Two Soldiers Who Authored Times Op-Ed Die in Iraq

There's evidence that suggests Pat Tillman was fragged, and evidence that suggests LaVena Johnson may have been killed in connection with a sexual assault. Pat's death was first called heroic; LaVena's is still called a suicide.

It is with LaVena and Pat in mind that I read about the accident which killed two of the seven soldiers who wrote an op-ed for the New York Times last month, in which they expressed doubts about whether the war could be won.

Sgt. Omar Mora and Sgt. Yance Gray died Monday in a vehicle accident in western Baghdad, two of seven U.S. troops killed in the incident which was reported just as Gen. David Petraeus was about to report to Congress on progress in the "surge." The names have just been released.

Gen. Petraeus was questioned about the message of the op-ed in testimony before a Senate committee yesterday.

The controversial Times column on Aug. 19 was called "The War As We Saw It," and expressed skepticism about American gains in Iraq. “To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched,” the group wrote.

It closed: "We need not talk about our morale. As committed soldiers, we will see this mission through."
I've no defense against anyone who would suggest I'm being paranoid and cynical. I absolutely am. And when you have reason to be, paranoia and cynicism are rational choices. I hope I'm wrong to be suspicious, and fear that I'm not.

Sgts Mora and Gray are each survived by a wife and daughter.

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