OK

For background, please see Horace Boothroyd III's post from yesterday.

Per reporting in the Guardian, because of a plea bargain and the judge's consideration for him, Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich will be spared even a three month sentence and reduction in pay for ordering his troops to storm through a series of houses and "shoot first ask questions later," thus killing 24 unarmed Iraqi men, women and children.  Wuterich will be reduced in rank to private but serve no prison time after pleading guilty to a single count of negligent dereliction of duty.  The military judge, Lieutenant Colonel David Jones, also decided that Wuterich will not take an expected 2/3 cut in pay, out of consideration for Wuterich's need to support his three daughters.

Charges against all the others involved in the killings and their commanders were dropped, except that one soldier was tried and found not guilty of all wrongdoing.

All those involved in the killings have stated they see themselves as having acted properly, although Wuterich did claim at his trial to have sympathy for the families of those killed.

Brian Rooney, an attorney who represented a former defendant, said cases like Haditha are difficult to prosecute because a military jury is unlikely to question decisions made in combat unless wrongdoing is clear-cut and egregious, like rape.

"If it's a gray area, fog-of-war, you can't put yourself in a Marine's situation where he's legitimately trying to do the best he can," said Rooney, who represented Lietenant Colonel Jeffrey Chessani, the highest-ranking Marine charged in the case.

Of course, such considerations do not apply to any human being other than US soldiers and police.

Certainly, Omar Khadr, who was arrested at age 15 in Afghanistan where his father had taken him from Canada, then abused for years at the Guantanamo Gulag, and finally convicted in a kangaroo military tribunal after being offered the choice of either "confessing" or simply rotting forever without any trial at all, continues to sit in Guantanamo for allegedly "murdering" a professional US soldier during a drawn-out firefight during which US troops were also trying to kill him, and in fact wounded him seriously.

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