Its Friday afternoon/early evening depending on where you are, which means the administration releases something embarrassing its been sitting in for most of the week. This week, its this:
WASHINGTON – In a survey of U.S. troops in combat in Iraq, less than half of Marines and a little more than half of Army soldiers said they would report a member of their unit for killing or wounding an innocent civilian.
More than 40 percent support the idea of torture in some cases, and 10 percent reported personally abusing Iraqi civilians, the Pentagon said Friday in what it called its first ethics study of troops at the war front. Units exposed to the most combat were chosen for the study, officials said.
_Sixty-two percent of soldiers and 66 percent of Marines said that they knew someone seriously injured or killed, or that a member of their team had become a casualty.
_The 2006 adjusted rate of suicides per 100,000 soldiers was 17.3 soldiers, lower than the 19.9 rate reported in 2005.
_Only 47 percent of the soldiers and 38 percent of Marines said noncombatants should be treated with dignity and respect.
_About a third of troops said they had insulted or cursed at civilians in their presence.
_About 10 percent of soldiers and Marines reported mistreating civilians or damaging property when it was not necessary. Mistreatment includes hitting or kicking a civilian.
_Forty-four percent of Marines and 41 percent of soldiers said torture should be allowed to save the life of a soldier or Marine.
_Thirty-nine percent of Marines and 36 percent of soldiers said torture should be allowed to gather important information from insurgents.
Now, this is a Pentagon study, and it found that “10 percent reported personally abusing Iraqi civilians.” And “[o]nly 47 percent of the soldiers and 38 percent of Marines said noncombatants should be treated with dignity and respect.” I’ve mentioned in previous posts… you can’t win hearts and minds like this. You simply cannot.
And then there’s this:
The study team said shorter deployments or longer intervals between deployments would give soldiers and Marines a better chance “to reset mentally” before returning to combat. The Pentagon last month announced a policy that extends tours of duty for all active duty Army troops from a year to 15 months. Pollock acknowledged that was “going to be a stress” on troops.
Marine tours are seven months, one likely reason that soldier morale was lower than Marine morale, she said.
We keep getting told that morale is fine, and will remain so as long as the Democrats don’t persist in trying to get GW to surrender in Iraq. Why does the Pentagon hate the military?
By Monday, this report will never have happened.