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Did Marine Murder Two Iraqis? Hearing To Weigh Evidence
MSNBC ^ | April 26, 2005 | AP

Posted on 04/26/2005 7:43:50 AM PDT by MisterRepublican

RALEIGH, N.C. - A former Wall Street trader who rejoined the Marines after the Sept. 11 attacks is now faced with the consequences of another choice — the split-second decision he made in a combat zone.

Defense attorneys for 2nd Lt. Ilario Pantano and military prosecutors agree that the Marine shot and killed two Iraqis last year in a search for a terrorist hideout. But they do not agree on circumstances surrounding the shootings.

Defense attorneys say Pantano was doing his job. Prosecutors say it was murder, and were expected to present their evidence at a preliminary hearing set to begin Tuesday at Camp Lejeune.

The case has stirred debate on whether troops should be second-guessed for decisions made in fleeting seconds of combat.

Bush asked to intervene

A North Carolina congressman has urged President Bush to intervene and dismiss charges against the 33-year-old New Yorker.

Pantano also has become a popular subject for conservative radio hosts, and his mother, Merry, has started a Web site in his defense.

“This Web site has raised awareness, which is what we has hoped it would do,” Merry Pantano said Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” She said supporters “do not understand how a warrior in combat can be charged with premeditated murder for self-defense for defending his men.”

Rep. Walter Jones, a Republican, has said Pantano was doing nothing more than “defending the cause of freedom, democracy and liberty in his actions.”

The Article 32 hearing, similar to a civilian grand jury hearing, is held to determine whether to recommend a court-martial or other punishment. An investigating officer will then make a recommendation to the commanding general of the 2nd Marine Division, who determines whether to proceed to trial or modify the charges.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: iraq; marine; pantano

1 posted on 04/26/2005 7:43:52 AM PDT by MisterRepublican
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To: MisterRepublican

I understand why recruitment is slow, gee you get charged with murdering the enemy. At this rate, we would all be speaking German, because we would have never won WWII

2 posted on 04/26/2005 7:45:15 AM PDT by mel
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To: mel

This is the direct result OF A RUNAWAY JUDICIARY AND GROSS LIBERALISM IN OUR LEGAL SYSTEM. Total perversion of our legal system --- welcome to the Midas touch of liberalism.

3 posted on 04/26/2005 7:47:08 AM PDT by EagleUSA (q)
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To: MisterRepublican

WAR is what a Marine tells you to do....and if you don't.....expect the consequences. I pray this man is cleared.

4 posted on 04/26/2005 7:49:03 AM PDT by goodnesswins (Our military......the world's HEROES!)
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To: mel

If he did what he is accused of doing he deserves to be charged with murder.

I have know way of evaluating if the charges are credible. I'm not saying he's guilty. I'm just saying that if there is credible evidence that he ordered their handcuffs removed and then shot them, it appears appropriate for the prosecutor to file charges.

5 posted on 04/26/2005 7:50:59 AM PDT by untrained skeptic
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To: MisterRepublican

Often an article 32 investigation (it is more of a hearing) is used to give the commander top cover, so that he can dismiss a weak case, without taking all of the heat. If the IO report comes back and recommends dismissal, it lets the Commander off the hook.

6 posted on 04/26/2005 7:52:07 AM PDT by NavVet (“Benedict Arnold was wounded in battle fighting for America, but no one remembers him for that.”)
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To: goodnesswins

I agree that if his version of the story is accurate, he did nothing wrong.

7 posted on 04/26/2005 7:53:08 AM PDT by untrained skeptic
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To: EagleUSA

I find this whole case disgusting. What part of "WAR" isn't understood. Here we have a fine young man who left a good job and his young family to re-enlist to fight in Iraq for a second time, he shoots a couple of Iraqis who did not stop when told to and he get charged with murder. What in the HELL is going on in this country?

8 posted on 04/26/2005 7:58:22 AM PDT by ImpotentRage
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To: MisterRepublican
According to charges, Pantano ordered other troops to remove the suspects’ handcuffs and look away, then shot the pair in the back, vandalized their vehicle and hung a sign over their corpses bearing a Marine slogan: “No better friend, no worse enemy.”

I'm withholding judgment. However, if this is what actually happened, murder charges are appropriate.

9 posted on 04/26/2005 8:01:43 AM PDT by Modernman ("Work is the curse of the drinking classes." -Oscar Wilde)
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To: untrained skeptic
Pantano was investigated and cleared at the field level last year and continued combat operations. But civilian defense lawyer Charles Gittins said a disgruntled enlisted man complained after Pantano’s unit returned to Camp Lejeune. A new probe led to the charge.

Tells me all I need to know.

Dismiss the charges and give this Marine a medal. On top of that, but him a case of beer and steak dinners for a week. He probably saved his life and his Marines' lives as well.

