e_legs

In the Military? You Can Get Away With Murder

In Culture of Corruption, International politics, Iraq War, Terrorism on August 28, 2006 at 11:38 am

The Washington Post reported today:

“The majority of U.S. service members charged in the unlawful deaths of Iraqi civilians have been acquitted, found guilty of relatively minor offenses or given administrative punishments without trials, according to a Washington Post review of concluded military cases. Charges against some of the troops were dropped completely.”

“Though experts estimate that thousands of Iraqi civilians have died at the hands of U.S. forces, only 39 service members were formally accused in connection with the deaths of 20 Iraqis from 2003 to early this year. Twenty-six of the 39 troops were initially charged with murder, negligent homicide or manslaughter; 12 of them ultimately served prison time for any offense.”

According to Iraq Body Count, the number of civilian deaths in the time since the war started is between 40,833 and 45,399. While many of these are in fact casualties of “an urban battlefield where it is often difficult to distinguish combatants from civilians,” as one opinion is reported in the Post article, some of them have to be as a result of abuse and misbehavior by the troops.

When we’re looking at numbers potentially in the 40,000s, you can’t tell me that only 39 service members have been in question and only 12 served prison time for “any offense” (meaning that they didn’t necessarily serve prison time for murder).

How does that appear to other soldiers? They are basically being told they can do whatever they want. How does it appear to Iraqi families and the rest of the world? Who can we hold accountable for this mass amount of civilian death? And Americans still wonder why people are mad.

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