Media scam re: violent members of US Armed Forces

Free Internet Press

War Torn: When Strains On Military Families Turn Deadly
2008-02-15

A few months after Sgt. William Edwards and his wife, Sgt. Erin Edwards, returned to a Texas Army base from separate missions in Iraq, he assaulted her mercilessly. He struck her, choked her, dragged her over a fence and slammed her into the sidewalk.

As far as Erin Edwards was concerned, that would be the last time he beat her.

Unlike many military wives, she knew how to work the system to protect herself. She was an insider, even more so than her husband, since she served as an aide to a brigadier general at Fort Hood.

With the general’s help, she quickly arranged for a future transfer to a base in New York. She pressed charges against her husband and secured an order of protection. She sent her two children to stay with her mother. And she received assurance from her husband’s commanders that he would be barred from leaving the base unless accompanied by an officer.

Yet, on the morning of July 22, 2004, William Edwards easily slipped off base, skipping his anger-management class, and drove to his wife’s house in the Texas town of Killeen. He waited for her to step outside and then, after a struggle, shot her point-blank in the head before turning the gun on himself….(Full Story)

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F4L: The article, published in the NY times, paints a picture of male soldiers being ticking time bombs, ready to explode and to put members of their families through misery and deadly violence, yet,

…the New York Times found more than 150 cases of fatal domestic violence or child abuse in the United States involving service members and new veterans during the wartime period that began in October 2001 with the invasion of Afghanistan.

In more than a third of the cases, the Times determined that the offenders had deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq or to the regions in support of those missions. In another third, it determined that the offenders never deployed to war. And the deployment history of the final third could not be ascertained.

It is being stressed that it is male soldiers (virtually all soldiers in combat positions are men) who loose it and cause havoc in their families.  Still, in 2007 there were about 2.2 million men and a few women in the US Armed forces.  DV murders amounted to about 20 a year.

Is that an extraordinary number of murders?  2.2 million soldier employed in the military industry. plus another four million is equal to about six million people, the equivalent of a good sized city.

So, how do 20 DV murders a year in a population sector that size measure up against the murders that occur in a normal city that size.  The mayor of any city of a million people or more would be proud to have no more than 20 murders a year.  If the media concentrate on the suffering of individual victims of member of the Armed Forces and provide no reference to the size of the population group in which those murders happen, any such calamity turns into a massive disaster on a personal level.  However, in reference to the population group in which the murders happen, they are not as big a problem as they are made out to be.

Still, there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that someone who is repeatedly away from his family for extended periods of time will find that rejoining that family can be problematic, especially if he comes back to find a child at home that he could not possible have fathered, or if he finds that he is being expunged from a family for whom he thought he was putting life, limbs and his health at risk.

The NY Times article distorts reality and is a very effective piece of propaganda.

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One Response to Media scam re: violent members of US Armed Forces

  1. crljones says:

    Good point. Here is a Defense Lawyers view from when he was in Afganistan in 2004 – here is link http://www.sexcrimedefender.com/2008/01/questionable-mi.html
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    I was a military prosecutor in during that time frame in Afghanistan. Our brigade level command (approx 1600 troops) had exactly 2 reports of rape. Both accusers relayed stories that were on their face incredible and that they ultimately admitted were false. The CID investigator I was dealing with informed us that of approximately 40 rape accusations he had investigated that year that 80% were unsubstantiated or outright false. Each of the situations I dealt with was an attempt by the woman to avoid punishment under General Order Number 1 which prohibits sexual contact of any kind between everyone except spouses. Both parties to the sexual contact are normally punished with the loss of rank and extra duty. (Ironically, we had to advise a commander not to require females to travel on base in pairs after dark because such a regulation would have been sexist) And yes, the full machinery of the Army’s extensive protections for rape victims was employed for as long as the accusations were pending. We were also advised by Division not to prosecute the women for attempting to frame their sexual partners as it would have a “chilling effect.” While I couldn’t take the accusers to a general courts martial, as was my desire, they did recieve a minimum of an Article 15.

    Noone would argue that rape should not be punished but lets parse the “reports” for some modicum of reliability before painting the military as a wasteland for women.

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