An American Hero

Ilario Pantano is an American hero. He left a well paying job on Wall Street after September 11 to join the Marines and defend his country. In Iraq, as 2nd Lieutenant Pantano, he was an effective and popular leader. He got caught up in the PC witch-hunt when he killed two Iraqis after they made menacing moves toward him and refused his commands (in Arabic) to stop.

For that he had to endure months of anguish as murder charges were brought against him. They were dropped yesterday, when the evidence showed that they were baseless. There are times when soldiers do the wrong thing and other times when they do the right thing. At all times, we have to remember the split second nature of their decisions.

This case goes to show the extraordinary length the U.S. goes to investigate charges against our troops. In this case, we probably erred too far on the side of accusing Pantano.

This is what his lawyer had to say, "Down at the unit level, there was never a question about Ilario's conduct and whether or not he did the right thing. It was up in the higher echelons. The people removed from combat situations needed to put more trust in their officers rather than assuming they are guilty."

The accusations were front page news. The report of his innocence was on page A19 of the "Washington Post" below the fold in a small article entitled, "Marine Officer Cleared in Killing Two Iraqis."

Posted by Jack at May 27, 2005 4:45 PM