Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Editor & PublisherNEW YORK A Tom Toles editorial cartoon published in The Washington Post on Monday and on its Web site has drawn a very rare and very strong protest letter to the editors from all six members of The Joint Chiefs of Staff, E&P has learned.
The letter, written on Tuesday, charges that the six military leaders "believe you and Mr. Toles have done a disservice to your readers and your paper's reputation by using such a callous depiction of those who have volunteered to defend this nation, and as a result, have suffered traumatic and life-altering wounds. ... As the Joint Chiefs, it is rare that we all put our hand to one letter, but we cannot let this reprehensible cartoon go unanswered."
A Pentagon spokeswoman confirmed the contents of the letter to E&P late this afternoon. That the newspaper had received such a letter was reported on the popular AmericaBlog site, which is run by John Aravosis, this morning.
The spokeswoman said a letter from all six joint chiefs to anyone, let alone a newspaper, is rare, but the cartoon so offended them, they wanted to let their feelings be known. "It was expressing their disappointment with the paper and outrage at using that image to make a political point," said Lt. Col. Diane Battaglia. "That is a rare occurrence, but the level of inappropriateness prompted a response of unanimous support."
You can read the letter by way of the article by clicking on the title
Wow, I'd be honored that I'd pissed off the Joint Chiefs. That's what I call "Sticking it to the Man".
It's amazing how words and pictures can be used to tell a story, and to provoke such a response I believe that the cartoon struck a nerve, perhaps one that resonates with Truth. At least that's how I choose to see it. It's been my experience that what we hate most about others is what we fear to be true in ourselves. Sending young people off to die in war...well, a lot of that responsiblity is yours. If you are just following orders, then you are a heartless monster, and contrary to what I say about Humanity in general and our races ability to be monsterous to ourselves, I still believe in the Individual, and I believe that somewhere underneath all those medals and ribbons that the JC's wear are guilty hearts. Ones that know that the handling of The War and the Troops, is wrong, that our government is wrong, and they've just been called out and they have rationalized a solution to take the heat off themselves. So my message to the Joint Chiefs is this: There are plenty of your troops who are going to be Shell Shocked, and Pissed Off and Hurt that their service and dedication were taken advantage of by politicos, and their bodies were put through the meat grinder to satisfy the NeoCon Agenda. Probably far more than those who will be offended by a little picture and some commentary. Suck it up soldier! It's barely a free country as it is, and Free Speech which is already under attack from all sides right now, doesn't need you using your status to squash dissent even more. What the Hell Men? Should we be fighting for Democracy and Freedom elsewhere while we lose it inch, by fucking inch at home? Is that what our people are fighting for? Who's doing the bigger disservice to our troops? I will say with assurance, that it is you, the Generals of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and not the Political Cartoonist.