Green Room

Love The Warriors

posted at 2:29 am on January 2, 2010 by

You don’t have to love the war, but you have to love the warrior.” – Private Johnathon Millican

The author of those words was twenty years old when he died. He used a web camera to talk with his wife from Iraq on the morning of his final day. He had been in Iraq for about three months. The quote above comes from his MySpace page.

Private Johnathon Millican

Private Johnathon Millican

1st Lt. Jacob Fritz was a graduate of the United States Military Academy. His younger brother Daniel graduated from West Point a year after his death. He looks like a man who knew how to laugh. “Sometimes, when there’s a whisper in the wind, I feel he’s walking with me,” says his mother Noala. His parents bought 70 acres of farmland across the highway from their place for Jacob to settle on, when his military career was over.

1st Lt. Jacob Fritz

1st Lt. Jacob Fritz

Private First Class Shawn Falter had twelve brothers and sisters. Three of his older brothers preceded him in military service. At his funereal, his older brother Andrew, an Air Force master sergeant, said, “Rest, Shawn. You’ve done your part. Your brothers will take it from here.” Pfc. Falter once gave up his own leave time, so a fellow soldier could return home to be with his wife and children.

Private First Class Shawn Falter

Private First Class Shawn Falter

Specialist Johnathan Bryan Chism was a month away from coming home for two weeks of rest and recuperation when he died. A few years ago, he was a Boy Scout.

Specialist Johnathan Bryan Chism

Specialist Johnathan Bryan Chism

On January 20th, 2007, these four men were abducted from the Provincial Joint Coordination Center in Karbala, Iraq, during a sophisticated insurgent attack.  The operation was believed to have been coordinated by the Qods Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Within a few hours, they were executed by their captors. Their bodies were left with some abandoned vehicles. Two of them were tossed on the ground, while two were still handcuffed together inside one of the vehicles.

A fifth soldier, Captain Brian S. Freeman, was killed in the initial attack. He was a world-class athlete who won a bronze medal as part of a bobsled team in the 2002 America’s Cup race. Some of the bobsled drivers he trained with went on to compete in the last Olympics. One of them, Steven Holcomb, called Captain Freeman “one of the greatest men I have ever known.”

Captain Brian S. Freeman

Captain Brian S. Freeman

The architects of the attack that killed Captain Freeman, and the subsequent murders of the other four brave soldiers, are brothers named Qais and Laith Khazali. They were captured in a March 2007 raid in Basra. On New Year’s Eve, we learned that Qais Khazali has been released, apparently as part of a prisoner exchange for British hostage Peter Moore. Laith Khazali was already released six months ago. Peter Moore was kidnapped in May 2007, explicitly to be used as a bargaining chip for the freedom of the Khazali brothers.

The circumstances around Qais Khazali’s release are murky, with the usual denials and clarifications swirling around like a cloud of confetti over Times Square on New Years’ Eve. Multi National Force spokesmen claim this was not a hostage trade, but rather an attempt to comply with “the implementation of the U.S. – Iraq Security Agreement” and support a “reconciliation process.” Some suggest this is all part of an elaborate intelligence operation.

Republican Senators Jeff Sessions and Jon Kyl have already sent a letter to the Obama Administration, citing an executive order signed by President Reagan in 1986 that prohibits concessions to terrorist hostage takers. With the New Year holiday behind us, more Republican congressmen will doubtless be right behind Sessions and Kyl with their own hard questions. It’s even possible some Democrats will join them, now that they’re finished with midnight votes to take over the health-care system, and desperately need to fool their constituents into thinking they’re “moderates” who care about national security.

Was that harsh? Prove me wrong, Democrats. Make me eat those words. I’ll gladly slather them in barbecue sauce, and savor ever last consonant.

International conflicts are a messy business. We know that Iran has been supporting the Iraqi insurgency with money, equipment, and personnel. We don’t have the manpower to completely lock down the thousand-mile border between Iran and Iraq. Attacks on Qods Force bases in Iran would swiftly escalate into all-out war. Intelligence is the key weapon in defeating a terrorist insurgency, and it must often be obtained through sins committed in deep shadow. We must also make efforts to respect the sovereign dignity of the Iraqi government we have been nurturing for the past six years. Even with all of these uneasy truths in mind, it’s difficult to see how the release of the men behind the Karbala attack can be justified.

