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Charges Against Snipers Stir Debate on 'Baiting'
The Washington Post ^ | 26 Sep 07 | Josh White and Ann Scott Tyson

Posted on 09/27/2007 5:19:27 AM PDT by xzins

Spec. Jorge Sandoval lay face down in the foot-high grass, staring through his sniper rifle scope at the Iraqi man holding a rusted sickle. The man had crouched down, only his head was visible. Sandoval's spotter, Staff. Sgt. Michael Hensley, relayed the order to kill.

On April 27, in dangerous terrain south of Baghdad, Sandoval pulled the trigger to fire a bullet hundreds of yards into the man's skull, killing him instantly. Moments earlier, the man, according to testimony and court documents, had been fleeing an attack on U.S. soldiers and was holding the sickle to masquerade as a farmer. After killing him, Sandoval and Hensley allegedly placed a spool of wire -- commonly used to make bombs -- on the man's body to ensure the shooting would not be questioned.

Sandoval's court-martial on premeditated murder charges for this killing is scheduled to begin today in Baghdad. As he and two other snipers face charges of killing Iraqis, legal experts are debating how large a role a classified program of "baiting" their targets played in the cases. The soldiers in the unit had the spool of wire, defense attorneys said, only because the Army's secretive Asymmetric Warfare Group had given it to them -- along with other items, such as plastic explosives and AK-47 rounds -- so the snipers could boost the number of suspected insurgents they killed by shooting whoever picked up the materials.

However, some soldiers serving in Iraq said that the program and the subsequent murder charges have caused them to rethink pulling the trigger in the field out of concern that they could be charged with crimes for doing so....make a split-second decision ...the man and possibly face scrutiny, or let him go and possibly put...service members in jeopardy in the future.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: baiting; battlefield; charges; courtmartial; iraq; oif; sandoval; snipers
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All of the legal charges against our troops are going to cause some to be killed. It is inevitable.
1 posted on 09/27/2007 5:19:31 AM PDT by xzins
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To: xzins

American heroes are being set up, taken to other
countries for prosecutions like this, and Pres.Bush is
helping those that persecute them and set them up,
like he helps those that are jailing border patrol agents.

Bad ideas.


2 posted on 09/27/2007 5:22:58 AM PDT by Diogenesis (Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum)
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To: RedRover; Girlene; jazusamo; brityank; P-Marlowe; SuziQ

New article up, Red.

Looks like it was a righteous shooting no matter how you look at it. They’d just witnessed the guy being an insurgent.

They’re accused of planting the wire. Maybe the guy picked it up. Maybe the guy already had it. Does the prosecution have the wire???


3 posted on 09/27/2007 5:23:48 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain And Proud of It! Those who support the troops will pray for them to WIN!)
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To: xzins

Amazing, lawyers must be following these guys into combat.....wait, these military prosecutors wouldnt know combat if it came in the front door. They sit in safe areas, far from the reality of combat and wait for the opportunity to slam some GI for doing his job.

Apparently these scum prosecutors have decided our guys are the enemy.


4 posted on 09/27/2007 5:24:45 AM PDT by Bulldawg Fan (Victory is the last thing Murtha and his fellow Defeatists want.)
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To: xzins

The Leftist on the other side of my office cubical wall yesterday was discussing this with his cube mate. He was spewing filth I’m sure he heard on AirAmerica on his drive in to work, saying that “Our soldiers are shooting anyone going after the bait, innocent or not, even women and children”.
I can tell you what I really wanted to do at that moment but I need my job.


5 posted on 09/27/2007 5:25:12 AM PDT by NavyCanDo
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To: xzins

war grounds aren’t court rooms

kill the enemy no matter what it takes, that should include those within too


6 posted on 09/27/2007 5:25:28 AM PDT by sure_fine ( " not one to over kill the thought process " )
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To: xzins

Something fishy here...something relevant isn’t being reported.

Just because someone picked up a curious-looking thing doesn’t make them a valid target ... and our boys know that.


7 posted on 09/27/2007 5:27:12 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (The color blue tastes like the square root of 0?)
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To: xzins

Hopefully, one day, someone will bring these prosecutors to justice.


8 posted on 09/27/2007 5:27:14 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: xzins
I see nothing wrong with baiting vermin.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

9 posted on 09/27/2007 5:27:24 AM PDT by magslinger (Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors. And miss. R.A.Heinlein)
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To: xzins

Obviously the ‘columnists’ don’t know jack about what went down and what it is to be on the ground there. Then again in my view, they’re not in any position to even write a sentence on it... period.

