Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Blaming the Victim

This morning, an anonymous visitor to my blog left the following comment:

Its sad that you feel that its everybody else that is to blame for your husband's death. Your husband was in charge of the company and was in charge of SSG Martinez. If he felt threatened and did nothing about it, he is the one at fault. I am sorry for what happened to him and feel sorry for your baby growing up without a father. Stop putting blame on someone else. Your letter did nothing to stop or slow down the process MG Taluto's nomination nor did you have anything to do with his retirement. Move on with your life and find a new outlet for your anger and do something that will make you happy.
This comment is obviously factually wrong and the individual who wrote it is beneath contempt, but as a specimen of a phenomena I first observed during the court martial of my husband's murderer, I find it illustrative. During Alberto Martinez's court martial, his lawyers argued that my late husband Phillip was essentially to blame for his own murder. In reality, of course, Phillip never saw it coming. Phillip never knew that Alberto Martinez was issuing death threats behind his back because the soldiers who heard Martinez issue these threats, to include field-grad officers and staff NCO's, never told Phillip about it.

In action, these soldiers proved more loyal to Martinez then to their oaths to uphold the laws that govern the armed forces--laws that demand accountability for such gestures of contempt. That these individuals were never held to account for their failures is a grave injustice and one that has yet to be properly addressed. In this regard, holding General Taluto to account for his failures is but the tip of the iceberg.

I also find it illustrative that the anonymous visitor tells me that I need to "find a new outlet for [my] anger." It must somehow serve those who seek to preserve the status quo to dismiss my arguments as those of a hysterical widow. I hope that they continue along these lines; such individuals will continue to underestimate me and in the end, they will make my task of fighting to protect the lives of our soldiers all the easier.

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