Real American Traitor Award #1: Colin Engelbach

Monday, 11 December 2006

Joseph Darby is the man who alerted military authorities—not the press—of the prisoner abuses at Abu Ghraib.

Being an American soldier, law enforcement officer, judge, businessman, whatever, only carries as much weight as the integrity you bring to it. If you come to it as a criminal, you are not an American solider, cop, congressman, whatever. You’re a waste of space and you should be in prison if you’re lucky and deserve another chance, at the bottom of a lake otherwise.

Joseph Darby is a stand-up man and American veteran. He saw crimes had been committed and he reported it through proper military channels. He did not just save some Iraqi prisoners humiliation, torture and possible death. He saved at least a couple soldiers in the next rotation of MPs through Abu Ghraib. He saved them from turning into monsters. He saved them from prison. He stopped something that needed stopping.

Just for the devil’s advocates out there—sure, I can get down with torture being appropriate. Talked about it before. The hiccup is that innocent people will get tortured. At least 10% of the poor bastards in Abu Ghraib didn’t even belong there. Just like the witchcraft trials in Europe in the middle-ages. You didn’t have to be a terrorist/insurgent to get thrown in the clink. You just had to have a neighbor who didn’t like you and told the nearest Marine you were a terrorist. Happened plenty. Part of how we got into this mess.

So there is no valid counter-argument. Darby did the right thing. Sad how gutless some other soldiers were in this. How few of them can step up and be heroes when it takes more than mowing down a line of badly-equipped teens and shop keepers. The very military field is predicated on bravery, not on petty sadism.

60 Minutes did a piece about Darby this weekend. They talked with Colin Engelbach who is the commander of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter in Darby’s hometown of Cumberland, MD. A beautiful place to which Darby can probably never return.

Real American Traitor Award

The threats and local opinion of Darby were related by Engelbach. When he was asked if agreed with it all, Engelbach said–

“I agree that his actions that he did were no good and borderline traitor, yes.” Colin Engelbach

Either we have rule of law or we’re savages and the biggest, meanest, trickiest savages will rule. Either we can be free and safe or we can’t. Colin Engelbach’s view amounts to, “Only my friends can be free and safe. The rest of you are on the menu.”

Mr Engelbach, you have shown where the border is. It would have been easier for you to stand up and defend what’s right than it was for Darby but you crossed over anyway. You are the first Sedition·com pick for Real American Traitor because, in this game, Monday morning traitors count double. The award has no moneys attached but you can rest assured that it will always be here for the world to reference.

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Re: Real American Traitor Award #1: Colin Engelbach

thank you , .. ... this took me back to what you had to say about hugh thompson, and in a modest proposal, ....

By anne on 11 December 2006 · 06:03


Re: Real American Traitor Award #1: Colin Engelbach

Great post, thanks. Don't know if you've seen these two short videos from Iraq yet or not, but both show the US Military engaging in some very dubious actions. I have them up on my site at ..You have to wonder what these soldiers were thinking when videotaping this stuff...

By Minorrippper on 11 December 2006 · 10:31

A is A

Re: Real American Traitor Award #1: Colin Engelbach

Thank you. Good stuff at your place too. Could write another couple pages about that kind of stupid, juvenile stuff. It’s all reducible to: even good people start to act like shitheads if they’re in shit long enough. Not an excuse, of course, but it’s what should have been expected up front.

A more honest picture of war here might keep us out of another. “War is Hell” is too generic to mean anything. “War is people you love turning into people you won’t even know anymore.”

By A is A on 11 December 2006 · 11:45


Re: Real American Traitor Award #1: Colin Engelbach

I'll second that pick.

I just wrote about Colin Engelbach on my blog as an example of the worst of tribalism i.e. classic examples of fundamentalists who define right and wrong actions by who is doing them, not the nature of the deed. They are so unprincipled that they unashamedly defend law-breaking because "our boys did it" and attack the MP who did his job. Do they really want to live in a world that is the logical consequence of this behaviour?

By Bill on 11 December 2006 · 21:07

A is A

Re: Real American Traitor Award #1: Colin Engelbach


Do they really want to live in a world that is the logical consequence of this behaviour?

Probably because everyone thinks his team will win. Especially if solidarity can be kept via the sort of attitude the whole thing is grounded in. This allows one to turn away from the consequences. Gangs do make people brave; though that’s the wrong word… emboldened(?). I wish everyone could see that every time there’s a loser created in that set-up the game is brought down a notch down for all players.


Are we siding with the Shiites, or not? Are we going after Al Qaeda, or not? Should we be fighting the insurgents, or not?

Bush is trying to figure out which of those reasons is why we're in Iraq. And he'll tell us in time for Christmas. Well . . . shit; it's not a Playstation 3 but I guess it's better than nothing.

Bush to Announce Reason for Invasion

Thanks for digging that out. I laughed. Maybe I’ll give those kids over there another chance. The Left comes off as just another gang—and not a particularly better one—most of the time. As you say, what’s right isn’t about who you’re standing with.

By A is A on 12 December 2006 · 00:38

Robert Higgins

Re: Real American Traitor Award #1: Colin Engelbach


I just sent Darby and his family a message of support.

For what it's worth VFW has publicly divorced the national org. from the comments of the idiot in question. I'm a life member of VFW but haven't been in one in years because of the prevalence of the lockstep attitude exhibited by the idiot in question.

Good post


Bob Higgins
Worldwide Sawdust

By Robert Higgins on 24 June 2007 · 16:48