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.”


The Latest