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Hullabaloo


Saturday, March 26, 2005

 
Accountability


Despite recommendations by Army investigators, commanders have decided not to prosecute 17 American soldiers implicated in the deaths of three prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2003 and 2004, according to a new accounting released Friday by the Army.

Investigators had recommended that all 17 soldiers be charged in the cases, according to the accounting by the Army Criminal Investigation Command. The charges included murder, conspiracy and negligent homicide. While none of the 17 will face any prosecution, one received a letter of reprimand and another was discharged after the investigations.

To date, the military has taken steps toward prosecuting some three dozen soldiers in connection with a total of 28 confirmed or suspected homicides of detainees. The total number of such deaths is believed to be between 28 and 31.

In one of the three cases in which no charges are to be filed, the commanders determined the death to be "a result of a series of lawful applications of force." In the second, the commanders decided not to prosecute because of a lack of evidence. In the third, they determined the soldier involved had not been well informed of the rules of engagement.

A spokesman for the Army Criminal Investigation Command, Chris Grey, said in a statement: "We take each and every death very seriously and are committed and sworn to investigating each case with the utmost professionalism and thoroughness. We are equally determined to get to the truth wherever the evidence may lead us and regardless of how long it takes."


And if that doesn't work, we'll just go for the Schiavo Option. From Rox Populi:

Andy Warhol once mused that "in the future, everybody will be world famous for 15 minutes." If he were alive today, he might say that everyone would get the U.S. Congress to intercede on their personal behalf. As it turns out, the Schavio case wasn't even the first one this month. Get this:

The North Carolina congressman who represents Camp Lejeune introduced legislation that would dismiss all charges against 2nd Lt. Ilario G. Pantano, the Marine who allegedly wrongfully shot two Iraqis while deployed to Iraq a year ago.

House Resolution 167, introduced by Rep. Walter B. Jones, R, states that Pantano, 33, was “defending the cause of freedom, democracy and liberty” in his actions on April 15 that resulted in the deaths of two Iraqis.

“The ongoing war in Iraq has taken a toll on this nation. Families have been torn apart by the loss of a loved one who has paid the ultimate price in service to our country,” Jones wrote in a Feb. 25 letter to President Bush.

“Charging Pantano with murder is not only wrong, but is also detrimental to morale in America. This sends a potentially flawed message to those considering enlisting in the military.”

The president has received the letter and the matter is under review, a spokesman for Jones’ office said on March 18.


Hey, what's the use of having control of all three branches of government if you can't do whatever you want to do? The rule of law is for losers.



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