If he did it, fry him, shoot him, or hang him

Military files murder charges in Iraq killings

A staff sergeant who had been disciplined by two officers has been charged with fragging them at FOB Danger near Tikrit.

A military statement said that [Staff Sgt. Alberto B.] Martinez, 37, a supply specialist with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 42nd Infantry Division, was charged Wednesday in the June 7 deaths of the two officers at Forward Operating Base Danger, near Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown 80 miles north of Baghdad.

The 42nd Infantry Division is a New York-based National Guard unit.

The slain officers were Capt. Phillip T. Esposito, 30, of Suffern, N.Y., and 1st Lt. Louis E. Allen, 34, of Milford, Pa. They were assigned to the 42nd Infantry Division. Esposito was company commander, and Allen served as a company operations officer.

Martinez, of Troy, N.Y., currently is at a military detention facility in Kuwait.

Just don’t send him to Gitmo. After all of this investigation of the conditions at the ol’ ‘gulag’, it’s clear that it’s closer to a country club than a military prison.

The military initially thought that the incident had been a mortar attack.

Martinez, who joined the New York Army National Guard in December 1990, deployed to Iraq in May 2004. He has been assigned a military attorney and has the option of hiring a civilian lawyer.

“Staff Sgt. Martinez has been and will continue to be afforded the extensive rights under the Uniform Code of Military Justice,” military spokesman Col. Billy J. Buckner said, according to the statement.

And sentenced if found guilty.

I think the “deployed to Iraq in May 2004” is wrong, though. I think they were mobilized at that time for six months or so of training before actually deploying at the end of the year.

UPDATE: This issue of the 42 ID’s newsletter (.pdf format) shows some of the division’s equipment being loaded onto trains at the end of September, 2004 for transportation to Philadelphia from Fort Drum, NY.

I guess it’s always possible that SSGT Martinez deployed ahead of the rest of the division, though.

Comments

  1. Correct on the deployment time line. After training for many months, most of the Headquarters deployed in December and early January. The 42nd ID did not deploy as a complete division. The Division HQ and some of our organic units were deployed to Iraq where other Army and Army NG units were tasked to the 42nd ID HQ. Other battalions went to Gitmo or stayed home. I’m ashamed to say that he is from my Division. If he really did it, I hope justice is swift and final. Not to restart on old debate – but shoot him if guilty.

  2. Raz: Thanks for the insightful comment. I and the only previous commenter here both specifically said ‘if’. Does the phrase ‘if he did it’ ring any bells?

  3. I’m with Bram on this. IF he is found guilty…..fry him. I HEARD it all happen but didn’t know until the next day. I thought it was a mortar or rocket attack too even though the explosions were smaller and more muffled than any previous mortar or rocket attacks.

  4. I just wantedt to say that all you 42nd Id Guardsmen did not really do anything over in Iraq. Yet, you came back to troy,ny thinking you fought in real combat. You should not compare your own experiences to Desert Storm.