Intel-Dump

Friday, December 3, 2004

Good cop? Bad cop?
Slate just published my article on Bernie Kerik, nominated this morning to succeed Tom Ridge as Secretary of Homeland Security. I know this may run contrary to form for me, but I think Mr. Kerik may have the right combination of local experience to lead a federal agency whose job it is to support local homeland security efforts. Managing the 180,000-man Department of Homeland Security is only part of the gig, and one that can be delegated to a strong deputy. The real important part of the job is leading and coordinating homeland security efforts across the country.
But in truth, Kerik's qualifications to run DHS exceed those of outgoing Secretary Tom Ridge, or those of other counterterrorism experts who have worked in the White House like Richard Clarke and Rand Beers. That's because at its core, homeland security is a local business, not a federal one. Kerik understands this. Thanks to his career as a cop, he knows what police agencies and others on the front lines of homeland security really need from their federal government to do their jobs.
For a dissenting opinion, see Fred Kaplan's article "Questions for Kerik" in Slate today as well. It sure will be interesting see Mr. Kerik's nomination move through the Senate. I imagine I'll have CSPAN's streaming video on a lot over the next few months so I can watch the President's cabinet nominees get toasted or grilled by the Senate, whatever the case may be.
Tainted by torture II
When is torture justified? What legal mechanisms should authorize it? And how should the U.S. courts treat evidence gleaned from it?

Comes now a report from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, which is hearing the habeas corpus cases of the Guantanamo detainees filed pursuant to the Supreme Court's holding in Rasul v. Bush this summer. According to the AP:
Statements produced under torture have been inadmissible in U.S. courts for about 70 years. But the U.S. military panels reviewing the detention of 550 foreigners as enemy combatants at the U.S. naval base in Cuba are allowed to use such evidence, Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Brian Boyle acknowledged at a U.S. District Court hearing Thursday.

* * *
[District Judge Richard J.] Leon asked whether a detention based solely on evidence gathered by torture would be illegal, because "torture is illegal. We all know that."

Boyle replied that if the military's combatant status review tribunals "determine that evidence of questionable provenance were reliable, nothing in the due process clause (of the Constitution) prohibits them from relying on it."

Leon asked whether there were any restrictions on using torture-induced evidence.

Boyle replied that the United States never would adopt a policy that would have barred it from acting on evidence that could have prevented the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks even if the data came from questionable practices like torture by a foreign power.

* * *
Leon asked whether U.S. courts could review detentions based on evidence from torture conducted by U.S. personnel.

Boyle said torture was against U.S. policy and any allegations of it would be "forwarded through command channels for military discipline." He added, "I don't think anything remotely like torture has occurred at Guantanamo" but noted that some U.S. soldiers there had been disciplined for misconduct, including a female interrogator who removed her blouse during questioning.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said Tuesday it has given the Bush administration a confidential report critical of U.S. treatment of Guantanamo detainees. The New York Times reported the Red Cross described the psychological and physical coercion used at Guantanamo as "tantamount to torture."
In May, I wrote a Jurisprudence essay titled "Tainted by Torture" in Slate responding to a New York Times report on the methods being used to interrogate Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Those methods, it appeared, were being used despite the fact that they violated the Geneva Conventions, because senior U.S. officials believed Mohammed to have information that was just too valuable to ignore:
According to the Times, "C.I.A. interrogators used graduated levels of force, including a technique known as 'water boarding,' in which a prisoner is strapped down, forcibly pushed under water and made to believe he might drown." Gen. Peter Pace, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described such tactics as a violation of the Geneva Conventions. And the FBI has instructed its agents to steer clear of such coercive interrogation methods, for fear that their involvement might compromise testimony in future criminal cases.
The issue that I wrote about then was whether the use of these tactics would affect future trials for terrorists — and whether our use of torture might actually undermine future prosecutions because of existing Constitutional law on the subject.
Evidence (such as a confession) gathered as a result of torturing a person like Mohammed will be excluded at his trial, if he ever sees one. This is true both in federal courts, which operate under the Federal Rules of Evidence, and military courts, which operate under the Military Rules of Evidence. Both the Fifth Amendment's right against compulsory self-incrimination and the 14th Amendment's guarantee of due process preclude the use of a defendant's coerced statement against him in criminal court. In addition, any evidence gathered because of information learned through torture (sometimes called "derivative evidence") will likely also be excluded. Furthermore, the Supreme Court suggested in its landmark Fifth Amendment case, Oregon v. Elstad, that it might exclude evidence gathered after the use of any coercion, regardless of attempts by police and prosecutors to offset the coercion with measures like a Miranda warning. If Mohammed were prosecuted, and a court followed the line of reasoning set forth in Elstad, he might well see the charges against him evaporate entirely for lack of evidence.
Of course, no one really expects to see Khalid Sheikh Mohammed put on trial anytime soon. But it is plausible that we will try some of the alleged Al Qaeda members we have in custody, like alleged dirty bomber Jose Padilla. Unfortunately, the use of torture for senior Al Qaeda members undermines their cases too:
However, any prosecution of Padilla could be very problematic for the government, because the case for his guilt rests mostly (if not entirely) on secret interrogations of al-Qaida leaders, which now appear to have involved torture. If a criminal case is ever brought against Padilla, his lawyers are sure to challenge this crucial evidence on a number of grounds, including reliability and the fact that it was procured with torture in a way that "shocks the conscience."

