Monday, September 24, 2007

The only people we're fighting are al-Qaeda, and anyone who looks at us cock-eyed.

Uh, wow. Completely destitute of good ideas, the Pentagon has decided that the best way to distinguish insurgents in Iraq from civilians is to leave things lying in the streets, and shoot anyone who picks them up.
A Pentagon group has encouraged some U.S. military snipers in Iraq to target suspected insurgents by scattering pieces of "bait," such as detonation cords, plastic explosives and ammunition, and then killing Iraqis who pick up the items, according to military court documents.


"Baiting is putting an object out there that we know they will use, with the intention of destroying the enemy," Capt. Matthew P. Didier, the leader of an elite sniper scout platoon attached to the 1st Battalion of the 501st Infantry Regiment, said in a sworn statement. "Basically, we would put an item out there and watch it. If someone found the item, picked it up and attempted to leave with the item, we would engage the individual as I saw this as a sign they would use the item against U.S. Forces."

Never mind that anyone could pick this up; never mind that in a war-torn area, civilians might pick it up to defend themselves against all the other insane fuckers with guns; never mind that this is basically entrapment; if someone picks up something lying on the street, it's okay to kill them!
"In a country that is awash in armaments and magazines and implements of war, if every time somebody picked up something that was potentially useful as a weapon, you might as well ask every Iraqi to walk around with a target on his back," [president of the National Institute of Military Justice Eugene] Fidell said.

Which, of course, might be the whole point.

There's also the fact that this program is ripe for abuse: soldiers could simply plant the "bait" after the fact to make wholesale slaughter of civilians legally justified. In fact, that's how it came to light:
The classified program was described in investigative documents related to recently filed murder charges against three snipers who are accused of planting evidence on Iraqis they killed.

So in addition to "driving while black", we now have "living while brown"?

Via BarbinMD.

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