Thursday, November 2, 2006
What The Regime Does to "Great Americans"
Since the group has an absolute or totalist vision of truth, those who are not in the group are bound up in evil, are not enlightened, are not saved, and do not have the right to exist.... One outside the group may always receive their right of existence by joining the group.... The group is the "elite,” outsiders are "of the world,” "evil,” "unenlightened,” etc.
Item #8 in Robert Jay Lifton's “Eight Criteria for Thought Reform,” a checklist of cult characteristics
Anyone who has endured more than a few minutes of Sean Hannity's daily assault upon reason will be familiar with the verbal handshake – perhaps “reach-around” would be a more appropriate description – by which the Hannitoids* identify each other: “You're a great American.”
It is never explained what these people did to distinguish themselves as “Great Americans,” but no explanation is necessary: By virtue of their blinkered devotion to the Dear Leader and his vision, they have become part of an anointed elite. They need not actually accomplish anything; their membership in Sean's little cult is sufficient proof of their “greatness.”
Army Specialist Alyssa Peterson
Colonel Ted Westhusing
Army Specialist Alyssa Peterson, by way of contrast, was a Great American of the traditional sort. The same was true of Colonel Ted Westhusing. Like thousands of other American servicemen, Spec. Peterson and Col. Westhusing died in Iraq. Like an unknown number, however, both of them took their own lives as a result of mortal disgust over what the regime was forcing them to do.
“I cannot support a mission that leads to corruption, human rights abuse and liars,” protested Col. Ted Westhusing in a letter he wrote to his family last June. “I am sullied. I came to serve honorably and feel dishonored. Death before being dishonored any more.”
Not long after writing those words, Col. Westhusing (about whom I have written before) – a West Point graduate and Special Forces veteran, a devout Catholic husband and father – used his service pistol to take his own life. This took place less than a month before the 44-year-old Colonel was to end his tour of duty.
Westhusing had become distraught to learn that the contractor for which he worked, Virginia-based USIS, had been implicated in many serious crimes – from embezzlement to murder.
“A cadet will not lie, cheat, or steal – or tolerate those who do,” according to the moral code Westhusing had learned at West Point. An Army psychologist who reviewed Westhusing's e-mails following his suicide determined that the Colonel simply took that moral code too seriously, contending that Westhusing “had placed too much pressure on himself to succeed and that he was unusually rigid in his thinking.”
Westhusing's commitment to “moral clarity” -- a virtue hymned by neo-Trotskyites, and studiously avoided by them – made it unbearable for him to be party to a huge and hideous crime against Christian decency.
Col. Westhusing was a faithful and devoted Catholic, and almost certainly believed that “the Almighty hath set his canon 'gainst self-slaughter.” I cannot imagine the abyss of dejection into which he must have fallen before taking his own life – assuming that it wasn't taken from him by the corrupt contractors with whom he worked, as some people suspect.
Like Colonel Westhusing, Spec. Peterson was devoutly religious, a one-time Mormon missionary from Flagstaff, Arizona. She had what one friend described as an “amazing” ability to learn languages, an aptitude that helped her learn Arabic at the Army's Defense Language Institute. Like Col. Westhusing, Spec. Peterson volunteered for duty in Iraq, where she was sent to help interrogate prisoners and translate captured documents at an air base in Tal-Afar.
And, like Ted Westhusing, Alyssa Peterson was driven to suicidal depression as a result of the role the regime forced her to play in Iraq.
The military bureaucracy, as is its wont, tried to bury the truth about Peterson's death. Reporter Kevin Elston, presently with Flagstaff public radio station KNAU, exhumed the details through diligent forensic journalism of a sort rarely practiced anymore.
“Peterson objected to the interrogation techniques used on prisoners,” reports Elston, using what is now recognized as a euphemism for “torture.” “She refused to participate after only two nights working in the unit known as the cage. Army spokesmen for her unit have refused to describe the interrogation techniques Alyssa objected to. They say all records of those techniques have now been destroyed.”
Immediately after lodging her objections, Alyssa was reassigned and sent to suicide prevention training; her suicide note (which has yet to be released; Elston saw a declassified paraphrase) took ironic notice of the fact that the “prevention” training actually instructed her in the best way to kill herself.
After doing what it could to conceal the circumstances surrounding Spec. Peterson's suicide, the Pentagon continues its campaign of obfuscation: It now insists that there may have been no connection between her objections to torture and her decision to kill herself. Unfortunately, the only person who could clarify the matter -- an intelligent, capable, exuberant young woman for whom suicide was entirely out of character -- is no longer among the living.
And the same bureaucracy continues to dispatch soldiers with severe psychological problems -- including clear warning signs of suicidal impulses -- to combat roles in Iraq.
Like Ted Westhusing, Alyssa Peterson was an intelligent, self-possessed individual of strong moral convictions and exceptional achievement. What did she see that deprived her of the will to live?
If the Regime has its way, we will never know for sure. As the tyranny under which we now live ripens, and its abuses of power become more overt, we'll likely be exposed to at least some of the horrors that drove these incontestably Great Americans to suicide.
Do the Hannitoids even care about what the Regime is planning for us? The cult's rank-and-file neither care, nor understand. Their chief evangelist has bigger worries, having sold his soul in a buyer's market.
*A "Hannitoid" is best described as a severely infected polyp in the descending colon of the body politic.
at 9:04 PM