Iraq veteran kills himself after being ordered to commit “war crimes”
June 25 2013
Iraq war veteran Daniel Somers committed suicide following an arduous battle with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that was caused by his role in committing “crimes against humanity,” according to the soldier’s suicide note.
Somers was assigned to a Tactical Human-Intelligence Team (THT) in Baghdad which saw him involved in more than 400 combat missions as a machine gunner in the turret of a Humvee, in addition to his role in conducting interrogations.
Somers’ suicide note is a powerful indictment of the invasion of Iraq and how it ruined the lives of both countless millions of Iraqis as well as innumerable US troops sent in to do the dirty work of the military-industrial complex.
“The simple truth is this: During my first deployment, I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity,” wrote Somers. “Though I did not participate willingly, and made what I thought was my best effort to stop these events, there are some things that a person simply can not come back from. I take some pride in that, actually, as to move on in life after being part of such a thing would be the mark of a sociopath in my mind. These things go far beyond what most are even aware of.”
Somers also complains about how he was forced to “participate in the ensuing coverup” of such crimes.
Somers’ death serves to refocus attention on the fact that military veterans are committing suicide in droves after being afflicted with PTSD as a direct result of committing atrocities while in combat.
As Somers highlights in his note, 22 military veterans commit suicide every single day. Amongst active-duty soldiers, more than one a day commit suicide, a figure that surpassed the number of US troops killed in combat in Afghanistan.
“And according to some experts, the military may be undercounting the problem because of the way it calculates its suicide rate,” reports the New York Times, adding that experts cannot understand “the root causes of why military suicide is rising so fast.”
However, the root causes are laid bare in Somers’ suicide note. US troops are being ordered to commit atrocities so vile that the only way many of them can cope with the horror of what they have done is by killing themselves.
Examples of atrocities aided directly or indirectly by US troops in Iraq include;
- Orders to slaughter “all military age men” during some operations;
- Torturing detainees – many of whom had never engaged in combat and were totally innocent - at grisly prison camps across the country;
- Raping and torturing children at the infamous Abu Ghraib detention facility while they shrieked in terror. Women forced to watch later begged to be killed.
- Sodomizing detainees with chemical lights and broom sticks;
- Indiscriminately firing upon and killing journalists and children from the air;
- Massacring entire groups of unarmed Iraqis, including children and the elderly in Hadith.
“This is what brought me to my actual final mission. Not suicide, but a mercy killing,” wrote Somers, adding that him living “any kind of ordinary life is an insult to those who died at my hand.”
Read Somers’ full suicide note, obtained by Gawker and published with his family’s permission.