Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Court-Martialed for Giving a Fat Lip to a Murderous Terrorist

Back in the spring of 2004, four Blackwater contractors were murdered in Fallujah, and their charred and mutilated bodies were hung from a bridge to the cheers of the assembled crowd.

The photos of the event became iconic of what was going wrong in Iraq, and the incident helped motivate the two later offensives against Fallujah. It also gave Markos Moulitsas Zúñiga of Daily Kos his most famous nickname: “Screw Them”. After the incident in Fallujah, Mr. Moulitsas said:

Let the people see what war is like. This isn’t an Xbox game. There are real repercussions to Bush’s folly. That said, I feel nothing over the death of merceneries. [sic] They aren’t in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them. [emphasis added]

Five and a half years later, a team of Navy SEALs has captured the reputed mastermind behind the Fallujah killings. And their reward? They are facing a court-martial because the detained terrorist claims he suffered a bloody lip. The horror!

According to Fox News:

Navy Seals Face Assault Charges for Capturing Most-Wanted Terrorist

Navy SEALs have secretly captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq — the alleged mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah in 2004. And three of the SEALs who captured him are now facing criminal charges, sources told FoxNews.com.

The three, all members of the Navy’s elite commando unit, have refused non-judicial punishment — called an admiral’s mast — and have requested a trial by court-martial.

Ahmed Hashim Abed, whom the military code-named “Objective Amber,” told investigators he was punched by his captors — and he had the bloody lip to prove it.

Now, instead of being lauded for bringing to justice a high-value target, three of the SEAL commandos, all enlisted, face assault charges and have retained lawyers.

Matthew McCabe, a Special Operations Petty Officer Second Class (SO-2), is facing three charges: dereliction of performance of duty for willfully failing to safeguard a detainee, making a false official statement, and assault.

Petty Officer Jonathan Keefe, SO-2, is facing charges of dereliction of performance of duty and making a false official statement.

Petty Officer Julio Huertas, SO-1, faces those same charges and an additional charge of impediment of an investigation.

The three SEALs will be arraigned separately on Dec. 7. Another three SEALs — two officers and an enlisted sailor — have been identified by investigators as witnesses but have not been charged.
- - - - - - - - -
FoxNews.com obtained the official handwritten statement from one of the three witnesses given on Sept. 3, hours after Abed was captured and still being held at the SEAL base at Camp Baharia. He was later taken to a cell in the U.S.-operated Green Zone in Baghdad.

The SEAL told investigators he had showered after the mission, gone to the kitchen and then decided to look in on the detainee.

“I gave the detainee a glance over and then left,” the SEAL wrote. “I did not notice anything wrong with the detainee and he appeared in good health.”

Lt. Col. Holly Silkman, spokeswoman for the special operations component of U.S. Central Command, confirmed Tuesday to FoxNews.com that three SEALs have been charged in connection with the capture of a detainee. She said their court martial is scheduled for January.

United States Central Command declined to discuss the detainee, but a legal source told FoxNews.com that the detainee was turned over to Iraqi authorities, to whom he made the abuse complaints. He was then returned to American custody. The SEAL leader reported the charge up the chain of command, and an investigation ensued.

The source said intelligence briefings provided to the SEALs stated that “Objective Amber” planned the 2004 Fallujah ambush, and “they had been tracking this guy for some time.”

The Fallujah atrocity came to symbolize the brutality of the enemy in Iraq and the degree to which a homegrown insurgency was extending its grip over Iraq.

The four Blackwater agents were transporting supplies for a catering company when they were ambushed and killed by gunfire and grenades. Insurgents burned the bodies and dragged them through the city. They hanged two of the bodies on a bridge over the Euphrates River for the world press to photograph.

Intelligence sources identified Abed as the ringleader, but he had evaded capture until September.

The military is sensitive to charges of detainee abuse highlighted in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. The Navy charged four SEALs with abuse in 2004 in connection with detainee treatment.

Hat tip: Weasel Zippers.


Zenster said...

In a sane world, an instantaneous Presidential pardon would await these brave fighters along with some well-paying private sector security jobs upon their discharge.

There is something deeply disturbing about a government and military who countenance the prosecution of our Special Forces even as they ignore terrorist attacks at home and Islam's total disregard for the Geneva Conventions.

laine said...

Every time I think I've heard everything, the leftist controlled American government or one of its arms invents a new insult to common sense.

Recently there was General Casey who announced that loss of diversity/Muslims in the military would be a worse tragedy than the Fort Hood carnage one such Muslim had freshly wreaked. Now this.

Apparently, known terrorists are to be treated with kid gloves while for them, no holds are barred.

Liberals are suicidal lemmings who are dragging all of us over the cliff for all the world like suicide bombers. They're not happy offing just themselves. They have to inflict insane risks on those who don't share their sickness.

thll said...

Interesting. The establishment media in the UK is currently 'investigating' alleged breaches of the Geneva Convention by British soldiers in Iraq - maybe it's just me but I get the distinct impression that the media loves this kind of thing. What's their game?

Unknown said...

And what country ever defended itself from invasion with a de-moralized military?

Obama is neither a Caesar or Nero. He's a Caligua.

Paul Weston said...

Reading examples of insanity such as this article, one has to question whether the West can survive this century.

Under the present political regimes, our existing civilisation seems unsustainable on economic, racial, moral, religious, educational and demographic grounds.