* * *
By using torture to question the top terrorists it has in custody, the government has effectively sabotaged any future prosecutions of al-Qaida players—major and minor—that might depend on evidence gathered through those interrogations. It's plausible that skilled interrogation by the FBI, in accordance with American law, could have produced valuable evidence of these terrorists' guilt, which could have been used in court. But now that torture has been used, that may just be wishful hindsight.

As a nation, we still haven't clearly decided whether it's better to prosecute terrorists or pound them with artillery. But by torturing some of al-Qaida's leaders, we have completely undermined any efforts to do the former and irreversibly committed ourselves to a martial plan of justice. In the long run, this may be counterproductive, and it will show that we have compromised such liberal, democratic ideals like adherence to the rule of law to counter terrorism. Torture and tribunals do not help America show that it believes in the rule of law. But if CIA officials continue to use tactics that will get evidence thrown out of federal court, there will increasingly be no other option.
Analysis: The facts are basically undisputed at this point; only the factual characterizations are at issue. The U.S. has been using interrogation and detention methods at Guantanamo that are either "merely coercive" or "torture", depending on your interpretation. The Pentagon says they're okay, but the Red Cross and others (including some very senior generals) say they're not. Objectively, I see both sides. I do not think our conduct at Guantanamo rises to what I define as torture. But on the other hand, I do think it violates the Geneva Convention's rules on physical and mental coercion, and is thus unlawful.

Second, the Pentagon has devised two systems of rules for tribunals that allow the use of evidence procured via torture to be used. One of the great safeguards of the modern American criminal system has been the exclusionary rule. If you assume that cops want convictions, it works very well, because it penalizes them in court for any misconduct in the field. Both the Combatant Status Review Tribunals and the military commissions allow the use of evidence gotten through torture and other nefarious means. The evidentiary standard is far looser than that found in federal court, in order to get around significant problems such as hearsay and authentication that might pose a problem in combat. The Pentagon's procedural rules for the commissions allow evidence to be admitted if it "would have probative value to a reasonable person." But the result of this loose evidence standard — and lack of an exclusionary rule — is that it also allows the product of torture to be introduced as evidence.

It now appears that the Justice Department and the Pentagon are going to be held to account for these practices, and denied the use of this evidence, in federal court. If the detainees are ever allowed to makek a meaningful application for habeas corpus, the government will likely not be allowed to use any evidence gleaned through torture — either of the detainees, or of their confederates like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Last month, I wrote in the Washington Monthly that I could accept certain uses of torture when the need was so great that U.S. officials were willing to break the law — an act of civil disobedience premised on the legal doctrine of "public necessity". I'm hesitant to universally condemn such tactics because I recognize that in some situations, especially in a fight against terrorism where HUMINT is incredibly important, torture may be warranted as an exception.
If our political leaders decide that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed needs to be immersed in water so that he spills his guts about the next terror plot, I can accept that—and I suspect the rest of the world could, too. But those who take action should also take responsibility for it. Our soldiers need a better legal framework to deal with these situations, one that gives commanders the flexibility to do what must be done while not stepping on our values or hurting our strategic interests in the process.

