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Cold War pilot Francis Gary Powers to get Silver Star
CNN ^ | June 9 2012 | Staff

Posted on 06/09/2012 11:02:47 AM PDT by moonshot925

(CNN) -- An American pilot whose U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union will be posthumously awarded the Silver Star next week, 50 years after he was released from prison and returned to the United States.

The award for valor is being bestowed on Francis Gary Powers for exhibiting "exceptional loyalty" during harsh interrogation while in captivity by the Soviet Union for nearly two years, the Air Force said.

The Silver Star is the third-highest combat military decoration awarded to members of any U.S. military branch for valor in the face of the enemy, the Air Force said. The award will be presented to his family Friday during a ceremony at the Pentagon, officials said.

(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: coldwar; gary; powers; u2
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1 posted on 06/09/2012 11:02:56 AM PDT by moonshot925
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To: moonshot925

Nice they’re finally getting around to awarding him the Silver Star, but it’s too bad they didn’t do it while he was still alive.


2 posted on 06/09/2012 11:08:48 AM PDT by Fast Moving Angel (A moral wrong is not a civil right: No religious sanction of an irreligious act.)
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To: Fast Moving Angel

Why did it take so long?


3 posted on 06/09/2012 11:23:26 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Obama is looking for another quasi-military to cash in on. Don’t you know that he personally approved Gary’s flight? /s


4 posted on 06/09/2012 11:25:28 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: Gaffer

Political stunt. Not respect.


5 posted on 06/09/2012 11:29:13 AM PDT by glyptol
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To: Fast Moving Angel

He should have swallowed his capsule before being captured.

That was a big stink back then. He shouldn’t have been captured. We paid a huge price to get him back. We had just captured the biggest Soviet agent in the USA and had to trade him for FGP.


6 posted on 06/09/2012 11:34:05 AM PDT by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
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To: Gaffer
Don’t you know that he personally approved Gary’s flight? /s

And led the efforts to get Gary Powers back to the USA.

He also was part of the design team for the U2 and made khrushchev very angry with his obstinate proAmerican rhetoric./s

7 posted on 06/09/2012 11:35:55 AM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
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To: Gaffer
Don’t you know that he personally approved Gary’s flight? /s

And led the efforts to get Gary Powers back to the USA.

He also was part of the design team for the U2 and made khrushchev very angry with his obstinate proAmerican rhetoric./s

8 posted on 06/09/2012 11:36:14 AM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
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To: glyptol
I bet 0 really wants to say this:

"The day my glorious comrades in the Soviet Union took down Gary Powers was a proud day for Marxists everywhere. But the only way I can acknowledge this day is to give out this stupid capitalist medal to a now dead puppet of capitalism."

9 posted on 06/09/2012 11:37:33 AM PDT by kosciusko51 (Enough of "Who is John Galt?" Who is Patrick Henry?)
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To: moonshot925

"Today we honor Francis Gary Powers for the bravery and courage he demonstrated on my behalf..."


10 posted on 06/09/2012 11:38:11 AM PDT by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: EGPWS

Why didn’t the Zero use his super powers to stop Power’s chopper from crashing huh? Power’s was white that’s why.


11 posted on 06/09/2012 11:39:59 AM PDT by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
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To: moonshot925
THE DAY WE SHOT DOWN THE U-2
by Sergei Khrushchev

Powers's flight took place May 1, a big day in the Evil Empire (parade in Red Square and all that). It turns out, in the holiday confusion, the Rooskies shot down one of their own before they got Powers:

The marshal was debating whether to go home to change his clothes or go straight to Red Square when another call came from Sverdlovsk on the special phone. The general haltingly reported that the second parachutist had been found and that unfortunately he was one of ours, Senior Lieutenant Safronov.

“What do you mean, one of ours?” The marshal barely kept from shouting. “How many planes did you shoot down? Can’t you tell the difference between ours and theirs?”

