This news from earlier this week makes me sick and heartsick:
A U.S. soldier faces up to 100 years in prison for the gang rape and murder of an Iraqi girl and the killing of her family last year.
Sgt. Paul E. Cortez, 24, also was given a dishonorable discharge. He will be eligible for parole in 10 years under the terms of his plea agreement.
Cortez, of Barstow, Calif., pleaded guilty this week to four counts of felony murder, rape and conspiracy to rape in a case considered among the worst atrocities by U.S. military personnel in Iraq.
In his plea agreement, he said he conspired with three other soldiers from the Fort Campbell-based 101st Airborne Division to rape 14-year-old Abeer Qassim al-Janabi. The girl, her parents and a younger sister were all killed.
There are no excuses for these evil acts. The perpetrators are damnable. Our military has done right by prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law. Ultimate judgement of the soldiers who participated will come from a higher authority. Personally, I hope they spend the rest of their natural lives praying for forgiveness–or rot in hell.
In Baghdad, the children we met touched us deeply. There are countless American troops and civilians working to improve the lives of those Iraqi kids and their families everyday. There are countless men and women in uniform who undergo as much stress and hardship as the animals who participated in the horror at Mahmoudiya, but who would never, ever think of doing what those men did to that beautiful little girl and her family. Stress and hardship are not excuses:
Psychologist Charles Figley testified that Cortez and the other soldiers likely suffered stress brought on by fatigue and trauma.
“It eats you up,” Figley said. “It’s a horrible thing. This is not unique. We’ve seen this in other wars.”
Five soldiers who served with Cortez in Iraq testified that his actions were out of character and described the hardships of war they experienced, including sleep deprivation and the lack of running water.
“I just never would have seen it coming,” said Staff Sgt. Tim Briggs, who has known Cortez for five years and served with him in Iraq.
Prosecutors said the stress was no excuse for the actions of Cortez and the other soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division, based at Fort Campbell.
Worth repeating again: Stress and hardship–and “Bushco” and the DoD–are not responsible for these atrocities. The men are responsible for their evil acts.
Anti-war zealots who don’t give a damn about either the troops or the Iraqi people will use this case to convict the entire U.S. military and redouble their calls for retreat. Resist it. Condemn and punish the exceptions to the rule. Recall 2LT Mark Daily’s rallying words. And appeal for courage. If you truly “support the troops,” don’t exploit the vile sins of the few to smear the honor of the vast majority.
Related: Mary Katharine Ham introduces you to one of the legions of good guys who gave his life in Iraq–A Different Duke Lacrosse Story: Remembering Jimmy Regan.blog comments powered by Disqus
August 29, 2012 12:39 PM by Michelle Malkin
Floor fight: Grass-roots activists battle attempt to rig RNC delegate rules Updated: Palin: “direct attack on the grass-roots;” RNC power grab showdown 2pm; Rush weighs in; purge underway?; Rules Cmte votes 78-14 for deal; dissidents gather sigs for floor fight; Boehner/Sununu declare”no objections” over massive boos on floor
August 27, 2012 03:04 PM by Michelle Malkin
October 16, 2012 08:11 PM by Doug Powers
Obama administration to contractors: Hold off announcing layoffs until after the election and taxpayers will cover your fines and costs
September 29, 2012 04:36 PM by Doug Powers
Obama deputy campaign manager: Entertainment Tonight of equal importance with White House press corps
August 19, 2012 02:49 PM by Doug Powers
Gay Patriot» What took the IRS so long to come clean about the scandal?
Green Room» Feelgood video of the day
Gay Patriot» Meanwhile, at Obama’s EPA. . .
Daily Caller» Bill Maher: GOP guilty of ‘treason’; Michael Moore: ‘They hate America’
Gay Patriot» Scandal central? Or a whole lot of talk that will amount to nothing?
Daily Caller» David Brooks: ‘We as a country have become over-addicted to scandal’
Green Room» New liberal idea: Let’s raise $660 million online in a month to buy the LA Times before the Koch brothers can
Daily Caller» Wyo. student who threatened to rape self on Facebook was convicted of assault