ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on January 14th, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Allen West On Marines Urinating On Dead Taliban

» by in: Afghanistan

I have to agree with Allen West here for the most part on how to punish these Marines depending on the facts of the Marine investigation:

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), a former Army lieutenant colonel, sends THE WEEKLY STANDARD an email commenting on the Marines’ video, and has given us permission to publish it.

“I have sat back and assessed the incident with the video of our Marines urinating on Taliban corpses. I do not recall any self-righteous indignation when our Delta snipers Shugart and Gordon had their bodies dragged through Mogadishu. Neither do I recall media outrage and condemnation of our Blackwater security contractors being killed, their bodies burned, and hung from a bridge in Fallujah.

“All these over-emotional pundits and armchair quarterbacks need to chill. Does anyone remember the two Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division who were beheaded and gutted in Iraq?

“The Marines were wrong. Give them a maximum punishment under field grade level Article 15 (non-judicial punishment), place a General Officer level letter of reprimand in their personnel file, and have them in full dress uniform stand before their Battalion, each personally apologize to God, Country, and Corps videotaped and conclude by singing the full US Marine Corps Hymn without a teleprompter.

“As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth, war is hell.”  [The Weekly Standard via reader tip]

Now let me add some caveats to this though, if these are civilians they killed then the punishment should be much more steeper just like the hit team from Ft. Lewis was tried for murder.  However, these Marines may have killed a cell of Taliban that had been planting IED’s that had killed a number of their fellow Marines, plus if these Marines were operating in a very tough place like Sangin where you get into contact nearly every day, but hardly ever see the enemy because they run away, these Marines may have gotten overexcited about finally killing these Taliban that had killed many of their buddies.  That is why I think it is important to let the Marines investigate this and determine what happened before beginning all the self righteous indignation that Rep. West brings up especially from people who have never served a day in combat in a place like Sangin.  Clearly what they did was wrong but I doubt a Field Grade Article 15 is what they will receive as Rep. West recommends.  I think they will be court martialed but this is not a Abu Graib scale crime so I doubt anyone will be locked up but their careers will likely be ended if they are even still in the Corps.

Tags: ,
- 1,640 views
61
  • Glans
    10:36 pm on January 14th, 2012 1

    A CNN commentator and the editor-in-chief of Big Journalism, Dana Loesch, says, “I’d drop trou and do it too.” James Crugnale of Mediaite inludes a link to Dana on her talk show.

  • tbonetylr
    10:48 pm on January 14th, 2012 2

    Nice try at justification of actions because we can sure count on any marine investigations. We know how the military treats honest peeps like Dr. Matthew Webb, an Army captain, trained at San Antonio.
    Boy, those dudes look tough, aye? Good thing the U.S. has peeps like that protecting citizens, aye! What little peni’s and streams of urine they have, those boys need to go back home and face reality without gov’s financial support. Let them fingur themselves out alone, they’re not likely going to admit to their faults anytime soon anyway. The local police will pick them up sooner or later.

  • tbonetylr
    10:51 pm on January 14th, 2012 3

    Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), a former Army lieutenant colonel, is a butt-hole. Who the hell does he think he is telling me to shut up. What a duece-bag :!:

  • tbonetylr
    11:11 pm on January 14th, 2012 4

    VFW’s often and wrongly let common citizens into their drunk-tards/facilities, selling them alchohol, and then later tell them to shut-up about the most itsy-bitsy of things. I say CLOSE ALL VFW’s to down-size the military. Those places are disgusting and an embarrassment, just watch how American personnel(alchoholics) act and the hypocritical shyte you here them say.

  • setnaffa
    11:18 pm on January 14th, 2012 5

    GI Korea, ALL of the Taliban are “civilians” so you might want to rephrase that as “unarmed civilians”…

  • setnaffa
    11:24 pm on January 14th, 2012 6

    tbonetylr is just a troll lately… and less imaginative than the folks defending Andre Fisher… :sad:

    Please try to stop acting like a victim. If the VFW folks have substance abuse issues, that’s on them. But you should shut up.

    The “-tard” comment marks you as at best crude…

  • tbonetylr
    1:03 am on January 15th, 2012 7

    #6,
    Yes, the American military is crude!
    I suggested how to fix(if you get the hint) and/or end things, about A. Fisher, you must be compused kinda like someone else that comments here.

