don't know who is doing it or how to stop it."

Tuesday morning, "Today Show" host Katie Couric chose to commemorate Veteran's Day by grilling Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Richard Myers about the Bush administration's decision not to permit coverage of bodies arriving at Dover Air Force Base.

"The policies in effect at Dover go back to 1991 and have been consistent since then through three administrations now," Gen. Myers explained. "What it's really about is proper dignity and respect, and not making a spectacle of all returning heroes such as those that have fallen."

The pundit class' sensitivity to the issue of whether a president is attending enough military funerals is a relatively new phenomenon. Though casualty rates during the Clinton years never approached the levels now being sustained in Iraq, combat deaths weren't exactly unheard of.

They included eighteen U.S. Army Rangers killed in Somalia in 1993, nineteen U.S. airmen killed in the 1996 Khobar Towers barracks bombing, four soldiers dead in Haiti [suicides, the White House insisted] and 17 Navy men and women killed in the 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole.

Yet, in a comprehensive review of reports from 1993 to 2001, we couldn't find a single instance of Mr. Clinton attending any military funeral anywhere.

It's not that the ex-president was funeral-averse. In fact, his notorious "I-feel-your-pain" style earned him the moniker of "Mourner-in-Chief" in some quarters, especially after his performance at the Oklahoma City bombing memorial service in 1995.

And while we could find no record of Clinton attending funerals of the soldiers he sent into harm's way, he never seemed to miss a funeral for one of his fundraisers - attending services for big-bucks donor Larry Lawrence and even speaking at the funeral of the father of mega-fundraiser-turned-DNC chief Terry McAuliffe.

Then there was Clinton's bravura performance at the 1996 funeral of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, where cameras caught the Commander-in-Chief laughing before he noticed he was being videotaped - at which point he lapsed into-full-blown lip-biting mourning mode.

At the time, the establishment press dutifully pretended not to notice Clinton's Brown funeral antics.


Link


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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