Video: 60 Minutes interviews astroturfing anti-war soldier

posted at 6:36 pm on February 26, 2007 by Ian

Mudville Gazette has the low down on Lara Logan’s 60 Minutes report. The CBS correspondent interviewed several anti-Iraq War soldiers, including Navy Petty Officer Jonathan Hutto. (h/t Michelle)

Who is Jonathan Hutto? Media Lies has a great background on him. Here’s a little gem:

Given his background, it’s much more likely that he joined the Navy to stir up trouble; to act as a provocateur and further his anti-war agenda from within the service. Cortright’s book seems to have been his inspiration for the present campaign. Unlike his previous political activities, this one may well run afoul of TITLE: DoD Directive 1344.10, “Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces on Active Duty”, 08/02/2004.

Hmm. Sound familiar?

Click for the video:

so-ll.JPG

Noel Sheppard writes more at Newsbusters.

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And how many pro-war … no, pro-LIBERATION soldiers did she interview for balance? Did she mention thew fact that MOST of our fine Troops are in favor of this Liberation policy? Nah, didn’t think so.

Tony737 on February 26, 2007 at 6:45 PM

Specialist Kevin Torres. This turd must be a real shitbird. That much time in country (2nd tour) and only a specialist. OH wait, he delivers coloring books. I thought he was grunt.

Never mind.

Wade on February 26, 2007 at 7:10 PM

Torres said that he wanted to be part of his generation’s war. Thank God that the WWII generation had the fortitude to see that one through to the end. I have no doubt that most of our warriors are prepared for the long haul, knowing that Iraq is not the end of the line.

With most of the Democrats we have today, we would have sued for peace about a week into Guadalcanal. Thanks to these protesters for their service to the country. I don’t doubt their courage. However, when I was in, we knew that protesting OF ANY KIND, while in uniform, or identifying ourselves as a member of the Armed Forces was in violation of the UCMJ.

TugboatPhil on February 26, 2007 at 7:15 PM

Ba$tard$

Zorro on February 26, 2007 at 7:17 PM

Opinions are like ***holes everyboby’s got one.. well theyve got twelve..

Viper1 on February 26, 2007 at 7:20 PM

Thanks Ian. Keep shining the light of truth on these traitors. Actually, worse than traitor in Hutto’s case, given the great likelihood that he enlisted with plans to pull this stunt.

Freelancer on February 26, 2007 at 7:25 PM

When I was in the Army during the Clintoon years I hated having to deploy to Bosnia for what everyone knew was a BS mission but I signed did my duty. The point: finding a disgruntled soldier is like looking for Waldo in the desert. Fact is that the troops overwhelmingly support this war and in much greater numbers than did the soldiers support the Bosnian deployment.

x95b10 on February 26, 2007 at 7:30 PM

I remember a briefing once where you are not allowed to speak out at a rally in uniform. Weren’t these troops violating an UCMJ article by appearing on 60 Minutes?

Mooseman

Mooseman on February 26, 2007 at 7:34 PM

BFD bozo, your stripes ( and I don;t mean for your sleeve) are waiting.
Lock these kind of “soldiers” up and do not allow them any press.

bbz123 on February 26, 2007 at 7:34 PM

Future Kerry’s and Murtha’s of the world.

joeswampy on February 26, 2007 at 7:37 PM

All traitors should be put to death in a public square..NOW. and there are lots of them in this country.

davy on February 26, 2007 at 7:48 PM

I have nothing but contempt for these individuals and find their public disrespect disgusting. I’ve actively been involved in three conflicts while on active duty and would never have dreamed of doing something so detrimental. Of course no sane soldier wants war and the fact that they want to come home should be no surprise either. But to openly challenge your leadership like this? Pathetic. I wouldn’t trust any of them in a firefight.

Centurion68 on February 26, 2007 at 8:00 PM

Specialist Kevin Torres was in my sons platoon. I just got off the phone with him and he says KT is an alright guy. They all just found out a couple days ago that he was going to be on 60 Minutes.

It’s a small world.

csdeven on February 26, 2007 at 8:01 PM

Loser. I have no respect for cardboard cutouts.

If he violated the UCMJ, and he wants out, I say let him out… With a “Less than Honorable Discharge”

OR… if he wants to stay in, cut him orders to McMurdo.

