Thursday, November 12, 2009

An Army of Lies

Back to the Laser Pants but it's to level some grief at the US Army.

Once again, the Army's proven it's absolutely pathetic at gathering and providing correct information. Things started poorly at the Ft. Hood shootings when they reported that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was dead on the scene; he's not. Now, it seems that the story of how his killing spree was stopped may not be true either: the New York Times is reporting that a witness is saying that it was Senior Sgt. Mark Todd, a civilian police officer, who shot him, not Sgt. Kimberly D. Munley, who was shot by Maj. Hasan when she arrived on the scene.

This might be just the latest in what seems to be an ongoing pattern of completely fucking up reality for the Army. First was the 2003 tale of super soldier Pfc. Jessica Lynch, about whom the Army got pretty much every fact aside from her name wrong. From today's NY Times:
The confusion over what happened and the quickness of the military to label someone a hero seemed reminiscent of the case of Pfc. Jessica Lynch in 2003, when the Army initially reported Private Lynch had been captured in Iraq after a Rambo-like performance in which she emptied her weapon and was wounded in battle. It was later learned she had been badly hurt in a vehicle accident during an ambush and was being well cared for by the Iraqis.
Even her rescue drew later criticism for being overly dramatic and overblown as a daring commando raid--on a hospital at which there were no Iraqi troops.

Then's there's the really putrid way the Army lied and covered up the 2004 death by friendly fire of Cpl. Pat Tillman. A really disgraceful and disgraceful long-term campaign of lies, cover-ups, and indignities followed which did little to honor a pretty fascinating guy. Jon Krakauer has a new book about Tillman, "Where Men Win Glory."

So what's the deal with the Army? Why can't it get a story straight? Why is getting things wrong still so acceptable? And is the whole Army like this, or just the public relations branch?

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