First and foremost, the framework should maintain existing rules about treating prisoners, because those should govern all but the most extraordinary of cases. Second, when a departure is necessary, we should require authorization from the White House and Pentagon articulating both the scope of the authorization and the justification for doing so. Such authorizations might mirror the kind of court documents required of the Justice Department when it applies for a secret warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. This will let our soldiers know why they are breaking the rules, and minimize the cognitive dissonance that led to so much confusion at Abu Ghraib about what was allowed and forbidden. Third, the services should actively rely on their lawyers, chaplains and career non-commissioned officers to serve as the legal, moral and institutional checks respectively on this kind of activity. All three of these systems failed at Abu Ghraib. Fourth, to the extent practical, we must add some measure of transparency to detention operations. The military can't publicize exactly what it's doing to interrogate prisoners, because that would destroy the value of these methods, but we should recognize the value of good publicity and let the Red Cross see as much as possible.

Finally, the nation's political leaders must constantly reevaluate these departures from the law, to ensure we are getting something in exchange for our calculated decision to break the law. A measured approach to this problem will ensure that breaches of international law, if they must occur, will take place in an orderly and disciplined manner, allowing soldiers to resume their normal treatment of prisoners immediately afterwards. What's wrong is to loosen the restrictions across the board or abandon them altogether; once discipline is lost, it is nearly impossible to restore.

* * *
It's true that the administration has garnered some human intelligence through its use of torture. Arguably, some intelligence gathered this way helped lead to the capture of Saddam Hussein in December 2003. But it's unlikely that torture would be a useful tool day-to-day; a vast body of literature on the subject indicates that, on the contrary, coercive interrogations tend to elicit unreliable intelligence more than they do useful information. And whatever gains have come from our use of torture have come at enormous cost—to the historic commitment of this nation to liberal ideals and the rule of law, to the safety of American soldiers, and to the ultimate national security of the nation. In warfare, the United States cannot succeed strategically simply by vanquishing its foes on the battlefield; it must secure the peace as well, which requires the winning of hearts and minds.
(Photo Credit: AFP/Slate)

Thursday, December 2, 2004

U.S., NATO end their Bosnia missions
In case you missed it (and you probably did), the U.S. Army closed out its Bosnia mission this week, casing the colors for Task Force Eagle, the U.S. component of the Stabilization Force in Bosnia. According to this New York Times report, NATO followed shortly thereafter, folding up its Bosnia operation too. The mantle of command has now shifted to the European Union, in what is the largest deployment of EU military forces yet. Personally, I think the U.S.-led IFOR and SFOR missions should go down in history as a great success story, both for our military and the notion that military force can be used to do more than just fight wars.
An icon departs... and a new era begins
All of the major newspapers cover the departure last night of Tom Brokaw from the anchor desk of NBC News. (MSNBC has posted a transcript of his final remarks.) Tom Shales writes about it for the Washington Post, saying this may be a pivotal development in the evolution of the news business:
Brokaw's exit is indeed significant, though probably not for any of the reasons fawning and toadying NBC personalities have stated.

With Dan Rather, anchor of "The CBS Evening News," set to follow Brokaw out the door next spring, abdicating a job he once said was the most important at any network, the whole idea of the anchor as a network's top gun and flag-bearer is looking shaky and frail, and perhaps irrelevant. Jennings will be the only veteran in an anchor chair after Rather leaves, and instead of the earth shuddering at that prospect, there's a disheartening aura of "so what?"

Sources of news have gone through a population explosion since Brokaw plunked himself down in the anchor chair those roughly two decades ago, and though the broadcast networks' evening news shows still draw large audiences and make big profits, the days when they could stomp and swagger and make people of power cower seem to be irreversibly over.
Scott Collins chimes in for the Los Angeles Times with a similar note, but also examines some of the macro-level issues affecting the news business. Brokaw's departure signals not just a change in the broadcast news delivery format, but also marks a point on the trend towards a more Balkanized news business in general.
Everything seems to be on the table. Networks might push newscasts to later in the evening to adapt to family schedules and commuters. Anchors such as Williams will increasingly turn up on early morning shows and Internet chat rooms to gain more exposure, and broadcast executives hope, viewers. And yes, they will make frequent guest appearances on entertainment programs like "The Daily Show," which has become a proxy newscast for many young viewers.

"When Brokaw and Rather and [ABC anchor Peter] Jennings were hired, the purpose of the evening newscast was to give viewers what the gatekeepers thought was important, with a stamp of approval from seasoned professionals," said Marty Kaplan, associate dean of USC's Annenberg School for Communication.

"Now, I'm not sure the audience believes in the legitimacy of the gatekeepers or even cares what they have to say.... I don't think the new anchors will be inhabiting the same set of assumptions as before."

Entertainment values — employed fully by Fox News Channel in its successful decade-long battle against CNN — are becoming paramount.

