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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Update on Lt. Pantano 

Yesterday I posted on the story of 2ndLt Pantano. I also e-mailed several other bloggers that I read and asked them to post as well. The first to honor my request has responded.

Lex at Neptunus Lex has a well written essay that takes neither side in the case but suggests we wait for more information to come out.

Did 2LT Pantano stay inside the lines? Don't know, can't say, not enough information, not from those few sources. But as people on the right side of the blogosphere should be all too well aware, the problem with taking an article from a single source and using that to pass judgment on an event which happened months ago and half the world away is to risk making a grave error. It's the kind of error I've made before.

To do otherwise is to admit the possibility that because the cause is just, that all acts which come from that cause are righteous, that the end justifies any means. That there is no crime a soldier can commit on the battlefield. That the only innocents are here at home. Down this lane is found error, tyranny and despair. A crime has been alleged - by all means, let us have a court martial. Let us take witness, evaluate testimony, discover the truth, make judgments.

Because I also know this: If LT Pantano is indeed innocent of the crimes he has been charged with, no better place will he find than a court of military law to discover that fact. And if he is found guilty? Then I believe the horrible circumstances of war surrounding the shootings will serve in mitigation of his punishment.

But not his guilt.

Let the truth out.

Lex is correct that we only have one side of the story so far and by all means we have to wait for the process to fully vet itself. From what we know at this point, however, I am willing to stand up for Lt. Pantano. I post about his ordeal as a way of showing support and honor his service. If his story is shown to be false then I am willing to condemn him as well.

As an aside, I think that Lex is a gifted writer and I enjoy reading his blog. I encourage you to visit.

There are other posts that have come to my attention that take a strong position in this case and Commonwealth Conservative is a prosecutor who weighs in here. His mind is made up at this point.

Jack of Clubs is also asking other bloggers to post and Opinion Bug has has an excellent post from LTC (R) Allen B, West. He concludes as follows:

I do not know the specifics about 2LT Ilario Pantano but he is an American and a combat Marine. Unless his offense was so heinous and unnecessary to his prescribed orders, I stand with him. Let’s stop the laughter, either get serious or get out but stop sacrificing and killing the young men if you do not want to WIN!

Michelle Malkin is also covering this here.


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