Sunday, March 7, 2010

SOS (Save Our SEALs)--Part 4

While we sit comfortably at home, the Navy SEALs are in faraway places, risking their lives in deserts, jungles and other very hostile terrain. They are among the toughest, bravest and most highly-trained of our advance strike forces. They are the ones who go in before the battlefields are cleared, and put themselves right in the middle of enemy territory.

But the politicians on the left and the political army officers want these heroes to behave like guests at a ladies tea party. They expect stressed military men and women to treat vicious, murderous terrorists as civilized guests. They expect these warriors to behave like Andy Griffith picking up the humorous town drunk for disturbing the peace in Mayberry. That is unrealistic, dangerous, and an insult to the men and women who have to deal on a daily basis with some of the most inhumane thugs in human history. Thugs who murder civilians, drag their bodies through the streets, set them on fire, and hang them from bridges over the rivers of Islamistan.

For those of you who are unlikely newcomers to the current controversy over the trial of three Navy SEALs, you can bring yourself up to date by reading the three previous posts on this subject. Go to Next They Came for the Frontline Fighters; Rush To Judgment; and Navy Seals on Trial Part 3. The links are in chronological order from oldest to newest so you can get a feel for how this travesty has been developing.

The public is not taking this lying down. Congressmen have sent official letters to military commanders and the Justice Department demanding answers to why these brave men are being prosecuted for what at worst is a "roughing up" of a hostile and combative detainee. And they largely have only the "victim's" word for it. The prosecutors have tried to change the emphasis from the alleged act to the horror of two of the defendants having "lied about it, and having attempted to cover it up." Wow, that should bring down the entire military structure (or not). The prosecutors have cleverly scheduled the trials so that the two SEALs who are charged with making false reports come first, in hopes that they will get a conviction against the remaining SEAL who allegedly tried to bully them into denying that he did anything wrong. Imagine that. Three warriors, confronted by a vile murderer in a fluid and ever-changing environment, having slightly different versions of how the terrorist was handled.

Now, some members of Congress have collected in excess of 150,000 signatures from American citizens who want the Pentagon to drop the charges against the SEALs. The first two trials are currently set for April, with the trial of SEAL petty officer Matthew McCabe set for May. Says Congressman Dan Burton (D-Indiana): "They should not be court-martialed but hailed as heroes for doing their job. What kind of message does this send to people who lay their lives on the line every single day?" Congressman Dana Rohrbacher (R-California) collected 35,000 for his efforts in just one state, and Burton, working with Human Events magazine collected 118,155 signatures on a separate petition.

The two petitions, along with any others collected in the interim, are being sent to Major General Charles T. Cleveland who is the commanding general at Special Operations Command Central. They are also being sent to Admiral Gary Roughed, who is chief of Naval Operations. Cleveland is the general who made the final decision to put the SEALs on trial. His excuse is that the three could have taken "lesser punishment" offered to them after the incident, but made their own choice to demand court-martials. The "minor punishment" would have required the three to admit they did something seriously wrong, and would have been the end of their military careers, separating them from the service dishonorably. Three honorable men saw this as the coward's way out. Whatever else these men may be, they are definitely not cowards.

The petitions were the documentary part of a large rally on Capitol Hill in support of the SEALs. Petty Officer McCabe attended, but did not speak. McCabe is charged with allegedly punching the terrorist in the stomach, with dereliction of duty for failing to protect the terrorist (I love that one), and with making a false statement. The only physical evidence of any of this is the terrorist later showing his cut lip to personnel who were not present at the alleged violation. Unless this scumbag has a very large lip, that's nowhere near the stomach. As far as I'm concerned, McCabe should get a medal for not beating this subhuman half to death, but I'm not the least bit convinced that he laid a hand on him at all. The terrorists have taken a page out of the handbook of our domestic thugs. When caught red-handed, scream "police brutality." It's now a chapter in the Al Qaeda handbook.

If every word the terrorist said were absolutely true, given the situation and the location in Iraq where he was being detained, the SEALs should have been sent to the woodshed, gotten some kind of unpleasant duty, perhaps a loss of pay, and then been sent back to their regular duties. But they were offered instead the chance to commit career suicide and admit one of them had beaten a helpless prisoner while the other two helped him by lying about it. Some choice. So they chose the honorable course, however dangerous, of demanding a full court-martial.

