Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Navy SEALS Capture Terrorist Ahmed Hashim Abed, Face Court-Martial

I haven't seen this item in traditional, old-school news services. Possibly because they're trying to come up with an acceptable angle on it: but that's speculation on my part.
" Navy SEALs have secretly captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq — the alleged mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah in 2004. And three of the SEALs who captured him are now facing criminal charges, sources told FoxNews.com.

"The three, all members of the Navy's elite commando unit, have refused non-judicial punishment - called an admiral's mast - and have requested a trial by court-martial.

"Ahmed Hashim Abed, whom the military code-named 'Objective Amber,' told investigators he was punched by his captors — and he had the bloody lip to prove it.

"Now, instead of being lauded for bringing to justice a high-value target, three of the SEAL commandos, all enlisted, face assault charges and have retained lawyers...."
I just don't have the right - or, rather, left - attitude about the American military. I don't think they're a bunch of poor, uneducated minorities drafted to serve the "American Empire;" and/or sadistic monsters who delight in nothing more than hurling puppies over cliffs and massacring innocent villagers. (January 4, 2009, March 4, 2008 - you can't make up that sort of thing)

The charges are serious:
  • Special Operations Petty Officer Second Class (SO-2) Matthew McCabe
    • Dereliction of performance of duty for willfully failing to safeguard a detainee
    • Making a false official statement
    • Assault.
  • SO-2 Jonathan Keefe
    • Dereliction of performance of duty
    • Making a false official statement
They may be guilty. Or, not. I don't know enough about the circumstances to know whether their request for a "court-martial" hints that there may be mitigating circumstances - or that they want the facts in the case to go on record - or something else.

Traditional news services may be in a pickle. This is a juicy news item: two American soldiers are accused of hurting the lip of a highly-placed terrorist, or by their negligence causing him to get the sort of injury that sometimes happens in football practice.

That's news! Brutal, sadistic, inhuman, violent American soldiers: just like the ones who killed all those innocent (?) people in Mai Lai! (March 4, 2008)

Problem is, this isn't the sixties or seventies. In America, at least, ABC, CBC, NBC and PBS aren't the only sources of television news, and a handful of northeastern papers aren't the leading - and virtually only - source of text-format news. These days, we've got cable news channels - at least one of which is radical (?) enough to be both high in the ratings and annoyingly unwilling to follow established traditions in coverage.

Then, there's the Internet: and blogs like this one.

It's downright hard to limit what the American people know to what we're supposed to know.

But I'm getting off-topic.

As I said, the charges against those two SEALs are serious.

But somehow, I don't think we'll hear too much about it. Reporting on their crime would mean taking a good look at how the American military polices itself - and has a long tradition of finding and correcting errors.

And, if stories about the crimes of McCabe and Keefe get the sort of hype that, say, Abu Ghraib got: there's a very real danger that Americans will find out how the American military works.

Besides, being tried for giving a powerful terrorists an owie on his lip isn't the sort of thing that's likely to make Americans cringe in loathing and horror from 'those American soldiers.'

As I say, traditional news media may be in a pickle.

Vaguely-related posts: In the news:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fox news reported on it. But I guess it isn't a "real" news agency.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.