Saturday, February 26, 2011

An Anonymous Smear Against My Slain Husband

Today, I received the following anonymous comment in response to my post “Army FOIA Lawsuit Coverage in The Journal News.”

OMG its time to move on and go on with your life....YOUR HUSBAND was an ASSHOLE I KNOW I WAS THERE IN IRAQ WITH HIM.....

The venom above is apparently in response to my writing that I desire to prevent future tragedies such as my late husband’s murder by understanding exactly how my husband was killed and how his killer was permitted to go free.

According to my website’s logs, the commentator used a computer associated with Computer Sciences Corporation in Falls Church, Virginia after searching for “widows for justice/allen and esposito” via Yahoo. Reviewing my logs, this commentator has repeatedly visited my website from this IP address as the address shows up several times as the product of the same search terms and search engine. Needless to say, I will be contacting Michael Laphen, CEO of Computer Sciences Corporation, to ask him why an anonymous coward affiliated with his company is publicly smearing my slain husband using his company’s computers and internet connection. I expect a full and proper answer.

I will also briefly address the anonymous commenter’s claim that my late husband was an “asshole” and that I need to “move on.” As much as these comments are beneath my contempt, they nevertheless speak to the larger issues that animated the needless and preventable murder of my late husband and 1LT Allen.
My husband was murdered because of his virtues. A hardworking, just and moral military leader, Phillip was brought into the 42nd Infantry Division to command a grossly undisciplined and unprofessional unit and prepare it for the rigors combat in Iraq. Yet Phillip’s dedication and sense of duty was not met in kind; quite the opposite, the court-martial of his murderer revealed that soldiers of the 42nd Infantry Division deeply resented the discipline and accountability that my late husband worked to instill in his unit.

So when Staff Sergeant Alberto Martinez, the man who murdered my husband, told practically anyone who would listen that he hated Phillip for holding him to account for his professional incompetence and that he wanted to kill him accordingly, Martinez found a largely sympathetic audience among the soldiers of the 42nd Infantry Division. Certainly none of these soldiers ever reported Martinez for his statements and gestures of contempt against my husband as demanded by the Uniform Code of Military Justice and their enlisted or commissioning oaths. Certainly Martinez’s murderous rage was never checked by anything these soldiers did or said to him. And today, much as it was during Martinez’s murder trial, the justification for this galling failure to act has been made plain. As the anonymous commentator posted on my website, my murdered husband was an all-caps “asshole”--the implication being that such “assholes” deserve everything they get, to include their murder at the hands of an unrepentant coward.

The anonymous commenter will no doubt be disheartened to learn that I reject their smear against Phillip and their free advice in regards to my own actions. On the contrary; their post helps to affirm my view that Staff Sergeant Martinez would not have been able to slaughter my husband and LT Allen but for the appalling lack of professionalism and military discipline in 42nd Infantry Division.

I shall not accept my husband’s murder and I shall not “move on” because it serves the vicious interest of some miscreant that my husband had the misfortune of serving with in Iraq. I seek nothing less than justice, and I shall be neither deterred, nor denied.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Ominous Parallel

On Thursday, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee issued its report on the Fort Hood shootings; this report faults the Army and FBI with missing warning signs that could have prevented the massacre:

Our basic conclusion is as follows: Although neither DoD nor the FBI had specific information concerning the time, place, or nature of the attack, they collectively had sufficient information to have detected Hasan's radicalization to violent Islamist extremism but failed both to understand and to act on it. Our investigation found specific and systemic failures in the government's handling of the Hasan case and raises additional concerns about what may be broader systemic issues. [P. 7, “A Ticking Time Bomb: Counterterrorism Lessons From The U.S. Government's failure To Prevent The Fort Hood Attack” (emphasis mine).
This conclusion parallels my own concerning the murder of my late husband Phillip Esposito by Staff Sergeant Alberto Martinez in 2005; that is, leaders in Phillip’s unit did not have specific information concerning the time, place, or nature of Martinez’s attack against my husband, but they did have sufficient information to have detected Martinez’s vicious animus toward Phillip, only to fail to act properly against it.

The difference is that I believe that leaders in my late husband’s unit understood Alberto Martinez’s hatred toward my husband, but they simply allowed themselves to be disarmed in the face of it, either because they resented my husband for his role in instilling proper military discipline among those under his command, or because they were charmed enough by Martinez to grant him exception to the rules that govern the conduct of members of the armed forces and forbid gestures of hatred and contempt toward one's commanders.

This explains one of the reasons I seek the records from the court-martial of my husband's killer: I seek to understand why leaders in my late husband's unit failed to protect my husband's life and how such failures may be prevented in the future. I believe that Phillip's murder reflects systemic problems within the Army as do the killings at Ft. Hood, and that to leave these problems unaddressed is not acceptable, neither to me, nor the American people.