Jones Zemkophill on February 26, 2007 at 8:16 PM

You are always going to have a few screwballs, and in today’s world, you are going to have a few leftist troublemakers. They are not news. They do not speak for the troops. They stand in contrast to the troops. The only reason we see the kind of story we did on 60 Minutes is because the meainstream media wants to believe that such screwballs and troublemakers express an attitude prevalent among the troops, which they don’t.

Phil Byler on February 26, 2007 at 8:37 PM

How would you like to fighting next to this turd? Would you trust him with your life?

Wade on February 26, 2007 at 8:54 PM

Sorry everyone. I didn’t read anyone else’s comments about KT before leaving my comment.

Honestly, my first impression of these troops on the video is that they have been traumatized and lost their focus on their mission. I hope they get the help they need, because I don’t think their complaining isn’t going to accomplish anything for our troops.

csdeven on February 26, 2007 at 9:00 PM

Ya know, the more I think about this the more I wonder if this guy could have been feeding his line to the rest of my sons platoon? Is my son got enough influence around him to sort through the rhetoric and see the facts?

This is seriously messed up!

csdeven on February 26, 2007 at 9:32 PM

I am distressed… I served in “Desert Storm” back in the 90′s. I joined the Regular Army in 1982. I got out after a bad divorce in 1993. I had no intention of ever returning until September 11th. I joined the “Reserves” about December 2001.

I spent 15 months in Iraq. I fear that the same war I particiapted in is not what you all see on T.V. I was with the 372nd MP Company. Yes you all know us from 60 minutes.

What we did in Iraq is not what you see on television. When I see what “Washington” and the “media” has made of this war I am scared to death!

When I refer to my own experiences… I know my way!

Perhaps these people have watched too much MSM and have lost there way!

Camper6265 on February 26, 2007 at 9:34 PM

CSDEVEN, well KT may have been okay when your son was with him but I have no mercy for him. I don’t. If he’s traumatized, well welcome to the club. My husband’s been back for 14 days and he’s worse now then he was in the previous two deployments. He is traumatized but he’s got no problem with going back to complete his job if only their hands were untied. I do not want any of these individuals next to my husband or any of my friends nor would I have wanted him near me in 1991. These people are a small minority who get the news on their side all the time. Are you aware of the Courage for Appeal for active duty members?
This idiot who started this redress thing reminds me of weasel watada. I think they both joined with an agenda but that’s mho.
I’m glad your son thought he was okay but wonder if you or your son would want him or any of these others next to them in combat again?

Catie96706 on February 26, 2007 at 9:35 PM

Somebody Army Airborne explain to me how this clown is wearing an Airborne tab with a black beret?

If he has an Airborne tab, shouldn’t he be wearing a maroon beret?

Bomb Doctor on February 26, 2007 at 9:52 PM

Catie96706 on February 26, 2007 at 9:35 PM

Honest to God, I’m really scared for the first time since he left last July. He was trying to get KT’s room when he left, so I have no clue how much influence this guy had on him. When I asked him if he knew Spec Kevin Torres…his response was “KT?”, Yeah, he was in my platoon. I don’t want to interfer with his training etc, so I’m reluctant to give him the third degree about his feelings. I just hope his platoon Sgt is squared away.

csdeven on February 26, 2007 at 9:56 PM

Bomb Doctor on February 26, 2007 at 9:52 PM

My kid is still wearing black. I think it’s an air assualt thing cause his buddies that went to the 82nd are wearing maroon.

csdeven on February 26, 2007 at 10:01 PM

csdeven

My kid is still wearing black. I think it’s an air assualt thing cause his buddies that went to the 82nd are wearing maroon.

I know people in both the 82nd and the 101st that aren’t jump qualified who wear maroon berets. I even know people assigned to SF that who wear a green beret without being SF qualified. It just seems odd to me that he wears the Screaming Eagle with an Airborne tab and a black beret.

Bomb Doctor on February 26, 2007 at 10:09 PM

(5:40 of the clip)
Logan: You know, there are going to be a lot of people listening to this who say that you’re a traitor; you’re betraying your uniform; you don’t deserve to wear it.

