Dead in the Water

Many thanks to Mike Ewens for his review of "Dead in the Water" and for his support for the Liberty survivors! I just found the web page (courtesy of searcher WebFerret) and was surprised that I hadn’t seen it before!

A new book, Operation Cyanide by the same DITW investigator, Peter Hounam, is out now and contains some newer information – such as the fact that six B-52 nuke-equipped bombers were sitting on a runway in California with engines running for something like SIX HOURS waiting for the "GO" signal – which never came – all hands eventually stood down. Significantly, crew members were rousted out of bed for the alarm more than one hour BEFORE the Liberty was attacked!

As Electronics Maintenance Officer aboard the Liberty, I was transferred to my subsequent duty station a month before the attack. I was relieved by Jim Ennes, who later wrote the book Assault on the Liberty. I’ve maintained close liaison with the survivors and I can tell you that most will swear that the attack was deliberate, i.e., that Israel knew the ship was American. They saw the torpedo boats firing at American sailors from a distance of 50 feet – where they claim they couldn’t see the flag – couldn’t see the GTR-5 designation on the bow (in 6 1/2 foot letters!) – and from where they shot up life rafts as they were put into the water in preparation for abandoning the ship.

Only one man, LT Maury Bennett, has agreed with A. Jay Cristol, who traveled to Israel 16 times (at his own expense, he says) to "investigate" the attack (for his book The Liberty Incident and after 500 interviews there, came back with the Israeli pack of lies, claiming those that saw the life rafts being shot up were "liars." Claiming that Dave Lewis (who relates President Johnson and Robert MacNamara ordering the Sixth Fleet to recall the fighters that were sent to help the Liberty) was "imagining things."

Many thanks and good wishes, Mike Ewens!

~ John Gidusko


Casualties in Iraq

I appreciate the fact that you put the number of casualties on your site. But maybe there’s an inaccuracy in the number of wounded. Please check this site: "The unseen cost of the war in Iraq," Channel4.com.

Please let my know what you think. I am interested to hear your opinion.

~ Harry S.

Mike Ewens replies:

We only use the official numbers, but point out that they may be a underestimate: http://antiwar.com/casualties/#wounded.

It was sad to see that Mike still, inaccurately equates the word "casualty" with killed on his casualty page, thereby perpetuating the falsity that it means killed and minimizing the perception of our casualties in Iraq. How many Americans still believe, because of Mike’s inaccurate use of the word, that our casualties in Iraq are only the Americans killed? Please see any dictionary or the Department of Defense Glossary of Military Terms for a correct definition of the word. (A casualty is anyone lost to the organization due to death, injury, illness, etc.)

~ Carl Mattioli

Mike Ewens replies:

Funny thing… the listing below "Casualties In Iraq" has both killed and wounded. And look at this, a dictionary agrees:

"3 a : a military person lost through death, wounds, injury, sickness, internment, or capture or through being missing in action b : a person or thing injured, lost, or destroyed : VICTIM <the ex-senator was a casualty of the last election…"

Another:

"3. pl. (Mil. & Naval) Numerical loss caused by **death**, wounds, discharge, or desertion. Casualty ward, A ward in a hospital devoted to the treatment of injuries received by accident. Syn. – Accident; contingency; fortuity; misfortune."

Even your own definition suggests that it DOES include death: "A casualty is anyone lost to the organization due to death, injury, illness…"

Casualties encompasses both those killed and injured. Where am I going wrong?

You ask: "How many Americans still believe, because of Mike’s inaccurate use of the word, that our casualties in Iraq are only the Americans killed?"

Apparently only you, for I list wounded and killed. I could title the page "The Dead and Wounded" but it is simpler to write the synonym "Casualties."


Quotations

Putting the quotations in printer-friendly format would be helpful.

~ Jean Tracy

Mike Ewens replies:

We aim to please: http://antiwar.com/quotes.php.


The Neo-Authoritarians

I enjoyed your column … on David Horowitz and the "Neo-Authoritarians." I certainly agree with your evaluation of Mr. Horowitz’s motives. But, there is one reason I continue to visit his website. My reason is certainly not because I am not yet tired of reading the same litany in every issue of FrontPageMag.com concerning campus totalitarianism and the righteousness of the Israeli cause and its pursuit in the Middle East. No, I read FPM because Mr. Horowitz has undoubtedly the best "interactive reader" system of any site on the either the Internet or in print media. Mr. Horowitz’s "Reader Response" system is unchallenged as being the very best. Granted, developing the system has probably cost a great deal of money, but the results are certainly impressive.

I compare his system to that of Antiwar.com. At today’s reading your Backtalk section is 8 days behind in publishing letters from readers and contains only a tiny fraction of the letters sent to you. Whereas with the Horowitz system each and every letter on any article is published within seconds of its being submitted. There is no censorship; there is no editorial comment about the sheer volume of letters being overpowering, etc., etc. There is only a disclaimer written by Horowitz’s lawyers saying that reader comment certainly is not a reflection of FPM policy and reader comments are left to stand on their own merits of lack thereof. The result of course is not without its blemishes. Reader comment most times boils down to a dogfight between readers who are intent only on finding new ways to insult each other. However, the result also gives a broad insight into American values, intelligence (or lack thereof), priorities, etc. This analysis is often times much more insightful than the articles under comment.

