General: SEAL abuse charges justified

Navy Times:

Maj. Gen. Charles Cleveland, commander of Special Operations Command, Central Command, wrote the justification in a Dec. 15 response to Indiana Republican Rep. Dan Burton’s call on behalf a group of 40 lawmakers who want all charges against the SEALs dropped.

“Regrettably, it appears that your perception of the incident is based on incomplete and factually inaccurate press coverage,” Cleveland wrote. “Despite what has been reported, these allegations are not founded solely on the word of the detainee, but rather, were initially raised by other U.S. service members.”

In November I wrote Blow his head off but don’t give him a bloody lip and it was pointed out that self-inflicting wounds and claiming abuse is all part of the bad guy playbook. Now, the truth is that we don’t know exactly what happened, but at the time I found it quite interesting that all three of the SEALs charged elected to face a court martial.


  1. Even if the SEALS are 100% guilty, the worst penalty they should face is a demotion. If they had instead killed the jihadi, maybe they should get discharged, but that’s it.

  2. Seal’s are usually pretty smart. You don’t choose Court Martial over Captain’s Mast unless you are damn sure that the evidence is in your favor.

  3. At the same time, the Article 32 process is usually pretty thorough, so a charge also won’t get to court martial unless the government feels strongly that the preponderance of the evidence supports conviction — in fact my lawyers usually advised me not to execute an Article 15 unless I had evidence that would support a conviction at court martial. My experience with courts martial in the cases of relatively minor incidents which were more appropriate to an Article 15 process has been that the accused is often playing chicken with the evidence (and often, but not always, gets squished).

    I think all we can safely say at this point is (1) the public does not have all the facts and (2) the case is not clear cut. Best to just watch and see how this one plays out.

  4. I’m thinking if the bras are willing to proceed with this travesty of justice (as by the book as it may be), then it’s quite likely the SEALS were in fact, beset by one or more snitches.

    I also think the snitches need a fat lip too. You busted some comrades because they BEAT DOWN an in custody terrorist and the wost he got was a bloody lip? Couldn’t have been much of a beat down.

    I’m all for not tolerating rule violations, or mistreatment of people in custody but one has to maintain some sort of perspective. Busting the lip of a terroist who murdered and mutilated fellow Americans; falls under my threshold for “wrong doing”.

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