Ace Reporter Carl Prine, who has been mentioned in this blog before, reports in the Saturday, 1 December issue of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that an Army soldier shot and killed two young Iraqi deaf-mute teenagers, out herding cattle, in 2007. The article is "Five-year legacy of Iraq mission gone awry". It is believed by some that Iraqi retaliation for the shootings resulted in the deaths of some American soldiers, including Michael Southerland.
The initial shooting sounds like a tragic mistake, or a soldier who snapped, or just plain murder. War is a very complicated thing. It exists in chaos and confusion. Mistakes are made, bad decisions taken, stress narrowing focus and judgment. But, coverups should not be allowed. This looks like a coverup. Revealing the truth doesn't mean, or shouldn't mean destroying careers. It should mean freeing all involved to get on with their lives, including fellow soldiers and Iraqi family members.
The story is long and complicated and me giving an encapsulated view won't do it justice, so I will close with this. Fifty Year old Lorie Southerland, an Air Force veteran and a Gold Star mother by virtue of her son Michael's death, is quoted in the last paragraph of the story:
"... The Bible says that your days are numbered before you're even formed," she said. "So we believe that Michael was going to die that day anyway - one way or the other. So we're okay with his death. But what really bothers us is the lying."Regards — Cliff