At the same time, the terrorist who was instrumental in the cold-blooded murder of four American civilians is being given kid gloves treatment, and the process of putting him on trial for the murders hasn't even begun. If that's justice, I'm the Sheik of Araby. Sitting in his cushy office, General Cleveland is making abstract arguments and moral issues out of a case that can only be seen in terms of constantly endangered fighting men on a foreign battlefield who were confronted by a vile murderer who objected to being put into a jail cell. I am not willing to concede that any of the evidence we've been allowed to see so far proves criminal wrongdoing, or wrongdoing of any kind. But if every single charge is proved beyond a reasonable doubt, what is the gravamen of the harm? Not bloody much. While the terrorist sits in jail, getting proper Muslim meals, a prayer rug, a Koran untouched by infidel hands, and a complete lack of any threat to his well-being, three heroes face ruin.

In the civilian sector, we would call this overzealous prosecution. Philosophers speak of justice tempered with mercy. Yet terrorists get the royal treatment while heroes watch their lives go down the drain. The ACLU has joined with General Cleveland in blaming the SEALs for creating this situation by demanding a military tribunal instead of slitting their own throats. This is the same ACLU that sees nothing wrong with Mumia Abu Jamal murdering a police officer by shooting him in the back. After all, the cop stopped Jamal's brother for a traffic violation and who wouldn't want to kill the cop? But Jamal didn't get the death penalty for demanding a trial. He got the death penalty for being proven guilty as hell. He could have accepted a plea deal for life in prison. Jamal didn't see that as a good enough choice.

Isn't Jamal responsible for his own fate? Well, not according to ACLU double-think. Rather than risk prison for life, he chose to go to trial. He must have been coerced. He must have seen no viable alternative to pleading not guilty. His ultimate death penalty resulted from making that choice. Yet with all the conclusive evidence against Jamal, the ACLU and other leftist "civil libertarians" want Jamal to walk scot-free. Jamal was given an unreasonable choice, or so says the ACLU. It's only evil military men who bring on their own problems by making a decision not to cave in to pressure to plead guilty to what is a crime equivalent to spitting on the sidewalk and choosing instead to defend their honor (something a Mumia Abu Jamal totally lacks).

McCabe's lawyer, for reasons not yet known, has chosen not to have McCabe face his accuser. But the other two have chosen to do so. So McCabe will be tried in Norfolk, Virginia. The remaining two SEALs will be tried in Iraq, where the terrorist will get his chance to score more points for Islamofascism. And that will require huge expenditures of our money to transport witnesses, evidence and lawyers to the foreign venue. If convicted on all charges, the SEALs will face the maximum penalty of one year in the brig, forfeiture of all or part of their pay, and a bad conduct discharge. They felt that it was worth the risk, particularly since the punishment is not much worse than what they were offered in the first place. Either alternative is outrageous, disproportional to the alleged offense, and counterproductive to the purposes of justice and military morale.

NOTE: The three previous articles were written before the outrage over the pending trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York City caused the scrubbing of the decision. They were also written before the most recent Obama/Holder rumor that the 9-11 terrorist masterminds might be tried in military tribunals, perhaps at Guantanamo.

20 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

Hawk, as I have said before, thanks so much for keeping on top of this. They (the seals) are very special people.

LawHawkSF said...

Tennessee: I'm glad to do it, I just wish it weren't necessary. This should never have happened in the first place.

Mike Kriskey said...

It's understood that if you lead police on a dangerous high-speed chase, or point a weapon at a cop, you'll very likely get handled roughly. It's not legal, but it's not outrageous, either. When you choose to put human beings into adrenaline-charged situations, things like this happen.

This case is no different, and the fact that these SEALs are being treated as criminals is just further evidence that the upper levels of America's military are full of sycophants, not soldiers.

LawHawkSF said...

Mike: Very well said. Every time a cop uses a club to subdue a violent criminal, the ACLU rushes to the cameras to scream police brutality. Rodney King was a perfect example, and a bit of a parallel. Three good cops went to prison and a career criminal got a few million dollars in civil damages in two purely political trials. That worked so well that now we're doing it to our military heroes.

AndrewPrice said...