  • tbonetylr
    1:14 am on January 15th, 2012 8

    #6 Setnaffa,
    Comparing me in anyway with the “tards” in the American military tells me something about yourself, kinda like how others blame honest people like Dr. Matthew Webb, an Army captain, trained at the San Antonio.

  • surprises aplenty
    4:28 am on January 15th, 2012 9

    I recently read on Boingboing this sentence: “A 19-year-old Marine has a very hard time reconciling the fact that it’s okay to waterboard a live Taliban fighter but not okay to urinate on a dead one.”

    I think the quote from West is misleading. Indignation and disgust over the actions of Somali guerrillas and the like is so widespread and uncontroversial as to not need mentioning. They are the ethically suspect ones.

    My quote above is meant to convey the fear that the US is losing it’s moral high ground and creating confusion in it’s own military.

  • Retired GI
    5:00 am on January 15th, 2012 10

    I can’t get upset about pissing of dead enemy bodies. Written Reprimand for all and move along.

    West for President in 2016.

  • ChickenHead
    7:43 am on January 15th, 2012 11

    When America fully encourages complete mockery and hatred of the enemy and unleashes total mental, physical, and emotional destruction upon them until they roll over and surrender unconditionally, America will start winning wars again.

    Until then, the gap between politicians who think negotiation and appeasement will solve everything and the grunts who have to fight with one arm tied will remain so large that America will neither be loved nor feared… and wars will drag on until America declares victory and slinks away.

    Either understand why they don’t want to embrace American values, accept it, and leave… or murder everyone who doesn’t get on the program and then piss on their bodies in public.

  • Julius
    8:26 am on January 15th, 2012 12

    You guys are morons. American value #1: we hold ourselves to a HIGHER STANDARD. Court-martial these sh-theads. This is a no brainer.

  • USFKisWasteofTaxDollars
    11:26 am on January 15th, 2012 13

    Oh we are shocked and appalled? Should have squatted over the scum and took a dump on them

  • Retired GI
    5:12 pm on January 15th, 2012 14

    12 Julius the only “no brainer” here is that you and SO many others don’t understand one thing; War is not an activity for “gentlemen”. The only “higher standard” is who inflicts the most pain and death on the other. Your comment is evidence of why the enemy views the Americans as WEAK.
    War is not and has never been an activity of who is right or wrong, good or bad. The ONLY “higher standard” is that you (we) do not kill those that drop their weapons and walk forward. That is the ONLY “higher standard” that ever should exist in war. With possibly dismemberment of enemy dead as a second. (that because it angers the enemy) UNLESS the enemy is America of course.
    America will simple ASK that they not do it again and ASK for the return of American bodies. No wonder our enemies see America as weak. Our leaders act the part quite well.
    I’m still pissed about Mogadishu. WE should have bombed the area FLAT. But Bill Clinton was AFRAID to offend anyone. So American dead were stripped and drug through the streets.

    At LEAST obama isn’t afraid to KILL. That is what war IS! Killing. If some bone headed Marines decided to take a piss on the dead bodies of those that were trying to kill them, only a few minutes before, I have no problem with it. I’m sure they knew that FAR WORSE would have happened to THEIR BODIES had they lost the fight.

    Bottom line is that if my thinking as I do makes me a “moron” then we NEED more Morons. People like you are the reason our enemies laugh at us (and dismember our soldiers, behead them, and KNOW they can get away with it.

    You are Weak Julius. Just like Clinton was. At least Obama will KILL.

  • Julius
    5:33 pm on January 15th, 2012 15

    Actually what bothers me is not the fact that they urinated on them but the fact that they videotaped it for all the world to see. You can’t expect to survive in this military while having no regard for second order effects.

    For some reason I get the impression that you didn’t make it very high up during your military career Retired GI. Thank you however for your service. There is always a place for people with minds like yours.

  • kcbill
    6:47 pm on January 15th, 2012 16

    Julius wrote:

    “For some reason I get the impression that you didn’t make it very high up during your military career Retired GI.”

    What do you mean by that exactly? Please explain.

  • Teadrinker
    6:55 pm on January 15th, 2012 17

    “each personally apologize to God,”

    Sheesh

    “My quote above is meant to convey the fear that the US is losing it’s moral high ground and creating confusion in it’s own military.”

