Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

I don't get it


Remember when certain things happened with public officials and they tried to keep it hidden? It was generally agreed that the cover up was worse than the original offense. How much better it would have been if the perpetrator had just come out and said, "I goofed and I'm sorry." More often than not the cover ups involved sex, but with Richard Nixon the result may have changed the course of history.
The point is, they never learn. Now it isn't break-ins or sex, it's pictures - 21 photographs showing Americans abusing prisoners in Afghanistan. A Federal appeals court said they should be released. Now Congress is about to pass a law keeping the photos hidden.
Some people say releasing them would endanger American soldiers and other government employees. Come on now, does keeping them hidden when everyone knows they exist keep them safe? No matter how bad they may be, and apparently they are pretty bad, imaginations will make them even worse. The cover up won't work. They seldom if ever do. We'd be better off to show them, apologize the way we keep apologizing for bad behavior in Iraq and Afghanistan, and get it over with.
Along with the Afghan photos, the residents of Okinawa want the government of Japan to force the United States to reduce the number of its troops there. Again, bad behavior is the reason.
It's nothing new, unfortunately. When I was a military policeman after the end of World War II in Europe my unit had to investigate some of the 500 rapes by Americans reported yearly. The worst cases I saw personally involved groups of men banging on doors of houses and demanding that all the females be sent out. One of those cases was in Belgium, an ally. It was hurtful to hear a man say it was better under the Germans because at least they were gentlemen.
Is there an answer? Perhaps a crash course in proper behavior for all American troops. I don't know if it would help or not, but I'm sure that covering up bad behavior only makes it worse.

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