Daily Archives: September 3, 2007

Shining Examples of Military Justice

According to a recent report from MSNBC, government audits into funding from the U.S. Congress to rebuild Iraq show that of the $30 billion given, $8.8 billion has disappeared. So how do you show your appreciation to the men and women who report corruption in the rebuilding of Iraq? If you’re the U.S. Government, you demote, fire, vilify them, or worse.

Donald Vance, a Navy veteran and his colleague, Nathan Ertel were imprisoned by the Amerian military (the same one Vance served) in a security compound outside of Baghdad, classified as security detainees and subjected to physical and mental interrogation tactics “reserved for terrorists and so-called enemy combatants” when they reported illegal arms sales.

Thinking he was doing the right thing, Vance told the FBI about guns, land mines and rocket-launchers being sold for cash by Shield Group Security Co., the Iraqi-owned company he worked for. No receipts necessary. He told a federal agent Iraqi insurgents, American soldiers, State Department workers and Iraqi embassy and ministry employees were buying them.

Vance supplied photos, documents and other intelligence to an FBI agent in Chicago since he didn’t know who to trust in Iraq. In return he got to spend 97 days in Camp Cropper, an American military prison that once held Saddam Hussein outside of Baghdad. Ertel helped gather the evidence. For his trouble, he got to spend a little over a month being detained.

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