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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Bill O'Reilly slanders 82nd Airborne

So why did Bill O'Reilly slander these men?

Fox and O'Reilly: 82nd like Nazis
by miholo [Subscribe]

Tue Oct 4th, 2005 at 12:19:36 PDT

From Crooks and Liars. There was an exchange on Fox News last night between Bill O'Reilly and Wes Clark. The issue was the release of further Abu Ghraib pictures and video.

O'Reilly was incensed that it "puts our troops at risk". Clark responded that what's putting the troops at risk is the chain of command letting, or even making, this happen in the first place.

O'Lielly was saying that it happens just like this in every war, with Clark rebutting that those were isolated incidents which were court-martialed.

And then, this:

Clark: And let me explain something. You go all the way up the chain of command ...

O'Reilly: General! You need to look at the Malmedy massacre in World War Two, and the 82nd Airborne who did it!

Video of the exchange here.

The Malmedy massacre? Well, about that on the flip...

From the Wikipedia:

On December 17, 1944, near the hamlet of Baugnez on the height half-way between the town of Malm├ędy and Ligneuville in Belgium, elements of Waffen-SS Kampfgruppe Peiper encountered the American 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion. After a brief battle, the Americans surrendered. About 150 of the prisoners of war were disarmed and sent to stand in a field near the crossroads. Peiper and his leading armoured units then continued their advance.

A tank pulled up, and a truck shortly thereafter. A single SS officer pulled out a pistol and shot a medical officer standing in the front row, and then shot the man standing next to the medical officer. Other soldiers joined in with machine guns. It is not known why this happened; there is no record of an order by an SS officer. While the shooting of POWs was common on the Eastern front, such incidents were rare on the Western front.

Another good account: History Net (w/ thanks to AaronBa).

Why do Bill O'Reilly and Fox News believe that American troops used to behave, and ought to behave now, like Nazis?

Well, it's nice to see him pick up where Joe McCarthy left off up.

But somehow she neglects to mention McCarthy's first moment in the national spotlight. That was his infamous 1949 campaign on behalf of Nazi S.S. officers who were convicted of war crimes for the massacre of American troops in the town of Malmedy during the Battle of the Bulge. On their orders, 83 American prisoners of war had been murdered by Waffen S.S. machine-gunners. The S.S. officers were sentenced to death, but McCarthy insisted that the entire case was a frame-up, with confessions obtained by horrific torture. He intervened in Senate hearings on the case and lied repeatedly during his defense of the Nazi murderers. His most spectacular claim was that the American investigators had crushed the testicles of German prisoners as an interrogation technique. McCarthy was later shown to have served as the pawn of neo-Nazi and communist provocateurs who were using the Malmedy case to whip up anti-American sentiment in postwar Germany. The main source for his false charges concerning Malmedy was a Germany lawyer named Rudolf Aschenauer, whose closest ties were to the postwar Nazi underground and to American right-wing isolationists, but who has also been identified as a communist agent. Aschenauer testified at U.S. Senate hearings in Germany that he had passed information about Malmedy to McCarthy. The S.S. officers were guilty, as the Senate report confirmed -- although most of them later got their death sentences commuted in a gesture to former Nazi officials who aided the West in the Cold War. But McCarthy had succeeded in his larger purpose, winning publicity for himself and casting a negative light on the war-crimes trials.

By Coulter's loose definition, his involvement in the Malmedy incident proves that McCarthy was a "traitor." He lied publicly to advance totalitarian forces in Europe against American interests. He sided with enemy forces against American soldiers. He falsely accused American officials of crimes. Moreover, he took up this tainted cause at least in part because of heavy financial support from an ultra-right-wing German-American businessman in Wisconsin. He managed to help both Nazis and communists at once, a feat rarely seen since the end of the Hitler-Stalin pact
Yeah, I wrote about this on Kos two years ago. Oddly enough, Mr. O'Reilly, in his current attack on blogs and our "secret agenda", slandered 6,993 wounded and 1,509 dead. You know, in all my reading of WWII and the Battle of the Bulge, I never read about how the 82nd ABN killed Americans in combat.

I mean, O'Reilly went to graduate school. He could have searched the internet for the relevant facts. But no, why not slander American soldiers instead.

I think if this was in the same room, Clark would have strangled him with his bare hands.

Just amazing.

posted by Steve @ 12:05:00 AM

12:05:00 AM

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