Cindy, thank you very, very much for sharing. I lost a son 15 years
ago and it still causes pain. And his loss was an accident whereas
yours was due to criminal offenses in the White House, Pentagon and
State Department. Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Condi and even Powell should
be spending about twenty years making small rocks out of big ones. Or
maybe, like the war criminals they are, they should just be hung?
At 10:41 PM -0500 3/16/05, SCIN...@aol.com
>That was my son's unit. He was killed on that day 04/04/04. Here is
>a letter that I wrote to NightLine about the broadcast:
>March 15, 2005
>To Whom it May Concern:
>Imagine my distress when I turned Night Line on last night and I was
>confronted with the gory details of my son's murder in Sadr City,
>Baghdad, Iraq on 04/04/04. Imagine, also, my sorrow and rage at the
>side of the story that you presented to the American public.
>I was on the Night Line Townhall Meeting in Washington, DC on
>01/27/05. After I spoke (which I think was a fluke), Ted Koppel
>dismissed me as being "emotional." First of all, how can I approach
>this discussion without emotions, MY SON WAS KILLED, AND KILLED FOR
>LIES? Second of all, that show was not fair and balanced and I think
>the conclusion "Should we stay" was foregone.
>The show last night was also not fair and balanced. To see all the
>wives being interviewed who had not lost their husbands and to hear
>what "hard work" it is to be left behind when their husbands are at
>war. How hard to you think it is to have a child killed in an
>illegal and immoral war? In this "wonderful" group of families left
>behind, we had exactly ONE of the wives call us..she is Diane Rose
>who was my son's Colonel, Frank Rose's wife. The last time we heard
>from Diane was in October and we feel we have been left behind by
>anyone connected to the 2-5 Cavalry. Is support only given if your
>loved one stays alive? One wife was quoted as saying that Sundays
>were the hardest for the families left behind. My son was killed on
>Palm Sunday last year..how does anybody think Sundays are for my
>A distraught father who lost his son was shown telling how much his
>life was so adversely affected. Why wasn't a mother (like me) who
>has been an outspoken critic of this war and of the President's
>policies interviewed for this piece? Why wasn't I given a chance to
>talk about 04/04/04 and the series of lies, mistakes and
>miscalculations that led to my precious oldest child's death??
>General Chiarelli was quoted as saying that 04/04/04 was a "wake up"
>call to the 2-5 Cavalry. If he thinks it was a "wake up" call, let
>me tell you how having 3 Army officers come to my door on 04/04/04
>and tell me that my darling son was KIA. I have learned so many
>details of that day and of my son's experience in Iraq.
>The very first thing that went wrong happened in November at Ft
>Irwin, California...the 2-5 Cavalry went for desert training. They
>received open desert warfare training and my son was killed in an
>urban guerilla attack, which he hadn't been trained for. Also, he
>was wearing an inadequate helmet and a Vietnam era flak jacket.
>Casey was stationed in a very dangerous place, like the General
>said: FOB War Eagle. I have subsequently learned that the soldiers
>of the 2-5 Cav who were stationed outside of Baghdad had Kevlar body
>armor. I have also found out that Casey slept in the back of his
>Humvee for the last 2 weeks of his life because there wasn't any
>room on post for him to have a cot. How tired and overworked was he
>before he went into that battle on 04/04/04?
>In addition, my son was killed after L. Paul Bremer inflamed the
>Shi'a by taking away their tv station and newspapers. The Abu Ghraib
>scandal was about to break in America...but it was well known by the
>Iraqi people that their citizens were being tortured and defiled in
>the prisons. My son was a sitting duck by the time 04/04/04 rolled
>The very worst thing of all, is that my son was sent to rescue some
>fellow soldiers trapped in an ambush in the back of a LMTV..which is
>basically an open air trailer. It would be the equivalent of driving
>through Dallas on 11/22/63 in a Convertible. The troops stationed at
>FOB War Eagle were sent ahead of their tanks and Bradleys!!! They
>had to go into battle in the back of LMTV's and non-armored Humvees.
>This is just proof to me that our troops are as important to their
>leaders as bullets are. It is a small miracle that only 7 of them
>were killed in the ambush. Luckily for the rest of the moms, it was
>dark. After my son's murder, there was an article in Stars and
>Stripes that quoted one of Casey's superior officers as saying. "04
>April taught us a lesson. We won't send soldiers to battle without
>their armor any more." How do you think that made me feel? It was
>like "OOOPS, your dear son was killed. Life happens. Oh well, you
>live and learn." The General was also quoted as saying that the
>insurgency "surprised" them. Why? Has there ever been an
>invasion/occupation of a sovereign country that hasn't been
>resisted? Anyone with half a brain and an even rudimentary
>understanding of history would know that all occupations are
>resisted. The Pentagon and the Army brass did not plan adequately
>for an occupation.
