It would appear that the murder trial of some our fine young warrior-mens in the 101st Airborne has taken an interesting twist.
I will save you the click-through though and just tell you. They are using the "we were ordered" defense. In this particular case though, it is an interesting take.
You see, they are not claiming that some young Lt. or senior non-com lost his head in the heat of battle and issued in improper order for direct fire on an enemy only to learn that later the enemy was a non-combatant or otherwise not eligible for killing. No. These guys are saying that their official rules of engagement for this particular operation was to toadcrank all men of military service age.
In what conceivable world, does this not qualify everyone involved for a war crimes tribunal? Just issuing that order is a violation of any number of U.S. laws governing the military.
This was not an order to engage unarmed or non-fighting military men. This was an order to kill civilians who might be of an age to be in the military!
Moreover, according to the court documents cited in the Associated Press report these guys have both a captain and a colonel agreeing that they gave that order. And if a full colonel did this, I am having difficulty believing that he did not have his directions from above.
The lawyers, Paul Bergrin and Michael Waddington, also said that after the soldiers captured the three Iraqis, a sergeant in the company asked over the radio why they had done so, instead of killing the Iraqis as they had been told to do.So they released these guys and then shot them as they were leaving, apparently. It is also interesting to note that there have already been two command reviews of the incident, neither of which found any wrongdoing by the soldiers. What does that tell you?
The soldiers killed the first Iraqi they came into contact with, an older man who was looking out through the window of a house, Mr. Bergrin said. Then, he said, they went to a second house, where they found three men hiding and using women and children as human shields.
Mr. Bergrin gave the following account of what happened next. The soldiers separated the men from the women and children and bound their hands. One of the accused, Sergeant [Raymond L.] Girouard, called the company’s first sergeant on the radio. The response to the news that there were prisoners was: “Why did you take them prisoner? Why didn’t you kill them?”