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Apr 30 2016

40 Minutes Of Lies

C-SPAN

A Moral Debt for Bombing the Doctors Without Borders Hospital
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD, The New York Times
APRIL 29, 2016

(M)ilitary officials have refused to identify the individuals responsible for the disaster and to explain what type of punishment each will face. The Pentagon also appears to have ruled out the possibility of holding them accountable in a court of law for one of the most egregious war zone blunders in recent history.

Those decisions are deeply troubling. Gen. Joseph Votel, the commander of the military’s Central Command, or Centcom, told journalists on Friday that the service members who made the mistakes would not face criminal prosecution because investigators determined that their errors were unintentional.

Gen. John Campbell, the commander of American troops in Afghanistan at the time, concluded that some service members had flouted the rules of engagement and violated the law of armed conflict, Centcom said in a statement. However, Pentagon officials determined that they would not face criminal charges because of their lack of intent.

Human rights advocates and Doctors Without Borders rightly point out that under the American military code and international laws of war, fatal mistakes that result from recklessness and gross negligence can constitute crimes.

“The threshold that must be crossed for this deadly incident to amount to a grave breach of international humanitarian law is not whether it was intentional or not,” Meinie Nicolai, the president of Doctors Without Borders, said in a statement. “With multinational coalitions fighting with different rules of engagement across a wide spectrum of wars today, whether in Afghanistan, Syria, or Yemen, armed groups cannot escape their responsibilities on the battlefield simply by ruling out the intent to attack a protected structure such as a hospital.”

General Votel said on Friday that the military would not identify the 16 service members who were disciplined out of concern for their privacy and because some of them are currently deployed overseas in sensitive areas. That is a ridiculous reason to shield those responsible from full accountability for their actions.

1 comment

  1. ek hornbeck

    Vent Hole

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