Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Matt at BLACKFIVE offers The Case for Marine Lieutenant Pantano.
If the details of this story don't change (meaning that we know everything at this point), the charges will be beaten, but that doesn't mean that Lt Pantano doesn't need your support. He absolutely does. And, while this story is making the rounds on every single cable news channel, it's time to cover this Marine's six. Please bear with me for a moment:
The main problem with this story is the effect that the legal wrangling will have on combat - this will cause Marines to either second guess their options/hesitate around suspects or to not get engaged in the area of operations at all. Why would you take a risk if you knew that you might be charged for making a legitimate mistake?
Either some details are missing in the media or there is pressure coming from the civilian side about this. The fact that Pantano was also charged with Destruction of (private) Property for shooting out the tires of the vehicle and having the Iraqi suspects tear out the seats of their vehicle to search for a bomb indicates external pressure. Seriously, it's a ridiculous charge. So be sure to visit Rosemary's blog and call your representatives. If there is undue pressure from the civilian side of the DOD, you can help offset it.
Read it all at BLACKFIVE.