Thursday, July 06, 2006

Iraq II: Impunity & Immunity

A back story in any war is what happens to soldiers who commit crimes against the locals.

That has now been thrust front and center in Iraq, where the government says that it will open an inquest into the recently disclosed case involving American soldiers who have been charged with raping a woman and murdering her and three of her family members on March 12 in a farmhouse in Mahmudiya, 20 miles south of Baghdad.

Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki contends that the immunity from Iraqi prosecution granted to foreign troops encourages them to commit crimes:

We do not accept the violation of Iraqi people's honor, as happened in this case. We believe that the immunity granted to international forces has emboldened them to commit such crimes in cold blood. There must be a review of this immunity.
Well, yes and no.

I have no trouble protecting U.S. or other coalition troops from Iraqi legal system is they are fully prosecuted by their own governments. The U.S. record on that is mixed.

* * * * *
Meanwhile, The New York Times reported that a former Army private facing charges in the rape-murder was allowed to leave the Army in May under guidelines that required a medical finding that he was suffering from a severe personality disorder.

The former soldier, Pfc. Steven D. Green, left the Army on May 13 under a regulation that allows the Army to honorably discharge a soldier if a psychiatric evaluation finds a personality disorder "so severe that the soldier's ability to function effectively in the military environment is significantly impaired," Army documents said.

It had previously been known only that Mr. Green was honorably discharged because of a personality disorder.

No comments: