Thursday, January 7, 2010

Navy SEALs On Trial--Part 3

As of this writing, the trials of the Navy SEALs for possibly giving a terrorist a fat lip are scheduled to go forward, despite prosecution motions to continue them to a later date. The excuses and the weasel-words for this travesty are starting to flow from the politicians in and out of the military, but so far there's nothing to indicate that the situation should ever have gotten to this point.

I deliberately chose a picture which illustrates what the terrorists consider to be humane treatment. Note the two charred American bodies hanging from the bridge over the Euphrates. Those are two of the four American citizens who were tortured, incinerated and then hanged by the terrorists. While the Obama administration continues to offer all the benefits of a civilian trial to mass murderers, the SEALs will face the far more stringent requirements of a military court. The terrorists will have Miranda, press publicity, a forum for their propaganda, well-paid defense counsel (or ACLU lawyers making a name for themselves), the multitude of constitutional guarantees, the arcane and oft-misused rules of evidence, all the presumptions of innocence available to any ordinary criminal, and the many levels of appeals and years to pursue them. The SEALs will have their honor, and hopefully a fair tribunal.

The SEALs will not even get an all expenses paid trip to New York City, unlike Khalid Sheikh Muhammed, the man who planned the 9-11 attack on the same city. Heroes who put themselves in harm's way will be held to the strictest standards, while terrorist planners and murderers get a vacation in the Big Apple. Nothing that will damage national security or give an advantage to the defendants will come out at the military trials. The odds are very good that in Muhammed's trial, considerable evidence harmful to national security will make its way to the front page of The New York Times. And if top secret information is denied to Muhammed's defense, he has all the civilian rules of discovery available to him, as well as all the pretrial motions to dismiss the case entirely based on failure of the prosecution to produce records if they don't turn over highly-classified information. So far, the prosecution's case against the SEALs is built solely on the word of the alleged victim and the statements of one third-class master at arms who gave five totally conflicting statements to investigators. This type of "proof" would be very unlikely to make it past pretrial motions in a civilian court if pressed against a terrorist suspect. Something other than law is going on here.

Since my last two posts on the subject, we have now been treated to the words of Maj. General Charles T. Cleveland in defense of the indefensible prosecution of these three heroes: "While the assault and resulting injury to the detainee (Ahmed Hashim Abed) were relatively minor, the more disconcerting allegations are those related to the sailor's attempts to cover-up the incident. 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." You'll notice that Cleveland didn't even use the usual "alleged" when describing the alleged assault and resulting injury. The general owes no ethical or legal duty to a US Congressman to speculate on the guilt or innocence of military personnel, even when the request for comment came on official Congressional stationery (the inquiry came from US Representative Dan Burton, who should have known better).

Where to begin? Why is an Army general commenting about a pending trial of Navy SEALs (even though the detention facility was under his command)? Why is he making public statements in advance of trial which could prejudice the tribunal? How does he know that the SEALs "assaulted" the scumbag in the first place (we only have the terrorist's word for it, and the statements of a very confused, or lying, witness so far)? Is this general capable of distinguishing abuse from rough treatment in subduing a reluctant terrorist murderer who doesn't want to be imprisoned for his faithfulness to Islamofascism? Other than mouthing the leftist talking-points about rough treatment creating new hordes of terrorists, how does this general know that a cut lip will "ultimately cost the lives of U.S. citizens? Has it occurred to this general that the whole incident may be a phony (right out of the Al Qaeda handbook) and that the alleged cover-up was actually a fair representation of the truth? And finally, how long does this lapdog general think it will take for Obama to hand him a promotion for his sycophancy?

Maj. General Cleveland must have studied at the same military school of politics (aka The Obama Promotion School of Military Politicization and Obfuscation) as General Casey. Cleveland's faux defense of military rectitude is on a par with Casey's reaction to the mass murders at Ft. Hood: “I’m concerned that this increased speculation could cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers. And I’ve asked our Army leaders to be on the lookout for that.” Genuine concern that some Islamofascist's feelings might get hurt combined with the ridiculous expectation that military personnel dealing with terrorists should be saints. In a war like no previous war, the political bigwigs in the military seem to think that murderous terrorists should be treated like American civilians getting a speeding ticket.

Meanwhile, the terrorist himself is basking in the surroundings of his politically-correct imprisonment. He is being treated with kid gloves. He gets a proper Muslim diet. He has his prayer rug and his Koran. He is free to pray for the deaths of more infidels whenever he chooses. No trial has been set for his murders. Maybe they're deciding on whether a civilian trial in Miami or other more pleasant climes is less inhumane than facing the cold weather in New York City. The parents, families and friends of the murdered, burned and hanged Blackwater American civilians are still waiting for their day in court and justice for their dead loved ones.

To read my two prior posts on the subject, go here: SEALs 1 and here: SEALs 2.

17 comments:

StanH said...

Unbelievable, the blatant stupidity of the left. The damage to morale of our soldiers is un-measurable, our young heroes risking all for an unappreciative leftist government, sad indeed. Thanks for the post Lawhawk, but these are really hard to read without anger seeping in. God Bless the SEALs!

