I was in Fallujah - These SEALS are worthy of Medals and the fact that that we are doing this to our own people is ridiculous....More like a kick in the balls than a "punch in the gut"
"We have met the enemy and he is us..." Pogo had it right many years ago....
RELEASE THE SEALS and stop this reckless prosecution - we need these men to keep us safe.
Save these SEALS: Navy commandos rate honors, not courts-martial, for terror arrest
Sunday, January 3rd 2010, 4:00 AM - NY DAILY NEWS
· Three Navy SEALS are facing what appear to be courts-martial to warm the hearts of terrorists around the globe. Defense Secretary Robert Gates must intervene to prevent an injustice that turns the world on its head.
Actually, the SEALS deserve medals. They were members of a team that captured Ahmed Hashim Abed, suspected mastermind of the barbaric murders of four U.S. contractors in Fallujah in 2004.
Their bodies were mutilated, dragged through the streets, burned and suspended from a bridge. The photographs of the charred corpses dangling above the Euphrates River outraged the world.
SEALS Matthew McCabe, Julio Huertas and Jonathan Keefe were part of a squad that captured Abed on Sept. 1 in a picture-perfect operation. They did not fire a shot, though he was armed with a pistol. But Abed later claimed that one of the SEALS had hit him after he was a prisoner.
Yes, hit him. Not stabbed or shot him; not mutilated his body, not set him on fire, not waterboarded him. Hit him.
"A punch in the gut," is the way a defense lawyer described Abed's accusation.
How can those who opened an official investigation of this trifling matter sleep at night?
McCabe, Huertas and Keefe rejected a proceeding called a captain's mast, where punishment is mild, fearing they would be victimized by politics. Besides, many in the military view the proceedings, conducted under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, as tantamount to an admission of guilt.
So instead of being paid honor due, McCabe has been charged with striking a detainee, dereliction of duty and making a false statement to an investigator. Huertas was charged with dereliction of duty, making a false statement and impeding the investigation. Keefe faces charges of dereliction of duty and making a false statement.
All three have been arraigned, and courts-martial are set for McCabe and Huertas this month and for Keefe in April. They face up to a year in jail, demotion and bad-conduct discharges.
It is bad enough that these men have been subjected to the indignity of formal criminal charges. Even an acquittal at trial would be a travesty. Why must they answer the charges of a terrorist?
McCabe's attorney, Neal Puckett, has said the matter could still be handled within the Navy chain of command, without staining the SEALS' permanent records.
More than 96,000 people have joined Facebook pages supporting the SEALS, and dozens of members of Congress have petitioned Gates to stop the proceedings. That's exactly what he should do. A terrorist has already been permitted to inflict too much damage on these American heroes