I'm not finding anything else new this morning. It does, in fact, seem that three SEALs will go before a court marital in January to face charges and possibly be kicked out of the military. Incredible.
By now you've seen the report, but here's a snip, just in case, from Fox News:
You remember the murder of those Blackwater guards? They were killed, burned, dragged through the streets and hung from a bridge while a mob danced around them and the press took pictures.
Navy SEALs have secretly captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq — the alleged mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah in 2004. And three of the SEALs who captured him are now facing criminal charges, sources told FoxNews.com.
The three, all members of the Navy’s elite commando unit, have refused non-judicial punishment — called an admiral’s mast — and have requested a trial by court-martial.
Ahmed Hashim Abed, whom the military code-named “Objective Amber,” told investigators he was punched by his captors — and he had the bloody lip to prove it.
Now, instead of being lauded for bringing to justice a high-value target, three of the SEAL commandos, all enlisted, face assault charges and have retained lawyers.
How long before Abed gets a trial in New York?
I'm reminded once again of Marcus Luttrell and the agonizing decision he and his fellow SEALs had to make on the side of that mountain in Afghanistan. Let the goatherds go, and risk being exposed, or kill them and risk being tried and convicted in the US media?
His buddy, Matthew Axelson said, " We're not murderers. No matter what we do. We're on active duty behind enemy lines, sent here by our senior commanders. We have a right to do everything we can to save our own lives. The military decision is obvious. To turn them loose would be wrong."
While the SEALs capturing this Abed were not necessarily facing the same life and death decision, they probably could have just as easily shot the guy and been done with it, but instead, like Luttrell and his team, decided to put their faith in the system.
Luttrell said in retrospect, after they decided to let the goatherds go, "It was the stupidest, most southern-fried, lamebrained decision I ever made in my life."
I wonder if that's what our SEALs are thinking now? That putting their faith in the system was not such a good idea. And how will this affect their decisions in the future? Why bring the guy in when all you're going to get is a court martial? The alternatives to that would be to kill him on scene and make the case that you were defending yourself, or let him go, avoid the hassle and let him live to terrorize another day.
I'm guessing it's the hypersensitivity to abuse after Abu Ghraib and Club Gitmo that makes a fat lip worth a court martial. If that is the case, we're in for a world of troubles. In a battle zone, soldiers should not have to worry about such things. These guys did their job. Period. PERIOD!
(More at Memeorandum)