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War, Murder and the Military Justice System

Thursday, Sept. 7, 2006

This week, an officer responsible for investigating the killing of several Iraqi civilians by four U.S. soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division in Iraq recommended that they be charged with premeditated murder and face the death penalty. If the Commanding General of the Division accepts this recommendation -- which is the common practice -- he will send these charges to a General Court-Martial that will ultimately decide their fate, possibly sentencing them to death.

If these cases reach a military court room, they will no doubt trigger debate on the "justice" of trying American soldiers for their conduct in battle. The prospect of four Americans -- all of whom volunteered to fight this war on behalf of the nation -- being sentenced to death for killing Iraqi detainees will strike many as an ultimate symbol of hypocrisy. ...

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