— Of course that’s how this 60 Minutes reporter would think that anyone to the right, and not anti-war, would feel about these brave men and women that chose to serve their country. I doubt I’m in the minority on this site that has nothing but respect for any soldier, regardless of whether or not they signed a petition or spoke out on this issue.

(8:16 of the clip)
Logan: For many in uniform there’s an unwritten code of honor that says, no matter how tough your situation is, or whatever your private doubts about the mission may be, you just never speak out publicly against it. And so for them, what the service members of this campaign are doing, is nothing short of a betrayal.

Soldier #1: That’s not something that I would do personally.

Logan: We spoke with soldiers from the first cavalry who are currently serving in Baghdad. They acknowledged that the servicemen and women that signed the petition have the right to do so. But that doesn’t mean they should.

Soldier #2: I think every American soldier throughout history has wanted combat to stop.

Soldier #3: As an American soldier I feel like, you know, we took an oath to obey the orders of our Commander in Chief and the officers appointed over us.

Logan: The war has been very difficult. The violence has not decreased at all, if anything it’s got worse. Is there a part of you that sort of says, yeah, I understand why someone feels like this?

Soldier #1: I know what I’m here fighting for, to give the Iraqi democracy and hope. So, I am one hundred percent behind this mission. You know, it’s not up to you to pick which war you get to go to.

– Wow, those three soldiers she interviewed that supported the war sure made clear their hatred and sense of betrayal. NOT. Sheesh, could they have been anymore understanding and diplomatic about the whole thing? But this was pathetically the best 60 Minutes could do to back up their initial extreme premise. The cognitive dissonance meters must have been off the charts at CBS as they were putting this one together… “to hell with it, let’s just script the story we want to tell, rather than tell the actual story.” Don’t they have even one non-propagandist honest producer or editor left at that show that can look at a piece and call “Bullshit”?

greggish on February 26, 2007 at 10:34 PM

Didn’t you see the piece on Al Jazeerah about the Iranian trained terrorist who felt that the war in Iraq was lost, and that all he wanted to do was bring the troops home now……….. oh, we didn’t see that one, huh?

At least not in the English page…………

PinkyBigglesworth on February 26, 2007 at 10:40 PM

Too many generals leads to chaos.

If they don’t like the service, let them apply for a discharge or C.O. status, and then complain from civilian life.

Otherwise they misuse the uniform for their own petty ends.

You don’t want the half-hearted in your foxhole.

They end up fighting half-assed.

profitsbeard on February 26, 2007 at 10:40 PM

CS Deven, I will keep your son in my prayers. I hope this bad cookie hasn’t had too much influence. I watched this for about 2 seconds and thought hubby would go crazy so we turned it off. I think it’s pathetic how this is also turning up on Yahoo as “major news about the Iraq war”. I’m hoping his platoon Sgt. is squared too. I’m sure he was shocked with what came out of his mouth as well.

Catie96706 on February 26, 2007 at 10:45 PM

Somebody Army Airborne explain to me how this clown is wearing an Airborne tab with a black beret?

If he has an Airborne tab, shouldn’t he be wearing a maroon beret?

Bomb Doctor on February 26, 2007 at 9:52 PM

The Airborne tab is a skill identifier. It means you’ve made it through jump school and are jump qualified.

The maroon beret means you’re a member of an Airborne unit. Lots of folks in the Army are jump qualified but are not members of Airborne units. When I was an Airborne Infantryman more than 20 years ago, the 101st (the Screaming Eagles) was no longer an Airborne unit and hadn’t been for a long time.

It’s like the Ranger tab. Every infantry officer I ever knew when I was in service wore a Ranger tab (they’d all been through Ranger school), but unless they were assigned to one of the Ranger battalions they were not full-fledged Rangers. They wore the headgear appropriate to the units to which they were assigned.

p.v. cornelius on February 26, 2007 at 10:49 PM

And how many pro-war … no, pro-LIBERATION soldiers did she interview for balance? Did she mention thew fact that MOST of our fine Troops are in favor of this Liberation policy? Nah, didn’t think so.

Tony737 on February 26, 2007 at 6:45 PM

This is the exact reason we need the “fairness doctrine” passed to stop this one sided propaganda…. /sarcasm

Tim Burton on February 26, 2007 at 11:09 PM

Catie96706 on February 26, 2007 at 10:45 PM

Thanks for your kindness. Thank for husband for me and I’ll keep him in my prayers.

csdeven on February 26, 2007 at 11:09 PM

Find the .001 % of the military that’s against the war and then give him a mic.

