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Troops do not have a “right to defend themselves”?

01 Jul

During an appearance on Tuesday’s (29 Jun 10) Fox and Friends, God’s Self-proclaimed spokesman, Glenn Beck, suggested that the rules of engagement (ROE) in Afghanistan prevent American soldiers and marines from defending themselves, saying that American leaders (aka President Obama) should “take the shackles off our troops; they have a right to defend themselves.” Only problem with Bruder Beck’s suggestion is, well, current ROE states “that no one is ever denied the right to self-defense.”

Fox and Friends talking head Steve Doocy asked the Beckster what he wants GEN Petraeus to say, “You know, I’m going to start pulling things out in a year?”

Beck replied, “First of all — first of all, if our troops feel they’re in danger, shoot to kill. Take the shackles off our troops; they have a right to defend themselves. Enough with this little medal where — you know, it’s very interesting to me that the radicals who are now in charge from the 1960s who used to call our troops baby killers and really under George Bush did everything but call them baby killers, he was ‘General Betray-us.’ They give an award now for having restraint. That’s just a nice way of saying here’s a medal for not killing a baby. It’s the same thing. Take the handcuffs off and respect these people.”

Of course, the truth of the matter is that according to current rules, “no one is ever denied the right to self-defense”, in fact, the incoming commander, GEN David Petraeus, in a 17 Mar 10 congressional hearing (accessed via Nexis), testified that the directive emphasizing the protection of civilian lives “says that no one is ever denied the right to self-defense, nor will we ever hesitate, if someone is pinned down by fire, in responding to ensure that those troopers never feel as if they’re fighting with their hands tied behind their back.”

And in declassified portions of a revised “Tactical Directive” to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan issued in July 2009, outgoing commander, GEN Stanley McChrystal wrote: “This directive does not prevent commanders from protecting the lives of their men and women as a matter of self-defense where it is determined no other options (specific options deleted due to operational safety) are available to effectively counter the threat.” McChrystal also wrote: “I recognize that the carefully controlled and disciplined employment of force entails risks to our troops — and we must work to mitigate that risk wherever possible. But excessive use of force resulting in an alienated population will produce far greater risks.”

At the stroke of midnight, Wednesday was just another day of making stuff up for Beck; and just another day of spreading falsehoods and half truths for Fox News.

(thanks again to our friends at Media Matters)

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2010 in Afghanistan

 

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