Monday, September 13, 2004

So What's the Point??

Marine Convicted in Abuse Gets Clemency
Is this any way to win a war? Convicted of torturing a prisoner of war by giving the prisoner electrical shocks. Sentenced to a year in prison and a BCD. Granted clemency by his commanding general. What kind of crap is this?

The Bush administration has been fighting our troops being judged in the World Court. Mainly, they say, to prevent our troops from bogus charges of crimes against humanity. In other words to protect them, and our leaders, from the heinous crimes that happen during war. Our defense has been that we will deal with any war crimes committed by our troops. Therefore, we don't have to sign the treaty.

The World Court is not set up for the trials of people that are from a country that will prosecute their troops. It's for the countries that either won't or can't.

Judging from this report. It seems that we should be subject to the World Court. When we spend billions of dollars removing a leader from a sovereign nation, and then abuse the prisoners, we are committing a crime. We further increase the damage when we investigate the offense, convict the guilty, and then release them with a clemency order.

This marines defense was that he was following orders. Excuse me, but that doesn't cut the mustard on this one. The Uniform Code of Military Justice does not allow for the lame excuse of following an unlawful order. The correct procedure is to refuse to carry out the order. Then if brought up on charges for refusing to obey an order, explain your actions in court. No service member in this country is required by military law to torture prisoners. That is why he was convicted.

For the commanding general to offer clemency to this marine is a slap in the face to the Iraqi people, the United States of America, and most of all the United States Marine Corps. The marine who carried out the torture got off light to start with. He committed a heinous crime that should be properly punished.

Supposable we are trying to win the hearts and minds of the Arab people of the world. This is not the way to do that. Quite the opposite in fact. Why would they even start to trust us? The administration got us into a mess with this war. Unless crimes against the Iraqi populace are punished it's only going to get worse. The administration should vacate the clemency order and hang the general out to dry. Then again, maybe the USMC is going by their other motto "grab them by the balls and their hearts and minds will follow".

PEACE--practice it daily


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