“His transponder wasn’t working,” lied the general. That lie was repeated many times later, until Igor Mentyukov cleared up the matter: The transponders were operating, but on the code for April, not May. In the preholiday flurry of activities, service personnel had not yet changed it. So not surprisingly, the radars perceived friendly as foe.

“How many missiles did you fire?” asked Biryuzov, gradually calming down.

“One, three, and then two more.” The general in Sverdlovsk began counting. “Fourteen in all,” he said, sounding depressed.

“And which one brought down the plane?”

“The first.”


12 posted on 06/09/2012 11:42:02 AM PDT by cynwoody
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To: ImJustAnotherOkie

He should have activated The U-2’s self-destruct charge, destroyed the camera, photographic film, and all related classified parts.

Then he should have swallowed the “lethal pill”.


13 posted on 06/09/2012 11:42:07 AM PDT by moonshot925
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To: moonshot925

I guess he panicked. The zero can appreciate that.


14 posted on 06/09/2012 11:47:49 AM PDT by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
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To: ImJustAnotherOkie
Why didn’t the Zero use his super powers to stop Power’s chopper from crashing huh? Power’s was white that’s why.

0bama is the one who fixed his fuel gauge...

15 posted on 06/09/2012 11:48:30 AM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
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To: ImJustAnotherOkie

All that trouble we went through to protect us from communism and we end up with Obama as president, and several more commies in the senate and house. Not a shot fired, not a missle launched. Sigh.


16 posted on 06/09/2012 11:49:35 AM PDT by HerrBlucher
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To: moonshot925
Obama has been doing a whole bunch of these "pro-military" moves lately to A) try to win votes and B) present himself as the national defense candidate vs. Romney who he will paint as having no experience.

This is why he is leaking nat'l security info (to show what he's doing behind the scenes...approving drone kills, heading up the Iran cyberterror program, etc.) and why we see stories like the possibility of opening up the Philippines again for the US military.

Don't be fooled.

17 posted on 06/09/2012 11:55:34 AM PDT by what's up
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To: ImJustAnotherOkie
He should have swallowed his capsule before being captured.

That never made sense to me. The only time it does, IMO, is in the middle of a shooting war. Trading the Soviet spy for Powers was more than worthwhile, given the risks Powers took for Uncle Sam every time he zipped up his flight suit and the working-over he absorbed at the hands of his Soviet interrogators.

18 posted on 06/09/2012 11:56:26 AM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Zhang Fei

Eisenhower had ordered the U-2 flights stopped, to avoid any incident which might imperil his impending trip to the USSR (where he would address the Russian people directly in a speech, among other things).

But the CIA went ahead with the flights anyway.

(Hey, since when did a President have control over the CIA?)

There are even suspicions that the plane was set-up, in order to scuttle the Ike trip.


19 posted on 06/09/2012 12:09:00 PM PDT by CondorFlight (I)
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To: HerrBlucher

Thomas Jefferson warned Us to “BWARE the Enemy within Our Gates, they are TEN Times more Dangerous than Those Outside the Gate!! How Right He Was and Still IS!!


20 posted on 06/09/2012 12:13:59 PM PDT by True Republican Patriot (May GOD SAVE OUR AMERICA from ALLAH and his Prophet, HUSSEIN OBAMA!!)
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To: billorites

Obama Hussein is really a Flaming Butthead! I am sure Putin ordered Obama to have this award posted now to highlight the Superiority of Communism.


21 posted on 06/09/2012 12:17:20 PM PDT by True Republican Patriot (May GOD SAVE OUR AMERICA from ALLAH and his Prophet, HUSSEIN OBAMA!!)
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To: True Republican Patriot
Try Cicero.........

I call Jefferson "the copycat".

But remember, this was common back then. It was a measure of one's education. Hence, we have the Federalist papers.

22 posted on 06/09/2012 12:29:04 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Zhang Fei

He knew the risks. We traded an asset more important than FGP. Why didn’t he destroy the aircraft? When time came for him to perform he failed.