Nick said...

Anyone ever read Vince Flynn?

spackle said...

Tomorrow we here in the US will be sitting down for Thanksgiving. Besides family and their comrads I dont know what the Hell else these SEALS have to be thankful for in this country anymore? I dont even know anymore?

Stopthepresses2 said...

Who are the cowardly military officers that won't back their troops. Who brought these charges? Fools and cowards that probably never spend one minute in combat.

blogagog said...

See, the problem that you guys are ignoring is that we cannot expect our troops/civies to be treated any better than we treat the jihadis. If we allow the Spec Ops guys to get away with giving a fat lip to a terrorist, what's to stop the jihadis from giving the next guy they kidnap a fat lip? Before they chop off his head, I mean.

Henrik R Clausen said...

instantaneous Presidential pardon

Indeed. Instead, he pardons a turkey.

Zenster said...

Henrik R Clausen: Indeed. Instead, he pardons a turkey.

This reminds me very little of that old joke about the lawyers and sharks. It is just another rather apt case of professional courtesy.

spackle said...

Stop the presses/ Patrick brings up a good point. How did this even trickle up the chain of command? Why didnt the first NCO or ofiicer to hear this "complaint" merely say 'Are you f*****g kidding me?' and laugh it off? What happened to protecting ones own? The green and blue wall of silence? Chances are these complaints are made ALL the time. Just look at the police here in the US? Every scumbag perp worth his salt complains of "Police brutality".

Zenster said...

spackle: What happened to protecting ones own?.

From conversations I've had with armed forces personnel, the military's devouring of its young is a result of the Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps having increasing influence. Further proof of the Inverse Midas Touch (i.e., everything turns to $h!t) that lawyers tend to bring with them wherever they go.

I also have to agree with spackle that this should have been laughed out of the commander's field office when it was first reported.

Buraq said...

Hello all. Longtime reader from Germany, finally registered due to the post from Henrik R Clausen "Obama pardons turkey" (nice pun btw, as a certain Muslim at the same time pardons a certain muslim country).

Did you notice PETA jumped right to his side? This domestic and international leftist totalitarian so called "animal rights movement" more aptly named terror-organisation?

To recap the really interesting parts of the article: Bush founded this "tradition" of pardoning turkeys. Nt a single word from PETA.

Obama uses this as a PR opportunity, tying in his daughters. And who jumps up and down and applauds and lauds? PETA, awarding his kids "honorable membership" as PETA kids.

Another one from the BHO department of "Show me your allies and I tell you who you are."

Henrik R Clausen said...

What happened to protecting ones own?

From what I see in the police forces - less pronounced in Denmark than elsewhere, but still pretty bad - the people in the field are good guys, putting a lot of effort into doing what needs to be done. But their leadership is letting them down.

It appears that the mid-level leaders are scared silly of being backstabbed by the top leadership, who in turn are under severe pressure for political correctness, that no controversy can be permitted, and that anything that sparks controversy by default is wrong and punishable.

I think this comes from the political system, then seeps down the ranks.

And fully agree that this case should have been laughed at, that the proper way to handle this would be to award the marines a suitable decoration, not take them to court.

This is devouring the effectiveness of our military as well as our police.

Dymphna said...

Henrik R.C.--

What you describe is precisely the template the U.S. military (and some police departments) have in place now for dealing with potential "trouble". For example, Major Hasan was repeatedly reported by his colleagues, and reprimanded by his immediate superiors. But none of the higher-ups wanted any stain on their careers so he was left to roam until he mutated from a potential to an actual murder machine.

John Boyd used to say that in the military the time comes when you have to decide to be something or to do something. The former always went for promotion. A lot of the most competent elected to do something and thereby lost any chance of promotion. They are eventually passed over and leave active duty.

Hasan's superiors are accomplices in the murders at Fort Hood. If there were any real justice, they'd be on trial FIRST.

Inalienable Rights said...

We criticized the left for jumping on the census worker "homicide" bandwagon before all the facts were in. Let's not make the same mistake in this case. I for one want to know more facts about this "assault" before I make any sort of personal judgement. If we believe we need to maintain morale by letting our soldiers assault detainees, I dread to think where that would lead.

Profitsbeard said...

Bring them to a trial in NYC!

Don't the SEALS deserve as much justice as 9/11's "mastermind" Khalid S. Mohammad and his murderous terrorist scum?

Nick said...

Inalienable Rights: Oh please, don't get your knickers in a twist because the nasty terrorist got a little slap. That's just pathetic. He deserved much more than that, and we all know it. If I had anything to do with it he wouldn't even have been captured, he'd just have been shot and that would have been that. He ought to be thanking his lucky stars he's still breathing to get a slap from someone. If the people in charge of America had any stones, any moral courage at all, then he'd be Hovis. You think the guys in charge during WWII would have hesitated to have him blown away? Times have changed, and not for the better, either.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Inalianable rights:

Citizens' rights are guaranteed by our states, not by some abstract principle ruthlessly exploitable by New World Order zealots.

If any states wants to come to the defense of the fat-lipped murderer, great. He deserves no better from the US than a PoW status.

Taking our own soldiers to court for doing their job well is ridiculous at best. In fact, it is much worse - it's a demotivator. As the case is presented, it's so stupid that 'evil' is a more appropriate description.