Gary Myers acted for the defence by representing the U.S. soldiers in the My Lai incident, and in the Abu Graib cases, and will likely be part of the team defending those charged over the Haditha incident should members of the U.S. armed forces be charged with a crime. He recently gave an interview on Newsnight, a political programme on the BBC over here.
It’s possible that, come the following weeks, evidence will be such that charges for a crime(s) will be brought against some personnel; if that’s the case, it’s pretty likely also that a Pit thread will be devoted to some part of the affair. However, that is not what i’m pitting.
Here’s a transcript of a part of that interview*;
You don’t engage in atrocities? I’m sure we could work up a little list of atrocities the U.S. has been involved in, or that U.S. citizens had a hand in. The feeling that Americans are somehow much less likely than others to commit evil acts because they’re a “decent people” is disturbing; this is the man who worked in the My Lai and Abu Graib trials, and he doesn’t think Americans can commit atrocities? What the hell would he have to see to think they do?
And I know he’s their prospective defence lawyer, which means he’s going to stick to the facts and use bland or somewhat biased language, but “end up in a criminal setting”? That’s pushing the boundaries of “we can’t assume they did it” and into “if they did, it was fate, it was through circumstances outside their control” territory. Can anyone picture this being an adequate defence in court?
If what is said about the situation by others than the U.S. forces is true, then they put themselves into that situation. To suggest that they were helplessly struggling against the tides of fate again disgusts me. Responsiblity lies somewhere; if it occurred, it may be found to be the fault of the individual soldiers, their CO, their training, the policy makers, others besides, or more than one of those groups. But responsibility* does lie somewhere*.
Like I said, there’ll probably be thread in the Pit and GD about this in the future for a good while. Charges haven’t even been brought (yet?). But the starting position on this issue outlined by Mr. Myers really worries me, and he himself seems either incredibly shortsighted, an idiot, or a total jackass.
*Written up by me, so apologies for any mistakes, from here (click on “Watch the latest programme”, the interview is about 30 minutes into the video).