23 posted on 06/09/2012 12:36:42 PM PDT by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
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To: ImJustAnotherOkie
Exactly! My late husband's squadron flew escort for Powers. He was a crypto man and always carried a capsule in his flight suit. He would have destroyed the code books and swallowed the capsule before letting the Russkies have them. Powers should have done the same, but...........
24 posted on 06/09/2012 12:40:50 PM PDT by Coldwater Creek (He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty Psalm 91:)
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To: ImJustAnotherOkie
Why didn’t he destroy the aircraft?

Huh? The aircraft was shot out from underneath him. The pieces landed in what is now Azerbaijan.

Am I missing something in your post?

5.56mm

25 posted on 06/09/2012 12:46:28 PM PDT by M Kehoe
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To: Coldwater Creek

FGP was much closer to being classified as a spy than a pilot. Granted the U2 was difficult to fly at cruise his real job was to guard the secrets entrusted to him. He failed miserably and gave Dwight a big black eye.

More interesting is to compare Dwight’s behavior when behind the eight ball to our current White House Occupier in his time of trouble. In fact you can’t compare them. Dwight was much more of a man.


26 posted on 06/09/2012 12:51:03 PM PDT by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
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To: M Kehoe

He had self destruct capability for the classified equipment.

He parachuted safely to the ground so he obviously had some time to make decisions.


27 posted on 06/09/2012 12:53:52 PM PDT by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
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To: True Republican Patriot

I guess now that the Zero is convinced he’s going to loose, he’s got that flexibility he was talking about.

How often does good news turn out in the end to be bad news after all.


28 posted on 06/09/2012 12:56:01 PM PDT by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
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To: ImJustAnotherOkie
He had self destruct capability for the classified equipment.

Correct, and he did have some time before the aircraft came apart. How much, I don't know, but it probably wasn't much at that altitude and speed.

5.56mm

29 posted on 06/09/2012 1:00:19 PM PDT by M Kehoe
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To: Coldwater Creek

Do we know if FGP was Catholic?

Mortal sin to commit suicide.


30 posted on 06/09/2012 1:29:47 PM PDT by Hulka
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To: ImJustAnotherOkie
We traded an asset more important than FGP.

An entry in Wikipedia notes that the Vilyam Fisher, the nom de guerre of the KGB agent operating as an illegal (i.e. without diplomatic cover, and thus immunity) who was traded for Powers, was a nonentity that the Soviets nonetheless accepted in exchange for Powers, pretty much for the same reason that we did the trade - for employee morale:

It suited the KGB, for the sake of its own reputation, to portray "Abel's" nine years of being an undetected agent in the U.S., as a triumph by a dedicated NKVD member. The myth of the master spy Rudolf Abel replaced the reality of Fisher's illegal residency. The party hierarchy was well aware that Fisher had achieved nothing of real significance. During his eight years as an illegal resident he appears not to have recruited, or even identified, a single potential agent.

31 posted on 06/09/2012 1:50:15 PM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: ImJustAnotherOkie
"(President) Dwight (Eisenhower)was much more of a man (than Obama)."

Understatement of the year.

32 posted on 06/09/2012 1:53:03 PM PDT by Former Proud Canadian (Obamanomics-We don't need your stinking tar sands oil, we'll just grow algae.)
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To: ImJustAnotherOkie

His primary job was as a pilot. He was NOT expected to kill himself, never was required, either.

From: Memorandum of Discussion at the 445th Meeting of the National Security Council, Washington, May 24, 1960.
“Secretary Gates asked whether the pilot of the U-2 had been briefed to tell the truth if he were captured. Mr. Dulles said the pilot had been told to reveal whatever he himself knew, including the fact that he worked for CIA.”
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/vx153.asp

FGP acted honorable and with courage given the situation, expectations and circumstances.


