The Corner

About the SEALS

From an Army officer:

I’d like to offer one other insight.

I suspect that by asking for a court-martial instead of non-judicial

punishment, the SEALs are maintaining that they are absolutely innocent

of striking the detainee after he was subdued.  They would be foolish to

do this as a “How dare we get punished for one little punch” statement

— they know that a court-martial will only assess the binary “did it

happen/did it not happen” aspect and not whether it’s a big deal in the

grand cosmic scheme of things.  And being found guilty at court-martial,

even for a single punch, would be devastating for anyone’s future.  I

think the SEALs will argue that the bloody lip was caused 1) by someone

else at the detention center or 2) by the detainee himself, who knows

the knots we tie ourselves in over these kinds of things.

Finally, I’d submit that someone who got punched in the face by a Navy

SEAL would probably end up with much, much worse than a bloody lip.