>Then Gen. Chiarelli said the thing that upset me the most. He said
>that the loss of life was terrible, but at least Iraqis had
>elections on 01/30/05. With the continuuing insurgency and with
>Iraqis and Americans losing their lives everyday there, how can he
>be proud of that? I may remind you and the General, that Iraqi
>elections was not the reason that our President and his Neo-Con war
>mongers invaded Iraq with our precious human resources. I will give
>the two reasons given for the invaseion here: Saddam had WMD's and
>he was an imminent threat to America. Saddam could have WMD's on our
>shores within 45 minutes. Condoleeza Rice used fear as a factor when
>she said: Don't let the smoking gun be a mushroom cloud. Rumsfeld
>and Colin Powell pointed out to us where the weapons were on a map.
>The second reason that America was given before the invasion was
>that Saddam was the biggest sponsor of world terrorism and he
>supported Osama Bin Laden! Oh really??? The hijackers were
>predominantly Saudi Arabian as was Osama (who is still at large, by
>the way). The theory that Saddam had anything to do with 9/11 was
>disproven by the 9/11 commission's report. A huge factor in
>Americans believing all this bull is that our media..the Fourth
>Estate didn't do any research and expose the lies for what they
>were: justifications for invading a country that posed no imminent
>or long-term threat to America.
>One reason that the President DID NOT give for the invasion and
>occupation of Iraq was so that Iraqis could have elections. As a
>matter of fact, that was Ayatollah Ali al Sistani's idea..not
>Bush's. If the president in his lying and betraying in the lead up
>and rush to this insane invasion had told the world that we were
>going over there to give Iraqi's elections, would we the people have
>gone along with the invasion? Would we as compassionate
>Americans have thought that it would have been worth billions and
>billions of dollars; hundreds of our amazing children dead; tens of
>thousands of innocent Iraqi women and children dead: a country lying
>in ruins? I don't think so. I certainly didn't raise my son to be an
>outstanding citizen of the world to go and die so some people could
>have ink-stained fingers!!! If anyone reading this has children,
>would you think it was worth it?? Instead of some Congress leaders
>showing ink-stained fingers at the SOTU address they should have
>held up blood soaked hands.
>Am I emotional? Yes, my first born was murdered. Am I angry? Yes, he
>was killed for lies and for a PNAC Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel.
>My son joined the Army to protect America, not Israel. Am I stupid?
>No, I know full-well that my son, my family, this nation, and this
>world were betrayed by a George Bush who was influenced by the
>neo-con PNAC agenda after 9/11. We were told that we were attacked
>on 9/11 because the terrorists hate our freedoms and democracy...not
>for the real reason, becuase the Arab-Muslims who attacked us hate
>our middle-eastern foreign policy. That hasn't changed since America
>invaded and occupied Iraq...in fact it has gotten worse.
>It would be so amazing if your show would put me, or another parent
>who lost their child on who disagrees with the war and this
>administration: to have just an entire show..without presenting the
>false side of the debate. That would take a lot of courage and
>integrity. I hope your program will exhibit these qualities.
>I also think that Mr. Koppel owes me an apology for the rude way I
>was treated on his show. After I expressed myself about the war
>being based on lies and that the troops should be brought home
>immediately because the war was based on lies, I was not thanked for
>my comments, or my son's sacrifice. He just said to keep the
>discussion away from emotions. Then, the wife of a soldier who was
>killed was allowed to speak and she praised the policies of this
>deplorable and despicable administration, and she was thanked and
>praised by the panel.
>Also, another aspect that Mr. Koppel refused to acknowledge was when
>a man walked up to a microphone and asked Richard Perle to explain
>PNAC..he was rudely ignored.
>I am so glad the First Cavalry came home from this senseless and
>needless war based on the imaginations of Neo-Cons and fought with
>ignorance and arrogance by the Commander in Chief and the Pentagon.
>I am thrilled for the mothers whose children didn't come home under
>the cover of darkness in flag-draped boxes like my son did. I am
>sure that some of Casey's buddies were able to walk off the plane
>because of his sacrifice. I am just so deeply sorry that my son's
>blood had to be their leaders' lesson in how to occupy a country and
>fight an insurgency. My son is dead forever and my joy has been
>robbed from me for the rest of my life.
>Your show needs to show both sides of this debate and stop being a
>propanda tool for this administration. This is my challenge to you
>from a true patriot who wants the lies exposed.
>Love and Peace!!!
>Mother of Hero: Spc Casey Austin Sheehan KIA 04/04/04
>Casey's Peace Page
>Co-Founder of Gold Star Families For Peace