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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Iraq War Vet, In Suicide Letter, Admits Forced to Commit War Crimes

On June 10, Daniel Somers committed suicide.  But first he wrote a lengthy suicide note,  now released, after his family gave permission.  Read the whole thing but here's an intro below via Gawker. It cites how he was haunted by what he saw and did in Iraq, but also draws attention to the near-daily suicides among vets and lack of treatment for them. 

The suicide was first noted, and quoted, I've discovered, by Phoenix New Times, who recalled him as a talented guitarist and producer for local rock band Lisa Savidge.  They linked to a profile of the band from 2011.   They also quoted his wife: "It has been crazy . . . Daniel and I are private people and in the last week things have been ripped open and now everyone knows about how bad it has been. I wish I could believe that if it had gotten out [his sentiments in the suicide letter] sooner that he would still be here."  See the band's Facebook page and tributes.  Now here's that Intro. Note: I wrote about numerous Iraq soldier and vet suicides in my book So Wrong for So Long.
Daniel Somers was a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was part of Task Force Lightning, an intelligence unit. In 2004-2005, he was mainly assigned to a Tactical Human-Intelligence Team (THT) in Baghdad, Iraq, where he ran more than 400 combat missions as a machine gunner in the turret of a Humvee, interviewed countless Iraqis ranging from concerned citizens to community leaders and and government officials, and interrogated dozens of insurgents and terrorist suspects. In 2006-2007, Daniel worked with Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) through his former unit in Mosul where he ran the Northern Iraq Intelligence Center. His official role was as a senior analyst for the Levant (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, and part of Turkey). Daniel suffered greatly from PTSD and had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and several other war-related conditions.


Andrew Githaiga said...

War is tragic but more tragic is a culture that celebrates war, a culture that believes war is a means to right wrongs, a means to solve a problem at home while executing the solution miles away from home. A culture that celebrates a sniper who kills in one shot and calls him a "hero". A culture where young men in killing fields abroad have a sense of pride for "serving my country". This twisted logic is insane and unfortunately it is part of our psyche and it can only get worse and more ingrained because there is no end to propaganda and Hollywood budgets get bigger and bigger everyday. Wake up.

Anonymous said...