Friday, February 1, 2008

WSI 2008: Will Jimmy Massey Testify?

If not, why not?

Jimmy Massey was one of the founders of IVAW. He was a Marine for 12 years. He was with the Marines when Iraq was invaded in the Spring of 2003. By December of that year he had been discharged with a diagnosis of PTSD.

Since then, Massey has made a career of lying about U.S. troops. Let me repeat that: he has made a career of it!

His act fared well for a while in the U.S., as Massey was quoted in and written about in the Sacramento Bee, the Modesto Bee and the Washington Post. In addition, the AP had five stories that involved Massey’s claims! However, Massey’s domestic roadshow went south (literally, as you’ll see!) after Ron Harris of the St. Louis Dispatch, who had been embedded with Massey’s unit at the same time, reported that Massey was fabricating atrocity stories. Harris even admitted to doing so reluctantly, not seeking to disprove Massey's claim when he looked into them. However, when Harris learned they could not stand up to scrutiny, he did the right thing.

Both the Modesto Bee and the Sacramento Bee followed up on what they had previously written and admitted to serious lapses in journalism when they accepted Massey’s trash talk.

The AP was late in admitting it had been taken in by Massey, but eventually did.

In 2005 Massey testified before a Canadian tribunal in support of a U.S. deserter seeking assylum:

"Ex-Marine Says He Committed Atrocities," by Joelle Diderich - AP (Paris), 7 Oct 2005
A former US marine said his unit killed more than 30 innocent Iraqi civilians who had failed to stop at checkpoints in two days, in graphic testimony to a Canadian tribunal that is hearing an asylum request by a US Army deserter.

In a later debate with Harris, Massey admitted his sworn testimony about 30 innocent Iraqi civilians being killed was not true. Read the whole debate, and it gives a sense of what can be most kindly called Massey’s instability. From the article with the debate:

“Earlier this month, Ron Harris a reporter at the St. Louis Dispatch who was embedded with the Marines, wrote a series of articles claiming that Massey lied or exaggerated his claims. Harris writes that statements from Massey’s fellow Marines, Massey’s own conflicting accounts and the five journalists who were embedded with Massey’s unit, discredit his allegations.”

While stock in ATM (Atrocity Tales by Massey) was sinking in the domestic market, it was doing well in France:

"Ex-Marine Says He Committed Atrocities," by Joelle Diderich - AP (Paris), 7 Oct 2005
Jimmy Massey, a staff sergeant who was in the Marines for 12 years and served three months in Iraq before being honorably discharged with post-traumatic stress syndrome, details the allegations in his book "Kill! Kill! Kill!", written with the French journalist Natasha Saulnier and published in France."

And, it almost goes without saying, Al Jazeera:

"New Book Tells of US Brutality in Iraq" - AFP, as carried by Al Jazeera (AlJazeera.net), 6 Oct 2005

US military training has created troops so desensitised to violence that battleground brutality in Iraq is rampant - and has helped fuel the bloody fighting seen there today, a new book released in France by a former marine says. Jimmy Massey, a former staff sergeant, told AFP that the daily attacks now confronting US-led forces and Iraqi civilians were "because of the brutality that the Iraqi people saw at the start of the invasion". In his book, Kill! Kill! Kill!, he says he and other marines in his unit killed dozens of unarmed Iraqi civilians because of an exaggerated sense of threat, and that they often experienced sexual-type thrills doing so.

As I pointed out at American Thinker last October, even after his stories were exposed as lies, Massey continued with the IVAW as a globetrotting speaker and representative for the group.

Well, now Massey is a hit in Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela! Go figure! With a new book launched at Caracas´ Book Fair last November! This one is entitled “Cowboys From Hell”.

From Voltairenet.org we have Massey being interviewed by Cuban journalist Rosa Miriam Elizalde, and it begins with:

“The Testimony of a US ex-marine, who went to fight in Iraq
Jimmy Massey: 'I have been a psychopathic murderer'"

It’s downhill from there! Do not read it if you have high blood pressure or a family history of aneurism. A few snippets though, for the hardy:

“For me civilians are despicable people, mentally retarded and weak persons, a flock of sheep. I am their sheepdog. I am a predator. In the army [Ed: Army?] they used to call me Jimmy, the Shark...

The United States only has two ways of using the marines: to undertake humanitarian missions and to kill. Over the 12 years I was with them, I never took part in humanitarian missions.

...recruiting standards have enormously been eased, because almost nobody wants to join in. Having mental problems or a criminal record is no longer a problem. Persons that have committed felonies can join the army...

CIA reports said that the Salmon Pac was a terrorist camp and that we would find chemical and biological weapons there, but we found nothing. In that moment I began to think that our real mission in Iraq was focused on oil.

I was a psychopathic murderer because I was trained to kill. I was not born with that mentality. It was the Marines that trained me to be a gangster in the interest of US corporations, a criminal. They trained me to fulfill, without thinking, the orders of the President of the United States and bring him what he asked for, without any moral consideration. I was a psychopath because we were trained to shoot first and ask later, as an insane person would act, not a professional soldier that is to face another soldier. If we had to kill women and children, we would do it; therefore, we were not soldiers, we were mercenaries.

In the surroundings of the Rasheed Military Complex...there was a group of people staging a demonstration...They were youths; they had no weapons...We were told by the high command to keep watching those civilians, because many combatants with the Republican Forces had taken off their uniforms and were wearing civilian clothes to undertake terrorist attacks against US soldiers...I think that the order to shoot at the demonstrators came from high-rank US administration officers, which included both military intelligence agencies and governmental circles.

