Special to The Bold Pursuit … Robert Arvay, former military, shares his unique perspective on the attempted courts-martial of three Navy Seals.
During my twenty years of military service to the United States, I was privileged to see some of the very finest Americans on a daily basis. From the lowest private to the highest general, and in all branches of the service, I witnessed constant dedication and devotion to our highest ideals.
I am now in my twentieth year of post-military retirement, and I have never had anything disparaging to say about our Armed Forces. But the recent courts-martial of three heroic Navy Seals compels me to speak my mind.
Every house has its soiled laundry, and as a general rule, we are all better off not mentioning it. The bad apples in the military are few and far between, but sometimes, they have a negative influence all out of proportion to their small numbers. And I warrant that the vast majority of military veterans know exactly whereof I speak.
So it is that I call for an investigation of exactly how it was, that three American heroes were not only falsely accused of a crime they did not commit, but actually brought to trial on the basis of a prosecution case that could not survive two hours of jury review before the just verdict of acquittal on all charges.
This was never a case about a crime. It was never a case about serving justice. From the very earliest stages of this case, superior officers had the discretion and the duty to exonerate these men on the basis of the flimsiness of the prosecution evidence, if evidence it was.
Let us consider the very worst case scenario possible, that the three men had presumably been guilty as charged. Guilty of what? Of punching a terrorist who had murdered Americans? Which they did not, but let us presume guilt. How serious was this charge? Serious enough to warrant a court-martial?
Remember, these men had risked their lives to capture the terrorist. They had risked death to take him alive. During the capture operation, they had every opportunity to punch, kick, stab, shoot and even bomb the terrorist, to insult, hurt, wound or kill him. They did not do that. But according to the prosecution, the Navy Seals chose to bloody the terrorist in front of a witness whom they did not know well enough to trust with a secret. Preposterous!
So why did the commanders, after seeing the Navy Seals refuse the dishonor of nonjudicial punishment, then proceed with a full blown court-martial? Why did they choose to believe the discredited witness, who admitted dereliction of duty?
To answer that, we have to understand that there are two kinds of people in the military. First are the warriors, those willing to risk their lives in the performance of dangerous, often thankless duties. Second, there are a small number of the politically correct.
And if you think that is of little consequence, you are tragically mistaken.
To prove that, ask yourself which of these two kinds of people supervised Major Nidal Malik Hasan. Warriors or bureaucrats? Hasan is the man who murdered 13 Americans in the Fort Hood massacre. There was strong reason for Hasan’s superiors to report him for terrorist sympathies, long before he actually murdered his victims. He had a long history leading up to the murders. But you see, Hasan is a Muslim. You might not know that. The press either did not report his religion at all, or downplayed it. Because you see, it is politically incorrect to associate terrorism with Islam. The politically correct do not wish to offend Muslims.
This is the kind of thinking that led to the courts-martial of the Navy Seals, but not even nonjudicial punishment against Major Hasan prior to his act of terrorism. The thinking is that we must not offend the terrorists who are killing us. We must instead punish those who defend us.
This is the kind of thinking that requires American warriors in Afghanistan to warn the enemy of our impending attacks, and to read them their (nonexistent) Miranda rights on the battlefield.
This is the kind of thinking that gets us killed. And it is well past time that Americans put a stop to this insanity.