~ Nolan K. Anderson

Sam Koritz replies:

The Antiwar Forum might be just what you’re looking for.


Richard Perle, Walking Disaster

Having read Christopher Deliso and Justin Raimondo’s recent articles about Richard Perle ("Walking disaster" and "Chutzpah"), it can only be a matter of time before the neo-conmen ask us to see them as "victims" of the entire Iraqi fiasco.

What I would like to know, however, is why the French have failed to declare this ogre as persona non grata? Perle has attacked France on numerous occasions and publicly described France an as enemy of the United States. Surely the French have every right to refuse residence to a foreigner visibly acting against their national interest.

~ Steven Y.

Christopher Deliso replies:

I have wondered that too… maybe you or someone else could look into it by asking the French Embassy in Washington? You could also try the link to the local Gordes tourist bureau (probably) found in the link near the end of my article, and ask them.

Maybe he pays a lot in property tax. Still, can’t imagine that his presence is really a draw for autograph-seekers.

It’s Colonel Mustard, not Mr. Mustard (in the study, with the lead pipe). Could have been really snicker-worthy, but Deliso’s failure to remember the proper title of a former fictional member of the armed services ruined the joke.

~ J. Hayes

Christopher Deliso replies:

Thanks… I tend to think it’s still funny anyway, but nevertheless I appreciate the correction! And I forgot about the ‘armed services connection’, I was just thinking of the investigative facets of that venerable board game.


A Case for Hizbollah?

I‘m sorry, "bloodthirsty Arabs"? How dare you say something so vulgar? If you ask me, it’s the Israelis that are bloodthirsty, continuously attacking the Arab world with tanks, machine guns and troops against the weak Arabs with mere shotguns and rocks. I find this site to be extremely biased to the Israeli point of view and highly do not recommend it to anyone.

~ Hassan Youssef

Ran HaCohen replies:

It would be nice if you bothered to read just a bit further than the first eight words of my column before making up your mind so resolutely about me and about the entire site. "Haste is from Satan", says a well-known Arab proverb.


Jeremy Sapienza’s backtalk

Mr. Sapienza seems to question the whole idea of sovereignty, which assigns the state collective control over its entire territory. This may be a fascinating philosophical exercise, but it’s politically sterile. Hypothetically, I may be in favour of a world where "States have no right to use force to keep people from using unclaimed land on this earth", but in our world practically nobody questions the right of any state to exercise its sovereignty over uninhabited lands within its borders; the idea that if I just manage to spot a piece of land without owners in Manhattan I can simply take it, is absurd. Gaza has been a well-delimited political-geographical unit for decades, and the problem with Israeli Jews living there is not (just) their manner of living there, but the fact that Israel has no sovereignty over Gaza, and therefore no right to give, sell or manage Gaza’s lands, definitely not for the sake of its own (Israel’s) population. If Israel had annexed Gaza, then it could give its lands to whomever it wished (subject to criteria of equality etc.), but it would first have to give citizenship to 1,5 million Palestinians living there – which is precisely what Israel wants to avoid.

~ Ran HaCohen


Injustice

This site is a complete injustice to the United States. By posting this “body count” it seems as if you want the US to fail, I certainly don’t want that and I think that it is quite clear that we have saved an innumerable amount of women and children because of the action we took against a ruthless dictator. I wish you could go and talk to the families of one of the 100,000 families of Kurds affected by Saddam.

~ Alex B.

Eric Garris replies:

We are posting the results of our tax dollars. CNN, ABC, MSNBC also have body count pages, so I guess you can say the same about them.


Antiwar Columns

Other than James Glaser and a few other veterans you people don’t have any antiwar columns. People write about what war costs or how we decided to have one, but very few really write about the real horror of war. Your page should be called WAR NEWS or the POLITICS of WAR. The whole reason to be antiwar is to stop war. If you dance around the subject most days, then people lose of track of why they are reading your page. Sure Bush is bad and so are the terrorists and the Pentagon is wasting all that money, but it is the killing and suffering and horror we want to stop. If there were no wars it wouldn’t matter how much money was thrown away. We throw it away now killing people.

~ John Leecy


Opposition Hardens as Bush Boosts Nuclear Waste Plan

There are some technical inaccuracies in the article "Opposition Hardens as Bush Boosts Nuclear Waste Plan" by Daniel Porras. First is the claim that "Water seeps quickly through the desert rock strata." According to the DOE, Yucca Mountain receives 7.5 inches of rain per year, 95% of which is not even absorbed (evaporation, runoff, uptake in plants). The repository is 1000 feet underground and the water table is 1000 feet below the repository.

