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Friday, April 01, 2005

Compare and contrast 
An Army captain, Rogelio Maynulet, has just been convicted of assault with intent to commit voluntary manslaughter by a court martial board.

The AP doesn't really bother with the details. After all, it's just another grunt in trouble, right?

But the man Maynulet shot was an Iraqi insurgent who had received such a horrible head wound that it caused an experienced combat medic to break down in a hopeless effort to treat the wounded man.

The medic, Sgt. Thomas Cassady, conceded Monday under questioning by defense attorney Capt. Will Helixon that his failure to treat the man contributed to the shooting.

"You felt guilty, that it was your fault because you didn't do your job," Helixon asked. Cassady responded: "That's correct, sir."

"You felt you should be the one in trouble," Helixon said. "Correct," Cassady replied.

Cassady testified he told Maynulet the man "wasn't going to make it."

Cassady said yesterday he failed to treat the man because he "spazzed out" at the sight of his head wound, which he described as the worst he had seen in four years as an Army medic.


Cassady acknowledged that Maynulet told him to care for the wounded driver.

"You ignored him because you were freaked out, you told him he's going to die?" defense attorney Helixon asked him. Cassady replied: "Yes, sir, that's correct, sir."

The medic said he had spent about one minute with the man and failed to take his pulse or check his breathing all standard practice when examining wounded. Asked why he did not treat him, Cassady said "I spazzed out at that instant." Maynulet was described yesterday by defense witnesses as "a tremendous soldier" and a man who cared about the Iraqi people.


I wonder why the AP can't be bothered with the human details of the case?

And why is it that an Army at war, which decided to prosecute and ultimately to convict Captain Maynulet, has a greater respect for the intrinsic value of life than the courts in peaceful Florida?

I think that every shooting of an hors de combat individual deserves a close look. That's why I supported a close examination of the infamous shooting of an unarmed Iraqi in Fallujah back in November.

But not every investigation needs to evolve into a court martial, not every court martial needs to return a conviction, and not every conviction need carry a sentence.

Justice must be tempered with compassion and mercy.

Captain Maynulet had the misfortune to be caught on videotape.

I oppose the shooting of unarmed prisoners. I believe in the right to die, but not the right to kill.

That said, I wasn't there. I cannot say I would not have done the same thing had I been in Captain Maynulet's position. And I easily could have been, a thousand times over.

If the testimony here is accurate, and the overall tenor of the World Net Daily piece is accurate, and I truly thought the man was expectant, and he was truly suffering, and all medical options at my disposal had been exhausted, and one of my own troops had ended it for him, though, I'm pretty sure I would have kept it to ourselves. I might have said "don't do that shit again," but there would have been some prosecutorial discretion there.

Otherwise, the genuine sadists who get off on watching people suffer will have a career advantage against those who care enough to kill humanely. And ultimately, as uncomfortable as I am with euthenasia, I'd rather serve with the latter types than with the sadists.

And I'm enough of a realist to understand that while I could have had the medic pump the guy higher than a kite with morphine, then under those circumstances, there really isn't a material difference between the two.

I reject the inevitable argument, though, that I'll undoubtably get in my email box tomorrow: "Well, see, you're critical of Michael Schiavo, but you'd still consider mercy killing the Iraqi. That's inconsistent."

No, not at all.

Terri Schiavo was not expectant. This Iraqi was.

Splash, out

Jason

Comments:
Jason, you said it best.....
 
Jason,

I would like to note that the same AP reporter who allegedly "didn't bother with all the details" also reported the details (below) that you claim were left out on the previous day (it pays to pay attention).

Furthermore, Capt. Maynulet himself personally thanked the AP reporter _ the only newswire representative in the courtroom without whom you would have NOTHING to write about on your blog _ for what he called the "fair and balanced" coverage.

Capt. Maynulet is one of the most impressive young officers I've had the honor of covering in seven years of covering our soldiers off and on the battlefield. How dare you insult my efforts by saying I consider him a grunt.

Shame on you!


>> The medic, Sgt. Thomas Cassady, conceded Monday under questioning by defense attorney Capt. Will Helixon that his failure to treat the man contributed to the shooting.

>> "You felt guilty, that it was your fault because you didn't do your job," Helixon asked. Cassady responded: "That's correct, sir."

>> "You felt you should be the one in trouble," Helixon said. "Correct," Cassady replied.

>> Cassady testified he told Maynulet the man "wasn't going to make it."

>> Cassady said yesterday he failed to treat the man because he "spazzed out" at the sight of his head wound, which he described as the worst he had seen in four years as an Army medic.



>> Cassady acknowledged that Maynulet told him to care for the wounded driver.

>> "You ignored him because you were freaked out, you told him he's going to die?" defense attorney Helixon asked him. Cassady replied: "Yes, sir, that's correct, sir."

>> The medic said he had spent about one minute with the man and failed to take his pulse or check his breathing all standard practice when examining wounded. Asked why he did not treat him, Cassady said "I spazzed out at that instant." Maynulet was described yesterday by defense witnesses as "a tremendous soldier" and a man who cared about the Iraqi people.
 
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