My question is, where’s the guys backup? FUBAR


10 posted on 09/27/2007 5:33:17 AM PDT by AliVeritas (No gays in Iran. Where men are men, women are beaten and sheep are nervous. HA)
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To: ctdonath2; RedRover; P-Marlowe; blue-duncan; jude24
Moments earlier, the man, according to testimony and court documents, had been fleeing an attack on U.S. soldiers and was holding the sickle to masquerade as a farmer.

You missed the above. He was shot because he was an insurgent.

IF the troops placed wire on him, then he was not shot because he was picking anything up.

They were TRYING to keep from getting legally charged for doing their job....sniping.

If this isn't a fine catch 22 we've got the troops in, I've never heard of a better one.

Do your job legitimately..and you get charged. Do your job legitimately and try to cover yourself...and you get charged.

Answer: don't do your flippin' job.

11 posted on 09/27/2007 5:34:33 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain And Proud of It! Those who support the troops will pray for them to WIN!)
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To: xzins
JAG officers are the American zampoliti, the political officers who can overrule commanders in the field if the call doesn't comply with doctrine.

The moment I saw the JAG override the Predator drivers who had Mullah Omar in the reticle, I knew we were not serious about prosecuting the war - but they're damn sure serious about prosecuting our troops.

12 posted on 09/27/2007 5:35:01 AM PDT by Old Sarge (This tagline in memory of FReeper 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub)
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To: NavyCanDo

Never mind that the charges are completely untrue. Let us pretend that they are true and then debate the policy...


13 posted on 09/27/2007 5:36:38 AM PDT by gridlock (C'mon people now / Smile on your Brother / Everybody get together / Try to love one anoth-kaBOOM!)
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To: Old Sarge
but they're damn sure serious about prosecuting our troops.

They're going to get our guys killed, they're going to destroy morale, and they're going to prevent independent thinking.

These prosecutions are going to do as much to hurt our troops as have the failure to report the successes in Iraq.

14 posted on 09/27/2007 5:40:51 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain And Proud of It! Those who support the troops will pray for them to WIN!)
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To: Old Sarge

"The moment I saw the JAG override the Predator
drivers who had Mullah Omar in the reticle, I knew we
were not serious about prosecuting the war -
but they're damn sure serious about
prosecuting our troops."

GIGABUMP

15 posted on 09/27/2007 5:41:05 AM PDT by Diogenesis (Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum)
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To: gridlock; RedRover; P-Marlowe; Girlene

It’s not right to teach a kid to fight a certain way and then prosecute him for doing exactly that.

And then try to charge him with murder and the military hide behind a “classified” program that you don’t want revealed!!!

That is worse than “not having your brother’s back.” That is BETRAYAL! Here he is trusting you and the info you give him, and you turn around and stab him in the back with murder charges.

Someone in this is totally contemptible and it is not the soldiers in question.


16 posted on 09/27/2007 5:47:31 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain And Proud of It! Those who support the troops will pray for them to WIN!)
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To: Bulldawg Fan
Probably a JAG jerk like Congressman Murphy from Doylestown, PA. During his election run he claimed he led troops up and down Ambush Alley. If he did he is the first JAG Lawyer to lead anybody or anything. The only problem was that he rode his 4 months in Iraq to victory and now he is a real pain in the a**.
17 posted on 09/27/2007 5:47:47 AM PDT by mortal19440
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To: AliVeritas; jveritas

see #16


18 posted on 09/27/2007 5:48:36 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain And Proud of It! Those who support the troops will pray for them to WIN!)
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To: xzins

We cannot afford to have our troops questioning whether or not their actions will lead to legal ramifications. This is NOT the way to conduct war. As soon as the soldier/sailor/airman stops for a split second to wonder if the next action he/she takes to kill an enemy combatant, one or more of the good guys will be killed by the enemy. This is what the moonbat left wingers want. If we let them succeed, even after the fact by changing the rules of the war after the battle has been won, we may as well not have a military. The consequences of that should be obvious to us all. This is an extremely dangerous situation and our future depends on it.


19 posted on 09/27/2007 5:49:54 AM PDT by DustyMoment (FloriDUH - proud inventors of pregnant/hanging chads and judicide!!)
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To: xzins
These prosecutions are going to do as much to hurt our troops as have the failure to report the successes in Iraq.

Which has, of course, been the plan all along.

