Human Rights and the Marine Controversy

Human rights and the Marine controversy, that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points" memo. As I stated last night, I believe the Marine who shot the wounded insurgent in a Fallujah (search) mosque is innocent of any and all wrongdoing. The videotape of the incident clearly shows the Marine thought the prone insurgent was a danger. He says this aloud right before he shoots.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's moving. He's faking he's dead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's breathing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's faking his own death.


Faking death is a violation of the rules of war. And just one day earlier, another Marine from the same unit was killed by a booby trap tied to the corpse of an Iraqi. Those of us who have experienced combat know that life, death situations occur in seconds, in a snap. There is no time to think, just to react.

That Marine protected himself and his comrades. If that prone Iraqi had a grenade or an explosive device, everybody in the room dies.

The Marine is now being investigated by the Pentagon and that's fair. What is not fair is some of the statements about the incident.

For example, Joe Stork from Human Rights Watch (search) said, "If it is what it appears to be, then obviously it would be a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions (search). It would probably be a war crime."

Bull. And Human Rights knows it. After Storr said that, James Ross, a legal advisor to the group said this. "But if someone feigns being incapacitated or killed, and then uses that to trick someone and shoot them, that's a war crime, and must justify the shooting in this case"

Amnesty International also weighed in. Its spokesman Allister Hodgett (search) opines, "This latest incident is just a further reminder that one cannot take it for granted that troops on the ground will strive to abide by the spirit and the letter of the law if they are not given leadership on the matter."

Well, here's a bulletin for Mr. Hodgett: U.S. Marines are among the best trained fighting units in the world. Both Human Rights Watch (search) and Amnesty International (search) believe the U.S.A. often causes worldwide problems. And those groups are backed by some heavy left-wing donations. George Soros (search) is even an advisor to Human Rights Watch.

As far as the American press is concerned, it's been cautious, although "The Los Angeles Times" once again has demonstrated its mandate. The bottom headline today read, "Marine May Be Charged in the Fallujah Killing of an Unarmed Fighter." The footage aired on Arab TV further tarnishing America's image.

Well, all of that may be true, although it's unlikely the Marine will be charged. But I ask you, is "The L.A. Times" being fair and balanced with that headline? You make the call.

Finally, "Talking Points" is making this story a personal mission. And we will make sure that Marine is treated fairly. It's the least we can do.

And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

There's a big brouhaha -- love that word -- over a sexy promotion which ran on "Monday Night Football" this week. One of the stars of the ABC program "Desperate Housewives," Nicollette Sheridan (search), showed up in the Philadelphia Eagles (search) locker room.




SHERIDAN: Oh, my house burned down, and I needed to take a long hot shower.

So where are you off to, looking so pretty?

OWENS: Baby, it's "Monday Night Football." The game starts in 10 minutes.

SHERIDAN: You and your little games. I've got a game you could play.

OWENS: Hey, this is major. We've got Parcels and the Cowboys, and Donovan needs me.

SHERIDAN: Well, what about my needs? What about Katie (ph)?

OWENS: Will you stop it? All of Philadelphia is counting on me.

SHERIDAN: Well, I can't help myself. I love you, T.O.


Once again, this is just designed to get attention for the "Desperate Housewives" program, and, of course, it did. But it's out of context and a bit unfair to folks who just wanted to see some football.

I think John Madden (search) passed out, didn't want to see the intramural towel wearing. And the towel came off. We didn't want to show that. And I don't care about any of this, but it is ridiculous. I hope Madden's OK.

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