Mysterious Death Of US Soldier In Afghanistan

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MrsSpringsteen

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I don't know if this is making national news at all. I am keeping an open mind until the truth comes out (hopefully), but I sincerely hope that the fact that she was a lesbian had absolutely nothing to do with her death. Why would she tell her family such a thing?Maybe that is a clue, maybe not-I don't know.

Kin say soldier hinted at concerns
Senators, Delahunt ask for Defense Department probe

By Michael Levenson and Noah Bierman, Boston Globe Staff | October 3, 2007

The Massachusetts National Guard soldier from Quincy who died Friday in Afghanistan asked her relatives to press for answers if anything happened to her while she was deployed, according to her family.

"She did say to us that she had concerns about things she was seeing when she was over there," Ciara Durkin's sister, Fiona Canavan, said in an interview with WGBH-TV. "She told us if anything happened to her, that we were to investigate it."

Questions surrounding Durkin's death prompted US Senators John F. Kerry and Edward M. Kennedy and US Representative William D. Delahunt yesterday to call for the Defense Department to thoroughly investigate the death of Durkin, a Quincy resident.

In a letter, Kerry urged Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates "to deploy your staff on this matter immediately, so that the answers and circumstances around Specialist Durkin's death are uncovered, expeditiously and thoroughly."

Delahunt, a Quincy Democrat, said his staff met yesterday with Army officials to find out how Durkin died. Kennedy's office said he had spoken to Army Secretary Pete Geren yesterday to relay the family's concerns.

The Defense Department says it is investigating Durkin's death, which it described as a "non-combat-related incident." Durkin's family says Army officials have told them she was found with a single bullet in her head, lying near the church where she worshipped on the secure Bagram Airfield.

The Army has not publicly disclosed whether a weapon was found near her body.

The Massachusetts National Guard initially reported that Durkin was killed in action, though a Guard spokesman later said the term meant only that Durkin was serving in Afghanistan at the time.

"When confusing information comes in, which is contradictory, it raises the level of anxiety during a very difficult time," Kerry said in an interview yesterday. "It's very important to know what the facts are."

Canavan said yesterday that the family is trying to be patient as the Army investigates. An Army liaison has met with the family every day, Canavan said.

Yesterday, the military told the family that investigators have interviewed every member of Durkin's unit "all day, every day."

Canavan expressed gratitude to Kerry, a Vietnam veteran, saying, "We feel like somebody's got her back."

"It's just a matter of when are you going to let us know if somebody accidentally killed her or purposefully killed her," Canavan said. "We're not letting it go. . . . We're not for one minute accepting anything at face value."

Canavan said the family was wondering whether someone might have targeted Durkin because she was gay.

"Ciara was a lesbian, and that's bound to come out," Canavan said. "It is possible that someone over there found that out, and, you know, maybe they were very homophobic."

The Adjutant General of Massachusetts, Major General Joseph C. Carter, pledged his support for the family.

"It is my focus to support the family by seeking the answers they need regarding the circumstances surrounding the death of Specialist Durkin," Carter said in a written statement. "Along with the Durkin family, we are anxious for answers and are anticipating the conclusion of the investigation."

Durkin, the eighth of nine siblings, was born in Ireland and moved to Massachusetts at age 9. After working in information technology for a healthcare company, she enlisted in the Guard two years ago.

Her family says she admired military discipline and wanted to serve her country.

Kerry said the Durkin family desperately needs answers to three questions:

Why has the Army not responded to the Durkin family's request for an independent autopsy?

Why, after not responding to the family's request for an independent autopsy, did the Army fail to contact the Durkin family with the Army's autopsy results? The family was told to be available to receive a phone call between 1 and 3 p.m. on Oct. 1, and the Army never called.

Why has the Army refused to make Durkin's will and paperwork available to her family, so they can respect her wishes as they plan her funeral and burial?

Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Withington, a Defense Department spokesman, said yesterday that Gates had not received Kerry's letter but that the Pentagon would respond.

"We do feel there's a great lack of information but we're trying to be patient with them," Canavan said of the military. "They keep telling us they're taking time so they get it right."
 
Mrs. Springsteen, I love how you always make posts about Globe articles I've been following.

My first thought on seeing her picture was "she's probably gay and I bet that's why she was killed." I hope it's not true but what the hell else could it be?? Direct shot to the head on an otherwise safe (at the time) army base? And she was worried about funny stuff going on - she probably was already getting bad vibes. I hope Delahunt, Kennedy and Kerry keep the pressure on to get to the bottom of this, and maybe it will lead to some positive changes in the wacked out army policies towards homosexuals.
 
Varitek said:
Mrs. Springsteen, I love how you always make posts about Globe articles I've been following.

