The Corner

Col. West Bleg

Do our “UCMJ guys” out there agree with this take on the Col. West case, given what we know about it?

E-mail: “This simply cannot be allowed to happen. SOMEONE sane (and with combat experience) in the chain of command has to step in and stop this. Please take this up! Please let me know what I can do to help.

This really steams me. The UCMJ defines many civilian crimes because soldiers commit civilian crimes under civilian circumstances-rape, burglary, drunken driving, bar room assault. That is, I believe (my training in the UCMJ was 35 years ago) why Article 128 exists. Now it is being applied in the context of a combat situation- what else can the current situation in Iraq, and in the town Col. West was protecting, be called?- to which it was never intended to apply. I believe Col. West should be acquitted, because he never formed the intent (“mens rea”) necessary to commit this crime. He may, although I very much doubt it, have violated the Geneva Convention on the Conduct of War, but certainly not Article 128 of the UCMJ.”

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

Most Popular


Two Truth-Tellers, Brave as Hell

Yesterday, the Human Rights Foundation hosted an event they called “PutinCon” -- a conference devoted to the Russian “president,” Vladimir Putin: his rise and his deeds, both at home and abroad. Participating were both Russians and well-wishing foreigners. It was, above all, a day of truth-telling -- a ... Read More
Economy & Business

The Swamp: Navarro Nucor Edition

The Wall Street Journal has a story today about the ties between President Trump's trade adviser, Peter Navarro, and the biggest steel company in the U.S. -- Nucor Corp. It is particularly interesting in light of the stiff steel tariffs successfully pushed by Navarro, which he championed ever since he joined the ... Read More


EMPIRICAL   As I can fathom neither endlessness nor the miracle work of deities, I hypothesize, assume, and guess.   The fact that I love you and you love me is all I can prove and proves me. — This poem appears in the April 2 print issue of National Review. Read More
Politics & Policy

Rolling Back Dodd-Frank

The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that would roll back parts of Dodd-Frank. The vote was 67–31, with 17 members of the Democratic caucus breaking party lines. If the legislation passes the House and is signed, it will be the largest change to the controversial financial-reform package since it became law in ... Read More

How Germany Vets Its Refugees

At the height of the influx of refugees into Germany in 2015–17, there was little doubt that mixed among the worthy cases were economic migrants taking advantage of the chaos to seek their fortunes in Europe. Perhaps out of instinctive pro-immigrant sentiment, Germany’s Left obscured the difference. Its ... Read More