It seems unlikely that the Khazali outrage could have happened without President Obama’s authorization. I’m ready to hear him explain this… and then, considering his reputation as a liar, every thinking American should be ready to fact-check every word he says. I don’t mind admitting I’m a hostile audience. You should be, too. Nothing this President has done since taking office has earned him a shred of trust or faith, especially in the area of national security.

We just watched his utterly incompetent Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, stammer her way through a terrorist attack. Her only useful purpose was preparing the infamous Defense Intelligence Estimate that indicted “radicalized right-wing extremists” as potential terrorists, thus transforming an important security document into a piece of scornography to titillate the far Left. No one who takes the defense of America seriously would put an unqualified piece of bureaucratic furniture like Napolitano in charge of Homeland Security… and, a week after a defective set of exploding underwear was the only thing keeping her from standing trial for three hundred counts of negligent homicide, she’s still there. There is still no evidence Barack Obama takes defense issues seriously, or even understands them. His Administration stands by while Navy SEALs are persecuted for allegedly punching a terrorist in the mouth… while the enemy murders handcuffed hostages with head shots.

I can think of a hundred bad reasons Obama would let the murderers of Karbala go. He needs to help us imagine a good one. America’s military men and women pledge their last full measure of their devotion to our defense. We owe it to them to return that devotion.

I humbly devote this space to remembering Private Johnathon Millican, First Lieutenant Jacob Fritz, Private First Class Shawn Falter, Specialist Johnathan Bryan Chism, and Captain Brian S. Freeman, and I encourage you to join me in demanding the full story behind why the filth who orchestrated their murders are walking around free. We won’t get those answers unless we push for them, with the same courage and dedication our fallen heroes gave to their duty. This story will go away, unless you keep it alive. Love the warriors, by making it clear to Washington that their lives are worth more than any politician’s career.

If I may borrow a few words from Private Falter’s brother: Rest, my friends. You’ve done your part. Your countrymen will take it from here.

Cross-posted at www.doczero.org.

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I didn’t even agree with the folks that the last administration thought were ready to go back home. This latest clown not only has terrorist credentials but political aspirations. Just freaking fantastic.

Cindy Munford on January 3, 2010 at 1:34 AM

Darn it. Missed a hawkdriver schooling of a troll.

Drive on, dear!

baldilocks on January 3, 2010 at 1:36 AM

Cindy and Baldi, was not ignoring or did not miss your comments, just moved off to work. CP computer. Off to preflight my helicopter now though.

I did want to check back in toi see if Norman had managed to cite one reason that I was an idiot. And I he didn’t….so….I feel safe in the fact that I might just “not” be an idiot. That’s good too considering I have to give a checkride today.

Closing comment, we will never win against these people by being weak with them. God forbid they ever get me here; do not send a single soul. And I sure wouldn’t want them to trade some punk that another service member risked their life to capture.

Mahalo!

hawkdriver on January 3, 2010 at 1:52 AM

hawkdriver on January 3, 2010 at 1:52 AM

So noted but I don’t even want to think about that. I hesitate to make you feel less than special but Mr. Blitzer calls just about everyone normal an idiot. At best you can just be proud of the company he puts you with. He’s a smooth talker isn’t he?

Cindy Munford on January 3, 2010 at 2:09 AM

There may in fact be a good reason, as of right now we the public just don’t know.
Norman Blizter on January 3, 2010 at 1:10 AM

without the other posts above this almost comes off as reasonable.

Unfortunately there were the other posts.

I’ve read some really thoughtless and callous statements from small people but this amoeba takes the cake

with self loathing at the level that Norman displays he should be sure to keep a suicide hotline number near

Sonosam on January 3, 2010 at 8:04 AM

In case you missed it. One soldier wanted to send a Christmas message in a way only a soldier can. Merry Christmas From Afghanistan!

