October 17, 2007

Army Purple Heart recipient believes in 9/11 conspiracy

What are the limits to free speech when one is still a member of the United States armed forces? That is a question being bandied about regarding one Sergeant First Class Donald Buswell.

According to unnamed military sources, Buswell

"used his Government issued email account to send messages disloyal to the United States " Because of these statements, SFC Buswell could soon find himself dishonorably discharged, court martialed, or worse.

What messages were "disloyal"? Basically, Buswell is a 9/11 Truther. Responding to an unsolicited e-mail regarding plane impacts on hardened concrete targets, Buswell wrote (my emphasis):

I receive many unsolicited e-mails daily, this one I chose to respond to. The below mentioned premise that an F4 Phantom fighter jet hitting that hardened concrete barrier is akin to the alleged 757 hitting the Pentagon is like oil and water; they don't mix, and they serve to muddy the issue. The issue is 911 was filled with errors in the 'official report' and 'official story' of that day, and, what happened that day. We all know and saw 2 planes hitting the WTC buildings, we didn't see the 757 hit the Pentagon, nor did we see the plane crash in Shanksville PA. Both the PA and Pentagon 'crashes' don't have clues and tell-tale signs of a jumbo-jet impacting those zones!

The Pentagon would have huge wing impacts in the side of the building; it didn't. Shanksville PA would have had debris, and a large debris field; it didn't.

Getting back to the F4...The Pentagon isn't a nuclear hardened structure, so I can't follow your weak logic that since an F4 vaporized itself in a test impact on a nuclear hardened structure that the alleged 757 hitting the Pentagon should have exhibited the same characteristics!

I say Occums [sic] razor is the best way to deduce this 'day of infamy'; if you weigh all options, do some simple studying you will see 911 was clearly not executed by some arabs in caves with cell phones and 3 day old newspapers! I mean how are Arabs benefiting from pulling off 911? They have more war, more death and dismal conditions, so, how did 911 benefit them? Answer: It didn't. So, who benefited from 9-11? The answer is sad, but simple; The Military Industial [sic] Complex.

It's not a paranoid conspiracy to think there are conspiracies out there...and, it's not Liberal Lunacy either, nor is it Conservative Kookiness! People, fellow citizens we've been had! We must demand a new independent investigation into 911 and look at all options of that day, and all plausabilities [sic], even the most incredulous theories must be examined.

Buswell discovered that the next day "the locks had been changed, his security clearance was revoked, and an investigation had been launched." Why?

Buswell failed to obey Army regulations when he used his government issued email account to send what have been termed as messages disloyal to the United States with the intent of stirring up disloyalty, in a manner that brings discredit upon the United States Army.

Buswell's father commented:

"[To say he is disloyal to the United States] is totally ridiculous. And the discourtesy was, ah, very apparent at that particular time. I've always thought the American way is this: to disagree is important. To dissent is important. And my son simply said, without any fanfare, 'Look, let's take a look at the whole picture. If you want to take a look at that, maybe there are a few paragraphs that a Michael Moore might want to emphasize.' That is all that my son has said. Never, however, to at all disparage the country and the patriotism that is so necessary for all of us. But, patriotism, as suggested by FOX News' [Bill O'Reilly], is following the line of George W. Bush and cohorts completely! All my son is saying is, 'Hey, maybe there's a what if.'

Hmm, funny that the dad knows precisely what he son "meant" by his e-mail, yet completely fabricates what Bill O'Reilly "means" with his definition of patriotism. (I'm a regular viewer of O'Reilly's show, and he has never suggested that patriotism = "following the line of George W. Bush and cohorts completely.")

Nevertheless, disagreement with one's government IS the American Way; however, the military is a whole other ball of wax. The article states that Buswell may be in violation of CFR 2635.705(a), DoD-R 5500.7, and Joint Ethics Regulation paragraph 2-301b. These rules "regulate how soldiers utilize government resources, how they use their off-duty time, and how they use their official time." So, what do you think? Can -- and should -- the military clamp down on one of their own that believes in the crackpot theory that the US government engineered the 9/11 attacks against itself? Being in the military does mean that your free speech rights get limited (you can't criticize orders or superiors openly), but you are always free to quit the service if these restrictions are worrisome to you!

In addition, if Buswell truly believes in his insane theory, is it "disloyal" to the United States? I don't know how the military code would determine that, but if Buswell keeps that to himself, that's one thing. Using his army e-mail account to spread the conspiracy theory opens him up to trouble (again, with the military, that is).

Lastly, I also got a chuckle out of Buswell's father invoking the name of Abe Lincoln in his son's defense:

"One of his heroes is Abraham Lincoln," Winthrop Buswell continued. "And Abraham Lincoln said many things, but one of the things he said - and Im paraphrasing - was, I may disagree with the fellow whos speaking, but I will stand and defend his right to speak. Thats my sons position."

Oh really? That's why Lincoln jailed -- without trial -- numerous political opponents who disagreed with his views on the Civil War! Lincoln unilaterally suspended habeas corpus, you may recall -- a power constitutionally reserved only for Congress. You might to rethink that "hero" thing, Mr. Buswell, especially when it comes to free speech.

At any rate, it's time to pull out an old favorite: Bruce Dickinson. Bruce, what do you say to all those nutty 9/11 Truthers like Sergeant Buswell?

"It's ... it's not workin' for me."

Posted by Hube at October 17, 2007 06:06 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

A security clearance is provided, and can be revoked, totally at the discretion of the Government. As a former officer in the US Army, I would consider 'trutherism' to be ipso facto grounds for revocation of a security clearance.

Formal charges are another matter. Although the guy is an obvious loon, charges are not appropriate. Just send him to an Infantry unit or make him a cook-- he doesn't need to be handling sensitive documents.

Posted by: JR at October 17, 2007 11:27 PM

I hate to nitpick but he's not a "purple heart winner" he's a recipient. You don't "win" them as they aren't any sort of prize.

Posted by: Duffy at October 18, 2007 02:20 PM

You're so right, Duff. Thanks for the clarification!

Posted by: Hube at October 18, 2007 04:17 PM

Excellent points. This idiot got what he deserved. If he was so turned off by his Iraq experience, he certainly could have protested against the war on his own time and out of uniform. I'm not fan of Bush, but if if this idiot truly believes 9/11 tinfoil hattery, he probably would be willing to work against his country.

Posted by: ConsDemo at October 18, 2007 10:25 PM