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Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Protect Joseph Darby!

In a world where morals are warped one has a problem at times distinguishing between a foe and a friend, a traitor and a patriot. Army Spc. Joseph Darby was the soldier who first reported the abuse perpetrated at the Abu Ghraib prison by his fellow soldiers. In a way, he broke the code of conduct that exists in every tight-knit group such as a military unit, 'What happens among us stays with us'. It would be understandable if people in his unit were angry at him.

However, it appears that the same sort of perception goes way beyond the confines of the unit. According to this ABC News report, the members of the community where Darby and his family live have been shunning and sometimes intimidating the family.
"We did not receive the response I thought we would. People were, they were mean, saying he was a walking dead man, he was walking around with a bull's-eye on his head. It was scary," Bernadette Darby, Joseph Darby's wife, said today on ABC News' Good Morning America.
Mostly, this is just talk,- even though one can not rule out the presence of a nut case willing to turn to physical violence against the family. However, even barring that possibility, it is a certainty that that family is going through an immensely difficult time. It is not clear from the report where they are from, but it sounds like a small-town community, and in a community like that people count on their social network. Hence alienation of this sort is all the more difficult to endure.

I think we as a society must find ways to show our support for people like Spc. Darby. Contrary to what some of his detractors may think, I believe he is in fact a true patriot, a man with a conscience and a hope for us all. I don't know what the best way to support him is, but support him we must. His family must know that America is not just their town, and that many in it stand behind him and applaud what he had done.

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