As we speak, four men are in custody that Fate tied together. One, a known, wanted terrorist who’s known crimes against Americans are too gruesome to even describe on the nightly news. The other three are members of one of the most esteemed, honorable, and lauded military organizations ever created. In a time of war against Muslim terrorists, common sense would dictate that justice would be on the side of those fighting on our behalf. Logic would use the history of actions committed by terrorists, both on the battlefield and in custody, to predict the behavior of one that has been captured. Patriotism and belief in the justness of the cause for which we fight would combine to give our soldiers a wide berth when dealing with our enemies.
None of these are being implemented in the case against Matthew McCabe, Julio Huertas, Jr, and Jonathan Keefe. These three courageous boys are members of SEAL Team 10, and had been among those to capture Ahmed Hashim Abed. Abed remains a captured al Qaeda terrorist, wanted for the slaying of four Blackwater security contractors (and former commandos themselves) in a most heinous fashion. These three SEALs are being charged with either abusing Abed, or covering up the abuse.
A poll of 100 random Americans, if shown the pictures of the charred bodies of four of our citizens hanging from a bridge, would find 99 of them volunteering to “abuse” Abed. I would count myself among them. Abed does not possess the sense of decency we do. He could have held the Blackwater members captive, fed, clothed, and cared for their medical needs – as we do – in a comfortable cell. He showed no such compassion. He murdered them, burned their bodies, then dragged their charred remains through the streets among cheering crowds. Since that did not satisfy his evil desires, he then hung the bodies from a bridge to be played with by locals (including children) and called several news agencies to take pictures such as this one.
In capturing Abed, who was armed at the time of his capture, no SEAL harmed him. At that time, they could have, or even shot him, but they didn’t. He was also initially turned over to Iraqi police. It was back in U.S. custody that the alleged “abuse” occurred. It is also well known that al Qaeda training manuals instruct terrorists to claim abuse while in custody, even to the point of self-inflicting wounds as “evidence”. Abed’s word should mean nothing. The government has not released photographs or video of the injuries (it is undergoing “classification review”), and balked at allowing our soldiers to directly face him at their courts-martial. The government has also delayed the case, presumably because the only credible witness to the abuse, a third class master-at-arms, can’t seem to get his story straight. At least five different statements by the unnamed sailor have been made and appear to conflict with each other.
The SEALS initially were faced with an Article 15 “Captains Mast”, which is a non-judicial proceeding by their commanding officer. All three declined as it is viewed as an admission of guilt. These soldiers wanted their day in court knowing that a guilty verdict in a courts-martial will carry a harsher sentence. Guilty people try to find a way to avoid harsh sentences, innocent people want to clear their name.
When boiled down to the nutshell version, this smells like a witch hunt. Why the master-at-arms is lying is anyone’s guess at this point, but people telling the truth don’t give conflicting statements, though they may add or delete details as time progresses. The bigger question, however, is why does anyone care about the alleged “abuse” of this piece-of-trash? Americans don’t care. At least 40 Congressmen don’t care. In the wake of Abu-Ghraib, I can understand some heightened sensitivity toward claims of abuse, but also understand that everyone in the military does not want a repeat of those actions. Our soldiers are going out of their way, and often being put in harms way, to avoid harming prisoners of war. I have also had the honor of knowing many Navy SEALS, these men do NOT lie to their commanding officers. They are among the most honorable people I have ever met. In other words, I would take the word of one SEAL over the word of 10 masters-at-arms and 1,000 terrorists. When three SEALS tell the same story, only the direct Word of God could convince me they are lying.
And Abed’s “abuse”, seriously, is merely a punch in the stomach. It is in their charge-sheets. So apparently on top of being a complete waste of carbon, Abed also lacks the intestinal fortitude to injure himself properly or thoroughly.
The SEALS still need our help. For more information on how you can help, and more details on this case, please go here. They have sacrificed so much for us, the least we can do for them is write a letter or make a phone call. For these three men to even stand trial is the greatest travesty of justice I have ever witnessed.