The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Wounded Iraq vets: the story still hasn't caught fire

It's nearly a week ago (October 23, to be precise) that I mentioned the story of the poorly treated wounded men shipped back from Iraq to Fort Stewart, GA: there was the intrinsic interest of the story, of course. But, mostly, I was puzzled how both media and politicians had given such manna from heaven a wide berth.

(It wasn't that the story wasn't out there: it was that it was out there, but the herd - pols and hacks - were busy on other matters.)

Returning to the story, I find - relying on Mr Google as ever - very much of the same. There have been the odd few articles (16 datelined - by Google - October 24 or later). A piece about one guy at Fort Stewart in the process of being invalided out of the army after being wounded in Iraq who, it seems, having gone on leave, was arrested as a deserter after the Kafkaesque system in operation down there had left him assuming he didn't need to return.

And Mr Shakedown himself, Jesse Jackson, has a piece in the Chicago Sun-Times (October 28) which mentions the Fort Stewart problem - it kicks off with the situation of Shoshanna Johnson - he names her Shoshona! - a member of the 507th Ordnance Maintenance Company shot in the ankles and taken prisoner by the Iraqis at the same time as her rather more famous - and blonde and pretty... - colleague, Jessica Lynch.

Strangely, Old Shakedown doesn't even mention Johnson's race - but it's perhaps surprising that none of the Dem presidential hopefuls, not even Al Sharpton - whose particular variety of hollering nigger is generally every bit as raucous and persistent as that once practised by the likes of Theodore Bilbo and 'Cotton Ed' Smith, have not latched onto her case.

(And, yes, I'm not alone in asking the question. There's me and this other guy, in fact...)

Acting Army Secretary Les Brownlee has paid the Fort a visit - the USA propaganda feed has the official boilerplate.

One senior pol went on record on the Fort Stewart case: Sen Patrick Leahy (D-VT) did so in the Democrat Radio Address over the weekend (October 25) - the existence of which had, I'm afraid, passed me by - an equal airtime thing on account of the Presidential broadcast, I assume.

But if he was expecting to lead a charge of legislators against Administration incompetence in taking care of those who had suffered for their country, he was sadly mistaken!

I still think the Fort Stewart farrago is a great story, and the fact it still has no head of steam behind it I find bizarre in the extreme. At any rate, there remains to be found an explanation for the muted response which rises to the level of plausibility.

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