A lot of you reading this will be too young to remember Watergate, other than vague references made on the news and occasionally in some of the history-based movies you've seen. Since then we've had Nipplegate (thanks to Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson), Whitewater gate and (thanks to Sal Alosi) Tripgate. Yep, there are lots of "gates".
Now we have Urinegate (which Bill talked about before, if you recall). I actually had this forwarded to me by one of the gyrenes I met and hung out with at SHOT.
Yep, Urinegate. Some of you may not find this amusing, and that's okay I respect your opinion, but it made me chuckle so I thought I'd share it.
Okay, so this may be more serious than the way I'm treating it, but honestly I'm tired of hearing about it. Show me any kid those Marines' that age who've never done anything phenomenally stupid in their lives (if not in a war zone) and I'll show you characters from bad fiction. There are those for them, others against them, others urging an intelligent understanding and a reasonable reaction to the events even if you don't support the Marines themselves or approve of what they did. Me, I'm kind of in agreement with Michael Yon. If in fairness I can't absolutely, unequivocally say I wouldn't piss on the corpse of some asshole that killed one of my friends, I can say in two decades of law enforcement I've refrained from giving tune-ups and adjusting the attitudes of guys that truly deserved it because that's not what we do. Is it the same thing as the stressors those young Marines experienced? Nope, it's not. I would respectfully submit that it takes a substantial exertion of will not to thoroughly tune-up a guy you catch red-handed doing horrible things to little kids, if not to find a reason not to remove him from the gene pool. To a lesser extent it can also be difficult not to deliver an attitude adjustment to a guy that just thumped on his wife or girlfriend in front of their kids. I don't care if it's deserved, it's not what we do.
If I was to have ever done such a thing, or any of my friends or peers, I can guarantee you it never would have been recorded and posted on the interwebz.
In any case...none of this is the same scenaro as taking four young carnivores, teaching them to aggressively hunt down our enemies, to kill them all and break all their shit and then expecting them to remain completely civilized. So, you want to punish them? Fine. Give 'em a little NJP and then press on. All this other ridiculosity about prison and courts martial is just reactionary bullshit. (At the same time, don't compare it to what the Taliban and AQ have done as a justification or a way to put it in perspective: that's stupid, and it has no place in the discussion. We aren't them, we never have been and there should be no comparisons made. It doesn't just tarnish those Marines and all of us, it defiles them. Leave it out and let's just say these young men screwed up.) Hopefully the 3/2 command staff and Lt. Gen. Thomas Waldhauser will do that.
ONE LAST THING: When you start decrying these young men and what they did, you might keep in mind that these are the same type of Americans who willingly place themselves between women and children of other lands and faiths and those who would harm them, day after day. Put it in perspective, thusly:
About the author: David Reeder is a 20 year law enforcement veteran and AF SNCO who worked assignments in Training, S4, Mobility and Operations. He is a former Evaluator/Controller for the National Homeland Security Training Center, was an EST member, TL and commander, and for the last several years has worked as a joint service Combat Tracking instructor. During his LE career he’s worked patrol, training, drug task force, SWAT and PIO. He currently writes for Kit Up!, Under the Radar, Defense Tech and is a contributing editor to the BOLO Report.You can contact him, if you're so inclined, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/David.ReederWrites.