Let me start out by saying I’m a big fan of Allahpundit. I have been since the days of Allah Is In The House, when he actually wrote in Allah’s voice and Michelle Malkin wasn’t :”the boss,” but a “Satan who makes Allah feel a little funny in his pants.” The guy’s a genius.
I’m still a fan of his, but I gotta call him out: the guy’s just plain wrong on this story.
I’ll admit, as I read his story and analysis, I found myself nodding along with his reasoning. It all makes a great deal of sense — give the accused SEALS a slap on the wrist, tell ’em to be a smidgen more discreet, and quietly bury the whole story. Everything works out just fine.
But unfortunately, it appears that Allah and I are as ignorant of the details of the military judicial system as, apparently, the Obama administration is. Because that just can’t happen.
The military has a system for such quiet, non-career-killing proceedings. In the Navy, they’re called “Captain’s Masts.” The captain (or commanding officer) holds a private hearing, decides guilt or innocence, and imposes a range of penalties — that do NOT go on the offender’s disciplinary record like a criminal conviction.
That’s how the military handles minor matters. For more serious ones, they bring in the big guns — the court martial. That’s the one that administers discharges, imprisonment, and — in the worst cases — executions.
The problem with Allah’s scenario is that the accused SEALS were offered Captain’s Mast (or, in the non-Navy, bureaucratic lingo, “nonjudicial punishment) and refused. Instead, they insisted on a full court martial.
Why would they do this? I have my own theory — one that Allah would probably agree with, once he educated himself on the particulars and thought it through.
Our Special Forces are inculcated with values and beliefs that represent the very best of America. And chief among them is a fierce integrity. These SEALS honestly, sincerely, and deeply believe that they did absolutely nothing wrong when they captured that terrorist. They refused the Mast because that would have been an admission of wrongdoing, and they will not lie about it.
Rather, they’ll take their chances with their brethren in a full Court Martial, with all the facts in evidence. They believe that they are innocent, and will be found innocent. And that is the gamble they are facing.
Because a court martial conviction is an automatic “felony” conviction. It’s a career-killer — at the very least. They could also be stripped of rank, dishonorably discharged, or even imprisoned.
They’re willing to take that chance, because they believe in their innocence and their system. There will be no “slap on the wrist” for them, simply because the stakes have gotten too high. That option is off the table.
There’s an old saying, Allah, that says “when you’re getting the most flak, you know you’re over the target.” It’s used a lot by people under fire (usually metaphorically) to bolster their courage and convictions.
Well, I’ve discovered the Charles Johnson Exception to that rule: “when you start getting a hell of a lot of flak from what you thought were friendly units, you might be bombing the wrong target.”
Back away from this one, Allah. You were spot-on in your analysis, but a little late — it would have been nice and tidy and easy if the military had given the SEALS a wrist-slap. The whole thing could have been swept under the rug.
But they have too much pride and integrity and devotion to play their role in the charade. Instead, they are standing their ground and insisting that they did nothing wrong, and won’t play along with the political games.
Good for them. It’s time for a bit of downward loyalty — by dropping the charges.