Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Your prayers please

Soon we'll be launching this blog and you will read actual words written by Wisconsin soldiers. Some logistical problems are holding us up.

Meanwhile the troops are hard at work.
A major part of the mission of the 32nd IBCT - Wisconsin's Red Arrow - is guarding detainees while they are sorted out for release, transfer or prosecution in Iraqi courts.
Radio Free Europe offers this update:

Under the bilateral Iraqi-U.S. Strategic Framework Agreement that came into effect January 1, all Iraqis in U.S. custody are to be released or transferred to Iraqi Security Force custody before the United States withdraws from the country by the end of 2011.
The number still in detention late last month was about 10,800, down considerably since November 2007, when 26,121 Iraqis were in U.S. custody for acts against American forces or violations of Iraq's security laws, according to statistics from ...
Here's the part of the article that interested me as a journalist working with military personnel.
"It's strange that people like murderers are considered low threat," says 2nd Lieutenant Brent Beadle, a liaison officer for Iraqi Security Forces with the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, in northeast Baghdad. "If these guys are 'Green' releases" -- those considered unlikely to offend again -- "I'd hate to think what the 'Red' list looks like."

"There are people in this group that were charged with resisting arrest, assault on coalition forces, kidnapping, extortion, obstruction, weapons trafficking, intimidation, and sectarian murder," Beadle says.

Is 2nd Lt. Beadle out of line?
Is he wearing the uniform and representing the U.S. DOD with his statement that U.S. DOD policy looks "strange" to him?
I'd say it's entirely clear that he's expressing a personal opinion about something he's observed, something he "owns."
But his CO could say he's commenting on foreign policy, maybe even undermining it.

I'm not saying that's right or wrong.

I'm just saying put 2nd Lt. Beadle in your prayers tonight.

- Steve