20 posted on 09/27/2007 5:50:44 AM PDT by Old Sarge (This tagline in memory of FReeper 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub)
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To: xzins
This is what happens when the Commander in Chief has never been in combat. It’s impossible for anyone to fully appreciate the need for flexible rules of engagement unless they’ve been there and done that.
21 posted on 09/27/2007 5:50:58 AM PDT by vetsvette (Bring Him Back)
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To: xzins
From the article, ..."Sandoval's court-martial on premeditated murder charges for this killing is scheduled to begin today in Baghdad.".....

Why are our guys being tried in Baghdad, not the US? Any lawyers/family have to pay through the nose to attend. This puts their cost of additional defense sky-high. Premeditated murder is SERIOUS.

More from the article.....However, some soldiers serving in Iraq said that the program and the subsequent murder charges have caused them to rethink pulling the trigger in the field out of concern that they could be charged with crimes for doing so. Sndoval prepared to shoot and Hensley repeatedly asked him if he had the shot, they had to make a split-second decision that U.S. troops have to make on a daily basis: Kill the man and possibly face scrutiny, or let him go and possibly put U.S. service members in jeopardy in the future.
22 posted on 09/27/2007 5:54:06 AM PDT by Girlene
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To: DustyMoment; Dr. Eckleburg; Corin Stormhands
This is an extremely dangerous situation and our future depends on it.

I agree totally. On another thread we were discussing Ken Burn's WWII movie. In it, one of the Marines talks about how his unit never took POWs after seeing the mutilated corpses after the Japanese were finished with them.

In other words, he confessed to a "take no POWs rule."

Since there's no statute of limitations, they could still charge those WWII vets. Why don't they do it, if they're so all-fired determined to rake a fine-toothed legal comb through every action that takes place on a battlefield?

Like Las Vegas.....if it happens on the battlefield, it stays on the battlefield. A battlefield is pure insanity, the rules that govern it are insane, and any outsider looking at it has to enter the insanity to even begin to understand it -- and it is impossible to enter the insanity.

23 posted on 09/27/2007 5:56:11 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain And Proud of It! Those who support the troops will pray for them to WIN!)
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To: xzins

They need to start shooting the lawyers doing this sort of cr@p. Since the lawyers have decided to join the the war on the terrorists’ side, they need to be made legal targets for the military and the “unorganized militia.”


24 posted on 09/27/2007 5:56:12 AM PDT by Little Ray (Rudy Guiliani: If his wives can't trust him, why should we?)
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To: xzins

do the JAG Nifongs here have names?

if so, they need to be made into internet celebs


25 posted on 09/27/2007 5:57:12 AM PDT by djxu456
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To: xzins
...pulled the trigger to fire a bullet hundreds of yards into the man's skull,...

Thats a very big skull.
26 posted on 09/27/2007 5:58:05 AM PDT by festus (No matter how guilty you are a jury will probably get you off.)
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To: Old Sarge
There is a 10% increase of Army JAGs since the Cold War. While the warriors are being downgraded the legal system in the military is being “upgraded”.

I never knew lawyers were a time tested method of winning wars. Of course this legal increase for the “protection” of our warriors. Hard to realize they say this with a straight face.

27 posted on 09/27/2007 6:07:00 AM PDT by rollo tomasi (Working hard to pay for deadbeats and corrupt politicians.)
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To: xzins
What a bunch of B.S.

Keep these liberal anti American lawyers off the battlefield. If they want to walk in it, shoot them too. Having to justify a shooting after the fact in a war zone is completely retarded, and as we can see in this case, using 'aids' to speed up the process only results in aiding anti- war/ anti American leftist moonbat lawyers to smear those risking their lives and limbs stomping out fanatic Islamists who kill women and children without a second thought.

Why don't these leftist moonbats walk into terrorist camps with their leftist moonbat UN police and arrest terrorists for not playing according to the "rules" these UN peaceniks think they can place on warfare??

Democrats and American citizens who participate in this traitorous troop and nation bashing should be arrested and tossed in Gitmo with the murdering ( but oh so "devout") Islamic terrorists.
I'm so sick of the insanity going on in this country's government. It needs to be cleansed of all the rich elite idiots that have corrupted all levels of it so completely, and the departments of special interest groups, and restock all levels of government with sane, average American citizens, the very people who should be able to run for office but can't, because they aren't rich.

Only the richest, and therefore spoiled, out of touch with reality elite can run for office in this country, and lawyers, 2nd and 3rd generation Hollywierdo actors who live in a completely altered reality of continuous coke parties, smoozing with faggy "fashion designers" who make "clothing" no sane person would ever wear, and all the rest of the worlds weirdest "elite" (drug cartel families, Marxist elitists, Gaia worshippers, Scientologists, etc)

/rant

28 posted on 09/27/2007 6:07:15 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: xzins

What kind of farmer carries around a sickle on April 27?


