Via Acidman, I discovered this story of an American sniper in Iraq, who scored what just may be a world record for the longest confirmed kill with a sniper rifle. Army Staff Sargeant Jim Gilliland of Alabama shot and killed an Iraqi insurgent from about three-quarters of a mile away — about 25% beyond his scope’s rated effectiveness.
Buried in the story, however, is a very casual mention of a grotesque violation of the Geneva Conventions governing warfare. An admission that, by rights, ought to have protesters howling in the streets about the atrocity, denouncing the offenders and calling on grave sanctions for those who violate the rules of warfare. This should be front-page news around the world.
But for some reason, that hasn’t happened yet.
His quarry stood nonchalantly in the fourth-floor bay window of a hospital in battle-torn Ramadi, still clasping a long-barrelled Kalashnikov. Instinctively allowing for wind speed and bullet drop, Shadow’s commander aimed 12 feet high.
The “insurgent” was firing from a hospital — a severe violation of the Geneva conventions. Under those rules, the use of the hospital for combat purposes instantly nullified its sanctuary, and rendered the entire structure a legitimate target for attack. Had the United States responded by levelling the entire building, it would have been justified under international law. Instead, a single soldier took a one-in-a-million shot and ended the war crime by ending the war criminal.