Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Roadblock Procedures; Why Americans Insist on Italian Compliance

From Sus...

and the following notice is exactly why nonresponsive vehicles get lit up at checkpoints! From the MilwaukeeChannel.com:

"An Army sergeant from Fountain City has died in Iraq. Diane Bossert said the family has not been given a lot of details about what happened as yet, except that her son, 24-year-old Sgt. Andrew Bossert, was at a checkpoint Monday when a car went through the checkpoint and blew up, fatally injuring him."

Question...are CNN and my girlriend Sgrena, going to write a letter to this trooper's parents explaining why he did the right thing in sacrificing his life at a checkpoint ,on the off chance that a freed journalist, who had a ransom paid for her that would subsequently escalate the insurency, who supports the insurgency, and slanders his actions...did the right thing in hesitating enough to sacrifice his life to terrorists? NO, they will hibernate in their journalistic shells and distance themselves through denial and plausible deflection. I literally cannot breath. This kind of heistation is brought by illegitimate scrutiny, caused by a self-centered and biased driven press, and it results in this everytime. A trooper, known but to few in the world is killed, and they insulate themselves because they did not know him personally.

We know this Sgt., he is our husband, our next door neighbor, our son, our teacher, our brother. And we are supposed to modify our procedures because one SELFISH Italian journalist, who put hundreds of more weapons in the hands of the enemy, gets biased coverage from a US news company? Next time, I'll court-martial the tank gunner who misses the car. Her fredom and life is not worth this. READ THIS MSM. This is why you're losing market share...you don't support the very real people who give you the freedom to criticize them.

Hugh Hewitt was right today...smell the fear. You are going down, because you fail to run every issue to ground and you give the free passes to those who you agree with, even though there is more journalism to be done...TO BE FAIR!!!! You're not getting the "fair" issue...finish each and every story, as is done in the blogoshpere, or you will be done in short order. Run the ransom story to ground. Run the impact of the Sgrena investigation to ground as it ties to this incident, or you have punted on your responsibilities. I don't expect it, but it will seal your demise.

We don't have to wait around for the morning paper, or the nightly news to get our information. We are running circles around you and your info loops, and we're crushing you in the process. We are on the offense, not against you, but for the truth. Get there, or you are done.

My deepest sympathies to this Sgt.'s family. Know that there are millions of us out here that appreciate his service, his sacrifice, and the sadnesses you will endure. We are here to support you and the cause he fought for. Additonally, we oppose the forces who demean his efforts.

I could not be more bitter tonight.


Lifeachiever said...

Thanks again Major Mike!

I agree with your point and sadly, more troops are in danger now...so much for journalistic responsibility (if they were ever responsible in the first place).

BTW: I linked your post on Air Force Voices...

sueb/mn said...

Thanks MM, you are correct. I wish there was someplace I could send her a message regarding her idiotic and selfish behaviour - and another to the Italian who has been paying ransoms.

It has been known for many years that if you begin to pay a ransom for one captured person, it will continue. This sort of thing does not stop! Too many killers see it as easy money.

Toni said...

Yeah - what you said MM. Anyone who questions the reactions of these guards at the checkpoints needs to be stuck at a checkpoint for a few days. Lets see how long they live with their view of how to do things. Maybe we should just taser them and that will make it all better!

Lifeachiever said...

MM...check out this link!...and what was said about you. It is great stuff!


You touched a nerve! Keep on writing...


Papa Ray said...

Hey Major,

That cuts to the bone alright. Cause and effect, its so easy to predict when people don't do the right thing.

The MSM is digging their own grave, story by story.

Papa Ray
West Texas

mdmhvonpa said...

MM, Toni sent me here and I lingered on every word. Check this out for more of the same.

Tim said...

Hello Mike. I have read your comment a few times on various other sites that quote your message and I must say, it has got me thinking and questioning a lot.

My name is Tim Bossert and I am Andrew's older brother.

My main question is "What is being done at these checkpoints so that something like this never happens again?" I thought our miltary had put in extra safties to help guard against a checkpoint bomb.

