Thursday, January 16, 2014

"I want to kill!" - This American Life (audio)

Wisdom Quarterly; "Adam," Sarah Koenig, Ira Glass, ThisAmericanLife.comJan. 10, 2014
"No apparent motive, just kill and kill again/Survive my brutal thrashing, I'll hunt you to the end. My life's a constant battle, the rage of many men. Homicidal maniac!" - Slayer "Kill Again"

Adam is a killer, and he knows it. He went to kill in Afghanistan -- with bloodlust inculcated in him by American military training during bootcamp. He is the first person to honestly speak about it. Fortunately, he did it on public radio.
SHOW 515: Good Guys
Lots of men think of themselves as "good guys." But what does it actually take to be one, to be a truly good guy?

In 2009, a U.S. soldier ("Adam") contacted "This American Life." He offered to send audio dispatches from his military deployment in Afghanistan.
He wanted to do a story about what it is really like to go to war and to kill. What he learned when he was over there as a soldier [in the service of America's military-industrial complex] was way more personal and honest than anyone expected.
Even Adam had not planned to say as much as he did about how he was trained in bootcamp to WANT and look forward to killing people. He began as an older liberal among young, closed minded, gung ho killers.
War crimes, dishonor, moral injury, suicide
Although Sarah Koenig claims Adam never did get to kill anyone, it is clear he did: He killed by shooting humans he was invading, violating, and terrorizing. He shot alongside other Americans and saw targeted victims die but without being able to be sure that it was due to his gunfire.
  • WARNING: Story may not be appropriate for children.
More than gang killings, Adam called in airstrikes that got many people killed. He lusted after killing unarmed prisoners in his custody. He thought of executing them and shooting noncombatant civilians for no reason other than he had the power to. But he resisted like most other soldiers because he and they feared repercussions if they were caught killing without justification. It was fear of reprisal rather than respect for life that kept him and his fellow soldiers from killing more men, women, and children.
Now that he is back in America, he looks forward to being given an excuse to kill someone stateside. He needs a kill under his belt, which is not anything he discusses with VA doctors. He does not consider himself exceptional or psychopathic. In fact, he is sure other veterans kill and like it. Like other soldiers, he has discussed these facts with them. But they ordinarily never talk about it outside of the military. Producer Sarah Koenig explains (20 mins). WAR

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