AndrewPrice said...

This whole thing is ridiculous. It's too bad they aren't as focused on getting the bad guys as they are on getting the good guys.

Writer X said...

I wonder if a trial will expose the hypocrisy in all of this. Most rationale-thinking Americans would be angry to see this circus.

DCAlleyKat said...

I am still of the opinion that what is going on here is the opportunity to turn our judicial system on its head/ Precedents are going to be set and in future will be used in trials against American citizens.

LawHawkSF said...

StanH: You are not alone in that feeling of anger. The article is considerably shorter than it would have been if I had left in all the obscenities that ran through my mind while I was writing it.

CrispyRice said...

This really pisses me off, too. Grrrrr!

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: This whole thing is the result of the radicalization of the left during the Vietnam war. This is the first administration dedicated to carrying on the tradition of military-bashing begun back then. Sadly, it has infested the command level of the military, as evidenced by the attitudes of Casey and Cleveland. Though I doubt that either of them would be classified as leftists, each has fallen into the politicization of the military that the left so clearly desires. They are more like useful idiots than active supporters of the left's desire to humiliate our heroes. They actually think they're protecting the honor of the military. And we all know the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

LawHawkSF said...

WriterX: This debacle has already gotten more publicity than any of the political generals would have liked. They will try to keep as much of it under wraps as possible. They will only partially succeed. As I mentioned in my comment to Andrew, this kind of dangerous mistreatment of the military began with Vietnam, but we didn't have the internet then, and had only the MSM to rely on for information (and we know where they stood). This may very well blow up in their faces, but we'll have to stay on top of it throughout the proceedings. Remember how much publicity the early "horrors" of the behavior of our military were being published early in the Iraq War. Yet except for the hijinks at Abu Ghraib (for which proper punishment was administered), not a single serious charge has ever been proven. War crimes: Big headlines. Dismissal of all charges: Back page of third section. It's our job to see that what I believe will be the complete exoneration of the SEALs gets as much publicity as the kangaroo proceedings against them.

LawHawkSF said...

DCAlleyKat: I'm trying hard to maintain my optimism. If Obama and the leftists had been more successful on the domestic front, this could be one of the worst things to happen to our military since, well, ever. But more than half of the American people are now suspicious of every move of the administration. I think this site, and many, many others are calling attention to how the leftist politics have slipped over to our political generals and admirals, and the public doesn't like it. This will be a hard-fought battle, but I don't see it as going the way they planned it. We'll be finding out if the ancient and honorable tradition of military tribunals ignoring the wishes of their politicized and weak-willed commanders still lives on. So far, the record is nearly perfect. Every phony charge brought before the military courts has been dismissed or disproven since the anti-warrior campaign began several years back.

LawHawkSF said...

CrispyRice: We're supposed to call it "righteous indignation." LOL

patti said...

i feel it is treason to bring these seals to trial. it infuriates me beyond belief.

LawHawkSF said...

Patti: It does very much give aid and comfort to our enemies, at least from a philosophical point of view. But even the Bush administration couldn't find it in their legal hearts to prosecute John Walker Lindh ("the American Taliban") for treason. This "civilian criminal" view of terrorists and traitors has pervaded both parties, sad to say. So the likelihood of them going after one of their own seems very distant. But that doesn't mean it isn't true.

We must remember that the underlying fact here is that these idiots actually think they're protecting Americans by demonstrating to the Islamofascists that we will never allow even a hint of ill treatment for Muslim detainees. That will make them love and admire us, and stave off ill treatment by the primitives. These people live in a dreamworld, and they're turning it into a nightmare for the real warriors.

Tennessee Jed said...

Thanks for keeping on top of this one, Hawk. It makes you wonder why people are willing to serve their country in the military. I keep thinking back to Lone Survivor, and how those guys compromised their own safety because of concern over how they would be seen and treated by politicians and the military hating media

LawHawkSF said...

Tennessee: I think that part of it is my sadness that I never had the opportunity to serve in the armed forces (although my Marine Corps Colonel uncle and I were always close, and he understood my reasons. Today, he would probably be charged with cruelty for bayoneting Japanese soldiers on his way up the side of Suribachi instead of the field commission he actually earned that day). But we fight the battles we can fight, and I don't intend for us to lose this one. We'll stay on top of this until the bitter end.

HamiltonsGhost said...

Lawhawk--I'm glad you and the other conservative blogs are keeping this perversion of justice in front of the public. Throw enough light on it, and it should turn out all right.

LawHawkSF said...

HamiltonsGhost: I have more faith in the military justice system than I do in the political generals. With antimilitary "former Marines" like "show me the money" Murtha, and the political generals attempting to taint prosecutions over the past couple of years, the military courts have invariably told them to stick it. Let's pray that they do so in this one.

MegaTroll said...

This is such an outrage. Thanks for keeping track of this Lawhawk. You guys are like the MSM used to be -- when they had integrity.

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