The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Project: Bad Apples

Uh-oh. It looks like the investigation into the killing of civilians in Haditha (including several women and children) is going to be conducted along the lines of Abu Ghraib.

Pentagon investigations into the shooting deaths of Iraqi civilians are focused on about a dozen enlisted Marines and do not target their commanding officers, the lawyer for one of the officers said Tuesday.

The investigations of up to two dozen killings and whether Marines covered them up are focused on the troops who were in a four-vehicle convoy hit by a roadside bomb last Nov. 19 in the western Iraqi city of Haditha, attorney Paul Hackett said.

The highest-ranking Marine targeted by the investigations is a staff sergeant who led the convoy, said Hackett, a Marine reservist and Iraqi war veteran who last year narrowly lost a special election for a U.S. House seat in Ohio.

Unfortunately, this is totally in keeping with the prosecution of the war-- BushCo will do it their way. Period. When confronted with the ugly realities of torture and murder, they just throw a few peons to the wolves and keep at it.

Something that occurred to me while reading the piece was how trials were held after WWII. On one hand, the tribunals asserted that "I was just following orders" was not a valid defense. At the same time, they rejected pleas of "I didn't know what my troops were doing." The new committment to shielding anyone in authority from any sort of accountability is just the sort of thing that undermines our credibility in the rest of the world as a model of democracy. Just one more thing we definitely don't need three more years of.

Also, hooray for Paul Hackett. He seems to have become pretty disillusioned with party politics, but it's good to see that he's out there trying to make a difference.