In the eyes of James Mattis, there is apparently no premeditated act of violence against noncombatants that won't get wink and a nod.
And if you lie about it to cover it up, that'll be OK.
CAMP PENDLETON ---- The seventh of eight Marines jailed for the execution of an Iraqi man left the brig Friday afternoon, freed by a Camp Pendleton general.
Pvt. Robert Pennington walked free after Lt. Gen. James Mattis granted him clemency, slashing the remaining seven years off Pennington's eight-year sentence.
Pennington struck a lengthy plea deal earlier this year, admitting his role in a plot that left an Iraqi man dead on the side of a road in the rural village of Hamdania on April 26, 2006.
The general's decision in Pennington's case did not come as a surprise. This week, Mattis issued early releases for three men jailed in the case; four others have served their terms or were set free by juries earlier this summer.
The decision Friday left only one defendant in the Hamdania case behind bars: Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins, who crafted the plan and led his squad through its execution.
Last week, a jury convicted Hutchins of murder and handed him a 15-year prison sentence. Marine officials have said Mattis is considering whether to cut Hutchins' sentence as well.
He announced Thursday that he would drop charges against two of seven Marines accused in a separate case in which 24 Iraqis were killed in the town of Haditha.
According to testimony from court proceedings, the frustrated eight-man squad went after a suspected insurgent believed to be behind roadside bombings and attacks on U.S. troops. When they couldn't get to him, they grabbed and killed his neighbor.
It looks like the killbots involved in the Hamdania abduction-murder and the Haditha massacre will get essentially pardoned if convicted. I'm just glad that Mattis isn't in charge of the Mahmoudiya family rape-murder - he'd find a way to excuse that, too.
Keeping in mind the fact that the Brits aren't pleased with the excessive kill rate by "accident" by US forces in Afghanistan, it looks like "The Troops" that we are supposed to unquestionably support have gotten out of control.