    Let me play the devil’s advocate for a second…Well, some would argue that it’s already been lost. Some will point at how the US government sent terrorist suspects, many of which were innocent, to countries where they have a more relaxed attitude towards torture (namely Syria), while others will point at the children prisoners of Guantanamo Bay (and everything that takes place there) or the Abu Ghraib prison (and everything which took place).

  • kcbill
    6:57 pm on January 15th, 2012 18

    Regarding the story. At least Mr. West is consistent with his values.

    He retired from the Army when he was relieved of his battalion command due to an incident when interrogating Iraqi prisoners. He fired his pistol near the head of one of the prisoners. His punishment was relief and a GOMOR, if I remember correctly. In essence he is saying the same level of punishment should be called for in this situation. Give them an Article 15 thereby potentially ending their long term potential in the Profession of Arms (much like the GOMOR did to him) and call it a day.

    Whether he realizes it or not, he’s advocating the same spanks for all ranks.

  • OBIWAN
    1:34 am on January 16th, 2012 19

    Let’s just hope we don’t see videos on Al Jazeera showing our enemy pissing on our Servicemembers because of this. I can’t think of any reasoning to defend actions such as this, and I think time will tell that this did happen. In the Profession of Arms, a Nation is known by the strength of the Nations it has defeated. Asymetric Warfare is a difficult battle, and the enemy who fights that battle picks at our seams and pisses us off. The events surounding what appears to have been a tactical victory have turned into a strategic loss. Any Servicemember involved in actions such as this needs to be woken up. Obviously, they are not the professionals that our nation expects them to be.

  • Conway Eastwood
    2:13 am on January 16th, 2012 20

    Ain’t this the guy who tried to summarily execute a captured Iraqi policeman back in 2003?

  • USFKisWasteofTaxDollars
    4:00 am on January 16th, 2012 21

    No 19, I like the oxymoron, “picks at our seems and pisses us off” Ha Ha.

    Leave the moral high ground BS philosophy/arguments for the War College crowd. E4/5 Marines don’t attend that nonsense!

  • JoeC
    4:15 am on January 16th, 2012 22

    #21

    Here is something E4/5 Marines should attend to.

    We see in some of the Afghan War documentaries, like Restrepo, where our troops will sometimes get intel from Afghan villagers about Taliban positions and ambushes along their patrol. It could be that a villager who might have been inclined to give them such a warning decides not to after hearing about this video.

    It won’t be possible prove a cause to effect but it’s very possible that this can cost lives that might otherwise not have been lost.

  • kangaji
    5:27 am on January 16th, 2012 23

    #14: Retired GI solution to AFPAK?? ;-)

  • Teadrinker
    6:17 am on January 16th, 2012 24

    #18,20,

    So, the guy probably broke the Geneva Convention, which would make him a war criminal, and he not only finds a place in the Republican party, he actually manages to get elected? That’s fkt up.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    7:04 am on January 16th, 2012 25

    @12 – These Marines are being held to a higher standard by being punished. The Marines will do an investigation and figure out what happened and whatever UCMJ articles they violated they will be punished for. The way people are getting worked up over this and the way the media is running with it you would think Tim Tebow pissed on these guys.

    What I find interesting is this is getting more media attention and getting more people on their holier than thou soap box then a hit team going around murdering Afghan civilians.

    @22 – I was in southern Afghanistan during the aftermath of the hit team. That could have turned out bad but it was handled well by the military and ended up having little effect. Pissing on dead Taliban is nothing compared to the hit team. What has the greatest effect on tips from civilians is the security situation and the competence of local Afghan forces and government figures. Fear of reprisals and being shaked down by corrupt people working for the Afghan government is what will affect tips; pissing on dead Taliban will hardly register. Plus if this happened in Sangin they aren’t getting much tips anyway. Sangin is by far the worse place in southern Afghanistan when I left the country last year. Here is a video of what it is like in northern Helmand:

    http://militarytimes.com/blogs/battle-rattle/2011/12/06/video-16-marines-under-fire-in-kajaki-afghanistan/

    People just don’t realize how backwards the country is. Most Afghans in the country side have no electricity much less a TV to watch the talking heads on cable news discuss dead Taliban getting pissed on over and over again. They may have a radio. In a bigger city you will see dishes for satellite TV powered by diesel generators. Most Afghans in the villages will likely hear about it through the rumor mill or through their mosque. They have heard much more wild accusations from the Taliban about US soldiers then this. Plus the average villager doesn’t have time to dwell on this issue like we do on cable TV and the Internet.

