Prosecute the torture.

April 28, 2010

Fact-Checkin The Trib

In today's Tribune-Review, on it's celebrated editorial page, we read this:
It's repugnant when known terrorists get more favorable legal treatment than the soldiers who defend the United States against them. That injustice has been dealt a well-deserved blow.

Two of three Navy SEALs facing charges after an al-Qaida thug allegedly got roughed up -- he suffered a bloody lip -- have been cleared of any wrongdoing by a U.S. military court in Iraq. A third SEAL goes on trial on Monday. The trio reportedly sought military hearings instead of reprimands to clear their names.

The charges were lodged by a repulsive terrorist who had been regarded as a high-value military target. Authorities say Ahmed Hashim Abed plotted the grisly 2004 murders of four military contractors in Iraq, then saw to it that their bodies were dragged through the streets, burned and hanged from a bridge in Fallujah.
Any reader of this blog would know that it's never as Scaife's braintrust presents it. And this case is no different.

To braintrust, this case is yet another example of how terrorists get more favorable treatment than the "known terrorists" they're fighting. And after reading this editorial are you not under the impression that those three SEALS were being tried for merely "roughing up" that terrorist? And that the trial's all about the terrorist's bloody lip? And the charges are based on the only word of a terrorist?

Now - take a look at this. Major General Charles Cleveland is the guy in charge of the case. He recently received a letter from Representative Dan Burton (R-IN) who presumably made some of these same wingnut misstatements. To which Major General Cleveland replied:
Regrettably it appears that your perception of the incident is based upon incomplete and factually inaccurate press coverage. Despite what has been reported, these allegations are not founded solely on the word of the detainee, but rather, were initially raised by other U.S. service members. Additionally, the alleged injuries did not occur during actions on the objective, as is also being widely reported in the media. A medical examination conducted at the time the detainee was turned over to U.S. forces determined that his alleged injuries were inflicted several hours after the operation had ended, and while in the custody and care of the U.S. at Camp Schweidler's detainee holding facility.

While the assault and resulting injury to the detainee were relatively minor, the more disconcerting allegations are those related to the Sailors' attempts to cover-up the incident, particularly in what appears to be an effort to influence the testimony of a witness. All of these allegations were fully investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).[emphasis added.]
As always the cover-up is more serious than the crime. The Major General continues:
Discipline and integrity are primary factors that make our U.S. Special Operators such an effective fighting force. The abuse of a detainee, no matter how minor, creates strategic repercussions that harm our nation's security and ultimately costs the lives of U.S. citizens. I must ensure that the service members under my command abide by the laws passed by Congress and follow the lawful orders of their superior officers. When there are reasonable grounds to believe that an offense has been committed, and that a specific individual in my command has committed that offense, it is my duty to take appropriate action to not only ensure justice is done, but also to maintain good order and discipline.
With military service comes honor. The Trib, by continuing the conservative media's spin, dishonored the service it was looking to defend.

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