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WAR: Marine charged with premeditated murder for killing insurgent

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posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 05:47 PM
A marine, Second Lt. Ilario G. Pantano, was charged with premeditated murder after the shooting of two insurgents. According to what has been said the Lt. and his men were dispatched to find a cache of weapons and a terrorist hideout. While on the mission he was approached by two suspects. When they refused to keep their distance even after being warned in Arabic he opened fire killing them. The incident was cleared through the chain of command when it originally happened. However, it was reopened after a complaint was made by an enlisted man who has been described as "disgruntled." Also it is pertinent to bring up the fact that in this area of Iraq a prominent tactic by terrorists was to strap on a bomb under their clothing, approach a group of American military, and then detonate the bomb.
An Article 32 hearing — the military court equivalent of grand jury proceedings — will be held; no date has been set. Spokesman Maj. Matt Morgan said exact charges will be released later.

Attorney Charles Gittins said Pantano may have made a mistake in combat — but should not be charged with murder.

"Even if he's wrong, accidents happen in combat," Gittins said. "This was a very stressful situation. These two guys were bad guys. ... He said `stop' and they didn't and he said it in Arabic."

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

I don't want to jump the gun on a conclusion to this story, but on the surface it sounds ridiculous. I don't think in this situation you charge a member of the military with murder for doing what he perceived necessary to protect his men. He was in an area where there was a suspected terrorist hide out, he was approached by these men who would not stop and very well could have been homicide bombers. I think it sets a very bad precedent when in combat, members of the military have to worry that in the normal follow through of their duties they could be charged with murder. That split second of worry or hesitation can be fatal. I'm not saying that our military should kill indiscriminately, but if procedures were followed he should have the backing and protection of the military and his country and not facing criminal charges that could rotationally lead to his execution.

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posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 05:51 PM
WTF?? (excuse my abbreviations)

We're there to KILL these thugs! This guy should be given a medal not a indictment...people looking for a parallel to Vietnam should look at stories like this not the good news from Iraq.

[edit on 2/15/2005 by djohnsto77]

posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 05:54 PM
Interesting that he was cleared and "good to go"

But a enlisted service man make a complaint that brought it up to this point.

I wonder what the enlisted man knows about it. It's something to this that we don't know yet.

Was the enlisted man part of the group and witness the incident?

posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 08:01 PM
At the very least the other guy claims to be an eye witness. However he did not come forward with this information till months later when something made him "disgruntled." There was another eye witness who saw the whole thing and while I haven't read his report the claim is he pretty much backs up the Lt. being accused. So, either there is something we're not hearing or this is a new method of getting rid of your CO when you don't like him.

posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 08:08 PM
I agree with you so if it's been admitted that he "made a mistake" that mean that at least he agree of wrong doing.

Now if the disgruntled eye witness is just for the kill and proven wrong, then the Lt. may be sentences for his "mistake" but he will get away from the death sentences and that will be good.

posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 08:17 PM
Well, the mistake being evidently the people he shot didn't have bombs on them. Its not a mistake like he broke military procedure and did something either stupid or evil. Basically it was a tense situation, there was some merit for lethal force, he took it and unfortunately it turns out it may have been a misunderstanding. Had they had a bomb and he didn't make the decision, we would be reading about the group of marines blown up in a bombing. If you want to get further into it, if the insurgents didn't use tactics like pretending to surrender and then opening fire, or walking up to troops and setting off a bomb there wouldn't have been a reason for him to talk the action he did.

posted on Feb, 15 2005 @ 08:21 PM
While normally I don't like killing at all, I don't think this soldier should have been charged with murder.

I find it very hard to blame him, because he probably did have a legitimate fear of being blown up. During a war, lines tend to become very blurry and he probably did exactly what he was trained to do. I've never been a soldier, but I think they may be trained to react in this manner, in this kind of situation.

I also have a 'knee-jerk' reaction to anyone being convicted on the basis of a sole eyewitness, and no supporting evidence. It doesn't matter who they are, I just don't trust eyewitnesses 100%. People let their feelings influence them, evidence does not.

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