Even cops call suspects "gentleman" and broadcasters make a particular point of saying "allegedly" in front of even the most heinous and clear-cut crimes and the names of the detained.
But when it comes to cases involving the U.S. military, from silliest, most inconsequential non story like Abu Grabass to those coming out of this war which may eventually be called war crimes, our troops are extended none of these courtesies.
Very typically, the MSM reports it this way:
"WASHINGTON - The U.S. military on Monday identified the five soldiers who've been charged with raping an Iraqi teenager and murdering her, her parents and 6-year-old sister as two sergeants, a specialist and two privates." -- San Jose Mercury News
Here's another typical snippet which demonstrates the tone of such reporting: "This brings to 19 the number of U.S. troops facing criminal charges for deliberately killing 33 Iraqi civilians in five incidents from November to May. In the most publicized case, the Nov. 19 slaughter of 24 men, women and children in Haditha, no one has been charged thus far."
These alleged crimes are reported in lurid detail; photographs and video tapes of bloody crime scenes are broadcast and published as none-too-subtle indications of guilt, but we are given no proof whatsoever that the images have anything whatsoever to do with the alleged crimes, or were even taken in Iraq.
Due to the 24-hour news cycle and the "if it bleeds, it leads" mentality of the leftist media, the average viewer gets to see pockmarked walls, pools of blood and gibbering villagers and through endless repetition, the disparate elements combine to form the intended conclusion... a crime has occurred, the foreign victims insist U.S. troops are responsible and here is the photographic "proof".
I believe that most of this is intentional (you must try very hard to maintain a double standard in your reporting), but it is also routine for US reporters to sit out the war in the safety of Iraq's Green Zone, just as they did in Saigon's Caravelle Hotel, relying on indigenous "stringers" to get the stories... then report them as their own. The typical TV reporter in Iraq spends more time in hair and makeup than in the field.
There is little doubt that some of these "stringers" actually work for the bad guys... just as the VC did in Vietnam. And just like you-know-what through a goose, such propaganda is poured back here for unedited, domestic consumption with the purpose of undermining our troops, this war, and this president.
These inflammatory visuals "prove" guilt to a great percentage of Americans before our troops have even been charged. Meanwhile, the leftist news media campaigns for the release of armed terrorists captured on the battlefield because they believe the proof of their guilt is somehow insufficient. Their mantra when it comes to raghead murderers is "close Abu Griab prison."
Two years ago Pantano was charged with premeditated murder of two suspected insurgents.
On April 15, 2004, Pantano was ordered to attack a suspected insurgent stronghold in Mahmudiyah, near Fallujah. Enroute his unit encountered two suspected insurgents in a car; a nearby building said to house insurgents was empty, but his Marines found a variety of weapons.
Pantano ordered the men from the car to search, concerned that the car might be booby-trapped.
Suddenly, Pantano noticed the men make furtive actions, and immediately shot the pair to death.
To send what he said was a message to the insurgency, Pantano then put a sign over the bodies repeating the slogan of Marine Lt. Gen. James Mattis, who helped lead the invasion of Iraq.
The sign read, "No better friend, no worse enemy," a marker that was removed after one of his men told Pantano it was inappropriate. The fact that a combat Marine would whine that such a calling card was “inappropriate” indicates how deeply our military has been negatively affected by political correctness.
During the hearing that would ultimately lead to Pantano's exoneration, the sergeant who filed the complaint against him was shown to have made contradictory statements.The statements resulted in the sergeant's being threatened with charges and ultimately being granted immunity from prosecution, according to Pantano's recently published book, "War Lord".
Bolstering Pantano's defense were autopsy reports on the two slain Iraqis that showed they had not been shot in the back. The murder charges were dropped.
"There seems to be a rush to judgment," said Charles Gittins, said Pantano's civilian attorney, in a world class understatement.
"The war's being run from the Pentagon, and the Pentagon's moving with the 24-hour news cycle. There's a tendency to charge first and let the facts play themselves out later," Gittins said. "Back the soldiers."
Pantano warned against sweeping conclusions. "Nobody's running amok and being barbarians. That's so inaccurate," he said. "The real jeopardy is there's so much blowback every time you use force that troops are dying from hesitation."
There's often political pressure for the military to find someone to blame and punish, “especially in a case that puts egg on the face of the military,” she said.
Sometimes I think if it weren't suicidal, it would serve America right if those of us willing to die for our country and our fellow citizens would say, "we're mad as hell and we're not taking it any more. You chicken____ bastards fight your own battles and see what it's like for a change.
"You want your kids to see another birthday? Get your rifle and get out there.... we're going fishin'."