Jonathan Klein, the former Internet executive named as CNN chief last month, warned against an overabundance of fluff but emphasized the need to engage viewers in prime time. CBS chief Leslie Moonves joked to reporters this week that the evening news might be anchored by the cast of "Friends." But he quickly turned serious, saying: "People are going to have to look at news differently, and certainly we are."

There are signs of change already.

This year, for the first time, cable's opinion-heavy Fox News frequently beat broadcast networks in the ratings during coverage of the national political conventions. The political gatherings were once marquee events for broadcasters; NBC's Chet Huntley and David Brinkley became household names guiding viewers through the 1964 conventions. But this year, the networks trimmed convention coverage to no more than one hour per night in prime time — opting instead to air their usual entertainment lineups.

That's a trend some find alarming.

Orville Schell, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley, is convinced the new strategies will reduce the quality of news programming. He noted the networks' obsession with ratings, which drive advertising rates.

"I don't see a silver lining," he said. "We're in a period where the market trumps all.... You could see the network news vanish."
Eugene Volokh, under whom I studied First Amendment law at UCLA, offers another piece of the puzzle in a New York Times op-ed this morning (albeit on a different subject). Writing about journalistic privileges and bloggers, Eugene opines that we need a new rule to encompass the new face of journalism.
... the situation is a mess - and it's getting messier. Because of the Internet, anyone can be a journalist. Some so-called Weblogs - Internet-based opinion columns published by ordinary people - have hundreds of thousands of readers. I run a blog with more than 10,000 daily readers. We often publish news tips from friends or readers, some of which come with a condition of confidentiality.

The First Amendment can't give special rights to the established news media and not to upstart outlets like ours. Freedom of the press should apply to people equally, regardless of who they are, why they write or how popular they are.

Yet when everyone is a journalist, a broad journalist's privilege becomes especially costly. The I.R.S. agent, for example, no longer needs to risk approaching many mainstream journalists, some of whom may turn him in. He can just ask a friend who has a blog and a political ax to grind. The friend can then post the leaked information and claim the journalist's privilege to prevent the agent from being identified. If the privilege is upheld, the friend and the agent will be safe - but our privacy will be lost.

What's the answer? On the one hand, tips from confidential sources often help journalists (print or electronic) uncover crime and misconduct. If journalists had to reveal such sources, many of these sources would stop talking. On the other hand, some tips are rightly made illegal.

The best solution may be to borrow a principle from other privileges, like those for confidential communications to lawyers, psychotherapists and spouses. The law has generally recognized that protecting the confidentiality of such communications is more important than forcing a person's testimony.

But it has also limited the privilege. Communications that facilitate crime or fraud, for example, are not protected. I may confess my crimes to a lawyer, but if I try to hire him to help me commit my crime, he may be obligated to testify against me.

Maybe a journalist's privilege should likewise be limited. Lawmakers could pass legislation that protects leakers who lawfully reveal information, like those who blow the whistle on governmental or corporate misconduct. But if a leaker tries to use a journalist as part of an illegal act - for example, by disclosing a tax return or the name of a C.I.A. agent so that it can be published - then the journalist may be ordered to testify.

Such a rule may well deter some sources from coming forward. But they will be the very sources that society should want to deter, to protect privacy and safety. In any event, the rules should be the same for old media and new, professional and amateur. Any journalist's privilege should extend to every journalist.
Analysis: I'm hardly the first person to say this, but I believe that we are entering an era where form is becoming ancillary to content. To borrow a buzzphrase from former-NYT editor Howell Raines, many news consumers are now "format agnostic". It matters little to me whether I read my morning Wall Street Journal online or in print. Often, the reason for my choice of online or print is something completely unrelated to the news, like whether I arrived early at the office and had time to read and enjoy the print version. What does matter to me is the content — an article by Jess Bravin or Chris Cooper or Greg Jaffe is the same regardless of whether it's on paper or on my laptop screen. Form is becoming secondary to content; it's the ideas that count, not the number of trees you kill to print them.

To some extent, I think this trend mirrors others in our economy. The trend towards outsourcing in some industries, such as call centers, has been driven by a realization that it matters little to the consumer whether an operator works in Killeen, Texas, or Mumbai, India. (It matters a great deal for our economy, but that's another discussion.) Similarly, the intellectual property explosion of the last 15 years is evidence that ideas may be the next big thing in business. Indeed, as Newsweek reported a couple of weeks ago, there are entire businesses now dedicated to the acquisition, preservation, marketing and licensing of patents. The most important form of property in the 21st Century may turn out to be the idea — not the form which that idea takes.

