Friday, January 20, 2012

#Wuterich Trial : Murderous Marines

Killing has its own, laboriously worked out taxonomy, with layers of meaning imposed on its occurrence. This is whether it is exculpated because of a recognised defense at law; whether it is justified under the broader 'rules of engagement' by military personnel, or whether it is simply deemed the necessary outcome of fighting the 'just' war.

These are the sorts of arguments and opinions that are being aired at the trial of Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, the now infamous commander who, it is alleged, presided over the killing of 24 men, women and children on November 19, 2005 in Haditha. Wuterich faces nine counts of voluntary manslaughter, two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and three counts of dereliction of duty. He is the last of eight Marines who have faced charges over the killings in Haditha. The other seven escaped conviction, a situation that itself may imperil the case against the officer. In any case, such figures as Gen. Tom McInerney have long claimed that a fair trial of the men of Kilo Company would be out of the more