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Lets's talk about democracy
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Tuesday, 26 April 2005
We never make mistakes. Only the little countries do.
Topic: U.S. Military issues.

The BBC:

"An Italian journalist who was held hostage in Iraq has criticised a US military report into the killing of the agent who helped secure her release.
Italian Nicola Calipari was shot by US forces at a checkpoint as he escorted Giuliana Sgrena to Baghdad's airport.

US investigators are said to have found that the troops were "not culpable", in a report which Italy has not endorsed. [The Italians beg to differ.]

"The greatest disappointment would be if our authorities were to accept this insult without reacting," Ms Sgrena wrote in a front page editorial in her newspaper, Il Manifesto.

"All the words said about Calipari would turn into hypocrisy... and Nicola would have been our government's hero, just for one day."

Imagine if this was an American and he had just saved an American woman hostage! Strange, though, the timing of the story on the report. A few days earlier and Silvio Berlusconi would have been right in the middle of forming a new government. I'm sure it's just coincidental.

Everybody get's off scott-free in the U.S. military it seems. Especially fighter pilots. That must be the preception around the world.

Remember the "cablecar" incident in 1999? It's deja vu all over again

The Guardian:

"A tidal wave of anti-American fury was building up in Italy last night (Thursday) after it was learnt that a court martial in the USA had acquitted the pilot whose plane cut through a cable car line last year sending 20 passengers to their death.

A US military jury in North Carolina yesterday acquitted Richard Ashby, a marine captain who was piloting the Navy ?Prowler? jet that sliced through cables at a ski-resort in a valley near Cavalese in the Italian Alps on February 3 last year."

Or who could forget the straffing incident in Afghanistan that killed Canadian soldiers

CNN:

"A military hearing officer Thursday recommended against court-martialing two U.S. pilots who killed four Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan last year in a friendly-fire bombing one of the men blamed on the "fog of war."

Although Col. Patrick Rosenow said there was enough evidence to court-martial both pilots, he said "non-judicial or administrative punishment would maintain the interests of good order and discipline." Rosenow presided over the nine-day investigative hearing in January."

And then of course there's the big whitewash in the Abu Ghraib scannal.

WaPo:

"An Army inspector general's report has cleared senior Army officers of wrongdoing in the abuse of military prisoners in Iraq and elsewhere, government officials familiar with the findings said yesterday.

The only Army general officer recommended for punishment for the failures that led to abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison and other facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan is Brig. Gen. Janis L. Karpinski [Scapegoat/woman.], who was in charge of U.S. prison facilities in Iraq as commander of the 800th Military Police Brigade in late 2003 and early 2004. Several sources said Karpinski is expected to receive an administrative reprimand for dereliction of duty.

...the inspector general's was designed to be the Army's final word on the responsibility of senior leadership in relation to the abuses. It was the only investigation designed to assign blame, if any, within the Army's senior leadership."

So that's that. A few NCOs and PFCs get the hammer and the big shots get a pass.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 1:00 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 26 April 2005 1:03 PM EDT
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