    The bottom line is when you have hundreds of thousands of servicemembers rotating through a war zone there are always going to be a few who will do either stupid or criminal things. The Ft. Lewis hit team did something that was criminal and were sent to jail. These Marines from appearances since we don’t have all the facts yet appear to have done something stupid that is against standing regulations and will be punished for it.

  • Retired GI
    7:48 am on January 16th, 2012 26

    23 Kangaji, You seem to understand me well ;-) Darken the sky with a few B-17s and let it rain. A bit retro/WWII-ish. But we did win in THAT ONE.

    Perhaps we need a news blackout. I can hear the outrage about the failure at Normandy after day one.

    The only mistake here is the bonehead Marine that posted the video. I’m sure that will not be allowed to happen again. Inspecting packs and gear will be SOP now, if it wasn’t before.

  • Retired GI
    8:01 am on January 16th, 2012 27

    24 Teadrinker, West for President 2016. Whats focked up? He is a Soldier. He is a Repub. What’s your point?

    Clinton avoided the draft. A Dem.

    Obama IS good at ordering Drones to kill individuals.

    Who was the last Dem President to serve in the American Military? Doesn’t matter really. We are more concerned with voteing on Special Interest groups issues than National Issues anyway.

  • Steve
    8:35 am on January 16th, 2012 28

    No matter how you cut it, pissing on dead enemies undermines the COIN strategy and gives the enemy a recruitment tool.

    Punitive letters of reprimand all around, as well as for anyone higher up the CoC who knew of this but failed to act.

  • kangaji
    9:01 am on January 16th, 2012 29

    #27: Carter, submarine service. JIMMY FRIGGIN’ CARTER. I know.

  • kangaji
    9:14 am on January 16th, 2012 30

    #25: That’s REALLY good to know that it’s going to have little second and third tier effects within that area and that the hit team’s effects got mitigated as well.

  • Teadrinker
    9:36 am on January 16th, 2012 31

    “24 Teadrinker, West for President 2016. Whats focked up? He is a Soldier. He is a Repub. What’s your point?”

    My point is that one of the first things they thought me when I served in the military was the Geneva Convention. Now, if a guy who’s still doing his basic training knows that torturing prisoners is a war crime, and can quote the article (article number 3, by the way. Still remember the text nearly 20 years later), then this guy had no excuses. He knew what he was doing was wrong, and he didn’t care. Moral fiber? I guess Republicans tend to overlook major shortcomings as long as a candidate is likely to vote on bills along the party line.

  • Teadrinker
    9:37 am on January 16th, 2012 32

    Crap, I meant to write taught…Still comes out more logical than your argument.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    12:07 pm on January 16th, 2012 33

    What West did was wrong and he was relieved of command and lost his career over it, so I don’t know what Teadrinker is complaining about. I guess Teadrinker thinks he should be locked away for life and prevented from holding public office. It is interesting that the Teadrinker doesn’t show that much outrage when President Obama ordered the execution of three teenagers or ordering drone strikes in Pakistan killing even more people? Should he be prevented from holding office as well?

  • Retired GI
    2:18 pm on January 16th, 2012 34

    Teadrinker, as GI Korea stated, he was relieved. Good enough?

    As for the “moral fiber issue”; If I were your CO and you were on patrol. I had someone that I thought KNEW where and when you were going to be hit. I would fire a gun near his ear to scare the information out of him AND save your life, if I felt I needed too.

    I like his “moral fiber” myself. Need more like him. (you don’t know what “torture” is) But it is a nice word to throw around. It gets a rise out of the uninformed.

    Written Reprimands all around for the bone headed Marines. For being STUPID enough to record the event. That being said; I’ll buy them a round if we ever meet!

  • Retired GI
    2:30 pm on January 16th, 2012 35

    29, Must a bumped his head. So whats Obama’s excuse?

  • Julius
    3:06 pm on January 16th, 2012 36

    @25 – I didn’t say they weren’t getting punished (they obviously will) – I was just responding to some of the prior posters who were advocating slaps on the wrist. With the entire world watching at this point, you know that a slap on the wrist is just not going to happen.

