Thursday, April 28, 2005

Bloggers make a difference in the Pantano case!

Kit, at Euphoric Reality, was up early today, committed little trooper that she is! An early morning email from Charles Gittens made the following statement:

Well, yesterday the Government case sort of “blew up” like the IED’s being used against our Marines and soldiers in Iraq. The evidence yesterday demonstrated that the “Marinethatknows” was a perjurer and serial orders violator. He was read his rights, asked to speak to a lawyer, and now is not likely to testify further without being granted immunity from prosecution himself.

FYI — when my client was confronted with the allegation that he unlawfully killed two Iraqi’s, he didn’t ask for a lawyer — he told the truth: that he killed these guys because they were bad guys and he believed they were going to try to attack him and that he told them to “stop” in Arabic before he did it. My client followed the Rules of Engagement exactly and his killing of the Iraqis was justified and lawful under the ROE.

My client asked me to thank all of his supporters, but particularly his fellow Marines, past and present, who have sent him words of encouragement.

Sgt. Coburn's unauthorized statements around the web,specifically at Euphoric Reality, have really come back to haunt him:
“NOTHING that has been in the news about this case is true. The facts are all WRONG!!! The Prisoners were never a threat and they had nothing on them. They were shot AFTER the car was searched….Long after. So before you start to talk trash about this case….Learn the facts”

Kit noticed THIS small detail:

Now, here’s where things get interesting. Note that this anonymous poster mentioned that “they were shot AFTER the car was searched…Long after.” This was a fact that had not been released to the media yet. The people commenting after Marinethatknows (we’ll call him MTK), some of the other Marines, basically ridicule him and call him out, challenging him to explain where he’s getting his info. He then posts this on 17 Feb, on the same article:

“Here’s a little advice, before you make a stupid comment, get the whole story. All you people have read is HIS side of the story. I must say that the lawer(sic) was very smart in putting in a false statement. Now all the stupid people that think they know something about what happend will have his story in their heads and think that he is telling the truth. What person that is up on charges is going to tell the truth that will put them away? They all LIE. How about you all wait till the Marine Corps makes their statement. Until that happens, I can not tell what I know. If you Know anything about the military, you would know that a service memeber(sic) is not authorized to make a statement unless authorized by the legal department.”

Whoops, got caught up in your own tantrum, Danny-boy! Your testimony in court was compromised!

As to the rest of the hearing yeserday, further testimony from Corpsman Gobles claims, "I just felt a sense of security when a situation arose, I knew he would be able to take care of it," Gobles said. "I felt the safest with this platoon, more than any other platoon in our company, more than anything because of Lt. Pantano and his leadership." That is high praise, indeed, coming from an enlistedman serving in the deadliest corridor in Iraq. Pantano had served well and with commendations as a fast-reaction platoon leader in the Sunni Triangle. He was PROVEN, many times over - and his soldiers felt safe with him.

Vindication: a Marine counterintelligence expert identified in court only as Sgt. M testified he believed the detainees were insurgents who lied during his brief interrogation of them about having weapons in the home they had been seen leaving. Soldiers found three AK-47 assault rifles, mortar tubes and stakes used to prop them up during a search. They also discovered several passports and IDs with names that didn’t match up, as well as literature supporting Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Sergeant M said he believed the men were probably insurgents, and they were not going to be released.

The hearing is not over, though the prosecution's case has suffered a serious blow. So stay tuned for up-to-the-minute reports!