Mojave Mark on February 27, 2007 at 12:56 AM

I did a little poking around back when Drudge linked to a Nation magazine article:
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070101/cooperweb
about some active duty troops supposedly against the
war.

Going to the website mentioned in the article:
http://www.appealforredress.org/
you can find a link where you can click to submit your
appeal:

http://www.appealforredress.org/php/appeal.php

Right clicking on that page and viewing the source,
you can see the information is submitted to:

info@appealforredress.org
Phone: 360-241-1414
Fax: 360-694-8843

…or if you just put your cursor over the info@appealforredress.org email address shown and look in the lower left corner of your browser, you can see the mailto:osokoni@mediumnews.net.

Doing a domain lookup on mediumnews.net points to what
seems to be a defunct Black News organization, Seattle
Medium Newspaper Group at:

http://seattlemedium.blackpressusa.com/news/default.asp

You can view the front end of the site at:
http://www.mediumnews.net/
but it redirects to the non-working
http://seattlemedium.blackpressusa.com/news/default.asp.

Doing a search on “osokoni” finds the email is for
Opio Sokoni, who seems active in a number of leftist
causes including veteransforamerica.org, Veterans
Against The Iraq War, Veterans For Peace, Iraq
Veterans Against the War, and Military Families Speak
Out, so it certainly is nothing new as claimed in the
article.

Doing a search on “Opio Sokoni” finds:

http://www.dcwatch.com/archives/election2002/init62a.htm
http://www.indymedia.org/it/2005/10/825808.shtml

and an interesting story at:

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=46992
and
http://www.independentconservative.com/2005/10/27/opio_sokoni/

Who is he?

http://inthefray.com/html/article.php?sid=816

Contributor, INTHEFRAY.COM

Opio Sokoni is a Howard University-trained lawyer
working as the general manager and talk show host for
a Portland, Oregon radio station. Mr. Sokoni is also
the editor of the Portland Medium newspaper. He earned
a B.A. in Political Science from Norfolk State
University. Opio has previously worked for the Drug
Policy Alliance as the campaign manager for Measure 62
(Treatment versus Jail initiative) which passed with
over 70 percent of the vote. He also worked for
Amnesty International, where he headed up their first
police brutality project. His writings have appeared
in the Boston Globe, the Black Commentator, the
Washington Times, and on numerous pop culture Web
sites. Opio has traveled to Cuba twice on education
exchange trips. A Hip Hop enthusiast and father, Opio
Sokoni is the author of an award-winning children’s
book entitled, “I Want to Be a Lawyer When I Grow Up”
and the newly-released activist resource guide,
Poli-Tainment: Making Struggle Sexy.

Articles by Opio Sokoni

It gets more interesting following some of the links
to:
http://www.albasrah.net/en_articles_2006/0906/GI%20Special%204I24%20The%20Appeal%20For%20Redress_240906.htm
which is at:
http://www.albasrah.net/index.php

whose domain record at:
http://whois.domaintools.com/albasrah.net
is very interesting.

One of the originators/signers of the appeal is Liam
Madden, who doesn’t mind working with Cindy’s bunch:

http://meetwiththemothers.org/article.php?id=310

91Veteran on February 27, 2007 at 1:16 AM

These people have no Honor, it is as simple as that. I hope their families are proud.

DoctorDentons on February 27, 2007 at 6:13 AM

It would make us all feel a lot better if AP would start a thread on Bruce Crandall to balance out this topic.

csdeven on February 27, 2007 at 6:33 AM

Specialist Kevin Torres was in my sons platoon. I just got off the phone with him and he says KT is an alright guy. They all just found out a couple days ago that he was going to be on 60 Minutes.

It’s a small world.

csdeven on February 26, 2007 at 8:01 PM

From what you’ve said here initially, it doesn’t sound as though KT spoke about his feelings towards the war around your son.

It makes me wonder if he hid his feelings for a reason.

