by Richard Raznikov Tuesday, 24 January 2012 05:19 RSN
Old-fashioned American values.
Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich led his squad on a killing rampage, kicking in doors, throwing grenades into homes, and machine-gunning everyone inside. Twenty-four died, including seven children.
Wuterich and three other Marines were nailed by a snitch and so had to face charges in the 2005 mass murder of innocent and unarmed Iraqis. Four others were part of a cover-up. Six had their charges dropped. The seventh was acquitted. Guess it only made sense that the prosecution cut a deal with the sergeant, dropping all charges except one, dereliction of duty. Wuterich is pleading guilty to that and faces a maximum of three months in the brig. Ordering pizza, no doubt.
The defendants got away with it due to what were described as ‘errors’ and problems with inconsistent testimony in the prosecution. Sure. Bet everyone had a nice laugh.
Support the troops, my ass.
On the other hand, Bradley Manning saw video of a helicopter crew shooting down a dozen unarmed people in the street, including a Reuters cameraman, and reveling in it. So appalled was he that he decided to leak it, and about a million other documents, to the internet. For exposing murder and a stunning range of lies and betrayals, Manning has spent nineteen months in military custody, most of it in solitary confinement. He faces life in prison.
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Neal Puckett, one of Wuterich’s lawyers, told the press that his client, in accepting the plea bargain, “thought it was the right and honorable thing to do.”
I’m so proud to be a member of the bar.
Meanwhile, the circumstances of Manning’s imprisonment, including being forced to stand naked, sleep deprivation, radical changes in temperature, and solitary confinement, were obviously designed to torture and break him down. The particulars have been condemned by international agencies and legal scholars, a fact you are not likely to see on network news. Might interfere with your enjoyment of the latest American Idol which, as I understand it, was held on the deck of an aircraft carrier.
This country is sick, sick to the core. Anyone who doesn’t recognize that is obviously too drugged or drunk to get out of bed. That’s okay, we can deliver your absentee ballot in person so you can help re-elect the President.
Hard to say what will become of Bradley Manning, an American hero. As to solitary confinement, in case that doesn’t sound so bad, I offer the words of Charles Dickens, visiting the U.S. in 1842 and observing this form of incarceration:
I believe that very few men are capable of estimating the immense amount of torture and agony which this dreadful punishment inflicts upon the sufferers. . . . I hold this slow and daily tampering with the mysteries of the brain, to be immeasurably worse than any torture of the body: and because its ghastly signs and tokens are not so palpable to the eye and sense of touch as scars upon the flesh; because its wounds are not upon the surface, and it extorts few cries that human ears can hear; therefore I the more denounce it, as a secret punishment which slumbering humanity is not roused up to stay.
Slumbering humanity, in America that pretty much sums it up.