If the news business is to survive in any recognizable form, it must adapt to this new reality. News organizations which make their content available in multiple formats, such as CNN.Com or the major newspapers, will likely do well. Print publications that cling to dead trees will fare poorly. Those that spring to adapt to new technologies, such as RSS feeds and PDA availability, among others, may experience rapid growth as consumers who use those items flock to them. But in the end, the most essential lesson will be this: he or she who publishes the best content, in the most diverse array of formats, will win. News organizations that force their readers to use antiquated or unfriendly formats will lose; news organizations that publish second-rate content will also lose.

The departure of Tom Brokaw comes at a time when the news business stands at a crossroads. The old style of anchor-driven broadcast journalism is probably dead. No one is going to believe a broadcast simply because the anchor said it — the days of Cronkite are long gone. (See, e.g., the Killian memo fiasco) Today, the challenge for news organizations to put out the best content in the best format possible. I'm surprised to see NBC taking such an incrementalist approach here, by replacing Mr. Brokaw with what is essentially a younger clone. I can think of few better opportunities for true change than right now. At the very least, I would have expected some demographic base-covering — perhaps a change from a news anchor to a team approach which included women and minorities. One might also expect more real-time news and analysis, or even a blog from the anchor, to generate more quality content in different formats. But I suppose NBC is taking the conservative route for largely financial reasons... and we'll have to wait for someone else to take up the mantle of change.

(Photo Credit: AP/NBC)

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

"Hell, yeah, I want to continue to serve and fight"
Those spirited words come from Army Capt. David Rozelle, who lost his foot and lower leg to an anti-tank mine in Iraq. In another day and another war, Capt. Rozelle might have been put out to pasture as a wounded vet with a VA disability pension. Not today. According to this moving article by Anne Hull in the Washington Post, more and more severely wounded combat vets like Rozelle are getting back into shape, thanks to the wizards of orthopaedic medicine and prosthetic medicine at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. And increasingly, these vets are making the choice to stay in uniform.
In a shift in military culture, the U.S. armed forces have recently announced new efforts to keep seriously wounded or disabled soldiers on active duty. Although there is no clear written policy, the sentiment is being echoed down from the White House.

"When we're talking about forced discharge, we're talking about another age and another" military, President Bush told wounded soldiers at Walter Reed last year. "This is a new age, and this is a new [military]. Today, if wounded service members want to remain in uniform and can do the job, the military tries to help them stay."

Military commanders cite advances in medical technology as the main reason for the shift. Better prosthetics — such as Rozelle's $7,000 leg — are allowing some of the wounded to regain their fitness and continue to serve. Others say the military's new attitude toward the disabled is simply mirroring society's.

But one observer says the change is also practical. In an era of constant deployment, the Pentagon needs a more flexible and diversified workforce, said Laura Miller, a military sociologist with the RAND Corp.

"Part of this is a response to the stress on the all-volunteer forces due to the war on terror," Miller said. "And part of it is adapting to future warfare: smaller expeditionary forces that can respond to a variety of missions, including peacekeeping and humanitarian. Why throw away someone with years of training and expertise, only to re-train someone new?"

* * *
Several officers who spoke recently at the annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army emphasized the more welcoming policy toward retaining disabled soldiers.