My first thought on seeing her picture was "she's probably gay and I bet that's why she was killed." I hope it's not true but what the hell else could it be?? Direct shot to the head on an otherwise safe (at the time) army base? And she was worried about funny stuff going on - she probably was already getting bad vibes. I hope Delahunt, Kennedy and Kerry keep the pressure on to get to the bottom of this, and maybe it will lead to some positive changes in the wacked out army policies towards homosexuals.

If she was shot by a fellow soldier, that would be murder. It has nothing to do with not allowing homosexuals to serve in the Armed Forces.

If she was in fact murdered, that would be tragic. It would be tragic because she was a fellow human being and a fellow soldier, not simply because she was a lesbian.
 
AEON said:


It has nothing to do with not allowing homosexuals to serve in the Armed Forces.

How do you know? You are the one so worried someone may fall in love with you, or sneak a peak in the shower...
 
BonoVoxSupastar said:


How do you know? You are the one so worried someone may fall in love with you, or sneak a peak in the shower...

Murder is wrong despite how much you may disagree with a policy.

Debating whether homosexuals should serve in the Armed Forces - and blowing someone's brains out - are not the same thing.

If this was a murder, then the person pulling the trigger is a murderer. It is that simple.
 
I think we all agree that if someone shot her on purpose that it was murder (call me Master of the Obvious :wink: ). But given the current debate and climate for gays in the military, it would be foolish to ignore her homosexuality as a possible and/or contributing cause in her murder.
 
Diemen said:
I think we all agree that if someone shot her on purpose that it was murder (call me Master of the Obvious :wink: ). But given the current debate and climate for gays in the military, it would be foolish to ignore her homosexuality as a possible and/or contributing cause in her murder.

According to this line of thinking - it could be used as further evidence that homosexuals shouldn't serve in the Armed Forces because it is too dangerous for them.
 
AEON said:


Murder is wrong despite how much you may disagree with a policy.

Um, what does this even mean, of course it's wrong. Who said otherwise?

AEON said:

Debating whether homosexuals should serve in the Armed Forces - and blowing someone's brains out - are not the same thing.
Once again, no sh*t sherlock.

AEON said:

If this was a murder, then the person pulling the trigger is a murderer. It is that simple.

Another whole post where you fail to address the subject at hand. Look at my post. I quoted your line that said, "It has nothing to do with not allowing homosexuals to serve in the Armed Forces." But you don't know that!!! If that had anything to do with the motive, then it definately needs to be looked at, what part of that do you not understand?
 
AEON said:


According to this line of thinking - it could be used as further evidence that homosexuals shouldn't serve in the Armed Forces because it is too dangerous for them.

This has to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

Basically you are saying, because there are ignorant hateful people like me it makes it dangerous for homosexuals to serve.

:rolleyes:
 
AEON said:


According to this line of thinking - it could be used as further evidence that homosexuals shouldn't serve in the Armed Forces because it is too dangerous for them.

I'm sorry, but bullshit. If anything, that line of thinking acknowledges that there are some very serious deficiencies with the way the Armed Forces treats homosexuals, and it needs to be changed.

That's like saying that acknowledging that "colored" people were routinely degraded, beaten and killed was reason enough not to integrate the schools and give them equality in the law.
 
I have to agree, that is absolute bullshit. I am really stunned that you believe such a thing AEON. Even if her death turns out to have nothing to do with her being gay, that sort of "logic" is deplorable-sorry.
 
AEON, the issue here is not whether homosexuals should be allowed to serve in the Armed Forces, but whether the Armed Forces' climate and policies have contributed to a hate crime and what can be done to prevent this in the future. A hate crime, by the way, is what this is, if she was murdered because she's gay.
 
MrsSpringsteen said:
I have to agree, that is absolute bullshit. I am really stunned that you believe such a thing AEON. Even if her death turns out to have nothing to do with her being gay, that sort of "logic" is deplorable-sorry.

I was demonstrating how connecting the two (the policy and the murder) is absurd. I'm glad you agree.
 
Diemen said:

If anything, that line of thinking acknowledges that there are some very serious deficiencies with the way the Armed Forces treats homosexuals, and it needs to be changed.

Since when is it US Army policy to allow soldiers to execute homosexuals?
 
AEON said:


I was demonstrating how connecting the two (the policy and the murder) is absurd. I'm glad you agree.

Um, no. Unless I'm misinterpreting what you said (in which case I apologize), the murder (hypothetically if she was killed in any way as a result of that) means it is too dangerous for homosexual people to serve in the military-THAT is the logic I was referring to. Seems to me the only dangerous ones are those who would harass and/or assault and/or kill someone for that reason.
 
AEON said:


Since when is it US Army policy to allow soldiers to execute homosexuals?

