Anti-war smear tactician's been unmasked
For more than a year, former Marine Staff Sgt. Jimmy Massey has been telling anybody who will listen about the atrocities that he and other Marines committed in Iraq.And if I were one of the unit he was part of, I would never want to speak to him again after the way he betrayed his own unit. Among the lies he told about his fellow soldiers include:
In scores of newspaper, magazine and broadcast stories, at a Canadian immigration hearing and in numerous speeches across the country, Massey has told how he and other Marines recklessly, sometimes intentionally, killed dozens of innocent Iraqi civilians.
Among his claims:
Marines fired on and killed peaceful Iraqi protesters.
Americans shot a 4-year-old Iraqi girl in the head.
A tractor-trailer was filled with the bodies of civilian men, women and children killed by American artillery.
Massey's claims have gained him celebrity. Last month, Massey's book, "Kill, Kill, Kill," was released in France. His allegations have been reported in nationwide publications such as Vanity Fair and USA Today, as well as numerous broadcast reports. Earlier this year, he joined the anti-war bus tour of Cindy Sheehan, and he's spoken at Cornell and Syracuse universities, among others.
News organizations worldwide published or broadcast Massey's claims without any corroboration and in most cases without investigation. Outside of the Marines, almost no one has seriously questioned whether Massey, a 12-year veteran who was honorably discharged, was telling the truth.
Each of his claims is either demonstrably false or exaggerated - according to his fellow Marines, Massey's own admissions, and the five journalists who were embedded with Massey's unit, including a reporter and photographer from the Post-Dispatch and reporters from The Associated Press and The Wall Street
Massey was discharged in December 2003, shortly after returning from Iraq due to depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome.Ladies and gentlemen, be sure to keep a safe distance from this phony baloney Massey! He was also involved with Cindy Sheehan, one more clue to his dishonesty.
He began turning up in the press and on broadcasts last spring with stories about military atrocities. Massey's primary thrust has been that Marines from his battalion - some of whom, he told a Minneapolis audience, were "psychopathic killers" - recklessly shot and killed Iraqi civilians, sometimes, he said, upon orders from their commanders. During a hearing in Canada, Massey said, "We deliberately gunned down people who were civilians."
The Marine Corps investigated Massey's claims and said they were "unsubstantiated."
From the beginning, Massey misled reporters.
In early interviews, he told how he had lost his job at a furniture store
because of his anti-war activities. But when asked about the incident in an interview Oct. 19 with the Post-Dispatch, Massey said he had quit his job but
never had felt pressure to leave.
"I left on good terms," he said.
He also backtracked from allegations he made in a May 2004 radio interview and elsewhere that he had seen a tractor-trailer filled with the bodies of Iraqi civilians when Marines entered an Iraqi military prison outside Baghdad. He said the Iraqis had been killed by American artillery.
He told listeners that the scene was so bad "that the plasma from the body and skin was decomposing and literally oozing out of the crevices of the tractor-trailer bed."
He repeated the story in the Post-Dispatch interview. But when told that the newspaper's photographs and eyewitness reports had identified the trailer contents as all men, mostly in uniform, Massey admitted that he had never seen the bodies.
Instead, he said, he received his information from "intelligence reports." When asked if those reports were official documents, he answered, "No, that's what the other Marines told me."
The details of Massey's stories changed repeatedly.
For example, he almost always told his audiences and interviewers of an event he said he'd never forget: Marines in his unit shooting four civilian Iraqis in red Kia automobile.
In some accounts, Massey said Marines fired at the vehicle after it failed to stop at a checkpoint. In another version, he said the Marines stormed the car.
Sometimes he said three of the men were killed immediately while the fourth was wounded and covered in blood; sometimes he said the fourth man was "miraculously unscathed."
Sometimes he said the Marines left the three men on the side of the road to die without medical treatment while the fourth man exclaimed: "Why did you shoot my brother?" In other versions, he said the man made the statement as medical personnel were attempting to treat the three other men, or as the survivor sat near the car, or to Massey personally.
There is no evidence that any of the versions occurred.
Interestingly enough, Dust in the Light was onto this a year ago. Now, justice is done at last on this case too.
In a special extra article by Harris, also recommended for reading, one of the interviewees says at the end:
"As a journalist, you want to put accurate information before the public so they can make opinions and decisions based on accurate information. When something like this happens, harm is done, the truth suffers."Yes, it does, and that's what's been happening for decades, even centuries on end, till now. And it's time to put a stop to it.
Others on the subject include Generation Why, Democracy Project, GOP and the City, Flopping Aces, The Cassandra Page, Media Lies, Right We Are, Super Fun Power Hour, Narcissistic Views on News/Politics, Impacted Wisdom Truth, Catscape, Citizens Journal, OpinionBug.Com, Shock and Blog, Andi's World, The Violence Worker, Alabama Improper, BizzyBlog, Small Town Veteran, Right Voices, The Real Ugly American, The Lunch Counter, The Chief Brief, Irate Nation, RalphSpeak.