The Elecktronick Tyger Roares
24 January 2006
  ...and it was just an Iraqi general, anyway...
A military jury at Fort Carson, Colorado, decided not to convict a Chief Warrant Officer of murder in the death under interrogation of an Iraqi general.

US Army warrant officer Lewis Welshofer, who stuffed an Iraqi general head first into s aleeping bag, sat on his chest, and covered his mouth with his hand while questioning him, was acquitted on murder charges that carried a potential of life in prison, and instead convicted of negligent homicide and negligent dereliction of duty, which altogether could get him a penalty of up to three years and three months in prison, a dishonorable discharge, loss of pension and other penalties.

His defense lawyer (who rejoices in the appropriate, in my opinion, name of "Spinner", and apparently never met a GI who killed Iraqis during interrogation who he didn't like) argued that, hey, it wsn't his fault -- the dude was old and he had a heart condition. Coulda happened to anybody.

While the murder charge carried a potential sentence of life in prison, Welshofer apparently, depending on how his CO decides in a review of the court's sentence, faces no jail time, and a maximum penalty of the forfeiture of $6,000 in salary and what amounts largely to a restriction to his barracks for 60 days.

You can get daned nearly that at a Captain's Mast ("Article 15", in the Army, i think) for telling a windbag officer where to go and what to do when he gets there.

"I have the utmost respect for the decision the panel members came to tonight. I'm sure it was difficult for them," Welshofer said.

His attorney said "When you send our men and women over there to fight, and to put their lives on the line, you've got to back them up, you've got to give them clear rules, and you've got to give them enough room to make mistakes without treating them like criminals."

And never ever question whether they should even be over there at all, 'cos that dishonours our dead... Unlike this guy [and the sentencing panel, i'd say] who dishonour our whole damned Army.

Bah. I need a drink to get the bad taste out of my mouth.

So i read that article, then i google to make sure that "Article 15" was the term i wanted, and the first article google shows me is this one:
He would have preferred 'non-judicial' punishment

That's what Army 1st Lt. Jack Saville's lawyer said after his client was sentenced to 45 days after he pled guilty to "having two Iraqis thrown at gunpoint into the Tigris in Samarra." One of the young Iraqi man died, although the U.S. soldiers claimed his death was faked. The family of the young Iraqi gave permission to the U.S. government to exhume the remains of their son to confirm the death but somehow that just couldn't be done.

That's right. 45 days for having killed a man. Oh, yes, also $12,000 in docked pay. Such a shining example of our culture of life.

Let's see -- the other guy is a Chief Warrant Officer and this guy is a Lieutenant, so he makes more so he has to pay more, but spends less time in confinement.


Lt. Saville did apologize to the victims. He further expressed remorse "for putting fellow troops in increased danger by inciting insurgent Iraqis, who portrayed the incidents as war crimes."

Bartender -- make that a double.

Absinthe, i think.
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My interests are broadranging -- comics, music, movies and good ol' science fiction mostly dominate. My Five Most Favouritest Films are (this week) Once Upon A Time in the West, Dark Star, O Lucky Man, Day for Night and Whatever I Watched Recently That Was Good. Currently that's Day for Night.

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Name: mike weber
Location: gainesville, Georgia, United States

Latter fifties, married, out of work (had knee surgery and haven't gotten back to work); my (step) son-in-law is back from Iraq, but a lot of boys are still over there. Support our troops -- throw the Republicans out!

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