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Obscenity has its many forms

May 25, 2004 6:25 AM

This is not about gambling, sex or nude showgirls, so now is your chance to tune out and turn the page.

It is about a kid from Costa Rica who came here, like those thousands that Donald Rumsfeld loves to talk about, to find a better life. His name is Camilo Mejia, and after becoming a permanent U.S. resident he joined the Florida National Guard.

He was sent to Iraq, and after months there Mejia was given a furlough and sent home. Having survived the dirty, rotten war in Iraq, he found himself in trouble here, big time.

Meija had seen things in Iraq that disgusted and sickened him. He had witnessed brutality, senseless deaths, and commanders that he said put glory over good decisions. He decided the war in Iraq was immoral, and that he wasn’t going back.

The Army was distressed about this, and it ordered Meija court martialed. The patriot who presided refused to let him testify about the mistreatment of detainees that he had seen, saying that Meija and not the war was on trial.

Along the way Meija has filed as a conscientious objector. A guy name Eugene Fidell, who is the founder of something called The National Institute of Military Justice, explained that the claim was not valid and not an issue in the court martial, because U.S. military law recognizes conscientious objection only to war in general, and not to specific conflicts. That’s using a very sharp knife to cut a lot of baloney.

So Camilo Meija, who came here for a better life and wound up in Iraq because he had voluntarily joined the National Guard, now finds his life in America ruined. He was sentenced to a year in the brig, a reduction from staff sergeant to private, and when he gets out a bad conduct discharge that will stick with him the rest of his life. He is 28.

While this was going on the court martials began for the beasts of Abu Ghraib, the smirking jerks who attached wires to prisoners’ hands and legs and threatened them with electrocution, who piled the prisoners nude, one on another, in orgy scenes, who made them simulate oral sex, who pulled them around on leashes. The scrawny little gal from West Virginia who did that and pointed gleefully to their genitals was not an innocent little kid but an authority on genitals, being pregnant to the grinning hulk standing behind her in the pictures.

She’ll get court martialed too, but those who won’t are the captains and majors and colonels and generals who controlled every aspect of the life of those responsible for the atrocities.

Last December American military lawyers wrote that "terrorists" were not covered by the Geneva Convention, and of course all Iraqis are terrorists these days. The big four-star military cheese himself — General Richard Myers — squirmed and fussed and fudged before Congress recently when asked about the Geneva Convention, and quickly ducked under the "terrorist" blanket.

As disgusting as the Abu Ghraib pictures were, I saw an even more disgusting one last week. It was of Paul Wolfowitz, the hawk who helped get us into this war, sitting like a kid listening to his dad reading him a fairy tale at bedtime, lapping up the lies being told to him about weapons of mass destruction by Ahmad Chalabi. That’s the same Ahmad Chalabi who was paid $33 million by the U.S. government from 2000 to 2003 for intelligence, and who only recently had his Pentagon allowance of $335,000 a month cut off. This week he is on all major American news shows, telling how he is a super patriot for both Americans and Iraquis. Our government, duped by this clown for years, finally severed the ties and helped destroy his headquarters in Baghdad, although our main man there, Paul Bremer, said with a straight face that he knew nothing about it until after the deed was done.

I’ve had enough of this. Bring on the gambling and the nude showgirls