My marines asked me why we were killing so many civilians. 'Can you talk to the lieutenant?', the answer was 'No'. But when they found out that it all was a lie, they were really mad.”

That’s a bit of the flavor. There's more. In the interview with Harris, Massey admitted that the Marines were angry at themselves when someone had shot and killed civilians by accident, not that they were ordered to do so! But that was then, this was later...

The interviewer asked Massey what happened when he returned to the United States, and he answered:

“They treated me as if I were crazy...”

I’d say that might have been very perceptive of them.

The interviewer says that Massey’s “superior officers have said that all you have revealed is a lie”, but neglects to mention a boatload of newspapers without a pro-war agenda saying the same, and Massey replies:

“There is overwhelming evidence against them. The US armed forces are finished. The longer the war, the bigger chance for my truth to be known.”

From there Massey goes on to, surprise, advocate Socialist Revolution in the U.S. and speaks of his admiration for Fidel Castro. He sings “From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli…” and then gives the meaning of that song as “Their dream is to control the world..., no matter if in that effort we all are turned into murderers.”

The interview was aired last November on Venezuelan Television.

As Michelle Malkin wrote:

“Harris noted in a television interview that Massey continues to sell books and DVDs that smear our troops. ‘[I]t's been profitable for Jimmy Massey to keep telling this lie,’ he said."

There's some questions about all this. Will Jimmy Massey testify at Winter Soldier next March? Or would he have to get paid for it? If not, why not? This is a test, a real test of your IVAW. Massey is probably IVAW's highest international profile 'testifier' to U.S. atrocities. How could he not be there! But if he were there, would the fact that nearly a half dozen media outlets here have exposed him as a fabricator - hurt the WSI cause?

If he is not there, are they admitting massive-Massey credibility problems? If he is there, are they backing the claims he made that were exposed as false?

Of course, a busy man about the world and author like Massey might just be otherwise occupied next March, and can't fit it WSI into his schedule, but, would that mean there would be anything more important to a founder of IVAW than getting the Winter Soldier 'truth' out there?

We will see!

7 comments:

Thus Spake Ortner said...

Seriously, I wish I could do posts as good as this one. Really first rate sir.

Anonymous said...

Excellent commentary Denis. Keep on 'em like a junkyard dog.

...and a nice nod on "Powerline" today!

Denis Keohane said...

Thanks much, ortner!!!!

Actually, I think my stuff is often pretty pedantic overkill, and I have been accused, with justification, of never using one word when I could squeeze in ten!

OTOH, don't demean your stuff. Your takedown of CH still stands as an example of the art, and myself and other bloggers have benefitted from it (and will no doubt return to it for background!).

http://3-116thsniper.blogspot.com/2007/11/some-help-with-tall-tales-of-clifton.html

I wish you could make it to WSI, but considering where you are, I more fervently wish and pray that you stay safe and come back whole!

I scribble, but you are on the line defending! I know in which direction the respect and gratitude is owed, and it's there.

Denis Keohane said...

"Excellent commentary Denis. Keep on 'em like a junkyard dog."

Thanks, anonymous!

Kinda old, toothless and gimpy junk yard dog who can no longer count on the teeth for a real satisfying gnaw...but I can stink up the house....so there's that.

Army Sergeant said...

Here's the thing, Denis. Winter Soldier is not about Jimmy Massey. Winter Soldier is not about Adam Kokesh. Winter Soldier is not about any one person in IVAW, even if they are one of your "favorites". Winter Soldier is about veterans telling their stories to the American public and other veterans.

Denis, there is no pleasing you. Either someone testifies, and you're complaining about Winter Soldier because of it, or someone doesn't testify, and you're still complaining about Winter Soldier. Just what is the condition that will get you not to complain?

I think your posts are beginning to sound a little like you're scared that Winter Soldier will be all that I say it will be-a collection of veterans and active duty soldiers whose stories cannot be denied. Whose stories are both truthful and corroborated. Yet if that happens, you have nothing to blog about! Oh no! What to do? You can't possibly blog about the patriotic IVAW members participating in Winter Soldier-or can you?

Will you, Denis?

Will you take the challenge Jonn Lilyea wouldn't?

If IVAW at Winter Soldier contains soldiers who are not telling their stories with one hundred percent integrity, I will make a public post admitting that I was wrong-but I know I'm not going to be.

If IVAW at Winter Soldier does NOT contain the kind of testimony you claim to fear, will you make a public post-not in the comments, but a public post on the front of your blog, admitting you were wrong, and IVAW is a group of honorable and brave veterans who happen to oppose the war?

I eagerly await your response.

Denis Keohane said...

Here, Sarge:

http://keohane.blogspot.com/2008/02/reply-to-army-sergeant.html

talon said...

Regardless of Army Sergeant's disingenuous claims to the contrary, the Winter Soldier "investigation" IS about IVAW - in fact, it's all about IVAW and their motives, which, in my estimation, are anything but noble and honorable.

If IVAW was the least bit concerned with "integrity", they would be encouraging their members to testify before the authorities responsible for investigating and adjudicating allegations of war crimes, but because this is about POLITICS, they are testifying in an auditorium at the National Labor College. It looks like Army Sergeant better get busy on her admission concerning the lack of integrity and due process in their so-called "investigation", which will be, in fact, nothing more than low political theater.