Sunday, June 18, 2006  

Irony is not dead,

but sure is wasted on certain people.
This from the North County Times (near Camp Pendleton)
OCEANSIDE ---- About 25 people demonstrated outside the main gate to Camp Pendleton on Saturday morning to protest the treatment of seven Marines and a Navy corpsman held in the base brig.

The troops are accused of killing a 52-year-old Iraqi man before they returned from Iraq in April. A Pendleton spokesman said the troops were being held in shackles. (snip)The troops are accused of kidnapping and murdering an unarmed Iraqi civilian, and then making it appear as if the Iraqi was armed. An attorney for one of the Marines said he expected them to be charged with murder this week.(snip)"These (supporters) are people who feel it's not right to shackle Marines," Walker said. "They are caged like animals when we don't even know what happened yet."

you can read the rest here
And in countless TV and radio interviews people objected to their incarceration, being confined to base, etc.

The incident being referred to is this one:
Knight Ridder identified the man as Hashim Ibrahim Awad.

Investigators have concluded U.S. Marines dragged the man from his house and shot him before placing the shovel and AK-47 next to his body, implicating him as an insurgent, the official told CNN.
(rest here
And, apparently, at least one Marine wife has objected to seeing her husband in chains.

Now, granted, the chain issue is a little disturbing, although sticking them in the brig and hancuffing them when they are moved has some civilian parallels.

They are, after all, being acccused of premeditated murder. In the civilian world, they would probably not be walking around, given the nature of the crime or the fact that with no real ties to the area, they would be considered flight risks.

Interestingly enough, neither the NCT, the protesters or their supporters are comparing the marines' incareration with this:
Marines in Iraq conducted mock executions of juvenile prisoners last year, burned and tortured other detainees with electrical shocks, and warned a Navy corpsman they would kill him if he treated any injured Iraqis, according to military documents made public Tuesday.

The latest revelations of prisoner abuse cases, obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union in a lawsuit against the government, involved previously unknown incidents in which 11 Marines were punished for abusing detainees. Military officials indicated that they had investigated 13 other cases, but deemed them unsubstantiated. Four investigations are pending.
(read the rest here)

We now know, of course, that detainee abuse was horrific and wide-spread. And we also know, that many of the people in Abu Ghraib were innocents, caught up in sweeps and that no charges were brought against them ever by the US. And then there's Guantanamo, a lovely resort, beloved of Amnesty International, a place AI calls "a legal black hole." After four years most of the inmates of Gitmo have not been charged with anything and have no hope of due process.

So, being thrown in the brig for something like pre-meditated murder in the US takes on a certain relativity when compared with the above cases.

Unless the marines would prefer to have their day in Iraqi court, in a country, where, as foreign soldiers, they are accused of kidnapping, killing amd covering up the murder of a national of that country.

Had any foreign soldier with no diplomatic immunity done that in the US, people would be calling for his head, and requesting that it be delivered in a box tied with a red, white and blue ribbon.

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