COL. WESTHUSING'S DEATH A MICROCOSM OF THE IRAQ WAR
Finally, a voice of the MSM has addressed the death of Col. Ted Westhusing. This honorable career military officer died in mysterious circumstances and his tragic end has never been satisfactorily explained by the military or acknowledged by the press, even though at the time he was the highest-ranking officer to have died in Iraq.
I have agonized over this story. I have posted about it repeatedly, here, here, here, and here. As a member of a military family with more than a century of service, I expect our country to honor our fallen dead not with meaningless rhetoric but with a dedication to truth, honor and a resolution that our forces shall not be squandered on political misadventures but deployed to serve the nation's security.
A professor of military ethics at the USMA, Col. Westhusing gallantly volunteered for service in Iraq in order to better serve his students. That he found himself in the midst of an ethical struggle for which he was unprepared, after years of examining and resolving the ethical issues involved with military service, speaks volumes about the questionable conduct of this war.
His friends and family struggle with the idea that Westhusing could have killed himself. He was a loving father and husband and a devout Catholic. He was an extraordinary intellect and had mastered ancient Greek and Italian. He had less than a month before his return home. It seemed impossible that anything could crush the spirit of a man with such a powerful sense of right and wrong.
On the Internet and in conversations with one another, Westhusing's family and friends have questioned the military investigation.
A note found in his trailer seemed to offer clues. Written in what the Army determined was his handwriting, the colonel appeared to be struggling with a final question.
How is honor possible in a war like the one in Iraq?
UPDATE: John Reed did a great deal of research about Col. Westhusing's death many months ago, long before the L.A. Times became the first big paper to feature a major article on the subject. John also provided a greater amount of detail than did the paper.
The remarks of Ted Westhusing's father in the comments section give insight into the character and personality of this fine man.
Tags: Col. Westhusing, Iraq War