Monday, September 24, 2007

War is heck

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse for U.S. soldiers in Iraq, the Washington Post reported today about a Defense Department program of using Army snipers to kill Iraqis who pick up fake bomb-making material and weapons planted by our forces. The program came to light during court-martial proceedings involving three Army Rangers soldiers who killed Iraqi civilians in such operations and planted incriminating evidence on the bodies to help justify the slayings. The tactic raises ethical questions about U.S. conduct in Iraq, since our country has long recognized that it's improper to kill innocent civilians in war. That's why the soldiers are being court-martialed. Of course, if the material is picked up by insurgents, the military has the legal right to kill them. The problem is being sure of who's who. But it occurs to me -- when was the last time we heard about armed government employees shooting people and planting weapons on them to justify the killings? Yes, it sounds an awful lot like the police, doesn't it?

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