Hell, John Kerry got one and he ADMITTED he shot a defenseless kid and was praised for it!

10 posted on 04/26/2005 8:02:04 AM PDT by Littlejon
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To: Modernman

Perhaps, he can run for President one day

11 posted on 04/26/2005 8:05:24 AM PDT by mel
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To: mel

He cant run as a democrat unless he shot them in the back. Somehow, I doubt he'd want to go do that anyways.

Dont get too fired up yet. Like the other guy said, this is to cover everyones 6. If he is found not guilty of anything at this hearing, then its over. If they just didnt do anything about it it would be on 60 minutes for ever. I have my own feelings about it that basically revolve around "he shot a terrorist, what was the problem again" but the military law system is not the same as the kook liberal legal system the civilians have to endure.

12 posted on 04/26/2005 8:13:59 AM PDT by WildBillArthur (Support the NRA!)
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To: Former Military Chick

Here's an update on Lt. Pantano.

13 posted on 04/26/2005 8:18:21 AM PDT by Stonewall Jackson (Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. - John Adams)
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To: Littlejon

Hell, John Kerry got one and he ADMITTED he shot a defenseless kid and was praised for it!

he ADMITTED he shot a defenseless kid IN THE BACK and was praised for it!

14 posted on 04/26/2005 8:45:54 AM PDT by GeekDejure ( LOL = Liberals Obey Lucifer !!! -- Impeach Greer !!!.)
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To: MisterRepublican
Relax folks...

We NOT talking about a court room filled with red eyed, jerk knee bleeding heart, America hating liberal lawyers..

This is a MILITARY Court.
This is truly a trial by one's peers..

If this officer is innocent -- he will be found so.
If this officer is guilty --- he will be found so, and punished.

I have 100% faith, that the outcome will be JUST..

Semper Fi
15 posted on 04/26/2005 8:56:42 AM PDT by river rat (You may turn the other cheek, but I prefer to look into my enemy's vacant dead eyes.)
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To: ImpotentRage
RE: What in the HELL is going on in this country?

Indeed, what the hell is going on?

Why is this happening? Is this Washington's civilians' political fear of the ACLU and the MSM raising hell like they did with Abu Ghraib? I've heard Mr. Rowan Scarborough suggest that it may well be.

Where were the ACLU and the MSM for Mrs. Vicky Weaver, a U.S. citizen?

This old hillbilly ain't got the brightest pixels here but I do remember things from the past, (google fills in the details. Good google.)

So why do employees of the U.S. government have virtual unlimited "rights" to kill while the military in unconventional combat may have to choose between trial by twelve or carried by six?

I repeat, no one fears that the Marines will "sacrifice" Lt. Pantano. The Marine Corps will do the right thing. IMO, the question is why go through this B.S?

The feds exercised their employees' "rights" to protect an employee from prosecution by the state of Idaho for the murder of Mrs. Randy Weaver.

The Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals ruling on June 14, 2000 protected federal agents such as Horiuchi. One judge on the majority side wrote, "Horiuchi does not have to show that his action was in fact necessary or in retrospect justifiable, only that he reasonably thought it to be."

Though the killing occurred under Bush I the Clinton Administration's U.S. solicitor general, Seth Waxman, "personally argued the case before the judges, appearing as a friend of the court in behalf of Horiuchi. Waxman sought to put the issue to rest by informing judges that 'federal law-enforcement officials are privileged to do what would otherwise be unlawful if done by a private citizen. It’s a fundamental function of our government.'"

Defense is a fundamental function of our government. The military has that responsibility and must have equal rights to kill the enemy as some believe that government employees have "rights" to kill us, the lowly citizens.

Go figure.

16 posted on 04/26/2005 9:21:36 AM PDT by WilliamofCarmichael (MSM Fraudcasters are skid marks on journalism's clean shorts.)
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To: Littlejon
" a disgruntled enlisted man complained after Pantano’s unit returned to Camp Lejeune."

It all depends on if his story is credible. If he's lying to get at Pantano, he deserves to be Court Marshalled himself.

If he seems credible, the charges need investigated.

The purpose of the Article 32 hearing is to determine if there is enough evidence to go ahead with a court marshal, or if the charges are not credible.

The field level investigation found no or insignificant evidence of a crime. I don't know if the prosecutor is basing his decision to pursue charges based on the same information available to the field investigators, or if additional information has turned up.

I believe we should support our soldier. In this case both the accuser and the accused are Marines. I'd like to think that marines aren't capable of lying to falsely incriminate a fellow Marine. I'd also like to think that Marines don't kill prisoners in cold blood.

Either way there's a rotten Marine that should never see the outside of a cell again.
17 posted on 04/26/2005 9:26:49 AM PDT by untrained skeptic
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