    Here’s the thing with reprimands, even those filed in OMPFs, and Art. 15s – they don’t necessarily have the advancement blocking purpose that almost everyone in the military believes they do. First, if any of these fools is below E-5, the reprimand won’t affect his advancement and will get thrown out of his OMPF once he hits E-5. Second, even if they are NCOs by now, a reprimand or Art. 15 will not guarantee that the Soldier doesn’t get promoted the next time around. I’ve seen Soldiers with Art. 15s/reprimands in their OMPFs get promoted only to commit further misconduct too many times to believe that hype. To people with diminished learning capacities, like these guys, reprimands mean nothing. The only way to finish these guys’ careers is to chapter them with OTHs or UCMJ them, and that’s what’s going to happen. Just watch.

  • Chris In Dallas
    5:12 pm on January 16th, 2012 37

    I think we should follow the Canadian example when service members in a particular unit are naughty. That’s right, disband the Marine Corps!

  • Retired GI
    6:01 pm on January 16th, 2012 38

    WOW Julius! I mean WOW! So this is all about ENDING their careers! No second chance with YOU is there Buddy. Fock up once and you’re GONE.

    We don’t have to worry about down sizing with people like you in leadership Positions do we. :grin:

    You would kick someone out for missing curfew I would guess.

    “The only way to FINISH THESE GUYS CAREERS is to chapter them —”

    I knew an E-5 that was the VICTIM of your type of thinking. He had the smell of alcohol when he came thru the gate. He was gone. He was a good NCO. One mistake and GONE.

    No wonder we only have PC people in leadership positions. They are the only ones that can survive long enough to be promoted.

    What have we pointed out about the “leadership” in USFK, ROK-HEADS? Now you know the way of it.

    Written Reprimand and TEACH them. Not end their careers. Look it up Julius. It is called Leadership. You are thinking about the good ole CYA.

  • Ole Tanker
    7:07 pm on January 16th, 2012 39

    This is a very disturbing sign of our society! Desecration of enemy corpses is not only condoned..BUT ENCOURAGED!!!

    DEAD IS F#CKING DEAD!!! Pissing on on them does nothing. Except maybe puff up some over inflated macho egotism.

    I challenge anyone find one story..ONE STORY of any Medal of Honor winner deserating a corpse!!

    Oh, I recall now how the Nazies would make lamp shades out of Jew’s skin, and I recall Cav troopers in the old west making tobacco pouches out of Indian scrotums.

    Come on boys!! Man up!! Equal our forebearers in savagery!! :cool: :cool: :cool:

  • Retired GI
    8:28 pm on January 16th, 2012 40

    Desecration. Another word used to provoke emotion.

    I was wondering when someone would compare these idiots to the Nazies. Somehow I don’t think the Jews would agree.

    They might find it more offensive if we carried around viles of pig blood to splash on their dead. Wouldn’t bother americans as much as pissing on them seems too.

  • Ole Tanker
    8:42 pm on January 16th, 2012 41

    Just like taking scalps. A man’s way to fullfill his primal urge to declare he has vanquished his foe! “Uh huh who’s your daddy now..uh uhh…uh uhh…!!” :cool: :cool: :cool:

    When these guys get called up before a General Courts Martial, it will answer the question. “Who’s the man.”

    Who’s the formar Marine, convicted of “Failure to uphold the standards of the United States Marine Corp.”

    West (who I respect) is out of place trying to tell the “Corp” how to discipline their own. :cool: :cool:

  • ChickenHead
    10:32 pm on January 16th, 2012 42

    Blankets filled with smallpox? Indians attacks are WAY down.

    The bombing of Dresden? Not a single country has fallen to the Nazis in a long time.

    Atomic devastation? Japan has spent the last 60 years bowing and smiling and working hard to supply fat Americans with shiny-noisy playthings.

    Burn, rape, salt the fields, and sell the survivors into slavery? Carthaginian aggression never troubled anyone again.

    Worried about peeing on Taliban bodies? They, and those who know they can continue promoting the same culture and thinking, will be thorns in the global side for generations…

    …until someone admits to themselves that the only way to get rid of an infestation is through complete domination or extermination.

    The West needs to make a firm decision.

