Saturday, November 13, 2004

Soldiers Tried in Civilian Courts for Combat Action

It seems an interesting trend has occurred in the European military. Maybe with the advent of the International Criminal Court or something, all of the enlightened have now decided that their soldiers are subject to civilian law of the land as citizens of that land, even if that soldier is in combat.

I just read this story at Blackfive about a British soldier who is on trial in the civilian courts for murder because he shot an Iraqi man in Iraq while manning his post. According to the article, the military investigation cleared him, but the Crown Prosecution Service has decided to open up their own investigation and charged the soldier accordingly. On top of which, it seems the entire military establishment has shut up and left this kid to hang.

Go read it and then we can discuss.

My personal opinion? What the hell is a civilian court getting involved with something that would be handled under the military code of justice which should be protecting these men and women? What will happen to their military if this sort of precedent is set? How many of their men and women will die because they are afraid to act in case they will be charged with murder? And it ain't just the Brits. The Dutch have done it recently as well. Fortunately, both of the dutch soldiers were found "not guilty", but I still think it is a travesty.

Got an opinion?


Bellicose Woman said...

I'm afraid my opinion of that sort of $&#*%! is not to be repeated in polite company.

Jason Rubenstein said...

Hell, my opinion isn't repeatable in impolite company!!

The obvious makes itself glaringly clear: why have a military code of justice if it will be second-guessed or trumped in the civilian courts?!?!?

Reason defied, yet again.

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

This is a political phenomenon. The ignorant and disgusting civilian mobs of Europe have been unable to prevail upon their governments to abandon Iraq, and so their new avenue of approach at eroding their nations' efforts is to drag their soldiers into civil lynchings in any case where the military found the defendants not guilty. What they forgot to do, though, was to twist their civilian justice system into a travesty, because finding the same facts as the military justice system, the civilian courts found them not guilty as well. Go figure.

Facts are facts, and the key thing to scrutinize is whether a nation's court system will respect that or not. If not, they are deserving of third world status. If so, there is nothing to fear from insipid episodes of "double jeopardy" inherent in dual justice systems, other than time and energy squandered to vent political hysteria as if barking at the moon.

Tom said...

It is said about this country that there is a growing distance between the civilian and the military, in that the former less and less understand the latter. It would appear that this is the case even more with regards to Europe.

The worst part is that I'm sure there are some in the U.S. who'll be saying that we need to do the same here.