An interesting part of the Pantano case is the media intimidation that is occurring.
Lt. Pantano, you may remember, is the Marine who is on trial for murder. He shot two Iraqi insurgents in Iraq, in a war situation, after warning them to stop. That kind of killing happens in war. It always has. John Kerry testified before Congress that he shot a Viet Cong in the back and that he murdered others whom he said were helpless and yet he didn't go to trial.
I plan to write a good deal more about this situation because of what I'm hearing about what is happening to others who have been writing about it. Unlike them, I have nothing to lose.
A fellow blogger was threatened with a lawsuit by a JAG attorney because of her posts about Pantano. She is sympathetic to his cause.
Another more famous name has written about this case with sympathy. Michele Malkin writes in her recent post titled LT. PANTANO UPDATE, "I should note that I have received correspondence urging caution on this story. Always wise. I just hope the Marines exercised as much caution as possible before putting Lt. Pantano in this awful position."
Mona Charen tells the story succinctly,"On April 15, 2004, "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 (Iraqis) 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." (Presumably so that any booby traps would not kill U.S. Marines.)
After a few minutes, the two suspected insurgents stopped searching and began to move quickly toward Lt. Pantano. Pantano's lawyer explained that "they started talking in Arabic and turned toward him as if they were going to rush him." Pantano shouted at them in Arabic to stop. They did not. He shot and killed both of them. He then placed a sign on the SUV repeating the slogan of Marine Gen. James N. Mattis, "No better friend; No worse Enemy."
Investigation later revealed that the vehicle held no explosives or weapons. By this time, Pantano had participated in the battle of Fallujah. A superior officer evaluated him as an "accomplished infantry leader. His actions during the fighting in Fallujah and Al Zaidon highlighted a solid understanding of tactics and an ability to anticipate the enemy. Leads from the front always and balances his aggressive style with true concern for the welfare of his Marines. Exceptional communication skills for a 2nd Lt. Organized, aggressive, focused and driven. Ready for increased responsibility. Retain, promote, and assign to challenging assignments."
Although Lt. Pantano is to go before an Article 32 hearing on April 25, Congressman Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., introduced a resolution Thursday expressing support for Pantano and calling on the government to dismiss the charges against him.
We can all help with that. Go here to write your congressperson to ask him or her to support HR 167.
It does seem to me that if we are going to punish our soldiers for action in this war, we should punish John Kerry retroactively for his action in the Viet Nam war ...and after, when he committed treason. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, they say.