Chaplain Unger is from MCCDC Doctrine Division. He's been in Iraq for the
past four months.
30 May 2004
This is my third letter from Iraq. I have been working myself into the
right mood to do this. Today is the day. In my last two letters I have
leaned toward being as upbeat as possible. This time will be different;
today I want to talk about Memorial Day, but I will start off by giving my
perspective on the Abu Ghraib prison problem.
First off, the investigation into the abuses at Abu Ghraib
began back in January. That is why the first court martial was ready for
trial in May. The senior people here knew about the investigation; the
rest of us didn't. By the time the media "broke" the story, the
investigation was almost done and the soldiers who had committed the abuses
had already been rotated home.
Second, I (we) don't see all the news coverage that you in the states see.
I do see some Fox News and CNN. Fox editorializes toward the right wing;
CNN is the voice of the anti-war movement. I wonder that if CNN had been
around in 1942 we might all be speaking German and Japanese. I can tell
you this, everything I have heard on CNN is so biased, negative, and
out-of-touch that I will never watch CNN for the rest of my life. That
being said, when the rest of us found out about the abuses we were shocked
and sickened. I think maybe more so than people back home because we are
here; these are the people I see every day. The people I see every day
who are going out to fix: schools, hospitals, reservoirs, power plants, and
sewer systems. They do these things risking sniper fire and hidden
explosives. These soldiers are not a handful of bad apples like those at
Abu Ghraib, these soldiers number into the thousands. Now think for a