Let's not be overly simplistic, please. Nobody is saying the army explicitly allowed or ordered the "execution" of a homosexual. Just that it created a culture and a set of policies in which homosexuality is even less accepted than in mainstream America or Massachusetts (keep in mind it was a Nat. Guard unit so the soldiers were all from the state that is home to gay marriage) and in which discrimination and hatred at someone for their lifestyle/sexual identity results in a shot to the head. Especially damning is that the victim was nervous about something fishy happening; this means she had notices this climate of hostility.
 
MrsSpringsteen said:


Um, no. Unless I'm misinterpreting what you said (in which case I apologize), the murder (hypothetically if she was killed in any way as a result of that) means it is too dangerous for homosexual people to serve in the military-

I said that in the context of connecting the murder with the policy.
 
AEON said:


Since when is it US Army policy to allow soldiers to execute homosexuals?

Who even said that? The speculation here is that she was obviously suspicious before she died, and even in a way acknowledged the possibility of her own death. She asked her parents to investigate because some of her fellow soldiers obviously did things to raise concern.

It's called a motive.
 
Varitek said:


in which discrimination and hatred at someone for their lifestyle/sexual identity results in a shot to the head.

And back to my point - this is a false conclusion. Being supportive of an Armed Forces policy prohibiting open homosexuality does not directly lead to putting a bullet into someone's head.
 
Mrs. Springsteen, and any other concerned MA residents, I'm calling Kennedy (202-224-4543), Kerry(244-2742) and Delahunt (202-225-3111) to thank them for their involvement and urge them to continue. Delahunt isn't my congressman but he sure is eyeing a senate run whenever it opens up so they'll take a call from any MA resident. I'm also calling my guy, Capuano, to ask him to support Delahunt.

http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/cgi-bin/newseek.cgi?site=ctc&state=ma
for contact info.
 
AEON said:


And back to my point - this is a false conclusion. Being supportive of an Armed Forces policy prohibiting open homosexuality does not directly lead to putting a bullet into someone's head.

Again, NO ONE is saying this. However, when there is already a prevalent attitude that homosexuality is not welcome, or at the very least, discouraged, then it certainly doesn't discourage abuse from any overzealous homophobes if they happen to find out someone is gay.
 
AEON said:


And back to my point - this is a false conclusion. Being supportive of an Armed Forces policy prohibiting open homosexuality does not directly lead to putting a bullet into someone's head.

being in an environment where you're surrounded by sexist and/or homophobic individuals who are capable of such a hideous crime does. it isn't the military's policy to encourage that, of course. however since the military clearly doesn't believe in rights for open homosexuals, do you not think that the environment in itself is breeding grounds for homophobic perspectives?
 
unico said:


being in an environment where you're surrounded by sexist and/or homophobic individuals who are capable of such a hideous crime does. it isn't the military's policy to encourage that, of course. however since the military clearly doesn't believe in rights for open homosexuals, do you not think that the environment in itself is breeding grounds for homophobic perspectives?

I do respect the Left for pulling this off. They've spent the last thirty or forty years pointing out how evil it is to bigoted (racist, homophobe...etc)...then they put anyone who disagrees with them into that box.
 
AEON said:


I do respect the Left for pulling this off. They've spent the last thirty or forty years pointing out how evil it is to bigoted (racist, homophobe...etc)...then they put anyone who disagrees with them into that box.

[oversimplistic]
Are you saying that it's ok to be racist and/or homophobic?
[/oversimplistic]

Seriously though, if you feel that homosexuals, who of no choice of their own are the way they are, don't deserve equal rights, then you are a bigot. Exactly the same way in which believing that other races are inferior to yours makes you a bigot. Period.
 
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Varitek said:
Mrs. Springsteen, and any other concerned MA residents, I'm calling Kennedy (202-224-4543), Kerry(244-2742) and Delahunt (202-225-3111) to thank them for their involvement and urge them to continue. Delahunt isn't my congressman but he sure is eyeing a senate run whenever it opens up so they'll take a call from any MA resident. I'm also calling my guy, Capuano, to ask him to support Delahunt.

http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/cgi-bin/newseek.cgi?site=ctc&state=ma
for contact info.

Delahunt's office was awesome and totally responsive! They were really glad I called, wanted to know why I was so concerned, thanked me for calling Capuano, etc. If he runs when Kennedy or Kerry leaves office, and Capuano doesn't, then he's got my support (for other reasons too, but this is one of them).
 
unico said:
:up: w2g. and thanks for the numbers. i'll call if i get to step out for a few minutes.

Not sure what they'll do with an out of state call (though if you're from DC I guess they sorta have to rep you) but the Senators didn't even ask me for my zipcode (then, I was calling from a Boston area code). And Delahunt's office would probably appreciate the support.
 
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