Saturday, October 16, 2004

This Is Disturbing News from Iraq

What I don't know is whether it's disturbing news about the chain of command or about the unit that refused to conduct a mission:
Unit That Refused Iraq Duty Said Released

Sat Oct 16, 7:46 PM ET

By REBECCA YONKER, Associated Press Writer

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The grandfather of an Army Reserve soldier whose platoon refused to deliver supplies in Iraq said his grandson told him Saturday that he and other soldiers had been detained by military authorities but were later released. Meanwhile, military officials said commanders reassigned five members of the unit.

Some in the platoon had told relatives they refused to deliver tainted helicopter fuel in poorly maintained vehicles by traveling a dangerous supply route without an armed escort.

The Army is investigating up to 19 members of the platoon, which is part of the 343rd Quartermaster Company based in Rock Hill, S.C. The unit delivers food, water and fuel on trucks in combat zones. A criminal inquiry was expected....

A coalition spokesman in Baghdad said "a small number of the soldiers involved chose to express their concerns in an inappropriate manner, causing a temporary breakdown in discipline."...

On Wednesday, 19 members of the platoon did not show up for a scheduled 7 a.m. meeting in Tallil, in southeastern Iraq, to prepare for the fuel convoy's departure a few hours later, a military statement said.

The mission was carried out by other soldiers from the 343rd, which has at least 120 soldiers, the military said....
Stay tuned. This one is going to be demagogued, left and right, regardless of the truth of the matter.

But I do wonder how the mission could be carried out be other soldiers if it was a suicide mission.