Thursday, November 25, 2004


Bruce Ralston of Flit commenting on blogosphere response to the apparent war crime by a marine in Fulajah wrote ”I'm sorry, I don't see the issue.”

I’ll go with apparent since a person should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. That being said, when I first heard the tape played on the radio, it sounded like a crime to me. I wasn’t there and videotapes, which do not show the whole context are often misleading, but at the very least he seems to be in violation of the Rules of Engagement as reported in the media. The accused’s comment on the tape to the effect "he's moving" just sounds to me like providing an excuse in advance, premeditation not a split second mistake or an accident.

Much of the blogosphere response seemed to me to be inane. This by commentators for who’s opinion I have great respect and usually provide very good observations. Of course one is presumed innocent until proven guilty, extenuating circumstances should be considered and similar incidents in all Militarys have escaped official notice for reasons good and bad. But so much of the commentary sounds like an attempt to justify the action, or ignore a serious breech of discipline "in the presence of the enemy." If in fact the action was premeditted it is not justifible, and a military that reguarlly ignores that sort of breech of discipine so becomes an armed mob.

In response to Bruce’s question I do not think it is an "issue" so much as an emotional reaction “SAY IT AIN’T SO.” Which is, admittedly, better than the response from some quarters demanding a drumhead court martial "pour encourge les autres."

As such things go the whole Fullajah attack seems to be a very well run operation at all levels. I have read several articles of personnel from the Third Battalion First Marines, as well as the other battalions involved, who the press reported acting with both bravery and restraint where they had reason to believe civilian were present. If the Marine is in fact guilty his action has stained the reputation of some of the best marines and soldiers in the world. The natural reaction is to say “NO it can’t be!” I hope it isn’t, but it does not look good. But that is no reason to try to down play the seriousness of the incident.

UPDATE: 04/06/2007. The Naval Investgative Service dropped the investatgation for insuffient evidence. I assume it was good investigation, when they are not these days, it comes out in the press. The incident was either murder or an accident, nothing in between. If murder can't be proven beyond a reasonable doubt the charge should be dropped.

No comments:

Copyright 2004-2012 - All rights reserved. All opnions are mine, except comments or quoted material - who else would want them. Site Meter