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Swift Military Justice?

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Ernesto LondoƱo reports in the WaPo:

KABUL -- Afghan officials expressed dismay and rage Monday as villagers quietly buried 16 civilians, including nine children, allegedly shot by a rogue U.S. soldier in southern Afghanistan the day before.

Some members of the Afghan parliament cast doubt on the U.S. account that a lone gunman was responsible for the killings and questioned whether the staff sergeant taken into custody would be held accountable for the worst atrocity by a U.S. soldier in the decade-long war.

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To deflate anger over the killings, U.S. officials will need to act swiftly and sternly, said Davood Moradian, an assistant professor of political science at the American University of Afghanistan.

The Afghans doubt the swiftness and certainty of American military justice.  Well, can you really blame them?  I worked on a military justice case in the Supreme Court once:  Loving v. United States, 517 U.S. 748 (1996).  The judgment in that case still has not been carried out, 16 years after the Supreme Court affirmed it.

Update:  AP reports, "Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the death penalty is a consideration as the military moves to investigate and possibly put on trial a U.S. soldier suspected of gunning down 16 Afghans."

1 Comment

My answer would be to hang the offender, without a uniform, immediately from the wall of the base.

Then turn over his body to the Afghans to do as they see fit with this murderous villain.

This would speak volumes. Virtually anything else would be ineffective.

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