Tuesday, February 15, 2005


U.S. Marine Faces Death Penalty For Killing Two Iraqis

Via Powerline and Michelle Malkin

Here we go again, second guessing our military and trying to make sacrificial animals out of our heroic troops for the sake of political correctness.

2nd Lt. Ilario Pantano, a veteran of the first Gulf War who re-enlisted after 9/11, turning down a $100,000 yearly salary as a Manhattan stockbroker to serve his country -- is now being charged with murder for killing two Iraqis on April 15, 2004. He could face the death penalty.

Here's his lawyer's explanation of what happened:

On April 15, commanders dispatched Lt. Pantano's men to a house believed to hold insurgents and weapons. The Marines found bomb-making equipment and were removing it when two Iraqis tried to speed away in a sport utility vehicle, according to Lt. Pantano's account.

The Marines stopped the SUV by shooting out the tires, apprehended the two and placed them in flexible handcuffs. After setting up a security perimeter, Lt. Pantano took off the cuffs and had the two search the vehicle as he supervised. If it was booby-trapped, the Iraqis, not Marines, would pay the price. It was at this point that the Iraqis stopped searching and moved quickly toward Lt. Pantano.

"They start talking in Arabic and turn toward him as if they are going to rush him," Mr. Gittins said. "He says, 'stop.' They don't stop and he kills them. He didn't know what they were doing but they weren't listening to him. He was in fear of his life and he killed them."

Pantano's superiors call this premeditated murder, as if this brave marine should have waited until the men started detonating themselves before taking action. I just don't understand where these superiors are coming from. They seem to have forgotten that the objective of war is to kill as many of the enemy as possible, while doing one's best to stay alive. I mean what would *they* do if those Iraqi men had approached them after being warned to stop, in Arabic?

Continue reading the whole article here.

Hopefully this will inspire some of you to take action by calling or writing your elected officials and telling them to stop this travesty of justice. You may want to start with the following:

President Bush -- president@whitehouse.gov
Vice President -- vice.president@whitehouse.gov
White House Comments -- 202-456-1111
White House Switchboard -- 202-456-1414

Pantano's mother has a website with additional information which is currently down:


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