21 Apr. 2008

Military Madness

How's this for an offer you can't refuse:
Last year the US Army granted waivers to allow 511 convicted criminals to join up, almost double the number from the year before.

Almost 250 Army and Marine recruits had convictions for burglary while 130 had been charged with drug offences, excluding marijuana.

There were also a handful of waivers given for those convicted of rape and sexual assault, along with terrorist threats, including bomb threats.
More here:
The felons accepted into the army and marines included ... two convicted of indecent behaviour with a child [and] 19 arsonists.
So we have known terrorists fighting the (ahem) "war" on terror, convicted rapists, paedophiles and arsonists roaming the streets of Falluja, and drug addicts in control of Afghanistan's poppy fields. Lovely stuff.

How did it come to this? Just ask the criminals in charge, and the fools who elected them.

As Juan Cole said:
It is an index of the despotism to which the United States has fallen victim that we must hope for other, more civilized countries, to try our war criminals. Why can't public officials be prosecuted for violating the Bill of Rights' guarantee against cruel and unusual punishment? Why can't an International Military Tribunal be set up as at Nuremberg?
But it's not just Uncle Sam, is it?

Aussie SAS troops drew first blood in Iraq, Aussie officials were present in torture sessions, Aussie lawyers, politicians, media and military voices loudly supported the US re-interpretation of the Geneva Conventions, the Howard government silenced dissenting opinions in the intelligence community, we have backed US War Crimes to the hilt (including the claimed right to further “pre-emptive” wars and the habitual targeting of civilian areas)…

And to all intents and purposes, given the continuing official silence on these issues, we remain beholden to the US neocon vision. We still pretend the invasion was legal!

How do we "move on" with these horrendously important issues unresolved?