Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the court-martial of Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, accused in the killing of 24 unarmed Iraqis in 2005, announced an agreement Monday to settle the case. Wuterich will plead guilty to a single count of negligent dereliction of duty. Other charges were dropped. No announcement was made on what kind of discharge Wuterich would receive...The maximum sentence is three months in the brig.
When the smoke cleared, Wuterich's squad had killed 24 Iraqis, including three women and seven children, in a fruitless effort to find the gunmen that the Marines believed was firing on them from a house near the bomb blast.
Wuterich's case is the last to be settled among the eight Marines accused in the killings: four enlisted Marines accused of firing the fatal shots and four officers accused of not investigating thoroughly. Six cases were dropped, one officer was acquitted at court-martial...
The hearing officer at Wuterich's preliminary hearing in 2007 predicted the prosecution would fail because of inconsistent testimony from witnesses and poor forensics.
More on the Haditha killings. I'll withhold comment, but not block them for the post.
It takes a special type of soldier to seek revenge and visit death upon innocents and their children - and it takes a special kind of government to unofficially condone such acts.ReplyDelete
Ah, the U.S. military court system... It lets admitted U.S. soldier-murderers go because the prosecution's case is not iron-clad, while at the same time holding foreigners indefinitely (at Guantanamo) without any evidence at all...ReplyDelete
I don't understand the reasoning. Soldiers get sacrificed all the time for political goals. Does not the administration realize what a political disaster it is to let the Haditha soldiers go? It doesn't matter whether the case is solid or not.
Heck, there's more evidence against these guys than there was supporting the rationale for the whole war in the first place.
Yeah, my comment was going to be some combination of garbled gibberish and outraged swearwords, so I'm glad you got in first, so I can say I agree with everything you said here, and not come off as a blithering idiot.Delete
Thank you for speaking for me, Chuck - I'm too angry, frustrated, & sad to process any coherent thoughts that don't involve cuss words.Delete
I think too many times we come to strong conclusions on these types of issues without knowing anywhere near all the facts. If he is definitely guilty, then he should pay the price. However, perhaps if we heard everything this jury heard, we would have some serious doubt as well.Delete
There is no comparison to Guantanamo. They are enemy soldiers. They are treated very well, and have much better health care than I do. As far as evidence, I guarantee that if there was none President Obama would release them.
"They are enemy soldiers"Delete
Err, that has proven to not really be the case for a number of them.
There was an important point in my rant, Timothy, that perhaps I didn't make clearly enough. In my opinion, IT DOES NOT MATTER whether the soldiers are guilty or not guilty. It is in the best interests of the U.S. to make them scapegoats, and punish them. Publicly. Sure, this sucks for the soldiers if they are innocent. But that's their job -- sacrifice themselves for their country. A stint in military prison is a lot less sacrifice than thousands of their colleagues have made for the cause over the last few years.Delete
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I appreciate your polite response. Sometimes it seems people can't disagree without being disagreeable. Anyway, if these soldiers are innocent (and I honestly don't know one way or another), then there is no need for a scapegoat. There is no crime for which to atone. If they are guilty, the guilty should be found and punished. I would have to respectfully disagree with the concept that a possibly innocent man should pay the price just to satisfy the the outrage of the rest of the world. We don't have to prove anything to the rest of the world. If we are just, they will see it. There is no justice in punishing the innocent just to have a scapegoat. They will not respect us for punishing an innocent man. I think perhaps the opposite. If we knew a man was guilty and punished him, THAT would be justice. They might respect that, although I am not sure that many of them are up to speed on the whole concept of justice. As for the "enemy soldiers" comment, I obviously don't know what our government knows about them. They, however, have no place in our justice or court system. Many of those released have been found back on the field of battle. The fact that the Obama administration has not released many of them tells me that they DO have intel on them that proves they are combatants. I am quite confident that President Obama would release any of them that he possibly could.
"If we are just, they will see it."Delete
I disagree. People are angry:
And since you won't believe them...