Dollayo on January 3, 2010 at 8:12 AM

Best way to make sure this story gets public attention it deserves is to send it to Rush and Palin and let them do their thing.

Good job by Doc Z, as usual.

james23 on January 3, 2010 at 9:05 AM

It appears some skimmed through DZ’s article and took assumptions as facts.

DZ said: >>
“The circumstances around Qais Khazali’s release are murky….. Multi National Force spokesmen claim this was not a hostage trade, but rather an attempt to comply with “the implementation of the U.S. – Iraq Security Agreement” and support a “reconciliation process.” Some suggest this is all part of an elaborate intelligence operation…. International conflicts are a messy business…. We must also make efforts to respect the sovereign dignity of the Iraqi government we have been nurturing for the past six years…. Even with all of these uneasy truths in mind, it’s difficult to see how the release of the men behind the Karbala attack can be justified. It seems unlikely that the Khazali outrage could have happened without President Obama’s authorization. I’m ready to hear him explain this…”

RE: I’m ready to hear him explain this…”
This shows DZ knows all the facts aren’t in. But the psychos psychics here assume The O gave the orders to release this guy, LOL. We don’t even know if this guy was in Iraqi custody, which is more likely, then in US custody.

Bill Blizzard on January 3, 2010 at 10:32 AM

We just watched his utterly incompetent Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, stammer her way through a terrorist attack.

This flight originated outside the US. It’s not called the Dept. of World Security. Get a grip and stay on topic instead of lashing out with hatred at unrelated points. It’s disrespectful when your post basically pays homage to those departed hero’s.

Bill Blizzard on January 3, 2010 at 10:33 AM

MB4 on January 2, 2010 at 10:42 PM

I don’t care who said what. Clinton and his cohorts “wagged the dog” with SH to deflect from the soap opera >> “milk stains” on Monica’s skirt“. That’s what repubs said when his admin got belligerent with SH. Bush wagged the dog to get re-elected in 2004. Wanted to outdo daddy. The quotes after 2001 were based on the limited and dubious claims of the Bush admin. Remember Curveball? Interesting that you quoted people that you wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire, who all conserves here at HA believe are self serving liars, to try to make the point that invading Iraq was the right thing to do. If Gore was elected and proposed the same thing you would have been outraged because of blind political rage.

Re: He had to pull some resources for Iraq from Afghanistan which prolonged what should have been a short war there that just resulted in the deaths of several CIA agents there the other day.

Obama has been in charge of Afghanistan for virtually a year now. Does the Blame Bush Card have no expiration date? Not even a half-life?

This went down in late 2002. The question is asinine. It went on like that for almost 7 years under Bush. I know you think The O is the second coming but there’s a lot of cleaning up to do after 7 years of a cluster FK. Read the Official army History. The NYT didn’t make it up or it would be all over this website and Fixed news.

Bill Blizzard on January 3, 2010 at 10:36 AM

What is it about Democrats that makes them such ball-less non-men. I mean how could any man be that effeminate and cowardly? I just don’t get it.

WarEagle01 on January 3, 2010 at 10:37 AM

hawkdriver on January 2, 2010 at 11:16 PM
Official army history according to The New York Times. And linked from a lefty site.

“A Different Kind of War” is the first installment of the Army’s official history of the war in Afghanistan, covering the period from October 2001 to September 2005. Written by a team of seven historians at the Army’s Combat Studies Institute at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and based on open source material, it is scheduled to be published by spring. The New York Times obtained a copy of the manuscript, which is still under review by current and former military officials.”

Do you know how to follow links and/or read and comprehend?

RE: ROE
After killing more innocent civilians then the Taliban and AQ combined for 7 years, circumstances change if the US wants to keep that peacock Karzi, installed by Bush, who hadn’t been in Afghanistan since he was a child and has a drug dealing brother in power, to placate the Afghan population.