The DOE claims that water actually travels slowly through the type of rock in that area, and based on the amount of rain, the distance traveled, and the rate of travel, it would take thousands of years for water to reach the repository, and thousands of years after that for it to reach the water table. This says nothing of the time it would take for a water drip to bore a hole in storage containers to expose the radioactive waste, which is such a long time that it cannot easily be modeled in experiments.

The second inaccuracy is the claim that "radioactive water will contaminate nearby farms where food and livestock are raised." There is nothing "nearby" Yucca Mountain. It is in the middle of the 5,470-square-mile Nevada Test Site, where nuclear weapons were tested and low-level radioactive waste is already stored.

I realize that the terms "quickly" and "nearby" are subjective and not quantitative, but give me a break, you can’t tell me that "thousands of years" is a short period of time or that 5,470 miles is "nearby." Opposition to Yucca Mountain is politically and economically motivated, not based on science.

You can get some good facts from the DOE here: http://www.nv.doe.gov/nts/default.htm.

~ Greg Kessler


Nader-O’Neill

Imagine the potential of a collaboration between Ralph Nader and Paul O’Neill, Bush’s former Treasury Secretary, in this year’s presidential election.

An outspoken, disillusioned progressive teamed with a highly respected, outspoken, disillusioned conservative (who was fired by Bush) would have the broad political appeal that would dissolve the Democratic- Republican hold on power and bring the People their first "third" party executive team since Abraham Lincoln.

With their trademark commitments to fiscal responsibility, corporate and government accountability, and sound decision-making process, Nader-O’Neill would bring the leadership to Washington, DC, that this country so desperately needs.

I write this with the intent that others, who see the potential of this collaboration, will utilize their networks and resources to make Nader-O’Neill a reality.

~ Adam Baylus


You’re Fired!

In Donald Trump’s hit reality show, The Apprentice, two teams of interns vie to win a business competition each week. At the end of each episode Trump gathers the losing team and selects someone to fire. I think President Bush would do well to mimic Trump, gather his losing team on Iraq, and utter those now famous words, “You’re fired!” Bush has many to choose from.

Let’s start with Donald Rumsfeld, the egotistical, “I’ve never been wrong,” Secretary of Defense. No liberator’s welcome, the ongoing resistance, no weapons of mass destruction, the costs, the deaths, and the surprise that the Iraqis actually expected to vote in their newly created democracy. Donald Rumsfeld, for your gross misunderstanding of postwar Iraq: “You’re fired!”

Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense, who created his own intelligence group in the Pentagon called the “Cabal”, whose sole purpose was apparently to diminish or distort any intelligence on Iraq did not support the case for war. Paul Wolfowitz, who called US Army Chief of Staff General Eric K. Shinseki’s on the mark comment, “hundreds of thousands of troops may be needed to occupy Iraq” after Hussein’s overthrow, “Wildly off the mark”: “You’re fired!”

Vice President Richard Cheney, Halliburton’s man in the White House, is the last man claiming Iraq has Weapons of Mass Destruction. In spite of all evidence to the contrary, Cheney still claims the aluminum tubes were for making nuclear weapons. Ex-VP Cheney, for being totally out of touch with reality: “You’re fired!”

George Tenet, Director of the CIA, who politicized intelligence to save his job, National Security Adviser Dr. Condoleezza Rice, who was too lazy to read the footnotes in the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq which argued against war, and Secretary of State Colin Powell, the good soldier who in the end betrayed himself and his experts by helping Bush sell the war, you may go back to your jobs for now.

President Bush has a lot of work to do to clean up his team, which sent America to war erroneously or on false premises. Much money has been spent and many lives have been lost. If he doesn’t get busy firing the people around him who screwed up, come November the American people will know just what to say to President Bush: “You’re FIRED!”

~ William Ellerman


Is the Tide Turning?

I agree with most of the content of Mr. Raimondo’s … column. However, I strongly disagree with his tacit claim that it won’t make a difference if we elect a Democrat in the next presidential election. If we elect Bush, this will amount to an endorsement of his deeply flawed policies and his dishonest and disrespectful approach toward other nations (not to mention the American public).

So far, the available research shows that the recent surge in anti-American sentiment is mostly directed toward Bush himself and not the American people. It seems to me that electing a Democrat (the only viable option to getting rid of Bush) would allow us to achieve an immediate reduction in the anti-American sentiment that contributes to our risk of further terrorist attacks. On the other hand, electing Bush would run the risk of converting the world’s anti-Bush sentiment into true anti-American sentiment, which could create a larger pool of potential anti-American terrorists.

~ Greg Brownfield, Bartlett, IL


Greetings from Macedonia

Today I found out about your webpage and I am so happy about it. From today onwards I am your reader for a lifetime. I come from Macedonia and I know (from what happened and is happening in my country) that what you write is the truth.

I am a student in a poor country and I cannot donate anything, but I want you to know that many people here share your views.

JUST KEEP ON, YOU WILL SAVE MANY LIVES.

~ Vlatko Sekuloski

Previous Backtalk

Read more by Backtalk