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Marine faces 3 months in brig for Iraqi deaths: has justice been served?

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Marine faces 3 months in brig for Iraqi deaths: has justice been served?

Post by ROB on Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:18 pm


Marine faces 3 months in brig for Iraqi deaths
By JULIE WATSON | Associated Press – 46 mins ago

CAMP PENDLETON, California (AP) — Military prosecutors worked for more than six years to bring [31-year-old] Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich to trial on manslaughter charges that could have sent him away to prison for life.

But only weeks after the long-awaited trial started, they offered Wuterich a deal that stopped the proceedings and could mean little to no jail time for the squad leader who ordered his men to "shoot first, ask questions later," resulting in one of the Iraq War's worst attacks on civilians by U.S. troops.

[Wuterich] pleaded guilty Monday to negligent dereliction of duty for leading the squad that killed 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha in 2005 during raids after a roadside bomb exploded, killing a fellow Marine and wounding two others.

Wuterich, who was indicted in 19 of the 24 deaths, now faces no more than three months in confinement.

Full story: http://news.yahoo.com/marine-faces-3-months-brig-iraqi-deaths-081536305.html
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I’ve one observation: U.S. and Iraqi procedural rules most likely substantially differ. If, after serving whatever minimum time (if any) to which he is sentenced under the UCMJ, Wuterich were to be extradited to Iraq at the request of the government of Iraq, this intentional manslaughterer might actually be served up a portion of justice in the country in which he orchestrated injustice.


Last edited by RockOnBrother on Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Marine faces 3 months in brig for Iraqi deaths: has justice been served?

Post by astra on Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:17 pm

after a roadside bomb exploded, killing a fellow Marine and wounding two others.


I would think that the circumstances in the above quote, can be percieved as a "Character Forming Event" with millions of permutations instantly flying through the squad leader's mind!


For these events to be chewed over in the cool, calm, quiet (except for the airconditioning) dust free environment of a military camp 4,000 miles from the event AND 7 years later, seems to me a gross indifference to the injured and killed soldiers, who will also be under the microscope of complicity in the event.
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Re: Marine faces 3 months in brig for Iraqi deaths: has justice been served?

Post by ROB on Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:52 am


Thank you, Astra, for bringing up another point of view.
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Re: Marine faces 3 months in brig for Iraqi deaths: has justice been served?

Post by ROB on Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:44 pm


More comments? Should Americans try their own when a crime has been committed in another country?
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Re: Marine faces 3 months in brig for Iraqi deaths: has justice been served?

Post by astra on Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:42 pm

Who says it's a crime?

Were the civilians being MADE to threaten the troops by insurgents at their backs? - in which case, the insurgents who planted the bomb are culpable on BOTH counts!
Were the citizens hostile after the bomb detonated without help from anyone?

US forces are finding the uncomfortable situation that our boys had/still have in Ulster, with desk pilots, lawyers and judges and media all swimming round, suiting themselves and muddying the waters. The dead and injured soldiers are the last objects on their minds. That is all the soldier becomes, an object!
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Re: Marine faces 3 months in brig for Iraqi deaths: has justice been served?

Post by Shirina on Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:47 pm

More comments? Should Americans try their own when a crime has been committed in another country?
Our Constitution, theoretically, has to allow us to try our own, and here's why:

The Constitution grants every American citizen the inalienable right to things like a fair trial, facing his accuser, a trial by jury, and freedom from cruel and unusual punishments. Those rights do not end at the US border. An American citizen is an American citizen regardless of where that person happens to be and therefore his rights also still apply. Thus it becomes America's responsibility to enforce those rights for its own people regardless of where the crime was committed. Now, if the foreign nation in question does not have a history of human rights violations, does not practice torture, have "gulags," and has a relatively fair legal system, then it is far more likely that America will not contest a trial conducted by the local authorities.

This, to some, may seem unfair or that America is throwing its weight around by interfering in another nation's set of laws. However, as an American citizen, I can only say that I rest in the knowledge that, should I ever be taken prisoner in a foreign land with a penal code that violates my human rights, my country will fight tooth and nail to get me out of there.