"Our view is that once a soldier, always a soldier, and the Army is looking for ways to keep a number of them on active duty rather than medically retiring them," said Lt. Gen. Franklin L. Hagenbeck, the Army's deputy chief of staff for personnel. He has pledged to personally review the case of any military amputee who feels unfairly treated.
Comments: I'm glad to see the military adopting an enlightened attitude on this issue, so as to retain some of its wounded warriors who might otherwise be cast aside due to the inflexible application of personnel rules. If a soldier is fit to fight, he or she should be allowed to stay in uniform. Similarly, if a soldier is not fit to fight, but is fit to do some staff job, then he or she should be allowed to stay in that limited capacity, so as to free some other soldier to serve on the front line. We owe these wounded vets a great debt, and I think giving them the opportunity to continue their service is a great way to pay them back.
Breaking the news
After reading Jack Shafer's review in Slate, I rushed out to buy a copy of Hard News : The Scandals at The New York Times and Their Meaning for American Media by Seth Mnookin. The book traces the arc of Howell Raines at the New York Times, focusing on his last months as editor-in-chief during the Jayson Blair scandal. The book also goes into considerable detail about the Blair scandal, and the efforts of a small group of reporters and editors assigned to write the Times' mea culpa in May 2004. (Also see this archive of Mr. Blair's defective NYT stories, with accompanying corrections.) I read Hard News while flying from Los Angeles to New York for Thanksgiving, and it was such a good read that I could not put it down. Mr. Mnookin tells the story so well, with such clarity and precision, that I easily finished the book during the length of this 5-hour flight. Anyone interested in the history of this scandal, or in journalistic integrity more broadly, should read this book. It's definitely going on Intel Dump's holiday book list (TBP).
California gets a new lawyer
Last week, I learned the good news that I had passed the California bar exam. Yesterday, I had the privilege of being sworn in to the California bar by Judge Joe Hilberman, who was my alumni mentor while I was a student at UCLA law school. Before administering the oath of an attorney, Judge Hilberman reminded me of four important values we should strive to uphold as attorneys:
- Ethics: attorneys should do what's right because it's right, not for fear of enforcement or sanction.
- Professionalism: this is a profession with its own norms and values. The legal profession is as strong as its members who live and work by these values every day.
- Civility: the members of this profession battle each other each day, in and out of court. However, we should always remain civil, both to better advance our clients' interests and to maintain the profession.
- Service: attorneys must always remember that they serve the Constitution and the rule of law, and should constantly seek ways to give something back to the community, whether through public service, pro bono work, or other means.
I thought Judge Hilberman's advice was worth sharing with my audience, because I have a number of law student and attorney readers. It's a pretty good charter, and one that I will work to uphold. I'm proud to join this profession, notwithstanding all the great lawyer jokes that I know (and have made often). At this point in our nation's history, when the rule of law matters so much, and we have seen so many transgressions from Enron to Abu Ghraib, there is a special role for attorneys to play. Whether we are counseling corporate boards of directors, advising heads of state, prosecuting criminals or defending them, litigating personal injuries, or putting together complex deals, lawyers often serve as the last moral and legal check on an action. And just as Milgram showed in his famous experiment decades ago, people will defer to our perceived authority, so we have a heightened duty to pursue both what is legally correct and what is morally right. This is obviously easier said than done. But hopefully the ethical choices I've made to date, and the strong network of friends and colleagues I've built, will help me in this chosen endeavor.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

In memoriam
Seven members of the 4th Infantry Division died yesterday in a fiery Blackhawk crash in Texas, near the Ironhorse division's home base of Fort Hood. I had the good fortune to know and work for Brig. Gen. Charles B. Allen when he was the DIVARTY commander and I was a division planner. He was a great American. I also knew one of the helicopter pilots, Chief Warrant Officer 2 David H. Gardner, and I mourn for his loss too, along with the other five soldiers on board the helicopter. Here are the names of the fallen men:
Brig. Gen. Charles B. Allen, 49, the assistant division commander (support) of the 4th Infantry Division. Allen, who was born in Alaska and listed his home of record as Oklahoma, had entered the Army in May 1977 and received his initial training as a field artillery officer.

Col. James M. Moore, 47, the commander of the Division Support Command for the 4th Infantry Division. A native of Peabody, Mass., he had entered the Army in September 1980.

Capt. Todd. T. Christmas, 26, an air defense artillery officer assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 4th Infantry Division. A native of New Mexico, he had entered the Army in August 2001.

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Douglas V. Clapp, 48, a senior automotive maintenance officer for the 4th Infantry Division. Clapp, who was born in Lebanon, Pa., and listed his home of record as Greensboro, N.C., had entered the Army in August 1974.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 David H. Gardner, Jr., 32, a helicopter pilot assigned to the 4th Infantry Division's A Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment. Gardner, who was born in Germany and listed Iowa as his home of record, had entered the Army in October 1992.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Mark W. Evans Jr., 27, a helicopter pilot assigned to the 4th Infantry Division's A Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment. Evans, who was born in Michigan and listed his home of record as Florida, had entered the Army in November 1995.

Spc. Richard L. Brown, 29, a helicopter mechanic assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Infantry Division. Brown was born in Kansas and listed Stonewall, La., as his home of record.

Source: III Corps and Fort Hood Public Affairs Office
The loss of life is always tragic, but especially so in peacetime, where something so prosaic as a TV tower can bring down a multi-million dollar aircraft, killing its crew and occupants. Some of these men had survived a year of combat duty in Iraq, so this incident seems even more tragic to me. Please join me in sending a prayer to their families, and remembering their service to our nation.

Intel Dump will resume publishing on Wednesday.