33 posted on 06/09/2012 1:55:12 PM PDT by Hulka
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To: ImJustAnotherOkie
FGP was much closer to being classified as a spy than a pilot. Granted the U2 was difficult to fly at cruise his real job was to guard the secrets entrusted to him. He failed miserably and gave Dwight a big black eye.

Given that Americans don't exist to improve the stature of any national equivalent of the Man on a White Horse, it's not clear that this is such a big moral defect on Powers's part. If Ike blamed Powers for not killing himself, then he was asking for something far above and beyond what we asked of combat troops in WWII. Imagine the national furor and the impact on morale if bomber crews over Berlin or Tokyo had been asked to kill themselves to avoid revealing operational secrets in the event of imminent capture.

34 posted on 06/09/2012 2:01:22 PM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: billorites

Please tell me the kenyan didn’t say that.


35 posted on 06/09/2012 2:06:21 PM PDT by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto.)
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To: Hulka
Do we know if FGP was Catholic?

Hopefully that kind of thing is worked out before someone is chosen for a mission and is issued the poison with everyone thinking that everything is in place.

In ground units where that might be called for, you can hope for a friend to do it to you before they have to move on.

36 posted on 06/09/2012 2:06:29 PM PDT by ansel12 (Massachusetts Governors, where the GOP now goes for it's Presidential candidates.)
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To: Zhang Fei

I remember reading about Abel’s post-exchange fate. He was given a chair at KGB headquarters. Not even a desk...a chair. And he wasn’t assigned anything of consequence.

When a friend crossed Abel’s path in Moscow after his return, and asked what he was doing now, Abel lamentably replied “I’m a museum exhibit”.


37 posted on 06/09/2012 2:12:59 PM PDT by M1903A1 ("We shed all that is good and virtuous for that which is shoddy and sleazy... and call it progress")
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To: ansel12

Who knows.

Post 33 raises the fact FGP was not explicitly told to (or expected to) kill himself.

The pill would be an option, not a requirement.


38 posted on 06/09/2012 2:14:18 PM PDT by Hulka
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To: Hulka

Option? If the soldier tells you that I am Catholic I cannot comply with that part of the mission if chosen, then the “option” is off the table, the pill serves no purpose.


39 posted on 06/09/2012 2:49:33 PM PDT by ansel12 (Massachusetts Governors, where the GOP now goes for it's Presidential candidates.)
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To: Zhang Fei
If Ike blamed Powers for not killing himself, then he was asking for something far above and beyond what we asked of combat troops in WWII. Imagine the national furor and the impact on morale if bomber crews over Berlin or Tokyo had been asked to kill themselves to avoid revealing operational secrets in the event of imminent capture.

There were missions requiring not being taken alive in WWII almost certainly, even in the 1980s some GI's knew that suicide or a team mate's assistance was known to be a reality in worse case scenarios.

40 posted on 06/09/2012 2:54:24 PM PDT by ansel12 (Massachusetts Governors, where the GOP now goes for it's Presidential candidates.)
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To: ansel12

Powers did the right thing by not killing himself. Perhaps only orthodox Christians understand this and that’s why you can’t.


41 posted on 06/09/2012 2:57:07 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: vladimir998

Don’t attack me personally, you don’t have to get nasty and unchristian, I haven’t offered an opinion on whether Powers should have killed himself or not, I never have.

Why don’t you tell me what you are trying to attack me for so that I can respond?


42 posted on 06/09/2012 3:13:46 PM PDT by ansel12 (Massachusetts Governors, where the GOP now goes for it's Presidential candidates.)
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To: ansel12
There were missions requiring not being taken alive in WWII almost certainly, even in the 1980s some GI's knew that suicide or a team mate's assistance was known to be a reality in worse case scenarios.

At the risk of what some of these self-regarding leaders might consider lese majeste, I'll say that I'm pretty skeptical of these kinds of orders, which should really only apply to people above a certain pay grade, who have extremely sensitive information and whose capture might lead to the loss of tens of thousands of lives. I have in mind people like Ike himself.

