Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The killings in Afghanistan. Part 2

I started a thread on another website I frequent with a link to yesterday's post and as of 8 hours after I posted the opinions seemed to run for and against having the Staff Sergeant turned over to face Sharia law. They seemed to be roughly split into 3 opinions..

A few tried to compare it to the major that killed 13 in Texas but that was a case of a GI killing other GIs on a military post. That is clearly a case that is covered entirely by the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

There were a couple people that said that trying the Staff Sergeant by the Afghani court system was barbaric. I do not doubt that one bit. Perhaps the Staff Sergeant should have thought of that before he perpetrated such a barbaric act himself.

A GI in a foriegn country to a certain extent is governed by local law. While on duty he is protected by the military and that is the way it is supposed to be. Inflicting casualties on the enemy is not considered to be a criminal act. That's what GIs do. They inflict casualties on the enemy.

What they do not do is leave firebases and the legal protection afforded by them and wander downtown and commit crimes. They do this at their own risk.

As for the three opinions I have had expressed over yesterday's post, they run about 1/3 expressing we ought to drag the Staff Sergeant back to the States for trial. Some of them stated that if we turned the Staff Sergeant over to Afghani authorities that they would be brutal. I have no problem with this. The murders were brutal.

He went into their town and murdered their people and I have no problem with them extracting justice by their rules.

Others expressed that by doing so it would make us look weak. I disagree. It would make us look fair and just. There's a difference.

A sense of justice is a strength and not a weakness.

Another school was in 100% agreement with my post.

There was also another school of thought and when I think about it it may not be a bad idea. The third school of thought is that we try the Staff Sergeant by courts-martial in country, expedite the appeals process and if he is convicted, execute him in Afghanistan.

I don't have a problem with the latter proposal at all.

The biggest thing is to make it clear to the people of Afghanistan that what the Staff Sergeant did will not be tolerated at all by the United States military.

To be honest with you I feel this way not because of some type of emotional sympathy for the Afghanis. I think that this is a necessary thing to do for the troops serving over there. The troops should know that anything that endangers them needlessly will be dealt with.

While we can't undo the damage the Staff Sergeant did, we can certainly make it clear that we do not tolorate this. That in itself will help make it clear to the Afghanis that the average GI doesn't go along with outright murder of civilians.

The Afghanis should be made well aware of this and the troops damned well deserve to know that anything endangering them needlessly will be dealt with immediately.
I just asked one of the troops what he thought ought to be done to the jerk and his reply was brief and to the point:

"Firing squad of US troops in the village square."

It should be noted the GI that said this is a paratrooper woth 5 tours under his belt.

I have no problem with that. It might even do a better job than simply turning him over to Afghan authorities. It would send a message to the Afghans that we don't tolerate that kind of behavior at all.

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  1. There's a scenario in the book "Starship Troopers" that contains the correct remedy for this. A trooper went off base and raped someone. When he was captured, he was court martialed and publicly hung.

  2. The status of forces agreement with Afghanistan clearly dictates this crime is under the jurisdiction of the UCMJ. US Forces are in country without passports.

    Had this been a US citizen serving on a DoD mission, they would have a passport and would be under host nation judicial system.