I'm with Mike. I find it amazing how easily so many high ranking members of the military find it to change their most deeply held opinions to suit new administrations or committee chairmen.

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: That's why I refer to them as the "political generals." I can't comprehend it either. I always thought their loyalties were supposed to be to the Constitution. to their country, and to their men, not to sleazy politicians who come and go. I guess we're wrong.

Mike Kriskey said...

Other recent examples: gays in the military, women on submarines, and the notorious declaration that any loss in diversity would be more tragic than the Ft. Hood shootings.

These guys know what it takes to get promoted, and it ain't winning wars or looking out for their troops.

LawHawkSF said...

Mike: I guess I expect a little bit of public political-correctness, but this has gotten way out of hand. Only people far-removed from reality could possibly think that the military can be a microcosm of every crazy social experiment in the civilian arena and still continue to be effective.

LawHawkSF said...

I just heard that Adam Gadahn, the American Al Qaeda operative, has been arrested in Pakistan. He'll probably get better treatment if turned over to US authorities than the SEALs have gotten. Gadahn is an American citizen who joined jihad and reached a highly-visible position within Islamofascism as a propagandist for Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. If we get him, he's the best example of a traitor who needs to be hanged for treason that I've seen in my lifetime (and that includes the goofy "American Taliban).

LawHawkSF said...

NOTE: For those of you who don't remember who Adam Gadahn is, go to our December 17 article entitled "Obama Teaches Al Qaeda A Lesson, here.

HamiltonsGhost said...

Lawhawk--Do you think the public outcry will have any effect on this whole insult to the military? There was a serious turnaround in the terrorist trial position, but I wonder about this one.

LawHawkSF said...

HamiltonsGhost: I certainly hope so. The problem is that the government keeps trying to put this on the back burner to avoid the public anger, and it's a more specific issue than civilian trials for terrorists or health care. I think they're counting on this disappearing into the woodwork. That's why so many blogs, citizen groups, and Congress critters are trying so hard to keep the information in front of the public.

StanH said...

Unbelievable actions by our government in regards to these American heroes, thanks for the update Lawhawk, now I’m pissed.

I kind of hope dear Adam doesn’t make it back to the States where he’ll be surrounded with big mouthed ACLU lawyers. Maybe the Pakistanis will take care of him, and send him home in a box, POS!

LawHawkSF said...

StanH: I wish him a very happy hanging at the hands of the Pakistanis. It would be justice (which is sorely lacking here right now). I'm sure the creative lawyers in DOJ would find a way around trying him for treason. Even Tokyo Rose had a semi-lame excuse for what she did. This guy made every choice on his own, without coercion or necessity, to aid and abet the enemies of the Unites States.

CalFederalist said...

If they send Gadahn back in a box the way StanH suggested, the ACLU and CAIR will probably throw a big funeral for him with a memorial celebrating a great patriot, cut down in his prime for civil liberties.

LawHawkSF said...

CalFed: And while they're at it, they'll demand the Obama administration punish Pakistan for doing what we should have been doing. There's nothing so bad that these leftists can't make worse.

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

I want these guys re-instated. I think and hope that the people who see the evidence, come to that conclusion. It isn't going to come from the Pentagon though.

LawHawkSF said...

Joel: I am completely with you. I doubt the Pentagon would do much without prodding from the administration (which just might happen if the protests get big enough). I don't think these young men should have had to go through any of this, but remember how many political trials the political generals have put on so far. They've almost unanimously failed. Abu Ghraib was about the only success, and the convictions were deserved, but much less than what the Pentagon wanted. There's a very good chance that the same thing will happen here (and they no longer have Murtha to grab headlines and insult our heroes). But that doesn't change the fact that it never should have happened in the first place.

Writer X said...

If only the Justice Dept., and ultimately this administration, viewed terrorists the same way they view the Navy Seals. Because this story has grown, no wonder it's rarely mentioned in any MSM outlets. Thanks for continuing to write about it, LawHawk.

LawHawkSF said...

MONDAY MORNING UPDATE: It appears that once again "Azzam the American" Adam Gadahn was not the operative captured in Pakistan. Someone with a similar look and American background was the one actually caught. This guy is very slippery, and has avoided death or capture on numerous occasions. But it ain't over 'til it's over.

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