Esthier on February 27, 2007 at 9:11 AM

http://www.militarycity.com/polls/2006poll_iraq.php

You’ve probably seen this. Not cut and dry either way; clearly the troops are mcuh more optimistic than the general public, but there is significant dissatisfaction and growing pessimism. Assuming this poll is representative of course.

honora on February 27, 2007 at 9:17 AM

Soldiers really are no different then anybody else walking the streets, and as such they come with their own opinions and beliefs on everything from their favorite sports to movies. They are entitled to their opinions just like I am entitled to have a differing opinion.
What I don’t like is the seeming biased promotion of one side of the debate over the other by organizations which have the power to reach millions who do not know or are not aware of other sources of information. So if something comes into your living room from the venerable “60 Minutes” program, in most peoples minds, it automatically has more credibilty then something on the web.
Here is an even more simplistic version of this. last night watching the news and they were doing a sports report. The teleprompter reader in talking about the NASCAR race refered to the road course in CA. Folks the race was in Fontana which is a 2 mile oval, meaning there was no road course. Now if the clown had even looked over his shoulder at the video running in the background he would have known that also.
So if they get something as simple as that wrong what makes you think they can get the big stories right?
Just throwing it out there, since the bias argument has been well established and it time to make an effort to change it rather then complain about it.

LakeRuins on February 27, 2007 at 10:40 AM

Here is a thought. What if Mr Kevin Torres knew that if he spoke in favor of the war he would not get his 15 minutes of fame. Hey we have guys in the military who are just as big attention whores as Brittany and Paris.
Everybody knows the only way to be seen on TV is to bash Bush or criticise the war.
Go ahead try it yourself.

LakeRuins on February 27, 2007 at 10:45 AM

Kevin “Benedict” Torres needs to listen to this message.

Wade on February 27, 2007 at 10:50 AM

The soldier depicted in the picture is a member of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). The Airborne tab is a part of the 101st unit’s patch. The tab is not an identifier as previously posted. There are several units, 82nd Airborne, 101st Airborne, 18th Airborne Corps, Special Forces Groups and several other smaller units that incorporate the airborne tab as part of their unit’s patch. The presence of the tab does not mean that the unit is on airborne status. The tab is just part of that unit’s lineage and history. The beret is a whole different issue. Every soldier in the US Army is authorized to wear the black beret, much to the chagrin of the Rangers. If your unit is on jump status, i.e., the 82nd Airborne Division then the soldier wears a maroon beret. If you are in a ranger unit then the appropriate color is brown. As for Special Forces, if you are Tab qualified, i.e., been to and completed the Special Force Qualification Course, then you wore the Green Beret. If you are not SF qualified but assigned to an SF unit then you wear a maroon beret. The only specialty tabs are the President’s 100, Ranger and Special Forces tabs. Sorry so long a post. Hope it helps.

MSG(RET), USA

SPIFF1669 on February 27, 2007 at 12:38 PM

SPIFF1669 on February 27, 2007 at 12:38 PM

I stand corrected on the 101st unit patch. My apologies to the 101st and anyone who served in it.

p.v. cornelius on February 27, 2007 at 2:15 PM

Spiff…what about 10th Mountain? Are they the President’s 100?

I have another question if you don’t mind. If this guy Torres did sway some of the kids in his platoon, will the Sgt square them away? Do I need to worry about my kid? My feelings are that I probably shouldn’t. Torres is a Spec after what…6 years? My kid came out of basic as an E3, (JROTC etc) and is very motivated, why the heck would he listen to an underachiever? Is it necessarily a bad sign when he says KT is an OK guy?

csdeven on February 27, 2007 at 2:22 PM

csdeven,
10th Mountain have a tab above their unit’s patch also. It is like an airborne tab as it is a part of the unit patch. The best way to describe the difference is this- If a Ranger, Special Forces or President’s 100 soldier leaves that unit for any reason the tab stays on his uniform. An example would be a Ranger assinged to the 82nd Airborne Div. He would wear the All-American patch with Airborne tab. Then above the airborne tab would be the Ranger tab.
Hope this helps.
As far as sway in a unit. I wouldn’t worry about it too much. The military is usually pretty good at policing its own.

de oppresso liber

SPIFF1669 on February 27, 2007 at 4:24 PM

Thanks so much for the support.

csdeven on February 27, 2007 at 8:00 PM