29 posted on 09/27/2007 6:07:40 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: Little Ray; Brian Rooney; RedRover; P-Marlowe; Congressman Billybob; blue-duncan; Kolokotronis
Since the lawyers have decided to join the the war on the terrorists’ side, they need to be made legal targets for the military and the “unorganized militia.”

Here's my beliefs on it.

IF it can be proven that they were teaching our troops these "bait" related techniques about making a kill look good, then any confession of those actionsm or other actions any stressed troop might derive from them, should be "specially" Mirandized, and anyone who has NOT been specifically warned that admitting to what they were taught will place them in legal jeopardy should have any charges based on such confessions thrown out.

In other words, the Miranda warnings should be two-tiered. They should say, 1st tier General Miranda Warning: "You have a right to remain silent...blah, blah..."

2nd Tier Miranda "Bait" Warning: You have a right to remain silent about any actions even distantly related to "bait" techniques you were taught were OK which many now consider to be questionable. Anything you say...blah, blah, blah..."

30 posted on 09/27/2007 6:07:58 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain And Proud of It! Those who support the troops will pray for them to WIN!)
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To: P-Marlowe
What kind of farmer carries around a sickle on April 27?

A GRIM REAPER

31 posted on 09/27/2007 6:08:54 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain And Proud of It! Those who support the troops will pray for them to WIN!)
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To: magslinger

Are you sure Zumbo would be using that black weapon?


32 posted on 09/27/2007 6:10:12 AM PDT by caver (Yes, I did crawl out of a hole in the ground.)
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To: festus

deep skull :>)


33 posted on 09/27/2007 6:14:30 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain And Proud of It! Those who support the troops will pray for them to WIN!)
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To: xzins
It is obvious to me that we've got either outright traitors or committed peaceniks in the Defense Department.

There is no statute of limitations on murder, so why don't we bring murder charges against all the still living WWII veterans for what they did in WWII. In many battles there was a "take no prisoners" and "if it moves, kill it" attitude. Maybe we should track down all the guys who dropped bombs on Dresden and charge them with pre-meditated murder?

These prosecutions of soldiers who are simply doing their job are going to get us all killed!

34 posted on 09/27/2007 6:20:10 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: xzins
Since there's no statute of limitations, they could still charge those WWII vets. Why don't they do it, if they're so all-fired determined to rake a fine-toothed legal comb through every action that takes place on a battlefield?

Like Las Vegas.....if it happens on the battlefield, it stays on the battlefield. A battlefield is pure insanity, the rules that govern it are insane, and any outsider looking at it has to enter the insanity to even begin to understand it -- and it is impossible to enter the insanity.

Very well stated. I can only imagine the thought process of a GI after being in the battle for a period of time. They must never lose focus of the physical danger in front of them, and this kind of prosecution will get them killed...

35 posted on 09/27/2007 6:20:27 AM PDT by Gilbo_3 (A few Rams must look after the sheep 'til the Good Shepherd returns...)
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To: xzins

Professional left-wing activists are in Iraq paying Iraqis to file bogus charges against Americans.

It’s treason. They want to emasculate our military via JAGS.


36 posted on 09/27/2007 6:21:36 AM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: xzins

Sorry, I was partially reacting to other “baiting” stories.

Funny how they jump on the “bait” thing but minimize or exclude the “he had just attacked US troops” thing.


37 posted on 09/27/2007 6:26:46 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (The color blue tastes like the square root of 0?)
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To: Diogenesis

You got it.

The military legal brass wanted this case tried in Iraq to avoid these headlines. They did everything possible (including pressing the accused to waive Article 32 hearings) to keep this out of the sunlight. An extra burden was placed on the families to travel to Iraq.

The cause of this prosecution, like others, is that ROE is so complex that no one understands it.

Even experts on ROE, called in the Haditha cases, end up hedging, equivocating, and saying “well, it all depends” instead of speaking in straightforward, declarative sentences about ROE allows and doesn’t allow. All of which puts our soldiers in one hell of a bind.


38 posted on 09/27/2007 6:29:23 AM PDT by RedRover (Someone has to care. It may as well be us.)
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To: festus
"..pulled the trigger to fire a bullet hundreds of yards into the man's skull,...

Thats a very big skull.

No bigger than any other. That's what you call skill and training. Hitting a small target from a long ways away is what being a sniper is all about.