Great post. I think you chased them off.
hawkdriver on January 2, 2010 at 11:48 PM
Combined arms – arty and air!
MB4 on January 2, 2010 at 11:55 PM

Some people have to work and get some sleep. That was just childish, not thought through just like most of your comments.

hawkdriver on January 3, 2010 at 1:10 AM

You just keep regressing into juvenile behavior. Pasting links to pictures of excrement. Classy!Are you and ex lizard?

Bill Blizzard on January 3, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Bill Blizzard on January 3, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Bill you’re wrong and stupid. A lethal combination.

Just in case the thought has not crossed your mind, many people who post on this site see right through you and have consistently run circles around your uninformed delusions decorated as intellectual arguments…you’re a sad pathetic human being and the real mind boggling aspect of it all is…you are fully self aware of the fact.

javamartini on January 3, 2010 at 11:15 AM

You just keep regressing into juvenile behavior. Pasting links to pictures of excrement. Classy!Are you and ex lizard?

Bill Blizzard on January 3, 2010 at 10:39 AM

They’re hawkdriver’s family photos. The first one is his mom.

What is it about Democrats that makes them such ball-less non-men. I mean how could any man be that effeminate and cowardly? I just don’t get it.

WarEagle01 on January 3, 2010 at 10:37 AM

Democrats have balls, it’s just that conservatives have no brains.

but Mr. Blitzer calls just about everyone normal an idiot.
Cindy Munford on January 3, 2010 at 2:09 AM

The normal conservative is an idiot.

with self loathing at the level that Norman displays he should be sure to keep a suicide hotline number near

Sonosam on January 3, 2010 at 8:04 AM

Sonosam, you are so willfully stupid I have no doubt you’ll be getting a Darwin award sometime soon.

Norman Blizter on January 3, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Bill Blizzard on January 3, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Who is Peter Moore? Why, at the time of capture, were all four security folks killed but obscure British IT consultant was held for over two years and then apparently exchanged for a high value detainee? And leave Hawk alone, no one has critiqued your comments, if you don’t like it, don’t read it. Your comments about the subject of the thread are substantive but they don’t entitle you to judge what others offer.

Cindy Munford on January 3, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Bill you’re wrong, blah, blah, blah
javamartini on January 3, 2010 at 11:15 AM

javamartini is yet another brainless conservative who is unable to engage in a thoughtful discussion.

Norman Blizter on January 3, 2010 at 11:21 AM

And leave Hawk alone, no one has critiqued your comments, if you don’t like it, don’t read it.
Cindy Munford on January 3, 2010 at 11:21 AM

I’m getting tired of your selective reading. Don’t pretend to be objective when you’re obviously not.

Norman Blizter on January 3, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Norman Blizter on January 3, 2010 at 11:23 AM

When I wrote that no one had responded to Mr. Blizzard. I am not unbiased about Hawk, that is true, but when it comes to this pissing contest with you, Mr. Blizzard calling him juvenile while ignoring your eloquence should also be pointed out. Of course calling names is your M.O. so why he bothers to respond, I must admit is a mystery to me.

Cindy Munford on January 3, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Who is Peter Moore?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8438327.stm
“The 36-year-old computer expert from Lincoln, who was kidnapped in Iraq in May 2007, landed at RAF Brize Norton, in Oxfordshire, on Friday evening.”
“Mr Moore, who was taken hostage along with his four British bodyguards while working in Baghdad for a US firm, was released on 30 December 2009.”

Also read this:
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1139553.html
“Al-Khazali has been key to Moore’s release ever since the Briton was kidnapped. The 26-year-old was a rising star in the Righteous League, a band of Iranian-backed Shia militants, a nascent Islamic group, when he was captured by the British Army in Iraq in March 2007, and later handed over to the U.S., where he was held up until his release several days ago. The group believed to have been led by Al-Khazali is suspected of being involved in the murder of five American soldiers.”

I’m willing to bet Khazali offered up invaluable intelligence to the US to ensure his release and Peter Moore may be more important than we think.

