Backasswards Justice: Navy SEALs Charged With Assault After Capturing Terrorist

I can’t think of a better term to describe the following situation.  Ahmed Hashim Abed, the alleged mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater USA security guards which Gateway Pundit describes:

The USA Blackwater guards were burned, beaten, dragged through the streets of Fallujah and their decapitated bodies hung from a bridge over the Euphrates River on March 31, 2004.

You know this scene from Fallujah seen below:

He was captured.  We should be celebrating, justice prevails.  But now three Navy SEALs are charged and will receive a court martial.  They were facing non-judicial punishment (a Captain’s Mast, akin to admitting guilt), but demanded a court martial.  Fox News reports:

Now, instead of being lauded for bringing to justice a high-value target, three of the SEAL commandos, all enlisted, face assault charges and have retained lawyers.

Matthew McCabe, a Special Operations Petty Officer Second Class (SO-2), is facing three charges: dereliction of performance of duty for willfully failing to safeguard a detainee, making a false official statement, and assault.

Petty Officer Jonathan Keefe, SO-2, is facing charges of dereliction of performance of duty and making a false official statement.

Petty Officer Julio Huertas, SO-1, faces those same charges and an additional charge of impediment of an investigation.

Why?  Because Abed claims to have gotten a bloody lip saying he was punched… a fat lip.  Let’s see SEALs capture a high value terrorist target… they should receive a medal, but this Abed claims he was hit.  I know it isn’t possible at all that he gave himself the fat lip in order to try to make the Navy SEALs look bad in this “law enforcement action on terror.”

I’m surprised he isn’t lawyered up already and complaining about not being mirandized.  What this could reinforce is that bringing in terrorists dead rather than alive is preferable with the Obama administration in charge.

Michael Goldfarb points out some inconsistency of how justice rolls with the Obama administration:

A fat lip? That’s enough to get you rough military justice from the Obama administration, but blow up the World Trade Center and you get all the due process rights of the civilian criminal justice system. Sounds fair, right?

How about a civilian trial in New York for them?  This wouldn’t even be sane 9/10 thinking.

HT: Memeorandum

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Comments

  1. says

    What if they’re guilty? What if one did punch the alleged terrorist in the face? That would be a problem, a big problem worthy of a court martial. I know you’re assuming (not presuming) their innocence, but if there’s serious accusations being made, then it’s the duty of the government to bring them to trial and make a decision rather than instantly punish or automatically let them off scott free just because they have a good previous record as soldiers. That’s why we have courts, including military courts.

    A court martial trial (not discharge, just a trial is what we’re talking about here) is not “rough military justice” nor is it connected in any way to the Obama administration. This is pretty far down the chain of command. If I don’t like the sunday school curriculum, I don’t call the district superintendant and if I see a pothole i don’t badmouth the Mayor. Likewise, if I don’t like that a case is going to trial, I don’t blame the president unless I’m predisposed to blame just about anything on him.

    As to whether it’s a criminal or military trial, this is a no-brainer. They’re soldiers in combat and should be tried in a military trial. Whether KSM should be tried criminally or militarily is up for discussion. There’s precedent on either side, but as your blog entry shows, there’s a supposition (right or wrong) that regular criminal proceedings are more fair or just and that is why a criminal conviction for KSM in NY will carry so much more weight domestically and internationally than a tribunal.

    But really, they’re two different cases and the argument that we shouldn’t try or punish soldiers in military court for alleged misbehavior since KSM has a criminal trial sounds a lot like, “Mommy I shouldn’t get in trouble for chewing gum cuz Jimmy didn’t get in trouble for hitting suzie”

    • ricky day says

      @Brian Getz,
      If we don’t stop putting those protecting us on trail, they will stop protecting us! This is a war we are in. Do you think they maybe the the four man,they killed maybe got a busted lip ? I know allegely killed > Please…..I see you dint say our seals had ”allegely” did anything? Wonder why. All we do is ask these brave man and weman to do is leave their family and protect us both night and day all over the world. And this is the thanks we give them… The trails in NY for the 9/11 attacks are stright form Obama just as this is. Everything starts at the top, if he said leave thise soliders alone that’s what would happen. We are now being attack again in NY this time by Obama. How much money do you think it will cost us for this forrest of a trail ? Is that not an attack on a country that is broke or going broke really fast.You sir are a prinme example of what is wrong with this world today.

      • says

        @ricky day,
        Things that are wrong: destroying the WTC, ambushing American troops, Abu Ghraib (sp?), roughing up a suspect, even if it’s only a bloody lip. I’ll go ahead and put allegedly in front of all of those. I am not saying any of it is alright, but I’m also not saying that American soldiers should be held to any lower standard based on the despicable acts of their enemies. The high standards they live by are what set us apart from our enemies and the very few times those standards are violated are used as ammunition by our enemies (see: prison abuse, etc.) We cannot and should not give even a little carte blanch for abuse of those standards, for the good of our reputation and our military’s safety. The right response is not to punish troops without a trial or let them off scott free. It is to give them a fair trial that will, if the evidence is on their side, lead to an acquittal.

        My hunch really is that these SEALs are not guilty, but we have to go through the legal process to hold up our ideals. If the rulebook has changed so drastically in the past few months to protect our image and hold both our troops and our enemies accountable, then that’s good news compared to whatever rulebook allowed Abu Ghraib. I’m not blaming either this or Abu on the president in charge at the time, but if you think it’s the president’s call or a ‘trickle down’ effect then I’ll take these rules any day.