Good hunters do this as well. Plinking groundhogs from 500 or more yards away on a nice sunny Sunday afternoon is practice, and a lot of fun.
A well trained military sniper can make that groundhog 'hop' from 2 miles away.

39 posted on 09/27/2007 6:33:31 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: P-Marlowe; Girlene; bigheadfred; RedRover; AliVeritas; Nathan Zachary
It is obvious to me that we've got either outright traitors or committed peaceniks in the Defense Department.

There is something seriously wrong. You are absolutely correct. It has to start at a point no higher than brigade or division and then goes all the way to the top. I'm afraid it's careerism + political correctness = Betrayal level CYOA (cover your own ass.)

Girlene also points out a serious unfairness in regards to these trials. The military has intentionally kept them low key, tried to keep the trials overseas, tried to assign junior lawyers to the accused, has FULLY funded the prosecution beyond belief, and has kept quiet while the soldier families have to pay out of pocket for experienced legal help ($30,000+), airfare for lawyers and family to Baghdad, living expenses for lawyers and family to Baghdad, and has EVEN required the families to sign personal security waivers acknowledging that the military won't assist them with safety while they're in Iraq. I'm appalled at the treatment of the defense provided these families. It is bankrupting them.

Many don't know that freeper bigheadfred is the uncle of one of these accused soldiers, Spec Evan Villa.

40 posted on 09/27/2007 6:33:43 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain And Proud of It! Those who support the troops will pray for them to WIN!)
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To: P-Marlowe; xzins
Maybe we should track down all the guys who dropped bombs on Dresden and charge them with pre-meditated murder?

Don't forget the fire-bombing over Japan.

More from the article....

....."The charges against Sandoval, Hensley and a third sniper, Sgt. Evan Vela, have caused some of their sniper scout platoon's shootings to be questioned, as well.

"I just came to a unit, Delaware, that they will not pull the trigger on people," said Sgt. Andrew G. Murphy III, according to transcripts of a Baghdad court hearing. "Now they're like, 'What's going to happen if?' And I'm like, 'I don't know; I can't tell you. If you feel threatened, take the shot, and I hope, I pray, that your command takes your back, because you have split and milliseconds to make decisions like this.' " ".....
41 posted on 09/27/2007 6:35:33 AM PDT by Girlene
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To: caver
Are you sure Zumbo would be using that black weapon?

Yes. Shortly after he recanted his heresy regarding the need for "assault weapons" he went coyote hunting with an AR15 or a clone thereof. I marked the event with that fauxto.

42 posted on 09/27/2007 6:37:31 AM PDT by magslinger (Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors. And miss. R.A.Heinlein)
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To: Girlene; P-Marlowe
I pray, that your command takes your back

Our troops are living with betrayal. This is a national disgrace and an historic military abomination.

43 posted on 09/27/2007 6:38:41 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain And Proud of It! Those who support the troops will pray for them to WIN!)
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To: ctdonath2

I figured you’d missed that line. It’s sort of tucked in there out of sight. I had to reread it to even see it, and then when I went to find it to send it to you, I had trouble finding it again.


44 posted on 09/27/2007 6:40:55 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain And Proud of It! Those who support the troops will pray for them to WIN!)
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To: Nathan Zachary

The way the quote reads, there is hundreds of yards of penetration, ergo the big skull comment.


45 posted on 09/27/2007 6:41:11 AM PDT by magslinger (Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors. And miss. R.A.Heinlein)
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To: P-Marlowe
"What kind of farmer carries around a sickle on April 27?"

A Leftist moonbat terrorist one.

Obviously common sense observations like that have no place in a courtroom set up to prosecute and criminalize our troops for anti- war Democrat's political gain.

46 posted on 09/27/2007 6:41:33 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: magslinger

Oh, so the photo part with Zumbo has not been photoshopped?


47 posted on 09/27/2007 6:44:19 AM PDT by caver (Yes, I did crawl out of a hole in the ground.)
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To: festus
Thats a very big skull.

I had to read that a couple of times and laughed too. Great minds, I'm sure.

48 posted on 09/27/2007 6:44:35 AM PDT by Cuttnhorse
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To: 4woodenboats; American Cabalist; AmericanYankee; AndrewWalden; Antoninus; AliVeritas; ardara; ...

Pinging the Haditha list to this interesting thread.

49 posted on 09/27/2007 6:44:41 AM PDT by RedRover (Someone has to care. It may as well be us.)
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To: magslinger

oic, I didn’t read it like that. But now that you point it out, it does sound that way.


50 posted on 09/27/2007 6:46:10 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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