Sunday, May 25, 2008

When killing unarmed civilians is appropriate


The Marines have decided not to charge two officers in the unit that responded to an explosion in Afghanistan in March 2007 by shooting up an entire highway for six miles as they rode to safety, killing 19 civilians. The Marines say that they “acted appropriately and in accordance with the rules of engagement and tactics, techniques and procedures in place at the time in response to a complex attack”. So that’s okay, then. The findings of the Court of Inquiry will be kept secret.

I delayed commenting on the report that Chinese officials, presumably secret police, were allowed to interrogate Chinese prisoners at Guantanamo after their American captors had softened them up with sleep deprivation (possibly the same prisoners who were ultimately sent to Albania because they would have been tortured if sent back to China), because I assumed there would be more information or official comment forthcoming, but that would have required politicians or journalists giving a rat’s ass.

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