43 posted on 06/09/2012 4:02:42 PM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: moonshot925
The award for valor is being bestowed on Francis Gary Powers for exhibiting "exceptional loyalty" during harsh interrogation while in captivity by the Soviet Union for nearly two years, the Air Force said.

My ulterior motive meter just blipped.

44 posted on 06/09/2012 4:13:29 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Zhang Fei; ansel12

I get what you are trying to say.

There was no expectation to take the pill (take your own life).

None, regardless of religious affiliation.

About the 80’s. . .post-Vietnam the code of conduct was revised to allow you to resist to the best of your ability. . .that is all. Too many guys suffered horribly during Vietnam as they resisted to the point of death or crippling. The US changed the code so that honorable men would not be placed in that situation, to allow them to walk the resistance path but yet, not die and if broken, not be considered a failure. You were trained to resist until you could resist no more.

No one was expected to die.


45 posted on 06/09/2012 4:27:03 PM PDT by Hulka
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To: ImJustAnotherOkie
He should have swallowed his capsule before being captured.

Why should he have killed himself?

Communism collapsed under its own failures.

46 posted on 06/09/2012 4:28:17 PM PDT by Drew68 (I WILL vote to defeat Barack Hussein Obama!)
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To: Zhang Fei

Even in the 1980s there were units that felt that some missions might call for it, for instance certain deep penetration LRS operations during the Cold War could call for it if the mission was important enough, such as a last ditch eyes on mission to determine if NATO needed to go nuclear.

It was a constant subject of discussion of what to do with a team member if he couldn’t be left behind alive and the mission had to be completed regardless of the cost.

Another constant subject of the two that dominated discussions in units like that, is what do you do if a cute little East German child stumbles across your team and the mission is just beginning, and must be completed (which is normally the case if you are already 300 miles inside the Soviet Union knowing that the GRU and KGB has hunter/killer teams that look for people like you and Army command or even the President is waiting for your information).

Exposure kills the mission and the team, a team member being taken alive kills the mission and the team because he will be turned over to professionals who need the information he has to immediately kill the team and their mission, it probably wouldn’t be a long term imprisonment that he is facing, but a concentrated effort of interrogation focused on information of immediate need and urgency, it is doubtful that POW rules would apply in such a case.


47 posted on 06/09/2012 4:32:19 PM PDT by ansel12 (Massachusetts Governors, where the GOP now goes for it's Presidential candidates.)
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To: Hulka; Zhang Fei

You aren’t supposed to slit the throats of men who you capture alive, but some missions still call for such things.


48 posted on 06/09/2012 4:38:05 PM PDT by ansel12 (Massachusetts Governors, where the GOP now goes for it's Presidential candidates.)
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To: Army Air Corps

Good deal.


49 posted on 06/09/2012 4:39:12 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
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To: ansel12

“You aren’t supposed to slit the throats of men who you capture alive, but some missions still call for such things.”

Actually, according to LOAC and our western moral code, that is not allowed and therefore not called for.

Bravo 20, the British Special Forces unit in Iraq in 1991, was compromised (discovered) by a child and was faced with such a situation. They chose the moral and right thing to do and did not murder the child that discovered them.

Murder is not killing in war. Soldiers kill all the time—it is what they are supposed to do. Murder is the unlawful taking of a life—and slitting the throat of a captured enemy is such an act.

There are complex and difficult situations that muddy the waters terribly and this means each situation must be taken on its own merits and weighed in accordance with Just War. Things such as double-effect, proportionality and strategic devastation all wander into this challenging area.

If you slit the throat (murder) the prisoner you are committing murder. That is undisputed.

What separates us from the murdering pig-scat dwelling muslimes from our Christian and moral way of war is the fact we do not murder and we do not deliberately inflict suffering upon the innocent (balanced by the aforementioned caveats listed above).

Muslimes make the suffering of the innocent the primary aim of their evil.

We are not them.


50 posted on 06/09/2012 4:58:21 PM PDT by Hulka
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