Friday, June 17, 2005

Edits like whaaaaat

OK, so it's two weeks after I promised I'd rectify my previous stabs at how US soldiers were slapped on the wrist for some attacks and murders of Iraqis. The verdict that seems the most egregious is the acquittal of Ilario Pantani for shooting two men who had fled by car from US troops in the wake of US troops finding some arms at their house. After being captured and flex-cuffed, US troops had searched their car and found no arms. The two suspects, Hamaady Kareem and Tahah Ahmead Hanjil, were then uncuffed so that they could look in the car for further arms. After finding nothing, Pantani stated that the two men had "pivoted their bodies toward each other sumultaneously, while still speaking in muffled Arabic", according to this LA Times article of May 27. This suggested to Pantani that the men were about to attack him. OK, so what language were they supposed to speak in? They're in fucking Iraq, so it shouldn't be the biggest surprise that they're not speaking English!! And simply because they lean toward each other and speak in muffled tones they're about to attack you? Turning toward one another without weapsons is prohibited? They need to be shot 60 times? These men were not armed and were outnumbered. And yet the US troops are the ones on edge. (Hmmm....sounds a lot like the claims of cops in big cities. "Yeah, the man turned toward us with what appeared to be a gun. Oh, sorry, we shot him 30 times and it was only a wrench. My bad. Sorry about your future. It was a mistake. I'll um, buy you some good wine and wish you the best. My bad.) Pantani's military defender, Lt. Col. Mark Winn wrote that "prosecutors had not proved their charges in a case that was undermined by contradictory testimony." However, Winn also wrote that Pantani "should receive administrative punishment for 'desecrating' the men's bodies." Also, it turns out that Pantani "had disciplined a sergeant who testified against him." However, this statement is stuck right in the middle of the stories, up against a picture of this motherfucker so that the words are one or two a line and some are broken up. Surely an explanation of this action might have been warranted in the paper. Of course, Winn's recommendations for punishment of the man were rejected by the judge in the case, Maj. Gen. Richard Huck, commander of the second Marine division. I just don't see how those men's actions might warrant 60 shots, or even one. They have no weapons, they are outnumbered, they simply pivot their bodies toward each other and say something in their native tongue. The world is fucked.


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