Just yesterday, a Navy SEAL team rescued two hostages in Somalia. One was Dutch, the other American. For just two people, one of whom was not even an American, the United States sent its best men to ensure that our inalienable human rights, so immortalized in the US Constitution, are not denied to us regardless of the soil upon which we stand.
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Re: Marine faces 3 months in brig for Iraqi deaths: has justice been served?

Post by Ivan on Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:57 pm

freedom from cruel and unusual punishments
....which, until quite recently, included being gassed or fried. How did that equate with the US Constitution?

And isn't any judicial murder both 'cruel' (the wait - frequently 20 years - and the anticipation) and 'unusual' (because the culprit doesn't know what, if anything, awaits him or her after death)?
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Re: Marine faces 3 months in brig for Iraqi deaths: has justice been served?

Post by astra on Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:04 pm

Ivan,

I would not mind so much the Americans taking care of things here

We cannot get the same reciprocation from them!
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Re: Marine faces 3 months in brig for Iraqi deaths: has justice been served?

Post by Shirina on Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:24 pm

And isn't any judicial murder both 'cruel' (the wait - frequently 20 years - and the anticipation) and 'unusual' (because the culprit doesn't know what, if anything, awaits him or her after death)?
Very few people ever receive the death sentence. It exists, certainly, but it is seldom used. I would also point out that there is a difference between being executed for committing a brutal murder and being snatched off the street and accused of being a spy - tortured and THEN executed after making a forced confession. Or having your head slowly sawed off with a machete in front of a video camera. Or having your burned bodies hung from a bridge, etc.

No legal system is perfect and ours is no less flawed. But do I fear the police? Do I cringe at the thought of being snatched, stuffed into an unmarked vehicle and whisked off to face espionage charges simply because I'm a wee bit darker or speak with an accent? Do I wonder if my trial will be fair ... or will it simply be a show trial? Not in this country, and I think that makes a huge difference in what I'm talking about. Yeah, the death penalty can be seen as "cruel" to other countries, and the debate over it still rages among our own people, as well. But I know I won't be caned for a misdemeanor like tossing an egg at a car (Indonesia), or have my arm run over repeatedly by a truck for stealing (India, Pakistan, among others), or be flogged 40 times for being seen in public with a male (Saudi Arabia) or be tossed into a hole and left to rot (Mexico, South America), or be beheaded or stoned to death for falling in love with the wrong person (Pakistan, Kurdistan, etc.) or be incinerated for being a Christian (Sudan, Congo, etc.).
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Re: Marine faces 3 months in brig for Iraqi deaths: has justice been served?

Post by Ivan on Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:07 pm

Very few people ever receive the death sentence.
I suppose in a population of 300 million, the facts that (a) there were 318 people on death row in Texas last year, and (b) 109 others were executed there between 2006 and 2010, does seem like "a few". I know that Texas carries out more executions than any other state, but about 36 of the 50 have the death penalty.
http://www.txexecutions.org/stats.asp

No legal system is perfect
And that's the best possible argument for the abolition of the death penalty in the only country in the Western world which uses it. The recent judicial murder of Troy Davis in Georgia, with so much doubt about the guilt of a man who had already spent more than twenty years in prison, was sickening. As always, wealth is likely to figure in the justice, whereby poor people won't be able to afford the best lawyers when their lives on the line. I somehow doubt that O.J.Simpson would have received the death penalty for two murders, even if the forensic evidence hadn't been compromised.
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Re: Marine faces 3 months in brig for Iraqi deaths: has justice been served?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:30 pm

I think it unlikely that anyone other than the people involved have accurate and detailed knowledge of what really happened. There is never any excuse for shooting unarmed civilians but there is usually an explanation.

Armchair Juries are not qualified to pass judgment based on Media reports, which are likely to be rewritten versions of official propaganda.

Why hasn't the entire Bush administration been put on trial for the crime of Guantanamo? There's no dispute about Human Rights violations which happened there.
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Re: Marine faces 3 months in brig for Iraqi deaths: has justice been served?

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