Sunday, June 29, 2008

In re. Ciara Durkin: Thanks to the Bush regime's record of mendacity, we see what happens when we no longer trust anything our government says


October 6, 2007, St. John the Baptist Church,
Quincy, Mass.: Ciara Durkin is laid to rest.

What happens when we no longer trust our government? Rather obviously, we no longer trust the results when it undertakes to "investigate."

Yesterday Greg Mitchell, a much-respected journalist as well as the editor of Editor & Publisher magazine, reported on the magazine's website on the result, after nine months of private grief and public agitation and military fumblng, waffling, and "investigation," of the military's investigation of the death-by-gunshot of a 30-year-old Massachusetts National Guardswoman in Afghanistan.

Mitchell lays out the background:
The military's handling of the case has been disturbing from the outset, with claims of murder voiced by friends and family due to the fact that the victim was known to be gay and had written home that she had seen some troubling things that might cause her not to survive.

Officials first reported that Ciara Durkin, 30, of Quincy, Mass., who served in the National Guard, had died "in action," then revealed that she was killed in a "noncombat" incident that was being investigated.

Her family was told that she had been killed by a single gunshot near a church. They soon charged -- and the media widely covered the allegations -- that the military had been dragging its feet in giving them more details. They rejected any chance of suicide and suspected friendly fire or murder.

They said she had told them to push for an investigation if anything ever happened to her. She was in a finance unit and may have found some improprieties, according to a story in the [Quincy] Patriot-Ledger, which also disclosed that her family had notified the military about her concerns about her safety.

An e-mail she had sent friends in June 2007, claimed a fellow soldier had pulled a 9mm gun on her.

The Boston Globe reported that the family wondered if, as a lesbian, she may have been targeted. Sen. John Kerry and Sen. Ted Kennedy pushed for answers.

And now, after nine months, comes an answer of sorts:
Investigators concluded Durkin used her Army issue M-16 rifle to shoot herself in the head near a church on the secure Bagram Airbase on Sept. 28, 2007. The question of "why" remained and Durkin's family appears not convinced, saying they are "saddened" by the Army's final report.

The obvious problem, it seems to me, is that -- especially in the wake of the massive disinformation campaign that comprised the "investigation" into the friendly-fire death in Afghanistan of football hero Pat Tillman -- nobody trusts U.S. military investigations. Is there anyone now who doesn't believe that the "investigators" into the death of Ciara Durkin spent those nine months:

(a) hoping the fuss would die down and people would forget about it (except for the family, of course, but they know they can never satisfy them; and let's face it, the present U.S. administration has discovered that it doesn't have to worry much about the families of the servicefolk returned dead or maimed), and --

(b) figuring out what would be the very least they could get away with saying, whether true or not.

Of course, even in the event that the once-utterly-ruled-out suicide possibility is correct, it raises more questions than it answers. Greg Mitchell's biographical note tells us that his new book, So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits -- and the President -- Failed on Iraq, "includes several chapters on soldier/vet suicides," and he concludes by referring to "an angry editorial" in Durkin's hometown Quincy Patriot-Ledger, which --
raises questions about the epidemic of suicides among vets, in the war zones and back home, before concluding: "We can treat the physical injuries received on the battlefields but the hidden wounds can be as potentially debilitating and fatal. Ciara Durkin died while in service to her country. It would be a dishonor and a disservice to her and the hundreds of others like her to treat their deaths as a personal failure rather than a victim of war."

When we tot up the costs of the Bush regime's catastrophic wars, what dollar value do we assign to the lives disrupted and destroyed? And how do we put a price on the total loss of credibility the regime has inflicted on our government?

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At 3:13 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Just another take from one of the I HATE BUSH CLUB people and skims the surface of what actually happened. This was a suicide. But the BUSH HATE CLUB wants otherwise. Well, now its Obama's show and since he is not doing anything about it.......then its Obamas coverup. Just like after Bush got elected. Klintons people screamed at midnight of the night Bush got finally seated that everything going on was Bush's fault. So if indeed this is a suicide, then get the report and see where you think it is NOT a suicide. This is a conspiracy theorists dream and what finance person does not uncover people schmooing on their paychecks? In the army no less? Geez.........get a grip here

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