Spanish Judge Orders American Soldiers Arrested
By streiff Posted in War — Comments (154) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
On April 8, 2003 LTC Philip de Camp’s 4-64 Armor was only 24 hours removed from it’s participation in 2d Brigade, 3d Infantry Division’s thunder run that had broken the back of Iraqi resistance and given the lie to left’s Stalingrad on the Euphrates fantasy.
From the upper floors of the Palestine Hotel, Spanish journalist Jose Couso and Reuters cameraman Taras Portsyuk observed a firefight between Captain Philip Wolford’s Alpha Company and Saddam fedayeen.
To a young tank commander on an M1A2 Abrams the movement in the window looked suspicious and ordered his tank to take the presumed threat under fire. Both Couso and Portsyuk were killed. David Zucchino’s Thunder Run covers the incident in great detail.
Today a Spanish judge issued an arrest warrant for LTC deCamp, CPT Wolford, and the tank gunner SGT Shawn Gibson for the murder of Sr. Couso.
If there was ever proof that we should not belong to the International Criminal Court and that President Bush was correct in renouncing the Treaty of Rome and negotiating guarantees of immunity for our military from court jurisdiction, this is it.
It has long been said that the ICC agreement would never be used against American troops because one of the key triggers would never be pulled:
The American view of the court, described by the deputy US ambassador to the UN as 'a fatally flawed institution', is that the court will act as a giant conspiracy against America. Accordingly, Americans will be unfairly targeted. But this misunderstands the essence of the court. The ICC is a court of last resort, which prosecutes only the most serious war crimes and crimes against humanity, and comes into play only where domestic courts have shown themselves unwilling or unable to prosecute.
Spanish inquisitor Santiago Pedraz said he issued the warrant because, in his view:
[…] of a lack of judicial cooperation from the United States regarding the case.
The warrant "is the only effective measure to ensure the presence of the suspects in the case being handled by Spanish justice, given the lack of judicial cooperation by U.S. authorities," the judge said in the warrant.
Do we really think that faceless, unaccountable judges in The Hague would have arrived at a different solution? Given the choice between bearding Uncle Sam by prosecuting American fighting men or adhering to a sense of justice and reasonableness it is difficult to comtemplate the ICC choosing to give soldiers the benefit of a doubt
Lest anyone think the decision faced by SGT Gibson that morning two years ago was easy take this test. You’ve been without sleep for two days and looking through the viewfinder on your tank into a distant hotel window, in the middle of a firefight you see this?
Shoot or no?
Your life and the lives of your comrades depends on your decision.