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US soldier guilty of murder in deaths of 4 Iraqis

February 20th, 2009 . by TexasFred

US soldier guilty of murder in deaths of 4 Iraqis

VILSECK, Germany – A U.S. Army medic was convicted of murder Friday for his involvement in the execution-style slayings of four bound and blindfolded Iraqi detainees shot in the back of the head in the spring of 2007.

Sgt. Michael Leahy Jr. was found guilty on charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder by the nine-person jury who had heard testimony about the killings at the court-martial at the Army’s Rose Barracks Courthouse since Wednesday.

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US soldier guilty of murder in deaths of 4 Iraqis

There are those that will say that you can’t commit murder during war, on the field of battle or in a combat zone. Those persons are wrong and have apparently never served or know nothing of the UCMJ. The actions of this soldier are indefensible, but I am sure there will be a few blogs that try to justify his actions and have him vindicated of his crimes.

Leahy, of Lockport, Illinois, confessed to military investigators that he shot one of the prisoners point-blank in the back of the head with a 9mm pistol.

That confession is quite likely what has spared this soldier the death penalty.

In closing arguments earlier, Leahy’s civilian lawyer, Frank Spinner, argued that Leahy went along with the killings because he was dazed from a lack of sleep and numb from being in a war zone for months. It was a sentiment bolstered on Thursday in testimony from Col. Charles Hoge, a doctor and director of psychology and neuroscience at the Army’s Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

He testified that Leahy was unable to reason properly because of the constant danger of living and operating in a war zone and getting little sleep for months on end.

“The tragedy resulted not so much by design but rather the working of fear, danger and madness attendant on many combat operations,” Spinner said in his closing arguments.

For those that don’t know, this is the way it works. If you meet the enemy on the field of battle, kill them, kill them in great numbers, kill them ALL, that’s called WAR. Once the battle is over, if there are survivors and they have surrendered to you, you are then responsible for their health, safety and all around well being. Those are the rules. A soldier, of ANY rank, can’t take the execution of prisoners upon himself. A bullet to the back of the head, point blank, along with the confession of Leahy, equates to execution, ie: MURDER, not the killing of an enemy combatant of the field of battle.

I don’t know what kind of military experience that Leahy’s lawyer had but his defense that Leahy was ‘dazed from a lack of sleep and numb from being in a war zone for months’ is one of the most lame excuses for a defense that I have ever heard. If those conditions were to become acceptable as justification for murder, every troop in theater would have a ready defense and an *out* for murdering any indigenous person they decided to kill.

We are a nation of LAWS, and in this case, laws were broken and lives were taken unnecessarily. I do NOT pity this troop for his fate, he has brought it upon himself. I suppose there will be some bloggers that take me to task for not supporting Sgt. Michael Leahy Jr. and his actions, but if that is the case I also hope those certain bloggers remove the description *Military Support* from their blogs.

What you see written on this page IS military support. I support the thousands of fine men and women that are out there doing the job, every day, day after day, no matter how tired they are, no matter how stressed they are, regardless of the circumstance they are facing, they do the job and they do it right. Those are the troops I support.

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11 Responses to “US soldier guilty of murder in deaths of 4 Iraqis”

  1. comment number 1 by: jd3

    This is the main thing that separates “US” from “THEM”

  2. comment number 2 by: KrzyBeautiful

    I agree with you Pop.

  3. comment number 3 by: Patrick Sperry

    I can understand the defense using the situation, after all, that is his job. To defend the indefensible. Perhaps it primarily served to mitigate the actions, and spare the soldier the death penalty.

    Fact of the matter is though, that a lot of other troops were subjected to the same conditions, and they didn’t go and shoot prisoners.

    That was murder, plain and simple.

  4. comment number 4 by: ChicagoRay

    All you folks have it right as I think things are supposed to work in a civilized and orderly world although war isn’t always orderly if ever.

    “Leahy, of Lockport, Illinois, confessed to military investigators that he shot one of the prisoners point-blank in the back of the head with a 9mm pistol.”

    In the back of the head is not US soldier activity and “that is what separates us from them” says JD3, I think so too.

    Now if you shoot a drug dealer running back over the border in the a** as a certified Border Patrol agent that’s a different story, fire away. But to Mafia or gangland shoot an already restrained and blindfolded human or humans is inhumane anywhere by anyone, soldiers included. You’re right on this one Fred as you so often are ;>)

  5. comment number 5 by: cary - Botan Ichihara

    I’m with ya here, Fred. This was premeditated murder.

  6. comment number 6 by: GM Roper

    Horse whippin’ is too good for this troop. Hanging seems right, confession or not.

  7. comment number 7 by: BobF

    As a retired Senior NCO with over 20 years of active duty, I can attest to the fact that not everyone who wears the uniform of our Armed Forces is honorable. NCO’s and officers spend almost 80% of their “people” time with those who have disciplinary problems. That’s why there’s non-judicial punishment, Courts Martials, and discharges under less than honorable conditions.

  8. comment number 8 by: Deron

    AS an NCO and Combat Veterean I have to say this guy is an idiot. If you want to kill them, untie and take off the blind fold then let them start running or something then shoot. I think it is safe to say that this guy put himself on the same level of the Terrorist we are fighting. Whover worked with this guy deserves an ASS WHOOPIN too. It’s shit like this that makes us all look bad.

  9. comment number 9 by: Bloviating Zeppelin

    What the hell is a MEDIC doing around a prisoner, carrying a 9mm pistol? And furthermore, that “conspiracy” portion begs many further questions.


  10. comment number 10 by: Deron

    I think it’s safe to say that the Medic was supposed to be administering aid if needed to the Prisoners. As for the 9mm, we all use them and the Medics use them for security purposes. It’s easier than carrying around a M16 or M4. I know our medics would hand off their Rifles to one of us Infantry Soldiers to work on patients, it seerves 2 purposes, 1- you don’t forget it and or lose it and 2- the enemy doesn’t use it against you.

  11. comment number 11 by: Vigilante

    I agree with BobF that not all of the troops are honorable as I have seen the same. I regret that this has to happen because
    as Deron say’s, it makes them all look bad and it only serves the purpose of giving ammunition to scum like the new york times, john murtha, and john kerry to get in front of an audience and blather their horseshit about our military. I too would have to say “guilty as charged” for the young man.