Meet Nick Morgan
Iraq War Vet Nick Morgan (photo by Bill Perry)
This is Nick's fractured face after being trampled by mounted police at Wednesday's peaceful protest.
After receiving this photograph from friend, Bill Perry, a Vietnam vet and service officer who assists veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, I did a quick news search to learn more.
Democracy Now! was on it as were several other independent news sites including OpEdNews . The Associated Press put out a brief release with the "one person may have received a minor injury" line. It was of little interest to corporate media outlets that 10 of the 15 arrested were veterans most of whom served at least one tour in Iraq. Each repeated the "may have received a minor injury" statement making no effort to report the facts.
How might the public have responded if the headlines read "10 Iraq Veterans Arrested Outside Obama - McCain Debate." What if those reporters explained why these veterans were protesting? If they asked they might have received a response like this:
"Neither of the candidates has shown real support for service members and veterans. We came here to try and have serious questions answered, questions that we as veterans of the Iraq war have a right to ask, but instead we were arrested. We will continue to ask these questions no matter who is elected. We believe that the time has come to end this war and bring our troops home, and we will be pushing for that no matter what happens in this election." said Jason Lemieux, a former Sergeant in the US Marine Corps who served three tours in Iraq, and member of IVAW.
But, they didn't ask.
What if the public learned from the mainstream media that there is a growing movement of Iraq veterans who are angry about the poor services they are receiving after risking life and limb in an illegal war?
What if this morning people pulled up to that kitchen table that the candidates love to talk about and unfolded their papers to find this image on the front page?
Nick Morgan wounded outside presidential debate (photo by Bill Perry)
This is Nick being tended to by fellow vet, Jabbar Magruder, after having his face shattered because he wants the world and the candidates to know the Iraq war needs to end now. Because he wants them to know that veterans are not receiving the necessary care that they deserve and were promised. Because he wants to know what the candidates are going to do about it.
Just maybe some of those readers would have reached for the phone to ask their members of Congress why they were looking at an image of a wounded soldier bleeding on a sidewalk in Hempstead, New York in a picture that looks like it came from the streets of Baghdad, Iraq. Just maybe that's why they didn't report it.
The politicians and pundits fall over themselves to praise our veterans for "protecting our way of life" and "ensuring our liberties." This week Nick and his fellow Iraq veterans sought to exercise those rights. They paid the price. As usual, the mainstream media looked the other way.
Ten veterans were arrested during the action, including Matthis Chiroux (Army Sergeant), Kristofer Goldsmith (Army Sergeant), Adam Kokesh (Marine Sergeant), Mike Spinato, Geoff Millard (Army Sergeant), Marlisa Grogan (Marine Captain), Nathan Peld (Navy, 1998-2004), Nick Morgan (Army Sergeant), James Gilligan (Marine Corps, 6 years) and Jose Vasquez (Army & Army Reserves, 1992-2007).
Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) was founded in July of 2004 to allow servicemen and women from all branches of the military a chance to come together and speak out against an illegal, unjust and unwinnable occupation. IVAW currently has over 1,300 members in 49 states, Canada and on military bases in the United States and overseas. To learn more about IVAW you can visit their website at http://ivaw.org/ .