Nothing I say can bring back my brother, but it makes things easier when a fellow soldier called the family and stated that Andrew did everything he was suppose to do and no mistakes on his part caused his death.

On one hand, I hope that what you are saying is untrue. I hope that her placing blame on our soldiers does not lead to more direct deaths of this nature.

Major Mike said...


My deepest condolences to you and your family. Although I did not know Andrew personally, In my 20 years, I knew hundreds of Andrews. Young Marines (soldiers) professionally trained. Skilled and dedicated to the difficult tasks they were assigned. Whether it was working the deck of the USS Midway during difficult night ops, or gutting it out in training. Few real complaints, and a desire to do more. From what I have been exposed to, know that your brother was likey tight with his unit, tighter with his squad/platoon, proud of his service, and not likely to opt out of combat duty until his unit would be going with him. To me, and among soldiers, this is honor, and it is valued higher than any bit of ribbon that the government awards. I am saddened by your brother's death, and I know that a few words from me will do little to ease the sting of your loss, but know that your brother is now in the company of men that I hope will find a spot in formation for me when the time comes. I aspire to serve as nobley.

To answer your question. It has been my experience, and I may need some support from out there, that generally...that a story such as the Sgrena story, well founded in its basis or not, brings additional internal scrutiny. I am sure that the forces on the ground have done everything they can think of to make the tedious task of checkpoint monitoring as safe and effective as possible. But looking good in the press is an unspoken concern. In my first briefing in Italy in 1994, the Rules of Engagement for Bosnia, were essentially suicidal. Before my wingman could retaliate for my A/C being shot down, he would literally have to leave the area and get persmission to remove the target...permission that wasn't likely to be granted. In my opinion, and what leads me to draw this conclusion, it was risk avoidance by the Clinton administration...being able to claim we were doing something meaningful, while indeed we were at great risk for no return. The risk avoidance piece is paying lip service to an issue (genocide in Bosnia) while and no one is paying attention, UNTIL you end up in the press...which is why we had the restrictive ROE. No incidents...no bad press...no one knows we are there. In the same brief, with a serious face, an Air Force colonel read the overnight traffic and said..."last night we recorded the 956th violation of the No Fly Zone." I found this more than ironic, and I personally began referring to it as the Some Fly Zone. The ROE did not support the mission objectives, because staying out of the press was a higher concern. Don't jump to conclusions yet though.

In the end, and I think the bloggers "in country" can help here a bit, I think there are a ton of variables every time a vehicle approaches a checkpoint. Mostly, SOPs will ensure the safety of those manning the checkpoints, but occassionally the variables will fall outside the SOPs. This is where training and instinct will always be on our side. I believe all of our services do a great job in training, and I have the utmost confidence that your brother and his mates had the skills they needed to man the checkpoint.

Which brings me to my last attempt to sort out what happened from this distance.

Sometimes luck is the difference. I know, I was hanging out over the North Atlantic with two engines (out of two) on fire, middle of the night, new pilot, 420 miles from land...on the way to the first Gulf War. No good reason for me to be here...I have to credit some of it to simple luck. I know this is not much to hold on to, and given the words of the trooper who called the house, I have no other real explanation, BUT I wrote what I did because even the smallest seed of doubt by the troops in the line could cost them their lives. Sgrena needs to be aware of this and the heavy brass needs to be aware of this, so that our troops in the field WILL do exactly what needs to be done when the moment comes. I don't want them to hesitate because there is some hint of an investigation, or CNN is portraying all checkpoint soldiers as wonton murderers.

The soldiers on these checkpoints ARE protecting our freedoms, one car at a time, they need our support and empowerment from the Chain of Command...I am hoping that they have both. They simply need to be able to do their jobs without the HINT of outside pressure...the Sgrena incident raises the specter of this pressure...I had to comment on it.

Again, my sincerest condolences, and my humble attempt at an explanation in a situation where there may be no clear one. Please email me anytime.

Major Mike

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