Did these Marines deserver harsher treatment? Were three of them innocent? I have no idea, but the US in future has no right to condemn others for whitewashing, torturing, invading, ignoring the Geneva Convention, kidnapping, etc.
This administration has set such horrid precedents it will take years if not decades to get the US back to anything remotely resembling moral authority.
In recent months, the senior Marine commander on the West Coast has dismissed charges against three Marines implicated in the deaths of 24 Iraqis and reduced the sentences of three others in the kidnapping and killing of an Iraqi man.
Lt. Gen. James Mattis' actions in two of the war's highest-profile criminal cases underscore one of the wild cards in the military justice system: the sweeping powers of a commanding general to decide the fate of those accused of war crimes.
Mattis, who commands the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, decided who was charged, who got immunity, who will stand trial and, in the case of convictions, whether clemency should be granted.
Wow, those powers sound hauntingly similar to the powers Bush has assumed. I guess Bush felt envious.
Now correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me there is no such thing as "war crimes" for the US military if commanding officers can grant immunity. Am I missing something here? Is Bush, as commander in chief, capable of granting immunity to anyone
below him? Why didn't Hitler think of this?
Labels: Bush administration, Gen James Mattis, Marines