        Ricky, I don’t know what a “forrest of a trail” is, but calling me a prinme example of what is wrong with the world today is a bit rude seeing as we’ve never met.

        Shane, odd that your post “wasn’t about” KSM, but you brought it up, so I replied. They are simply unrelated cases. Period.

      • says

        @Brian Getz, My point with that is how some on the left deplore military justice for terrorists, but at the same time think it’s perfectly all right for our service personnel.

        Here’s the post I did on that (should have linked to it above) – http://caffeinatedthoughts.com/?p=4396. and a related post – http://caffeinatedthoughts.com/?p=2551.

        Here’s a NY Post article that I think you should read as well – http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/loss_for_america_nxkrr7XdjXIJ1ngqXVO8nL

    • says

      @Brian Getz, A court martial can lead to a dishonorable discharge and prison time.

      What was the basis of the Captain’s Mast? They were taking a terrorist’s word over the word of three SEALs. These guys are professional, Abed is lucky to even be alive. So a fat lip, whether intentional or not, is really nothing.

      Having served in the Army even at the National Guard level, there is a trickle down effect based on the Administration’s policies that has an effect even at the company level. Do I think that Obama ordered it? No. Do I think that his Administration created this atmosphere where soldiers are walking on eggshells? Absolutely. It’s naive to think otherwise.

      Also Brian, please show me in our history where an enemy combatant was captured by our military overseas and then provided with a civilian trial?

      I’ll spare you some time. It’s never happened. Military tribunals have been part of our history and they have been found to be constitutional. So my point isn’t that I don’t think military justice is fair, I think that these SEALs will get a fair trial and they will likely be acquitted. They just shouldn’t have to face it.

      And military justice would be fair for KSM as well, but my post really wasn’t about that. I’ve blogged all sorts of reasons why the New York trial is a bad decision.

    • says

      @Barry Steinberg,
      Three Christian camps, FCA, a youth group, Campus life for the past year and a half, and most recently I’m a full time volunteer at an inner city ministry in Marion, IN where we offer tutoring for children, networking opportunities for churches and nonprofits in the area and Bible studies and a coffee house for adults.

      I’ll assume you were asking where I’d served in a ministry capacity rather than asking what branch of the military I was in. While I’ve never met you, I’d hate to think you’re the type of guy who would dismiss someone’s viewpoint or assume they had no knowledge of foreign policy, law, or military affairs purely because they chose a career in ministry rather than military service. I’d hate to think that of you because that would just be a cheap way of quickly dismissing someone rather than engaging with their ideas. I used to do that sort of thing and “pull rank” by alluding to my M.A. rather than listening to people and now I feel bad about it. But I’m sure that’s not what you were doing. Have a great day.

      • says

        @Brian Getz, I obviously wouldn’t dismiss your service in ministry.

        Not having served in the military though does mean your viewpoint isn’t necessarily well informed, as your statement about the Obama administration’s influence with military decisions down the totem pole reveals.

      • Barry Steinberg says

        @Brian Getz, Actually I agree the gentlemans response above.. Not having served does deprive you of an insight that might alter your position. While I applaud your volunteer work I believe that you cannot fully appreciate what those warriors had to endure to capture this murderer. By the way, I am glad you dont pull rank with your MA. You are outranked.

  2. Michael says

    I am a disabled Veteran and I am appalled by the recent decision to prosecute 3 Navy SEALS that helped to capture Ahmed Hashim Abed who masterminded the capture, mutilation, and murder of 4 Americans working in Fallujay in 2004. For our Military, and all of us that call ourselves Americans, to allow this to go on is truly a sad, sad day in America. I was fortunate enough to have served in SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team one in Coronado and met Scott Helvenston several times in the late 1980’s. He was one of the 4 killed in Fallujay. His death is now made worse by this asinine prosecution.

    Every person in this country is now more in danger than they were last week. We have elected an administration that has chosen to prosecute our hard working military men and women for protecting us and let all the terrorists in the world know that if caught, we will give you a nice bed, a civilian trial and send our military men and women to jail for giving you a bloody lip.

    I am SICK AND TIRED OF THIS BS. If we leave these idiot liberals in office in 2010 then people deserve what is coming. DO SOMETHING! Call or email your elected officials TODAY! I just did. I assure you that the ultra liberal hacks are out there calling their officials. Let them know that this bothers you.

  3. Julia Murray says

    What the hell are we as citizens thinking? I hope to God one of the Navy Seals did punch that terrorist! We sit here in our cozy houses and say “Yes, they deserve trial, they hit someone.” How about we take into account who they possibly hit – a mastermind terrorist who arranged for OUR AMERICAN men to be murdered, burned, and hung publically as part of their celebration. You people saying “Good for the justice system doing it’s job.” How disgusting. If you love this man so much, go live in his third world country and celebrate with the rest of the terrorists you want to be treated with hospitality. We are being laughed at by every other country around us, look at how we treat our men, our citizens, our advocates for YOUR safety! I think we have lost what it means to admire the dedicated and proud people of Anerica. Soon enough, Americans are going to have to start hiding their citizenship from the rest of the world in fear of humiliation and disgrace.
    Shame on you traitors.