UCMJ for Civilians or Yes, the Abu Gharib Idiots can be Executed
I had the privilege of attending Marc Cooper's
reading at Powell's on Hawthorne tonight with Michael Totten
and Sean LaFreniere
. After the reading, I made my statement that I felt the Abu Gharib idiots should be hung from the highest yardarm, and that I meant it literally. They claimed that there was no way we could do that…ah, civilians. The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)
is not like civilian justice systems. The purpose of the UCMJ is not to safeguard individual liberty; it exists to maintain order in the armed forces whose job is to safeguard the freedom of the nation. Military personnel surrender substantial portions of their constitutional rights, but by no means all of them, upon enlistment or commissioning. One of the most critical of the surrendered rights is the scope of conduct that is allowed; bad discipline has destroyed armies without number, and the UCMJ reflects this.
899. ART. 99. MISBEHAVIOR BEFORE THE ENEMY
Any person subject to this chapter who before or in the presence of the enemy--
(3) through disobedience, neglect, or intentional misconduct endangers the safety of any such command, unit, place, or military property;
shall be punished by death or such punishment as a court- martial may direct.
There are other relevant articles that carry open ended punishments, but Article 99 is exactly relevant to the intentional misconduct of the soldiers who took the pictures. Unlike in previous wars, the presence of the enemy is now everywhere. American and Coalition military and civilian personnel will die because of the misbehavior of these soldiers. They deserve to die for their crimes and the damage they have done to their fellows and the discredit they have brought to their nation. The UCMJ they are subject to provides for that punishment.