27 March, 2006

Losing Friends & Disgusting People

Posted by alex in Iraq at 6:48 pm | Permanent Link

‘Unit’s’ military expert has fighting words for Bush
By David Kronke, TV Critic

Eric Haney, a retired command sergeant major of the U.S. Army, was a founding member of Delta Force, the military’s elite covert counter-terrorist unit. He culled his experiences for “Inside Delta Force” (Delta; $14), a memoir rich with harrowing stories, though in an interview, Haney declines with a shrug to estimate the number of times he was almost killed. (Perhaps the most high-profile incident that almost claimed his life was the 1980 failed rescue of the hostages in Iran.) Today, he’s doing nothing nearly as dangerous: He serves as an executive producer and technical adviser for “The Unit,” CBS’ new hit drama based on his book, developed by playwright David Mamet. Even up against “American Idol,” “The Unit” shows muscle, drawing 18 million viewers in its first two airings.

Since he has devoted his life to protecting his country in some of the world’s most dangerous hot spots, you might assume Haney is sympathetic to the Bush administration’s current plight in Iraq (the laudatory cover blurb on his book comes from none other than Fox’s News’ Bill O’Reilly). But he’s also someone with close ties to the Pentagon, so he’s privy to information denied the rest of us.

We recently spoke to Haney, an amiable, soft-spoken Southern gentleman, on the set of “The Unit.”

Q: What’s your assessment of the war in Iraq?

A: Utter debacle. But it had to be from the very first. The reasons were wrong. The reasons of this administration for taking this nation to war were not what they stated. (Army Gen.) Tommy Franks was brow-beaten and … pursued warfare that he knew strategically was wrong in the long term. That’s why he retired immediately afterward. His own staff could tell him what was going to happen afterward.

We have fomented civil war in Iraq. We have probably fomented internecine war in the Muslim world between the Shias and the Sunnis, and I think Bush may well have started the third world war, all for their own personal policies.

Q: What is the cost to our country?

A: For the first thing, our credibility is utterly zero. So we destroyed whatever credibility we had. … And I say “we,” because the American public went along with this. They voted for a second Bush administration out of fear, so fear is what they’re going to have from now on.

Our military is completely consumed, so were there a real threat – thankfully, there is no real threat to the U.S. in the world, but were there one, we couldn’t confront it. Right now, that may not be a bad thing, because that keeps Bush from trying something with Iran or with Venezuela.

The harm that has been done is irreparable. There are more than 2,000 American kids that have been killed. Tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis have been killed ñ which no one in the U.S. really cares about those people, do they? I never hear anybody lament that fact. It has been

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a horror, and this administration has worked overtime to divert the American public’s attention from it. Their lies are coming home to roost now, and it’s gonna fall apart. But somebody’s gonna have to clear up the aftermath and the harm that it’s done just to what America stands for. It may be two or three generations in repairing.

Q: What do you make of the torture debate? Cheney …

A: (Interrupting) That’s Cheney’s pursuit. The only reason anyone tortures is because they like to do it. It’s about vengeance, it’s about revenge, or it’s about cover-up. You don’t gain intelligence that way. Everyone in the world knows that. It’s worse than small-minded, and look what it does.

I’ve argued this on Bill O’Reilly and other Fox News shows. I ask, who would you want to pay to be a torturer? Do you want someone that the American public pays to torture? He’s an employee of yours. It’s worse than ridiculous. It’s criminal; it’s utterly criminal. This administration has been masters of diverting attention away from real issues and debating the silly. Debating what constitutes torture: Mistreatment of helpless people in your power is torture, period. And (I’m saying this as) a man who has been involved in the most pointed of our activities. I know it, and all of my mates know it. You don’t do it. It’s an act of cowardice. I hear apologists for torture say, “Well, they do it to us.” Which is a ludicrous argument. … The Saddam Husseins of the world are not our teachers. Christ almighty, we wrote a Constitution saying what’s legal and what we believed in. Now we’re going to throw it away.

Q: As someone who repeatedly put your life on the line, did some of the most hair-raising things to protect your country, and to see your country behave this way, that must be …

A: It’s pretty galling. But ultimately I believe in the good and the decency of the American people, and they’re starting to see what’s happening and the lies that have been told. We’re seeing this current house of cards start to flutter away. The American people come around. They always do.

THE UNIT

What: Action-adventure about special-ops unit.
Where: CBS (Channel 2).
When: 9 p.m. Tuesdays.


David Kronke (818) 713-3638 [email protected]


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  7. 5 Responses to “Losing Friends & Disgusting People”

    1. Carpenter Says:

      (Army Gen.) Tommy Franks was brow-beaten and … pursued warfare that he knew strategically was wrong in the long term. That’s why he retired immediately afterward.

      Very interesting. But while he could have saved lives by going to the media, causing hell, he chose to retire – his own reputation among the elite was more important to him than saving the lives of his soldiers. What a disgrace to his uniform and his race.

      Christ almighty, we wrote a Constitution saying what’s legal and what we believed in. Now we’re going to throw it away.

      I suppose torture would be enough reason for an impeachment. Yet nothing is happening, because the media are divided. Obviously it’s true what Bush has supposedly said, that the Constitution is only a piece of paper. He may be stupid, but he knows this much: that while the Constitution may inspire many, media power is much stronger.

      How far will the oppression go? Let’s play with the thought. Is it possible that torture and prison camps, mass imprisonment without trial, all the things we have seen at Guantanamo and in Iraq, will be used at home? After another big terrorist attack? There would be a reaction then. Or will the present state continue until the next election, after which Bush disappears, troops are slowly pulled back, everything fizzles out and WNs are left wishing that something more had come of it? There have been so many lost opportunities….

    2. Harry Tuttle Says:

      General Tommy Franks is jewish. Sorry to burst that bubble.

    3. Carpenter Says:

      So? How are you “bursting a bubble” by that? The fact remains that he could have done a lot of things that he didn’t do.

    4. Arch Stanton Says:

      “And (I’m saying this as) a man who has been involved in the most pointed of our activities. I know it, and all of my mates know it. You don’t do it. It’s an
      act of cowardice.”

      When you consider that the jews are probably the number one proponents of torture and regularly use it as an information gathering technique, and when you consider that it was Israeli jews who were on site at Gitmo to “advise” (more like instruct) Americans in torture techniques, then you have a pretty strong, but indirect statement coming from Mr. Haney; probably not enough of a statement to become a contestant on Edgar Steele’s “Name That Jew”. Saying that jews are a cowardly bunch reaffirms what VNN has claimed many times over. The term “coward” in the broader sense denotes those who are lairs and deceivers, they use lies and deception because they fear the consequences of their actions, they fear others might hold them in account for those actions. The coward often manipulates stronger people into becoming their protective shields to deflect direct attacks and as bullies to display and use force against their opponents; they often hide behind others out of fear of recognition and thus use others to reduce or eliminate their visibility to an opponent. Such is the quintessential description of the jew.

    5. southernladybug Says:

      Have any of you spoken to the men and women who served in Gitmo?
      Nope. Didn’t think you would go that far. I know four people who have served one and two year terms there and well, let’s just say you are babbling rubbish in terms of ‘jewish advisors.’ And I am going to listen to someone who was told to fail by President Dhimmi Catarrh, since Delta Force would go in under a policy of ‘official denial.’

      I don’t much care for your sentiments regarding Jews, but that is your choice and in this nation we permit free speech. And yes, I get Edgar Steele’s Nickel Rants in my email too. Doesn’t mean I agree with him all the time, but it does mean that I do read and I do disagree. That is MY choice.