Another victory in winning hearts and minds: 5 GI's accused of rape and murder

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13630952/

I know, I know, presumption of innocence. Let’s not convict them without the facts. That’s normally true but in this case we have a confession:

I know everyone’s going to say it’s an isolated case, it happens in every war, it’s a few bad apples, etc. What a coincidence, though, that five guys capable of a crime like this all happened to find themselves together in one platoon. Sure, these guys, if guilty (and it looks like they are), will buy a lot of time at Leavenworth. The Military and civilian leadership will condememn it. Obviously, not many soldiers are like this. All that stuff is true. But is any of that really going to matter to the Iraqi people? How much other shit like this has happened that we don’t know about?

If these allegations are true, would I be an asshole if I said I’m not that sorry that two of these guys got smoked?

I wonder if they were kidnapped and killed in direct retaliation for the alleged rape and murder. If so, that’s the kind of frontier/gangland style justice that I think more than a few people in the U.S. could get right behind.

It happens in every war - if you want to make a freedom omlette you need to rape a few brown eggs.

Besides, I’m sure they were all terrorist sympathisers - as we’ve been educated here on the SDMB every person killed by US forces is by definition a terrorist sympathiser.

-Joe

I don’t think so. The thought crossed my mind as well. Sure, no one deserves to die like that, but no one deserves to be raped and murdered.

From the quote in the OP, it is unclear if the two slain soldiers were in anyway involved in the crime, or if they were just unfortunate enough to be in the same unit as the accused. That their fate was the result of retaliation is certainly within the realm of possibilities. To think perhaps they deserved it is a bit of a jump in light of not knowing if they were members of the alledged five.

If found guilty, could the accused soldiers get the firing squad for this? What’s the UCMJ have to say on the subject of kidnapping, rape, and mass murder?

Cmon, they were just having a bit of fun.

Under the UCMJ such crimes are punishable by death or other such punishment as precribed by the court martial panel.

Good point. It appears that I misunderstood the story as claiming that the two slain soldiers were part of the alleged group of five but it seems they were merely from the same regiment. The story also says that four other soldier besides the one who has allegedly confessed have had their weapons taken away and been confined. That would seem to indicate that all five of the alleged perps are still alive. I hereby rescind my remarks about the two who were kidnapped and killed.

I AM kind of curious about this:

I wonder if these two soldiers are people other than the five alleged to have committed the crimes. I think at least one of them has to be because then there woukd be two confessors instead of one.

If there’s a confession PLUS accusations from two uninvolved soldiers within the same regiment, that looks pretty bad for the accused, especially if the forensic evidence supports what’s being alleged.

I guess you’ve changed your mind, Diogenes. When we were discussing the fairness of the West Memphis Three’s trial and conviction, you didn’t place a lot of stock in the confession of one of the accused three.

Now, you seem to place a great deal of stock in this confession.

What changed?

Yeah, boys will be boys.

From what little we have, it seems as though the soldier’s confession was voluntary. In the WM3 case, the kid was held for twelve hours until he changed his testimony to fit the facts.

This guy’s not a mentally retarded teenager who had to be worked for hours and spoonfed his “confession,” for one thing (on the videotape the WM3 kid kept getting the facts wrong and having to be “corrected”).

This soldier came forward on his own, for another.

His confession is apperently being corroborated by others in the regiment for another.

This is a stupid comparison.

No way I’m ever having breakfast at your house.

Bricker, sometimes you’re so interesting and have extremely relevant things to say. But why do you spend so much time trying (and clumsily failing) to play gotcha? I’m not even particularly fond of Diogenes but there’s nothing inconsistent in his position, based on everything I’ve heard about this current outrage.

Do stories like this bother you? Because they bother me. A lot. Do you have an opinion about it? Or are you just here to point out some imagined inconsistency in Diogenes’ opinions because he doesn’t share your politics?

You’re much more interesting when you stick to matters of substance.

I believe that the coalition invasion did make the world a better place. I believe that Saddam’s Iraq, with plastic shredders, Uday and Qusay, and gassing of Kurds was a far worse place than even the current giant scary mess.

I also believe that pulling out early, no matter how far away a stable Iraq seems at this point, is worse than staying another 2,3 or more years.

In addition, I believe that some of the criticism of the war effort has lost rationality, and has degenerated into an anti-Bush free-for-all.

But this story bothers the hell out of me. If this went down as it currently seems, we have lost a lot of credibility. No matter how good the initial intentions may have been, the difference between WWII style Nazi occupation and this one is starting to get smaller. There have now been a few too many “isolated incidents”.

Pulling out is looking better and better. Split the country into three parts, and get out.

Cops who do contract killings, and soldiers who rape and kill while armed and uniformed rate the death penalty. The uniform and attached authority demands being held to a higher standard.

Fine, be a prude! Dinner, dancing, and enough alcohol to kill and old elephant bachelor…but no, you just don’t like the way I cook breakfast and now you’re cutting me off?

Frigid! Fri-gid!

-Joe

Probably, but you’d certainly be a hypocrite.

Gotta cite for that?

How so? Let me guess, because I’m against the death penalty? That means I have to feel bad if rapists and murderers get killed in a war?