And indeed, it IS confusing:
End result? It supports this narrative:
Whether true or not, it's what people think. What would you do if you and your family and your culture was oppressed by a seemingly untouchable and unrepentant superpower? Would you make them want to stop and listen and look? How would you get their attention? How would you save your dignity, when you seem to have nothing else to lose?
Thus is terrorism born.
The U.S. is supposed to be over there stopping terrorism, remember? Not inspiring it. The U.S. had nothing to lose by punishing the Haditha soldiers. They'll lose a lot in the long run letting them go, justice or not.
Awesome reply, anon09:11 - with supporting links, no less. You should sign your name to a quality comment like this.Delete
That was me, Wilson. Thanks for the compliment.Delete
Links do not equal facts. I suppose Al Jazeera has motives as pure as the wind-driven snow. Of COURSE I don't believe them. But then, I don't believe CNN either. (And before you say it, I'm not a FOX fan either) I am sure the U.S. has done things that frustrate other nations and cultures, but it is absolute foolishness to say that people are bombing us because we are oppressing them. While they may use our supposedly perceived oppression as a smokescreen, their clearly stated objective is to rule the world. Their culture and religion is defined by oppression and killing. They have been killing each other for hundreds of years. Many of these cultures have been living in third-world squalor long before America became a superpower. It is a direct result of their own corrupt rulers. I certainly agree that America has some big warts of which to be ashamed, but she has also been the greatest force for good that this world has ever seen. Any American who doesn't see that just doesn't want to.Delete
For the foreign readers who might be wondering what the Iraq/Afghan war is about: My links (Jan 25, 9:11AM) and Timothy's last response demonstrate concisely why we are at war.Delete
I wish a solution were easy. Both sides are intransigent. Because of the political and geographical importance of where both sides live, neither side can ignore the other. And I don't see either side 'winning'.
...but at least it's a nice sunny day! I should go for a walk. Perhaps see if the shelter has any abandoned puppies that need a home.
"They hate our freedom"ReplyDelete
...and we hate theirs, apparentlyReplyDelete
As someone who deals frequently with law-enforcement issues, if six cases were dropped and one acquitted, the prosecution got what it could. I'm not saying that's justice by any stretch of the imagination--but I don't blame the prosecution for taking the deal.ReplyDelete
This was my first thought as well. If his squad member was acquitted in court then his lawyer will use the same strategy and likely get a similar result.Delete
It is too bad, but our legal system is based on the premise that it is better for guilty men to go free than for innocent men to be convicted. (i.e. when identifying criminals for punishment/reform the system is tuned to avoid false positives at the expense of allowing false negatives).
Thank Goodness Obama is our Commander in Chief - Imagine the outrage if Bush was still in office. Double standard much?ReplyDelete
I am not a Bush fan by any means, George. I think he will go down as one of the most disastrous presidents in history. But you're right. Obama has not played things any better, despite starting with a really good diplomatic hand (not being George Bush).Delete
If I were President, I would have gone on TV early on to scapegoat these soldiers. I would (as Commander in Chief) made sure these guys were shamed and went to prison. I would have used it to pump 'American Values', admit 'Mistakes Get Made', but 'America Stands Firmly for Justice' and 'Is Dedicated To Helping Iraq become the safe and prosperous country it deserves to be -- and will be, thanks to the sacrifice of the great majority of our dedicated soldiers who risk or sacrifice their lives without harming innocents' blah blah or some such.
...then a few years later I would have had them quietly released from prison, with military pension on the condition they don't ever talk to the press.
Chuck for Prez!
Meanwhile, Bradley Manning will spend the rest of his life in jail.ReplyDelete
Guess he should have committed, not revealed, more war crimes.
I'm glad someone else mentioned Bradley Manning. His situation makes me sick. Combined with this, i'm about ready to give up hope all together for sanity to ever prevail in this world.ReplyDelete
Kill people..slap on wrist...tell people about it....well private Bradley will tell you what happens.ReplyDelete