It looks like our military members may need to start lawyering up before they go into battle. As the war on terror transforms into further legal courtroom battles. The Washington Times editorial page describes the latest outrage.:
Petty Officers Matthew McCabe, Jonathan Keefe and Julio Huertas face charges related to the apprehension of Ahmed Hashim Abed, alleged mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four American security contractors in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004. The “war crime” at issue is a punch in the gut.
Mr. Abed, code named “Objective Amber,” claims he was roughed up when the SEALs nabbed him on Sept. 3, specifically that Petty Officer McCabe punched him in the stomach. Petty Officers Keefe and Huertas are charged with offenses related to the investigation. The facts are as yet unclear - another report was that Petty Officer McCabe gave Mr. Abed a bloody lip - but nothing we have heard yet implies an injury that could not easily have been sustained in the legitimate process of apprehending a known terrorist in wartime conditions.
The Washington Times Watercooler approached ranking member of the Senate armed services committee Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) about his thoughts about this issue. Senator McCain backed away from any direct comments only saying, “That’s a judicial issue and one that I have not drawn any conclusion [on]. The judicial process is moving forward.” A spokeswoman for Mr. McCain later followed up saying the Senator does not comment “on matters that are actively being considered by the courts.”
Mr. McCain is well known for being a Navy POW during the Vietnam War and endured five and a half years of torture from his North Vietnamese captors during his imprisonment at the Hanoi Hilton. A vocal critic against the use of torture, Mr. McCain , however, voted in February of last year against a bill banning the CIA from waterboarding and other interrogation measures. He later told Fox News Host Bill O’Reilly that he believed terrorists captured on the battlefield are entitled to Geneva Convention tenets.:
It is a shame Mr. McCain has passed the buck on standing up for the Navy SEALS now facing a court-martial, as a result of a dangerous individual who reportedly told Iraqi security forces of so-called “torture.”
Perhaps Mr. McCain should review the Al-Qaeda manual where it says that detainees should accuse their captors of torture when possible. Obviously, the senator is well aware of what torture really is, but should this not mean that he should be vocal about what torture is not?