Friday, April 11, 2008
We had not forgotten the case of Col. Ted Westhusing, who volunteered to serve in what he believed to be a just war, and who died, a few months later, of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, leaving a four-page suicide note:
Thanks for telling me it was a good day until I briefed you. [Redacted name]—You are only interested in your career and provide no support to your staff—no msn [mission] support and you don’t care. I cannot support a msn that leads to corruption, human right abuses and liars. I am sullied—no more. I didn’t volunteer to support corrupt, money grubbing contractors, nor work for commanders only interested in themselves. I came to serve honorably and feel dishonored. I trust no Iraqi. I cannot live this way. All my love to my family, my wife and my precious children. I love you and trust you only. Death before being dishonored any more. Trust is essential—I don’t know who trust anymore. [sic] Why serve when you cannot accomplish the mission, when you no longer believe in the cause, when your every effort and breath to succeed meets with lies, lack of support, and selfishness? No more. Reevaluate yourselves, cdrs [commanders]. You are not what you think you are and I know it.We had, however, forgotten -- until we saw a post by our distinguished colleague Melina Coco, of Brilliant at Breakfast -- the names of the officers to whom Col. Westhusing's note was addressed.
COL Ted Westhusing
Life needs trust. Trust is no more for me here in Iraq.