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United States sets new War Crimes Precedent

The United States has just set a new legal precedent that may allow some of the current global war criminals to go free.

In a decision this week the last of the 8 US Marines brought to trial for the brutal murder of over two dozen unarmed men, women and children was released without any jail time.

On November 19, 2005, a group of marines entered homes and slaughtered families who were unarmed and not combative. Civilians. Innocents. Regular people.

This is the basis for war crime, the offenses against people who are not actively participating in war. Somehow my country has forgotten the definition. More and more regular people are finding themselves at the receiving end of American military bullets. Only once has the military taken those responsible into custody and charged them with a capital offense.

But with the release of the mass murderer: Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich without any jail time at all, America has in its actions stated that killing civilians in the time of war, for any reason, is not a criminal offense. There can be no other interpretation. Two dozen people. Men, women and children. Killed at gunpoint, unarmed, non-combative, at close range. This is murder. This is now justified in foreign wars by the American military and American justice system.

The worst part about this recent miscarriage of justice by the modern American military is that it opens the door to defense against the international court systems by simply stating : “to keep the rest of my Marines alive”, which was the defense used successfully by the murderer Wuterich.

Now the leaders of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge can say they were murdering civilians to “keep Khmer Rouge soldiers alive”.

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad can say he was killing civilian protestors to “keep Syrian soldiers alive”.

The sons of Col Muammar Gaddafi can now say they were trying to keep Libya soldiers alive.

And the those who took hatchets to civilians in Somalia, who were definitely afraid of reprisals from those who survived, can now say they were trying to keep their relatives alive.

How can the US military court have thought that there would be no collateral damage from such a bastardization of the law? How could the prosecutor think that a deal in this case would not affect global war crimes courts?

Is there no intelligence left in our military? This is a huge mistake that goes way beyond the scope of retribution for the families who survived that slaughter. This gives a “get out of jail free card” to every war crime criminal who simply says “I was trying to protect my own” when he puts a gun to the head of a civilian.

A special call out to the judge, Lt. Col. David Jones, who allowed this plea bargain to happen. You are specifically insane, and without morals.

Itia Abroad

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