    Leave “them” alone or wage total war. There is little in the middle which will accomplish anything except the slow drain of treasure and morale.

    The routine treatment of unprovoked invasion, mistaken drone strikes, bombed wedding parties, and other assorted collateral damage… while making a big deal over soldiers peeing on the dead bodies of guys who had been trying to kill them moments before… is farcical.

    The enemy sees it. The victims see it. The home team politicians might… but pretend they don’t.

    You cannot hold these marines to some imaginary “higher standard”… because it doesn’t exist. There is nothing they can do which even remotely approaches the horrors of official American policy and practice.

    But, as horrible as it is, it is not horrible enough to win anything. It is just a slow decent into a self-created defeat… which might be rationalized into a tie, at best.

    For those who condemned the actions of the marines… mostly those safely behind a newsdesk or internet terminal… there should be some serious self-reflection about their views of the entire situation.

  • Teadrinker
    5:42 am on January 17th, 2012 43

    #33,
    What’s the minimum age to enlist in the US Armed Forces?

    As for the rest of your argument, “collateral damage” (I hate that term, it dehumanizes the victims) is horrible…but:

    “Under international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute, the death of civilians during an armed conflict, no matter how grave and regrettable, does not in itself constitute a war crime. International humanitarian law and the Rome Statute permit belligerents to carry out proportionate attacks against
    military objectives, even when it is known that some civilian deaths or injuries will occur. A crime occurs if there is an intentional attack directed against civilians (principle of distinction) (Article 8(2)(b)(i)) or an attack is launched on a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage (principle of proportionality) (Article 8(2)(b)(iv).”

    http://www2.icc-cpi.int/NR/rdonlyres/F596D08D-D810-43A2-99BB-B899B9C5BCD2/277422/OTP_letter_to_senders_re_Iraq_9_February_2006.pdf

    #34,

    You don’t get that the guy he tortured had no information to give because he was the wrong guy.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    6:55 am on January 17th, 2012 44

    @43 – What evidence do you have that Allen West intimidated the wrong guy? This would be breaking news if you have such information because this what the NY Times reported about the incident:

    In his letter, Senator Warner stated that one potential attacker was apprehended and potential ambush sites were identified and avoided as a result of Mr. Hamoodi’s interrogation. Colonel West notes that there were no further attacks on him or his men after the interrogation.

    But the record of his case is unclear on whether the Iraqi officer provided valuable information, and Mr. Hamoodi said in an interview that he did not, because he knew nothing. [New York Times]

    At best it is undetermined if Hamoodi was working with the insurgency. Regardless West shouldn’t have did what he did and was appropriately relieved of command and his career ended. You still haven’t explained why he should be prevented from holding public office? Unlike other politicians that have done things way, way worse then what West did he was held accountable and paid the consequences while others were not.

    Back to issue at hand, you are once again getting more outraged about pissing on dead Taliban then you are about blowing up civilians with drones or executing three teenagers. According to the Brookings institution the drone strikes are killing 10 civilians for every militant killed with most of the militants being low level Taliban:

    Killing terrorist leaders is difficult, is often ineffective, and can easily backfire. Yet it is one of the United States’ few options for managing the threat posed by al Qaeda from its base in tribal Pakistan. By some accounts, U.S. drone activity in Pakistan has killed dozens of lower-ranking and at least 10 mid- and high-ranking leaders from al Qaeda and the Taliban.

    Critics correctly find many problems with this program, most of all the number of civilian casualties the strikes have incurred. Sourcing on civilian deaths is weak and the numbers are often exaggerated, but more than 600 civilians are likely to have died from the attacks. That number suggests that for every militant killed, 10 or so civilians also died. [Brookings Institution]

    As far as the legality of the drone strikes some legal professors are arguing they are war crimes and the drone operators could actually face arrest if a Pakistan judge determines who they are and issues an arrest warrant:

    In a hearing Wednesday before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s national security and foreign affairs panel, several professors of national security law seemed open to that argument. But there are still plenty of caveats, and the risks to U.S. drone operators are at this point theoretical: Unless a judge in, say, Pakistan, wanted to issue a warrant, it doesn’t seem likely. But that’s just one of the possible legal hazards of robotic warfare.

