Two of the three Navy SEALs charged with mistreating Iraqi prisoner Ahmed Hashim Abed have been found not guilty of the charges held against them. The third SEAL, Matthew McCabe, will be tried May 3rd. He is the only defendant being charged with actually hitting the prisoner.
So far, the witnesses who have testified against the SEALs have proved unreliable and seem to have left the judge presiding over the hearings unimpressed. The fact that this entire proceeding is based on whether one punch was or was not thrown seems a bit silly in the face of a war which, since 2003, has claimed thousands of American lives and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives. That this trial is taking place in the open is a reminder of our country’s tradition of justice, but is also a reminder of the fable about gossip in which it is told that feathers, once released to the wind, can never be collected again.
Most commentators seem to think that McCabe will likely be acquitted, just as his fellow SEALs were, because in each of the three hearings the charges, witnesses and evidence are all the same or nearly identical. It logically follows that McCabe will be acquitted as well, but it’s not over yet.
I will continue to update our readers.