Friday, November 03, 2006

"Report: Flagstaff soldier killed self in protest"

This has got to be one of the more disgusting pieces of reporting outside of the NY Treason Times that I've seen in a while. You have the headline "Report: Flagstaff soldier killed self in protest", then you have the story...which gives no evidence that "protest" was a motive for the suicide! See for yourself:
A Flagstaff soldier who died in Iraq committed suicide after she refused to participate in interrogation techniques being practiced by her U.S. Army intelligence unit, according to a report about an Army investigation aired by a Flagstaff radio station.

U.S. Army Spc. Alyssa R. Peterson, 27, died Sept. 15, 2003, in Tel Afar, an Iraqi city of about 350,000 residents in the northern part of the country.

At the time, the U.S. Department of Defense listed her cause of death as a "noncombat weapons discharge."

Spc. Peterson's mother, Bobbi Peterson, reached at her home in northern Arizona, said she became aware of the KNAU report Wednesday. Neither she nor her husband Richard has received any official documents that contained information outlined in the KNAU report.

Until she and Richard have had an opportunity to read the documents, she said she is unable to comment.

Spc. Peterson had been assigned to C Company, 311th Military Intelligence Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), which is based in Fort Campbell, Ky. She was in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedon, functioning as an Arabic-speaking intelligence specialist.

On Tuesday, a KNAU Public Radio reporter, who had filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the reports of the criminal investigation into Peterson's death, aired a report that Peterson had committed suicide.

According to KNAU, an Army investigation found that Peterson had objected to interrogation techniques that were being used on prisoners.

"She refused to participate after only two nights working in the unit known as the cage," stated the KNAU report.

She was subsequently assigned to monitoring Iraqi guards at the base gate and was sent to suicide prevention training, stated the KNAU report. And on Sept. 15, Army investigators concluded she shot and killed herself with her service rifle, according to KNAU.

The KNAU report also stated that Army spokespeople for Peterson's unit refused to describe the interrogation techniques and that all records of the techniques have been destroyed.

The Peterson family told the Arizona Daily Sun in 2003 they did not want to know how she died beyond the Army's general classification of the death. They declined to discuss the matter further and asked the Daily Sun to respect the family's privacy. The Daily Sun agreed to the request.
Did you see anything that implied that she killed herself as a result of a "protest"? We are simply to believe that because she didn't like the interrogation techniques, she "protested" said techniques. I mean, did she say "I can't do this, and I don't like that we're doing it! I'll show you!"?

Could it be that maybe, just maybe...oh, I don't know...she had emotional or mental issues that caused her to take her own life? I mean, we see protesters on the news at various events, and I have YET to see one of those smelly unemployable miscreants who believed in their cause du jour enough to take themselves out!

Also, there's a logical fallacy known as "post hoc, ergo propter hoc", which means "after this, therefore because of it." I mean, the sentence is technically true in that the suicide occurred after her refusal. However, the implication is that there is a causal relationship. Here's an equally absurd example: "President Franklin D. Roosevelt died after the Titanic sank." FDR died in 1945, and the Titanic sank in 1912, but the implication is that FDR died as a result of the sinking. The same thing exists in this Peterson story, i.e. the implication is that the suicide is necessarily a result of the "protest" of the interrogation tactics.

Spc. Peterson's death is horrible and tragic, and I pray that her family finds strength to deal with the anguish they're experiencing right now. The last thing they or anyone else needs is crappy and distorted reporting like this!