Monday, July 04, 2005

Leonard Clark Silenced

Leonard Clark? you might wonder. Who's that? Well, Leonard Clark is a kindergarten teacher, former Democratic candidate for the state House in Arizona, and a member of the Arizona National Guard currently serving in Baghdad.

He is also a liberal blogger whose dispatches from the mean streets of Baghdad held more truth in one of them than a thousand reports by most of the embedded reporters from the MSM.

He posted an entry criticizing the surprise appearance of the Torturer-in-Chief and Grand Inquisitor, Torquemada Gonzales, on the scene in Baghdad. Among other things he said, "We need to let the three-piece-suited politicians and their crooked lackeys know that we're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore!" He also expressed his gratitude to AG Torquemada, who came all that way to tell him that he was not alone:

"I can rest peacfully when the next bomb goes off because the man who approved torture by the United States of America and deeply shamed this nation has told me I am not alone. Well, he’s right about one thing I know I'm not alone – whether it’s the spooks or agents that are monitoring me or my journals or those of you out there reading these words, I am certainly not alone. I know that many of those Iraqi people who wish to kill me and my fellow soldiers and are constantly waiting for their opportunity are making sure my fellow soldiers and I are not alone. Well, I just wanted to thank the brave A.G. for flying into the Green Zone and having to endanger himself behind all of his heavy security just so he could tell me I'm not alone. My heart is truly warmed."

Some time later he was called into the office of his company commander, threatened with disciplinary action, and told to take down the website. Something about not showing the proper amount of support for the war and for the president...

This is a fucking outrage. In 1968 I was busily tacking up Eugene McCarthy for President posters on my unit bulletin board in Vietnam just as fast as the lifers and officers could rip them down, but NOBODY told me that I couldn't do it. I also wrote letters to the editor of my hometown newspaper that were highly critical of the Vietnam war. NOBODY told me that I couldn't do that, either. It would never even have occurred to any of them to order me not to do these things. And this was after the 1968 Tet Offensive, when the whole war effort was starting to unravel, and they would have thought they had something to fear from a soldier making negative comments to the public and advocating the election of a very liberal anti-war candidate.

I am sure that the Army will come up with some lame-ass reason that doesn't include "censorship" in it as a justification for shutting Lenny up, but it will be a lie, just another fucking lie in a long line of fucking lies. I'm surprise they aren't using the Patriot Act to silence him. After all, they weren't afraid to use it on that homeless guy in New Jersey just to kick him out of a train station. Or maybe that's next.

In the meantime, Lenny is back on the streets of Baghdad, another silenced liberal voice of reason. His website will be taken down by his friend in the next few days, so see it now before it goes away:

How many more Lennys will it take before NO ONE will speak up if they have the smallest negative thing to say about this fucked up war and the fucked up chickenhawks in charge of it?

And that's what they want. For us all to just shut up. All this criticism has a negative impact on the morale of ... George W. Bush. Well, guess what -- I'm not going to shut up, and neither should you. We have to talk for Lenny since now he can't talk for himself.

Get the fuck out of Iraq. That's what I say. Just get the fuck out. Let the Iraqi people decide for themselves how they want to govern their country. IT IS THEIR COUNTRY.

Of course, it's not their oil. Halliburton, the Carlyle Group and the rest of the BFEE have that locked up already.