Seizing a good opportunity to shut up

There’s an online petition here where people can express their support for the US Marine who was videotaped shooting a wounded insurgent in Fallujah. At last count, it’s just shy of 250,000 names of people who think the Marine in question, who has been removed from combat pending an investigation, should either be returned to his unit or honorably discharged.

I’m not going to sign it, and I’d recommend others not, either. The whole action is aimed at Congress, and to me that smacks of interfering. There’s an old joke that “military justice” is to real justice as “military music” is to real music, but the military actually has a pretty good record of late in dealing with allegations of misconduct in the ranks. They’ve convicted several of the perpetrators of the Abu Ghraib idiocy, and the Muslim Green Beret who killed his superiors is looking to get either life or death. They apparently did screw up the case of Captain Yee, who was accused of helping detainees in Guantanamo, but overall I think they’ve done well enough to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Besides, the integrity of the system is vitally important. We have to show the world and ourselves that no one is above the law, and we need to spell out exactly what this Marine did and why (in my opinion, along with many others) it was not only acceptable, but laudable. But we shouldn’t toss out the system before it has a chance to do the right thing on its own.

J.

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28 Comments

  1. -S- November 26, 2004
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