Tuesday, June 20, 2006
American Troops Charged With Murder
I’m glad to see that our military is starting to take seriously.

WASHINGTON, June 19 — Three American soldiers suspected of killing three detainees in Iraq and then threatening a soldier with death if he reported the shootings have been charged with premeditated murder and obstructing justice, Army officials said Monday.

The accused soldiers, two enlisted men and a noncommissioned officer, also face charges of attempted murder, conspiracy and threatening in connection with the deaths of the three detainees on May 9, the Army's documents showed.

One Defense Department official said investigators had evidence that the soldiers had released the detainees deliberately before they were shot, apparently to have a pretext for killing them as they fled.

In Iraq on Monday, an Islamic militant group linked to Al Qaeda said it had captured two American soldiers listed as missing, but it offered no proof, and American military officials remained skeptical. The two soldiers disappeared Friday night in an ambush southwest of Baghdad, and the military has organized a force of 8,000 American and Iraqi troops to find them.

The three soldiers charged by the Army were identified as Staff Sgt. Raymond L. Girouard, Specialist William B. Hunsaker and Pfc. Corey R. Clagett. A conviction of murder under the Uniform Code of Military Justice can carry the death penalty. A conviction of attempted murder carries a maximum punishment of life in prison, as does a conviction of conspiracy. A conviction for wrongfully communicating a threat carries a maximum term of five years.

The victims remained unidentified and were listed on the charge sheets only as male detainees apparently of Middle Eastern descent.

Our military, like everything in the world, is bound to draw some crazy people. It is not the fault of our government, and it’s nice to see that there will be some accountability. We must show the world that these abuses are not tolerated, and this is the first step. Now, if we could just get the Malkins of this country to stop defending our troops in every case, even when they are obviously guilty - maybe then, the world will stop viewing us as the enemy.


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