Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Combat Stress != Excuse for Rape

For those who may have missed it, several soldiers in Iraq raped and killed a 14 year old Iraqi girl and her entire family in March of this year. An article 32 hearing (like a civilian grand jury) is ongoing for four of those soldiers. The defense that has been stated for these crimes? "The constant fear of death and the trauma of several devastating incidents"

According to news reports, the "ringleader" of the attacks was discharged from the military at a later date due to a personality disorder. The fact that someone suffering from a mental illness made it into the Army in the first place is something that needs to be investigating. Add to that the fact that hate groups and gang members are making it into the military, and you have a real mess.

Iraq has become a mess. We've overstretched our military to the point that we'll recruit and take anyone just to meet quotas. The direct result of these efforts is the tragic events like the death of this girl and her family. Meanwhile, the armed forces are giving "early out" packages to officers, valuable, highly trained individuals who have proven themselves worthy of being officers.

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