Tomas Young, Iraq War veteran and the main subject of the documentary, Body of War. On April 4, 2004, his fifth day in Iraq, Young’s unit came under fire in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad. Young was left paralyzed, never to walk again. Released from medical care three months later, Young returned home to become an active member in Iraq Veterans Against the War. He recently announced that he will stop his nourishment, which comes in the form of liquid through a feeding tube — a decision, which will hasten his death.
Exclusive: Dying Iraq War Veteran Tomas Young Reads “Last Letter” to President Bush and Dick Cheney
Iraq War veteran Tomas Young was left paralyzed in a 2004 attack in Iraq. Released from medical care three months later, Young returned home to become an active member in Iraq Veterans Against the War. He recently announced that he will stop his medicine and nourishment, which comes in the form of liquid through a feeding tube — a decision, which will hasten his death. Joining us from his home in Kansas City, Young reads from his letter, “A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran.” Young says to Bush and Cheney: “You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans — my fellow veterans — whose future you stole.” Click here to watch part 1 of the interview. [includes rush transcript]
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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMYGOODMAN: We turn to another clip from Body of War of more voices from the floor of the Senate, the Senate roll call of yes votes authorizing the war in Iraq in 2002.
SEN. BILLNELSON: The threat posed by Iraq grows with each passing day.
SENATEROLLCALL: Mr. Bayh, aye.
REP. JOSEPHPITTS: It’s a danger that grows every day.
SENATEROLLCALL: Mr. Bennett, aye.
SEN. JOHN McCAIN: Each day that goes by, he becomes more dangerous.
TABACCO: I color these guys RED, not because they are Republican as I generally do, but because they were deliberately LYING to the American People.
SEN. MIKE DeWINE: More diabolical.
REP. JOSEPHPITTS: Every day, Saddam Hussein grows stronger.
SEN. JOHN McCAIN: His capabilities become better.
SENATEROLLCALL: Mr. Biden, aye.
REP. JOSEPHPITTS: Every day, Saddam Hussein builds more chemical and biological weapons.
SEN. JOHN McCAIN: The longer we wait, the more dangerous he becomes.
Mr. Bond, aye.
Mr. Breaux, aye.
Mr. Brownback, aye.
Mr. Bunning, aye.
Mr. Burns, aye.
Mr. Campbell, aye.
Ms. Cantwell, aye.
Mrs. Carnahan, aye.
Mr. Carper, aye.
Aye, aye, aye, aye.
TABACCO: FINALLY! A Non-Idiot speaks up! 2 of those “ayes” belong to Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer of New York – that’s why Hillary should never be nominated for President, not because she’s a woman!
AMYGOODMAN: That was the late senator, West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, as you hear the roll call of yes votes, from the film Body of War.
We come 10 years later, 10th anniversary of the war in Iraq. Tomas Young, Iraq War veteran, wounded April 4th, 2004, his fifth day in Iraq, shot in Sadr City, is now writing a letter on this 10th anniversary called “The Last Letter: A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran.” Tomas, can you read some of your letter to the former president and vice president?
“I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of [those who bear those wounds. I am one of those.] I [am] one of the gravely injured. I am paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.
“I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost parents, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have [done, witnessed, endured] in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.
Smiling Assassin –
Bush knew what he was doing!
“Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, [and your privilege and power] cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.
“I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you are—who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder” — I’m sorry, the type is very small, and my eyes are going. “… Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.
“I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the [9/11] attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the [U.S.] I did not join the Army to ‘liberate’ Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called ‘democracy’ in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues.”
AMYGOODMAN: Tomas, we—
TOMASYOUNG: “Instead, this war” —
AMYGOODMAN: Tomas, we’re going to ask you to finish the letter after the broadcast, and we’re going to post it at democracynow.org. But in these last few seconds of the show, is there anything that would convince you not to end your life in the next few months?
TOMASYOUNG: Not at this moment. There may come a time in the future when I say, “Hey, things are getting better; maybe I should reconsider this.” But at this moment, nothing in this world has made me change my mind as to what I’m going to do.
AMYGOODMAN: I want people to go to democracynow.org to see the second part of this conversation that we will continue with Tomas Young and his wife, Claudia Cuellar, from their home in Kansas City, and with legendary talk show host Phil Donahue. Last seconds, Phil?
PHILDONAHUE: Well, it’s just a study in what the Americans have not seen. If you’re going to send young men and women to war—
AMYGOODMAN: Four seconds.
PHILDONAHUE: —show the pain. Otherwise, it’s going to be easy for us to have another one.
AMYGOODMAN: I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González. Thanks for joining us.
Tragedy of an American Hero!
Tomas Young today
Senator Robert Byrd read the following Nazi quote to Congress as it rushed to judgment on Iraq War:
This story is a prime example of what can happen when Americans are UNDEREDUCATED and UNDERINFORMED! Had Tom Young not bought into the Bush LIES, he might never have joined the Military in the first place. But he did believe an American President, and now he and we must pay the price!
You have gone this far to learn the Truth about the Iraq War and its origins. Don’t stop now! Read how MSNBC fired Phil Donahue because he dared bring on voices that opposed going to War in Iraq!
‘In 2003, the legendary television host Phil Donahue was fired from his prime-time MSNBC talk show during the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The problem was not Donahue’s ratings, but rather his views: An internal MSNBC memo warned Donahue was a “difficult public face for NBC in a time of war,” providing “a home for the liberal antiwar agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity.” Donahue joins us to look back on his firing 10 years later. “They were terrified of the antiwar voice,” Donahue says. [includes rush transcript]’
Phil Donahue and Tomas Young
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Tabacco is not a blogger, who thinks; I am a Thinker, who blogs. Speaking Truth to Power!
In 1981′s ‘Body Heat’, Kathleen Turner said, “Knowledge is power”.
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