    Loyola Law School professor David Glazier, a former Navy surface warfare officer, said the pilots operating the drones from afar could — in theory — be hauled into court in the countries where the attacks occur. That’s because the CIA’s drone pilots aren’t combatants in a legal sense. “It is my opinion, as well as that of most other law-of-war scholars I know, that those who participate in hostilities without the combatant’s privilege do not violate the law of war by doing so, they simply gain no immunity from domestic laws,” he said.

    “Under this view CIA drone pilots are liable to prosecution under the law of any jurisdiction where attacks occur for any injuries, deaths or property damage they cause,” Glazier continued. “But under the legal theories adopted by our government in prosecuting Guantánamo detainees, these CIA officers as well as any higher-level government officials who have authorized or directed their attacks are committing war crimes.” [Wired]

    Also the UN has warned the drone operators can be prosecuted for war crimes:

    Leading international lawyer and Director of the International Bar Association Mark Ellis told Channel 4 News if civilian deaths are underreported by the US and if there is “an allegation of an alleged cover-up” it “should certainly prompt an investigation for possible war crimes”. (……)

    The International Bar Association’s Mark Ellis says there is nothing wrong legally with operating drones from a remote location.

    But he referred to the Geneva Convention, which states that only members of the regular armed forces involved in an international armed conflict are entitled to combatant status and attendant privileges. CIA members – not covered by this status – could therefore could be breaking international law.

    Ellis said: “Lawful combatants are defined as individuals who are members of an organised force, the force used belongs to a party to the conflict, the force is under the command of a person responsible for his subordinates, the member of the force wears a fixed, distinctive sign, recognisable at a distance, they carry arms openly and they conduct operations in accordance with the laws and customs of law.”

    Mr Ellis added: “Because members of the CIA do not fall into this category, they would not receive wartime privileges (for example, prisoner of war status if captured) even when engaged in armed combat.”

    The UN Special Rapporteur Christof Heyns went further and suggested in some circumstances it is possible that the personnel who carry out the alleged attacks could face prosecution.

    He told Channel 4 News CIA officers are “unlike state armed forces” which would generally be immune from prosecution for the same conduct (assuming they complied with international humanitarian law requirements). Thus, CIA personnel could potentially be prosecuted for murder under the domestic law of a country in which they conduct targeted drone killings, and could also be prosecuted for violations of applicable US law.

    “And, if a targeted killing violates international humanitarian law then regardless of who conducts it – intelligence personnel or State armed forces – the author, as well as those who authorised it, can be prosecuted for war crimes.” [Channel 4 News]

    It seems to me you should be more outraged about blowing up civilians than peeing on dead Taliban but appears your outrage is more influenced by your political leanings. If former President Bush was one the one continuing the drone strike program I am sure you would be calling this a war crime as well.

  • calhar
    10:50 am on January 17th, 2012 45

    WHILE THIS WAS POOR CONDUCT ON BEHALF OF THESE MARINES,I DON’T SEE IT AS A WAR CRIME,AFTER ALL THESE WERE ALREADY DEAD ENEMY!!IF THEY WERE WOUNDED AND STILL ALIVE,IT WOULD BE A DIFFERENT STORY??THE INCIDENT CERTAINLY DOESN’T WARRANT A COURT MARTIAL.AS FOR KARZAI,JUST ANOTHER POLITIAN BLOWING AN INCIDENT OUT OF PROPORTION???AS A KOREAN WAR VETERAN THE ENEMY DONE A LOT MORE?

  • Jeremy
    11:51 am on January 17th, 2012 46

    Chickenhead -

    You do realize that you’re a sociopath and just another Internet tough guy, right? Your username is an apt one.

    I’m a fan of ROKDrop. I’m just not a fan of the comments section.

  • Retired GI
    11:59 am on January 17th, 2012 47

    #46, if that means that ChickenHead doesn’t cry himself to sleep because some ragheads dead body got pissed on, then count me a FAN.

  • Jeremy
    12:08 pm on January 17th, 2012 48

    Retired GI –

    Thanks for proving my point.

  • Jeremy
    12:38 pm on January 17th, 2012 49

    http://www.catholic.com/documents/just-war-doctrine

  • Retired GI
    12:55 pm on January 17th, 2012 50

    Glad to help you out Jeremy.

  • Vince
    5:46 pm on January 17th, 2012 51

    #36– I hear what you’re saying, but trust me… UCMJ actions, to include Article 15, have very different impacts on Marines than what you may have seen or experienced in the Army.

