Friday, February 11, 2005

Marine faces death penalty

What comment could I make? It's a combat zone, troops follow the leader and aren't permitted much discernment opportunities in carrying out the mission. Do I agree with the killings, decidedly not. I don't however, like to see the field troops take the heat that belongs further up the chain of command, say to the administration. It's their war, they initiated it and continue to remain in power, absolved of responsibility, accountability. As the leaders set the tone.................

Marine faces death penalty


February 12, 2005

MIAMI: A US Marine could be executed for shooting two Iraqis during a vehicle search near a weapons cache in Iraq.

Second Lieutenant Ilario G. Pantano has been charged with murdering two local men on April 15, 2004 in Baghdad.

Lt Pantano's civilian lawyer, Charles Gittens, said the 33-year-old Marine has "made it pretty clear he is not guilty".

The Marine Corps are yet to say if they will pursue the death penalty, Mr Gittens said.

Lt Pantano was commander of a platoon sent to search a suspected insurgent hide-out in an area south of Baghdad.

The Marines found weapons, ammunition and bomb-making material in the building, and saw two men fleeing in a sport utility vehicle.

Marines shot out the vehicle's tyres to force it to a halt, took the men into custody and ordered them to rip out the interior of the vehicle during a search for booby traps and secret compartments.

One of the men turned toward Pantano "as if to attack," and Pantano ordered them to stop immediately.

"He [Pantano] thought he was in danger and he fired and he killed them and that's what we do to terrorists who don't listen to orders. It's a combat situation – kill or be killed," Mr Gittens said.

Lt Pantano, a former New York commodities trader, feared the men may have been trying to detonate explosives remotely.

"What's he supposed to do, wait until he's standing in the inferno?" Mr Gittens said.

The Daily Telegraph | Marine faces death penalty

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President George W. Bush's statement in March 2006 after 3 yrs of war "a future President will have to resolve war in Iraq"


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