Norman Blizter on January 3, 2010 at 11:38 AM

When I wrote that no one had responded to Mr. Blizzard. I am not unbiased about Hawk, that is true, but when it comes to this pissing contest with you, Mr. Blizzard calling him juvenile while ignoring your eloquence should also be pointed out. Of course calling names is your M.O. so why he bothers to respond, I must admit is a mystery to me.

Cindy Munford on January 3, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Maybe Mr Blizzard doesn’t like clicking on links that lead to pictures of sh*t? And Cindy, aren’t you being a bit of a hypocrite? You only concentrated on my name-calling but no one else’s, even though I had never posted to you at that time.

Norman Blizter on January 3, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Norman Blizter on January 3, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Now, I found your comment at 11:38 interesting. I think if you will look at my overall comments you will find that I seldom chastise people for their remarks and in fact I am often unhappy with those who try to squelch other’s comments because I want to read them. You often make valid points that are worth reading then you start calling names and pointing our errors in past administration (always Republican) like the people here are unaware of past errors. Sorry, I just think you could be a better promoter of the other side’s viewpoint.

Cindy Munford on January 3, 2010 at 11:51 AM

I’m willing to bet Khazali offered up invaluable intelligence to the US to ensure his release and Peter Moore may be more important than we think.

Norman Blizter on January 3, 2010 at 11:38 AM

And I am willing to hope you are correct and consider it a possibility.

Cindy Munford on January 3, 2010 at 11:58 AM

pointing our errors in past administration (always Republican) like the people here are unaware of past errors.Cindy Munford on January 3, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Pointing out errors in the past certainly helps demonstrate hypocrisy in the present. Again, I only mentioned Reagan because DZ brought him up. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have been an issue.

Norman Blizter on January 3, 2010 at 12:00 PM

I’m admittedly a complete novice to HA and blogging, yet it’s obvious to this beginner that the Blitz and Bliz bros had to wait til Hawk signed off before they unloaded their dynamic nonsense to get the last words. silly boys

msactionjackson on January 3, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Norman Blizter on January 3, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Okay, fair enough. But that hypocrite door swings both ways and seldom adds to the current subject. When I first read the articles about this exchange I was struck by the fact that there were no dates. I seriously wondered it if had happened on W’s watch. There almost always is more to the story. The release of a charismatic young cleric with both a violent history and political aspirations is going to take some tall rationalizing as the correct choice.

Cindy Munford on January 3, 2010 at 12:10 PM

You just keep regressing into juvenile behavior. Pasting links to pictures of excrement. Classy!Are you and ex lizard?

Bill Blizzard on January 3, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Come on, you know it was funny.

hawkdriver on January 3, 2010 at 1:54 PM

Bottom line, this entire administration is incompetent.

hawkdriver on January 3, 2010 at 1:57 PM

RE: ROE
After killing more innocent civilians then the Taliban and AQ combined for 7 years, circumstances change if the US wants to keep that peacock Karzi, installed by Bush, who hadn’t been in Afghanistan since he was a child and has a drug dealing brother in power, to placate the Afghan population.

Really? Link to your proof of that. I’ve been here and Iraq most of that time. I guess I’m missing a lot. And you mix a lot of “information” with opinion young man. I guess if no one called you on it, it would make you seem an artful debator.

But yeah, the Donks always revert to the baby-killer meme when they’re losing an arguement about how poorly they run the military. But that’s why we in the military hate you lefties. Sell us down the river to achieve your goals.

The bottom line with the current ROE, it’s already causing more deaths in Afgfhanistan under your president.

hawkdriver on January 3, 2010 at 2:08 PM

BTW Bill and Norman. Read the entire manuscript. I think you’ll find it actually a very positive review of the Bush Administration and the military.

The Times, HuffPo and you two really know how to cherry pick some data.

hawkdriver on January 3, 2010 at 2:32 PM

What is this, Kindergarten?

Abelard on January 2, 2010 at 11:09 PM

That will be next year. This is only pre-school.

MB4 on January 2, 2010 at 11:15 PM

No, we’re being given a sniff of the Re-education Kamp curriculum from two of its wannabe “educators”.

Sweet_Thang on January 5, 2010 at 12:06 PM

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