    Different tribe.

  • Leon LaPorte
    6:49 pm on January 17th, 2012 52

    A non-issue. Give them all a company grade article-15, 30 and 30 and be done with it. Oh and they need to replace some of the PAO’s. Compared to what these scumbags have done to us and ours, I just can’t work up any remorse or indignation over this.

    BTW, the only reason I am suggesting any punishment whatsoever is for public (foreign and domestic) consumption and because the dumb bastards video taped it and put it on Youtube.

    On another note, the Taliban said it wouldn’t affect any hypothetical negotiations. They’re not terribly concerned about it. Go figure. What could they say?

    /piss on all of them
    //douse ‘em with pig blood for good measure

  • ChickenHead
    9:43 pm on January 17th, 2012 53

    Jeremy,

    “You do realize that you’re a sociopath”

    DSM-IV or ICD-10?

    “and just another Internet tough guy, right?”

    If you call me that again, I’ll kick your (virtual) azz.

    Actually, I thought you were serious at first, Jeremy. Then I noticed your link concerning the justifications for war.

    With it’s long history of avoiding needless atrocities centered around self-serving agenda-driven conflict without concern for the rights or beliefs of others, I can understand how one could look to the Catholic church for inspiration and guidance in matters of justification for war… and when wishing not to be labeled a sociopath.

    I will turn to that website again if you ever accuse me of wearing a funny hat.

    And perhaps there is a bear out there running a handy homepage with helpful tips on avoiding accusations of shytting in the woods.

    None-the-less…

    I was a bit disappointed that you voiced displeasure in my writing but never actually said why.

    Kindly tell me what part you disagreed with and why.

    If you feel a long and drawn-out occupation and perpetual low-scale warfare is better for America (or Afghanistan) than my two suggestions of total domination or not getting involved, I am certainly willing to listen.

    If you think peeing on the dead bodies of guys who tried to kill you is more brutal than official policies of “precision” bombing in civilian-populated areas, state-sponsored torture, unlimited detainment, etc., please elaborate.

    I eagerly await your reply.

  • Chemlightbatteries
    3:49 am on February 1st, 2012 54

    Hmmm…..I would take being pissed on while dead over having my head hacked off with a dull saw while still alive and terrified anyday. Semper Fi Marines!

  • Chemlightbatteries
    4:05 am on February 1st, 2012 55

    It could have been worse they could have skeeted on them instead! :twisted:

  • ChickenHead
    6:30 am on February 1st, 2012 56

    Jeremy has the head of a dragon but the tail of a snake.

  • John in NY
    10:55 am on February 1st, 2012 57

    This is why we need to pull our troops out. How ungrateful.

  • Truth
    7:55 pm on February 23rd, 2012 58

    If you’ve been to any third world country, it’s the same song and dance. The natives usually expecting handouts from the rich Americans. While doing a lot of “standing by” and not doing much in the way of getting an actual job and bettering their economy/country. We should have been gone when the Afghan’s elected their new President.

  • ChickenHead
    9:29 pm on February 23rd, 2012 59

    As Pearl Jam said…

    “Jeremy spoooooke in claaaaass today.”

    Maybe that is true…

    …but Jeremy certainly STFU when someone spoke the truth back at him.

  • Vince
    9:43 pm on February 23rd, 2012 60

    Ron Jeremy?

  • Denny
    1:28 am on August 28th, 2012 61

    U.S. troops punished over Koran burning, urination video

    http://news.yahoo.com/u-troops-face-punishment-over-koran-burning-urination-155718044.html

    The U.S. military said on Monday it was disciplining U.S. troops over two incidents that provoked outrage in Afghanistan early this year, one involving a video depicting Marines urinating on corpses and another over burned copies of the Koran.

    The administrative punishments — which could include things like reduce rank or forfeiture of pay — fell short of criminal prosecution, and it was unclear whether they would satisfy Afghan demands for justice.

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai earlier this year branded the Marine’s actions in the video as “inhuman,” and he initially called for a public trial for the soldiers over the Koran incident.

 

RSS feed for comments on this post | TrackBack URI

By submitting a comment here you grant this site a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution.

Bad Behavior has blocked 35867 access attempts in the last 7 days.